Their Beards All Grew Longer Overnight

Okay, first to get a bit of off-topic business out of the way: Sarah sucks at scheduling things, yay and verily, like a Dyson with the animal hair attachment.  And I’m very sorry.  All I can say is between the auto-immune that clogged my breathing and reduced me to a fraction of the oxygen I should have (making me go into respiratory distress when lying flat) and the steroid to combat it, I’ve been even more like a cat with ADHD than normal.

In practical terms this means I totally forgot to schedule A cyber Monday sale.  Fear not, though, starting on the thirtieth there will be something of mine on sale for 99c through the end of the year.  I’m also bringing out author’s editions of the Magical British Empire and of the furniture refinishing mysteries which have now reverted.  The fourth one of those and the sixth musketeer mysteries are in various states of completion, which means I might or might not be able to bring them out by Christmas.  We shall see, but I’m gonna try.

Meanwhile today I must run an errand and send an overdue outline to KJA.  Then resume work on Darkship Revenge this weekend.  I’m sending the book in “sets” to my betas as I finalize portions, hoping to get it done faster that way.

Which bring us to a very short blog post, before I run off.

For years now, I’ve been telling you guys that this country is functionally occupied.  Sometime between the forties and the seventies, a significant portion of our most promising young were proselytized and converted by the then USSR, an enemy that was not markedly skilled at much, except subversion, but who were very skilled at that.

This means, as my friend Bill Reader says, that “we’re doing all right, we just lost the cold war.”

Oh, we won it, economically and militarily, and everywhere else, but they’d taken our culture, and their long march had acquired all the command positions, and therefore they were in control.  And having been, effectively, turned into enemy agents, even after the enemy had disbanded, this meant that they treated us like an occupied land.

This is the only way to make sense of the oikophobia of our cultural “betters” and of their desire to dismantle the culture that gave them birth, as well as their certainty that factually-disproven means of government like communism and socialism (both really the future of the past) are still the coming wave of the future.  It is also the only thing that makes sense of, say, flying the American flag being considered an act of aggression ON AMERICAN TERRITORY while every other flag is not only accepted but encouraged.

We’re doing okay, it’s just that we’re occupied.  And the couple of days have been an “oh, boy, howdy, and how!” as we watch people who pretend to care for the fate of the republic and to be proselytizers for freedom and liberty deliver themselves of painful and cringingly-awful encominiums to Castro, a man who would have been Stalin, had he had more territory than Cuba to rule over; a man who enslaved his own people and who, by hiring his army out, like the Hessian mercenaries of old, but worse, laid fire and waste to Africa and perpetrated (there) racist aggression as was rarely seen under European powers (except maybe by the Belgians who were special all over Congo and of course the soviets who were the masters of the Cubans.)

It’s been breath taking to watch the masks drop, and the would-be officials of our own country act like quislings and traitors.  Their beards all seem to have grown longer overnight, (particularly the women’s) and the noises that comes from their mouths are no longer the sounds of rational human beings, but the eructations of the long-dead masters who possess them.  They are channeling Marx and Lenin, Stalin and Pol Pot, standing atop the pile of corpses of their victims, and speaking with the rotten voice from the grave, lamenting the passing of one of the last of their comrades to resist the encroaching of liberty, and to carry on their carrion-tainted legacy.

Remember them.  Keep in mind that moment when the masks dropped.  They will try to don them again, and look, once more, impartial and over it all, and like gods among men.  Don’t forget though, the death-marked visage they revealed and how their empathy for this repulsive tyrant reveals what they’d do, given a chance.

We’re doing all right, for a country that lost the cold war.  We’re doing very all right.  While they were busy taking over the formal mechanisms of power, the sons of Martha — almost ours to a man — have created alternate structures to the ones they stormed and occupied.

We have means of communication and organization, and the resistance is making a comeback.  Don’t get cocky.  The vichy are still in power in all relevant positions of external power, and — as with publishing — they’ll try to get things under control again.  Look at all the fuss about “fake news” by which they don’t mean the ones who have, so gleefully, been trying to gaslight the nation for decades, but the people doing yeoman work, mostly unpaid, to reveal their deficiencies.  Look at traditional publishing, in increasingly ineffective ways, trying to grasp once more the power they had over the nation’s intellectual life.

There will be tussling back and forth.  Be not afraid, nor despair.  Keep working to build under, build around.  Keep working to take the weight of the corrupt edifice when it falls.  Maybe we’ll get lucky and take enough of the political establishment it never really falls, just totters and firms up again, but you can’t bet on it.  You have to keep working, to remember we’ve been occupied for almost a century, and we’re just now fighting back.

On the good side, the technology for communications, for learning and hopefully soon for manufacturing (to some extent) is going the way of individual freedom, unlike the technology of mass production and mass marketing which gave birth to socialist/communist mental map.

In the end we win, they lose.  But you must keep working.

Now go work.


252 thoughts on “Their Beards All Grew Longer Overnight

  1. I’ve been even more like a cat with ADHD than normal.

    Great image. I am sure that it sucks to feel that way, but you do have a way with words that describe things so well.

      1. More being a kitten than a cat in my experience. Still, not all cats outgrow their youthful exuberance. When The Daughter was young we would attend the local cat show together. We discovered that one breed, the Abyssinian, remained kittenishly playful as an adult.

  2. Look at all the fuss about “fake news”…

    I could easily be convinced that this is a concerted orchestrated tactic, being built to combat, in part, the rightful accusations of the same in the MSM.

    First convince the public that it is being fed “fake news” by which you mean anything that might support your adversaries fake or otherwise. Point out particularly grievous mistakes and propaganda. Use this to justify setting up a watch dog organization to ‘keep our news reliable’ by which they mean favorable to themselves.

      1. A reminder, during this holiday season, to only get your faux news from committed organic artisans dedicated to the highest levels of craftsmanship, laboring under the supervision of layers upon layers of fact-checkers, editors and peer review.

      2. If it’s from CNN, NBC, or Fox, I can be pretty sure it’s lacking critical details if it’s not outright lies.

        1. The thing I check for is if the same phrasing is used in a bunch of different places- that tells me it’s a rewrite of an AP story. (almost always)

          Which means that the only first-hand report of stories-with-that-phrase that’s from anything but blogs is going to be on the AP wire.

          Less a matter of truth than of identifying common threads.

          1. I’ve noticed a lot of places don’t even bother to fake it; they just run entire articles word for word.

            1. I prefer that– the rewrites make for a lot of the big, fake news blowups.

              Just because a word is a synonym doesn’t mean it’s perfectly exchangable.

      3. heh, most of their supposed “Fake News” sites mostly link to the MSM and point out the absurdity, but what it really is is laying out the groundwork for an attempt at “Common Sense(TM) Press Control” like they want for firearms.

    1. Somehow this screeching about “fake news” is reminding me of the boss character in The Incredibles. “They’re penetrating the bureaucracy!”

      Only more like, “They’re getting close to learning the truth!”

    2. The part that interests me is how it started at a liberal site *about* liberal sites that were bad sources of information, sort of a “hey, we’re in a bubble here” post. The list got taken to Facebook and someone added conservative sites and now the newsfeed is all full of that fake site that reportedly said they couldn’t do that kind of site to liberals because it would get debunked within two comments.

      All of the shares have some snarky comment about how obviously liberals are too smart to fall for fake news. I presume they don’t see the irony of how the whole point of such sites are to get as many shares as possible, so they’re taking the bait…

      1. … liberals are too smart to fall for fake news.

