Such The Womb

In societies with slaves, at least since Rome, at some point there evolved a rule that said something like “Such the womb, such the child’s condition” meaning that — because humans are promiscuous apes, and the legal “condition” of the father (or his identity) was often hard to ascertain — if you were born to a free mother you were free.  If you were born to a slave mother, you were a slave.  This applied regardless of color of skin and any qualities of the child.  You were born to a slave mother, you were a slave.  In fact much the same applied to all “classes” that were inherent at birth, in European systems that required nobility (or serfdom) at birth.

It was the inherent injustice of this system, to a great extent, that propelled the enlightenment and more just laws of the “condition” of humans.

It is actually fascinating to read Dumas, and catch the idea of inherent nobility (of character) or baseness (of same character) depending on your station at birth.  You also catch that if you read any historically accurate books, particularly those set before the 18th century.

Part of this of course was the “technology change” changing people’s perceptions.  You see, while it is obvious how the class structure of Europe evolved, (insecure times, Lords being those who fought, etc.  Yeah, I know it wasn’t universally applicable.  No, I don’t want Suburbanshee to hit me over the head with an history book) but it’s not obvious how it evolved into the idea that everyone should be born with equal rights.

There are theories, of course.  Those who believe that all of humanity is shaped by words and ideas, think it was because literacy and books, both, were widespread, and so–  And those who think it’s all economics think it was the industrial revolution.

It is both, of course.  the industrial revolution, and before it, the start of the bureaucratic state (which was better than the whimsical “word of the local lord” state, trust me, needed people of ability to make it work.  People of ability, human genetics being the crazy thing they are (I NEED to get older son to write a post), capable, intelligent people could be born to any class.  And the injustice of geniuses being considered menials while morons were Lords became a turning point for systems of thought, which in turn — informed by a lot of things, mostly Christianity — largely ended the class system and definitely slavery.

Mostly because Europe still largely thinks in “Classes” — I know, I was born and raised there — and those of us in whose mind it doesn’t fit easily always felt weird about it.

Guys, we’re starting to feel weird about what the US is doing too.

Because this whole “social justice” thing and various set asides sound EXACTLY like “such the womb such the condition”.

Yeah, I know it’s all dressed up, all purty-like in “addressing historical injustices” and “making people more equal.”  With due respect (which is known) that is the greatest load of twaddle I’ve ever heard.

Yes, sure, you want to make sure people get a fair start in life so they can all have a chance.  Again, with due respect “Who are you to judge who has a fair start and who doesn’t?”

Of course there is no way to look at a person and figure out what history they have; whether they came from a home that prepared them for life, or one that handicapped them.  There is no way to tell, either, whether their ancestors were discriminated against or not (nor should it matter.  More on that later.)  I mean, people of dusky skin who immigrated to this country only one generation ago get the same “set asides” as descendants of slaves, even though in the places they come from they might never have met any real discrimination, since everyone was about that color.

So in actuality, what the preferences and punishments of society are about are superficial characteristics like skin and look.

The problem with this is that it hooks in with a very ancient and dysfunctional part of the human brain, to evaluate things on “such the womb, such the child.”  We start assuming that, because some people get more benes and more fawning upon, they MUST be better.  The corollary to this is that some people are worse.  This is all back of the brain stuff, and why we see otherwise decent or at least not overtly criminal people call for the death or detention of all white males, without even stopping to think that some of those white males had considerably harder beginnings in life than the “women and minorities” whose “victimhood” is getting redressed.

Let’s speak with no obfuscation: Mala Obama or a young boy growing up with a drug-addicted mother in the Appalachians?  Which needs more help and bringing up to speed to make something of her/himself in life?  And yet, by our laws, right now, she’s assumed to need more than him.

Things have gotten so crazy that people talk of the “privilege” of concentration camp survivors.

On the same path, but a different league, middle-class parents are entreated not to read to their kids, lest they give them privilege (cooties) i.e. a head start on other kids.  As though this were bad; as though it meant they’re holding someone down by encouraging their KIDS to make the best they can of their circumstances.

Then there is the fact that any minority who actually either makes it on their own or denies the received (Marxist) wisdom of those who set and enforce preference rules is immediately declared a class/gender/race traitor and lectured on “privilege.”

Let’s not forget that hilarious time when an upper middle class, white American woman who’s never done a days hard work in her life came over to lecture me — a first generation immigrant who started from nothing and is writing professionally in her third language about “sensitivity to the downtrodden and racism.”  Yeah, that was a bucket of fun.

All of this insanity descends directly from the idea that people are BORN with privilege or victimhood, and that they should either be mollycoddled or shunned according to their PHYSICAL characteristics at birth, and the race of their ancestors.

Let’s be real, okay?  The only real slavery subsisting is in Arab countries and they take slaves of every race, including their own.  The only real sexism is also in Arab countries.  At this point, people are being compensated for things that they’ve never endured, and don’t even have a very clear idea of.  (Most American people think white people INVENTED slavery to enslave black people, and not that it’s an old and persistent sin of mankind, affecting every race and every culture until the industrial revolution.  This backfires and is actually very bad for black people in America because it gives them the sense they’re uniquely weak, for this to have happened to them.)  As for the so called oppression of women in America, most American women could benefit a great deal from living six months in working class anywhere in the world.  Maybe that would stop them going to war with philology and would get them to give thanks fasting for living in what is ultimately genuinely a matriarchy.

