Seeing What Is There

The hardest thing in the world is seeing what is right before your eyes when it contradicts what is in your mind.

In most cases, when someone asks “who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes” it’s supposed to be a laugh line.  But when the “me” is someone who’s been lying to you since you were born, the answer is often “you.”

I’m not talking of bad parents, though the mechanics is similar.  By evolution and attachment not to mention affection, we tend to believe and trust those who raised us.  Which is part of this, but is not quite the truth.

In the modern era, soaked with media, most of us were raised by far more than our parents.  And most of us not only trust the earliest things we heard, we tests other things against those earliest things we heard.

In the present era when, for a hundred years, our media has been first infiltrated and then progressively (eh!) taken over and defended by progressives and the “truth” promulgated that which accorded with party directives and propaganda, that means that our ability to test ideas against each other, or even what we see with our lying eyes against what we’ve been told is frankly broken.

Yes, even ours.  Sorry guys.  We too, like the leftists, grew up in a world in which leftist principles are so inherent in every thought, that if we step outside of them it’s like going crazy.

It’s the little things that get you, promulgated by media, news, literature and arts.  All of them.  At once.  Little things like “Creative people are always of the left.”  A little (and stupid, btw, since creative people are by definition people who poke and prod and less likely to stay in any ideological pen) lie, sure, but one that aided and abetted the left’s take over of ALL creative fields because, well, if there are no creative people to the right of Lenin, how could they find any to publish/exhibit/pay attention to?  And what if someone appeared to be creative but was obviously not left?  Well, see, his/her work is inferior.  We know that, because conservatives aren’t creative, so even though this one is pretending to be, there must be something inferior about their work.

Did I make up that myth?  I wish I had.  Go tally novels, movies, etc, about anyone who is creative, an artist or even a great designer.  In every one of those cases, you’ll find the person is portrayed anywhere from mild left to an outright Stalinist, even if they are completely fictional.  (A lot of the real acclaimed artists were to the left of Lenin, because, well, there’s always some, particularly early in the 20th century, when the stupid ideas hadn’t shown how bad they were.  And if the establishment was looking for leftist artists to promote, those were the ones likely to get the greatest prominence.  Since about mid 20th century, being in tune with revolutionary truths, “speaking truth to power” and “exposing society” became the rules by which art was judged.  Unsurprisingly, the “good art” was then leftist.)

And yet, even we — even I — fall for it, if you take it out of the context that will make us defensive.  2008 I got up early to go vote with my husband.  This meant we were at our precinct early morning , in line to vote, and I looked around, at men in khakis, and women in gypsy skirts with multicolored hair, and I thought “Mine is the only non-Obama vote here.”  Then I realized I was wearing a loose cotton skirt and a peasant blouse and my half-grey (It has been since I was 28, so unless freshly dyed, it’s a mess) hair was long and loose.  And I realized I fit perfectly with the people around me.  In fact, even probing deeper, if they’d found I wrote for a living, that I came from a foreign country, that English was my second language, or that I have a post-graduate degree in the Liberal arts, people examining me would think I was surely as far left as possible.

Were all those people there early morning voting for the leftist candidate.  Most of them, I suspect.  We lived in a blue dot, in a sea of red, so most of our neighbors were leftist (judging by yard signs.)  After all we were talking about people who had SUCCESSFULLY established themselves as college professors or artists, and establishing yourself depended on running the gauntlet of the left’s dominance of gatekeeping.  BUT the truth is, I’d got through, and I’m sure there were others.  Only we didn’t know it, since both our internal programing AND the rolls of the institutions we worked for confirmed the lie that all creatives are leftist.  And those of us who would otherwise have given a lie to it could not talk, on penalty of losing our livelihood.

Part of the problem is that humans are designed by nature to fix certain parameters in their heads very early, and then to test everything they learn against those parameters.  I think this is because such an ability saved our ancestors’ behinds several times.  “Fast moving, eyes to the front is predator.”  “What if it isn’t?” “If it isn’t it won’t eat you. The way to bet is predator.”  This type of reasoning saves your life when seconds count.  If you can make the snap judgement, it is your cousin Gurg, who was a nice man and gave everything a second chance, rest his soul, who got eaten.

Except when everything you’ve been fed is a lie, and that’s what you’re testing the “truth” against, and when your life is not red in tooth and claw, so that you don’t get immediately eaten when you judge wrong, and never find out you were judging wrong, the … alternate reality builds.

It’s been a very long time since we had a fire-breathing leftist — or one I let through.  I put on hip waders and went through the held-up comments the other day, which is the proximal reason for this post — come in accusing us of being things we are not.  Oh, they are in the held-up comments, but there’s no point letting them through because they’re a “hit and run” type of thing and even if the commenter came back (they won’t.  In most the names are obviously disposable) they would not believe their lying eyes.

Both those comments, and the ones I used to let through, when the spam filter was a lot looser, would paint a picture of the readers of this blog.  I remember the time someone came in and accused us all of being Southern rednecks, who had never been out of our states.  Now, I suppose some of you are from the South, and some might not have traveled, but in this blog the “have never left the state” is not the way to bet.  In the same way, I’ve had the Bible quoted at me (usually truncated and distorted, but never mind) and then been asked what kind of a Christian I am, or what kind of Christians my blog readers are, to believe as we do despite this, “Triumphant verse brandished.”  And while some of you are Christians and invested in inerrant nature of the Bible, even in translation, the truth is about a third of my commenters isn’t Christian AT ALL, and a remaining 80% of the other 2/3 (ATH is MATH! Shut up) are from sects where the inerrant nature of the Bible is not a thing.

It goes that way all along the line, with people accusing us, say, of hating women, when many (half?) the people here are women; or gays, when quite a few of you ARE gay; other races, when a lot of you are varying shades of tan or married to varying shades of tan.

The problem — and the reason to no longer approve those comments — is that you can’t prove them wrong.  Their assumptions are not falsifiable.  I.e. no matter what their lying eyes tell them, they’ll find a reason to excuse it away.  Say I’m both a woman (true) and the reason I loathe feminism is because I want what’s best for women (true.  For men too) and current feminism is a poisonous ideology destroying the species.  I can EXPLAIN to them at length (have done it) how the idea that men and women are ALWAYS exactly alike and there are no biological differences beyond the obvious ignores hormonal influence in the development of the body and brain from the womb; how, though it’s a statistical spread, women aren’t even close to men in the strength department; how it’s not a matter of superiority, but yes, men and women brains are different, since women think deeper and more connected and men faster, straighter, sharper.  (Always accounting for that statistical spread.)  How we know several differences like men tend to cluster in the moron and genius ranges, but women are better at “Smart enough to function without having issues living in society.”

I can point out how this means that there will be differences not just in choice of professions, but in how women behave in those professions (and arguably for important things both approaches are needed, as a means of reality testing) and that trying to pound all the square pegs in round holes or make women into men or vice versa destroys the fabric of society and the freedom of individuals.

I’m perfectly willing to entertain arguments against it, of the sane and reasonable kind.  Stuff like “If we raise the child in this way and expose her to this, she’ll think faster, clearer, straighter.”  I’m willing to entertain them and counter them or even bring up “Yes, but why should we? If both approaches are needed, why are they only to be tolerated in the other type of body?”

But the people who come here and accuse me of being a self-hating woman don’t have those facts and are incapable of having that discussion.  If I ask why they think I hate women, they’ll bring up something from the Bible.  And if I tell them I grew up in a culture where quoting the Bible was gauche and we didn’t believe it was infallible, they double down and either accuse me of lying or say I’ve some how internalized these things and the interpretation put on them, which would be quite different.

It’s funnier when their assumptions about what I believe are not only wrong in detail, or wrong in reason I believe something (like, yep, I do believe men and women are different, but I don’t believe men are superior which is what they assume) but so completely staggeringly wrong that you don’t even know what to say.  Take the people who come spinning in and accuse me of being homophobic.  Neither in my private life — I think close to half of my inner circle of friends is gay — nor in my writing (no, I have no clue why my character world is near the gay bar region of imaginary land) nor in fact in anything can it be construed that I’m “homophobe” or really even “homo uncomfortable.”

And yet, this is a regular accusation leveled at me.

The problem is that stupid as it is, it can’t be falsified.  If someone comes and accuses me of being an homophobe, and I defend myself, and supposing they’re not a drive by, they then will go and comb through all my books, take a sentence out of context and “prove” it.  And if that’s not enough, they’ll invent a new “square” that can’t be stepped on.  There will be a scene in my book in which a character (there is.  A gay character even) heartily dislikes another character and talks about his flamboyant attire.  (Keep in mind the second character is Simon, and the flamboyant attire isn’t even part of the reason to dislike him.  There are plenty of those.  It’s more a secondary annoyance.)  Voila.  Dipping into their stock of stereotypes, they decide all gays are flamboyant dressers, so hating that means I’m secretly homophobic.  (Thereby ignoring the fact it’s not me making that observation, but my character, that no, not all gays are flamboyant dressers, that no, hating flamboyant dressers — which I don’t, but the character at that moment does — is not hating gays.)

It’s impossible to falsify that type of belief.  Anyone who has chosen to believe the narrative over their lying eyes can always find reason to.  Reminds me of one of the seasons of Soap in which one of the characters believes that he can snap his fingers and become invisible.  Every time it doesn’t work, he comes up with an excuse “I was wet”, “I was touching metal” or “you were looking at me.”

The thing is that believing your lying eyes is scary.  You have to think everything through anew.  It leaves you, in a way, intellectually naked before the world.  It’s not how the human mind likes to work.

Which is why most people refuse to do it.  (Yes, our side too.  The number of times I was accused of being a communist for being less than a whole-hearted Trump supporter at the end of last year.  Even though there is NO logical reason why being completely in the Trump camp equals non communist or opposing Trump’s more statist flights makes you a communist.  It’s jut the way people’s minds work.)

There are several problems with this right now.

The first is that the narrative is breaking up, but breaking up underground, as it were, beneath the surface of things.

The second is that the “crust” remains intact.

The third is that even for those of us trying to actively reject the narrative there are little things that get by.  Like the thing about creatives being leftist.

The first one has the consequence that while a vast number of the population is seeing things that diverge from the narrative, it’s hard to prove to someone who will only accept Mass Media reporting.  Also, the way to behave in polite society is as though the mass media were still “truthful” (or not revealed as lying sacks of sh*t).  Which is part of 2.  The other part of 2 is that the “respectable” academics/artists/news sources are still leftist, and being leftist is still a way to virtue signal, which means people who are nothing in particular will publicly endorse the left.  There is a whole post in that, but the fact is that if the way to test and artist or an academician is “promotes/understands leftist theory” being a mainstream artist or academic is NOT a guaranty of deep thought or respectability.  BUT it is how it’s still interpreted.  Or, IOW the left has gutted the institution, now wears its skin demanding respect, and most people go along with it, because well, that institution used to deserve respect, and look, that’s this institution.

The third is even worse, because it is something we have to fight constantly within ourselves.  And the thing is, stereotypes are often right.  That’s why they’re stereotypes.  It’s just hard to remember some of those were deliberately planted by Marxists to distort what we see.

The truth is, the leftist ideals and beliefs, such as they are now, after the Soviet Union failed; after the bankruptcy of every leftist regime has been revealed; after 100 million dead, are laughable on the face of it.

The idea is that someone — some superior person we assume.  Oh, wait, if everyone is alike who is that superior — stands above it all, and more equitably distributes resources than the notoriously “uncaring” free market.

It takes only a second to realize that whether what you’re distributing is money or apologies for past oppression, there isn’t anyone who really can judge “from each according to his ability and to each according to his need.”

Remove that ability to judge, and you realize the people arrogating themselves that right are just tyrant wanna bes.  Which explains why every communist country devolves into the sort of tyranny that would make a feudal lord blush.

There is nothing there.  Well, nothing but rot and ambition and a desire to control others.

But if you point this out you get the squid ink of accusing you of prejudices you can’t even possibly think of, and of projecting on you what their masters told them all opponents are.

This is what keeps the masses in thrall now: A web tissue of lies and hate.

Through which they can’t even suspect reality.  As they are led, inexorably, on the path to tyranny and horror.  Once more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

523 responses to “Seeing What Is There

  1. “hating flamboyant dressers — which I don’t, but the character at that moment does — is not hating gays.”

    Heck, it could just be a dislike for pimps.

    • you know, knowing Simon this sort of fits.

      • Scratching my head – isn’t Simon a confirmed heterosexual? Or is my character memory on the fritz again?

        (In any case, “flamboyant” depends on the culture, as everyone here knows. For Simon, if I am thinking of the right person, reviving his notion of the “Ancient French” culture, his dress is perfectly normal. Perhaps a bit understated.)

    • Your post should have come with a warning label.

      There is now a character dressed out in bright yellow early 1970s Hollywood Superfly pimp fashion hanging around in my head.

      • Interesting. What’s he doing?

      • Funny, when I was in summer camp, one of my coworkers decided to have a “disco night” theme. Another coworker came the next week with a banana-yellow leisure suit that had belonged to his father and fit him like a dream. (Probably a bad dream, but it was very authentic.)

        So yeah, they existed.

        • I lived in a major metropolitan area and am old enough to remember the exit of hippie and the arrival of disco. I saw those leisure suits. Yeah. Cut like classic British desert uniforms, made of polyester that could stand up of its own accord. Ugh.

          What I am seeing is a dude in a three piece suit suit which is a nod to Zoot, without the length to the coat or the high waist on the pants. The hat is an exaggerated fedora, crown too high and brim too wide and has a black ribbon with side-buckle. The belt and tie are sartorial nightmares. The shoes are leather, dyed a matching yellow, like penny loafers with massive platform fronts and stacked heals. The gold he is wearing, rings and chains, is worth enough to feed a poor village for years — or send a kid to Harvard.

      • I’m sure my wife would love to meet him (she has extracted a promise that when we buy a house at least one room can have a disco ball).

  2. Considering how infernally difficult it is to change things learned at an early age, I’d not be surprised that some of what was learned was hard-wired that way during childhood development. Certainly those behavioral/cognitive pathways were active and therefore not subjected to neural pruning; leaving them to dominate thought patterns. Which, as you say, means that those people are likely to never question the truth or falsity of those beliefs until it literally causes them enough extreme pain and anguish to pull them out and reexamine them.

    None of the gays I know, both in my family and non-family members, dress flamboyantly. They’re all blend-in-with-the-crowd dressers. Hmmm. None of them vote conservatively, and they’re all liberal-progressive supporters. Most of them gravitated to the creative arts; and only one was a major STEM job holder; but even he was a prolific inventor.

    I’m not sure why gays are seen as stereotypically more creative. Is it because they are, or is it because those fields they gravitate to are more accepting of their differences than the more blue-collar and middle management fields? Certainly few of us go into jobs where we know people are going to intensely dislike us or threaten our health and safety.

    • Note that the fields they gravitate towards are usually not hard sciences and engineering–Alan Turing was the exception. Most of the time they end up in the “creative” fields–i.e., the theater–partially, I suspect, because in olden times gays usually got to be very good at pretending to be something they weren’t.

