Mean Girls Versus Western Civilization Versus Savages – by Kate Paulk

Mean Girls Versus Western Civilization Versus Savages – by Kate Paulk

I’m quite sure I’m not the only person who finds the whole spectacle of waving bits that ought to be kept between oneself and one’s significant other(s) rather off-putting, just as I’m sure that one’s genitalia is not where one stores one’s moral compass. Whether said genitalia are damp and somewhat salty or rise to the occasion to point the way to the nearest boobiesahem… moral decision point is irrelevant.

Quite simply the American media is currently owned (or, more accurately, pwned) by Mean Girls, not all of whom are, strictly speaking, female.

These are the ones whose latest tantrum has been going non-stop for four months now, and every time you think they’ve finally exhausted themselves, they spit the dummy again and raise a fresh set of howls over something else that makes no sense.

The thing is, it’s all depressingly familiar if you remember that clique in high school: the “in” set of girls (parodied so accurately and so damn faithfully in movies like Heathers) who would do anything to get what they desired, whether it was damaging to them in the long run or not, as long as they kept their status and their desirability.

This is what untrammeled female power seeking looks like. It’s the smile to your face and stabbing you in the back. Calling you friend while bad-mouthing you when you’re not there to hear it. Encouraging others to damaging anything you value, but doing it in a way that’s never quite enough to justify taking action against them. The power behind the throne, as it were: they damn near always have high status boyfriends who they lead around by the dick. The leaders are less vicious: they have the status. The hangers on, especially the ones who are just outside the charmed inner circle, are the real backstabbers.

They’re the ones who will cheerfully poison their inner circle mentor if they think they can get away with it.

And – even though they’ll deny it until the cows come home – they are at least metaphorically in bed with the savages, because the one thing they hate more than the unrestrained macho of the savages is the restrained and carefully managed power of the civilized man and woman. With the lack of foresight typical of the Mean Girl, the idiots with moral compasses in their genitalia are pairing up with savages to try to destroy our civilization, oblivious to the fact that if they succeed, the Mean Girls will be reduced to chattel defined by how effectively said genitalia produces babies.

Because that’s the only value women have to the current infestation of savages. They exist to have their husband’s (owners) dick shoved into their pussies in order to make new, preferably male, babies. I don’t care what trappings get put on their toxic excuse for a culture. It wouldn’t matter what religion they followed because they would use any religion as a justification. Following one founded by a savage just makes it easier.

So what does civilized power involve? At its best it’s the gentleman who could kill you fifty times over in the time it takes to make polite conversation about the weather – and doesn’t. The woman who raises her children to understand that good is not necessarily easy, and doing what is right can feel like shit, but that you do it anyway because it’s the right thing to do. The people who see something that needs to be done and do it instead of whining that “someone” should do “something” (yes, the Mean Girls) or rioting (savages). Or both. Then quietly accept the complaints from those who do nothing but complain because they don’t have the right to spank these overgrown children.

Because, yes, both savages and Mean Girls are overgrown children. Savages glorify masculine strengths at the expense of everything else. Everything is about appearing strong with them. Mean girls glorify feminine strengths at the expense of everything else (yes, there are female savages and male mean girls. Just not as many as the other way around). Neither has ever been taught to restrain their instincts, or that there is more to existence than satisfying their own petty wants. By the time they’re rioting in the streets, whether pussy-hatted or not, it’s probably too late to teach them anything short of “If you do that again, I will hurt you.”

Sooner or later, the civilized are going to do one of two things. Either they will surrender and go savage or mean girl as their inclinations lead them. Or they will take the hard path of cleaning up the mess. Neither path will be pleasant. I fear that parts of Europe have been so brainwashed into hating the manners and restraint that go with leashing the inner savage or inner mean girl that they will surrender.

Here in the United States I believe – and hope – that civilization will emerge more or less intact. Bloodied, and saddened by what will have to be done. But alive, and preserving most of the gains that have been so painstakingly carved from life over thousands of years. It won’t be easy. We’re going to be screamed at by savages and mean girls the whole time.

It can be done. It must be done. Ultimately, that’s all that matters.

351 thoughts on “Mean Girls Versus Western Civilization Versus Savages – by Kate Paulk

  1. Luckily for us in the US, the screams of the savages and mean girls don’t cow us, but only convince us to discount them and to do what needs doing.

    1. ❤ it when the biggest arguments are over what needs doing, and how its should be done, and then only when the two conflict…..

        1. They has asylums back then. That’s my guess for the likeliest outcome.

          … unless the snowflake were male and managed to mortally offend someone. Then there would be a beating first.

          1. Either that, or pistols at dawn. The phrase “mortally offended” used to have an almost-literal meaning…

          2. Overkill. Most of those snowflakes would crumple like tissue paper if faced with real consequences.

  2. In the back of my mind there is the thought that if the choice was between their precious acting up or starving and freezing there would be far fewer mean girls and savages.

      1. Selfish soul that I am, I am still not ready to give up the convenience of our washer and dryer to save civilization.

        (In order to sooth my conscience, I have on occasion reminded myself that by using them liberally it constitutes a poke in the eye of the nanny-greens.)

          1. Fridge certainly. The dishwasher was easy to get used to. The first time $HOUSEMATE visited it was odd as I’d never had a dishwasher and $HOUSEMATE had never been without. So when I washed the dishes… I got stared at like I was doing a rain dance or something.

            1. My mom accused husband of thinking he was “above our class” BECAUSE he put dishes in the dishwasher. I had to explain husband has never NOT had a dishwasher. She thought that was “giving himself airs.” I pointed out the reason she DIDN’T have a dishwasher when I was growing up was not that she couldn’t afford it, but that she had ME and thought dishwashers used too much water. She sulked. Mom is odd.

              1. Because he put dishes in the dishwasher?

                I must be American. That’s not a class marker that I had ever considered.

                (As for “using too much water”, unless you’re really good at cleaning dishes with almost no water, dishwashers use less.)

                1. That’s far less true than it used to be, between “eco-friendly” detergents and “energy saving” dishwashers and water heaters, alas.

                  1. The fun part is that some places you don’t get a dishwasher because you have a perfectly good maid.

            2. Despite the dishwasher, the children still wash dishes. Not everything suits for going into the dishwasher, and the pots take up too much room.

              And yes, the children wash dishes because I want them to learn to do it, so they can fend for themselves when they’re of ‘move out’ stage.

              1. Kind of like how I and $SISTAUR learned to drive manual transmission (when we learned, they were much more common than nowadays) as “when you’re in a hurry is NOT the time to learn it.” And now I have a(an aging) vehicle with a manual transmission. It’s become an unexpected theft deterrent, which amuses greatly.

                1. I prefer manual. As old as I am I knew when I learned to drive I suspected that they were on their way out. Now one has to go looking for manual transmissions. most models do not offer them and the few that do offer them with special* sports packages

                  *translate extensive, expensive and oft silly. Go go stripes are no no stripes in my book.

                  1. I like how an Aussie friend summed up everyday cars with spoilers: “They’re called spoilers as that’s what they do to the look of the car.”

        1. You don’t. Just send them into some African, South American or South East Asian backwater. Or have them in Mindanao somewhere, where they’ll end up kidnapped by whatever latest itiration of the Abu Sayyf is, held for ransom and dragged through the jungle from camp to camp.

          1. Ca’t do that.

            They’d get raped, or otherwise violated and spread venereal disease to the natives.

      2. But starting from now? There’d be a heck of a learning curve for most of them.

        “See this? This is called a hoe . . . no not a victim of the patriarchy, a common garden tool. If you want vegetables in three months, you will take this hoe and this spade . . . no, not a racists insult, it’s yet another common tool . . .

        1. Nice point. I remember an anecdote from my brother in college, sitting in Latin 101. When the professor revealed that the Latin word for the color black was “nigrum”, one student stood up and loudly objected, playing the race card. When the professor said that he couldn’t help him, and that Latin had been this way for several thousand years, the student left to file a complaint.

          And… nothing, but that was back in the early 1980s. I wonder what would happen now.