People are supposedly being compensated for things that happened to their great grandparents.

Now, yes, inequalities subsist, but at this point they subsist BECAUSE of the set asides, encouragement and molly coddling and also, because, frankly anything Government and/or progressives do tends to come out bass awkwards.

So, you know, their war to end all wars GUARANTEED world war II and, by extension, the cold war.  And their programs to end poverty have institutionalized it.

In the same way programs to push women into STEM and not to discourage girls (And WHY STEM?  I have the greatest respect for the sciences, but society is not a vast laboratory.  If you wanted to be wealthy, I’d recommend financial planning/stock trading, which end up having a lot more power than lab monkeys.) mean that every teacher is terrified of telling a girl/woman she needs to work harder, or she’s just no good at whatever.  And so these women get to college having done NO work, and usually drop out of STEM degrees within the first year, for something easier like business.

And programs to hire or promote minorities means that those genuinely capable minorities who make it up the ladder on their own have to face scoffing and remarks about their ability because people assume they’re “affirmative action successes.”  This in turn leads to real discrimination because they’re not treated seriously.  And that in turn leads to resentment and more calls for government intervention.

If you’re saying a vicious cycle of crazy, you’re right.

It’s sort of like re-creating aristocracy.  Oh, and you know how the absolute kings got aristocracy to obey them?  They fomented wars and discontent between noblemen, so that the king was the only arbiter of right and wrong in the country.

Remove “king” and put in “Centralized Government” and the picture will become clear.

This is why the end result of any “progressive” (communist) society is hereditary monarchy and feudalism beneath.  It is in fact an eschewing of the gifts of prosperity and equality of the enlightenment.

And now you know why all the representatives of the old “good” families in Europe are communists or at least ardent Marxists.

Social justice is feudalism dressed in pretty clothes.  It is slavery and I say to hell with it.

Each human should be born equal before the laws.  Any tampering with that legal equality is the establishment of nobility and slavery and classes neverending.  Sure, not all start in the actual same place, so not all end up doing as well.  Equality of results is unenforceable because not all humans WANT the same things.  Give them equality before the law.  Individually help those who need it and want it.  Over time this will result in the most equitable society.

All the rest is just the old beast wearing a prettier costume.

We won’t get fooled again.



470 thoughts on “Such The Womb

  1. (I NEED to get older son to write a post)

    I have heard that medical students suffer from a surfeit of free time … NOT!

  2. Love these screeds. Unfortunately I believe you are preaching to the choir here. Hard to get someone who recieves a “set aside” to see how they are being chained.

  3. …the injustice of geniuses being considered menials while morons were Lords became a turning point for systems of thought…

    In England a bunch of Lords looked at what they felt was a less than stellar King and suggested that they had rights beyond the whims of said King and made him sign a document saying as much.

    Once that thin edge of the wedge gets pounded who knows how society will fall apart? Next thing you know lower nobility will get ideas beyond their station … then merchants and who knows who else. Maybe even colonists!

    1. Of course, they got away with it because “John Lackland” needed their money to pay his troops. 😉

      1. Said King also slipped in the poison pill that lower classes had rights beyond the whim of their local liege.
        I tend to think that’s the more important bit. Otherwise, it’s just lions and hyenas fighting over a carcass.

        I think John Lackland the Softsword should get a lot more credit than he does.

            1. We are still fighting Richard’s ME war.
              Christianity at war with the religion of peace doncha know. (/sarc)

              1. Are you implying that Richard committed one of the world’s classic blunders? The Middle-East is technically part of Asia, at least geographically.

                1. You know, it wouldn’t be so bad if we could ever manage to finish one of out land-wars-in -Asia…

        1. and the poison pill of ‘subject to the power of parliament’ was slipped in later?

    2. It should be noted that the administrative state, where regulars write citations and go before “administrative judges” who work for the same agency have subverted one of the key parts of that document: the requirement to be charged and tried by jury.

  4. It is actually fascinating to read Dumas, and catch the idea of inherent nobility (of character) or baseness (of same character) depending on your station at birth. You also catch that if you read any historically accurate books, particularly those set before the 18th century.

    Oh, a chance for a minor rant I’ve had building. 😉

    This reminds me of a Facebook thing that was going around for a while: “Describe the plot of a book using exactly five words.” One of mine:

    “Ignominious end to four inseparables.”

    Every modern take that I have seen of that story (I won’t keep anyone hanging; it’s “The Man in the Iron Mask”)–movie adaptations generally–completely turns it on its head. Every. Single. One.

    The “rightful king” to Dumas was apparently sacrosanct. We saw that in treatment of the English Civil War in “After Twenty Years”. And we see it here. In “After Twenty Years” the inseparables attempted to support that (and were doomed to failure because history) but ended up coming through well. In the finale of the series they went against it, and suffered the consequences.

    And this attitude reads very odd indeed to my own modern American sensibilities. I can put myself in that mindset, but it’s a wrench. Frankly, when I deal with monarchy in my fantasy fiction, I cheat. Make the king the main characters support a “good king” and you don’t have the disconnect between supporting because of his station even when you should be opposing him because of his villainy (which word itself has an interesting etymology given this context).