      • SheSellsSeashells

        Which reminds me of my sainted grandmother who, upon hearing the news that Rock Hudson was gay, blinked and said “…well. I guess he was a better actor than I thought.”

        • Pretty much what I told my then-teenage daughter, when she found out — she loved-loved-loved all the old Rock Hudson Doris Day rom-coms that she used to watch on Turner Classics. She was absolutely crushed,

    • My experience is the opposite. The one flamboyant gay I’ve met is a theater set designer who is determined to life up to the stereotype. All the others are in science, medicine, or meteorology, dress to blend in, and range from leave-me-alone libertarian to GWB-is-my-hero to social democrat, with most of them on the conservative end of the spectrum. *shrug* Anecdata, YMMV.

      • interesting. I’m a statistics guy and prefer to play with entire population data rather than sampling. I’ve never met a sample that I was satisfied with it accurately representing the population. Good enough to base a decision on, maybe, but still not completely accurate. The Model is a Map and is NOT the thing modeled or mapped.

        • Over the years I’ve come to wonder to what degree we underestimate the value of anecdotes. Clearly, statistics gives us tools to identify anecdotes — the outliers that indicate something weird is happening — but as often as not, outliers are dismissed as errors in measurement.

          While it’s true that the plural of anecdote isn’t “statistics”, it’s also true that the singular of “statistic” isn’t anecdote. Sometimes you don’t understand an issue until you know a few stories behind the anecdotes.

          And what really bugs me is how Democrats will trot anecdote after anecdote as to why we need one reform or another, never minding whether or not their reforms will fix the anecdotes…yet Republicans almost *never* draw on anecdotes to get support for their cause.

          We just had a debate on what to do about ObamaCare. Sure, the bill that just went down in flames was bad, but how hard could it be to find anecdotes to show how awful ObamaCare is, and why it needs to die a horrible death?

          C’mon, Republicans, put some effort in this!

          • > the singular of “statistic” isn’t anecdote

            Somebody created a picture of the “average” person (height, weight, hair color, etc…). It doesn’t match any actual person. No one is average.

            • Iirc that was Air Force. Study of the average fighter pilot with standard mil-hdbk measurements and not one pilot had all.

              • yep, and planes built to that standard fit everyone poorly.

                • I remember an article (linked from here, maybe, not sure) that covered the planes that fit only the imaginary average man, and the solution to the practical problem by making everything adjustable; and some contest to find the closest match to the imaginary average woman, where the solution to the aesthetic “problem” by at least some parties was to declare all the real people defective.

                  • All the real people are defective.

                    I thought everybody knew that. That’s how you can tell the real ones from the others.

          • But there are a lot of Christians that do not accept me as a Christian, because I don’t believe in Jesus the same way they do.

            Honestly, I think it’s mostly because of the missionaries. When I was doing door-to-door evangelizing briefly, waaaaaaaaaaaaay back in my green youth, if we ran into someone who said they were Christian & had a church home, we left it at that. Maybe said a prayer together for the peace of the world, that kind of things.

            The LDS missionaries keep trying to convert you to LDS after that point, which tends to get folks assuming: Huh. Guess they’re not “Christians” What Mormons actually believe at that point become irrelevant.

            Which I’ll admit, isn’t fair, but then very few modern public-school educated Christians have a real clue about the theological differences that exist between the different sects and even between most Christians & non-Christians.

            • There are whole denominations of Protestant ministers who preach that the LDS worship “a different Jesus”, and are therefore not only not True Christians but not Christian at all. I don’t buy that argument, but It’s fairly ubiquitous.

            • Actually, it stems from the basic concept that there are some things a Christian will not do. By definition, a Christian wouldn’t preach for others to follow a different religion, or deny the existence of Christ. The problem is that it can extend to unwarranted things. It can become so extreme that I’ve heard of a minister who proclaimed someone was going to Hell because he wore a gaudy belt buckle.

              The main hazard is just because we may dislike something does not make it a sin. No,that has to be stated in the scriptures. And that included political views. “How can you be a Christian and vote for him/her? How can you be a Christian and not support this way of doing things?” And nine times out of ten it doesn’t address any real issue of the Christian faith. It’s only an argument of the color of the church carpet.

            • I remember a Catholic blog discussing an article about which church the Obamas might attend in Washington DC. And the blogger noting that there were such theological differences that if certain ones were in the running, others weren’t. The journalist had only had the wits to leave off Catholic churches.

      • Half the gays I knew in Texas were the ‘GWB = great man’ type, the others were full on stereotype.
        In New Orleans it was the flamingest flamer I met, who was the “I’m a lifetime member of the NRA, got a ClassIII FFL, and ain’t ever gonna vote Dem!”
        The two ‘you’d never guess were gay’ guys were apolitical from what I could tell.

      • I have to agree somewhat with Mike – sampling bias.

        Way back when, the software development firm I was part of was just across the hall from the Tucson AIDS Project. We were always going over there to help them out with their computer problems (very low budget operation in those days, some of the ancient stuff they were struggling with even I didn’t recognize…).

        The only “sharp” dresser over there (among some 20+ people), and not “flamboyant,” was one guy who was always perfectly turned out with clothing that matched his build and complexion. He was their PR face. One of the very few males that could actually look good in a “pink” (closer to red, IMHO) shirt. The rest, you could have swapped our offices, and not told the difference (well, except that we only had six people, they would have looked pretty uncomfortable crammed in our offices).

  3. One of the fundamental lies the Progressives believe is that government and society are the same. You see it whenever (non-military) government spending cuts are proposed, eliminating 3% of Meals on Wheels’ budget means that Republicans want seniors to starve. Never mind that government represents only a plurality of the electorate while nearly everyone buys stuff, government is a better proxy for society than the market.

    • Not to mention a significant portion of the population doesn’t vote and thus can’t be presented in government. This is something progs usually harp on claiming that the population as a whole supports their ideas more than just those who vote and thus those elected should behave as the whole wants…until it is convenient to forget when claiming government represents the whole.

      • Well since a significant part of their support is illegals and felons, it is true that they have more support than voters.

    • Nit: 3% of a block grant which some states use to supplement Meals on Wheels.

  4. “I can point out how this means that there will be differences not just in choice of professions, but in how women behave in those professions (and arguably for important things both approaches are needed, as a means of reality testing) and that trying to pound all the square pegs in round holes or make women into men or vice versa destroys the fabric of society and the freedom of individuals.”

    I’m sure my newborn pet opinion on this isn’t original, but this and a few other fashionable “progressive” social engineering programs have got to be major contributors to the rise in various anxiety/personality disorders among the young. Square pegs, round holes and such.

    Oh, I’m sure there’s a lot of category errors, over/mis-diagnoses, parenting issues, general the-field-of-psychology-is-a-complete-mess-right-now, or whatnot going on here. But the young today have been exposed to Progressive therapeutic education (I’m sure there’s a better term for that) more than any other generation. It’s in their faces in and out of school.

    I can’t remember where I read it, but there’s some insane number of young adults (around 30%) with some type and degree of mental disorder. This is, pardon the term, insane. Either the criteria for mental health is crap, or there’s a massive failure in social engineering, or both. Regardless of which, that’s an enormous problem.

    And this problem isn’t the fault of the Left’s designated enemies. And it’s a huge indictment of a broad swath of their preferred experts.

    • A co-worker remarked a few years ago that her two children were the only children she knew of who weren’t in therapy of any kind. This included her niece, whose main problem was the fact that Mom & Dad put her in daycare and then didn’t interact with her when she was home … her attempts to get parental attention were seen as a problem.

      Then there’s the ADHD epidemic which seems to be focused on making boys into zombies …

      • My 21 y/o son didn’t realize he had anxiety issues until an Air Force doc diagnosed it. The doc offered a prescription and therapy regimen that, much to my delight, my son said, “No thanks. Now that I know what’s going on, I’ll deal with it.”

        I firmly believe it stems from the garbage that was getting poured into his head about sexuality and gender that was going against his natural grain. He was getting it at school and in his social circles. Sure, conflictions and confusion aren’t uncommon at that age, but this went beyond the norm due to the fact that it was forced and not part of a natural process. His mother and I diligently worked on deprogramming him from a wide variety of progressive indoctrinations, but that one went deep.

        Thankfully he’s got it worked out now without the “help” of modern medicine.

      • Had one teacher, one time, suggest one of my sons might be overactive. I think they must have made notes about the reaction my wife and I had, for it never came up again with any of our sons, all who pretty much were similar.

        I’ve had a few Scouts over the years who were on ADHD medications. And in private discussions with other leaders, the problem most of the time isn’t overactive children but rather underactive adults. But then, we’re not trained professionals, just people who work with a lot of kids.

        • You know what the true test of ADHD is? You give the kid a stimulant and they calm down. It’s because their neural receptors keep getting pinged, as it were, and the stimulant binds to the receptors and keeps that from happening.

          My nephew had a great teacher in elementary school who would let him run a circuit around the playground whenever he finished his work ahead of the rest of the class and was fidgety. Much better treatment than drugging him, IMO.

          • Current treatment of boys is in our schools insensitive and abusive:

            New Research Reveals Boys Are More Sensitive Than Girls
            [SNIP]
            In another blow to the genderless brigade, Dr. Allan N. Schore concluded the following facts from a boatload of research:

            0 Boys mature slower physically, socially, and linguistically.

            0 Stress-regulating brain circuitries mature slower in boys prenatally, perinatally, and postnatally.

            0 Boys are affected more negatively by early environmental stress, inside and outside the womb, than are girls. Girls have more built-in mechanisms that foster resiliency against stress.

            In average parent-speak, this translates into the fact that while boys can sense stress, they don’t have the neurological tools to effectively recognize, let alone communicate what they are feeling or picking up on from others. Not only do girls harness language quicker than boys, they’re also hardwired to process stress differently than boys.

            Writing on Schore’s study for Psychology Today, Dr. Darcia Narvaez explains how these developmental differences can impact boys if not properly addressed:

            Boys are more vulnerable to neuropsychiatric disorders that appear developmentally (girls more vulnerable to disorders that appear later). These include autism, early onset schizophrenia, ADHD, and conduct disorders. These have been increasing in recent decades (interestingly, as more babies have been put into daycare settings, nearly all of which provide inadequate care for babies; National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Early Child Care Research Network, 2003).

            She goes on to quote Schore, who explains that a mother’s attention and affection provide a physical response that helps to regulate a boy’s stress levels. Healthy attachment between mother and son create a healthy foundation for stress processing later in life.
            [END EXCERPT]

            Demanding that people do that which they are not biologically equipped to perform is viciously destructive.

            • Men are more sensitive than women.

              Break Ups Hit Men Harder

              On the outside they might put on a brave face, hit the pub and talk even more about football.

              But a study has found that, contrary to popular belief, when a relationship is in trouble it is men who suffer the most.

              Romantic ups and downs apparently have a greater effect on the mental health of young men than women.

            • Even more insidious is how the society rewards the petty, backstabbing mean girls stereotype and those who can leverage emotion over those that try to be self reliant. The mob was not right when they put strange fruit in trees, and it’s not right now when it creates digital arson.

            • ”Boys are affected more negatively by early environmental stress, inside and outside the womb, than are girls. Girls have more built-in mechanisms that foster resiliency against stress.

              Heh. I’ve been saying for the better part of two decades that “Men are strong & break, women are weak & bend.” My rationale? Look at who survives battles, and who survives lefty death camps.

          • You give the kid a stimulant and they calm down.

            Bingo…

            To this day the largest effect of my ADD meds is a mood stabilizer. My theory is the violent mood swings associated with ADD are an attempt by the brain to “wake itself up.”.

            • I’m more than mildly ADHD. Really long recess in school, and massive quantities of coffee do for me.

              • Caffeine (I prefer mine cold though) helps a lot with the concentration as does physical activity. However, even when I was training for a swim/run event exercise only cut the mood swings some compared to Strattera.

                Trust me, I’d love to avoid meds but it makes life easier on my wife as much or more than me.

          • So, coffee for kids?

          • Oh, another true test is trying to calm then down with some downer or tranquilizer…it’ll usually just wind them right up.

          • Indeed – i’ve only known one kid – the child of friends of ours, whom I would call hyperactive. Three years old, go-go-go-go, a blazing ball of unstoppable energy from when he got up in the morning at 6 AM … to near midnight. If his mother made him take a nap, he’d be up until midnight. If he didn’t, he would crash at maybe 10 AM. His mother was afraid to have any more children – another one like him would kill her.

            I got roped into reaching Vacation Bible school when I was late in HS, maybe college. Yeah, me and about twenty second and third graders. Whenever they got fractious, about every hour and a half – I sent them all out to run three times around the church building as FAST AS THEY COULD POSSIBLY GO! Worked wonders. So did bringing in a small bake-oven and the fixings for some kind of snack at the end of the daily session. Toasted cheese sandwiches, cupcake batter, whatever. All I had to do to ensure perfect good behavior was to threaten to not have the treat…Worked like a charm.

        • I was diagnosed as hyperactive when I was a child and was put on Ritalin for several years. It had no noticable effect. I didn’t slow down or speed up.

        • Feather Blade

          overactive children but rather underactive adults

          Pretty sure that’s when you turn them loose in the back yard with instructions to “Go build a fort or something.”

      • There is real ADD and ADHD. This over use of the diagnosis is not helping those children who do have it.

        The mistake lies, in part, with assuming that children who appear to be ‘over active’ have ADHD. As we move to a greater amount of school time spent at desk and without free play we are bound to see far more of this problem. (All children would profit from more free play.)

        ADHD is not just about the activity level displayed by the child. There is a component of ADHD which has to do with the ability of the child to choose to concentrate. They need help learning how to concentrate not just when something catches their fancy. Studies now indicate that the medications in use are efficacious short term. It is best to treat them as a temporary tool, like training wheels; with the goal to eventually stop using them. You have to accompany them with training in skills for effective results.

        • The hilarious part is that many adults are self-medicating for ADHD without knowing it—caffeine works, too.

          • Yep —- I normally put down a 2 liter of Diet Mountain Dew a day.

            Something about not trusting a weaponized medical system….

        • I teach middle school science for a living, and have both students who are ADD/ADHD and some who are just normal pre-teen boys with helicopter parents who worry to death about their normal neuroses and interests.

          I personally was diagnosed with ADD back in eighth grade, and did pretty well on medication so I have nothing against it, but like CACS says, a lot of people (like myself) can learn how to deal with it with the training wheels off.

          I drink a LOT of coffee.

        • Certain feminists and SJW types insist that we should believe *every* claim of rape, and decry any attempt to require proof beyond a reasonable doubt as attempts to silence people who have been through something horrible. “We’ve tended to ignore or disbelieve people who’ve been raped for too long, so questioning a rape victim’s story is only going to keep people from going forward!” they say.

