Be Careful What You Ask For – E. Marshall Hoyt

Be Careful What You Ask For – E. Marshall Hoyt

That’s the counter to use against liberals on healthcare!
Liberals hold the firm belief that healthcare is a right, and that every citizen should have healthcare, regardless of circumstance.
If they support the government telling everyone they need healthcare, surely they approve of Switzerland, which basically requires all males own a gun?
Surely if they are so keen to adopt European policy, we should enforce gun ownership as much as they want to enforce healthcare.
They believe that healthcare is a right, and I believe- Nay, I KNOW because unlike healthcare the constitution agrees with me- that gun ownership is a right.
Surely we must enforce ALL things that are “Moral, and an obvious right”
It is your right to be protected from unreasonable search and seizure- surely to enforce this we must keep citizen’s surrounding in check. To watch over their lives and assure that no one goes against that right.
I have heard many think that having a roof, food, and decent wages is the bare minimum that anyone deserves. Perhaps the government should buy you your house, your food, and give you a job itself, so it can pay you a wage.
But of course liberals already believe in that- Shelters, welfare, and New Deal jobs- meant to keep people busy, but not productive.
Surely the government should dictate more- how many children you have, how many luxuries you purchase, and of course in order to enforce free speech, the government would have to outline what you can’t say, else you infringe on other’s “free” speech.
Of course we’ve seen societies much like this before. We’ve seen them rise and fall. We’ve seen them build on the apparent displeasure and will of the people. The leaders of these movements, always harangue people until they believe they’ve been conned out the basic necessities of living. Necessities that should be theirs simply for existing.
But these societies, full of people who think they are bending the government to their will to give them what they want, only extended the power and reach of their governments.
Soon their lives were not their own, no more choices, no more freedoms, under the clever guise of “The people”, because they did indeed at one time ask for all of this.
They just didn’t understand what they were asking for.

253 thoughts on “Be Careful What You Ask For – E. Marshall Hoyt

  1. “Surely the government should dictate more- how many children you have, how many luxuries you purchase, and of course in order to enforce free speech, the government would have to outline what you can’t say, else you infringe on other’s “free” speech.”

    Sadly, many will nod in fervent agreement with this.

    1. China had enforced a limitation of how many children a couple can have, didn’t work out so well.

          1. “Because it has never been really tried,” they say. Like the many, many other failures of socialism/Marxism, past disasters are of no consequence because they were ever so slightly flawed- but, as you say, “this time we’ll get it right.”

            The lane may be well-swept and clean, the path undarkened, and journey may well appear delightful and fulfilling at first glance, but the road to hell hath no better paving stone than the skulls of those who would lead you there with the best of intentions.

      1. I could “sell” my two oldest as twins, maybe, and from past evidence even folks who know me fairly well can’t tell I’m 8 months pregnant (!!!!) but I don’t think I could avoid the “do a total sterilization during childbirth” prevention levels. 😦

        Besides the whole horror of what slaughtering and sterilizing does to a society.

        1. There was a thriving demand for uncertified midwives in China, so many births were undocumented for multiple reasons.

          Of course if you need an emergency C-section you are probably out of luck.

          1. Those who are undocumented will find that they do not have the same access to services or opportunities in a land already mighty short of such.

  2. As usual, all this stems from the left’s obfuscation of the meaning of words. They are trying diligently to redefine “right” to mean “entitlement.”

    A “right” is an ability or condition that belongs to a person from birth. It isn’t conferred by government or by any other institution, but is inherent to every person. Governments may restrict or trample upon rights, but they never create them.

    An “entitlement” is something government guarantees to certain groups. As these require the provision of some goods or services to the members of those groups, they also require others to provide those goods or services even if they don’t desire to do so.

    Don’t let they confuse you by claiming that entitlements are in fact rights. They aren’t. And blurring the distinction between them is something the left is working very hard to do.

    1. My Dad did 21 years in the USAF. He signed a contract; if he put in the time, he’d get retirement checks.

      When the Fed started referring to his retirement money as an “entitlement” he was furious. It wasn’t an entitlement; it was a government debt. He’d fulfilled his half of the agreement, now the government had to fulfill its half.

      *Not* the same thing as “free money from the government.”

      1. As a matter of fact it is an “entitlement”, or should be, he is “entitled to it for the service he performed, and there is a contract on record stating that he is so entitled.

        Now a lot of what they are calling “entitlements” these days aren’t, because the people are not in fact entitled to anything from the government, just for existing.

        1. This. If the term, “entitlement” had not been polluted by the Socialists/Communists in advance, there would be nothing wrong with referring to a soldier’s retirement pay as an entitlement, because that is what it is, in the correct meaning of the term.

      2. I understand his wrath. SCOTUS has held that retirement is deferred pay. Decidedly not a welfare.

      3. I can empathize with your Dad. I did 22 years in the USAF myself. That retirement pay does indeed represent deferred pay; which judges are very ready to award at least half to spouses in divorce cases. Between the time the member retires from the service, and age 65, that money is considered a retainer and the member is subject to recall to active duty. No matter how you slice it, military retirement pay is “bought the farm” money owed to the service member when he (or she) retires, or his or her heirs if killed on duty. By the way, the average farm size in the U.S. is 434 acres, and valued at between 2 and 3 million dollars.

        1. It’s like all the howls of indignation that people disagree with programs like great society, aca, etc but then cry out at SS and Care. Both are unsustainable fusterclucks that will blow up but people think they paid into it. As opposed to the guy on SSDI because work is hard or someone who is on multiple forms of assistance and churning out kids.

          It’s not just the freebies but the promises that make the mountain we face today. But unless you start with the ones that have not spent entire life under a political promise paying into said promise.

          1. Any corporation with the levels f unfunded liabilities that the Federal and State governments have on their books would have long since been delisted from the NYSE any trading exchange and probably forced into receivership long ago. It’s bonds sure as heck couldn’t qualify for even junk status.

            A responsible Media would report on that gaping abyss of debt. That is part of how you know we don’t have a responsible Media.

          2. “the guy on SSDI”

            I currently know someone who is probably on that and hating it. He has cerebral palsy and is currently seeking employment, something really difficult when you can move around only slowly and are dependent upon public transit (which kind of sucks around here—there’s a few bright spots, but there’s also some idiotic decisions made in regards to bus lines that make them unusable for some folk.)

            He’s very intelligent and makes a point of being up-to-date on all of the current IT practices so that he’s very employable, but he’s having a lot of trouble even getting an interview. And unfortunately, California has certain labor restrictions that make work-from-home too difficult for many companies that could use his expertise (specifically the one that states that overtime is anything over 8 hours on each day, not 40 hours for the work week.)

            I wouldn’t knock the folk on SSDI, because the simple fact that they have it doesn’t mean they’re not trying as hard as they can.

            1. I know there is a significant chunk that are justified at some level. But also have a number where it is solely a game to play. Had a neighbor who would be on disability for back and up painting his house before his next to around with employment and without fail unemployment. The ones gaming the system more my target there.

              1. I have a young relative whose bio-father is trying to get him classified as having fetal alcohol syndrome, because it will get more money.

                Apparently they lowered the payout for ADHD/ADD.

                It’s a HUGE racket among the abusive/manipulative class.

                1. The mental health and back pain have been the egregious ones if I remember right. As usual the ones that need it refuse, those that don’t abuse. Dealt with more than a few

                2. When my mother taught in AL in the 80s / 90s, it was an openly discussed scam, and she was occasionally asked to certify someone as learning disabled so the parents could collect “crazy money”, as it was known. She wasn’t asked after a while; “Mean ol’ Miz Nelson” didn’t play that.

                  1. Thank goodness for people of principle.

                    It’s one thing to say no to a stranger; it’s another to reject an immoral proposal that doesn’t directly hurt yourself from someone you’re associated with.

              2. I have a friend (whom I’ve mentioned here before) who is an ER doctor. Mention “back pain” around him and you’d better be prepared for some stories. I remember one trick he would pull on patient after patient who came in claiming back pain. He’d say, “Okay, lie down on my examination table and I’ll take a look at you.” The patient would slowly shuffle over to the table. Then when the patient was about to get onto the table, the doctor would say, “Oh wait, could you take your shoes off first? Shoes get really dirty and I have to keep the table clean.” The same patient who made a big deal about walking across the room, acting as if his back was hurting him terribly, would then blithely bend over to untie his shoelaces — at which point the doctor would make a mental note “Yep, another faker”.

                Not that he didn’t ALSO see some genuine back-pain sufferers. But the fakers were the vast majority, at least in the areas where he worked.

                1. Heh. Back before I got straightened out by a good chiropractor I was moving past quarters and nearly up to “it better be folding money” before I would bend down to pick it up.

            2. If I had the money I would gladly help someone like that out, but that still doesn’t give him a right to tax money. On the other hand, I am not going to damn him for doing what he as to to survive especially as it is in part Government that is making it difficult for him to work,

          3. Part of the problem with Social Security is that it should be viewed as taking care of your parents rather than will take care of you. That’s how it worked from the start…but not how folks felt about it.

            1. Part of the problem is that you are taking care of the people who didn’t have children.

              I would have no objection if they predicated payments in part on “number of descendants neither on welfare nor in jail.” And I do not and never will have any kids.