        Such as the obviously fake memo that was on CBS with that Dan Rather fellow? Yeah, good thing none of them fell for that fakery. Oh, wait.

    3. What I find amusing is with all the hoopla being raised about alt-right fake news, they then go to site a source of ‘Russians assisted Trump in Election’ or somesuch headline. Their source? Huffington Post! I have started pointing out that HP, Slate and Vox are alt-left fake news sites and obviously, anything in them is fabricated.
      That is one idea for throwing it back in their face, there are a lot more alt-left sites out there that are rabid in writers and readers.

      1. > alt-left

        Don’t know where it came from, but the Gamergate kids have started to use “ctrl-left” to describe the enemy. Pretty clever, I think.

          1. It is my understanding that Iran is working on a Delete option right now! (Obama made a deal to help them along in their efforts…)

      2. Here’s the reason you need to be protected from False news:

        If you were to read these excerpts from a report on the performance of Detroit Charter Schools …

        “[C]harter students in Michigan gain an additional two months of learning in reading and math over their TPS [traditional public school] counterparts. The charter students in Detroit gain over three months per year more than their counterparts at traditional public schools.”

        “In both reading and math, Black students in Detroit charter schools have significantly larger growth compared to Black students in Detroit TPS.”

        “Hispanic charter students in Detroit show significantly better outcomes in math compared to their Hispanic TPS counterparts in Detroit.”

        or if you were to

        look at the study’s chart 7 (p. 44). It shows 47 percent of Detroit charter schools significantly outperforming traditional public schools on reading and 49 percent of charters significantly outperforming traditionals on math. One percent of charters are significantly underperforming on reading and 7 percent on math. For the rest, there’s no significant difference.

        … you might have reached an incorrect conclusion. It requires the sharp intellects at the NY Times to tell you what is the correct conclusion you ought draw:

        Detroit is not only the lowest in [a] group of lowest-performing districts on the math and reading scores, it is the lowest by far. One well-regarded study found that Detroit’s charter schools performed at about the same dismal level as its traditional public schools. The situation is so bad that national philanthropists interested in school reform refuse to work in Detroit.

        That’s from Douglas Harris, writing in the New York Times, [who] says that Betsy DeVos, Trump’s nominee to be Education Secretary, “is partly responsible for what even charter [school] advocates acknowledge is the biggest school reform disaster in the country.” Her mistake: “She devised Detroit’s system to run like the Wild West. It’s hardly a surprise that the system, which has almost no oversight, has failed.”

        “[A]lmost no oversight” — except, of course, by the parents of those enrolled. But what the heck would they know?

        Quotes’ source:

  3. Sarah, feel better soon! It will indeed take a lot to clean up the mess the Frankfurt School has made of our institutions, but with the President Elect’s typical belligerent attitude, and because all the masks came off to attack him, he might just be the man to start it–or not. “Prediction is hard, especially about the future,” as Yogi Berra said.

    One off topic meme I’ve wanted to put out there since my wife and I brainstormed the idea. I would love for people to go to a rally of anti-trumpers and hold up a sign saying, “Evil Trumps Stupid.” It will have no effect on the true believers, but the camp followers should have the equivalent of the moment when they were handed a piece of paper with “How do you keep an idiot busy? Over” written on both sides.

    1. Evil Trumps Stupid leaves open the question of who is which.

      Love Trumps Hate, OTOH, is our Yankee Doodle motto, as our love for America has trumped the Left’s hatred of deplorable Americans.

      Any damned idiot can despise their family — it is an attribute almost any fifteen-year-old can master. To accept one’s family, one’s nation, one’s humanity warts and all, that takes a real love. Deploring one’s kindred expresses arrogant ignorance, while striving to rescue them in spite of their animus toward all things of true value instills humility.

      Posner, meanwhile, remains a moron.

      1. “Evil Trumps Stupid leaves open the question of who is which.”
        Exactly! Imagine the internal conversation, “Well Trump is evil, so he trumps stupid, but wait, am I and Clinton stupid then? But Trump is stupid, so evil trumps him, but that means Clinton and I are evil!” It’ll be like the airport scene in Big Trouble:
        “Which turn do we take?”
        “Well we’re arriving, but then we’re departing…”

        1. You are expecting such people to pursue prolonged concerted independent thought on the matter? Really?

          What have they done to demonstrate any proclivity to do so so far?

      2. Observations suggest that “leaving the questions open” in itself tend to inconvenience most of the unfunny circus. The only difference is that the jugglers only pout, while the monkeys start screeching.

  4. I totally forgot to schedule A cyber Monday sale.

    I find the implication that Huns are such persnickety pedants as to require a cyber-Monday sale actually be held on cyber-Monday slightly insulting.

    1. This is a post on a Monday about a PostMonday event. Well beyond modern and postmodern. Perhaps even into contrarian. I suspect that will meet with general approval.

        1. As Churchy La Femme knew, one should never be a stick in the mud when it comes to calendars. (He knew to be particularly wary of which day of the week Friday the thirteenth fell each month.)

          That said, in honor of the beginning of the advent season:

          Deck us all with Boston Charlie,
          Walla Walla, Wash.’ and
          Nora’s freezin’ on the trolley,
          Swaller doliar cauliflower

          Don’t we know archaic barrel
          Lullaby Lila Boy,
          Louisville Lou.
          Trolley Molly don’t love
          Boola Boola Pensacoola

    2. For various flimsy excuses very good reasons, I am only getting around to my Friday tasks today. So I declare that this is officially Friday.

      Which means that our hostess is planning a Sarah Sunday Sale. Marking my calendar…

  5. “Castro…a man who enslaved his own people and who, by hiring his army out, like the Hessian mercenaries of old, but worse, laid fire and waste to Africa and perpetrated (there) racist aggression as was rarely seen under European powers”

    But, Sarah, just think of all the good things Castro did. Sure, he may have been a mass murderer who executed his political enemies, imprisoned their families, put gays in “reeducation” camps, drove his country’s economy into the ground, and convinced most people that it was better to swim 90 miles through shark-infested waters than spend another minute on that island, but think of the things he gave back. Universal literacy*! Free** health care!

    * = Just don’t try to use any that literacy on any material not preapproved by the Communists.

    ** = Soap, latex gloves, bed linens, pain killers, antibiotics, and other extraneous luxuries not included.

    1. Heard part of BBC’s radio coverage of this Friday night, where a suspiciously large number of ‘experts’ were on hand to be interviewed about how great and misunderstood he was, and how if the Cubans really had hated living there they’d have leaved. At one point one of them mentioned that the Angolans weren’t universally of the belief Castro was a national hero; the faint note of disbelief in her voice was priceless. But the statement they played by Orlando Figares saying how sorry he was that Castro had died so easily made the rest of the time banging my head into the steering wheel worth it.

        1. I liked this tweet from a Johan Norberg, either saw it on instapundit or facebook;
          “When I die, I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like Fidel Castro, not screaming in terror, like his victims.”

          I think that covers the issue pretty well.

          1. Or just in agony. William Buckley recounted illegally getting some heavy duty prescription pain killers to smuggle into Cuba for the benefit of the cook’s sister, dying of cancer and, of course, getting no pain-killers from the system. Not every Cuban cancer patient was lucky enough to have an emigre sister whose employer was wiling and able to do that.

      1. “…if the Cubans really had hated living there they’d have leaved.”