          Now, I’m not willing to punish *either* party when a case comes down to “he said/she said” testimony. If we can’t believe the woman claiming rape because we only have his and her words, we can’t believe the man claiming false accusation for the same reason. However, if there’s evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that the woman falsely accused the man of rape, she should be punished severely for that accusation.

          The problem with the SJW “believe the woman at all costs” attitude is that (1) it ignores the fact that sometimes women seek revenge for some slight, which can even be imaginary, and will stop at nothing to destroy her target, and (2) if too many women falsely cry rape when there wasn’t one — particularly if this repeatedly hurts innocent men — then there comes a point where we stop believing the women who actually are raped, because we’ve seen too many times where this simply hasn’t been the case.

          Which, I suppose, is a long-winded way to say that you’re right: I’ve noticed that the over-diagnosing of ADHD has resulted in a *lot* of people who have questioned the existence of ADHD itself.

          • Blondengineer

            My oldest brother walked into a parent/teacher conference to be told that his son was ADD. My brother’s response: “I live with the kid. He’s not ADD. You’re boring. I’ve only spent 10 minutes with you and I’m bored out of my mind. He spends -hours- with you, and he’s only 9. I can’t imagine how he manages to handle it at all.”

          • Accusations of rape are no more about justice (or protecting feminine virtue) than rape is about lust. It is about power, and who wields it, nothing more.

          • Certain feminists and SJW types insist that we should believe *every* claim of rape, and decry any attempt to require proof beyond a reasonable doubt as attempts to silence people who have been through something horrible.

            Unless the attacker is Bill Clinton or Ted Kennedy, anyway. Then they’re just partisan hacks and/or trailer trash looking for a quick buck. 😛

          • On a tangent note: we’ve been following with some cheering the prosecution of a woman in … Texas? … who falsely accused someone of rape, and was proven to have done so.. We’re quite happy that there is now some judicial and legal precedent for this.

        • So. Meds + chess? Worked for me.

    • “Progressive therapeutic education (I’m sure there’s a better term for that)”

      There is; brainwashing. No, seriously. People who have been brainwashed often display symptoms of various mental illnesses, because some sonofabitch has been inside their heads, stomping around in cleats.

      • I can buy in to “brainwashing.” I was just looking for something that better captures the rather therapy-heavy component our education system seems to have adopted over…well…education.

        • Think in terms of dysfunctional relationships, such as the dynamic between abuser and victim.

          Listing of the similarities is left as an exercise for the student.

        • There’s also “Pop-psyche”; since very few teachers are accredited therapists, phsychologistst, or psychoanalysits, they have no business practicing any kind of psychological therapy on your kids.

    • I suspect their argument will be that it’s important to normalize seeking mental health help.

      Of course, it’s only important to normalize it until they want to convince everybody you’re incompetent to exercise your rights.

    • I vote for both… But then I see people with chronic illness and Vets with PTSD.

    • Having married into a family that is rife with real mental illness, (schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, depression, bi-polar, etc.) and a higher tendency towards the autism spectrum, I can see what real mental illness is like and not neuro-typical is like, versus “hey, this kid is a bit weird/hyper/interested in things we don’t think are normal, let’s peg him with a diagnosis”.

    • When you spend your entire youth gaslit and being special gets benefits it is no surprise that you see it going up.

      • You always get more of what you subsidize.

        • Yep. I remember some scuttle of parents gaming system so their precious vicarious puppet can have extra test time.

          • scott2harrison

            We are nearing a point where that is the only rational, responsible thing to do. Where if you are not in a protected class, you get no opportunity other than to do the work that people in a protected class get the credit for. At that point, to quote Bill Whittle’s blog title, Eject, Eject, Eject. And may God help us all.

            • Yep. “find your patron.”

            • We are well past that point. My nephew is now 46 years old – but my sister and half-Mexican BIL had to play the game of “He’s Mexican this year, never mind that we put down White last year.” (The BIL, one year, got frustrated and demanded the bureaucrat tell him what color his kids had to be THIS year for what they needed. “Green? We have food coloring!”)

      • And now that you mention it, when school funding depends on treating people with special symptoms, it shouldn’t be a surprise when more kids get diagnosed as having special symptoms….

  5. In the same way, I’ve had the Bible quoted at me (usually truncated and distorted, but never mind) and then been asked what kind of a Christian I am, or what kind of Christians my blog readers are, to believe as we do despite this, “Triumphant verse brandished.”

    I know that there are some Christians who are quiet ready with a verse or passage to wield like a two-edged sword. They may even be well meaning, albeit they seem to be short on the grace and mercy side of things.

    Still, I have often wondered what percentage of those who tell others what they would believe if they were really Christian who are simply trying to get their way and are not in the least bit interested in anyone being real followers of Christ?

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

      Then there are non-Christians who quote scripture thinking to tell Christians “how to behave”.

      “Strangely” they don’t seem to apply that scripture to their own lives. 😦

      • Still, as a Christian I have to admit, there are non-Christians who do correctly call Christians out on their hypocrisies. All have sinned. All do fall short of the glory. This should not be used as an excuse to willfully continue in what you know is wrong.

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          True.

          On the other hand, there are Assholes who keep telling Christians to “turn the other cheek” while continuing to slap Christians.

            • I have heard that St. Francis de Sales’s response to being asked was to say that he knew what he should do but not what he would do, because he was weary and full of sin — but the speaker could always try it and find out.

          • I’m good for about one cheek-turn. After that, its hockey night in Canada. ~:)

            • I’m a Quaker myself; after getting slapped on both cheeks, my response is “The Scripture being fulfilled, I will now proceed to beat the Hell out of thee.”

              • I used to go to a Quaker church staffed by a rather liberal Episcopalian minister (tiny church, in the middle of nowhere). His take on “turn the other cheek” was as a measure of defiance.

                (About the only way he agreed with the ISO-STD Quaker philosophy is he wouldn’t allow firearms in the church. At least he thought he banned them.)

              • I find your ideas intriguing and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

          • I saw what happened when a member of my family refused to defend his family and turned the other cheek instead in every situation. The aggression was turned on his family. So I think “turn the other cheek” is for the light bullshit — as in “pick your fights.” You still might have to go full-blown berserker (or Jesus in the temple if you prefer).

          • As too turning the other cheek. It was meant to make the Romans assault Christians/Jews as CITIZEN’s. A Roman could only strike a non-citizen in a certain way. By “turning the cheek” you forced the Roman to strike you as a citizen. It’s a classic case of agitation against the overlord making him treat you as an equal or to walk away. My brother who took Latin in school explained this to me a few years ago. A lot of the “peaceful” verses in the New Testament aren’t that peaceful when you look at the cultures involved and what was going on back then.

            • Yep.. today if you turn the other cheek, you are just showing perceived weakness and the abuse seems to get worse… imho

            • Do you have a good source for culturally translated “peaceful” verses? That’d be interesting

              • Alas not really. Just typical discussions in the homestead between my atheist brother, evangelical mother, and agnostic me. All of us have read the bible more than once and have discussions about different aspects when the mood strikes. And when I say discussion, I mean discussion. 🙂

      • And they are invariably fundamentalist, because it’s not the inerrant Bible that marks them out; it’s the firm belief that the interpretation of a verse is whatever happens to strike them on first reading it, and everyone else is just claiming a different meaning in bad faith.

        • Actually, a nitty-gritty discussion among Christian Fundamentalists will have discussions of the Hebrew and Greek and of textual lines.

          • The silliest sort of fundamentalist, then.

            (I’m afraid I see rather more of them than the other on Catholic blogs.)

    • I’ve found that the most effective way to deal with this tactic is to interrupt and ask “Who said I was a Christian?”

      • Heh, I’ve done that.

        “Jewish here, we’re theologically (if not culturally) ok with launching a clan war to avenge an insult by an outsider.”

      • As a Latter-day Saint, I’m in an interesting boat. *I* believe I’m a Christian. A lot of other people are willing to consent to that, too. But there are a lot of Christians that do not accept me as a Christian, because I don’t believe in Jesus the same way they do.

        Of course, as a Latter-day Saint, (1) I believe the Bible to be true, so long as it’s translated correctly, and (2) if I have a question about the meaning of a Biblical verse, I’m going to put priority on what modern-day prophets and other ecclesiastical leaders have said about it, and what I have thoughtfully and prayerfully considered about it, than I am over what some random person on the Interwebs says I should believe it means…

        What all this boils down to is that being a Christian is a very personal matter, and unless you know the particular Christian very well (and thinking that a person is Christian when they aren’t, means you don’t know the person very well), throwing scripture into their face is, more likely than not, just going to be rather offensive…
        —–
        *Because of this, I have a simple rule for identifying someone as a Christian: do they profess to believe that Jesus is savior, and try to follow His teachings? If so, they are Christian, however misguided they may be. If not, then they aren’t Christian. This rules out Muslims (who believe Jesus was a prophet), and it arguably rules out people who grew up in Christian households, but don’t really practice anything (but if the latter say they are Christian, I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, and consider them a lapsed Christian)….

        • scott2harrison

          Speaking as an agnostic who regularly gets told that that is not very Christian to attempt to manipulate me (I volunteer at churches), it is not offensive, it is hilarious. (I just tell them that I’m not a Christian and walk away before their exploding heads get all over me.)

          • Heh. Also agnostic, and was on the Board of the Parish Catholic School for several years. (Yes, the usual – volunteer for anything, and it just grows…). Never had a problem there – except that I was the conservative voice when we were deciding on the curriculum for sex education.

        • I will not get into a religious debate. I will say that what we believe of Jesus is extremely important – and that there are some in my own denomination who, by their own words, are not Christians. Some of them are preachers.

          On translations: We live in a marvelous age where we have incredible resources all for free. Something I like to do is to look at and do searches based on the Strong numbers, a reference to the original translated word, and compare it to different translations. It’s light years beyond the old parallel bibles.

          • I reckon Jesus knows His followers and I am not on this Earth to tell Him who they are and are not.

          • I remember reading recently about a preacher — possibly a Presbyterian — who was an outspoken atheist, and who taught her congregation atheism. The organization above her were trying to figure out whether or not she should be removed.

            On the one hand, if the preacher was an outspoken atheist, and said “I don’t believe in God, but I believe the teachings of this denomination are important, so I’m going to teach you to follow the teachings — even if God doesn’t exist, these teachings will help you. But she didn’t — she actively said the teaching of her denomination was harmful, and taught against them. That the Organization *still* had a problem with removing her, boggles my mind.

            The purpose of organizing is to teach people what you believe, and help people live up to those beliefs. If you’re actively undermining the principles of a given Organization (which you have every right to do), you don’t belong as a member of that organization — and you *especially* don’t belong in the leadership of that organization.

      • THEOCRAT! generally distracts them.

    • Ask if they practice St. Francis’s motto: Preach the gospel to everyone you meet, and if necessary, use words. (I.E. live an example, don’t talk it.)

    • This a 55 gallon drum of worms. A lot of things are “color of the church carpet” issues, not eternally important and not addressed by Christianity. At the other end are contradictions to the core beliefs of Christianity, which it’s impossible for any person to deny and be a Christian. In between are issues that are thought provoking and debatable – and usually are, with great vigor and heat.

      In most cases, politics is in that 55 gallon drum of worms. Some issues are clear cut. Yet political views, unless they are in clear contradiction with scripture, are more of a color of the church carpet thing. The hazard with anything is confusing what we prefer with what’s actually written in scripture, and politics isn’t exempt.

    • In my experience, anyone that wields scripture as a weapon in using it to shame and denigrate. They do not follow it themselves and just want you to shut up. And this goes regardless of whether they are telling you to take part in a blasphemy or that Jesus wanted you to put guns to people’s heads to make them pay for your need to feel you are doing good.

      My favorite is when they preach forgiveness as a reason for Christians to venerate the sinner class they want to support but neglect the statement “go forth and sin no more”.

      • scott2harrison

        As an offensive weapon, yes. On the other hand I have used it as a defensive weapon in by youth. It was amazing to me how little of the bible Jesus Freaks knew. For that matter they used to run when they saw a friend of mine coming as she really knew the bible and didn’t hesitate to use it when challenged.

      • Michael Brazier

        I once ran across a lout on a mailing list who liked to quote the passage about how Christians could handle snakes and drink poison without being harmed, then challenge Christians to take cyanide to prove their faith. I quoted from the temptation of Jesus story in Luke – far as I know, that shut him up.

    • My view has always been that only Christ has the final word on who and who isn’t a Christian. If you are, then He is with you. If you aren’t then it doesn’t matter if everyone else thinks of you as a Christian.

  6. When I read or hear the word “progressive”. I think of cancer.

  7. … where the inerrant nature of the Bible is not a thing.

    Shucks, even those for whom the inerrancy of the Bible is a thing have learned to distrust the errant nature of our understandings of the Book.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

      Nod.

      G*d said what He meant to say but I can misunderstand what He said.

      And if I can misunderstand what He said, so can others. 😉

      • G-d exists and thinks n-dimensionally. He can explain the universe to me about as well as I can explain quantum mechanics to a cat*.

        Experience suggests that while people can almost always find what they seek in The Bible, what they seek is rarely Wisdom or Truth.

        *Arguments about the ability of cats to comprehend and exploit quantum physics should be addressed in a new thread, For the record, I stand in favor of cats in all dimensions other than compassion.

    • That’s a major hazard. The best commentary is only someone’s opinion. In too many a commentator makes a presumption, and it’s best to ask if that presumption is grounded in the scripture.

      • Maybe OT: In a Bible class I took at YU we studied the major commentator on the Torah. The first question asked in our analysis was: Why is he commenting on this verse?

    • This. Very much this.

  8. There are several problems with this right now.

    The first is that the narrative is breaking up, but breaking up underground, as it were, beneath the surface of things.

    The second is that the “crust” remains intact.

    I’ve been reading about Jeff Sessions’ warning to sanctuary cities, and am waiting quite eagerly for the ‘splody heads when liberals are forced to recognize that they’re advocating the same arguments used by Confederates (nullification), which were resoundingly rejected in this country in 1865.

    C’mon, we’ve got far left liberals rooting for states rights — we really must be in the Twilight Zone …

    • waiting quite eagerly for the ‘splody heads when liberals are forced to recognize …

      Please refrain from abating breath while waiting, as Liberals’ capacity for recognizing anything about themselves (other than their presumed virtue) is on a par with the ability of Toads to recognize their fundamental lack of beauty.

    • “Mayday! Mayday! I can’t hold her! She’s breaking up! She’s break—”

      “America, an experiment. A country barely alive.”
      “Gentlefolk, we can rebuild her. We have the historical basis. We have the capability to make the world’s first truly free republic. America will be that republic. Better than she was before. Better…saner…freer.”

    • Actually, the Nullification Crises was resolved about thirty years prior to that date. And the nullification near and dear to their hearts will be those who aided run-away slaves in violation of the US.

      I hoped Trump’s election would have the Liberals dusting off the constitution for a change and reassuring the 10th Amendment. It’s quite fun to watch.

    • I’m not sure if *any* issue is fully resolved, and that includes things like secession and nullification.