    1. Yes. I have a king who actually has notions about a meritocracy (at least in terms of who he picks as assistants.) I hand wave it away with a particular character who had a hand in his raising and who is implied to have a non-noble birth. 😉

      1. Mine was the bastard son of the previous king, ineligible to inherit and working instead as a ship’s officer, when the legitimate heirs formed a revolt against their father (couldn’t wait, I guess) and he was the one who stopped them causing his father to “adopt” him and make him heir.

        1. I had this idea of a kingdom after the king died or was killed, there was no legitimate heir and the powerful nobles couldn’t agree on “who should be king”. (Part of it was arguments on whose blood is the most royal, other parts was strong dislikes among the nobles. As in, I’ll accept the devil as king before I’ll accept that man as king.)

          Well, the last king had an acknowledge bastard who commanded the Royal Army and held the loyalty of the Royal Army.

          Either he didn’t want to be king or he thought enough of the nobles would fight against him being which made him pushing himself as king would be as bloody as a war between the nobles.

          So he used his power base to convince enough of the nobles that a “Supreme Council” would work instead of one king.

          He would “lead” this Council but a few of the most powerful nobles would also be on this Council.

          I think he also had the support of the “House of Commons” (wealthy merchants, etc).

        2. You guys are way too nice.
          In the last RPG I ran, I had two rival claimants with roughly equal claims, and legitimate/selfless reasons for pressing those claims. Both were good men, who would have made terrible Kings. (I loosely based them on Stephen I and Bonnie Prince Charlie, both presented in the best possible light.) And, of course, the symbols of office disappeared before either could lay hands on them…

          1. Mine is nice because it’s a YA. Don’t worry, things heat up in the next one (if I can ever get going on it, honestly, toddler.)

    2. Chuckle Chuckle

      I’ve seen at least one of those movies. 😉

      Off topic, but apparently there was a slight historical basis for “Man in the Iron Mask”.

      There was a “special prisoner” of the French King but he only wore a “mask” when he was transferred to the “main” prison.

      Before he was transferred to the main prison, he didn’t have to wear a mask and actually acted a valet to a noble prisoner who has held at the same prison but lost his regular valet.

      The documentary that I saw suspected that the man was an ordinary servant to the Royal Household who saw/heard something accidentally that he shouldn’t but hadn’t done anything to deserve execution.

      The documentary blew holes in the idea that the “Man in the Iron Mask” was an unreported royal twin mainly because Royal Births were a somewhat public event.

      1. The Man Behind The Iron Mask by John Noone has just such a theory. With extensive discussion of all the plausible and implausible treatments it’s gotten. Down to the theory that he was the ancestor of Napoleon Bonaparte.

        1. I looked up The Man Behind The Iron Mask by John Noone in the Kindle store.

          It’s available as an ebook and is part of Kindle Unlimited.

          I’ll be reading it later. 😀

        2. Finished the book.

          It was an interesting read especially about the “implausible theories”. 😀

          1. How do all of you read so freakin’ fast…like, multiple book a day fast.

            I took three days to read a 77k work romance and that’s about par for the course.

    3. For some reason I am hearing in the back of my head the following exchange, from Richard Lester’s delightful 1973 The Three Musketeers, as D’Artagnan is trying to get across the channel to England:

      Sea Captain: This pass is for one person.

      D’Artagnan: I am only one person. That is a servant.

      1. One of my favorite filmic moments.

        I am minded of an exchange from the first of the Sharpe’s films, in which, IIRC, Sgt. Harper expresses the preference of the troops for a “proper” officer, one of The Blood rather than one of their own jumped up …

        Patrick Harper: [about Sharpe] He’s no proper officer. Never seems to tire, hard to catch him off guard.
        Cooper: He let you off light, Harps. Back in the village. So why so hard?
        Patrick Harper: It’s just not right, Cooper. He’s not happy being an officer. And mark my words, he’ll bring us bad luck.
        [thinks it over]
        Patrick Harper: We’ll do it tomorrow. In the mountains.

    4. The video game developer Koei has a couple of long-running series of video games based on the classic Chinese historical novel “Romance of the Three Kingdoms”. It’s been noted that American players who play the games tend to like Cao Cao as depicted in the games because he fits with American ideals – i.e. promote the competent people. The problem is, that was not the popular view in China when the story was originally written…

        1. Well, keep in mind “Chinese historical novel”.


          Cao Cao was a real person. I don’t know how closely the real Cao Cao resembled the individual depicted in the novel. But his ultimate fate is more or less set in the historical record.

          And keep in mind that much of Chinese thought has been focused on encouraging people to know and accept their place within society. If the guy whose job it is to hand the Emperor his coat doesn’t hand over the coat, but the Emperor gets it anyway, then you execute the guy who *did* hand over the coat for doing something he wasn’t told to do. Someone like the novel’s Cao Cao, who promotes based on accomplishment and not class, is anathema.

          1. Yeah. That was *all through* the Judge Dee books. Van Gulik knew the culture he was writing about. And even then, he admits that after the first one (which was a straight translation) he toned a lot of it down to suit Western sensibilities.

    5. Hah! Wow. I just finished the man in the iron mask myself. While I seem to be parsing the culture Dumas is writing about a bit better, it is still a very alien place.