        Did it not occur to the expert being interviewed (or even the interviewer) that this was *exactly* what was happening? That Cubans *were* leaving, and doing so on makeshift boats to cross shark-infested waters?


        I can’t help but wonder what world these “experts” live in…

        1. also ignored is that often those trying to leave were shot for their troubles. Socialism and communism . . . political ideas so great, you have to fence the people in to keep them under it.

    2. Quoth Colin Kaepernick:

      “I agree with the investment in education. I also agree with the investment in free universal health care, as well as the involvement with him in helping end apartheid in South Africa. I would hope that everyone believes those things are good things. Trying to push the false narrative that I was a supporter of the oppressive things that he did is just not true.”

      If only Colin were as generous regarding the flaws of the nation which made him rich and famous without demanding much of him.

      Proof, I believe, of the argument that we must take steps to address the football concussion problem.

      1. I agree that Mussolini made the trains run on time. In comparison with the many other things he did, it is a less than stellar achievement. Even the stopped clock is right twice a day. Perhaps Castro was kind to his Mother? He was still a monster.

            1. He was very anti-discriminatory in his policies, treating Gays and Gypsies as well as he did the Jews.

              He was also a big proponent of good hygiene, encouraging routine showering by workers at his camps and pioneering new materials for soaps.

              On Global Warming he was, sadly, not so good.

          1. Evil is seldom a cartoonish one-note thing. Here is what a former employee had to say about Adolf Hitler:

            “He was a charming man, someone who was only ever nice to me, a great boss to work for.”

            -Rosa Mitterer, a maid who worked for Adolf Hitler

            I always keep things like this in mind when designing villains. They often have a charming side and can inspire loyalty. It doesn’t change that they are evil, and perhaps their capability to do good makes them even more evil, because they do so by choice, not nature.

            1. That last bit is where I have the most issue with the ‘everyone’s the hero of their own story’ approach to villains. The kindness of the villain should be a contrast, a highlight to what they could have been had they chosen differently. Depending on the story this could be something that can be used to redeem the villain or make the audience all the more angry at him.

        1. I wonder if anyone has run this bit of propaganda down.
          Fascist, communist, and other statist tend to make lousy managers.

          1. I’ve read a number of biographies of Soviet defectors. The primary reason almost all of them left was disgust with poor management.

        2. On my Facebook wall, a friend-of-a-friend suggested, “Saying someone was 100% evil is shallow”; he advised nuance, and appreciating the good even evil people have done. My response:

          [I]t may be “shallow” to ignore what small good Castro’s done, but it’s also morally necessary, and your insistence on such depth or nuance is itself a great evil.

          Divine justice can be perfect—Castro can be rewarded for what small scattered good he’s done and also be punished for all his evil. And I suspect his long and successful personal life was all the reward he’d earned: “A boor cannot know, a fool cannot understand this: that when the wicked spring up as grass and the workers of iniquity flourish, it is so that they may be destroyed forever.” (Psalms 92:7–8)

          But my own human mind is more limited, and I cannot consider things like “he was kind to animals” (or whatever is said about Castro) without this lessening in my mind the impact of his evil—and that, I dare not allow.

              1. I have only had to ‘unfriend’ two of them. Sadly they were both related. It is bad when you get more kindness from strangers than you own family. But Progressivism is a mental disease for the weak minded.

            1. Hitler seems to have made sure that Hugo Gutmann, the Jewish officer who awarded him the Iron Cross during WWI, was able to immigrate safely to America in the Thirties. He displayed kindness and generosity to friends and colleagues, it was large groups of people whom he treated with unspeakable cruelty, like Castro. He let Gutmann out of the trap he made that killed six million of his fellow Jews. And the final death toll of the Soviet Union during WWII seems to have settled around 50 million.

              Oh, and Hitler was vegetarian. There is an astounding poster somewhere on the internet that show all the widdle animals Heil Hitlering der fuhrer.

              In case it comes up, Hitler was not part Jewish, and the stories about some of the worst Nazis being part Jewish are hoaxes, except for Milch.

              1. Last I heard 50 million from WWII And they’re still having trouble figuring out exactly how many were purges and how many were battlefield deaths. 30/20 in favor of purges was my last information, but it’s a bit old (the source was good though.)

                1. Given the doctrine of the Soviets involved stationing officers behind their troops to shoot any contemplating desertion (leading from behind?) a certain percentage of their combat deaths can probably be attributed to purges.


          2. As $HOUSEMATE says (not sure where from): “Nobody is perfect. Even $BAD_PERSON isn’t perfectly evil.” But one need be truly perfect to be good(bad) enough.

          3. I have no problem recognizing that an evil person has done good — indeed, may have even done evil in the pursuit of goodness — because we are all human, after all.

            BUT I strongly suspect that the people who are saying that we need to look at the good side of Castro are doing so in an attempt to deflect from the horrible evil that he has done, and the horrible evil that others who admire him wish to inflict on us.

            Should we consider the good that Adolf Hitler has done? I would suspect that most people who say “we need to be nuanced” would say no, we don’t need to, because he was a Nazi! But I would suggest that understanding the good he has done would help us understand how he came to power, and how he managed to keep it.

            This is something that I think we really need to understand, though: it is the goodness of an Adolf Hitler, or a Stalin, or a Lenin, or a Pol Pot, or a Mao, or a Robespierre, or of any other tin-pot dictator, that makes it possible for them to inspire an entire nation to do great evil.

            And now that I’ve written that, I’ve come to realize something: YES, let us recognize the good of a given evil leader, for, paradoxically, it is the GOOD in that person that enables the leader to AMPLIFY HIS EVIL.

            1. I guess if there’s an afterlife where one is judged by their deeds, Castro will now be getting presented with a pat on the back and a small notepad full of his good deeds… then whomever is judging him will grow harsh and then show a rather huge multi-volume encyclopedia of his bad deeds.

              Then things will get unpleasant for him.

        3. Twitter had a whole bunch of parody tweets in response to Prime Minister Trudeau’s praise of Castro. Forgot the hashtag name, alas.

        4. The sad thing is, rail service in Fascist Italy was still a bad joke. The only place where Mussolini’s trains actually ran on time was in the propaganda of his apologists.

    3. Sure, Castro was bad, but think of all the Elvis apologists. Conservative Elvis fans prove that the right is hypocritical about state terror, murder of political opponents, torture, and over rated dance moves.

      1. And he was ‘deputized’ by Pres. Nixon in the “War on (some) Drugs.” Or as put in one song…

        o/` Elvis was a narc.
        In Memphis after dark.
        He knew ev’ry pill he’d eat,
        Was one less on the street. o/`

        1. Elvis was the victim of the cult of experts, believing that certification meant knowledgeable and responsible practice of the profession. He made the mistake of thinking that as his drugs were prescribed to him by his doctors and supplied through pharmacists he was alright.

      1. ”But, the literacy!’ she says.

        Give me license to torture and execute poor and difficult students and I, too, can promise universal literacy.

        1. I give the literacy stats no more credence than I give any other stat from any other communist country.

          1. There was a tweet (can’t remember whose, sadly) about how it was interesting that many of the same people who think the moon landing was faked accept Castro’s literacy statistics without question.

          1. More likely: Learn to read or we will cease to count you toward our literacy numbers. Meanwhile, to justify the expense we have already invested in you, we will send you somewhere to work long hours at brute physical labor.

      2. I can’t help but wonder what good literacy is, if you are imprisoned for reading or even owning the wrong books.

        I still strongly distrust the American Librarians Association for refusing to stand up for Cubans arrested for owning collections of about thirty books, and loaning them out to people to read. Their justification was “these people aren’t professional librarians”.