      4. I understand where your Dad is coming from. The truth of the matter, though, is that the Government took the money from him, and then spent it immediately — sometimes even on retirement benefits! — with the idea that, so long as more people pay into the thing in the future, there will always be money to spend.

        Social Security and other programs like it are Ponzi schemes, pure and simple. It doesn’t matter if we call it “security” or “entitlement” or whatever: the problem with Ponzi schemes is that you eventually run out of money, and everything collapses.

        Unlike privately-run Ponzi schemes, however, the Government can do special things to keep the scheme running, like raise taxes, go into substantial amounts of debt (hey, that’s literally taking money from future victims — some not even born yet — and paying it out to the current dupes!), and “counterfeit” money but then hide it by rewriting how inflation is measured.

        Yeah, I consider your Dad lucky: he’s one of the earlier beneficiaries, so by all rights he’s going to get a return on his “investment”. But I’m looking at this whole mess, and I’m not only worried that I’ll never get a payout — I’m worried about what my day-to-day life is going to be like, when all this comes crashing down!

        Come to think of it, though, I think I’m misunderstanding your point: your Dad’s retirement benefits aren’t even Social Security. They’re more like a pension in the private sector (which has its own problems, but those problems tend to be contained in the businesses that create the pensions). Indeed, if it weren’t for these other “entitlements”, the Government would likely have hardly any problems providing for your Dad’s promised retirement money!

        (And when everything goes belly-up, I *really* hope the Government doesn’t leave our veterans out on a limb, assuming that the Government will have any say in the matter, of course…)

        1. Early in the Obama administration, the Fed started referring to his retirement as an “entitlement.” Having seen what the Fed used that word for from the 1960s on, that word meant something substantially different to him than the official dictionary definition.

          How long the Fed used that word, or if they still do, I don’t know. But it was one of the few things that I ever saw my Dad get visibly angry about.

      5. The talk about re-writing the retirement pay including for people who were on their last hitch or already retired is part of why my husband got out of the military.

        Waaaaay too likely that a mere enlisted guy who busted his rump and his body would get shafted.

    2. A “right” is an ability or condition that belongs to a person from birth. It isn’t conferred by government or by any other institution, but is inherent to every person. Governments may restrict or trample upon rights, but they never create them.

      They can’t recognize this.

      It’s too Christian.

      If they don’t plug government into that hole, they’ll have to recognize that they’re just a Christian heresy.

  3. Surely the government should dictate more- how many children you have,

    Just ask China’s single men how well that’s worked out

    1. Don’t worry, that’s coming next. Population management is something that the Socialists are going to have to undertake, in order to make things work out in the demographics.

      The problem is that they haven’t cottoned on to the whole implication of the birthrate dropping through the floor for the “economically productive” portion of the populace. Once they manage to connect the dots, it’s going to look a lot like C.M. Kornbluth’s Marching Morons, because the socialist masters aren’t going to want to let their power slip through their fingers, and all that deadweight out there ain’t gonna support them in the style to which they’ve become accustomed.

      The flip side to the whole “creation of the permanent underclass” is that it mandates an equal class of hewers of wood and drawers of water–Or, you’re looking at Zimbabwe. Nobody wants to live in Zimbabwe, so we’re gonna have to mandate that the productive… Produce. Babies, as well, ‘cos that next generation of oligarchs gwine need their water purification plant operators…

      Or, not. They may be too ‘effing stupid to foresee the easily foreseen consequences of their actions. Look at Detroit, and imagine that spread across the entire country, and with no functional hinterlands from whence to pull actual functional humans to run things.

      You want some great humor, try to talk to some of the water plant operators out here in the sticks of rural Washington state; the number of qualified people they’ve been recruiting and training is negligible, and the vast majority of the current set of operators are all due to retire in about the next five-ten years. Where the replacements are coming from…? LOL. They should have been in the pipeline five-six years ago, but they weren’t. And, they aren’t going to be able to pull those guys out of their asses at the last minute, either. Gonna be edddddd-u-cational watching it all happen. My advice? Invest in home water purification stocks, ‘cos within a few decades, a lot of the water systems aren’t going to be effective, any more. Not at the rate they’re working the issue, that’s for damn sure.

      1. no functional hinterlands from whence to pull actual functional humans to run things.

        IMHO, that goes directly back to “everyone must go to college” and “working with your hands is icky”. Doing those basic jobs that keep our wonderful civilization functioning have become both low class and low status. Since owing a house, I’ve come to have a great deal of respect for the (almost entirely) men who understand the mysteries of plumbing, electricity, washing machines/dryers, water tanks, boilers, roofers, etc.

        1. Minor quibble:
          A whole lot of (rural) women understand one or more of those systems; it’s mostly men that are willing and able to do it for a living, because doing it for a living sucks only slightly less (for RandomAveragePerson, there are folks who enjoy it) than not having anybody to do it, which is why those women know how to do it!

          1. It’s also an order of magnitude easier to do some of those things if you have good upper body strength. My husband makes shifting the dryer to vacuum the back look like me picking up a lego. Which is why I’m always grateful to have him around even when I could do them myself.

            1. Leverage is a marvelous thing, isn’t it? Anything that principally uses legs, I’m good to go. Upper body—well, some I’m good at (I am a strapping lass), but sometimes it’s better to hire the neighbor kid.

        2. Since owing a house, I’ve come to have a great deal of respect for the (almost entirely) men who understand the mysteries of plumbing, electricity, washing machines/dryers, water tanks, boilers, roofers, etc.

          Particularly in the big metropolitan centers, your access into what has increasingly become licensed professions is controlled by a union.

      2. Qualifications for the job? Because my husband (Unix/MS Sysadmin) is looking and not finding much in-field locally, and moving is not in the cards. WA’s the wrong direction–we’re eastern ID, but what hits rural WA often hits rural ID too.
        If they train and pay enough to get by on . . . but if they want an MS in who-knows-what then never mind.

        1. What I know about the situation for the guys running the plants comes from one of the local operators I know–The state manages all this stuff, statewide, and the municipalities merely pay the personnel–It’s kind of a hybrid state/local government hybrid.

          I don’t know about Idaho, but the guy I’ve been talking to has been bitching for years about them not keeping the pipeline filled with qualified operators–He doesn’t know when/if he’s even going to be able to retire, or if he’s going to wind up dying in the traces, so to speak.

          1. “We saved money by not training up any replacements.”

            “Great! So what’s the problem?”

            “Pretty soon we’re not going to have any specialists to operate our equipment.”

            “Can we automate that?”

            “It’d probably cost a lot of money.”

            “No problem, we’ll outsource the work to India.”


      3. Plant operations of any kind is in the same boat. No one wants to hire apprentices and helpers. They’re expensive and don’t contribute to the bottom line. I’ve been doing 18 hours of overtime a week for the last few months because no one qualified has applied for the vacancy we have. Kind of nice for my bottom line, but it gets old after a while. At my current job and the last one, the plants have been poaching people from other plants that haven’t paid as much. I don’t know who the plants getting poached from are filling positions with.

        On a different job- machinists, about a year ago a bunch of machine shops coordinated with a local community college to train machinists. The “students” were hired at $10/hr. 10 weeks of training, 40 hours a week. Couldn’t miss any days. Learn, successfully graduate, guaranteed job at the end. Graduation rate was never published.

        1. “At my current job and the last one, the plants have been poaching people from other plants that haven’t paid as much. I don’t know who the plants getting poached from are filling positions with.”

          They get them a few different places, high school dropouts, or those straight out of high school with a diploma and no desire to go to college. This is probably the pool that you poach the majority from with the offer of higher wages, once they are trained and worth more than they are getting paid starting out. You are also going to get some that go to college and get a degree in something that either they can’t find a job in, or they get a job and figure out that what they spent four to eight years going to school for really isn’t what they want to do the rest of their life. These are a mixed bag, but after they are trained up you’ll poach some of them to. Then they fill the rest of their ranks with whatever is available, drunks and druggies that can’t pass a drug test at a plant that offers higher wages (there will be the occasional diamond in the rough here, but most of them are not anything you really want) and deadbeats that can’t hold a job for any length of time but will work there until fired.

        2. Currently in a machinist school. Looking forward to the increase in pay, and the simple fact that I will finally have a useful skill.

          1. I wish I had the time and money for machinist school. I’m not 100% sure that I’d like it, but it would be nice to have a useful skill.

            I *really* wish I had taken some time to become a machinist before starting college, and using money from working as a machinist to pay for college. I wouldn’t have nearly the amount of debt I have now, had I gone that route.

            I have come to the conclusion that any education is incomplete if you haven’t learned a skill that uses your hands, and that even classical liberal arts degrees — assuming that one of the goals of having “general” requirements is to ensure that everyone is well-rounded — have always been flawed, in that they ignore this particular aspect of human education.

      4. Power plant operators are running into the same bottleneck. All of major infrastructure, really. If any of you know a bright youngster looking for a solid, dependable career, there’s worse places to direct them.

      5. Or, not. They may be too ‘effing stupid to foresee the easily foreseen consequences of their actions. Look at Detroit, and imagine that spread across the entire country, and with no functional hinterlands from whence to pull actual functional humans to run things.

        These are people who after serious, deep thought, think that Idiocracy is a good model of how reality works.

        Not a good short-hand for current bad practices (which annoys me enough to be annoying here to folks doing it but is understandable), but what we’re really facing– because OBVIOUSLY only stupid people would have kids if it meant any sort of lifestyle change, and only total morons would have more than one or two.