          1. And I get the feeling that today, the academic powers that be would totally rally behind the student, and his precious hurt feelings.
            How dare you tell him something that makes him feel bad!

          2. I’d always understood that ‘nigrum’ simply meant ‘black.’ Describing someone as black when he or she IS black, is no different from describing someone as a redhead if that person IS a redhead. Or brunette. The flipping out about such always baffled me.

              1. …and the tiles are all the same color. And the position of the “wrong” tile changes often.

                1. these days the position of the wrong tile changes while you are attempting to cross. And once you’ve crossed. And if you don’t cross. And every time someone looks at (or doesn’t look at) the tiles.

            1. The problem with the ‘n’ word in the United States has to do with its historic use as a pejorative.

                1. I am among the apparently few who thought the best way to handle such issues was to ‘de-fang’ such words. That would require that society recognize that if and when someone attempts to use such words as a weapon it says nothing about anyone but the one who would resort to such. Instead, by putting them in a verboten category, the nanny-statists have codified their poisonous quality.

                  1. I grew up with the kind of inverse of that notion – within days of the newest PC verbiage being proclaimed, those around me were using it as a negative where they felt someone’s behavior merited it.

                    Of course, the flavor of Oz culture I grew up in tended to the anti-euphemism anyway: instead of using gentler, nicer ways to talk about things, you used the harshest, bluntest version. People don’t ‘die’ or ‘pass on’. They ‘kark it’ or ‘kick the bucket’. And of course your best friend gets whatever racial/cultural/other epithets are appropriate (to this day, I don’t remember the name of the (white) South African guy in one of my classes who was known to everyone as ‘kaffir’. One of my sister’s male classmates was known as ‘gonad’. Kind of takes the sting out of being called names when your best friends do it with affection).

                  2. Lenny Bruce had a routine in which he advocated exactly that, mimicking JFK running around calling any and all [African-American] children by that word until it lost all power. Of course, that bit was performed back in the Seventies when Lenny was the subject of a hit Broadway show (eventually made into a Bob Fosse Oscar-favored film starring Dustin Hoffman and Valerie Perrine) — we are much more tolerant these days.

              1. That’s not as old as you might think. I know of a slave who was highly offended when one of the Lincoln Soldiers called her “. . . sorry black trash . . .” Trash was regarded the same way the “n” word is now, and has lost it’s punch in a century and a half. In my youth it had become stronger, and carried a connotation roughly on par with “trash” a century past. I know of a black teacher who, as punishment, made black students write “I must not act like a n-.” because at that time the word carried the sense of “trash” of a century past In other words, he was having them write “I must not act like trash.” And I recall just about every parent and teacher did their best to teach children to act and speak properly because otherwise it would be taken as low class and limit your potential.

                It’s taken on more of a preoperative meaning in my lifetime. We used to would have spelled it out because while it was offensive, it wasn’t that offensive. Now it is. The meaning of words change, along with the words we choose to use.

            2. > flipping out

              Likely they have no personal stake in the matter; they’re just doing it for the feel-good feedback from their peer group. And, of course, to avoid censure from the same group should they not conform to their standards…

    1. In the long run, that is the choice. But not being adults, they don’t make decisions based on the long run.

  3. There will be blood in the streets. Push anyone far enough and they will push back. And it won’t be protests in the streets. More likely it will involve deaths.
    People who are so stupid they think they would like to live in anarchy are historical know-nothings. I am far beyond the “forgive them for they know not what they do” because I am tired of them tearing down all that is good in our nation. I would feel differently, perhaps, if I didn’t have children and grandchildren who will have to try to survive in the mess that they will have to survive through to try to live in the other side.
    Thank you, Sarah, and all the other commentators here who continue to fight while also living their individual lives. I don’t are what color/sex/religion anyone is as long as they realize we are a nation founded on ideas and ideals. I hope we will win through.

    1. If it were just me, I could “forgive them for they know not what they do” provided they weren’t doing it to me. However, they are doing it to me, and they are doing it to people and communities that I have a vested interest in.

      Being one prone to, and capable of, lethal action, I’m extremely reluctant to unleash that It’s an option to keep open, but not indulge in unless absolutely necessary.

      I fear that at some point in the not too distant future it may indeed become necessary. Being a rural, country fellow, I have the means, not having been disarmed by regulations, but am rather insulated from the stressors that promote violent actions that you find in urban areas. No rioters coming to burn down my house or business.

      If you were to use the same criteria for armed rebellion/resistance/defense as is outlined so very well in the Declaration of Independence, and showed the examples of current behavior of our government available for public display, I suspect you could convince most people that the criteria has been more than met. Our Founders, Fathers (and Mothers standing behind or along side of, if you want to be PC) would have gone on the warpath years ago. Our current society has been too broken to the yoke to revolt short of being stuck in the rump with a hot sharp knife.

      1. I lamented at the time of the Boston Marathon bombing that the residents of the birthplace of American liberty had grown so supine that when the redcoats police demanded to search their dwellings without warrants, they meekly complied.

        1. Part of the problem is the People’s Democratic State of Massachusetts has some of the worst firearm restrictions in the country; so for private citizens to police their own property is much more hazardous than in Vt, NH, or Me where a sizable number of citizens have weapons and the wherewithal to use them if necessary. Which means the Flatlanders south of us have to use police, poor bastards.

      2. Surely, the only way you could forgive them is for what they do to you? I do not concede you the right to forgive what is done to me. The government claims that right, and I concede it under conditions spelled out in the Constitution; I do not live where someone else, King or Lord, automatically has the High, Middle, and Low Justice.

        1. Most of the Christianized world agrees with you, too, Mr.Pournelle. That’s why the educated Jewish leaders were so torqued off at Jesus. Perfectly reasonable response to someone going around forgiving the sins that’d been done by other folks to other folks.

          1. A point which is almost always lost on the non-religiously-educated, in fact. After all, he’d only have the right to forgive those sins if they were committed against him. Now, all sins are committed against God, so if he was God, then he had that right. But if he was not God and was merely a normal man, then he was usurping someone else’s right to forgive. So part of why the Jewish leaders got so torqued off is that by forgiving other people’s sins against other people, Jesus was inherently claiming to be God, the only one who would have had the right to do so.

        2. Interesting. The thought that I might forgive someone something they did to another never occurred to me. Harm my wife, or harm my kids, and not even the Constitution will save you in the end. A man can be sworn to support and defend the Constitution; but that support and defense MUST be reciprocated. In the end, it is ‘just’ another agreement between people; and if one breaks faith with it, then the other is not obligated to continue in good faith.

          It’s one of the things that those running this country make a major mistake of doing when they choose to project force internationally. Sure, you got the terrorist, and his son, and his daughter, and sent the others a message. But when you killed the non-combatant family members doing it; you just gave the survivors all the justification to carry the war back to you, and quite possibly removed the only reason to keep living. It is nearly impossible to stop a man or a woman who has no fear of death.

          A suicidal attack can usually succeed. But you can’t have a rebellion when those rebelling are the ones blowing themselves up or committing suicide by cop. You need a large enough pool of human resources, and not just human bombs, to succeed. Obviously doing it through legally approved means your rebels are acting within the system and are still here if they lose a ‘battle’ (welcome to politics.) On the other hand, folks like Timothy McVeigh, and the various mass killers/”protestors” of the past couple of years never considered that. Rebellions with too few personnel resources always fail; and rebellions of 1 or 2 usually end up dead, or in prison. e.g Guy Fawkes (accidental death immediately before execution), or Edward and Elaine Brown (in prison.)

    2. Try to remember– at least as a matter of will, I know you can’t control the gut reaction– that there’s no conflict between “forgive them, for they know not what they do” and stopping them from hurting people.

      Himself didn’t stop the soldiers, because He knew His hurt was the saving of others– when the harm they’re doing isn’t going to save anyone? We can STOP THEM!

      If nothing else, reminding yourself that they don’t know the harm they’re doing keeps you from becoming a monster. :/

      1. Amen to that. I may have some sympathy that they’ve been effectively abandoned and neglected by those who should have taught them to be civilized, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to stand by and let them destroy everything I care about.

        Forgiveness does not mean that no restitution is required.