      Having said that, Progressives have a simple rule for Nullification, which applies to *everything* they do: if their enemies are using it, it’s bad and awful and they are moral scum for using it; if *they* are doing it, it’s a legitimate exercise of their power to do so.

      Basically, that which increases the power of Progressives is good, and that which limits the power of Progressives is bad.

    • Dude, they think secession works.

      • Dude, they think Socialism works.

        With the modifier, in both instances, “when led by the right people.”

        • and yes, i said dude all the time before i moved here
          besides, i live eleven miles from the most excellent city of San Dimas.
          Totallly, fer shur.

          Anyway, yeah they think they can set up a socialist paradise on the backs of what is basically slave labor… the problem is, the high earning jobs are all fleeing to other states or to Canada.

  9. One interesting thing about us story-telling apes is how much we’re willing to accept our stories as true–event the ones that we know are fiction. To give a couple of examples:

    I remember a debate on women in the military a few years back where one person was insisting that of course women could take down men in a hand-to-hand fight because “strength doesn’t really matter as compared to training. After all, look at Buffy.” Now, I don’t think the woman arguing this was an idiot; I think if she’d really thought about what she was saying, she’d have recognized that Buffy wins her battles not because Sarah Michelle Geller could beat up James Marsten in a fair fight but simply because the script says she does–and at any rate, that a show about vampires and the mystic “chosen one” who has magical powers to kill them is probably not the place you should be looking for information on how a real fight would go. However, she had seen it so many times that she simply accepted “small blond woman beats up much larger male adversary” as truth and didn’t question it any further.

    And lest you think I’m picking on that speck in this lady’s eye while ignoring the log in my own (see, Trolls, I can quote scripture too), my second example is about the “kid in the gorilla enclosure” some months back. A few people suggested that the gorilla should have been tranquilized rather than killed, and others chimed in to say that tranquilizer darts don’t work immediately, that they tend to agitate the animal initially before eventually putting it to sleep, and it would only have made the situation worse. One of those folks asked sarcastically, “What did you think tranquilizer darts worked like on TV, where you hit someone with one and they fall over unconscious mid-sentence?” I was somewhat surprised and embarrassed to realize my answer to that question was, yes, I did believe that. After all, I’ve never seen a real tranquilizer dart in action, but I have seen them in movies and shows and stories where that’s how they behave. So again, my brain accepted that the WAS the way they worked without questioning or even consciously acknowledging that all my examples were made-up.

    I could go on with other examples I’ve either seen or personally fallen into the trap of, but I think you get the idea.

    • It’s been a while since Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom was on TV, I suppose. That showed some real-life (at least I presume.. it’s been a good many year and memory is imperfect) tranq. darting – and yeah, you didn’t want to be very close just after the dart hit.

    • We see people fight anesthesia all the time in the hospital. Sometimes the effective dose is nearly lethal; and way more than any dinky little dart can hold. And I’ve never seen a repeating dart gun. They’re all single shot.

      • Or there’s me: The usual effective dose will put me out, but I metabolize it about twice as fast…..

        The bear’s waking up a little ahead of schedule, Jim.

      • And the bit realized relatively recently, that there are factors about how some drugs are metabolized. I recall being prescribed codeine for something and finding it had, as far as I could tell, no effect. Evidently there are three different reactions to codeine: textbook (majority?), super effective – but effects don’t last very long, and mildly if at all effective – any effect lasts some time. And it seems I’m in that last group. I have not used any other prescription pain medication, despite having been prescribed hydrocodone a couple times “just in case.” Well, ‘case’ didn’t happen, and I have no desire to take that stuff if I do not need it. The police station pharma drop-box (eventually) got it instead as it’s also the sort of thing I do not want lying around.

        • Ditto for me on the last group. Opioids take the edge off the pain, I’m aware of it but not overly distracted by it. Never seem to develop any craving or dependency for them though. But then I never developed an addiction to tobacco either; in spite of the benefits of doing so in Basic Training. Although I do like the occasional smell of apple pipe tobacco that my father used to smoke.

          • The IV toradol had that effect for me. I still had the ‘warning lights’ on the panel as it were, telling something was wrong, but it shut that d@mn klaxon off. And that was enough that I had no need or desire for the offered morphine.

          • I tried tobacco once. Exactly once. Had *a* cigar (admittedly not what aficionados would call ‘good’). Didn’t feel anything – except an urge to shower and do laundry – despite having it outdoors. $HOUSEMATE did experience an effect, but that was the result of something of rather higher quality – and interestingly, I didn’t have an urge to shove $HOUSEMATE into the shower after that, either.

            One grandfather smoked cigarettes and it was nasty. The other also, but only after grandma got him to give up cigars (she couldn’t get him to quit smoking, but tried.. this might have been an unfortunate reversal. Those jokes about ZigZag papers? They fall flat for me. They’re what grandpa used.) The occasional *whiff* (and no more!) of cherry pipe tobacco isn’t bad. Not sure where that came from, as I don’t recall any pipe smokers except one that was.. naRsty. Yes, with the capital R. “…and his atomic pipe” was one the kinder things said.

        • The bad thing is when your reactions change. Codeine used to put me out for hours. Then the last couple of times I had it, all it did was turn me into an extreme paranoid. (They look at me funny when I tell them that – but a doctor that caused the pain definitely does not want me irrationally paranoid.)

      • One of my sons doesn’t fight anesthesia. He’s simply resistant. Effective dose for him is lethal to some. The anesthesiologist was watching him very closely when he needed to be put completely under.

        • Yup. For a lot of stuff, I need a lot of it, and then I wake up or otherwise have it wear off fast.

          And this is why I like to chat with the doctors and nurses. Because then they can tell that I am still feeling it!

          • I seem to be becoming resistant to what the dentist uses, based on last summer’s dental experiences.

            • scott2harrison

              If you are writing of the local that they use, its effectiveness can depend on your state of mind. If you are very up-tight that day, it will not work nearly as well as normal. Found that out the hard way one visit.

            • Evil Rob is basically fully resistant to all dental painkillers. (The ‘caines, as it were—novocaine, lidocaine, etc.) The last time he had them, he was at the legal limit for three of them and still feeling effects. So—no dentist for a while, since he also has an anxiety disorder and telling him to just relax wasn’t going to happen.

              I worked at a radio station after we moved back to my hometown, and heard about “sedation dentistry.” It’s basically a twilight dose of sleepy pills + a bit of anesthesia. He had to have a lot of work done, and still has one more round to go, but it’s worth looking into if you’re developing resistance. (He has nasty aftereffects from the pills, etc. but dental work needs to be done and we’re glad this exists.)

              • Dentist I now deal with has a great water-pulse & laser setup that means that for the simple ‘drill & fill’ (now more a ‘grind and bind’) that is enough that I’ve actually turned down chemical anesthesia – NOT something I would have predicted! For more.. involved… work I am fairly sure I’d want the benefits of modern chemistry.

              • Also I had a few sessions in the mid-late 1980’s with the fellow Pa described as “the painless dentist” (you knew he was serious when he actually said ‘dentist’ instead of ‘dentalmeyer’ or such). The cleaning/diagnosis was no big deal (admittedly the.. well-endowed.. hygienist resting some of her anatomy on my head was pleasant distraction if not outright anesthesia…) and the first drill-&-fill session was alright. But the second? Had me wondering just how fast one can acclimate to anesthetics. At least the fellow did the “numb the injection site THEN inject” that Mengele, DDS of the 1970’s did NOT do. “This will feel like a mosquito bite.” Yeah, assuming a steel-case-hardened nuclear-powered mosquito. “Quiet down! You’re scaring my waiting patients.” My thought was, “Good! I’m warning them!”

    • It’s beyond the military now. And probably has been for some time. Loads of self-defense courses for women set them up for disaster. So many action movies have Action Girls that give people that silly impression that training trumps everything. Even a well-trained woman is still at serious risk from an average sized male with little or no training/experience who is determined to hurt, rape, or kill her.

      I’ve personally observed many women that have this badass attitude who, in a more realistic military hand-to-hand training environment, become demoralized when they have their conditioned truths forcibly stripped away.

      Tinfoil time: maybe this is how anti-2A types draw a lot of support from women – perpetuating the belief that perfectly executed spinning hook kicks and simple wrist locks will bring down any attacker, so keep those icky guns away.

      • I have yet to meet an anti-2A type that could perform a simple wrist lock.

        Fun party trick is to get anti-2A type to grab my wrist with both hands as hard as they can. The look on their face when I turn my hand over and they fall down is priceless.

      • Consider that any film depicting a fight between a “highly-trained” woman and a heavily muscled man would be denounced as sexist.

      • I was involved with a dojo. I learned quickly that the only way to survive was to do a incapacitating or lethal strike and then run. I can drop a full-grown man, but only if he isn’t watching for it. Once you have them down though– what do you do with them? Most men get really angry… and then you are in deep shit as a woman. *sigh

        • I took a basic teen safety course that had “get away effectively” as its basic premise. The strikes we were taught were nasty (“grab and twist”) and designed to put the attacker in a lot of pain very quickly, because “get away” doesn’t work unless you have the person chasing you down for the count.

          Interestingly, we were taught to avoid the knee to the crotch maneuver, since it’s expected and easy to block. The more common one was scraping your foot down their shin, which hurts a lot more than you might expect.

          Oh, and all of these self-defense maneuvers were based on the idea that they were trying to rape you. There are… certain vulnerabilities at that juncture.

          As a side note, don’t ever let anyone force you somewhere. Another term for “secondary crime scene” is “where they find the body.”

          • I once had the handle of a machete spring back and hit me in that sensitive area. It was severe enough that I felt it in my lower abdomen, but didn’t put me down. OTOH, there is a spot on the side of your knee that will practically put you down, but you have to hit it just right. Like the day my old boss clobbered himself with a hammer.

          • > secondary crime scene

            That’s normally taught as the “Onion Field” scenario. Movie reviews pollute the search results, but here’s a small article on the original incident: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/justice-story-article-1.249124

            There’s a pretty good article by Massad Ayoob, but I’m not getting any hits on it for some reason…

            • There’s a pretty good article by Massad Ayoob, but I’m not getting any hits on it for some reason…

              When such things (fail to) happen it is natural to assume one’s “Google-Fu” is insufficient, or that one’s memory is in error. Increasingly, it is reasonable to suspect algorithm manipulation, shadow-banning, ghosting or memory holing.

              The point being, how can one tell?

              Compound this with the increased proclivity of revising posted material without documenting the revisions and you have the equipment for society-wide gaslighting.

            • I searched on “onion field murder” on DuckDuckGo and found some links. There’s an article on it at
              https://infogalactic.com/info/The_Onion_Field
              I haven’t read the Wikipedia version.

              I use DDG as my primary search engine, though their mapping stuff isn’t the greatest. Bing is my backup. About the only place I use Google for is their translator. For some reason, Bing doesn’t recognize Latin.

        • That probably is the only good way. So in a real situation I suppose the best strategy for a woman even if well trained would not be to strike a pose and wait for attack, or attack herself, but just try to talk them out of it and if that doesn’t seem to be working then rather even do the full damsel in distress routine – crying, pleading for mercy, looking and acting very scared – and wait for opportunity, when presented take it and do that incapacitating (or lethal) strike.

          And then run (if you aren’t sure you killed him).

          Make him think you are not even a little bit of a physical threat and he is more likely to get careless. Present as a trained fighter and he will be on his guard.

          Also, getting in pissing contests with men with that type of masculine stuff is not a good way to make them give up and go away, at least the types who would attack a woman in the first place will take that as a challenge and more likely then go through with it even if they originally weren’t planning to do more than scare you. Guns, now, threatening with that is likely to work, but threatening with your bare hands? How many would be willing to retreat from a woman?

          • There are two schools of thought. Being too much trouble is very effective, especially if you become very noticeable. In a hostage situation, the sympathetic ear works.

            But you never get in the car. The usual survival stories after a car ride start with “He thought I was dead.”

            • I saw a recent case where two girls were killed shortly after a snapchat one of them posted showed a person far in the background—and the other one apparently turned on the recording on her phone when they were talking with the killer, so if they catch the guy, they have a voice.

              Unfortunately, they were two teenaged girls in a public but remote enough place that they were in danger. 😦

          • Yes– very good points.

          • If the police are in the area and the guy’s holding you — “faint.”

            Even a 100 lbs of dead weight is a bit hard to handle.

      • Christopher M. Chupik

        I’d be happy with training. Most of them seem to think that grrrl power and attitude will bring down a guy twice their size.

      • What’s odd is that reality is one of my biggest arguments against untrained people carrying for self-defense (not as in deny them a right but to advise them against it). Like RAH points out in Tunnel in the Sky unless you are trained and thinking straight a gun can make you cocky to the point of stupidity. Mix a gun with the “Action Chick” mindset and you’re probably more likely to wind up dead then if you cry and run like a little bitch (a strategy that I will happily use over violence when confronted by people for whole violence is a daily tool BTW unless the cost is too high).

        • Yes. You need to understand​ how to avoid conflict and just how fluid threatening situations are. Otherwise odds get much darker.

        • Proper training involves not just how to shoot, but when. Most guys I know that carry are quiet, calm individuals. Especially in tense situations.

      • Antifa girls are the worst of all, since they’re always surrounded by gaggles of male followers who’ll swarm and bash on any target after she gets in his face and provokes him with assaults. Its the worst of both the action girl stupidity and a perverted chivalry.

        • There was a video I watched on just that subject.

          • Yeah… Who here is acting like the Fascists?

            They aren’t wearing spiffy brown shirts when they throw people down to the ground and start kicking them. That must make all the difference. NO?

    • Sarah Michelle Geller could beat up James Marsten in a fair fight

      Probably — Marsten looks like the kind of scrawny under-nourished actor who could be reduced to tears by a single well-placed blow. Geller’d have little to no chance against Dave Boreanaz, and would likely hurt herself just punching Angel’s abs.

      To your broader point, scientists researchers grant recipients have long been concerned over the degree to which exposure to prawnography has affected people’s expectations for what sexual relationships and experiences ought be like, often to the detriment of people’s enjoyment of their own encounters. Further evidence can be found in the way people think of firearms usage, especially the idiots who think the proper way to use a pistol involves holding it sideways … or that muzzle suppressors actually silence shots fired.

      Just because you’ve seen Gentle Ben does not mean bears are big cuddly-boos.

    • Buffy explicitly has super strength.

    • SheSellsSeashells

      S.M. Stirling had a delightful bit of author-platforming in one of his Nantucket books, where Earnest Trainee (female) is asking Grizzled Mentor (also female) “well, what if the guy is just as well-trained as you are AND bigger?” “Likely, you die.”

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        IIRC later in that series, the Grizzled Mentor thought about a saying in the Martial Arts circles uptime about what happens when they get older.