        The Natural Servants will always be plentiful, they’re dumb so they have kids.

      6. *sigh* I swear I’m figuring out more Huns are rural-near (‘less than two hours away’) now that we’re moving than I ever figured…. Still probably wouldn’t have managed to meet up, but…!

      7. Other problems contributed to Detroit. This is not a history, but just some of what happened…

        They had been just about the only game in town. The rest of the world had been rebuilding after WWII or had yet to develop. They were building reliable cars for the overall richest market in the world. The producers developed a certain arrogance, an attitude that ‘we know how to build the cars people want.’ (Well, maybe not so much the Edsel.) And for a good while it worked very well for them. Then the reality poked them in the eye.

        There was OPEC’s oil embargo. The biggest growing market, the baby boomers, were not wed to Detroit’s product. The Japanese manufacturers entered the market at this time introducing reliable and affordable alternatives. The EPA started its ever expanding regulation of manufacture, and the government introduced CAFE standards. After the boomers came the baby bust and the now competitive market was shrinking. Detroit discovered that the retirement benefits in the contracts they had negotiated over the years thinking that ever expanding sales would cover them could not be met.

        1. [T]he government introduced CAFE standards

          Those CAFE standards are a cute trick and doubtless make production estimates hell for automakers. Essentially a tax on “gas guzzlers” and a subsidy for “economy” cars they not only impose serious uncertainty on manufacturers attempting to find the right mix of vehicles, they represent a wealth transfer from buyers of one type car (Americans, the type with big families and or who live in the boonies) to the folk buying more fuel efficient ones (i.e., knocker-knotting liberals, typically those living in urban centers where streets are narrow and parking is dear.)

          Every time you want to cuss because you’re stuck behind a minivan or SUV, blame CAFE standards that priced the station wagon out of the market without addressing the circumstances which made them desirable.

          And all done by legislative regulatory fiat allowing the inflictors to avoid blame for the pain.

          1. And all done by legislative regulatory fiat allowing the inflictors to avoid blame for the pain.

            Stupid HTML

          2. Yeah, truck mileage requirements are a lot lower than car requirements, hence truck-body SUVs. At least now, there are some cars with larger interiors that are doing pretty well on the mileage front. (We just got a Ford Flex, which doesn’t have as premium a mileage as the new Ford Explorer style, but which has nearly the identical interior and seats six adults.)

          3. ‘average car MPG’ calculations in CAFE standards is what killed station wagons and contributed to the rise of minivans and SUVs (minivans are in CAFe as a van, and most SUVs are ‘trucks’)

      8. They’re about to be caught between a rock and a hard place because the only way to have babies will cause them to be denounced as objectifying and disempowering women. (recently read a discussion of a book in which women do not appear in the armed forces after wars causing serious population problems, and one person denounced it for that.)

  4. SWITZERLAND … Surely if they are so keen to adopt European policy, we should enforce gun ownership as much as they want to enforce healthcare.

    Dear me no, they want the gun policies not of Switzerland, but of the other European nations. On the other hand you might be able to sell them on the neutrality policy of Switzerland.

    1. On the other hand you might be able to sell them on the neutrality policy of Switzerland.

      Which depends utterly on the gun thing mentioned earlier. The weapon in question is the standard Swiss Army rifle and every man between 18 and 50 is required to be a member of the militia to supplement a small active duty professional military.

      1. In fact US law states clearly that all able bodied citizens excepting elected officials and serving military are members of our own unorganized militia. It has long been my belief that the militia clause of the Second Amendment was included not to restrict any right to keep and bear arms, but rather to justify the government’s right to require citizens to possess and maintain weapons sufficient to serve if and when called up for their militia duty.

        1. if you look at the history of the time, this was not just single shot muzzle loading rifles and muskets, like the wankers claim, but any and all military arms. One of the Artillery officers was a General because he OWNED the canon under his command.

          1. if you look at the history of the time, this was not just single shot muzzle loading rifles and muskets, like the wankers claim, but any and all military arms.

            “Arms” meant “stuff a soldier would carry.”

            So if it’s OK for military use, it SHOULD be OK for civilian.

            You renfair guys? This means swords, too…..

            1. yeah i posted a pic of the 1597 revolver to FB with a remark about how the second amendment only covering arms available at the time didn’t mean single shot muskets and several progressive acquaintances sputtered in the comments

              1. If the Second only refers to arms of that period when the Constitution was written then the First’s remarks about free speech should only apply to the spoken word and hand operated printing presses, as electronic communications did not exist at that time.
                But the rabid anti gunners are so desperate for any hook to hang their arguments on that they will twist words to fit with all the skill of an ambulance chasing shyster.

                1. As there is no evidence that they are arguing in good faith, there is no cause to engage their arguments as if they were honestly made. Their desire for a Constitution that “Lives!” in every clause save the Second renders them incapable of honest engagement. The Devil may quote Scripture, but it is to the Devil’s ends.

                  1. Are we not talking about the same group that has fully embraced situational ethics. Do they understand what good faith is?

                  2. If someone isn’t arguing in good faith, then the only argument left is “Ultima ratio regum”.

                    “Very rarely will he squarely push the logic of a fact
                    To its ultimate conclusion in unmitigated act.

                    Fear, or foolishness, impels him, ere he lay the wicked low,
                    To concede some form of trial even to his fiercest foe.”

              1. All I know is that you can’t hug a child with nuclear arms … but you can crush any nation wanting to hurt your child, which is sometimes more important.

                1. BTW — I want a bumper sticker saying WAR IS NOT THE ANSWER: To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women is the answer.

              2. Privateer, heck. Merchantmen routinely carried cannon for defense well into the nineteenth century, at least. And Bannerman’s catalog listed one-inch Gatlings in the Twenties–perfect for the “adventurous yachtsman.”

            2. Still (barely) standard kit for noncoms around the revolutionary war period was the spontoon, or half pike. Lewis and Clark included some in the kit of the Corps of Discovery, and were glad to have them in bear country.

            3. Hey, it’s perfectly legal to walk down the street in my State, wearing a sword. You only have to get a permit if you’re going to go all Highlander and conceal it.

      2. And you are expecting these people to understand this? If they understood such they wouldn’t be supporting the positions and making the kinds of arguments that they do.

        The guns are only one part of Switzerland’s ability to successfully remain neutral, and they are likely no longer a major factor. Once their placement in mountains helped a great deal. But it is their banking that has done and will likely continue to do so.

        1. I think their placement in the mountains, and the lack of covetous land is probably still their most successful part of remaining nuetral. But they still wouldn’t be able to uphold their neutrality without the armed populace. The combination of KNOWING that every man is armed and a potentially lethal adversary, combined with the lack of desirable real estate presents a hard enough nut, with little enough meat in it, that when you add in how other countries would react to an invasion of Switzerland, is the reason they are able to maintain their neutrality. Remove any of these factors and they may continue to function as a nation, but they wouldn’t be able to continue to remain neutral and stand back from all the political shenanigans of the other European countries.

          1. LOL… It amazes me that so few know their history. Especially on this count…

            Switzerland is successfully neutral because Switzerland served as the source for what were arguably the most successful mercenaries over two centuries of European history. In the years after they declared neutrality, everyone left them the hell alone because the imputation was that if their neutrality were to be violated… They were coming back on the market as mercenaries. Few wanted that to happen, because the Swiss were some rather unpleasant people to face across the battlefield, and the prospect of them deciding to play for the other side…? Not. ‘Effing. Attractive.

            After a few generations, everyone forgot the relief they felt when the Swiss took themselves off the market, and leaving them alone became a bit of a tradition that everybody honored, and just assumed. Aside from the nearly entirely vestigial Swiss Guard in Vatican City, the Swiss stay away from external military service. And, everyone is very, very happy with that state of affairs.

            Historically speaking, the Swiss have not been very nice people. They’ve been most excellent soldiers, serving the French and about anyone else who was willing to pay them, but they were emphatically not nice people. Disbelieve? Take a look at the actual history of Swiss mercenary service, which is replete with certain reluctance to take prisoners…

            That, I’m afraid, is the reason they were able to make neutrality stick–Taking them on would likely literally break the bank for anyone making the attempt. It sure as hell wasn’t their neighbor’s desire for banking services and fine chocolates…

            1. Yes, the Swiss mercenaries is made their neutrality stick at first, who really wants to attack a country comprised of professional, Veteran, soldiers when you Know the cost of conquering them is going to outway the value of owning Switzerland? That is as you say, history. The reason that they made laws requiring all men to be armed is to basically “keep the scare up”, and continue to make the cost outweigh the benefits.

              1. And, then there is the fact that the Swiss aren’t just “keeping the scare up”, either. I’ve had reason to deal with some military-age Swiss expats, and the wistful quality with which those gentlemen have discussed the prospects for them going to actual war…? Ever been around a bunch of volunteer firemen that haven’t had a good fire to fight, for years? Ever notice how much they kinda-sorta resemble arsonists, in their mentality?

                I think the essential Swiss love for shedding the blood of others is still there, still strong, and something I really don’t like the idea of enabling. At all.

                1. Thanks for the mini history lesson 🙂 Given the way things are going in Europe, the Swiss may get to fight some fires after all — without leaving their mountains.

                2. If some really stupid jihadis attack Geneva. What do you think the Swiss will do? Slice ‘n dice? Or something worse? Given that CERN is in Switzerland, they’re probably good scientists too.