      Ye gods, that King (Dumas’s depiction of Lois XIV)! My opinion of French royalty just keeps getting lower: How did any of them manage to obtain loyalty, much less avoid getting murdered by their own subordinates?

      Just one more point to my notion that mankind’s original sin was obedience!

  5. Well, gee whillikers, Sarah! If enough people can be convinced to act as if “privilege” and “oppression” are associated prenatally, then it becomes so, don’it?

    Those of us of a certain age may recall when the English aristos separated folk into “U and non-U” by word usage and other subtle social signalling.

    An Englishman’s way of speaking absolutely classifies him,
    The moment he talks he makes some other
    Englishman despise him.
    One common language I’m afraid we’ll never get.
    Oh, why can’t the English learn to
    set a good example to people whose
    English is painful to your ears?
    The Scotch and the Irish leave you close to tears.
    There even are places where English completely
    Well, in America, they haven’t used it for years!
    Why can’t the English teach their children how to speak?

    And now in the USofA we are engaging in similar sorting according to subscription to SJW dogmas of the sort you’ve characterized. It cannot be happenstance that the staunchest proponents of such lunacy are the highest beneficiaries of actual privilege: attendees of colleges whose tuitions rise upward of $50,000 a year?

    Competing at knowing which forms of intersectional victimhood score highest is an attribute of the arbiters of social order which they sneer at in nerds debating whether Superman could lift Thor’s hammer, but it is the same personality flaw.

    1. An Englishman’s way of speaking absolutely classifies him,
      The moment he talks he makes some other
      Englishman despise him.
      One common language I’m afraid we’ll never get.
      Oh, why can’t the English learn to
      set a good example to people whose
      English is painful to your ears?

      I’m pretty convinced that the way Sarah Palin talked was one of the big reasons that the Ruling Class got so set against her. (Well, that and being an “R”.She wasn’t on of “their kind” – and proved it true with every word.

      1. There are certain American accents — Sara Palin’s, almost any Southern, including Texan — which will cause the so-called intelligentsia, the enlightened ones, the oh-so-tolerant, to subtract at least one standard deviation from the speaker’s estimated IQ.

        This has proven very handy to Southerners selling “valuable prop’ty what just hasn’t been developt yet” to clever Yankee entrepreneurs.

    2. “An Englishman’s way of speaking absolutely classifies him,
      The moment he talks he makes some other
      Englishman despise him.”

      I am sure that much of the rage directed at Sarah Palin was because she didn’t *speak* in the way approved for the higher political and academic classes.

    1. The German historian of the Nazi era Götz Aly — a former far-leftist himself — actually said all but literally that before it came to power, National Socialism marketed itself as a “social justice” movement (for Aryans only, of course).

      1. Absolutely. Now they’re a social justice movement for everybody except Aryans. The skin tone of the whipping boy has changed, the whipping remains the same.

        1. Don’t worry, the one for Aryans is building and has gotten the attention of the SJWs…so far the SJWs normal tactics aren’t working against them and it is freaking the SJWs out.

          1. That’s what worries me. The Aryan Brotherhood thing never works out well, its a different pile of the same stupid.

    2. Well, who was it that said that the fascists of the future would call themselves anti-fascists?

      Because this whole “social justice” thing and various set asides sound EXACTLY like “such the womb such the condition”.

      Naturally it had to be something like that for their basis of rage, because if it was something that could be changed without a bloody revolution, what purpose would they have?

      So they found their revolution of fake anti-fascism on a lie, and fight against meritocracy, democracy and freedom of thought and speech.

      1. This is an excellent point, SJWs whole thing these days is fighting against democracy and freedom of speech.

        So is the DemocRat Party, which runs California. The ones who had the cops disarm one side in a demonstration and then stand down completely.

        View at

        That link is by a guy who was in the middle of the Caledonia Ontario thing in 2006. Berkely PD did the same thing that the Ontario Provincial Police did. Disarmed peaceful demonstrators, and let the violent demonstrators do whatever they wanted.

        Previously this week, in discussions about the United Airlines scandal, some people were accusing me of being “down on the cops.”

        I am down on them. Because they follow illegal orders. They’ll follow -any- order. That is the enabling principle that lets tyranny work. Cops that consider themselves to be a separate class from the body of the people.

        The yet-to-be-mentioned scandal of Berkely is the police disarming of ONE SIDE and then abandoning the field. Clearly in the hope that Antifa would destroy the “fascists” and achieve a victory that the managers of the police force wanted.

        Disarming the peaceful side and allowing the violent side to run rampant was the whole story of Caledonia. Its the whole story of Berkeley. Because that’s the overarching theme of Western Society under the Socialists. Because to a Socialist, criminals are not a problem. The government forces are more than sufficient to cow your common criminal.

        To a Socialist, the enemy is the general population. We, us worker/taxpayer types, are the scary ones. When you see police forces all over the West getting weapons of war like full-auto rifles, armored trucks, helicopters and so forth, that is not to handle “Mooselimb terrorists.” That’s to handle us.

        1. and i have seem much chittering from the liberfool types about late in the Berkeley videos where it shows one of the ‘peaceful’ side with a bat, and they are all like “SEE THEY HAD WEAPONS” and i just want to scream “they TOOK the weapons from the ANTIFA!”