  4. I am not sure there isn’t another option, although I would have to think through what values such as Vladimir place on women. I do not think it is just their procreational utility; I’ve no doubt he values them for other purposes, too, even if I cannot discern those purposes before mourning coffee.

    I suppose tyranny remains a form of savagery, eh?

    Which forces one to consider the fact that Civilizations are much more difficult to build and maintain than we like to imagine, even those of us who appreciate the fragility and beauty of such constructs.

    Which absolutely forces me to conclude I need to get that coffee.

      1. That is the coffee I drink as replacement for the lost energy of my youth. It is bitter and dark.

        1. I think she realized that it only encourages them. Some mornings it isn’t worth it. 😉

  5. And in “related posts” I see ‘Introducing Raiding Party Member — Kate Paulk’ and muse that I’ve not been properly introduced… as if it mattered much. Seems a cheap, er easy, er, overdue post subject. But by now I presume most here know (of) me and need no introduction. Still, should it be needed, I suppose I could compile a post answer questions regarding myself. So: Interesting post idea, or utter bilge? No, I will not be offended by the idea of such a thing being redundant at best and….er… dubious at less than best.

    1. Interesting topic. After all, there are not many typing (or dictating) tauri on the ‘Net. Lots of evidence of bovine digestion, but not too many sapient bovines.

      1. Lots of evidence of bovine digestion…

        Similar to what I call the “Equine Paradox” or “Centaur Paradox” which is that with the number of horse’s rear ends far exceeding the number of horse’s front ends, one would naturally expect a large number of centaurs, yet such are quite rare to encounter.

    2. Kate, that lovely girl child, has been around for quite some time. She just posts more frequently on MGC and the various FB fora. Hailing originally from That Land Down Under, she is now a proud American citizen and we are blessed to have her.
      An authoress of note, though not nearly prolific enough for my taste, her con stories are a true delight, and she has just finished a tense space opera. The evil witch taunted me for weeks with snippets knowing full well that I hate serials. I wants the whole thing in my hot hands now I does.

      1. I will, though perhaps I should await a few questions or such regarding? Or else it might be something of the sort of “Ask Orvan… Stuff” which might also work, I suppose.

          1. Are you sure he’s just a minotaur. Methinks he should be upgraded to a Maxotaur.

              1. Having never met you in the flesh, or seen photos of you; I had no preconceptions of your appearance, O Elegant Ungulate. Even your icon leaves your gender a mystery. Whilst I would suspect a non de plume of Orvan to be of male persuasion, examples like Mary Anne Evans make that a chancy thing at best. I shall instead, play it safe, and merely assume that you exist, and are a persona of your words.

        1. Sent. As for if it’s any good… I cannot rightly say. It might well need severe editing. Between the switch to WarDaylight Time and the ouzo…

          Place yer bets.

          1. It strikes me that, as with nearly all things governmental these days, Daylight Savings Time is a misnomer, a bit of nomenclatural sleight of hand intended to mislead the public as to what is actually being legislated.

            Contrary to the label, no actual Daylight is being saved. We still receive and have available the traditional amount. What is being saved is artificial lighting; the shifting of the clock reduces the need to burn witches sources of energy for producing artificial light.

            I blame Franklin, that scurrilous old dodger, for promoting this false label. It is on a par with many other of his schemes and was likely just a ploy to turn greater profits with his “volunteer” fire companies.

    3. Just leave me to my wing chair by the fire in the lair’s library. You know the chair. It also is surrounded by my piles of books. Also neatly packed bags with my lap desk, laptop, crafting, moleskin notebooks, colored pens, ought three mechanical pencil, and eraser. If you all insist on remodeling the adjoining rooms again or otherwise getting rambunctious I’ll employ my mp3 player with noise suppressing earphones.

      The Spouse knows my beverage and food preferences. (Thank you.)

      If we decide to have another blowout feast I’ll likely be found in the kitchen.

  6. The U.S. is past the point where cleaning up the mess is possible, I think. The remaining civilized folks are much more likely to be overwhelmed and eventually wiped out by the mean girl/savages than they are to join them, but there will certainly be some of that, as a survival tool.

    1. I think you underestimate the number of civilized folks who just haven’t yet been sufficiently put upon to stand up and say, “That’s enough, it stops NOW!” But it’s getting closer to that point, day by day.

      1. As the old saying goes, beware the wrath of a patient man.
        Likewise, The Gods of the Copybook Headings and Nemesis are very patient deities. But when they finally act, it is not a pretty sight.

    2. Activation energy. Dielectric strength. Pressure rating.

      In each case, more energy can be applied and nothing happens…. until the key level is exceeded. Then – and only then – will a reaction a occur, a spark arc over, the boiler blow. So far “nothing happened” is being misinterpreted as “we can keep doing this.” No. The level hasn’t reached some unknown criticality… yet. Many of us can “see it coming” but even we don’t know what the “last straw” will be. When it comes, it might seem very, very minor…. except it was the last straw of many, many straws and criticality was achieved.

      As much as we might be trying, we have yet to actually reverse the polarity of the moron flow.


      1. The physics of politics? I like it! Afraid the analogy will break down at some point, because physics (apart from quantum, which is a whole ‘nother box of cats) makes sense and politics doesn’t. But it’s amusing to speculate about the nature of that last straw.

        Peak gender confusion? I can’t imagine anything crazier than slamming the Pussyhat Procession for being insensitive to trans “women”, but this is a creative bunch, surely y’all can come up with something.

        The NYT contradicting itself daily? Um, I think we’re already there. Calls to impeach a president for malicious Tweeting? Violent silencing of speech? Hoax hate crimes? Social media lynch mobs?

        More coffee is needed here. I can’t even think of a “last straw” that hasn’t already happened. Let’s crowdsource it! Sarah, why don’t you host an anthology of Last Straw stories?

        1. I keep hoping it’s going to be a nice, relaxing wine or beer sort of day and it keeps seeming to be a distilled spirits day of late. Though at least we have seemed to avoid what I was fearing, an Absinthe Administration. I like absinthe, mind you, but it shouldn’t be every day.

                  1. Yeah, but you could at least spruce up the puns you’re throwing, fir pete’s sake.

            1. I am now out of retsina. I can certainly see acquiring more, but on a “when I happen to see it” basis rather than spending so much on having it shipped. As the examples I had seemed rather mild, to me, on the pine note, I can easily ‘settle’ for a decent white wine meanwhile.

              1. There is always Ouzo …

                Ouzo (Greek: ούζο, IPA: [ˈuzo]) is an anise-flavoured aperitif that is widely consumed in Greece and Cyprus. Its taste is similar to other anise liquors like pastis, sambuca, arak, rakı, and mastika, that are traditionally produced and consumed in Mediterranean countries.

                Ouzo has its roots in tsipouro, which is said to have been the work of a group of 14th-century monks on Mount Athos. One version of it was flavoured with anise. This version eventually came to be called ouzo.[1][page needed]

                Modern ouzo distillation largely took off in the beginning of the 19th century following Greek independence. The first ouzo distillery was founded in Tyrnavos in 1856 by Nikolaos Katsaros, giving birth to the famous ouzo Tyrnavou. When absinthe fell into disfavour in the early 20th century, ouzo was one of the products whose popularity rose to fill the gap; it was once called “a substitute for absinthe without the wormwood”.[2]

                It seems to be despised by the same people who dislike Retsina.

                I admit to a preference for Sambuca (with the traditional three coffee bean garnish) but it is rarely reviled the way Ouzo and Retsina are.

                1. Wine People may revile retsina, and I sort of see their point; if you care about the taste of wine, adding turpentine flavoring probably isn’t a good idea. Not being troubled with a sophisticated wine palate, I like retsina for the associations. I can take a glass out into our central Texas back yard in the summer, listen to the cicadas, close my eyes and pretend I’m sitting in the vine-covered youth hostel porch in Chania. You don’t get a virtual trip to Greece any cheaper than that.