        Something to do with “we’ll be the most dangerous cripples around”. 😉

        • see also: Cohen the Barbarian

        • Saw that happen at Flat State U. Dumb Crook tried to mug Old Prof by grabbing him from behind after being warned by Old Prof. Old Prof happened to have been an international judo instructor. Old Prof flipped Dumb Crook head over heels into side of car, then limped into closest store and called cops.

          • I like the story of the old man who got into a cab and was rushed by two robbers who came through the passenger doors at the same time. He knocked them cold. The old man’s name was Jack Dempsey.

      • I learned early on fighting guys the only thing that allows you to survive is “you go crazy.” “fight like a cornered cat” and “do the unexpected.” Oh, and have no holds barred. Yes, grab the tongue, puncture the eyes. Get cover, throw heavy objects. ANYTHING.
        Even then only reason I’m still here is that most of these men didn’t expect ANY resistance, portugal being a REAL patriarchal society. So any opposition was enough for them to decide not worth the trouble.

        • Feather Blade

          I can’t help but think that the best course of action when a crazed gunman invades your school classroom is “Throw chairs at him until you can work your way close enough to beat him to death with one.”

          • Much as people don’t want to accept, in active shooter situation without escape you are dead. So any action to distract shooter is improvement even if people die. More flight 93 than Pulse.

            • I will never understand people who in a situation which is “if you do nothing you will all die but if you do something maybe one of you will live” respond “but if I do something I might get killed”.

              I am all for avoiding violence in a typical street crime situation but if you hit that moment of truth where it is “act and maybe die or just die” have some stones.

              • Yep. The mindset has to be ‘if I can keep myself out of situation I am unequipped to deal with (seeing as my hobby is defined as “ultrahazardous” by the manufacturer of gear for it that is required caveat) I will. If I get into one anyway, I’m gonna do everything I can to get me, or anyone else out of it.’

                And that does not necessarily have to be violence. The victims of Dylan Roof did what they could. You had men and women at Columbine and VT do same, even just as meat shields. But we have inculcated too much ‘wait for a hero’ mindset imo.

              • People come in two types, as far as I can tell. When it hits the fan, some people GO. They either run toward or away from the trouble, full speed. They -do- something.

                The other, apparently much more numerous types, don’t go. They stand and stare like sheep. Eventually they might reach for their g*dd*mn phone to take a video.

                This IMHO is why people die in mass shootings. One clown with a pistol can’t defeat a room full of people trying to kill him. He -can- defeat a room full of people standing and staring.

                If you are a Type One, at any random event you should plan on being the only human with a clue.

                • Only caveat is add is that once the herd starts to move, they will be predictable. Don’t go for main exit, continue to watch and keep moving. Look at stuff like coconut Grove or some deadly plane fires.

                  • One of the survivors of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire was one because she watched where the bigwigs were going and went that way – to the (relatively) safe roof.

                • Michael Houst

                  Life is moving. You stop moving, you’re dead. Doesn’t matter what the situation is.

                • Eventually they might reach for their g*dd*mn phone to take a video.
                  The biggest image-shock for me with the London stuff recently was the victims on the bridge, with a (very) few fully human bystanders rushing in to give aid and comfort, and a larger number of frankly lesser folks whipping out their phones to grab video of those bleeding people on the sidewalk.

              • Reminded of neurosurgeon was told, “But your survival rate is so low.” and replied, “That’s because I do the risky stuff. A 1% chance of survival still beats the 0% chance of doing nothing.”

              • There was a mall shooting in one of the central African countries a year or so back, and it was ended by a bystander who managed to subdue the attacker. There was a translated interview with the guy describing the incident, and it’s interesting because he said that when the shooter appeared, he knew he was dead… so anything he did from that point could only improve the prospect. It’s a useful way to approach such situations.

            • At one of my previous employers, I had to attend an Active Shooter Response seminar. In the intro, the instructor asked the (possibly rhetorical) question about the proper response to an active shooter. My reply, ‘Two to the chest, one to the head,” was not appreciated. Nor was it feasible thanks to the company’s policy on firearms in the workplace (other than for the CEO’s chauffeur/bodyguard). The accepted answer was the old ‘run and hide, and if the badguy hunts you down regardless throw a chair at him’ response.

              • What? Nothing about pulling the toner cartridge from the copier and throwing its content wildly in the air to create a vision-obscuring dust cloud?

              • Feather Blade

                Back when I worked for a university in the neighboring state, the advice given to faculty and staff regarding and active shooter was “Throw shoes at him.”

                That’s all, no follow up advice, just “Throw shoes.”

                …to be fair this was the theatre department, so we were much better equipped in that regard than most, but still.

          • Bingo. Distract and confuse, then eliminate.

          • The best advice I’ve seen so far about that is “turn a fire extinguisher on him.” That assumes that you’ve got time to pre-arm in a limited-weapon environment, of course. But there should be a fire extinguisher.

            • Not only can you give him a faceful of extinguishing agent, but you have a bludgeon too. We had two meanings for “oxygen therapy” on the booboo bus.

              • Distract with the spray, then bludgeon. Down on the arms, then up into the face. Once he’s down, if you can’t restrain him, break his hands.

        • Ironically, that’s the most sensible thing a woman can do in a fight with most men. Go absolutely nuts. That alone will shock the vast majority of men enough to deter them.

          When my wife asked for training, I kept it simple. I said you’re not going to stand toe to toe with any man and trade blows. He’s going to try and grapple you to subdue or otherwise incapacitate you. If it gets to that point, you go as hard as you can for the eyes, the genitals, or the throat. Whichever one you can get to the most effectively. Twist, pull, gouge, rip, whatever you can do. Learning anything fancier than that is wasting your time.

          Unless you’re training in a useful martial art multiple times a week throughout your life, you’re wasting your time. Even if you do, it still does little to prepare women for the real deal against a man. You can train to shoot effectively in far less time.

          • Your useful martial art is only useful while you’re not old, not crippled, and not sick.

            As long as you can see your target and pull the trigger, the pistol will still work.

          • “Unless you’re training in a useful martial art multiple times a week throughout your life, you’re wasting your time.”

            Depends. I knew a little 90 pound librarian looking girl in Tai Chi, she broke a guy’s collarbone with a palm strike for getting handsy with her at a bus stop. Brush Knee, worked better than advertised. That time.

            In the USA, I’m a big fan of firearms for self defense. Particularly for women. God made Man, Sam Colt made us equal.

            But in Canada, where the government has decreed that armed self defense will be rewarded with financial ruin and 90% probable jail time, we can’t do that. Women are targets. Women here are reduced to third world status. The reality just hasn’t sunk in with people. A certain segment of the population is working hard to rectify that, but they haven’t managed yet.

            In Canada, a woman’s best bet is an edged weapon, collapsible baton, ninja spike, -anything- you can use to get some distance on your attacker so you can get to a car and get out of Dodge City. Remember, pepper spray is ILLEGAL here. You can buy it, but you can’t use it. If you do, there’s jail.

            • Small flashlight even. The edge of an aluminum light will do damage, is better than nothing, and completely innocuous.

              • The ends of some small flashlights are crenulated. An all-metal pen can be used as a shiv. Even a plastic pen can be used as a shiv, which is why they make small, flexible, pens for people going into prisons. Some metal pens are flared at the top for logos and such. There are key fobs shaped like kitty faces and nice, pointy, ears, but might be illegal in some places. And there is the good ol’ fashioned roll of quarters.

                Bummer about pepper spray. Of course, other things sprayed into the eyes probably wouldn’t feel very good.

                • BobtheRegisterrredFool

                  Umbrella, water bottle, backpack, coins, maybe keys were on a list I saw on some website.

                • Michael Houst

                  Can of Raid sprayed in the face will work wonders. Lysol is nasty too.

                • Y’all do know what the active ingredient in pepper spray is, right? And the concentration? Making it illegal would be foolish even for Cloud-Cookoo-Land Proggies. Making the actual use of it makes sense for their objective, that being a disarmed general population. *shakes head*

                  More the fools, they.

                • Perfume in the eyes would be highly nasty and possibly more damaging than pepper spray. After all, most cosmetic companies don’t do animal testing anymore.

            • “Remember, pepper spray is ILLEGAL here. You can buy it, but you can’t use it. If you do, there’s jail.”

              Waitwaitwait…whaaaaaaaaat? On what grounds could you possibly justify that?

            • In Canada, a woman’s best bet is an edged weapon …

              Spiked high heels. Never underestimate the persuasive power of a 6″ spikes heel applied to the instep or top of the assailant’s foot.

              A metal comb with rat-tail handle is also effective.

              Hair spray, in the eyes or, if you’ve got a lighter …

            • however, i would caution Canadians to check the legality of carrying any of the rest of these, too…

          • In some ways this is why I (all other factors being equal) would prefer to go against a man who was much larger than me: More wiggle room if he DOES get me in a grapple. I can still writhe and grab and scratch and bite against someone much larger than I am, than someone nearer my size, especially if he doesn’t know how to use his size effectively. I’ve a friend who’s 6’4″. I’d much rather grapple him and guys built like him than my 5’10” husband and that set. I can’t out-strength either of them, and I’m reasonably strong for a woman. But my husband is much nearer my size and I just can’t get the leverage points to get anything effective in.

            Mind you, if I had my druthers I wouldn’t be fighting someone built like EITHER of them. My odds would be very bad. Non-zero but very bad, I’d just have slightly better odds against the bigger guy in a grapple. (All those stages before you get to grapple? Yeah, big man gets the advantage again, and I’m unlikely to get reach on him without a pole arm.) These are also 1 on 1 fights not ‘dog pile’ (which negates the wiggle room advantage.) The fact that the odds are bad is why I’m working on my concealed carry currently. (And my aim.)

    • A few years back at a summer training session, in the field in the evening after formal training was done for the day a female major approached a group of cadets and said “I hear someone hear thinks women don’t belong in combat!” Well, everyone sitting around pointed to the one she was obviously talking about. “Stand up!” and he did. “Attack me!” “No, ma’am, I’m not going to do that.” So she launched herself at him, and he threw her to the ground. She got up, and did it again- and got the same result. She stared at him and left. She had gone there to make a point. She did.

      I heard the story from multiple sources who witnessed it.

    • When I was in Grad School, we had a Comp. Sci. professor who was a high degree black belt in multiple martial arts. And a little tiny woman, about 5’0”. Her take on this subject was that the size difference between her and an average-sized man was worth between one and two belts. Plus the same again for a REALLY BIG & STRONG man. So her black-belt+++ (I don’t remember the actual details, other than “several levels past ordinary black belt”) left her about even with a really big guy who was brown-belt level of skill.

      I cannot judge whether she was right in her assessment; I lack the relevant skills and background. But it seems plausible to my untrained eye. Training makes a difference, but so do size and strength. A big difference in one aspect may compensate for a big difference in the other.

      She also observed that progress at/past the black belt level comes *very* slowly if at all, at least in the ones she practiced.

      • Having spent over 10 years practicing martial arts and finally achieving 1st Dan, and seen and sparred with a number of experienced female instructors and other women, I’d say your Comp Sci BB professor was correct. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t women who could beat the snot out of a big male marine or special forces guy, but they’re only 1 or 2 in a thousand women, if that.

        • That assessment might be correct in terms of sparring, but in a real fight where someone is actually trying to hurt the other person (or worse), that high degree black belt means very little. I also know a small woman who was a third degree black belt in TKD. She ended up in the hospital after a confrontation with a common street thug who was a male of average size and strength. Another female acquaintance of mine has a 4th degree in Jiu Jitsu, and even though that generally translates better into a real physical confrontation, she only advises it as a last resort and even then is quite realistic about female vs. male combat.

          Martial arts training is nice for discipline, scoring points, and fitness, but in a real fight, most of those styles quickly become useless. More so if the attacker has experience, but little formal training. There’s a reason most MMA matches are won on the ground.

          • Most serious fights are over in seconds, not minutes. And most tend to be lost by the guy who makes the first mistake, even be it a small one. Body mass counts for a lot. Pain tolerance (which comes with experience, generally) can make up for lack of training.

            Sheer ruthlessness and bloodyminded directness, for lack of better terms, can help. But best of all is immediate lethal force. Shot placement, knowledge of anatomy, and getting in the first strike can make the difference between shaken but alive and bleeding out. There are no points for fair play. Best to get out alive if you can and back to your loved ones.

            • Far too many people fail to grasp that when a person is punched equal force is felt in the area punched and the area punching. A 110-lb woman, even a Black Widow, punching a 240-lb man is asking for a broken hand, wrist and/or elbow.

              I am not stirred to research the matter, but I do believe that (on average) male bone density is significantly greater than that of females. This would have obvious implications to those who grasp F=MA.

      • Plus, there’s the issue of pain tolerance. A lot of self defense is based on the idea that someone who encounters a bit of pain will stop the bad thing he’s trying to do.
        And that may work for J. Average Male… but not so good for a Glaswegian Football supporter.

        • And pain processing which isn’t quite the same thing but is a learnable skill.

        • In 1964, Hunter Thompson wrote his first major set of columns / book called Hell’s Angels, about the motorcycle gang and its’ environment.

          “San Francisco is a big martial arts town — which is why in any biker bar around the Bay, the staff will have a story every week about some punk who got punched out by the bartender after trying “that karate stuff.” A bartender with scarred knuckles from a hundred fights will always do better than some guy who knows the moves but isn’t used to taking a real punch.”

          • Last summer, I was shooting at the local range when one of the shells from my Beretta bounced off the barricade and into the top of my shoe. And hot brass does burn. I was able to think enough to decock the pistol, put it on the bench, then reached down and removed the offending bit of brass. Left a nice little blister.

            • I have a faint scar on the back of my left hand from where a casing settled between my hand and a sandbag while on an army range.

    • Professor Badness

      Yeah, friend of mine served in Vietnam. Wound up in hand to hand situations repeatedly. A bunch of his opponents were trained in whatever the local version of kung-fu was.
      He was a big man, and the malnourished viet-cong could not hit him hard enough to make a difference.
      He said that most of the fights ended when he would drop his bulk on them, usually killing them in the process.
      Physics can be a B*tch.

      • There is a reason the standard means of securing combative patients is four big firefighters or cops. Brute force works 90% of time.

      • A friend of the family told a story once about being shot point-blank by a guy—by a .22 pistol. He had on a thick jacket, so after he subdued the astonished shooter, he went to the doctor and got a bandaid.

        Physics is important in lots of things.

    • It’s my understanding that the situation is a little more dire than implied, too: if you don’t get the dose right (and you need a fairly accurate measure of the target person or animal to get the dose right), then the effect is either nothing or death. There isn’t much wiggle room to get tranquilizers right.

      Although, having said that, I would suspect that they’d have the right dose for each animal at a zoo….

      But this is a major reason why we can’t use tranquilizer darts as an alternative to guns for self defense.

      • Progs should want to keep Confederate monuments if only to be able to point to the reason white people are bad. I am 50 and I was born AFTER the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The number of people who can remember anything before affirmative action took off post Bakke will be in five digits soon and I could live to see it in four.