        Really? Aren’t you supposed to be the guardians of the First Amendment? Aren’t you the guys that put together “Banned Book Month”, listing all the times a school district or a library refuses to stock a certain book (but in such displays, only one person is described as arrested and/or fined — which *is* typically the instance of actual 1st Amendment violation in the display)? Here we have actual instances of people arrested for owning and lending books, and you refuse to stand behind them?!?

        From that moment forward, I decided that any person who owns so much as a book is a librarian, and that the ALA is…well, evil, I suppose…for not standing up for such people.

  6. Oh, I’m quite sure everyone is noticing who’s who in all this. It started with the tantrums on November 9th; nods, knowing winks, and “See?” Honestly, I don’t know of any surprises. It’s just another level of confirmation.

  7. ” Keep working to build under, build around.” Keep tunneling under the foundations of the left, and use their petards to hoist them.

    1. Sirrah! You have used the term “petard” which is perilously close to “retard” — a word which is only acceptable when applied to those deplorable voices on the Right — and thus constitutes a micro-aggression of the most offensive sort.

      Hang your head in shame and repeat the mantra that “There are no ‘tards but Republitards.”

          1. Acceptable use of that word is closely linked to your skin color. People pay some comedians to run it into the ground, while others would be charged with hate crimes.

          2. *chuckles!* I was once scolded for using ‘niggardly’, and told ‘you might not know this, but that’s racist!’

            I said “niggardly” is not racist. You mean “nigger” which is not what I said.

            Cue apologies and attempt at justification that the scold thought I was unaware of the connotations of ‘nigger.’ I advised that instead of insulting me with such a niggardly attempt at apology, the person should go look up the damn word and stop acting like a know it all over somebody with a better vocabulary.

      1. Considering what a petard is, anyone using one is very much committing a macro aggression not a micro one.

  8. I can’t go so far as to say I finally understand the “ashamed of my country” remarks, because I’ve never bought into the idea that a leader is his country or his people, but as a Canadian I have to admit I was intensely disappointed in PM Justin Trudeau’s statement on Castro’s death, and more than a little embarrassed by it. I’d be even more annoyed with him personally if I thought he’d himself contributed a half-a-thought to the thing, which I have to admit I don’t.

    Canadian politics are even more about virtue-signaling than American politics, I sometimes think, perhaps because we have much less practical effect on world matters.

    1. I think you sell your nation short. From what I understand, the Canadian Army has superbly capable soldiers. Both of them.

      1. Every time I’ve gotten drunk, and gone north to burn down Toronto, I’ve found myself outnumbered.

        1. Burn down Toronto? Can I assist? Matches? Gasoline? Getaway routes? Watching that cesspool burn from across the bay would be a pleasure.

          1. Please don’t call my home city a cesspool. It is far from the Shining City on the Hill and has declined somewhat in recent years, but it is nowhere near as decrepit as Detroit or as corrupt as Chicago. Besides, any place that could elect Rob Ford still has a bit of Canadian gumption left in it.

            1. I would apologize for calling it a cesspool, if I didn’t have to put up with the smug attitude with the people that have decided to make this city their home. I too am from the Big Smoke. I may have grown up in a rural town for about half my life, but I was born here and live here. This town needs an enema! (with thanks to Jack Nicholson for the phrase)

              1. Cut your city a bit of slack. Many years ago, I swore that Toronto had the worst traffic planners in the world, hands down. Closing every freeway all night long?

                Then I went to work for a company with their home offices in Pasadena. Traffic anywhere around LA is a permanent blight. Toronto was, at least theoretically, improving things.

                (Note, I was extremely lucky that I encountered Canucks at the airline desk when I finally showed up after a seven hour drive from my downtown hotel – three hours after my scheduled flight was long gone. They took one look at my poor sorry Yank visage and booked me onto the next available flight – for no extra money – and with another airline. Try that most places in the US…)

                1. Charlotte, North Carolina still has my personal acclaim as “worst traffic management I’ve encountered so far.”

                  Every single intersection isn’t a four way stop, but their traffic people must have gotten a sweet deal on surplus stop signs…

                  1. I have fond (?) memories of the time I went to Freedom Park in Charlotte and found myself at the intersection of Trade, West, Kings, Queens, and Queens.

                2. It’s not the traffic, transit, or infrastructure. It’s the leftist idiots that have taken over Silly Hall and try to impose their beliefs of a better “system” on the rest of us trying to survive. The latest idiocy is the Mayor pushing for road tolls on the two main highways into the city. Highways that have been in existence for decades, so already paid for. Worst part is half the adults approve of this idea. I am willing to bet the ones that approve either a.) don’t have a car b.) are eco-warriors or c.) don’t realize how this is going to impact the city. then there is group d.) which involves “all of the above”

                  1. The highways’ initial construction costs are paid; the repair and upkeep isn’t. I won’t go so far as to say I approve of the idea, but as (your guess is correct) someone who doesn’t own a car, it is certainly true that the fact it won’t be an expense for me is a large part of why I don’t hate it immediately.

                    Any practical policy measure is going to cost some voters more than others; it’s not immoral or even irrational for people to prefer the policy solutions that externalize costs for them, and road tolls I can avoid paying have more appeal than a property tax increase which, as a homeowner, I can’t.

        1. Pretty much. When the Germans coined the term “stormtroopers”, they weren’t talking about themselves.


          Pearson and Trudeau have much to answer for.

          1. This I can totally agree with. Canadians were remembered (depending on the demographic still are) as fearsome soldiers and warriors. Feared and respected by friends and enemies alike. Then pearson creates the “peacekeepers” and the liberal party proceeds to attempt to erase anything decent about our military history and tradition. Tommy sees, and tommy never forgets.

            1. Years ago, I was reading a book on D-Day, and a Canadian friend ask what it was about. When I told her, she mentioned that it had nothing to do with Canada. I did correct her misconception.

        1. Mock them at your peril. Sgt. Preston and Cpl. Hudson will invade your hometown, provided they can raise car fare.

      2. I guess I went to Army tech school with them at Ft. Belvoir, VA in the summer of ’81. They supplied the libations for our graduation party from the stocks of the Canadian embassy. 🙂

    2. I suppose it depends on how you view the meaning of “ashamed of my country”. If you view it as as shorter form of, “ashamed of the people of my country for electing such a person” it kind of makes sense.

      1. Your version does make more sense, but even there, thanks to the peculiarities of how our government is elected, any one party can win executive power without actually commanding anywhere near a popular majority of votes, as long as they simply command the largest share of the party divisions that do exist. “A majority government” (which the Liberals currently have, and the Conservatives used to) means only that you’ve won at least half the seats in Parliament for one party, thus meaning no other possible combination of opposition MPs can numerically outvote you — this makes you essentially immune from no-confidence votes until the next legally required election.

        In the last election of October 2015 the Liberals only gained 39.4% of the total votes cast, and that vote turnout total in turn represented only 68.3% of the eligible voter pool — so Justin Trudeau is only the PM thanks to about 27% overall of the voters. I can’t in fairness say I’m ashamed of “the people of my country” when it’s only about 1 in 4 who can be blamed for that.

        1. Sooooo you’re saying that Parliamentary systems that liberals tend to admire so much have their own form of Electoral College?

          Oh, the irony! (Of course, liberals here aren’t proposing that we go Parliamentarian; they merely want to go to the Popular Vote….which will make it that much easier for candidates — both Republican and Democrat — to cheat!)