                2. I do have some ouzo, and I like it (as well as Sambuca and anisette and…). The only problem is $HOUSEMATE has this silly notion that anything anise/fennel/licorice flavored/aroma is “yuck.” While that means those things are all mine, it also means hearing complaints or negative commentary if $HOUSEMATE is present when I partake.

                  1. I bought licorice candy and fennel after encountering the smell in a soap. The candy was not dreadful but not very interesting either. The fennel was delicious when fried in butter — which, to be sure, is a treatment calculated to present many foods to their best advantage.

                  2. On a slightly different note, did you know that the “root” in root beer is anise root? I never realized it till it was pointed out to me, but the flavors are pretty much the same.

                    1. ….it is one of those things that’s pretty obvious once you’ve heard it, isn’t it? Not like, say, “Dr. Pepper is prune based.” (Which I still can’t taste.)

                      Thank you for that bit of info– I think I can use it to good effect in drink mixing!

                    2. I found that out a while ago. Even though root beer doesn’t taste like licorice to me, it makes sense that people who like one will like the other (and can’t stand one can’t stand the other).

                    3. Interesting. I notice a bit of a mint undertone or such in root beer. I find birch beer to be very obviously wintergreen.

                      As for not tasting prune in Dr Pepper, that’s because it’s not there. That’s one of those legends the makers have been denying for ages. The primary flavor of Dr Pepper is black cherry. This makes the “Cherry Dr Pepper” rather amusing to me.

                    4. I thought it was sassafras root, which actually smells sort of like root beer.

                    5. When The Family first moved into center city Philadelphia there was an old Hires plant in my neighborhood.

                      Traditional root beer was flavored with sassafras root and bark.

                      Unfortunately, when laboratory animals were fed large quantities of Safrole, an aromatic oil found in the root and bark, it was found to produce permanent liver damage and some cancers. Consequently products containing Safrole were banned by the FDA 1960.

                      Companies making root beer now use number of flavorings, including artificial sassafras, these may include licorice root or anise.

                    6. Odd. It was instantly obvious on the first sip that Dr. Pepper tastes like prune juice. And Pepsi has a bit of it as well; besides typically being substantially less carbonated than Coke, it tastes of prune.

                      Of course, some people can’t tell the difference between Pepsi and Coke, which I find glaringly obvious.

                  3. Makes a note to self: Do not serve $HOUSEMATE the shaved fennel and orange salad. Or anything with Italian sausage…

                  4. Licorice is indeed yuk. It’s not quite as yuk as carrot, but it’s not far from it.

                    And ouzo, sambuca, absinthe, and the like are all wastes of perfectly good ethanol. I will tolerate the tiny amount of Herbsaint used as a glass rinse in a Sazerac, but that’s about the limit. Any more and…well, bleagh.

                    Licorice ice cream milkshakes are right out.

                    1. My mother was a coffee drinker but hated coffee flavored ice cream. 😉

                3. After describing retsina (“white wine with turpentine”) and ouzo (“licorice flavored moonshine”) to my wife, she wrinkled her nose in disgust and asked why anyone in their right mind would drink such stuff. I explained that you drink the ouzo to get the taste of retsina out of your mouth, then you drink the retsina to get the taste of ouzo out, and so on …

            1. While I do have some (Grave’s) Rectified Spirits, it’s not stuff for drinking as such. I suspect that one bottle will last me a good many years.

                1. Despite the world, I also have this notion of waking up again. Preferably without the feeling that someone mistook my head for Yucca Flats and is doing some testing again.

          1. I like a good cognac on the rocks. Especially after doing battle with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services all week.

            1. Recommendations regarding cognac? I tend to go with Remy Martin but that is partly from liking the centaur, and partly as it is not one of the bottles $SISTAUR used to see in an alley.

              1. I’m partial to Courvoisier, especially on occasions of note. But for an ordinary work week, I tend to be a cheapskate and go with a Christian Brothers brandy. My dairy farming grandfather used to think brandy was the height of sophisticated drinking; while cheap whiskey really was for medicinal purposes. Pour some on cuts, add a drop of honey for cough syrup … Child protection services would have a cow nowadays. Pun intended.

                1. I grew up in Wisconsin, a state with a thoroughly disproportionate brandy consumption (see how much Korbel sends just to WI!) and a fondness for Korbel… which might be tolerable in mixed drinks, but it’s NOT difficult to find better. I think it was Hennessey bottles that $SISTAUR saw “in da hood” and thus it was something I automatically avoided.

                  As for cheap whiskey, it was a bit of a jolt a few months back when $HOUSEMATE wanted to rinse a bottle of barbecue sauce with some (for some slow cooking…) and we discovered we no longer have such a thing – with the exception being perhaps a bottle of Windsor. And that’s as Ma’s friend likes and drinks it. And since he served in WWII and was doing comms in the jungle (“I strung wires from tree to tree..”) I figure he can drink anything he d@mn well pleases. And when he asks his doctor, “Can I keep drinking my Windsor?” Doc replies to him (93 yrs, last I knew), “It’s worked for you so far, don’t stop now!”

        2. Peak gender confusion – a preacher downstate just announced that G-d is transgender because G-d created male and female in G-d’s own image. Ahem. The word is “hermaphrodite,” not transgender. Both of which put limits on the Most High that I don’t really think belong, but that’s theology and I’ll keep it at home.

          1. I suspect the word that preacher was seeking would have been “supragender” because the Creator being above all things and unique cannot have gender.

            Not wanting to go all gnostic on folks, but “gender” is an artifact of the physical, not the spiritual, and as such taints the spirit through such physical aspects as hormone production.

            1. I don’t think that’s true in all versions of Christian doctrine. I’ve seen an account where gender is not biological (as indeed it is not among humans: traditionally a “gender” is a class of nouns, and in modern psychological usage a “gender” was a state of self-perception), but is a measure of active vs. passive. Since the Son comes from the Father, the Father is masculine compared with the Son; since the Holy Ghost comes from the Father (and the Son, in Western doctrine), the Father and Son are both masculine compared with the Holy Ghost; since the Holy Ghost is, among other things, the spirit of the church, the church is feminine, and in fact is the Bride of Christ, and all mortals are feminine against God’s masculinity. God created humans male and female as an outward and physical sign of an inward and spiritual quality.

              Mind you, this is not my doctrine; I’m a naturalist rather than a theist. But it’s one I’ve encountered, and I can mostly follow the logic.

              1. The active vs. passive distinction you are trying to import into it does not related to anything in actual Christianity. As witness that nowhere is the Holy Spirit referred to as feminine.

                1. Active vs. passive may not be the right phrasing; the Aristotelian metaphysics is a bit subtle, and I may have misremembered it. But this is all something I read in some Christian work or other, quite a few years ago; it’s not something I made up.

                  1. Ah, well, that explains it. I have read works by Christians and wondered if the authors had any familiarity with the original texts.

              1. Well, there is a lot of good music there. It brings to mind the saying, “Shut up and play!”

              2. Mercy! I live in Austin and I’m trying to persuade the weird to move to some place with a better climate!

                A one-way wall, now, that would be a thing. Ever since I lured DH here from California, I’ve been a strong advocate of protecting our borders against any more Californication.

              3. The weirdness goes away as soon as one exits the city limits, at least it did for me when I graduated UT in 1979.

              4. Why do I suspect it’s more of the usual: Labeling people “haters” so they can be hated with a clean conscience? (Or in this jerk’s case: The supposed blessings of Yahweh.)

            1. I’ve heard that one, fortunately it was greeted with universal. “You have got to be kidding me” from all involved. (And a much more involved response from the pastor who was in the room at the time.)

              I have some reason to believe that ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ are traits that transfer to various nonphysical entities, but it’s not the kind of thing that is readily brought into a theological debate on the topic. So… *salt*

              1. Oh, I quite agree– I’ve got an attempted meditation on the subject in the form of a scifi story rattling around, but I’ll have to learn how to tell a story that’s actually interesting first.

            2. That’s the exact argument Islam makes when they call Christians “polytheists”.

                1. The point was simply that the argument over whether the Trinity makes Christians polytheists is somewhat more common than among a few fringe elements.

                  1. It’s still based on a misunderstanding/mistatement of the theory; nobody has to believe in the Triune nature of God, but claiming that believing in it means one follows more than one God is a falsehood.