                  1. The critical question in any military maneuver is “What do you get for what you pay?”

                    For Switzerland, you pay a lot and get very little. Sure, they could be overrun by a determined adversary, but then what? The banks will have had all records wiped, the geopolitical position is not much enhanced over having them remain ostensibly neutral, and the indigenous population will be decidedly hostile.

                    Expensive to buy, dear to hold, and of only ornamental value do not make a nation a reasonable target.

                    1. One final point; there are a great many economically important tunnels through those mountains, and I strongly suspect that th Swiss have every one of them set to blow up at a moment’s notice.

                3. Mountain peoples tend to be less-than-pacifistic, no matter which continent they happen to live on. I suspect the limited resources plays a role.

                  One other thing – the Swiss are, last I heard, darn near energy self-sufficient because of their hydro-power. So the French can’t cut off the lights like they did to Italy (by accident, but still) fifteen years ago or so. And I have been told that the tunnels can be “blocked.” I didn’t ask for more details.

            2. It sure as hell wasn’t their neighbor’s desire for banking services and fine chocolates

              No. it was for need of cuckoo clocks.

            3. Just in the last few days I read that at some point during WWII a German division was sent to probe Swiss defenses- and disappeared. The Swiss never mentioned anything about it, and neither did the Germans. But that was the end of any German plans for a Swiss takeover. Don’t know how true the story was/is. But it sounds good.

              I have known people, non-Swiss, who swear they’ve watched aircraft come out of a hole in the middle of a mountain. A hole that immediately disappeared from sight. The Swiss have had centuries now to burrow and tunnel. There’s probably no central map that can be stolen to find all the hidey holes; it’s probably all local knowledge. Best to leave them alone.

              1. Notice that the F/A 18 airplanes are flown only by cadre – no reservists need apply.

                As for the Air Force consider:

                Swiss jets not scrambled over hijacked plane because ‘airbases closed at night’
                Published time: 18 Feb, 2014 11:51
                Edited time: 18 Feb, 2014 12:12
                Get short URL
                Swiss jets not scrambled over hijacked plane because ‘airbases closed at night’
                A Swiss F/A-18 fighter jet.(Reuters / Ruben Sprich) / Reuters

                An incident with a highjacked Ethiopian passenger jet has exposed the Swiss Air Force’s inability to deal with threats in ‘off-duty’ hours. An emergency escort to the aircraft in distress was carried out by vigilant colleagues from Italy and France.
                Military, Scandal, Accident, Europe, Terrorism, Security, Air Force
                Early on Monday morning, an Ethiopian Airlines co-pilot told ground control he had highjacked flight ET-702 from Addis Ababa to Rome and was going to land in Geneva. The Swiss Air Force was caught off guard and missed a rare opportunity to go on a real mission. It turned out that they were unable to scramble any jets because they only work during office hours!

                “Switzerland cannot intervene because its airbases are closed at night and on the weekend,” Swiss Air Force spokesman, Laurent Savary, commented to AFP later on, adding that it is “a question of budget and staffing.”

                According to Laurent Savary, the Swiss Air Force operates during office hours only, specifically from 8am until a lunch break at noon. A return to cockpits happens at 1:30 pm and they watch over Switzerland’s skies until 5pm.

                When the Boeing 767-300 with 202 passengers, highjacked by 31-year-old co-pilot Hailemedehin Abera Tagegn got to Europe, it was still too early for the Swiss pilots to gear up for the urgent mission.

                So the job was done by Italian and French military pilots. Italian Air Force Colonel, Girolamo Ladiciccio, said, the order to intercept the Boeing from the Ethiopian capital came from NATO command. Two Italian, and later a couple of French fighters ensured the Ethiopian aircraft did not stray from its route and harm national security.

                And the fears were justified, as more details about the hijacking drama continued to emerge.

                In an audio recording published on Italian media websites, a voice said to be the captain could be heard threatening to “crash the plane.”

                “We thought the co-pilot had gone mad,” said Francesco Cuomo, a 25-year-old development economist who was among the ET-702 passengers, as reported by Switzerland’s, The Local.

                The story proved that Swiss business wakes up earlier than its national military. Geneva airport opens for business flights at 06:00 am, whereas the Air Force remains inoperable until 08:00 am.

                The Ethiopian aircraft had to circle the region for some time until the green light to land in Geneva was given around 5:30 am (04:30 GMT).

                When the plane safely landed in Geneva at 6:02 am (05:02 GMT), Swiss military technicians had not even started to warm up the engines of the country’s F-18s and F-5 Tigers fighter jets.

                Passengers climb down an airplane ladder with their hands on their heads as police officers stand around hijacked Ethiopian Airlines flight ET 702 at Cointrin airport in Geneva February 17, 2014.(Reuters / Denis Balibouse)

                With plans to re-arm the Air Force with Swedish Gripen fighters, Switzerland has postponed a decision on round-the-clock operations till 2020, a Swiss Air force spokesman said.

                Swiss airspace remains under constant electronic surveillance, Laurent Savary stressed, but so far the Alpine nation has had to rely heavily on its neighbors, primarily France, which is allowed to escort suspicious planes into Swiss airspace.

                “There is no question of shooting it down. It’s a question of national sovereignty,” he explained.

                The majority of comments for the AFP article published at Yahoo! news service about the unpreparedness of the Swiss Air force were pejorative.

                Co-pilot Hailemedehin Abera Tagegn was arrested by Geneva police after he got out of the plane’s cockpit using a rope. He asked for asylum. It is believed that the co-pilot will be charged with hostage seizure, a crime punishable with up to 20 years in prison in Switzerland. In Ethiopia hijacking is punishable with 25 years in prison.

                The scandal about the inoperable Air Force might affect the purchase of Sweden’s Gripen fighter jets by Switzerland. This is yet to be decided by an upcoming public vote. So far, according to a poll published on Monday, up to 53 percent of Swiss citizens would vote against the deal.

              2. Hackett’s Third World War book described the Swedes as having similar dug in hangers.

            4. Aside from the nearly entirely vestigial Swiss Guard in Vatican City

              From the rest of his spiel, Kirk already understands this, but: vestigial as in “not a threat to your nation” rather than “haha, totally useless.”

              I’m still rather annoyed and scared that the holy father fired the Swiss Guard in charge of his security, because those guys are good at their jobs. I do not WANT Francis to be a martyr, you hear?

              1. I do not WANT Francis to be a martyr, you hear?

                Nor do I, but what if he were? What might be the effect of some al Qaeda or ISIS linked jihadist refugee/agent/group achieving a successful attack on the Vatican?

                What might the political profile of his replacement be? Where are the effects on Catholics likely to be most felt? Probably not so much in Britain, France or Germany, nor the Scandinavian states. Italy, surely, but where else?

                What a novel suggestion. Not for me of course; the things I write are only light extemporania, I won’t put politics on paper; it’s a mania.

                1. I get where you’re going, but… he’s wrong on a lot of stuff, but I think he’s a nice guy.

                  I don’t want him to die, especially not horribly.

                  I can’t get past that for a story.

  5. I just finished Frank Dikötter’s book about the Great Leap Forward. He makes the point, and comes out and flat says it, that when everything belongs to the state, and the State controls food, water, jobs, housing, medicine, humans are strictly assets or liabilities, to be encouraged or minimized as the State needs. 45,000,000 dead liabilities later… (And he suspects that that number is low, the death toll was probably closer to 50,000,000+)

    I’m not up to his book on the Cultural Revolution just now.

    1. It is in reading the history of the last century that I became absolutely convinced that strong centralized government is NOT the answer to the woes of mankind. It is one of the major woes.

      1. Yes and No. Anarchy is not exactly attractive either. The founders had it right local and regonal governments for internal maters and regional and national government for external matters.

        1. “Subsidiarity” is the word you want. It means dealing with any problems at the lowest level that you are capable of dealing with them.

        2. Yes, dear me. But anarchy never really exists. Somalia, may be close, but it is not exactly anarchy, for there are warlords.

            1. Like the statistical norm, it may appear but only briefly, soon to be replaced by something stronger in one direction or the other. “Strong Man” governments are, have been, and likely always will be the most common form of government* in human endeavor.

              *:Neither the greatest, not since ye olden times, nor the largest and richest. Just the most common. Like barbarism, it seems to be humanity’s default. It takes effort to overcome and vigilance to maintain a level above such.

          1. Somalia is a perfect example of anarchy. Anarchy is ALWAYS a short-lived phenomenon, because it devolves into strong-man rule almost instantly.

          2. “Anarchy” can only exist if you have a stable supply of straight, young ‘alpha’ males who are too angry to think. Otherwise you have couples, families, etc forming up.. and boom, not anarchy. (even then, a single SAmwise, a guy who understands working together on an elemental level, destroys the whole thing)

            1. Chaos works, too. For peoples who don’t have a trained response to (situation) or general chaos, or who have no instinct for leadership and/or no time to implement such. When the chaos is dispersed in nature enough (i.e. natural disaster). When you don’t have people with established relationships in the group…

              Too many variables for it to reliably exist for more than an instant, as y’all say. *grin*

          3. I think we make an error to believe that government structure is an indication of any tyranny vs anarchy scales. I would propose that it makes more sense to look at a culture that’s “lawful” vs one that’s “lawless”.