          1. In a sense, yes, although the size of a “riding” (the area which elects an individual MP) is determined by population more than anything else, so our heavily populated provinces do have significant influence in any given election. We simply have a much lower population overall and a much more evenly distributed one, geographically speaking, so there is no equivalent to the outsize electoral influence of states like California, Texas or New York.

            It also helps that we have three major political parties, rather than two, and a solid array of minor parties, so there is much less feeling of throw-your-vote-away up here. This has occasionally produced shock upsets that put the smallest of the parties, the NDP, into provincial power when enough people are fed up with either of the larger ones but don’t want to vote directly for the opposition. And we don’t vote separately for the party leader as Prime Minister; we only vote for which MP we want to send to Parliament, and the party which wins the most seats in the House of Commons then forms the executive Cabinet, which is then rubber-stamped by the Governor-General on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II.

            Trying to imagine our system being run with the 300M+ populace of the States makes me either want to laugh or throw up, I’m not sure which.

  9. Speaking of proselytizing and converting others, I’ve been asked to start writing (semi-)regular ~500 word pieces for the website Many of you know that I don’t qualify as a black man, but the owner of the site said that’s no problem. My first piece will be on looking for the things that unite us as Americans rather than the differences between us; I’d welcome suggestions for things to talk about that might be able to influence folks who haven’t heard our views before but might be willing to consider them if presented calmly and reasonably.

    1. Bill Whittle has talked about how we on the Right should have all the voters, because, being in favor of freedom, we have all the fun…

      I’m sure that several pieces might be squeezed out from that idea.

      1. I worked on a statement of beliefs (written, I hope, non politically) that I’ll try to pull sections from to expand on for some of these pieces. One of the sections is on the right to do whatever the hell you feel like doing, so long as you don’t interfere with the rights of other people. That might work into the “freedom is fun!” concept. Actually, now that I think about it, “Freedom is fun!” is a pretty great slogan…

        1. I recently saw a Bill Whittle video where he compared his experience with a trip to Texas with his life in California. If I recall correctly, it was called “I can’t believe they let you do that!” or something like that…

          1. It’s not clear to me why Bill stays in CA. Scott Ott moved to TX from PA, and Steven Green has been in CO for quite a while. Bill would be much happier anywhere but CA. I suppose it’s because of his ties to the entertainment industry, but still…

    2. Food. The great american melting pot exists first and foremost in the kitchen. There are few places where food does not bring gatherings of large numbers of people together (or where I come from, gatherings of large numbers of people rarely do not involve food.)

      1. That gives me an idea for a piece. We clearly can’t have a get-together with food over the internet, but I should be able to work up a piece about promoting neighborliness and celebration of common beliefs through block parties, outreach between churches, and other ways to meet people outside your usual community on an individual basis.

        1. outreach between churches“??????

          Are you nuts?!? Haven’t you heard the way those people sing on the beat?

          1. 😀 I’m Russian Orthodox. All those other churches with instrumental accompaniment are just unnatural… 😉

            1. The most beautiful church music I ever heard was when my exchange student friend dragged me to the Russian Orthodox Easter service. It was an all-children choir…

              1. Must have been a welcome change from the kind of children’s choirs the er…. less Orthodox?…. of us get ^_^

      2. Sorry, but in the Brotherhood Community of the Perpetually Offended, even in dealing with food you are treading through a figurative minefield. If you don’t love Tamales, you are a racist bigot, and if you throw a Taco party while not an Authentic Mexican (TM), you are practicing cultural Assimilation and therefore bigot. 😦

      3. There is a vibrant food movement attracting fans of all backgrounds in Miami — Asian Fusion Cuisine — where chefs are combining various Asian, Caribbean and South American techniques and ingredients.

  10. Actually, I think that another historical model for what we have is worth considering: The United States is developing a mandarinate. China had a centralized imperial bureaucracy that was wealthy and privileged and had no need to respect the rights of common people. And it had vast numbers of people studying an arcane and useless literary curriculum to qualify for civil service posts, and many of them not actually passing the exams and being left in debt. The mandarins held the uncouth ways of the common folk in contempt, too.

    1. All that is true, but the Chinese mandarins had two advantages the U.S. proto-mandarin class doesn’t: Exclusive control of weaponry, mostly by being the only ones able to afford anything better than farm implements and bamboo staves, and exclusive control of communications capacity, mostly by being the only ones able to afford both literacy and a postal service. That the latter is in some ways even more important than the former should be one of the lessons of the 2016 American election, I think.

      1. China’s new mandarinate apparently includes big fans of data mining:

        China’s New Tool for Social Control: A Credit Rating for Everything
        Beijing wants to give every citizen a score based on behavior such as spending habits, turnstile violations and filial piety, which can blacklist citizens from loans, jobs, air travel.

        Wall Street Journal, so Google for the link

        1. Yoiks. The truly alarming thing about that is that, in a sufficiently homogenous and order-driven culture, I could actually see something like that doing what it was intended to and working well… for a while.

          The problem would be what would happen when, inevitably, it got corrupt enough that people stopped trusting it, but had lost any backup alternative measures of social trust and cohesion. I’m thinking here of currency collapses, which are, in the end, similar collapses of public trust more than anything else, and which have kicked off more wars than I like to think about.

          1. …or when someone finally hacks the system.

            Even if the software and hardware are invulnerable, the IT staff would be vulnerable to correctly applied pressure.

            1. *looks at Chinese history* Le plus ca change le plus de meme chose

              (Excuse my spelling, cedilla and accents do not compute for ip-ad)

          2. If the cynicism in Chinese novels is anything to go by, the initial implementation will be more than corrupt enough that it will never replace the informal alternatives.

        2. I can’t help but wonder what can be done to just ignore the system. I know that Dave Ramsey argues that the Credit Score is merely an “I Love Debt Score”, so if you’re determined to live a debt-free society, it’s pretty much useless. (If you even allow for the exception of mortgages, which Dave Ramsey does, there are ways to get mortgages where you don’t need a credit score…)

          This will likely be less ignorable in a society that tries to control everything, though…but that just means you’ll have to be better prepared to bribe people…

          (Which reminds me: the Austrian School of Economics predicts that government control of interest rates is what causes bubbles. Austrian-School Economists propose that businesses and people would do well to find ways to “calculate” the *real* interest rate, and then get loans accordingly; Dave Ramsey’s program of staying out of debt and saving up emergency funds seems to be another effective way of staying out of, and minimizing the effects of, this bubble-generator…)

      2. … but the Chinese mandarins had two advantages the U.S. proto-mandarin class doesn’t: [], and exclusive control of communications capacity, mostly by being the only ones able to afford both literacy and a postal service.

        Possibly relevant: After Korea developed a phonetic writing system which anyone could learn, the mandarin class retained its power by insisting that official documents still be written in the Korean version of the Chinese Han ideographs (learnable only as “whole word” reading) which only they could afford to spend the time teaching their children.

        1. Communist China has a simplified Mandarin set, but the (possibly intended) effect of this is that a lot of classical Chinese texts are no longer accessible to modern Chinese readers.

          I think it’s interesting that Taiwan has opted to teach their children the traditional set….