                    1. Strange.

                      I would have thought “Catholics are polytheists” referred more to the veneration of the Saints than to the Trinity.

                      Note, in No Way do I believe Catholics are polytheists because of your view of the Saints.

                    2. Now THAT one would at least make sense, sort of!
                      (It would require either believing that the Apostles became some sort of Gods when Himself gave them power to do miracles*, or that they didn’t do any miracles, but it at least makes sense!)

                      *Got to thinking… Judas was still an apostle when they were sent out to do miracles in His name, IIRC… that would be an interesting story!

                    3. I’d buy it on the veneration of the Holy Mother … if I were going to buy it at all. Certes there are those who would call her Her.

                    4. I came up with a bizarrely mundane way to explain saints to non-Catholics.

                      Think of God as an insurance agency. (With the major caveat that unlike many insurance agencies, God and all of the folk that work for him want to help you fulfill your policy.) Jesus is the CEO and face of the company, the Holy Spirit is your policy contract, and all of the saints (known and unknown) are the insurance agents.

                      When Catholics invoke saints in prayer, they are not saying “the saint is the agency,” they are saying, “Hey, I need some help with this problem, can someone give me a hand?” Nicholas is the heavy hitter, dealing with everything from children to brides to prostitutes and pirates. Jude knows the hopeless cases. Anthony deals with lost objects. Anne deals with motherhood. And so on.

                      Any agent can help you with any problem, it’s just acknowledged that some of them have specialties. And of course, you can always go straight to the CEO at any point. Most Catholics don’t want to bug him for the small stuff, though. 😉

                    5. So will I … and have the concept reflected in one of the Luna City books, wherein one of the mainstays of town is the local Catholic parish…

                    6. I came up with a bizarrely mundane way to explain saints to non-Catholics.

                      We get that. Our point is that God is Omnipotent and All-Powerful. It’s like the question of whether God needed Esther. Mordechai pointed out that if she didn’t act, He would save them through another means. It would be good for Esther to act, but God was quite capable of handling the problem without her.

                      This has the potential of a religious debate, so I’ll leave off here.

                    7. Oh, sure. But it’s like my pagan friend who said she couldn’t respect a G-d who needed us to go to church. No, G-d doesn’t need it. WE DO. In the same way, flawed mortals often find it easier to approach the infinite through slightly less flawed mortals. it’s not a thing for HIM. it’s a thing for US.
                      Does that make more sense?

                    8. A: She didn’t want to respect G-d.

                      B: She found a reason to not respect.

                      C: You are right — the purpose of a church is to help us hold one another accountable and to create a community of believers. Apparently He thinks that, untended, we would individually wander into errancy, interpreting His words in ways that allow us to each do what is right in his own eyes.

                    9. “Oh, He who created all, who died to save me, even though I’m really cruddy at doing what I know You want when I AM thinking about it, much less on average– please help me find my car keys, I’m going nuts, the babies are yelling at me and I’m half an hour late.”

                      Yeah…. a LOT easier to ring up ol’ Tony and ask him to ask Himself. To get the mindset where it didn’t seem presumptuous– even though I really do need to find a thing– would do bad things to my mindset….

                    10. I don’t know. Abraham and Moses both bargained with God. Jacob physically wrestled which was probably a symbol of their relationship as a whole). God may not mind our presumption that much.

                    11. *grins* It’s not that I think he’ll mind, it’s that I mind; it feels like… like using the Guest Towels, when you don’t have any guests, or The Good table stuff when it’s just Random Wednesday and you’re not having anything special, and there are no guests.

                    12. I understand the theory, but I also recall a sacrilegious joke, circa 1970s by a, as far as I know, Roman Catholic that hit the protestant issue on this squarely on the head. Again, I don’t want to get into a religious debate, because there is no way no one would be offended.

                    13. God may not mind our presumption that much.

                      I find when I don’t pray over an issue, I have the feeling I can do this myself. Which is a greater presumption? To pray because I’ve lost a car key, or not to pray on the assumption I don’t need God’s help? And what of the presumption that God or saints must respond? It’s interesting to note that prayers recorded in the bible contain aspects of worship, a reminder to the one praying, or to an audience, of who God is. That holds for all Christians regardless of denomination.

                      This just came to mind: God is omnipresent and omnipotent. Which of our problems is not small compared to God?

                    14. *nods* Which is why it’s a good idea to pray– and it’s Him that would do the miracle, anyways, but it’s easier to talk saint Anthony about car keys, and clearly He doesn’t mind, since He keeps granting miracles via those who are with him.

                      I’d actually highly suggest that people who aren’t Catholic and want to write a mythology study the Catholic church in this area, just to get an idea of how to not make it look like it’s just ‘author says’. I get really tired of fantasy churches that are vague ideas of what the Church thinks with a new coat of paint and bits glued on, there’s just not much logic to it.

                    15. Saints have another thing, regionalism. In hyper-nepotist Portugal, every one knows that St. Anthony (Also saint of sick animals. His altars are normally full of cute animal wax statues. MUST horrify protestant tourists) was born in Portugal. So he has to listen to Portuguese people particularly, right? This is like going to your cousin and saying, “Hey, could you ask your boss if he has some spare pens he wouldn’t mind me having?”

                    16. Nod.

                      If I were to write a book with a Catholic character, I’d be asking Catholics “did I get this correct”. 😀

                    17. I’ve done some research there (spent a lot of time going through the Catholic Encyclopaedia) simply because the kids’ books were set in Europe in 1400 where the Roman Catholic church was the only church. And I’ve known a nun, a member of the clergy, and a friend who’d a Roman Catholic.

                      From the other perspective, there’s the same outside looking in from the Roman Catholics to the Protestants, with the same sense of fakeness when someone who’s not familiar with any church tries to make one in fiction. My friend who’d a Roman Catholic made a comment we didn’t have the same restrictions, and I said we did, like “Thou shalt not sit in thy neighbor’s place on the pew,” and for a moment he thought I was serious.

                    18. *gets the giggles*

                      Ah, one of the universal laws….

                      Oh! I almost forgot– there’s a BIG change this Sunday, they’re having a big thing after the recessional/final prayer.

                      All the people who forgot to set their clocks forward …

                    19. I think it was saint Agustine that said something like:
                      Work as if it all depends on you
                      Pray as if it all depends on Him.

                      He can do it– but He shouldn’t have to do it all, that’s rude. Same way He can forgive anything, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to go around sinning!

                    20. I’m a fine one to be writing this, because not long ago my short temper met a sticking door latch and I briefly considered breaking while uttering several invectives, so consider this as coming from Hypocrite’s Row. Willfully continuing to sin is not repenting. Some might say me and the sticking lock is inadvertent sin, such as looking down and seeing you’re over the speed limits. Still, it’s sin.

                    21. Hypocrite* would be saying that it’s fine when you do it….It’s not cool when I lose my temper and want to say things in order to hurt people, it’s just HUMAN. The re-writing to try to get the information across with as little pain to the other as possible is a needful thing…temptation isn’t sin.

                      From where I stand, sin requires an act of will- you’ve got to freely choose The Wrong Thing. Stuff can still be wrong, and you can’t go cheat by ‘I will choose not to look somewhere I should because then I’d know that this thing I’m doing is wrong’ because that just means you’d already decided to do it if it was wrong or not….

                      Feeling bad because you fell short when you think you shouldn’t have is a good thing, as long as it keeps you working!

                      * I run into the accusation of hypocrite a lot, so it’s a bit of a peeve– especially since if folks equate falling short with double standards and thus destroy decent standards at all.

          2. I’d love to see him explain that line of logic when Dave Freer or any other ichthyologist starts in on all the weird and wonderful ways life can reproduce… and G-d made all of those, too!

          3. God is unlimited. Our ability to conceive of God is limited, to varying degrees depending on who you’re talking to.

        3. I’d love to publish one. Are you offering to edit? Inkstain should be on line and ready to go in a month or so.
          At any rate, remember there was a slow fuse before the first American revolution. We’re a calm and stable people….