          1. Yeah, that’s pretty funny. The cops disarmed the people doing the legit march. They went through and took flagpoles, helmets, shields, lots of stuff. They took everything, then they stood back and let it all happen.

            The Lefty a-holes showed up and brought every damn thing with them, from M-80 “fireworks” to home-brew chemical weapons (it wasn’t pepper spray, oh no no no) to clubs. Any “Right Winger” you saw on video with a bat, he took it off a Lefty first.

            The porn actress with the dreads that got punched in the face was wearing sap-gloves and throwing bottles into the crowd. (A sap-glove is a reinforced leather glove with lead shot across the knuckles. Basically a knuckle duster. I note for the Usual Suspects that the evil Fascist who punched her didn’t keep kicking her after she went down. Saw a lot of that from the Lefties.)

            Note about “fireworks.” Your M-80 is an artillery simulator, aka an Arty Sim in Canadian Forces slang, and we were told waaaaay back in the mists of time that they were about equal to a quarter stick of dynamite. If you “modify” it in a few obvious ways I won’t mention here, you get a quite dangerous device that can maim a fair number of people when thrown into a crowd. That’s what the Lefties were doing. You’ll notice NOBODY in the media saying anything beyond “fireworks.”

            1. My point is, sap gloves are illegal in this state and she needs to be charged with ADW. If they want all of their fancy weapons laws, they need to enforce and charge people with them equally.

              1. I think M-80s are illegal too. Certainly chemical weapons are. You may be sure if any Righties were found with any of that, they’d have been arrested on the spot.

                1. M-80s weren’t any more illegal than any other fireworks when I was growing up in the South, but it’s been over 20 years since I bought any fireworks. My avatar spent New Years and 4th of July cowering under the bed (Fuzzy hated loud noises; all I had to do to discipline her was whack a folded newspaper against MY hand).

                1. I am somewhere between conservative and libertarian and live in southern CA. of course i realize that.

            2. A sap-glove is a reinforced leather glove with lead shot across the knuckles.

              Pretty much…most people don’t want to get hit with one. They are a weapon and a nastier one than they look.

            3. I note for the Usual Suspects that the evil Fascist who punched her didn’t keep kicking her after she went down. Saw a lot of that from the Lefties

              The thing that jumped out at me was that there were folks dragging people off of the downed… folks on their own side, off of the guy who’d been trying to kill them a minute before. He’s down, he’s not trying to get back up, he’s out of it.

        2. The fact that some police departments are bad does not generalize to all police being bad; perhaps you’ve forgotten that restrictive gun laws in many areas have been effectively blocked by sheriffs’ refusal to attempt enforcement?

          Berkeley is a … unique place, so much so that its name is used as shorthand for areas where the socialist rot has set in. Almost every state has an area, usually a college town, snarkily referred to as “the Berkeley of [Region]. Madison, Wisconsin, for example, is commonly dismissed as “the Berkeley of the Mid-West” and in NC Chapel Hill is dismissed as “the Berkeley of the South, while Texans refer to Austin as “the Berkeley of the South-West.

          Sloppy generalization is a sure route to sloppy thought in general.

          1. The preceding statement should not be construed as a defense of the police in Berkeley, where the socialist state has selected and promoted on the criterion of willingness to use police power for advancement of The State.

            When the Left decries police violence their fundamental complaint is that it is not being used for advancement of their agenda; it is a complaint in the specific, not the general.

            1. “The fact that some police departments are bad does not generalize to all police being bad…”

              I have know a great many policemen over the years. I’ve hung out with them, gone shooting with them, gone drinking with them, and discussed things like the Caledonia business with them while it was going on.

              Individually, police are people. Individually they are for the most part reasonable, upright and proper human beings. They are good men.

              Problem is, in places like Berkely PD and the OPP, certain parts of the RCMP, BATF, DHS etc. the good men get squeezed out and replaced by people who will do anything they’re told. They don’t have to be evil human beings, all they have to be is lazy. And they are.

              The problem with policemen generally is that they do what they are told to do. When the people telling them what to do are disgusting socialists, such as the provincial government of Ontario, you see them making illegal arrests of people who haven’t done anything, while ignoring men burning down a bridge. Literally. I saw the bridge, I talked to the cops. They were hating it, but they were doing it. Pension, you know. Kids are in university. Car payments.

              This is not a normal time in Western countries. This is a time when evil is on the march because good men are doing nothing. When policemen follow illegal orders, the Rule of Law becomes the Rule of Force. That’s what happened down the road from me in Caledonia, and that’s what happened at Berkley. That is directly on the rank and file cops in the OPP and BPD. They’re the ones that did it, they get to wear it.

              What are you supposed to do about it? Do what the Hamilton Police Department did after the first time they got called out to back up the OPP. Hamilton PD demanded an explanation for arresting townies defending their own houses, while rock throwing a-holes were burning tires literally on the front lawn. Explanation was shut up and follow orders or else.

              Hamilton PD left and went home. They do not back the OPP up. It’s been ten years. Do not follow illegal orders.