            I lawful culture won’t necessarily have a lot of government, but they have social norms they live up to, and what little (or a lot) of government there is, is generally respected. In such societies, even governments respect bounds of law.

            A lawless country can have a lot of government, but the government is ignored. (Classic example: the roads of Cairo, Egypt being used as an example of what we’d get if we had no traffic laws — when Cairo has traffic laws very similar to ours, but they are just ignored.) Such societies may have what we’d recognize as “government”, but is really just a bunch of powerful and rich people doing whatever they want, regardless of law. No amount of law can assure order, if no one respects the law.

            This leads to an interesting, counter-intuitive conclusion: only a lawful people can live peacefully under anarchy. And now that I think of it, I think I could make another conclusion: the societies with the strongest governments are often the most lawless. Maybe all those “anarcho-socialists” aren’t as ridiculous as I’ve always supposed*….

            *Oh, who am I kidding? They *are* ridiculous, because they neither understand the implications of anarchy nor of socialism.

            1. “This leads to an interesting, counter-intuitive conclusion: only a lawful people can live peacefully under anarchy. ”

              “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people”. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

              – John Adams

  6. Using the “government should dictate more” line of thought [sic], it’s occasionally amusing to point out to those who want to restrict the rights of others could very well wind up restricted themselves, in the name of “fairness” or of protecting people from their own ignorance/stupidity.

    No cars with more than 100 HP instead of their new “hot hatchback” (bought with parental funds, often), low-end smartphone (or even a plain old “dumb” cell phone) instead of the latest iCult device, not allowed to travel more than 50 miles from home in any direction unless it’s for a government-approved business purpose (Fighting Climage Change[tm], donchaknow), and only a bare-bones Pentium 2 system because some people can’t afford the “new computer with the clocks that rocks, but it was obsolete before I opened the box” on which they plunked down several kilobucks are just a few of the regular stand-bys I’ve used elsewhere.

    Which they promptly dismiss as “that can’t happen here”, in spite of examples like federal income taxes supposedly never going up more than a few percent, but at least I try. 😛

    1. Revision of my last paragraph, because WordPress delenda est. 😛

      “[…] in spite of examples like claims, when it was put into law, that federal income taxes would never be more than a few percent of income […]”

        1. Megan McArdle on Bloomberg has an article talking about how Republicans make the mistake of believing in the Laffer Curve — the belief that, if you lower taxes, tax revenue will increase, because in the process of having more money to spend and save, jobs (and hence tax revenue) is increased.

          She goes on about how elasticity keeps these effects from happening.

          She’s generally wrong, though: the Laffer Curve effect *has* increased revenue for governments, and has done so over and over again. The irony is that she says that Republicans always cut taxes, with an asterisk that says “we’ll cut spending later”…and then blames the Republican mistake on the Laffer Curve, and *not* on the fact that the promise given by that asterisk is never realized!

          This article annoys me greatly, because (1) the *only* way to eliminate deficits is to cut spending; raising revenue won’t help if you do nothing about your spending, and (2) taxes are too high, and the Laffer Curve has nothing to do with it: I would *really* like to see tax cuts that *lower* the revenue of the government. If we’re getting Laffer Curve effects then that’s a sign that taxes are too high!

          (This isn’t to say that Republicans never make mistakes. The mistake that McArdle is missing, though, is that pesky asterisk: Republicans should *only* cut taxes when spending cuts are included *in the same bleeping bill*.)

          1. yep and we have the highest corporate tax rate in the first world and people wonder why our big businesses are incorporated elsewhere.

    2. The motto of the Left ought to be, “When I said there should be a law, I didn’t mean for ME.” It’s the cry of the 27-year-old student who suddenly realizes that her health insurance premium is going up, and she no longer has the option of not paying it. It’s the cry of the “independent book store owner” who suddenly realizes that at 12 (never mind 15) bucks an hour, she can no longer afford to employ her clerk. The more powerful Leftist interests usually make sure the law ISN’T for them (the unions carved out a nice little exemption in California’s minimum wage law as I recall), but the others get screwed over and over again and yet keep voting for the Leftist policies.

      1. That is part of why I like the idea (though I know the practice would be thwarted/abused) that new laws apply to Congress, etc. first for a probationary period before they apply to the general populace. Have them demonstrate how good an idea it before it affects anyone else.

      2. Like that Austin TX woman who was crying about her property taxes 3 years ago….
        “I’m at the breaking point,” said Gretchen Gardner, an Austin artist who bought a 1930s bungalow in the Bouldin neighborhood just south of downtown in 1991 and has watched her property tax bill soar to $8,500 this year.

        “It’s not because I don’t like paying taxes,” said Gardner, who attended both meetings. “I have voted for every park, every library, all the school improvements, for light rail, for anything that will make this city better. But now I can’t afford to live here anymore. I’ll protest my appraisal notice, but that’s not enough. Someone needs to step in and address the big picture.”

        Morons like her are the major part of all blue enclaves, whining about the consequences of their votes and yet continuing to vote for the same old people and issues that caused the problem in the first place. Cook County (Chicago) is another prime example of this. Some of my wife’s childhood friends are prime examples.

        1. Yup. It boils down to, “I didn’t know I’d be the one required to pay for all these things I voted for!”

          1. I wanted to answer: Don’t worry, you generally aren’t. You are paying for the stuff that was voted in before that. It is for the next generations to pay for what you vote in.

            BUT with the most resent information the answer now is: You aren’t. It appears it is all the government can do at the moment to meet our obligations on the financing on the outstanding debt.

      3. Because they break the system and then In order to please their voters, they pay off the voters that vote for them. It is like all the “ACA saved me” shit. Of course people benefitted. When you shove tens of thousands at people to get subsidized insurance some win. The losers in that case are those that see their costs skyrocket, see the quality fall etc. But that is not as tangible as getting your treatments free.

        1. . It is like all the “ACA saved me” shit.

          My mom is suffering from… we don’t know.

          Nobody does. It presented as diabetic neuropathy.

          Didn’t go to a doctor to check until it became unbearable…

          She’s still not diabetic. Or pre-diabetic. Or anything else they can figure out.

          A used car in uncovered costs later, all they can tell her is “we don’t know.”

          The insurance she had when I was a teen would’ve covered a lot of that…but between being a breast cancer survivor and ACA, that’s gone.

          The only reason we’re not so far in debt that we can’t see sky is that my husband got a DoD job (several, actually….) and it has health care. Same policy as 10 years ago, I think.

          1. Foxfier, have her get a spinal MRI / CAT scan and a neural conductivity test. One reason I had to have my cervical spine surgery year before last is that the lateral channels that carry the nerves out from the spine to arms / hands had narrowed so my hands were going numb / losing the ability to grip. Spondylosis is the technical term.

            They had to go in and basically router them out, then line them with something to prevent regrowth of the removed bone.

      4. Yup, the unions campaigned *for* and actively publicly supported the new minimum wage law, then got themselves exempted. likely hoping that more places will go union, especially with Ralph’s and Albert sons (both stores with union employees) closing locations left and right.

      5. the unions carved out a nice little exemption in California’s minimum wage law as I recall

        About the only thing I can admire in WAshignton’s version is that there IS NOT a union cut-out.

    3. Not only can’t you travel more than fifty miles from home in order to combat climate change, but women must travel everywhere with a male relative in order to protect them from the ravening horder of #yesallmen rapists. Except you can’t ask which member of a traveling party is male; you have to intuit it and God protect you if you’re wrong.

  7. “They just didn’t understand what they were asking for.”

    Are you sure?

    Once there was The People—terror gave it birth.
    Once there was The People and it made a hell of earth.
    Earth arose and crushed it. Listen, O ye slain—
    Once there was The People. It shall never be again!
    (Rudyard Kipling, “MacDonough’s Song”)

    Aristotle tells us that there is rule by the one, the few, or the many. Rule by the one is an evil, tyranny, when it is done for the advantage of the one. Rule by the few is an evil, oligarchy, when it is done for the advantage of the few. And rule by the many is an evil, democracy, when it is done for the advantage of the many—that is, of the majority. Madison had read his Aristotle; that’s why the Federalist warns that the greatest threat to good government is “a faction which is a majority,” and why the Constitution endeavored (unsuccessfully) to prevent such a thing. The People are just as capable of evil and folly as any one man is.

    1. Madison had read his Aristotle

      More significantly, the people of the new Republic had read Aristotle.

      1. …and I still have not.

        I got at least the good part of the ideas, but…not even touched on in school.


        (And no, that’s not a contradiction– my eldest is SEVEN, I can manage to read a year ahead of her and not screw it up worse than public schools. #lowbar)

        1. I minored in philosophy without ever having to read a work of Aristotle in class.

          Library was good, thought.

  8. The thought of “if the government doesn’t specifically arrange for this, it will never be done” is a particularly poisonous one that I’ve seen crop up all over my social media feeds for the past few weeks.

    1. It is an (admittedly bitter) source of amusement to me that such advocates will generally invest far more energy inveighing governmental involvement than they would have spent directly addressing the ill which so compels them.

      Of course, inveighing the government generally pays better.

      1. It’s “easier” for them if the government does it.

        If they have to do it themselves, that means spending their time & money to do it.

        IE Charity on the cheap. 😦

        1. Yep. “You’re heartless because you don’t want to take money from other people to do charity.” Charity is the gift of your own money. Theft is the gift of someone else’s.