              1. You should be addressing that to Sarah rather than me, of course. But I think an anthology was mentioned in the post that lead to her response.

            1. Now you’ve got me thinking. If I ever write a short story, I have to start somewhere. Not a bad topic, and a subject close to what I think I know.

          1. I am picturing “Falling Down” writ large without the touch of delusion in the end.

          2. I’ll edit if you’ll herd the cats.

            Alternatively, try to sell Baen on the idea?

            1. If you wish to write a proposal, I can ask Toni to look at it, no promises because nothing I’ve funneled to her so far got bought. I’ll write for it, and maybe we can get Larry to? If it sells Baen? Maybe John also, but John has to be on a writing mode. I can bug Brad for you too.
              If Toni doesn’t want it, I want it for inkstain. No upfront money, which used to be the death of writers, but these days I actually get money from percentage anthos.

              1. It would actually be easier for me to go with Inkstain. If I write a proposal for Baen, my agent will probably want to handle it. (No, she hasn’t given up on me yet. Amazing.)

        4. Yes, the last straw has happened. But like Orvan says, we haven’t reached activation energy yet. Ferguson was a fizzle. None of the businesses or property owners stepped up to defend their livelihoods. Ditto Charlotte. Ditto Milwaukee. Ditto Dallas. Ditto Univ. Berkeley. Ditto the DC Women’s March. All fizzles. A brief explosive reaction that peters out before triggering the thermonuclear reaction.

          The big question is, once that critical mass is reached, where is it going to go? Can we direct it, or will everything be overwhelmed by it until it burns out? And what will be the reaction afterwards?

          1. Actually, I know of a photo of a couple of armed shop owners, one white and one black, who stood guard outside their businesses and had no trouble whatsoever.

              1. Odd. Didn’t see that reported in the news. Then again, the news itself is suspect.

            1. Found it!


              It was a SAMs Meat Market– a tattoo parlor also got a photo of their artists guarding the place, but it’s too dark to do more than tell that there’s only one guy who’s dark enough and has the right hair to definitely be black, and they’re probably not Scottish. Well, maybe the big guy next to the black dude, but that’s guessing off of the “big rounded shoulders” and hair pattern, not skin color, and that usually goes with a more “red EVERYWHERE” thing than the “I glow in the dark!” pale.

      2. Hari Sheldon could tell us.
        Too bad he’s fictional, and even worse, nobody has invented psychohistory. (The idea, yes; a working model, nope.)

      3. When the elastic limit is passed things buckle. Things designed to endure buckle unpredictably.

        It’s a horrible thought but maybe the best that could be done at this point would be to build in specific weaknesses that /all/ might not be lost.

        On charitable nanoseconds that are palindromic primes [seldom], I suspect this may be how They see their machinations.

      1. The Progressives don’t want ordinary citizens competing with what they believe is there divine duty in the pursuit of their secular utopia, after all.

      2. I think the biggest problem is that the country is just too large. I can’t see a way to reduce the influence of government without drastically reducing the number of people affected by it. The best way to effect that is a political split into separate countries, which I think is not only doable, but inevitable. This wouldn’t actually fix anything that’s wrong, but it would allow work to be done in the places where people want that, and allow political rent-seeking to be done in the places where that’s more important.

        So I think there’s a mostly bloodshed-free way to stop the insanity but it means splitting the country, which is not so much cleaning up the mess as it is abandoning a doomed project and starting a new one.

        1. No, we just have to create a lure trap city. “Lotusland.” Lure all the annoying people there, let them settle in, and then cut the roads.

          Sure, we can keep shipping in food by Amazon drones. I don’t want to be mean. I just don’t want to be bothered.

          1. We would not want the weapons of the uncivilized to remain operational much longer than the cannibal phase. It would be cultural imperialism of the most heinous stripe to attempt to prevent this democratically chosen final outcome, but we should supply all factions with corrosive-primer ammo.

        2. No. The country is not too large. The country is too centralized, but not too large. It works fine with the original design, and we’ve just started pushing that way. Give it time.

          1. Too large in the sense of large separate groups with different, incompatible goals, and significantly different political philosophies. I think it’s possible to continue the way the country has been going indefinitely, with both major political sides undoing each other’s gains whenever they can, but eventually it WILL stop with one side decisively overthrowing the other. An amicable split would allow BOTH sides to win, with a lot less killing.

            Nothing in politics is permanent. I see a lot more real-world examples of political division than of unity, and trying to unify people who would rather not be unified is often more violent. I think there are enough people in the U.S. who want a fundamentally different (some might say, “transformed”) government, that it’s time to start dividing territory and assets rather than blowing each other up.

            1. I think you’re wrong. Sarah’s right, the original design still works just fine. It’s only because there are groups who want to subvert that that there is the problem we now have. “Live and let live” doesn’t seem to be in their conceptual libraries.

              We’re quite willing to let them screw up their own nests; we’re just not willing to let them insist that we screw up ours in the same way to make them feel good about themselves.

              1. The original design still works just fine. The buggy kludges that have been inflicted are what are causing problems.

              2. We would also not be willing to bail them out or let them immigrate after they screw up their nests. Shortly after that we would probably be in the position of the Israelis with them the Palestinians.

            2. You think we weren’t in 1789? Why do you think we tossed the Articles of Confederation? Our differences were so great it proved unworkable. The US Constitution, as designed, is an organization of separate nations: the states. Think of it as a club of states, with the constitution as the bylaws: this is the requirements of the club; that is the requirements of the members. Each member tends to its own affairs where it does not affect the provisions of membership in the club.

              The problem now is we’ve forgotten that states are designed as separate nations and not provinces. We’ve always/i> been too big, with two many counter interests, for that sort of solution. As originally designed, each nation had remarkable autonomy while providing for a central government strong enough to act for the benefit of the whole.

              That works. We’ve seen from history that it works. Every call for a return to the US Constitution and Amendments as written is centered on the idea that yes, we are too big and diverse for the one-size-fits-all solution of absolute central government, which we’ve been heading for so long that people have forgotten there was anything different. But we know the constitution is designed for large, diverse, countries, and know that’s our best solution.

              1. All I’m going to say is that argument was lost — permanently — in 1860-1865.

      3. I did, but it’s gosh darned difficult to undo 8 hours of public school daily indoctrination 5 days a week. And we all know the local, state, and federal government has been inhibiting home schooling and private charter schools for the hoi poli for decades.

        1. I know. I did that for the boys. And I’m still doing it for myself, because Portugal … well… my schooling was if anything more socialist than my sons’

    3. No, it’s never impossible to clean up a mess, though we’ve let things get to the point that simple soap and water will no longer be sufficient.
      No, as has occurred at notable times in the past we have allowed the mess to accumulate to the point that it will require powder and flame and a good many swift swords to eradicate the filth.
      Not a pretty job, neither easy nor clean in process, requiring much in the way of manpower and treasure, but we’ve done it before and we’ll do it again.

        1. How many hobbits do we need?
          How many range weapons?
          How many melee weapons?
          Supplies (food, water, tents, blankets, cooking fuel, etc.)?
          Do we include big folk with them?

    4. I’m with drloss on this one. If this was Europe you might have a point. But we’re the “We’re surrounded, this simplifies the problem.” country. So if you want to give up, go for it. The rest of us have work to do.

            1. I would hope that if Big Brother were watching me, he’d be bored stiff.

                  1. I didn’t really need that information (or anything that would make me ponder the concept), actually…

              1. I often get the impression that a lot of Leftist behavior is explained as a reaction to realizing they just aren’t important enough for the Man to care about….

          1. “What’s that scream from Langley?” “That is the Sound of Ultimate Suffering. Patrick has stripped nude in front of his webcam again.”


  7. I’m quite sure I’m not the only person who finds the whole spectacle of waving bits that ought to be kept between oneself and one’s significant other(s) rather off-putting,

    I doubt they have significant others, at least ones that don’t require batteries.

  8. I got nothing…. Too much grey goo running around lately and not enough optimism. Not sure if either facet is warranted.

      1. Exactly. The first turning point has been reached where people are starting to fight back.

        The idiots haven’t realized yet that we’re just getting started.