              1. What are you supposed to do about it?

                Replace the guys giving the lawful orders you don’t like? (It’s totally possible to do WRONG things with lawful orders– “disarm or disband” is a lawful, leaving the area to avoid causing friction by mere presence is lawful, the SOBs using it to disarm the guys they like and then abandon them to thugs is EVIL.

                  1. Exactly.

                    THAT guy needs to be removed, and possibly charged with premeditated attempted murder, or at least conspiracy to cause grave bodily harm.

                    You do not want individual cops setting policy, which is what punishing them for legal actions would be.

                    1. Yeah. That’s the sort of thing that led to the Spanish Civil War.

                      A major politican was arrested on the pretext that members of his party had committed murder; his tortured body showed up in the morgue within 24 hours; no policeman was punished.

                      That’s the sort of thing that makes all enemies, foreign or domestic kind of crucial.

                  2. That the people of Berkeley would elect such a person largely suggests the problem is not the police. The people of Berkeley apparently have the sort of government they want.

                    1. And they are getting it good and hard.

                      Not yet. Thus far the victims are the ones they want hurt.

                    2. And if those who didn’t want to be punching bags don’t like it, they can just leave.

                      That Russian who was predicting the breakup of the US is looking more like a prophet every day.

                    3. Sarah, that flood of people moving out of California isn’t accidental. And as it becomes clearer that anyone not a socialist has no chance of equal treatment under the law in blue areas, this will only increase.

                    4. unless you somehow can afford the best lawyers, and already have the ninth circus on your side, yup.

                    5. Thankfully, we’re not a Democracy, so there’s legal recourse to the desired gov’t doing doing illegal things.

                      That recourse is not “punish the nearest, weakest target.” (In this case, the police.)

        1. It’s been attributed to Churchill but apparently nobody actually knows who said it first.

      2. The really aggressive SJW — the Antifa bunch — use the excuse that it is morally-permissible and even requisite to “punch Nazis” — by “punch” meaning everything up to and including assault with a deadly weapon, and by “Nazis” meaning anyone who disagrees with them. The thing which prevents them from being more dangerous is that they are very bad at tactics, AND imagine themselves tactically-brilliant. Unlike their obvious counterpart, Rohm’s Stormtroopers, they are not combat veterans and don’t understand how really serious mass violence works.

        1. At least these dimwitted donkeys are willing to try do shit in person (though I still laugh uproariously at how they hide their faces.)

          Sometimes I wonder how many of these idiots are script kiddies who try to hack or DDOS sites whose opinions they don’t agree with, thinking they’re doing something new, and ‘unseen’ so they think that they can’t be charged with cybercrimes… and run up against bored network and site admins.

          Reason why I wonder this is because, for every one of them that is out there throwing cherry bombs and swinging wine bottles, there’s probably more of them wanting to ‘do something’ that doesn’t require them to get out of the safety of their homes, and rely on other people’s non-tech-capability. The ‘war’ started getting heated online, I wouldn’t be surprised if they were attacking just as hard there still.

            1. They aren’t too different, you know; especially with the way they refuse to see or treat others as human based on whether or not they share ideology. As ‘dhimmi’ and ‘infidel’ are to ISIS, so are ‘conservative/libretarian/nonprog=nazi’ to the SocJus zealots. To both groups any designated as ‘excempt’ and ‘outside’ are not worthy of protection, perfectly acceptable of persecution, and less than human thus not entitled to the protections of law or human rights.

  6. middle-class parents are entreated not to read to their kids, lest they give them privilege (cooties) i.e. a head start on other kids.

    Reading to the kids is a chore for nannies & tutors, not parents.

    1. Well of course, a properly state certified nanny or tutor will have the proper training and expertise to read to the child only what the child should have read to it. You wouldn’t want your child to be exposed to improper materials, now would you?

          1. From 1776, The Musical, Dr. Benjamin Franklin:

            The people have read Mr. Paine’s “Common Sense”. I doubt very much the Congress has.

            (Unfortunately this is no longer true — neither have.)

              1. Lina Lamont: “People”? I ain’t “people.” I am a – “a shimmering, glowing star in the cinema firmament.”
                [picks up newspaper]
                Lina Lamont: It says so – right here.

              1. He actually is, or at least used to be. Back when he was still on Fox, I happened to catch two of his shows about _The Road to Serfdom_, with detailed discussions of economic and political ideas. He made reference to other contemporary economists and thinkers (Friedman, Adorno, several others). So did his guests. And even worse *gasp*, he and his guests assumed that the viewers were smart enough to read the books for themselves, and to understand their ideas and the opposing ideas.

                1. Yeah, I remember him and his blackboard…he was, in many ways, too smart for TV news…or assumed his viewers were smarter than TV news wants them to be.

                2. The thing with Glenn Beck (from what I saw watching his progress) is that he’s actually quite bright and well-read. It’s just that he soon learned that when he used bombast even when facts and logic would serve, his audience ate it up. And so that’s now his default state.

                  He soon became annoying and unwatchable to me but, obviously, not to others.

        1. You want them to read common sense materials to children????

          That would be a real Paine.

    2. That made no sense to me when I first heard about it. But we are a family of readers. We lead by example. We do family read-aloud every day. It is amazing to see a child go from “repeat after me” to sounding out words and getting some prompts to reading fluently. We might technically be middle class, but both of us came from poor families that loved reading as much as we do now. So I guess it is okay???