    2. > vast numbers of people studying an arcane and useless literary curriculum to qualify for civil service posts, and many of them not actually passing the exams and being left in debt

      It’s a good thing that could never happen *here*…

  11. Tim Ryan was on Fox News Sunday and said that the Democrats aren’t really a national party right now, they are a east/west coast party

    1. Hmm. *Looks toward Austonio and Harris County* I’d say they are the concentrated-urban party, meaning that they are the party of the fast-growing cities – NYC, DC, Baltimore, Miami, Austonio, Houston, parts of the Metroplex, coastal CA, the wet side of OR and WA, and Chicago and the Twin Cities, with a few other pockets (Des Moines, Madison, St. Louis)

      1. Yep – look at any election results map by country/city for elections back as far as you can find. I’ve been positing that once population density reaches a certain point – the area ‘turns blue’. We need to figure out how this is done, and how to counter it. No – really. It’s imperative we figure this out and counter it – or *eventually* – there will be enough ‘blue’ counties & cities that the magic 270 will always go to them.

        1. It’s done by chasing away the working and middle classes. Nobody can afford to live in the central part of a major city except (1) the rich, and (2) the subsidized. Group (1) feels guilty about the presence of group (2) (with which, nevertheless, it has no personal contact if it can be avoided), and is not even aware of the existence of group (3), the people who actually make things work, who have all fled to suburbs that they can afford. So you get cities full of limousine liberals and welfare cases, and precious little else.

          The only way to prevent this is to decentralize the cities drastically – move business out to the suburbs. (Industry is out of the urban cores already. Group 1 doesn’t like the smell.) Part of the job requires ignoring the constant appeals for MOAR MASS TRANZITT – that is, taking the 19th century’s solution to the 18th century’s problem, and applying it to the 21st century where the problems are running the opposite way. Unfortunately, every living soul in the urban planning profession is a certified, indoctrinated Group 1 member, and they will fight you tooth and nail and spend your money to preserve the existing model.

          1. which is why mass transit designs, even new-ish ones like the light rail in L.A., are designed to move the large masses of people in and out of the city center, not to move them around the periphery where the work actually is.

            1. Denver has a pretty good one. Their light rail circles the outer areas and hits the stadiums as well. Of course, they’re actually voted very high by their riders, but other cities don’t look at them and say, “so what are they doing right that we could copy?”

            2. That was the most frustrating thing about DC’s metro – no ring line, so everything had to go through the hub.

              I’d recently returned from a two year stint in Japan as well, so the problem and solution both were obvious…

              1. yep, same here in L.A…. well, ring lines are provided by buses, that usually un once an hour…

          2. Minimum wages are designed to prop up the cities by artificially hobbling the hinterlands, keeping them from using their low cost of living.

          1. Locked to Democrats, who weren’t communists and socialists at the time, so I wouldn’t say “left” at that time.

            1. Thank you. Alarm bells were going off in my head when I read Sarah’s comment. They were called Southern Democrats, and while a little off on Civil Rights, they were very well grounded in most everything else. After the ACW, the South wasn’t too warm to ‘The Party of Lincoln’.

              1. Dancing aside from the ACW pit (family stories of that time, etc., etc.), the Southern Democrats as I recall were fiscally conservative but socially democrat. Mostly. Not totally stupid. Though there was that Athens county thing.

                There were problems with both sides. But eventually, and the whole civil rights thing had a big part to play in all this, the party of “free to pursue happiness” (and free the slaves, the West Germans, etc…) got more voters out to the polls than the party of “we must help those in need… by using the government to do so.” Ideologically, at least locally, they both seemed to have good intentions. Or at least sounded like it (usually)- Appalachia has a history of electing shysters.

                The few large(ish. this is the South) cities I know have *concentrations* of echo-chamber hard lefty groups who are noisy, and have the big megaphone of the media… And a large swathe of head-down, don’t vote folks mixed with a bunch of conservative/libertarian/constitutionalists that are convinced they are hugely outnumbered, and a number of folks convinced that everyone really is left-leaning if they have any sense, everyone (on tv) tells them so.

                The cities aren’t dead to us. There are voting blocs that go hard left, and the ones on government sufferance that vote money into their bank accounts… But they aren’t the whole. A lot of folks I’ve talked to had just about given up, before this election. On politics in general. Might be that we can turn some of those around. It would help if we started with local elections, and turned some city councils and mayors around…

                I live in the sticks, though. I could be way off. But there’s nothing wrong with a bit of hope. Even better with the will and the effort to back it up. *grin*

            2. According to Heinlein the take over of the democratic party started in the 40s. According to me the democrats were using the speeches of socialists and communists in other countries (almost and sometimes word per word) in the late seventies. YOU figure it.

              1. Socialism was *BIG* in the 1920s and 1930s. The Democratic Party officially adopted the term “socialism” before FDR’s first term.

                I never understood the attraction, particularly looking at Socialsm’s first two big scores (Britain and Italy), but a lot of material from the day still speaks glowingly of it.

                Of course, “socialist” is one of those terms that’s supremely flexible, from the Oneida to the NSDAP…

                1. The draw of socialism was the power of the collective combined with the idea that the masses were slack-jawed dolts who needed the guiding hand of their betters. Some of the writing I’ve seen, particularly in regards to agriculture, talked of how individual farmers could not afford mechanization, which in those days was mainly a tractor. There were all sorts of gadgets for hooking to the PTO, from saw mills to grain elevators to PTOs, so owning a tractor was more than replacing a mule.

                  This is what impressed a group who toured the USSR. The collectives had tractors. Oh, they thought, if only American farmers had such. Only one, IIRC, realized something was amiss, and didn’t like what he saw behind the curtains.

                  The worst example is Tobacco Road. Here its briefly moaned that the farmers didn’t pool resources, and treats the poor like a freak show. Caldwell never grasped that this was why the poor he thought he was helping by illustrating their plight had a dim view of both him and his novel. He probably thought they weren’t able to read it.

                    1. some of the smaller ones. My grandfather needed a tractor, and having a passel load of kids, not the money to buy one, so he made one himself. He also made most of his own attachments, and a saw mill he powered with it, and then the actual tractor he was later able to buy (the older kids having moved out by then) was able to use most of his attachments, in part because modern tractors are based on the three point hitch developed by farmers before Ferguson “invented” it.

                    2. That most couldn’t afford tractors in the 1920s and 1930s. Tractors existed, but were expensive (and went through the exact same growing pains as the PC industry and other emergent tech). most farmers used animal power. The Great Depression pretty much put this on hold.

                      There was something to pooling resources, but what the socialists missed it that it only works if done willingly by the participants and all involved are willing to put forth effort and benefit from it. In other words, form their own company. Farmers still do that to varying degrees today. My father formed a venture with two other farmers. It didn’t pan out, but they tried it.

                    3. One of my hobbies is digging up the history of rural schools in Texas that have closed due to lowering enrollments. There was an article in the Abilene Reporter-News in 1948 about a little school in a town called Sylvester that was closing that year. Back in the 1920’s the school had over 300 kids, mostly the kids of agricultural laborers hired out to the local farmers. Enrollments kept falling slightly during the depression, as the farmers were slowly mechanizing, but after the end of rationing for the war, it really took off in 1946. By 1948-49 scores of small town schools were consolidated with neighbors as enrollments dropped. Sylvester’s last graduating class had exactly one student.

                      The same thing kept happening over the next 50 years as improvements in mechanization allowed one man to farm more and more acreage, so the numbers of farmers with families kept dropping. There was one small school my school played regularly in football back in the 1970’s – Three Way (Maple, Tx). When I played against them, they were about the same size, roughly 90 students in the high school. When the school closed in 2003, the last graduating class had 3 or 4 graduates. Even my old high school, which defied the odds and actually increased enrollment from 1970-2000, started suffering a drop after 2000. It went from an average of 115 to 90 and has stabilized there for now and all my classmates who stayed and farmed had all their kids go through the system. I expect further drops in the future, probably stabilizing out at around 60 to 70 students.