    1. Always remember, for each Leftist screeching parrot, there’s a few people who honestly can’t be bothered with the nonsense, others who would happily leave them alone to be idiots if they would return the favor, and others who think they are just nuts.

  9. Really, seeing the reports of people who did the woman’s strike earlier, and were astonished that they were fired (just a few, so far). What did they expect? If you want a day off, make arrangements, take a vacation day, whatever. But if you’re going to strike, make sure that it’s something worth getting fired for.

    1. Not in Prince Georges County.

      PG closed their schools because of that nonsense. A bunch of selfish people decided that their political opinions were more important than the education of students – many of them female. Families inconvenienced, but hey we get to take a day off and show how important we are. Kids who are on free lunch programs may not get their one real meal of the day, but we got to make our protests.

      What is more important, your political opinions or the children you are responsible for? What kind of message are you sending that you can shirk your duties to go wave a sign?

      Bah, they almost make me ashamed of being a woman.

    2. AND SOMETHING YOUR EMPLOYER CAN PROVIDE. Like the idiot on FB that said shouldn’t people protest me, if I think I’m better than them…. uh? No. Private people are entitled to their opinion. IF I thought I was better than someone and people didn’t like it, they could ignore me, or call me names. But PROTEST against me? When did I become a government? In what way does my opinion affect their lives?
      The same way. They’re striking against their employers. WHAT do they want that the employers can give them? It’s like the left has a book of tricks they apply, whether they make any sense or not.

      1. … shouldn’t people protest me, if I think I’m better than them

        1. I am better than them, objectively and demonstrably.

        2. As I do not demand special considerations in recognition of my superiority to them, NO, they should not protest me.

        3. As they do demand special privileges on account of being inferior to me* it is I who should be protesting them.

        *Work it out; if you cannot follow the logic I am better than you. Q.E.D.

      2. …if I think I’m better than them…

        Welcome to a shut-down-the-conversation gambit: ‘Do you think you are better than me?’

        The person who uses this in the midst of an argument is attempting to force you into a corner. Instead of supporting their position they are attacking you. It is considered rude socially to state publicly that you are better than another person. Their heads will spin if you side step and answer, “That has nothing to do with the matter at hand.” But they, having resorted to a bullying tactic, will feel justified and press on, “Oh, so you do think you are better than me?”

        Do I think I am better? It depends on what we are talking about.

        Better at something? Possibly. Yet for everything I know do well I can think of at least one person I know who is more capable, as well as a number of whom who have been more disciplined in their pursuit and it shows.

        Better informed? What is the subject? I know next to nothing about Kardasians (and freely admit I would like to know less).

        Am I better under the law? No.

        1. I find that query activates my inner Mae West:
          “Do you think you are better than me?”
          “It would be almost impossible not to be.”

  10. Last year I got a call at work (Police dispatcher) by a girl’s friends and her mother asking that we go out and look for her and give her a ride home. 20 minutes after she left the party, which was 1 mile from her apartment. Why? Because, and I quote, “She’s a girl. Walking home. Alone. Without her phone.”

    Yeah, she’s 19, living in off campus apartments (so not a Freshman as the Freshman have to live in the dorms or at home), walking from a party that her friends (the ones who called) were at, past two 24 hour convenience stores, 6 Code Blue phones (emergency phones with a bright blue light on top), 8 dorm/apt buildings on campus with phones in the lobby with free local calling, and a McDonalds with 24 hr drive through. Had she been drinking or using drugs? Not according to her friends. Was she depressed, threatening to harm herself or others? No. But she’s a girl, walking home alone, without her phone. So she MUST be incapable of making her own informed decisions. The helpless adult needing the state to look after her for her own good is here.

    The outrage of us not searching for a victim of a non-crime. The horror of her being out of contact with the world. The abomination of not…oh wait, she called Mom from her roommates phone when she got to her apartment, about 5 minutes after her friends first called me. She was fine, just got tired of watching her friends drink and make eyes at each other and decided go home and sleep instead.

    1. I hope you told the callers, “Get off this line, it’s for actual emergencies.” Yeah, I know you’re probably not allowed to tell folks what they need to be told…

      1. You know, I’ve seen that now in a number of jobs. We’re so focused on customer service and “going along to get along”, that people are not corrected when they are wrong.
        Only the politically correct are allowed to correct the misguided/misinformed. This seriously needs to be corrected.

      2. We have a dedicated line to communicate with transmission. Sometimes we get sales calls on it. One time, feeling shorter tempered than usual, I asked for the caller’s security clearance.

        There was a pause “Security Clearance?”
        “Your security clearance. This is a hotline.”

        Didn’t lie. It was a hotline, just not the hotline. But we didn’t get any sales calls again for a long time.

    2. One of my best friends is a police dispatcher. Woman calls in, reports the smell of smoke in her house. Gets told that they’re sending police and fire to her location. She says she’ll leave the door unlocked but she has a hair appointment to go to. Gets told she needs to be there while the police and fire department check it out. She gets her nose totally out of joint. Emergency services arrive and find she’s left her car running in the garage with the doors closed (hence the smell and smoke.) She calls the dispatcher’s supervisor to complain he made her stay there for nothing. Talk about a thankless job protecting people from natural selection!

      1. First, her voter registration (if any) needs to be revoked, as she’s clearly not capable of making a rational decision about anything. And if I was nastier than I actually am, I’d have her put on a call block list for 911.

    3. “She’s an adult. If she’s still missing after 72 hours, come down to the station and file a missing person report.”

    4. *re-reads*

      Wait, this isn’t a friend of yours who called you while you were working, it was a police dispatcher type call?

      Talk about your gold standard example of removing mediating organizations… that’s something that you call a friend to do. A brother. An uncle. Heck, you call your sister that has a car. (Been there, done that.)

      1. If they had indicated any level of potential harm we would have been happy to look for her, though the city police would have had to do the welfare check at her apartment since it was off campus. Had they even bothered to walk the same route and not found her once they got to her apartment I would let the officers know. But there was zero to be concerned about.

        What’s more, 20 years ago I walked nearly that exact same route twice a day, every day as I worked at the convenience store near where she started and lived a couple of blocks over from where her apartment was. It took me 15-20 minutes to walk it, depending on how fast I wanted to go. So if she had left 20 minutes before like they said, she was almost literally walking in the door of her apartment when they called.

  11. It may have been a tad…salty, but I definitely agree with the sentiment.
    Bravo, Milady!

  12. So glad to know that Im not the only one who wishes mightily for a raving band of conservative (and libertarian, it would seem) women who would confront these Mean Girls and drag them to a far off alley somewhere and use some rectifying and persuasive techniques, the kind that was convince them that they should think twice before they activate their next shrill alarm.

    Sorry, but thats the uncivilized part of me, if only because these Mean Girls scare the bejeebers out of me for my daughter’s future. They arent Mama Bear enough to comprehend that…but it wont matter when it comes time to me demonstrating what a Mama Bear can do.

    I mean, really, if the idea of submission to a vicious political meme like Islam is so appealing, why should my methods be so off-putting?

    1. Oh, they’re not really thinking that they’re submitting to Islam so much as they think they’re using Islam as a club to try to beat us into submission ourselves. First, that isn’t working (we’re not anywhere near submitting to them). Second, if Islam did get a foothold the Mean Girls would be the first ones done away with.

      1. If Islam did get a foothold the Mean Girls would be the first ones to submit.

        Can’t find the source; I think I first heard it from Bill Whittle:
        In California the women are crazy because the men are weak, and the men are weak because the women are crazy.

        Too many people these days wouldn’t know actual moral, spiritual strength if it knocked them upside the haid. Strong men want strong women alongside them, strong women want strong men to stand by them.

      2. I don’t know -reading about the antics of those Euro Mean Girls who have gone and thrown their lot in with ISIS – they have taken that opportunity to become even Meaner Girls. Through their glomming on to even more vicious and powerful Alpha males. I can’t forget a pic that I saw somewhere (Rantburg, Gateway Pundit, Powerline — of a couple of Islamic Mean Girls in head-to-tow black shrouds — and carrying sub-machine guns — escorting a file of captive Yazidi girl captives into the most vile kind of captivity.