        Those pushing white tribalism already have a more than ready audience in those who remember nothing of being black or brown being more negative than positive visa via government or media. The more cultural amnesia you create the more of a hunting ground for recruits they will have.

        • But the issue is then you get folks wondering why, if they were so bad, why did they have monuments. Especially when you realize the monuments they fight are not necessarily evil slaveowners.

          Plus the more you make tribal politics important, namely when you tie people together by color, religion, sex, etc, the less taboo it becomes. Eventually it is just a “they do it, they get results with it, why don’t we”

          • Human nature being what it is, often times the process of trying to label something as “bad” or “dangerous” makes that very thing more attractive.
            People who do things that are “bad” or “dangerous” will often eventually be perceived as “cool”.
            The Left is ironically helping the Alt-White along by this very process.

            • Yep. And very rapidly removing the mental obstacles and getting out shock prods.

            • The Left is ironically helping the Alt-White along by this very process.

              The Left is unironically shooting themselves in the foot every time they get a weapon loaded.

          • Eventually it is just a “they do it, they get results with it, why don’t we”

            And you’ve just defined the alt-right. I don’t understand why it’s not obvious to everyone. They’re not (necessarily/mostly) white supremacists, they are just organizing under the identity that the Left imposed upon them (it’s getting very close to “us” for me).

            • Yes I know. Plus the growing antipathy and outright threats are just gonna spur more. Once a machine runs out of lubrication, it’s gonna read itself apart. We’re getting there.

              • Please tell me the yep is only for the first part not the last parenthetical statement.

                I mean, I’m close and very sympathetic as to why they’ve made that choice even though I struggle not to go there. I’d hate to see the people I figured would hold out to the end getting close.

            • Eric S Raymond made a post examining the Alt Right in December that makes a lot of sense to me.

              —SNIP—
              Whether the alt-right even exists in any meaningful sense is questionable. To my anthropologist’s eye it has the aspect of a hoax (or a linked collection of hoaxes) being worked by 4chan griefers and handful of more visible provocateurs – Milo Yiannopolous, Mike Cernovich, Vox Day – who have noticed how readily the mainstream media buys inflated right-wing-conspiracy narratives and are working this one for the lulz. There’s no actual mass movement behind their posturing, unless you think a thousand or so basement-dwelling otaku are a mass movement.

              I know Milo Yannopolous slightly – he is who interviewed me for Beitbart – and we have enough merry-prankster tendency in common that I think I get how his mind works. I’m certain that he, at any rate, is privately laughing his ass off at everyone who is going “alt-right BOOGA BOOGA!”

              And there are a lot of such people. What these provocateurs are exploiting is media hysteria – the alt-right looms largest in the minds of self-panickers who project their fears on it. And of course in the minds of Hillary Clinton’s hangers-on, who would rather attribute her loss to a shadowy evil conspiracy than to a weak candidate and a plain-old bungled campaign.

              —SNIP—
              http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=7258

              • I beg to differ. I know younger people. A lot of them. And I’m alarmed at the appeal of Alt.right to them.

                • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                  I’m 60+ and I see the appeal of the alt-right. 😦

                • He has concerns about the appeal that he mentions farther on in the post.

                  —SNIP—
                  I’m worried, however, that that the alt-right may not remain a loose-knit collection of hoaxes – that the self-panickers are actually creating what they fear.

                  For there is a deep vein of anti-establishment anger out there (see Donald Trump, election of). The alt-right (to the limited and conditional extent it now exists) could capture that anger, and its provocateurs are doing their best to make you think it already has, but they’re scamming you – they’re fucking with your head. The entire on-line ‘alt-right’ probably musters fewer people than the Trumpster’s last victory rally.

                  It’s a kind of dark-side Discordian hack in progress, and I’m concerned that it might succeed. Vox Day is trying to ideologize the alt-right, actually assemble something coherent from the hoaxes. He might succeed, or someone else might. Draw some comfort that it won’t be the Neo-Nazis or KKK – they’re real fanatics of the sort the alt-right defines itself by mocking. Mein Kampf and ironic nihilism don’t mix well.

                  The best way to beat the “alt-right” is not to overestimate it, not to feed it with your fear. If you keep doing that, the vast majority of the rootless and disaffected who have never heard of it might decide there’s a strong horse there and sign on.
                  —SNIP—

          • And that was a huge chunk of why you got Trump.

          • “Eventually it is just a “they do it, they get results with it, why don’t we””

            There is also a point where playing by a set of rules and values that a group of people not only do not and will never share but view as weaknesses to be exploited simply makes you a fool.

            That’s a major point about that John Adams quote about the Constitution being for a moral and religious people. It has far less to do with a specific sect than a set of shared assumptions about what’s “kosher”. We don’t have those in common with the Left, and until we are a “people” (not a race) with that set of standards, we’re not going to survive.

    • …one person was insisting that of course women could take down men in a hand-to-hand fight because “strength doesn’t really matter as compared to training. After all, look at Buffy.”

      What part of Buffy (the Vampire Slayer) being set in a fantasy world did this person not get?

      • Oh, she got it on a conscious level, the same way that on a conscious level I understand that the X-Files is fantasy, and thus not necessarily an accurate source for how tranquilizers work, or that Game of Thrones is fantasy, and thus not necessarily an accurate source about how brother-sister romantic relationships work. It’s just that we have so little experience in these topics in real life that our brains automatically default to the fictional examples and assume that must be how it works–even though we know it’s fiction.

  10. Why attack?

    Your very existence challenges their reality. They cannot believe their lying eyes; to do so would be to break their world.

    I was raised in an intellectual liberal republican household in the northeast. I have been there. It can be a truly frightening experience, the rug of your universe has been pulled out from under you. Until you develop a new understanding where do you stand? Who do you trust? If you were so wrong or fooled before, how do you know you aren’t wrong or fooled again?

  11. I think Marxism taps into a wellspring of desire for power over others in all sorts of ways.

    • Yes. Power and envy are the two draws imo. Between putting down those doing better and wanting to get things they think they deserve that is the default for determining their beliefs.

      • Why is Marxism is more dangerous than previous evils? I know that Marxism is incredibly evil. Just look at its death toll.

        • It is no different than the reason the Holocaust is more evil than most other pograms. The mechanization of death because the dead were not human. The difference is that the Holocaust is known. Holodomor isn’t.

        • Socialism/Communism is an “attractive nuisance” – the idea of “Hey, I only do what I am able to do, but I get what I need.” is appealing when it is unrealized that the doer does NOT get to decide what the ability is, and the getter does NOT get to decide what the needs are. It’s not the atheism as such that is part of the inherent problem, but that each supporter of the idea assumes that the “God” position is their own. And then after they’ve fallen for it…

  12. Since about mid 20th century, being in tune with revolutionary truths, “speaking truth to power” and “exposing society” became the rules by which art was judged. Unsurprisingly, the “good art” was then leftist.

    They must suffer from a form of cognitive dissidence. As the left is largely in control of society and power centers, who are these artist now exposing or speaking truth to? Certainly not the ones who underwrite them, those who agree with them must be right. Um, no strike that – must be correct.

    So they have a vision of a vast right-wing conspiracy who are supposedly really in control of things, pulling strings and controlling the gullible masses. (It is easy to see others as doing what you are attempting with some success. They know it is how things work; the masses can be gullible.)

    As long as there is still the right it means that the left has a place to place the blame for any and every failure of their precious progressivism. Besides, the right must still have power or why else would they be facing failures?

    I know it is circular logic, but that’s people.

    • “Cognitive dissidence” is a great one. ~:) When your brain rebels against reality.

    • This is why the only response they can conceive of is to go further left. It is also why they think CNN is centrist at best and probably right wing, Fox is Nazis, and MSNBC is centrist. To think otherwise is to admit they are in control.

    • Rich Rostrom

      “As the left is largely in control of society and power centers…”

      It is now, but it wasn’t a hundred years ago. More not so in Latin America and what was then the colonial empires of Europe. There was a lot of entrenched privilege and arbitrary authority.

      Even 60 years ago, the Left had become dominant in High Culture and the elite academy, but that dominance had not spread everywhere, like now.

    • They are still the outlaws and underdogs. They could rule the world without losing that.

  13. Consider David Mamet, brilliant leftist scourge of capitalism with “Glengarry Glenn Ross,” magically revealed to left to be a talentless hack when he discovered his conservative streak.

    • I never considered Glengarry Glenn Ross an attack on the free market (I refuse to use Marx’s term for it…which somewhat fits in the tenor of this post) but one on nasty people in general. That they were salesmen was very secondary.

      • Ironically, a good salesperson may actually get pumped and motivated by Alec Bardwin’s “Always Be Closing” speech.

        • Yes which is another reason I say it is about nasty people.

          Hell, I get pumped by it because the core idea is “keep your eyes on the prize” or “first things first”.

  14. “The problem is that stupid as it is, it can’t be falsified.”

    I’m constantly seeing this. Accusations such as the following:

    “Do modern right wing conservatives/libertarians let straight Christian men call the shots and control the debate? Hmmm, yup. Indeed we all saw how that dynamic played out in the Puppy-debacles.”

    That beauty came from someone floppy who shall remain otherwise nameless. It is the type of “smear” that isn’t even a smear, being so far out in left field its in the parking lot.

    That’s the mark of the Left these days. They are done with “discussion” because that tool has dulled. They are aware they can’t discuss their ideas rationally. They haven’t got the education to do so, for one thing. If they do, the ideas are irrational anyway. The two word refutation of Communism is “who decides?”

    So, they’ve moved on to militancy. That is much easier, and gets very good results for them. They just plaster the scarlet letter C on anyone that doesn’t know this week’s secret handshake.

    That’s how Sarah Hoyt keeps getting called a “cismale Mormon” or similar. It isn’t an argument, its them calling in artillery on your position.

    • That’s the mark of the Left these days. They are done with ‘discussion’

      They never wanted discussion. Their idea of discussion is familiar to all who’ve heard a spouse or parent announce “We need to have a little talk” and recognized that their part of that talk would consist entirely of listening, followed by apologies and promises to mend behaviour.

      See remark elsewhere about abusive relationships.

      • Yup, and “compromise” means “shut up and do as you’re told.”

        • I fondly recall Dick Armey’s quip back in the early days of the Gingrich Revolution about Democrat calls for bipartisanship: They’re all for bi-partisanship, meaning we’ll be bi and they’ll be partisan.

      • Roughly the equivalent of the “national discussion on race” the Left keeps claiming they want to have.

    • BobtheRegisterrredFool

      ‘Done with discussion’ reminds me of the people for whom elimination of confederate graves and memorials is a serious goal.

      The confederates are dead, and no longer are able to bring force to bear on society, the only danger they could possibly present is in their ideas. Those ideas were weaker than the opposing ideas of the time. Otherwise they would have known Lincoln for a temporary aberration that they could overcome through time and argument.

      The modern stalinistic revisionist historians cannot rely on countering the bad ideas of the confederates through argument because they have themselves abandoned the ideas that were strong enough to oppose confederate ideas.

      • Yep. This zeal to rewrite (dare I say it? whitewash!) history is dangerous on so many levels, but the one that really sticks in my craw is that “everyone on the other side was evil”. Add to that the perception that there was no dissent … One of the reasons we have memorials is to help us *remember*, and while what we remember may change over time, that’s no reason to remove those aids.

        Around 30 years ago my parents went to Georgia, and they came back with so many stories about the Confederate monuments … as natives of Washington state, that was far outside of their experience and had a tremendous impact on them. (Mom still has the Stone Mountain magnet on the fridge!)

        • Marrying someone whose ancestors fought in the ACW and moving south helps quite a lot.

          • It’s lived history, around places where ancestors fought and died. A trip up the East Coast battlefields is educational and fascinating (ACW and Revolutionary wars, both of them). Catch a reenactment sometime if y’all can. Puts a bit of fire in the history, as it were.

        • More than history, it’s family. I can’t drive past Missionary Ridge without thinking of an ancestor who was there, who my grandmother knew. People used to get that. If you look close at some of the monuments at battle sites, you’ll see they are to Union dead, and no one in the South blinked an eye because that was to the memory of someone’s kin.

          Stone Mountain is a tale and a half, but there’s two noteworthy things:

          1. The State of Georgia bought the property so it wouldn’t become a KKK shrine.

          2. The minister who gave the invocation at the unveiling of the carving was black, and a member of the Civil Rights movement.

      • I wonder what the reaction to “A history unremembered is a history which will be repeated.” would be. Yeah, I know, there’s a river running through Egypt.

    • In addition, SWCM are their Boogeyman. Once they can say that they are involved, usually with quotations heavily interested in yoga, there is no need to even think against it. It is a fight against evil for them.

      In addition you have a not insignificant portion whose only interaction is thru falsified news such as comedy shows. So you see not only the worst but the worst bent view of them.

  15. You know, it can be entertaining to watch them when they’re forced to recognize that the world isn’t what they think it is. Many years ago at the Asimov Seminar (it was a yearly 4-day event at a retreat conference center in upstate New York) I had that experience. I’d been a regular attendee and organizer at that seminar for some years and was widely known as friendly, creative, and imaginative. During a casual conversation around a table one of the other long-time attendees said (in response to some question or point someone else had made), “Well, we’re all liberals here.” I replied, “No, we’re not.” She got a very confused look on her face and looked around the table; one other person looked back at her and slowly shook her head no in agreement with me. It was very satisfying to reveal to her that not everyone she held in some level of esteem was on the left.

    • I’m sure she revised her esteem immediately like a good leftist.

      • Well, after the Seminar closed down I stayed in touch with a number of the regulars, but gradually realized that I always initiated the contacts (phone calls, visits), never them. So I decided to stop doing so and wait for one of them to call me to see what happened. I’m still waiting.

        • I’m sadly having to face reaching that point with someone as well…although not over politics.

          • I will admit, it hurt a bit to realize that I wasn’t as important to them as they were to me. Still, better to know than not to, I guess.

  16. Modern progressivism is a religion. It’s a manmade one, and not particularly organized. Prominent strains include Marxism, scientism, eugenics, and hedonism, and various others. I could break it down further and trace some of its history, but that would involve a lot more work than I want to put into a blog comment.

    Those raised in a religion often have great difficulty changing or converting to a different belief system. It doesn’t always matter how intellectually clear, sound, and obvious the evidence, arguments or “proofs” for the new system are. It’s often not so much a matter of intellectual convincing as emotional and social commitment to beliefs they were raised with.

    • Exactly. There is no definition of religion that I know of that would exclude their belief system. Stanley Kurtz recognized this many years ago, as have many other observers since. It’s sometimes fun to respond to them by saying things like, “Well, I’m not an adherent of your religion, but if those are the tenets of your faith then go ahead and believe them against all the evidence.”

    • A corollary of that is that those who convert are typically the most aggressive in pursuing the goals of the religion. Same goes for escapees of a religion. This is a critical item to remember when interviewing people for books. A convert will either be completely​ positive about their decision or potentially hide the class while apostates (not sure of another word for it) will be negative. Part of issue with a book toured by slate after the election.