                    4. Rule of thumb: if someone starts making a statement about “American farmers” as a single large group, put your hand on your wallet.

                      It MIGHT be fairly true for really obvious stuff– like “American farmers want to grow crops.” (there are still exceptions, because human)

                      But beyond the normal human variation things– we’re talking about a group of people who are growing radically different crops in radically different situations. The difference between the mountain valleys in Washington state, and the wheat fields over towards Spokane, and the potato fields over by mount Vernon, and I don’t even know what they call the guys who grow hardwoods down by the Oregon state line and different types of orchards may or may not be able to use the same equipment……
                      But they’re all Washington State farmers.

                  1. Here its briefly moaned that the farmers didn’t pool resources, and treats the poor like a freak show.

                    He didn’t hang around very long, either, did he?

                    Just today I was a beneficiary of the “pooling resources” thing– I got a stomach bug, as did the little Empress. My mom did NOT want to leave me alone with the kids while I was going to be sleeping and was so very sick, but didn’t have an option.
                    So she texted a couple of buddies to come check on me if I didn’t text them that I’d woken up before X time had passed.

                    When someone the next place over needs a hand, my folks go help. They have folks who come over to help ride all the time. (Mechanizing doesn’t work so well for gathering cattle. Yes, I’ve seen folks do it on 4-wheeler. I repeat my statement.) Sometimes it’s just sharing tips.

                    But this is stuff that requires getting to know folks as people, rather than symbols, I guess.

          2. Hmmnn. OK – I’ll grant that the ‘Red/Blue’ dichotomy is largely dependent on geographic placement (i.e. – there are some northern Republicans that are less conservative than some southern Democrats), and that until the last couple of generations – the deep south was, as you put it ‘locked left’.

            I think part of the problem in discussing ‘what going forward’ means is poor definition and/or articulation of philosophical principles, and in some cases – false dichotomies: Is the government the problem, or the solution? personal responsibility or welfare state? Capitalism vs. Cronyism? Evil party or Stupid party? Private enterprise or Big government? What exactly are the proper functions of government, and what are it’s limits? Where do we draw the line?

            Unfortunately, while being Republican largely used to mean ‘Conservative’, and Democrat largely used to mean ‘Progressive/Social Liberal’, these ‘handles’ are less useful than they used to be – as it gets harder and harder to tell the players without a program. Unfortunately – given the last twenty years or so, it’s getting harder and harder to tell the parties apart too.

            Truth be told, while I’ve been a registered Republican all my life – I’m not attached to the party, I’m an adherent of Constitutional Conservatism exercised via a Representative Republic with the objective of a maximum of personal liberty via as small a government as possible. As Bill Whittle has quipped: “I’d like the government to be able to fit back in the box it came in”. Is that likely? I’d have to say that without a miracle, certainly not in our lifetimes – but it’s a goal worth working towards.

            Noting the trends of population growth in and around cities/urban areas has largely (but not exclusively) been paralleled by growth of Progressivism/Big Government approaches to governing – I’m just concerned about how to preserve (and where possible, recover) the underlying concepts of limited constitutional government. The ‘Red/Blue’ nomenclature is just a metaphor, even if at times it is an oversimplification.

            1. > locked left

              The South really hasn’t changed much. The South didn’t change from Democrat to Republican; the parties both moved that far left.

              Right now the Republicans aren’t held in much esteem down here. If a new party ever makes the step into useful size, it’ll probably originate in the South.

              “Can’t we just shoot them all and start over?”

                1. The Democrats certainly did. That’s one of the things that started breaking the Democrat’s hold on the South. I remember the howls of anguish over McGovern. Were it not for Watergate, Carter wouldn’t have gotten the support he did.

                2. Many things would contribute to the view.

                  Nixon was not considered as left because he was viewed as opposed politically to Humphrey and McGovern. Nixon had been and was still seen as an anti-Communist. He talked law and order. He opposed the societal breakdown of the late 1960s and early 1970s. The activist left attacked him. The press disliked Nixon; their portrayal of him used the term conservative (intended as a pejorative).

                  Most of the people are unaware that the Nixon administration brought in such items as the EPA. (The Democrats want to claim it as their accomplishment.) People have forgotten about the wage and price controls. What is remembered about Nixon is certainly Watergate and possibly our involvement in Vietnam.

                  1. Creating the EPA was not a bad thing, allowing the Dems to turn it into a malignant tumor in the American economy was the problem. Nixon was fairly conciliatory toward the Democrats in so far as domestic poicy is concerned; he considered it the price to pay in order to achieve his foreign policy goals.

                    The Dems had hated Nixon ever since he defeated Helen Gahagan Douglas, hatred compounded by his successful prosecution of Alger Hiss. They were only too delighted to shift blame for the Vietnamese war onto him, especially once he proved that their suppurating sore could be healed.

                    1. It should probably be acknowledged that very few of the Democrats of that era supported policies which would match their party’s present platform. One of the prices paid fr Watergate was opening the Congressional gates to a hoard of socialist intruders determined to make America pay for their ancestors’ crimes.

                      Call it the Kennedy Legacy.

                  2. A local high school drama department that is considered very high quality (better than a lot of the adult theaters in the area) had its fall play “44 Plays for 44 Presidents.” It was a short vignette on each President, some of them very funny, and some of them with information you wouldn’t have otherwise known. The Johnson vignettes (both 19th and 20th centuries) were literally identical, a monologue on waking up from a nightmare and not knowing if you’re still dreaming.

                    The Nixon vignette was about all the things he did that got overlooked, like the EPA.

                    It was actually largely inoffensive as a whole. Somewhat more favorable to the left, but I expected that, and they managed to be positive about some of the Presidents I expected to see excoriated.

                    1. Both W AND Reagan had an overwhelming foreign policy / national security objective, and knew damned well that our Disloyal Opposition (including the Deep State) would thwart it unless bought off. Remember that Bush originally didn’t want TSA to be a Federal (SEIU) agency, but the Democrats started with the filibuster threats on actually defending the country and “to professionalize you must federalize”.

                      That was the point I realized that you couldn’t actually live in a civil society that included Leftists, and a Second Revolution followed by another exile or execution of the Tories would be not just needed but desirable.

                    2. I am not quite sure when the realization hit me, but since (at least) Reagan the Democrats’ basic argument has been to hold a gun to the country’s temple and say ‘Give us what we want or the nation gets it.’

                      I can cite instances, but there are so very many, large and small …

            2. Parties aren’t defined by a simple left/right axis, though they have become closer to that since 1964. Back in 1916, black people and Southern whites were in opposite parties: black people were Republicans and Southerners were Democrats. Around 1930, black people flipped over (I’ve read an account that attributes this to Herbert Hoover failing to keep a promise to black community leaders), and the Democrats were in the anomalous position of having both groups, which must have made for some difficult bargaining. Then after Goldwater gained the electoral votes of several southern states for his position on states’ rights, the South began flipping over. That’s a series of weird historical accidents giving rise to traditional alliances that weren’t ideological in origin.

              1. Quibble: Poor whites voted Republican, took. Of course, the Democrats had things like the Camilia Massacre to keep folks in line. Sort of like what they’re trying to do right now.