        1. Yeah, I’m going to guess that the modern feminist are going to flip themselves right around the craziness bend and go Islamist.
          The idiots are starting to argue that the hijab and burka are somehow a sign of empowerment.

          1. The idiots are starting to argue that the hijab and burka are somehow a sign of empowerment.

            The… what the… uh… crap. I thought this was gonna be a rum day, but that? That’s absinthe level nonsense.

            I could see it iff (not a typo) there is recognition that a choice to wear a hijab or burka is alright, but so is a choice NOT to do so. Requirement/demand rather than choice? They can go lick a light-socket.

            1. ~Honor killing serves a collectivist feminist agenda.~

              See, women collectively are safer if the uppity get made an example of so that the remainder will rest in their family’s protection.

            2. Like getting drunk and being used like a blow-up doll is empowering, while choosing not to be sexually active is evil and repressed etc? Like agreeing with them is “Free thinking” and disagreeing with them means you’re brain-washed? Like how a guy in a dress is more female than a mother of three?

              I think the disconnect is that we look at what the words MEAN, and they’re looking at what they SIGNAL.

              Humans like knowing where limits are– we know that there are limits, so we want to know WHERE.

              These folks blow threw the civilized limits, because they aren’t chains. They only recognize the chain type limits.

              And “empowering” just means that they approve….

          2. Having had a slug of rum.. and then reading that and having a bit of absinthe – and NOT the ritual, either, no sugar, no ice water drip, but “slug from the jug” as it were, and a shower… I still reach the conclusion: They’re ucking fidiots.

          3. Covering yourself from head-to-toe is a sign of empowerment, exposing you breasts is a sign of empowerment (or, at least, really well done plastic surgery), cussing like a sailor is a sign of empowerment.

            Acting like a Lady or even a Gentleman is not a sign of empowerment because anybody can afford to do that if only they exercise self-control.

            I do not think “empowerment” means what they say it means.

  13. Side note on the savages vs. civilization vs. mean girls meme…
    There’s a stupid meme going around Facebook in the “We must become savages to defeat savages” crowd that goes something like: Childhood is thinking that Vlad Tepes was the villain. Adulthood is realizing that he was the hero.
    Reality check: Childhood is when you think Vlad Tepes was the villain. Adolescence is when you think he’s the hero. Adulthood is realizing that there weren’t any heroes in Wallachia in the late 14th century.

    1. Precisely. He was doing the best he could in a thoroughly shitty situation – but at least he was *trying* to improve things, and he was very much against the savages.

      That said, if we need to become like him to deal with the current mess, we’ll do an immense amount of damage to ourselves in the process.

      1. Thing is, we don’t need to, and I’m more than a little convinced that A. Vlad was a bit of a savage himself and B. a lot of the people saying we should be willing to use those methods if necessary want them to be necessary.

        1. A bit!?!

          Possibly the best summary of the whole situation I’ve seen was from a rather fun, fluffy novel- Count Taka and the Vampire Brides. One of the characters knew him (…it’s a vampire novel, not like this is a spoiler) and conveys “holy freaking crud, he was terrifying even though he had reasons!” very well.

        2. He was. He was a savage on the side of the angles as it were, but still a savage. And yes, those people probably do. And probably harbor delusions of emerging as the top whatever in the mess that follows.

      2. “we pledge our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”

        That last clause is rather important. It meant that they were willing to do things considered dishonorable and live with the loss of their reputations ever afterward as a result.

        We may or may not have to do things considered dishonorable or even “savage”* to deal with the current situation…. but to automatically remove them from consideration means we might as well surrender now, and that the Founders were unwilling to do.

        * — and whose definition of “savage”? The SJW Left’s? Puhleeze.

        1. Yeah, no. If your definition of savage is so tight that mass impalement is excluded, it’s meaningless.
          This, by the way, is one of the problems with the SJW Left’s expansion of certain terms–it robs them of all meaning, and allows both kinds of self-righteousness cover under fuzzy language. Forget that.

        2. Precisely. If we take that route, we need to do so after having considered the alternatives and come to the conclusion that no other options remain.

          And this is working with my version of “savage”. The SJW left meaning translates to “anyone who disagrees with me.”

        3. It actually has more to do with my definition of “hero” than “savage”: someone who does what needs doing, in spite of personal cost. It’s easy to refuse to get one’s hands (or soul) dirty, and even easier to duck responsibility for the results of that refusal.

          Vlad Tepes was a savage. Given who and what his opposition was, a savage seems to be exactly what was needed. Any element of heroism in his character would have come from his agreeing to take up the burden of being a savage when those he was responsible for needed one.

            1. And I say we don’t have enough data to know if it was really necessary or not – or if Vlad had any viable alternative options.

              What remains is that savage or not, he stood against a much stronger enemy. His actions were no less savage than those of his peers – who had the benefit of better PR, and surviving long enough to make their own reputations rather than having their enemies and betrayers decide how they would be portrayed.

              I only hope that if it comes to that here I have the strength and courage to do the same.

      3. doing the best he could in a thoroughly shitty situation

        I’ve explained Truman’s decision to use the bomb similarly. “All the choices were lousy. That was the least lousy.”

        1. have had many a similar conversation with peacnics. I ask them how many more civilians would they rather have died by not using the Bombs.

            1. Me once – “If Truman refused to use it and Japan later acquired it, how many cities would you be willing to lose before responding in kind?”
              It also came up in a discussion about Harbor/Bosch and chemical weapons too. then again the sjw types like to claim the Brits use of tear gas is equal to poison gas releases by the Germans.

    2. “Childhood is when you think Vlad Tepes was the villain. Adolescence is when you think he’s the hero. Adulthood is realizing that there weren’t any heroes in Wallachia in the late 14th century.”


    3. Adulthood is realizing that there weren’t any heroes in Wallachia in the late 14th century.

      Heroes were Greek noblemen from at least two thousand years before.

      Grins, ducks, and runs away.

  14. Interesting side note: I’ve just learned that Verdi’s magnificent opera Aida is not cultural appropriation.

    The Khedive Ismail of Egypt built an opera house and commissioned Verdi to write Aïda on the occasion of the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869.

    Isma’il Pasha (Arabic: إسماعيل باشا‎‎ Ismā‘īl Bāshā, Turkish: İsmail Paşa), known as Ismail the Magnificent (31 December 1830 – 2 March 1895), was the Khedive of Egypt and Sudan from 1863 to 1879, when he was removed at the behest of the United Kingdom. Sharing the ambitious outlook of his grandfather, Muhammad Ali Pasha, he greatly modernized Egypt and Sudan during his reign, investing heavily in industrial and economic development, urbanisation, and the expansion of the country’s boundaries in Africa.
    per Wiki

  15. When the norms of civilized behavior have been eroded to a sufficient point, the final unraveling can come with shocking speed. Twitter mobs, Facebook mobs, and real mobs assaulting people who give speeches they don’t want to hear or be heard are all warning signs. There is evidence that these are being actively fomented by people with money and power, who apparently hope to set the torch to civilization, march into the flames to put them out, and rule with an iron fist in the name of restoring order.

    It won’t happen that way. They do not understand the forces they are trying to manipulate and are blind to those that readying to oppose them.

  16. I would pick Robespierre as more typical of the breed. Napoleon was a comparative latecomer who rose through the ranks after the chaos had already started.
    Lenin, I’ll grant you: He was a rabble rouser from the start. I’ll even throw in Mussolini, Hitler, and Mao.

    But they were all working with people who had been accustomed to kings and emperors for centuries. Americans are a different breed.

  17. Mean Girls and Savages…reminds me of Ayn Rand’s theory of ‘Attila and the Witch-Doctor’, which described the strange feeling of attraction that many intellectuals feel toward people of violence, and the political synergy that exists between the types.

  18. “They’re the ones who will cheerfully poison their inner circle mentor if they think they can get away with it.”
    This sounds like the modus operandi of the Sith in Star Wars.
    Too bad these people aren’t in a “…galaxy far, far away…”

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