    • I think it’s probably better organized than we realize. How many times have we all seen a loyal Progressive get ripped to shreds over real or imaginary “sins” (for lack of a better word). Like Joss Whedon for not being sufficiently feminist or anyone who didn’t denounce Sad Puppies or Gamergate loudly enough. All it takes is crossing one dogma and you’re tainted, even if you’re 100% on ever other Progressive idea.

  17. richardmcenroe

    Sarah, just a head’s up: mama cat is eating and kiten is up to 7.8 ozs. one week old, so the panic is apparently over. Kitten is a very active crawler.

  18. Christopher M. Chupik

    I sometimes joke here: “Why do you hate women and minorities, Sarah?” but I am sometimes reminded that some people believe that for real.

    • We don’t hate them. We need people to make our sammiches barefoot in kitchen and others to vent our sadist impulses on.

    • scott2harrison

      I cannot speak for Sarah (unless I want a carp), but most of the people that have told me that they don’t like women have been women. Now this may only be the “I’m not like them” con, but even then it acknowledges that women are not necessarily likable. Thus I will call B.S. on the idea that being a woman means that you cannot be misogynistic.

      • or that a Black person can’t be racist.

      • As only a small portion of women find women sexually attractive, they tend not to see through lust-coloured glasses.

      • Feather Blade

        Being women, we know exactly what women can get up to when they re not making nice for the menfolk.

        Like it or not, the presence of men civilizes women, just as the presence of women civilizes men.

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          In one of Barbara Hambly’s fantasy novels, her main character (a tough male mercenary) accidentally heard some jokes from the women’s side of the “bath house”.

          His comment (to his lady-of-the-evening) was “Even I wouldn’t tell those jokes”. 👿

          • Men have the luxury of holding delusions about the Fair Sex being fair. Women, physically weaker and tasked with subverting Hellions into membership in the Civilized World (a task which too many – male and female – have been shirking these last couple generations) are permitted no such illusions.

            • But the Woman that God gave him, every fibre of her frame
              Proves her launched for one sole issue, armed and engined for the same;
              And to serve that single issue, lest the generations fail,
              The female of the species must be deadlier than the male.

              She who faces Death by torture for each life beneath her breast
              May not deal in doubt or pity — must not swerve for fact or jest.
              These be purely male diversions — not in these her honour dwells.
              She the Other Law we live by, is that Law and nothing else.

              She can bring no more to living than the powers that make her great
              As the Mother of the Infant and the Mistress of the Mate.
              And when Babe and Man are lacking and she strides unclaimed to claim
              Her right as femme (and baron), her equipment is the same.

              She is wedded to convictions — in default of grosser ties;
              Her contentions are her children, Heaven help him who denies! —
              He will meet no suave discussion, but the instant, white-hot, wild,
              Wakened female of the species warring as for spouse and child.

              Unprovoked and awful charges — even so the she-bear fights,
              Speech that drips, corrodes, and poisons — even so the cobra bites,
              Scientific vivisection of one nerve till it is raw
              And the victim writhes in anguish — like the Jesuit with the squaw!

  19. I’m going to say that the concept of “homophobia,” and the related concept that moral disapproval of homosexuality is an expression of “hate,” are abusive rhetoric, designed to evade the fact of actual moral disagreement and the need to deal with it, whether by “agreeing to disagree” and toleration, or by actual reasoned debate. I say this as someone who adheres to none of the Abrahamic religions and has no moral objections to homosexual acts or same-sex civil marriage. One of my oldest and dearest friends is a devout woman who holds Biblical views on morality; I think she’s wrong, but I don’t think there’s any psychopathology involved, or any indulgence in hate or fear, and I find it repugnant that many people apparently would view her in those terms without knowing anything about her. At that point it’s simply a rhetorical strategy for invalidating any opposition to orthodox views.

    • Yes. And the twisting of the meaning of tolerance is one of the most insidious ways to damage society. Being able to accept differing opinions and find equal ways to work around them is critical in a multicultural society. But it has gotten to winner take all.

      • Maybe some power hungry people think that breaking society is a way for them to get power that they otherwise couldn’t. The problem with this is that they don’t realize a broken society is more dangerous.

        Civilization is hard to build and easy to break. Living without it, your life is apt to be “poor, nasty, brutish and short”.

        • The leaders may think that way, but the rank and file I hope not. They look to their Cyrano who uses them to their ends. But the tale of revenge is easy once you plant envy in.the mind.

        • More likely they think, “If I can’t have this toy, nobody should have enjoyment of it.”

          Alinsky tipped his purpose when he dedicated his book to someone who preferred ruling in Hell to serving in Heaven.

  20. My oldest and I had a conversation yesterday about women leaving the home to work. She’s at the age when she is starting retaining things about the world but not listening to the entire news report or reading through the entire article. And fiction for youth tends to emphasize “girl-power is the best and we don’t need boys” or at least “boys are secondary because we can do everything they can do.” She asked “Why do people want women to stay at home and not be fire fighters and police officers?” She was conflating several headlines and stories about a female police officer who was overwhelmed and killed by the bad guy she was arresting or escorting to jail, with stories and discussions only partly understood about should women work out of the home or stay at home. It led to a discussion between us about choosing to work if you want to, BUT also choosing to do something that is appropriate for your abilities and physical limitations.

    ALL of the “girl-power” fiction I’ve seen tends to ignore the part about “appropriate for your abilities and physical limitations”. Sarah has pointed out multiple times that we are on a spectrum and we need to recognize that just because Jane can do what Jim can do, that doesn’t mean that Sally should do it too.

    • Not to mention that there are things that Jane and Sally can (usually) do that Jim can’t do at all. If Jane and Sally are both out doing what Jim can do, who is doing what he can’t?

    • I told her that in the past few days, I had seen two women patients who had had their heads rammed down the lavatory, one who had had her head smashed through a window and her throat cut on the shards of glass, one who had had her arm, jaw, and skull broken, and one who had been suspended by her ankles from a tenth-floor window to the tune of, “Die, you bitch!”

      “I can look after myself,” said my 17-year-old.

      “But men are stronger than women,” I said. “When it comes to violence, they are at an advantage.”

      “That’s a sexist thing to say,” she replied.

      A girl who had absorbed nothing at school had nevertheless absorbed the shibboleths of political correctness in general and of feminism in particular.

      “But it’s a plain, straightforward, and inescapable fact,” I said.

      “It’s sexist,” she reiterated firmly.

      From here:
      https://www.city-journal.org/html/tough-love-11787.html

  21. I remember the time someone came in and accused us all of being Southern rednecks, who had never been out of our states.

    Please, please, please tell me at least one came in and accused us of being ex-military Southern rednecks who had never been out of our states. The extra cluelessness would be quite entertaining.

    not all gays are flamboyant dressers, that no, hating flamboyant dressers – which I don’t, but the character at that moment does – is not hating gays.

    And again I’m wondering when being a crossdresser became a form of the patriarchy instead of bravely offending norms.

    I know drag queens specifically are destroying the world for transpeople but I didn’t realize that had gotten generalized.

    Reminds me of one of the seasons of Soap in which one of the characters believes that he can snap his fingers and become invisible.

    Burt, from the very beginning of the show, and I think it lasted through two seasons until Mary said she believed him after her accidentally locked himself in the closest and he realized they all thought he was nut.

    Why do I remember this random crap.

    it’s hard to prove to someone who will only accept Mass Media reporting.

    Yep…for a variety of reasons most relating to “I have better things to waste energy on” I am less and less willing to engage even though, in theory, my “side” is on the upswing.

    The other part of 2 is that the “respectable” academics/artists/news sources are still leftist, and being leftist is still a way to virtue signal, which means people who are nothing in particular will publicly endorse the left.

    Another effect of this part of 2 is people who aren’t particularly left are more savagely attacked (now in some cases physically) and driven out of work than even five years ago. As the crust starts to break expect this to increase as they try to silence the trust breakers.

    For example, it is clear to me that being open about my opinions on the team I moved to in 2014 has caused me trouble I didn’t have on the old one.

    • Well dontcha know you join the military and never leave your home state. They just do marches with the Stars and bars and salivate over killing babies overseas.

      And the weaponization of society is extremely disturbing. Especially since it is one sided by government edict. Plus the raw hate that gets ginned up regularly against badthinkers is very scary for followers of history.

    • > drag queens … transpeople

      I’d say the drag queens have decades of social seniority…

      • Which means squat…so do general cross dressers.

        • It’s a new toy and another battering ram. Plus the Idea of oppression bingo and social gender can’t be as supported by drag because they embrace stereotype typically and color within traditional lines, even if they flip pink and blue. Can’t use that to degender the world. Personally the “I define me, you obey me” side seems to have grown much larger in what I have seen, albeit in an admittedly fertile market.

          As for squatting, it depends what the innate gender is whether they do that.

        • I knew about major cross-dressers but thought they got weeded out before passing colonel-hood.

    • I remember that numbskull. And, as I are a Southron Man, and a proud redneck, matter of fact I believe there was several of us pointed out a wee few teensy gaps in his knowledge what one could have steered a supermax through. Broadside. *chuckle* ‘Twas amusing, indeed.

    • Remembering scenes from Soap is not such a bad thing (mine mostly are from the “alien abduction” plot lines). That show was hilariously funny. Even to my father, who was “programmed” by his upbringing in very small town Kansas (I think Billy Crystal’s character was his favorite. At least he came closest to ROFL when the character was poking holes in the other characters.)

      • Apparently it is a rare show where at least the outlines of the entire run were done in the beginning…it also pretty much had one writer, the creator.

        She supposedly had one season left in the outline when it was cancelled.

        The odd thing to me is remembering how scandalous it was…today it wouldn’t even cause a raised eyebrow compared to other prime time, even family hour, sitcoms.

  22. “I remember the time someone came in and accused us all of being Southern rednecks, who had never been out of our states.”

    🙂 Well, at least I did finally visit USA, including a few southern states…

  23. And hey, it was even for the second time, except the first time was nearly 30 years ago and then I managed only what is next to Lake Superior and a week in New York.

    I may need a bit more work on the redneck part though, even if I do have some experience of farm life it’s from the wrong continent.

    • The secret to being a Redneck (Southern) is to refuse to listen to your betters.

      How, you ask, are you to know your betters? Don’t worry, they’re always quick to tell you.

      • Would having persistent problems with authority figures count?

        If somebody, especially somebody I don’t know well, just tells me that I should do something the way they tell me to do it I don’t usually believe – well, unless it’s work and it’s the boss, and even then I may start to fiddle with the system when I’m on my own, considering my jobs aren’t exactly rocket engineering I do think I may be able to figure out better ways on my own – unless they also give reasons and refer to studies and preferably give it all in a way which allows me to check online and library and so on later, and also check the possible competing ideas. Then, maybe, if I think it looks plausible they are right, I may believe them, and maybe take their advice if it’s something concerning or affecting my personal life.

        • Even at work I am usually careful to explain the how and why I do something the way I do… and add that it doesn’t have to be done exactly that way. The results need to be about the same, but the method isn’t that critical.

        • Would having persistent problems with authority figures count?

          Yes. They really hate it when you can correctly diagnose recto-cranial inversion.

      • Betters? Ain’t got no betters, and damned few equals!

      • Betters? Better than what?

      • No wonder they didn’t make sense! I thought it was bettors and I was wondering “on which horserace?”

  24. I have a friend of the Sanders Stripe. She posted vehemently against a proposed anti-faith-healer law proposed in our state. (Basically, it’s a bad law, intended to give the state control over medical treatment of children, under the guise of protecting kids from parents who only want faith healing and not real medicine.) She’s quite right about that. She’s got a kid diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder, and she’s convinced that the state wouldn’t treat him ‘properly’, as she sees it: they might try to discipline or medicate the defiance out of him. But, she’s also in favor of single-payer medical care. She doesn’t see, can’t see, the contradiction there. You want the state to pay for medical care, you want the state to tell you what treatment you may and may not have.

    No point in arguing with her. She can’t see the contradiction in her positions. Just hope she doesn’t get what she wants, because she won’t like it if she does.

    • I can’t help but wonder how many people who are for Single Payer would also be against Microsoft’s monopoly, and are happy that Ma Bell was broken up in the day, and consider what the VA Hospital System has done to our veterans to be scandalous (and aren’t aware that Single Payer essentially expands the VA System to cover everyone)….

      If monopolies are bad, then why is it suddenly ok when the Government is the monopoly?

      • There is a game called Anti-Monopoly where the goal is to break up private monopolies as government employees:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Monopoly

      • “If monopolies are bad, then why is it suddenly ok when the Government is the monopoly?”

        Depends on what’s being monopolized. A government which can’t monopolize the use of force for political or legal compliance purposes (as opposed to individual self-defense) is a failed state.

        And the advantage to a government monopoly is that (a) every citizen is a stakeholder, by definition, at least in principle, and (b) the government does not, in theory anyway, have to put “profit” as its bottom line. (I consider this theory wrong, but that’s why the people who think it’s right see a difference.)

        • “A government which can’t monopolize the use of force for political or legal compliance purposes (as opposed to individual self-defense) is a failed state.”

          Which ought to tell you something about the US: the Founders considered it essential that the State fail to force either of those without the consent of the governed.

      • The assumption is that the government follows the will of voters and will never look to increase power at the expense of citizens. They give govt more goodness solely on this.

    • Get out of my bedroom…No. the wallet stays.

  25. “””there isn’t anyone who really can judge “from each according to his ability and to each according to his need.””””

    I have to disagree with this. *I* can judge my own abilities, and I’m *pretty sure* I can identify my needs. And sometimes I’m even right about them. And if I’m *not* sure, I can ask my wife, my siblings, my parents, and people I trust, and they can make suggestions for me to consider about what I can do and what I need.

    I can *also* make judgments on people around me — I can identify the needs of other people, and what their abilities are to help we with my needs. These judgments aren’t as good as the judgments of my own abilities and needs, but they can be good enough that I might just be able to fulfill my own needs, by fulfilling other people’s needs. Who knows, I might even get enough where I can occasionally help other people with their needs, without expecting help with my needs in return….

    Of course, when each individual is negotiating with every other individual regarding their needs and abilities, we get what every Communist claims to want, yet we do it in a way that every Communist despises — we get a free market.

    At this point, I’m wondering what more oxymoronic titles I ought to apply to myself: Libertarian Nazi, Free-market Communist, Rugged Individual Fascist. What’s next? Sovereign Citizen Monarch? Law-and-order Anarchist*? How many more of these titles should I collect?
    —–
    *As I’ve explained before, I’ve noticed that “anarchy” works best where the culture strongly respects the rule of law, whereas real anarchy seems to be the rule when a culture expects government — and only government — to enforce the law, excepting the ubiquitous bribery, of course.

  26. “The idea is that someone… stands above it all, and more equitably distributes resources than the notoriously ‘uncaring’ free market.”