          1. …and now I want the UN re-done as mice issuing a resolution to bell the cat.

            THen getting pissy when USMouse does that.

            1. I liked the proposal when there was still discussion as to rebuilding at the WTC site that the ideal would to be re-build the towers (with a couple design changes, yes) and put the UN on the upper floors. They get the new facilities they’ve been ‘suggesting’ but they’re such that might force them to *think* about a certain problem in genuinely practical terms. A missed opportunity, it seems.

    2. Listening to the hysteria about Trump’s budget proposal is maddening

      Local TV station was whining about how the city’s Meals on Wheels program would be gutted, and all I could think of was, “what about local donors?” Somehow, that question was never asked.

      1. Of course if I was prone to hysterics, I would be having hysterics about how much money is being blown in Trump’s budget proposal.

      2. Annoyed my dad by yelling, at hte TV, THAT IS A LIE– they claimed it “gutted” meals on wheels, when it’s actually just a block grant that SOME AREAS use to SUPPLEMENT meals on wheels.

    3. “From Earth to the Moon” by Verne… how much gov’t involvement was needed for that trip?

      Oh, alright, it’s fiction. But it’s good fiction overall.

  9. Shortly before World War I, the German Kaiser was the guest of the Swiss government to observe military maneuvers. The Kaiser asked a Swiss militiaman: “You are 500,000 and you shoot well, but if we attack with 1,000,000 men what will you do?” The soldier replied: “Shoot twice and go home.”

  10. Ami Horowitz has made a video of interest for those Americans who love Socialism:

    “Filmmaker Ami Horowitz spoke with Americans who call socialism ‘great.’ Then, he traveled to Venezuela to speak with men and women actually living in the horrific environment that socialist policies have created.”


      1. All of those currently decrying “white people feminism” are convinced we will have “white people socialism” that bears no resemblance to how socialism works in Asia or Latin America…

          1. Yep. And, what everyone really fails to notice or comprehend, the Nazis only started out on their world conquest scheme once the “other people’s money” ran out…

            Soooo… Socialism, as practiced by the white man, almost inevitably winds up leading to other things. Generally, bad ones–The incompetents of the world try to implement Socialism, and all they get is internal problems, because they lack the residual talent to turn to conquest. Dem damn white folk, though… Nuthin’ but trouble, they is.

  11. I have long said that when (if) the extreme Left manages to win the war for (on?) healthcare rights, the next logical step will be “Food Rights”. After all, if healthcare can be made to be a “Right” because someone MIGHT get sick enough that they MIGHT die without healthcare, then food should definitely be a right since without food, a person would definitely starve to death.

    Add to this that a good piece of Hillary’s 2016 defeat came from rural areas (as opposed to urban areas that largely went for Hillary), and since rural areas are generally where food comes from, there is an impetus for the Left to do something to bring those pesky farmers under control!

    This, of course, would be very bad. There are things that Government does well… and Farming ain’t it. Politicizing food will mean less food for everyone, and likely lead to food riots. Of course, the Left will blame the Republicans (because) and just push for MORE control “for the greater good”, which will feed back and yea… People’s revolution my ass.

    1. My mom’s side of the family has farmed in central Illinois on the same land for over 150 years. If the government comes to try and seize that property, they will have an ACTUAL civil war on their hands. My relatives are already pissed off enough about how inheritances are taxed in regards to keeping that land and rights in the family.

      1. Where at? I live in the Minooka area just to the SW of Joliet. A few farmers left here still after the development boom at the turn of the 21st century….

        1. Right along the line between Middletown and New Holland, basically. Most of the population crashed when the coal mining in the area petered out, as opposed to farming revolutions.

          1. Yep, My father was a coal miner. My understanding is that most of the problem with Illinois coal was the sulphur content which was expensive to deal with on the user-end rather than the coal running out. I’ve heard that the mine my father worked in is now used as a mushroom farm, but I’ve never verified that.

            1. That’s the case for most of the coal that comes out of the Midwest, from what I hear – same deal for Wyoming mines as well. The difference is that it’s MUCH cheaper to pull out of the ground since it involves shallower strip mining instead of deep shafts or mountaintop removal, as is the current issue with mines still in Appalachian coal country.

      2. I grew up in central Illinois. I have known of plenty of families that had just that same issue with inheritance taxes.

        I am of the opinion that the Left loves their inheritance taxes specifically BECAUSE of how much damage they do to family farms (and other medium and small businesses for that matter). Inheritance taxes are just the first wave of attacks in their war to control food production. The REAL scary thing is when you realize that if they ever did get that control, can you imagine what they could use it for? Think targeting of conservatives (and/or those who don’t sufficiently agree with their Leftist agenda) ah-la the IRS scandal.

        Trump made funny grunting noises at one time that vaguely sounded like he wanted to ax inheritance taxes… Maybe he will. Till then, I’ll be over here NOT holding my breath.

        1. Inheritance taxes are just the first wave of attacks in their war to control food production.

          I think its larger than that; by destroying a family’s ability to pass wealth to future generations, you destroy that aspirational spirit. Why work 6 or 7 days a week on building a business when it will disappear with your death? Why strive to better yourself when you won’t have anything to show for your efforts? Why try?

          1. There are multiple ways to generationally transfer the benefits of wealth. There is the Kennedy/Clinton technique, put the wealth in a trust, placing ownership of assets in a vessel allowing individual beneficiaries to enjoy the use of houses, apartments, vehicles without the inconveniences of ownership. Trusts can provide for the education, living and travel expenses of beneficiaries, paying stipends for those purposes. Beneficiaries can use these allowances to enjoy enriched educational experiences, including the various networking opportunities that allow access employment not otherwise so readily available (e.g., $600,000 television news positions requiring no training nor talent.)

            Besides, nobody’s family wants to work in Granpa’s business when they can cash out and enjoy the benefits of his and Granma’s years of work and sacrifice. So why not enjoy a better standard of living rather than deferring gratification in order to pay Uncle Sugar so much taxes that the business is starved for lack of capital?

            Realistically, there are ways to structure a family business to avoid inheritance taxes but those divert money from the businesses to lawyers and accountants.

        2. …sounded like he wanted to ax inheritance taxes…

          He may propose, but it will be up to the Congress to dispose.

          What are the odds of that happening?

          1. They did it once. Within living memory, even.

            No reason they couldn’t do it again.

        3. I hate most of the “flat tax” (AKA, universal sales tax… AKA, the gov’t gets to take a cut out of EVERY THING YOU DO) ideas, but I really like it as a route to bypassing “inheritance taxes.”

          You shouldn’t penalize someone for dying.

          And land in the hands of a person who loves it (in the family sense, not the ‘oh I love pizza’ sense of the ‘lock all land away from anybody, i just loooooove it’ folks) is worth far more than in the hands of someone who admires it.

          1. I’ve always felt that the gummint should only get one bite at the apple, tax-wise–You get taxed on what you earn to pay for that crap, that should be it. Inheritance taxes are an abomination, because that means they’re coming for it again and again and again, just like a criminal farming the decent folk.

            To a degree, the mentality required to be a politician ought to be rooted out of the population by the simple expedient of summary execution. “Oh, you want to run things? You’ve never actually done anything significant in your life…? Oh, we’ve got a great job for you, over here in this little booth…”.

            Soylent Green would be too good for them. Professional politicians, in whatever walk of life, ought simply be identified and killed, with their immediate relations automatically and summarily sterilized–For the good of the race.

            1. Things do need to be run– problem is that a good manager has to be allowed to learn enough to recognize that HANDS OFF is often the most important thing you can do.

              One of the things that pisses me off about the Varian storyline in World of Warcraft is that it was so obviously written by someone whose idea of authority was…well, childish. Power without responsibility.

              Someone that treated allies the way that he’s shown to do would be turned into a sheep, hit with moonfire then run over by a dwavish tank filled with gnomish bombs, and that’s before the whole “picking dumb fights” thing…..

            2. I’ve seen leftists get snooty about how the heirs didn’t earn the money. And, if they bother to respond to the observation that neither did they, show they don’t care that they didn’t earn it.

          2. I think you’re confusing a flat rate for income tax with the so-called “fair tax” that’s going to be a universal sales tax. I *strongly* distrust the universal sales tax. I consider income tax to be a deeply troubling invasion of privacy…but the sales tax is probably even more so.

            But I *really* think there should be a flat income tax: every person pays the same percent regardless of income, and no deductions. It would make tax planning a lot simpler. Of course, it will also put a lot of tax prepare personnel out of business…but them’s the breaks.

            The only other option I can think of is some sort of property tax — but I’m deeply opposed to that because it’s a perpetual rent on your property, paid to the government.

            Of all the ways for government to steal money from the people, I think a simple income tax is probably the least onerous…

            1. A flat income tax would be an improvement, yes.

              The “flat tax” I’ve heard folks propose is a flat tax on every economic exchange– usually 1 or 3%, no exemptions, it’s at every point of sale.

              Not sure why, exactly, we need to punish rural folks, discorage trade and destroy small businesses, but they didn’t ask me….

            2. A universal sales tax is a tax on the transfer of property, a one-time tax that occurs when there is money on the table, thus not requiring conversion of property (wealth) to income for purposes of paying taxman.

              All taxes are intrusive invasions of privacy, the trick is to minimize the economic friction created.