                1. Did you call William H. Stoddard “took”, or did you just misspell “too”?

                  The “took” in your quibble can go either way….

              2. I heard a very good reason for why the black vote started to switch to Democrats that doesn’t rely on nebulous beliefs that aren’t actually there. Republicans push for local control, while Democrats for national; if you look at the history of major Jim Crow enforcements and lynchings and all of the horrors that took place, the local law enforcement allowed, condoned, or initiated the worst horrors, and that went up to the city and even state level. When protection was present, it came from the federal level. So supporting the party that went federal was, in many cases, a matter of literal survival.

                1. Michael Barone has written some very insightful articles and books* on this, looking at different ethnic patterns. IIRC, he compared the African-American pattern to that of the Irish who used government to advance themselves.

                  Government employees are disproportionately African-American, making such employment a route into the Middle-Class for them, which makes them inclined to favor increased government bureaucracy. Factoring that in to your observations about their experience with local control of government and a fuller picture of the issue becomes clearer.

                  *e.g., The New Americans: How the Melting Pot Can Work Again (emphasis added):
                  From Publishers Weekly
                  Barone, a senior writer at U.S. News & World Report and co-author of the Almanac of American Politics, argues that minority groups of today resemble the immigrant groups of the previous century in important ways. Black migrants who left the rural South for the industrial cities of the North resemble today’s Irish immigrants; coming from places where they were second-caste citizens, both have eschewed entrepreneurship and suffered high crime rates. Italian immigrants, like today’s Latinos (especially Mexicans), came from countries where the government and culture discouraged trust in institutions; both have prized work over politics. Both Jews and East Asians have relied on strong families and educational attainment to move into the American mainstream. The lesson of past assimilation, according to Barone, is that to succeed, groups must “transform dysfunctional habits of mind” and adopt others “that are functional in this new country.” Yet while his historical analogies can be convincing, their policy implications are unclear. Barone believes that the main obstacles facing blacks are the policies of the American elite racial quotas and preferences that sustain a sense of racial grievance but strangely, he downplays job and education policy. Sometimes he seems to minimize the present-day challenges of assimilation, quoting sociologist Orlando Patterson’s sanguine assertion that America’s racial divide is “fading fast” ignoring the fact that intermarriage statistics for blacks are much lower than those of any of the other groups he discusses in the book, suggesting something enduring about the aftermath of American slavery. Still, despite its flaws, this is a provocative read. (June)Forecast: This book seems almost certain to attract review attention, especially given the prominence of the author, a McLaughlin Group regular.

                  Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

                  1. Drat. HTML Fail. Put /B as follows:

                    Barone, a senior writer at U.S. News & World Report and co-author of the Almanac of American Politics, argues that minority groups of today resemble the immigrant groups of the previous century in important ways. Black migrants who left the rural South for the industrial cities of the North resemble today’s Irish immigrants; coming from places where they were second-caste citizens, both have eschewed entrepreneurship and suffered high crime rates. Italian immigrants, like today’s Latinos (especially Mexicans), came from countries where the government and culture discouraged trust in institutions; both have prized work over politics.

        2. High population concentrations make fraud a LOT easier. Not all the difference, just means that whatever tiny portion that wants to cheat can have a bigger effect there, and there’s one major philosophy that teaches the ends justify the means…..

        3. It would be great to ease the establishment of breakaway states. An area would need either a minimum area or population. New York State red. NYC blue.

      2. While George Carlin did once call Madison, WI “the third cost of the United States” it more about population density [dense populace joke goes here] which has lead to my remarking… that doing away with the electoral college would mean that the Presidency is decided by a few nuclear targets. The ‘solution’ to that is simple and obvious. It is also ugly and evil, but it is simple and obvious.

        1. Lately I’ve been imagining a system where each State elects their own President. If California, et al, *really* wants Hillary to be President, then they should get Hillary to be President, and the rest of us could endure Trump.

          I’ve had this notion earlier that perhaps, once a law is passed in Congress, it should only apply to those States whose Representatives have voted for them…such a proposal would be necessary if we’re going to go with such a split Presidency….

    1. Furniture refinishing? Does that mean our Hostess is out to build an Ottoman Empire of her own?

      Apologies if that joke lacked polish. I am an ill-varnished fellow, I trow, and much lacking in chairity.

              1. No, the records go on them.
                And the mentioned tune “33, 45, 78 (Record Time)” lists the more common speeds, but I recall 16 as well. Low-fi, longer play… good enough for a Talking Book. Never encountered such a record myself, but I did, for a while, have player that had 16, 33, 45, 78.

        1. While I am sure there is much to recommend the city I would prefer to live someplace with quicker access to mountains.

          1. While I have no issue with no mountains (or with mountains – they’re great places to put telescopes) as I like my horizon, Davenport has a couple problems. One is that it is in Iowa – never mind the Iowa jokes, it’s that Iowa’s state taxes make Federal look simple so that can be quite irksome. And the other is the proximity to Illinois – which probably wouldn’t a bad thing but since Chicago seems to run things more than Springfield (or Chicago runs Springfield), well… there’s a reason I try to treat IL as a “non-stop” traverse if I must cross the thing.

  12. While their “beards grew longer overnight” so did “their noses grew longer overnight” as well. 😈

  13. > clogged my breathing and reduced me
    > to a fraction of the oxygen I should have

    Have you had a test done for sleep apnea?

    Even if you only have mild apnea, a CPAP machine give your filtered air under pressure, and that was a bigger deal for me than the “quits breathing occasionally” part.

    The tests can be expensive; you can do a quick DIY with one of the sub-$20 pulse oximeters from Amazon or eBay. Clip it to your finger before you go to sleep and it will beep if your oxygen level goes too low.

    Also, you might be allergic to cats… even if you weren’t allergic to them years ago.

    1. It’s not apnea. It’s asthma. We know apnea. Dan has had it.
      I AM allergic to cats, and I know that, but this is still not it. Cats don’t give me eczema or arthritis.

      1. What I failed to state clearly was, even if you don’t actually have apnea, a supply of clean filtered air can help you at night.

  14. >a significant portion of our most promising young were proselytized and converted by the then USSR, an enemy that was not markedly skilled at much, except subversion, but who were very skilled at that.
    Oh, come on. USSR was demonstrably unable of “proselytizing and converting” even the young on its own territory, from late 1950-s at least.
    I am not sure about tadpoles, either.
    What’s with “Gollum made us do this, Gollum made us do that”? Gollum was so horrendously ugly for the last umpteenth years that sheer disgust it induced in anything alive prevented it from “making” anyone do its bidding for more than a few seconds in a row – unless you count “die” and “run away screaming”.

    1. “Oh, come on. USSR was demonstrably unable of “proselytizing and converting” even the young on its own territory, from late 1950-s at least.”

      Given that Cubans who lived under Castro danced in the streets of Miami when they heard he died, while American college students mourned his passing, it could be that having to live under a Communist regime instead of only hearing about it through propaganda has a salutary effect on one’s opinion of it.

      1. Yes, but it’s still built upon wilful ignorance. It’s not like Atlantic Ocean is 50 light years wide.

        Besides, were wKKK and Prohibition also products of sneaky Soviet propaganda brainwashing American suddenly stupid “youth”? Some of the largest abominations currently plaguing North America are rather obvious descendants of those.

    2. USSR was demonstrably unable of “proselytizing and converting” even the young on its own territory, from late 1950-s at least.

      Be fair: the propagandists were handicapped by having to compete with daily life.

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