    A determinedly agnostic friend of mine once said to me, “Put a baby on the floor and stand over it, and you’ll realize where all revealed religions come from.” I took this ludicrously reductionist assertion with all the grains of salt it deserved, but I have to admit it probably contributed to forming a similar maxim of my own, which is: “Show me a dedicated socialist / communist, and I’ll show you someone who, for most of their childhood, got along better with parents and teachers than they did with kids their own age.” Because nothing else facilitates the desire to believe in the feasibility of authoritarian micromanaged systems, I think, so much as learning from brutal experience, at a formatively early stage of life, that it is only when adults are around to keep the rest of your peers in line that you can feel safe or secure from those peers. That the mechanisms which work for one adult controlling thirty kids cannot possibly work for a caste of adults controlling another much larger caste of adults is one of those things that can be obvious on the intellectual level, but somehow never quite take root on the gut level, especially if letting it take root threatens your later-built connections with community, friends or family. (“Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?” gets even harder to dispel when the “me” in question is you, i.e. the you of your earliest and most fundamental convictions and experiences — however skewed and subjective those may be.)

    This is also one reason why I think the self-reinforcing loop of “creatives skew left” took off. When you don’t manage to successfully establish peer relationships early in life, or manage to find a welcoming community until later than usual, I suspect it encourages one to glom onto the first community one does find with unusual intensity and devotion (cult recruiters exploit the same effect consciously and cynically), often to the point where one will either adopt the group’s politics wholesale or shift as far in that direction as one can. (I have often wanted to sit down and write an essay on how I think the classic Geek Fallacies have contributed to the spread of certain philosophical axioms in fandom, but have never yet found the time.)

    • I think it was Stefan Molyneux who observed that there’s a surprising number of Communists, starting with Marx himself, who either can’t budget their way out of a wet paper bag, or grew up in families that couldn’t budget their way out of a paper bag.

      It seems that a lot of people who can’t, or won’t, learn to work with money, conclude that the problem is with money, not with them….

      • I’d be curious to know what other famous Communists fit that bill, if you can point me towards the Molyneux post/text in question.

        • Molyneux has a couple of videos, “The Truth About Marx” and “The Truth About Che Guevera”. I remember watching “The Truth About Castro”, but I can’t remember if he talked about Castro’s relationship with money.

          I thought it was an interesting observation, but I haven’t yet tried to determine how much more of a pattern it was.

      • Hell, Marx had no abilities if you read a go (ie, non-haliographic) biography and certainly spent most of his life living off of others.

      • I’m bad with money, but I know that it’s my problem. How can a problem with money be money’s problem? It’s a thing not a person. I guess it’s like people who say that tech doesn’t work for them. It’s good for shifting blame but nothing else.

        • Because people think they should be worth more than they are seen via money. A lot of this I attribute to excessive self worth and inability to accept the rules of life. Some people will be born on third base, some in dugout. And some work will be worth more than others.

    • I will state that is not 100%. I got along better with teachers and adults but that was because we could work on the same plane. With my peers I tended to be wrong enough to be shunned and sometimes worse.

      As for groups, you definitely get people who are outcast irl and then once they get to group they turn off any social guards and often merge into the group hivemind. Part of why you see groups search for more ways to be out of ordinary, sometimes even trying to push the weak further I to that abnormality so they can champion and retain the counterculture position.

      • Conceded; our gracious hostess has cited herself before as another example of a childhood-pariah Odd who nonetheless was never tempted into leftism. But I think the correlation is strong enough that it can’t be accidental. (Quick question: Name the last creative fangeek you know who was never bullied, ridiculed, ostracized or excluded during their childhood for being so.)

        With the appropriate caveats that this may be subjective self-flattery, I will likewise cite myself as an example of someone who actually did change his mind upon exposure to the other side of the argument — I was a left-leaning centrist in much of my youth and only tilted firmly right in my 30s. The irony is that this tilt would probably not have happened if I hadn’t heard so much from every acquaintance and quarter, practically without exception, on how evil and horrible a person Ann Coulter was that I finally read one of her articles just to see what all the fooferah was about. (Pro tip: If you’re keeping your followers in line by telling them how monstrous your opponents are, your opponents had better actually be monstrous, because the moment someone finds out they’re not — out of sheer curiosity, perhaps — you’re going to lose too much of your credibility to hold on to them.)

        • I’m not sure how to really find the difference. Only thing I can think of is relating to adults on their level rather than as a tool to gain power or prestige.

          And yep. There really are two minutes hate that go on today. I think Ace still has the story of that woman who made a shitty Ebola joke and got dogpiled while completely unable to defend herself. You don’t have to be important, just be found by someone sufficiently popular and let known you dislike of the meddling priest. We have become a very destructive and mean society in the name of tolerance.

    • Ponder the “It Takes a Village” socialized, near mandatory child care push from the perspective of a young, introverted Odd child. You’re pushed into large group interactions, and never really get time to get away from all those people. No time away during the summers, you’re always stuck in a structured group.
      Thank God Mum didn’t work full time. School was bad enough.

    • As a side note, while I got along with parents/teachers much better than I did with my peers (at least through elementary/middle schools), I also developed an intense dislike for being punished for the actions of other people–as happened with depressing regularity.
      This probably has something to do with my intense distaste for all forms of collectivism.

      • Aye. And if someone else says $PERSON is “tough but fair” then $PERSON probably is. If $PERSON makes that claim? They tend to be, at best, only half right.

        • Anyone that makes a claim of a positive trait, I assume they are full of your offal. Any time you have to crow about your good intentions and beliefs, you are probably embellishing a little. See anyone waving the tolerance flag and then tossing out the “intolerant of intolerance” caveat.

    • Um. Like all maxims, that doesn’t work all of the time. I was one of those kids – and my philosophy is perfectly summed up by Sarah’s tagline.

      Perhaps it was my better association with adults and other authority figures that taught me they are all too frequently wrong. I was actually more gullible when a peer told me something (with the entirely predictable results).

      • Ah, but that’s the point: if your earliest emotional experiences with authority figures taught you to be skeptical of them as well as of your peers, then you weren’t “one of those kids”. And you’re also, at least in my experience and observation, comparatively rare in that respect; very few children have the self-possession needed to realize that if a discrepancy exists between what a trusted mentor tells you and what you see for yourself, it is just as possible that the mentor is wrong as that you are.

        Nonetheless, you’re right that like all maxims it’s not right 100% of the time. I just think, to repeat myself, that the correlation is strong enough that it seems unlikely to be accidental; modern Leftism is such a technocratic rule-by-experts philosophy that it seems to me its most fervent devotees would be those who have relied on expert authorities for their feelings of safety, security and belonging since childhood.

        • Daddy taught me to examine and question across the board. He just never anticipated that I might come to different conclusions than he had.

    • A determinedly agnostic friend of mine once said to me, “Put a baby on the floor and stand over it, and you’ll realize where all revealed religions come from

      I wonder if this is the same one who said that to someone else I know online.

      Whose retort was, “So your atheism is Daddy Issues?”

  27. “Only thing I can think of is relating to adults on their level rather than as a tool to gain power or prestige.”

    Well, it’s very easy to do both, especially since one of the near-guaranteed fringe benefits of relating to adults better than you do to your peers is enjoying adult protection (or what’s available of it anyway) against abuse by those peers — often without even having to ask for it.

    Unfortunately it is also very easy to cast the act of simply seeking protection from someone else’s power as a cold-blooded attempt to gain one’s own, which is exactly why “teachers’ pets” and “snitches” are so despised even today. One of the great hallmarks of the ideological barbarian — as most children tend to be by instinct, I think — is claiming the right to cast members out of the tribe, while at the same time condemning any such outcasts as treasonous quislings the moment they ally with another more powerful tribe. Which only reinforces the inchoate conviction, for anybody on the wrong side of this process, that an expert authority has to be present and in charge before you can hope to be treated fairly or get your fair share.

    • Wups. This was meant to be in reply to aacid14, above.

      • Wpde

        And yes. Taste of power leads to desire to use it. But we also don’t let kids act on own. Can’t work until adult, supervised play, the insane start from grade school of getting the activities for college essay started, etc. We learn that the adult is superior and gives everything. Realizing that they are fallible, especially when they admit it, helps break the expert syndrome. I’m just not sure how to do it before the typical rebellion stage where it tends to be more emotional than logical.

  28. My personal aesthetic tends to be rock and roll hippy. Sometimes with a dash of soccer mom who spent a year in India. Everybody who meets me before they know my politics assumes I’m left of Lenin, especially when they find out what I write. But then I’ll find myself making the same assumptions and I just want to smack myself.

    Part of it is that it’s polite and a positional good to be progressive. Or to at least appear to be so. And that’s just the polite fictions that let us move smoothly between day to day interactions.

    • Exactly!
      Lately I’ve discovered sari yoga pants, for comfortable wear when it’s warm.

      • Nothing wrong with a lot of yoga – so long as you don’t turn it into your faith system.

        Used to do quite a few parts of yoga (and TM) in my earlier years. Wish I had kept that up, actually – it might not hurt to tie my shoes these days…

  29. Then there’s the way that when people deploy what they think are those devastating arguments against your position, they’re laughably incomplete. The example that came to mind immediately when you mentioned having the Bible quoted triumphantly at you was the old shellfish argument. (The one that goes, “Oh, so you think homosexual behavior is sinful because the Bible says so? But I bet you think it’s okay to eat shrimp, don’t you?”) Substitute “lobster” or “shellfish” for “shrimp”, and those are the only variations on that argument that I’ve seen.

    I have NEVER seen anyone who advances that argument EVER make reference to Acts 15, where the council in Jerusalem explicitly said that the non-Jewish Christians would not be held to the Jewish dietary laws, but WERE expected to refrain from “sexual immorality”. Which was not explicitly defined in the letter sent out by the council — but given the source, “sexual immorality” would definitely have included “sexual behaviors that the Torah says are sinful.”

    So the pattern with this argument is just the same as with the others: the leftist advancing the argument has no understanding of the other person’s actual position, and thus no understanding of why his argument is eminently refutable. He thinks he’s scored a major point, when in fact he’s just demonstrated the depth of his ignorance of the very thing he’s basing his argument on.

  30. There’s another phenomenon that explains the leftist domination of the arts and it’s a bit of an uncomfortable realisation (for me at any rate). It’s not JUST the gate-keeper / not allowed to make a living at it problem.

    Great artists don’t really produce great creativity all by themselves in splendid isolation. There seems to be a part of the creative process in which people talk and share their perceptions, their concerns, the neat things they’ve discovered, with copacetic –or at least reasonably compatible–fellow creators. Then, they crawl back to their caves (as it were) and MAKE.

    And therein lies the rub. Your average conservative, and nearly all libertarians hold their political opinions largely because of the primacy, in their eyes, of “live and let live,” – they don’t want to be interfered by anyone, much less some dang fool bureaucrat. Liberalism is the go-to ideology for anyone who really, really wants to mind other people’s business. And then some.

    Start with a mixed group of conservatives, or conservatives and a-politicals and they’ll be able to tolerate lefties (even if they point and laugh at them back home with the wife.) Looking back just at the history of SF&F in the U.S., the pulps, illustration, etc. that’s what you see. But get enough lefties in any such artist’s group, and they won’t be able to tolerate anyone but fellow travelers. The apolitical will be able to get along at first, so won’t kick up a fuss. The conservative types will either have to come around and convert for the sake of peace, or leave. Which again, move past to the mid-20th Century and that’s what you find.

    The more lefties, the more intolerance, until we reach a point where a person is afraid to be reach out to any one in a creative field without hiding their political beliefs under a veneer of Currently Acceptable Leftist Thought whatever they believe. And for the most part conservatives, because of the whole “not forcing folks to do stuff” aka Freedom of Association (above) don’t fight this phenomenon. We don’t want to. (Which is why we’re caught between the rock of the alt-right and the hard-place of the progs, but that’s a diatribe for another day)

    Therefore claims such as: Oh, we don’t hire conservatives at Tor because there isn’t enough conservative talent* is not entirely a lie. I suspect if there were some way to measure it objectively, we’d find that prior to the rise of the internet, that lefties were “more creative” and had “more creative output.” Now we can find each other (pace Mad Genius Club) and, look around, what do you find? An eruption of conservative, creative writing, in indy publishing.

    (*I suspect that it was because conservatives tried making them live up to their narrative viz the dearth of Blacks in [name of field] on this one that we got race-and-gender intersectionality as a way of keeping their conservative-segregating earth safely at the bottom of the academic solar system]

    • You would be wrong. My artistic life, as a conservative, has been one of groups. Live and let live does not mean “do not inspire, support, push each other.”

      • My apologies for not writing clearly. But that’s exactly what I meant: artistic lives need groups such as you describe, and conservatives by their very nature are quite capable of being part of groups like these that contain liberals.

        The reverse is not true.

        Worse (for them) conservatives, if the balance tips against them, don’t try to force these groups to accommodate them. They are more likely to shrug and leave. Before the internet, it was a LOT harder to find other conservatives to form these synergistic societies, and they tended to be much smaller, and with little to no influence on the arts.

        So it’s not JUST the gate-keeping, it’s the enforced social isolation.

        It hits liberal’s creativity later down the road as they become echo chambers, but it appears to hit conservatives sooner.

        Or so I hypothesize. I could, of course, be mistaken.

      • Hrmm… I wonder if my interest in radio (ham) was partly of “I don’t find any/many like me around, I need to try the rest of the world.”? And then the internet came along and… well, local isolation is something those trying make me miserable (again) keep promoting. Not isolation-isolation, that might be kinder as they’d leave me the h3ll alone.

    • TRUST me on this, it’s not the quality. it’s gatekeeping.

  31. …not all gays are flamboyant dressers…

    Some are wardrobes?

      • Mildly on-topic (for subthread) I finally finished Dipped, Stripped, and Dead overnight. (And also plowed through The Night We Flushed Old Town…) yes, ox slow. Plan to snag French Polished Murder in a day or three. And while I recall Officer Hotstuff asking “As in pair of” or such for ‘Dyce’ (thus pronunciation must be ‘dice’) I did find myself pondering Candyce as Candice is commonly said and the possible pronunciation as “Dis Dare.”

        However, I think it best I go lye d… er, lie down now.

      • Patrick Chester

        What about my drawers?

        *flees to local Vault…. then bypasses it in favor of a simple fallout shelter*

      • Historically I suspect a few were Ottomans. (And no, I will never get tired of that particular pun.)

  32. A current example of how the MSM hides what is there can be observed in reporting over the state’s infamous HB2 bathroom law. News today tells that the state may be reaching an accord oon repealing the law, declaring that it has cost the state $4 Billion dollars … or rather, if you look beyond the headlines, that it will (or may – they aren”t being particular) cost the state economy that. Over the next ten years. Which is to say, about $400 million annually.

    Which still seems like a lot of money. In 2015 the state had a gross domestic product of about $500 Billion. So the net cost of the HB2 boycott is projected to be 0.08% of the state economy?????

    Gee, you’d think something like that drop in the state bucket would be in the news coverage.

    • Well, you know, $100 million here, $100 million there, sooner or later it adds up to real money.