              Even a flat income tax is amenable to manipulation; do research regarding recognition of income (or just take an accountant’s word on it.) To take a simple example, does an author generate income when she accepts a contract to write a book (the advance) upon completion and delivery of the book or upon receiving royalties for sales above and beyond the advance? There are financial occurrence at each phase, after all.

              1. I wish there were an easy answer to “income”, but I recall that if a carpenter does some work for a dentist to pay for a child’s braces, the IRS expects both the carpenter and the dentist to report the value of each as income, even though no money exchanges hands.

                The funny thing is, I can’t argue with it: it makes sense. However, it also illustrates how the Free Market can create wealth out of thin air, in that wealth for two people is clearly increased, even though no money exchanges hands.

    2. Can’t let those greedy kulaks get away with anything.

      And I suspect the tax thing is why the rise in ‘corporate farms’. Most folk hear Corporate Farming and think of Con-Agra and the like, but most of your ‘corporate farms’ are things like The Johnson Family Farm Corporation which establish a perpetual entity in which when CEO Dad dies, rather than leaving the farm to son* and subjecting him* to inheritance taxes, VP in Charge of Production son* just moves up the corporate chain.

      * Or daughter/her

      1. I hope modern corporate farms don’t become modern versions of the Roman latifundia. Otoh, Soviet collective farms were bad but also not productive.

        1. Here in Southern Appalachia, that ain’t an issue. As tcbobg mentioned/alluded to, Smith Family Farms is now Smith Family Farms, LLC. It’s still very much in the family, and the farmers around here are astute businessmen.

          When I was growing up we had dozens (hundreds, maybe) of little family farms. The truck for the milk plant ran 24/7, picking up from all the cattle farms. Tobacco was everywhere, but corn was the major food crop. Various veggies, hay, etc, the former for feeding family and trading, the latter for cattle and horses (in trade, if not their own).

          Today there are drastically fewer little farms, but more farming corporations with a bunch of fields that may be spread over three counties or more. There are fewer people involved in farming, but not drastically fewer- the farms as a whole are a heck of a lot more productive. FFA is still big around here.

          John Ringo has a decent bit on how things are vs what they were farming wise in “The Last Centurion.” Worth a read, if any of y’all haven’t already.

          1. The biggest threat to farms is the encroachment of cities/suburbs, assessing farmland as if it were developed land.

            1. Indeed. Second to that is regulations and the EPA (WOTUS and suchlike was a serious scare, not too long past)… Which seem to come with the encroachment of cities, too.

            2. I am aware of something like that happening in a small town in CT, assessing every square foot not in active cultivation at the highest possible commercial rate. A really determined citizen and some pretty drastic PR and legal efforts eventually won out over that capricious action by the town government. Eventually citizens annoyed by having to foot the bill for the town government’s ongoing stupidity flipped the elected government of the town from D to R, though it took two election cycles.

              1. I think it was down in Tacoma, they accessed a horse…um… daycare?…boarding?…short-term stables?… house and farm as if it was divided and sold for suburbs, because someone tried to buy it, and the yearly tax bill they submitted (not counting the demands for the past three years on top of it) was more than what the couple had paid for the little farm when they just married.

                Got over-turned. IN part because KOMO news made it FAMOUS.

            3. I would love to slip in legislation to the effect that if you felt you land was over-assessed you could force the government to either buy the land for the assessed amount or reassess based on actual use.

              1. I would be willing to assess the land only once: when it transfers from one person or entity to another.

                I would go further, and try to figure out how to get rid of property taxes altogether, if possible.

                1. There is a social purpose to property taxes — beyond the notable one of funding parasites — in that it encourages productive use of property. Otherwise wealth could be withheld and communities starved for capital.

                  1. That’s true, but I tend to believe that “productive use” should be defined by “I use the land however I wish, so long as I don’t cause problems with my neighbors”, with the added caveat of “don’t bother the people who were there first”, to avoid ridiculous situations where residential types move near firing ranges, small airports, and factories, and then sue them because of the noise and funny smells.

                    But then, I’m also not a big fan of zoning laws…

          2. New angle of attack:
            You can’t work on the same farm as your parents unless the OWN the farm.

            This basically shuts down the entire training course for farm workers.

            1. Oo that’s nasty. Might be some workarounds (fostering, clubs, etc), but it sounds a lot like how the plains Indians were induced to stop raiding: take the kids out of the pipeline.

                1. Under this policy we’d have lost the service of John Quincy Adams, but it might be worth it.

                  1. We would also have been denied the services of Nancy Pelosi:

                    Thomas Ludwig John D’Alesandro Jr. (August 1, 1903 – August 23, 1987) was an American politician who was a U.S. Representative from Maryland’s 3rd congressional district (1939–47) and subsequently the mayor of Baltimore, Maryland (1947–59).

                    and, I am sure, a large number of other superb public servants. Frankly, there are too many such to keep track, especially as many undergo name changes as daughters marry. Alaska senator Lisa Murkowski is daughter of a former senator

                    Murkowski was appointed to the U.S. Senate by her father, Frank Murkowski, who resigned his seat in December 2002 to become the Governor of Alaska. She completed her father’s unexpired term, which ended in January 2005. She ran for and won a full term in 2004.

                    and, of course, there was Robert “Mr. Conservative” Taft, son of Wm Howard Taft.

                    I suggest instead that we simply impose term limits and a death penalty at the conclusion of a reasonable period of retirement. This would reduce the embarrassment attendant on such as Barack Obama hanging around for the next forty years.

            2. They already won’t let you work on someone else’s farm if you’re a kid here, parents’ farm only.

              1. That’s pernicious for two reasons: if you’re a kid who wants to farm, but don’t have parents who farm, you’re out of luck. If you’re a kid who hates farming, but who have parents who farm, there’s now pressure on you to do what your parents do, even if you hate it — and you can’t just recruit the kid down the street who wants to farm, but can’t, because of the misfortune of being immediately descended from a banker and a teacher.

      2. My granny was part of one of those– they set it up so it dissolved her share at her death, I think, but basically it was her folks’ farm and the sibling that did the actual work “bought” the land-share of the rest with payments.

        It was really clever, although I don’t know the details. I THINK my great aunt is getting her late husband’s paymetns, still….

  12. Never ask for anything, except maybe mercy. Everything else, if you want it, go out and work your butt off to earn it or make it. You want life? Root, hog, or die. You want liberty? You’re the only one who can cut off those chains; and then you’ll have to assume responsibility for yourself. Happiness? You can pursue that to the end of days; but you’re the one who has to decide whether you’ve caught any.

  13. The liberals don’t just do not care, that’s exactly what they want. Every single thing they tout makes me think of the slave plantation, from guns, which the masters didn’t allow slaves to own, to health care, for communities tended to take a dim view of owners who didn’t take some care of their slaves (see the reaction to Madam LaLaurie). Just the idiots think they’ll be the overseers and not hoeing cotton with the rest of us.

      1. Yep, just literacy enough to sign up for more “benefits” and vote for the “correct” folks.

        1. All you need to do for that is to make your mark, you don’t actually need to read what you are signing. Heck the politicians never do, why should you be any better than them?

          1. You need to be able to read the directives of the government.

            It is better to teach people that free reading is not worth it, so give them a diet of grey goo, tell them that is literature, have them deconstruct it and watch them not read.

  14. “…after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
    When all men are paid for existing, and no man must pay for his sins,
    As surely as water will wet us, as surely as fire will burn,
    The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return.”

    1. Another thing popped into my head as I watched that: “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”

      It was said by one Alan Kay, who helped “predict” things like object-oriented programming, laptops, tablets, window systems for computers, and laser printers, among other things….

  15. Just one request, and you are all free to disagree and call me names and stuff, frankly I don’t care…

    Can we please STOP calling Democrats “Liberals” already? Frankly, I consider myself a Classic Liberal, which has much more in common with a Libertarian than a Democrat. Yes, the Democrat party USED to be largely comprised of Classic Liberals. That was at least until they went and drank the Marxist Koolaid and became Progressives… then moved even further left and became outright Leftists. For the most part, the only true Classic Liberals left in the Democrat party are hold outs who still hope beyond hope that one day the party will shift back (well, that an idiots who aren’t paying attention). A lot of Democrats still fool themselves into thinking of themselves as Liberals, because they talk a good game about Human Rights and Free Speech and such (nobody likes to think of themselves as a bad person). However, when they talk about those things now days, the tone is one of Marx rather than Liberalism (just listen and you’ll hear it). When we call them “Liberals” they enjoy it, because they get the feeling of being on the moral high ground. The nomen of Leftist, or better yet, Marxist (which is largely what they’ve become) is much more accurate, and much harder for them to imagine they are on the high ground.

    Sorry, putting away the soap box now….

    1. You just think you’re putting away the soap box. It sneaks up on you before you realize it, and then four paragraphs later, you wonder what-n-th’-H-ll just happened.

      1. You are completely correct, except that I don’t really have to wonder what happened anymore… I am quite aware of my inability to shut up. 🙂

        At least I TRY to put the soap box away…

        1. At least I TRY to put the soap box away…

          There’s the problem right there.

          When you try to “put the soap box away”, the soap box thinks that you like it so keeps coming back.

          Kick it away but not too hard.