      1. Inflicting intellectual inferiority on your own offspring is nonsensical. It’s a contributor to societal suicide, I’d expect.

        I recall it being painful to be in some class where everyone was expected to read a paragraph or two or three aloud. So many pauses and uhms and such. I was NOT expecting Professional Announcer Quality, but it often felt like, “Hang on, can you read, really?” I suppose some was that many could read, but perhaps it was direct symbol-word to thought and not so much ‘internally heard voice’ (ox slow that way?) or maybe it was stage fright.

        1. Noticed the same thing at, of all things, a reading circle of beginning actors! (We’d just done a musical together, were trying out a reader’s theatre of a miracle play). Everybody went around the circle, painfully. I’d been reading aloud to my wife as recreation for years, so could — just read it. For which, despite NOT being an actor, really, I was given a major part. I’m thinking it’s that few people read aloud where others can hear after maybe the 2nd or 3rd grade; rusty skills.

          1. It was painful in fourth grade. Good readers would get to read a sentence or two. Middling readers would get a paragraph. Horrid readers would stumble through a whole page as they needed the practice.

          2. Heck – I read aloud to my youngest brother for years. (All of the Hobbit and LOTR.) And after years of this, I trained as a radio announcer. Piece of cake…

        2. Inflicting intellectual inferiority on your own offspring is nonsensical. It’s a contributor to societal suicide, I’d expect.

          As I said yesterday the successor to Post Modernism isn’t Post Post Modernism it is Barbarism.

          1. And the pampered, spoiled children of the SJW movement are going to find themselves lacking when if it become actual barbarian time.

            1. You mean like Miss “I have my sap gloves and I’m going to claim 100 Nazi scalps” who, after someone punched back and put her in the hospital is now Miss “I’m a little 100 pound girl and big strong men shouldn’t hit girls”?

              1. Yep. Snowflake got a taste of what barbarian reality is like, and doesn’t like it one bit.

              2. They think they are tough revolutionaries. They are just a mob. They have neither the physical training nor the mindset of a true revolutionary. They are _useful_ to the would-be tyrants. They are (barely) ahead of the rest of us in that they have crossed the threshold of violent action. I trust though, that they noticed how easily (and competently) the civilized man can step across the threshold?

                  1. The old saying is “beware the wrath of a patient man”.
                    The longer the wait, the stronger the fury. Just ask Dresden or Hiroshima.

              3. Heh.

                Feminism Has a Ferocity Problem
                Self-appointed women’s advocates pressure girls and women into paths they may not be suited for.
                Let’s imagine a person — let’s call this person “Pat” — with the following characteristics. Pat is extremely aggressive and extremely ambitious and doesn’t take crap from anybody. If somebody punches Pat, then Pat punches back twice as hard. Pat wants to get ahead and will face down anybody standing in the way. Career achievement seems to be Pat’s highest goal. Pat’s spouse needs to understand and facilitate Pat’s dreams, and if children are involved, they’re to be timed and spaced precisely so that Pat’s climb to the top is unimpeded.

                If Pat is a man, then he’s consumed with “toxic masculinity.” If Pat is a woman, however, then Pat is leaning in. Pat is “fierce.” Pat is our hero.

                We are living in the age of the fierce girl. That’s the new feminist ideal. Do you want to make online feminists furious? Just try writing a television or movie script that even implies that “damsels in distress” need any man to rescue them from danger. No indeed. The modern female action star can take down any number of burly men. Doubt me? Watch Charlize Theron destroy man after man in this trailer for Atomic Blonde:
                [END EXCERPT]

                1. Supplemental material:

                  Atomic Blonde – Official Trailer #2

                  I suspect a long essay correlating this as a subgenre of p**nography could be composed, but what would be the point? Accusing films of lacking realism ranks right up there of declaring bears go potty wherever they d*well like.

                2. That is exactly what ended Agent Carter for me. Her putting down 4 or 5 goons in a dark alley or shipyard or something. No more. And when Agents of Shield started on the waif-with-supernatural-powers shtick, buh bye. Twenty years ago it was fresh (Buffy). Today it’s nauseating.

                    1. I liked the part in the “Avengers” where she was interrogating a crime lord while he thought he was interrogating her.

                      (Rewound the scene and noted that, yes, he was giving her information to correct her “wrong” presumptions about the local underworld figures.)

                3. “Do you want to watch this one? The princess knows Kung-fu.”

                  “Oh, Mom. All the princesses know Kung-fu.”

                4. I don’t mind if a fictional main character is exceptional able to kick ass and hold her own against men. After all, fictional main characters, whether mail or female, are often exceptional. And I’m probably going to watch Joan Wick, I mean Atomic Blonde. After all, is Charlize Theron’s character really any more ridiculous than John Matrix (does she jump out of an airplane in flight without a parachute)?

                  It’s when they try to pretend that they _aren’t_ exceptional, that this character is just a typical example and not someone five sigmas out from the mean, that it becomes a problem.

                  1. Nod, Buffy had “special powers”.

                    IE She wasn’t a normal girl, she was one of the “Chosen”.

                    1. As I have mentioned before, even with her “special powers” Buffy had to learn how to use them and go into training. I liked that touch, just having the “special powers” didn’t automatically guarantee that things would work out in her favor.