          It’s bad enough when it thinks you like it but worse if it thinks you hate it. 😈

            1. Helps if you have some soap to store in it when you aren’t standing on it: then it knows you care.

    2. Just don’t think of them as philosophical liberals– they’re gov’t liberals. It’s liberally applied everywhere.

      When they’re progressive, they want gov’t to progressively assume new powers.

  16. The modern Left recklessly encourages people to “punch Nazis” without any consideration of consequences, namely, that someone might start punching them back.

    1. Back?

      They are already encouraging people to punch them, they shouldn’t be surprised when people do what they tell them to.

      1. They don’t realize that they’re encouraging people to hit back.

        Thus they don’t understand why Trump won and why people are hitting back. 😦

        1. They live in a world without consequences. At least, that’s what they think.

          1. Did you hear about the guy who assaulted Michael Savage in a Marin County restaurant?

            1. Dude’s in his 70s, and rather well known for saying what will stir the pot rather than what he believes, and some blanking blanking assaulted him.

              …this is why I pack a knife. Someone does that to me, you’ll hear about it as “so and so is in the hospital after….”

              I may be DEAD, but they will hurt.

            1. Oooohhhhh! Great Big Sea! Me like that group.

              Sorry to see they’re apparently disbanded.

              1. Not like that will stop whoever did the good stuff from producing, though, in these years of “but I can sell it on Amazon.”

    2. They think that the loss of a few useful idiots a fair price to pay for “proof” the Nazis are violent and that the government must crack down.

      1. Part of the risk that they don’t understand is that, by resorting to violence to shut down speech they don’t like, they risk being identified as the very Nazis or fascists that they claim to despise.

        That, and they also don’t realize that when the cracking down happens, it will very likely be on them…either it be by Government, or by angry mobs of people tired of being hit for speaking their mind…

    3. This.

      There is a big game talked about how because the right does not kneel to their whim and didn’t agree that ‘anything goes’ was proper for society, the right deserves any injuries, deaths, or destruction they can enact on it.

      Right now, they are looking at groups relatively peaceful. Most cases during election were defensive from the right iirc. You remove veneer of society, make a nation of grievance collectors who start a tit for tat response, is that anything you want? The violence genie does not go back into bottle. There are not insignificant numbers of people who have already stood up to worse than these snowflakes. As soon as violence becomes acceptable, it will become unpredictable at best.

      1. And someone from an area where people can’t or have not yet fought back is going to swing into a state where people do hit back, and will discover that, oh, the mayor of Houston can say what she wants, but Jose Smith the guy who works in Pasadena isn’t putting up with black-masked punks who think that beating up professors is the same as beating up a former roughneck.

        1. Yep…and that can go all sorts of ways. None of em good. The end result of the Dallas BLM shooter may become more prevalent.

      2. Some on the Left are realizing that the a-holes on the Right are even bigger a-holes when you subtract religion:

        It Turns Out That a Less-Christian America Might Be a Worse America
        By David French — March 17, 2017
        Months ago Ross Douthat wrote a prescient piece arguing that if the Left disliked the religious right, it will positively loathe the post-religious right. In other words, the absence of religion does not necessarily or even likely lead to the growth of tolerance and moderation.

        Yesterday, Rod Dreher pointed readers to a hearty amen from The Atlantic’s Peter Beinart. Religious engagement is fading on the Right, but that does not mean that the Right is becoming kinder, gentler, or more acceptable to the Left. Here’s Beinart:

        Secularism is indeed correlated with greater tolerance of gay marriage and pot legalization. But it’s also making America’s partisan clashes more brutal. And it has contributed to the rise of both Donald Trump and the so-called alt-right movement, whose members see themselves as proponents of white nationalism. As Americans have left organized religion, they haven’t stopped viewing politics as a struggle between “us” and “them.” Many have come to define us and them in even more primal and irreconcilable ways.

        Yes indeed. In fact, Donald Trump owes much of his success in the primary to the GOP’s less-religious voters:

        During the campaign, commentators had a hard time reconciling Trump’s apparent ignorance of Christianity and his history of pro-choice and pro-gay-rights statements with his support from evangelicals. But as Notre Dame’s Geoffrey Layman noted, “Trump does best among evangelicals with one key trait: They don’t really go to church.” A Pew Research Center poll last March found that Trump trailed Ted Cruz by 15 points among Republicans who attended religious services every week. But he led Cruz by a whopping 27 points among those who did not.

        But Beinart doesn’t just look at the Right. He makes an interesting comparison between the very Christian traditional civil rights movement with the largely post-Christian Black Lives Matter:
        [END EXCERPT]

        1. Civilization is a very thin veneer. Religion and Civilization can provide the one thing holding hundreds of disparate groups together. Break down the necessary national cohesion and you simply get smaller tribes, and less commonality. That’s not a good thing. And even Christ told his followers to purchase the sword…

    4. O horrors! You monster! You want people to hunt down leftists and murder them because you think they might be violent!

      I kid you not, I’ve seen leftists making that very claim.

      1. Yep, I’ve heard that exact argument from leftists about owning a firearm to defend myself.

  17. Switzerland as a Federation has communities mostly armed and communities with a horror of arms much like the United States.

    The WWII generation was mostly armed and supported the notion of every man armed much after the manner of the Appenzell Landesgemeinde. [blockquote]Historically, or in Appenzell until the admission of women, the only proof of citizenship necessary for men to enter the voting area was to show their ceremonial sword or Swiss military sidearm (bayonet); this gave proof that you were a freeman allowed to bear arms and to vote [/blockquote]

    There is a tradition of military service. The Swiss boy scout compass is graduated in artillery mils. That said only 11Bravo equivalents – combat infantry types – and such have an armed combat load out at home with the ammunition blister packed to encourage leaving it alone and make inspections easier.

    Switzerland never was quite the armed camp Americans use in arguments anymore than Yamamoto’s rifleman count for the U.S. was accurate. These days Switzerland is backing away from guns and has an unfortunate number of activist gun grabbers in public life.

    The success of Swiss Neutrality in history is perhaps a little over rated. The Swiss pretty much rolled over for Napoleon while he controlled the borders and cooperated with the victorious Allies in many ways when the Allies controlled the Italian and German borders.

    1. The individual’s ready reserve ammo is in a sealed container, not only to make inspections easier, but to make sure that if the balloon goes up, it will be there for use.

      Meanwhile, practice ammunition is readily available, and regular practice is strongly encouraged for everyone. Local shooting competition and meets are still quite popular.

      1. Local shooting competition and meets are still quite popular.

        1. You misspelled “meats.”

        2. They have competitions for shooting locals? Cool! Probably the source of those meats for their fondues.

    2. Even when Switzerland worked with the Allies behind the scenes, they still shot down Allied airplanes that went into their airspace (albeit at a lesser rate than German planes).

      Additionally, the French Swiss rolled over for Napoleon, but overall Switzerland (including the French ones) didn’t like the occupation, so when Adolf Hitler tried to do the same with the German Swiss, his efforts fell flat.

      So their neutrality is a funny thing…whether it’s overrated or not, I don’t know…and I suspect that they would cooperate more with people not trying to invade them, than they would with a country making preparations for an invasion. (Indeed, they would probably be willing to help anyone who is actively opposed to someone who is actively trying to invade them…)

  18. I saw a meme once which said (from memory) “Government doesn’t ask for authority over you. It asks for authority over your neighbor.”

    This is largely true. When people grant the government more power, it’s always to be used against “those” people. They don’t intend it to be used against themselves.

    But people forget the great truth of government: Anything government can do for you, it can do to you. And the authority over your neighbor (which, by the way, the neighbor is willing to grant as authority over you) becomes authority over you.

    1. This is largely true. When people grant the government more power, it’s always to be used against “those” people. They don’t intend it to be used against themselves.

      *little lightbulb*

      But this is the thing a lot of folks miss… some folks do, indeed, recognize their own flaws and urge the gov’t to act against them.

      Yeah, it’s rare these days, probably always.

      But it can’t be ruled out.

      I KNOW that I want the gov’t to punish me for murder…even if I really, really, REALLY wanna kill the bastard. (And yes, I have a specific target. … folks, please do pray for him, and me. I’ve never really only wanted someone alive because of secondary reasons, and not very strongly at that, before. No, I won’t kill him. I KNOW that is wrong. But I would not be upset if he died..and there are four little kids who would be, possibly five.)

  19. Trivia I only recently learned:

    “Boondoggle” originally just meant a braided circlet for a boy scout’s neckerchief or hat. The modern usage comes from a Depression era WPA program that paid *adults* to make them.

    All for the state, nothing outside the state….

    In the end, they lose, we win.

    (Not sure where that’s from…)

    1. “…they lose, we win.”

      I’ve heard it attributed to Ronald Reagan as his response, after the nomination went to Ford in ’76, to a question about his take on the cold war.

      1. So far, we’ve done fairly well with “They lose” (although Putin is giving us a run for the money when it comes to that…); we still need to work on the “we win” part….

        But the explosion of individualism we’re seeing gives me hope on that front, too…

  20. The problem with the argument in the post is that, if the Progressive Left was consistent, we would have tied them in knots decades ago and left the entire movement out with the trash.

    1. The Progressive Left is consistent.

      Consistently dishonest.
      Consistently applying double standards.
      Consistently grasping for power and control.
      Consistently redefining meanings of words.
      Consistently malicious.
      Consistently disparaging honor, duty, and patriotism.
      Consistent the way rust is consistent.

      I think you may be using a standard of consistency which is not applicable.

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