                  2. Yeah. It’s a lot more realistic to have “escape and run” behaviors and “put them down hard in a way they’re not expecting, then run” on the part of smaller characters. If you ever take a self-defense course for women, they’re all based on escaping holds, doing some nasty damage to whatever’s available, then running away after you’re sure you’re not going to be followed. Kicking the guy when they’re down is highly encouraged, and doing things quickly is essential.

                    1. Nod, one character described her “martial arts” training as “hit them hard so she could run away” and her teacher advised her to get a hand-gun.

                      Note, this is sort of humorous as when she’s telling this story, she is also one of the strongest super-heroes currently around.

                      But she still complains that she resembles “Tinker Bell”. 😀

                  3. Back in the Fifties/Sixties, Peter o’Donnell went out of his way to portray Modesty Blaise that way.

                    She *knew* she was outclassed. She collected dirty underhanded tricks the way other girls of her time collected dolls, to make up for it. And trained as obsessively as the darkest versions of Batman. And carried weapons. And knew it still wasn’t enough.

                    Fascinating (and often scary) reading.

              4. i’ve seen stuff about her? did she really have sap gloves? in public, on video? then she needs to be charged accordingly.

                1. Found by police. And sap gloves are fairly easy to disguise as thick work gloves; just add an extra leather pocket for lead shot. Brass knuckles aren’t.

                  1. My point is, she is unlikely to get charged for it. Or she will plead it off. Typical weapons laws enforcement in CA- if you’re of the appropriate color/sex/politics, they ignore a lot.

              5. In fact she’s a bully, despite being small and female. She wa perfectly okay with violence until one of her intended victims decked her. Suddenly, she’s a helpless little victim.

                I bet that even BEFORE she went off to Berkeley she was a bitch. Yeah, she looks like a sweet innocent teenage girl in her pictures from high school … and I bet she used that appearance to avoid being held responsible for bad behavior more than once. I bet it worked, too.

                Didn’t work so well in the middle of a riot she helped start, now did it?

                1. And they somehow believe the lefty nonsense about gun laws enough that they think there won’t eventually be firearms involved

                  and they somehow believe that it will be their crowd of rowdies versus single individuals with firearms

                  and they somehow believe those single individuals are going to stand in the middle of the street and be mobbed, not find and fire from cover

                  it ain’t going to be pretty.

                  1. my response threaded wrong, anyway- this was supposed to be under your punch nazis statement

                  2. Their concept of safety in numbers, in which they form a large group of masked people, reach out and attack people, and then retreat back into the mass, only works if guns aren’t involved. If guns are involved, what does it make them a large massed target; distinctively cloud and color coded for the benefit of shooters. Imagine what even a few submachine guns would do to a group like that.

        3. One semester in high school, I got shuffled from the Honors English Class to the regular one for some stupid bureaucratic reason that I no longer recall. We spent a lot of time reading our assigned texts out loud in class.

          I was the guy that was always asked to do the reading whenever we had to cover a lot of pages in a hurry.

          To the best of my recollection, there wasn’t anyone in the class that couldn’t at least muddle their way through the assigned reading. But there was a very noticeable difference in speed.

          1. *laughs* They HATED it when I would read aloud in class… I skip words and don’t even realize it, and the way I say some of ’em… I put the emFAcist on the wrong syllABle.

            Drives folks nuts. 😀

            1. Very common with kids who learn to read silently before school. They have not necessarily heard the new words in conversation, or may not connect the heard word to the written one.

              1. This! I didn’t realize that Voila! was wah-lah! until High School. I also read much faster than I can speak so my eyes get ahead of my mouth and I start stumbling or skip words.

                1. I knew so many words, dozens of them that I had never actually heard a living person pronounce. I should think this is another marker for an “Odd”.

                    1. To the masses a “big word” doesn’t have to be polysyllabic, just outside the common parlance. (like the word parlance…)

                  1. Oooh, funny story!

                    My daughter has been doing basic multiplication and division; she’s worked with numbers up to the thousands.

                    I found out today that she didn’t know the word for “thousand.” She was reading some science book and said something like “there are over a zillion different species…”

                    Me: “What? Does it actually say a zillion?”
                    Her: “In numbers, yes.”
                    Me: “….what numbers is it?”
                    Her: “One. Zero. Zero. Zero.”
                    Me: “…A thousand?”
                    Her: “I didn’t know!
                    Me: “*Encouraging noises, trying not to laugh, explaining it’s mommy’s fault.*”

                  2. I must be an odd Odd, because I rarely had a problem with pronunciation even if I had never heard the word before. Maybe it was because I tended to hang out with adults so I heard plenty of words that kids wouldn’t normally hear (not just swear words) and once I saw them in print I could easily make the connection.

                    1. I recall tripping over “epitome” and not being corrected – and I had heard “epitome” spoken, just the association of link the text to the sound hadn’t yet been made. I would likely have done similar with “antipodes” had I not read someone’s rant about it. If one can recognize that the word derived from Greek rather than Latin roots, then one can go with, “Oh, this other set of rules applies.”

                    2. I recall, after having entered puberty sufficiently to be essentially aware of the superficial differences between male and female, walking across a golf course and being hailed by a couple asking what the brand was on a golf ball near my feet. I picked it up and was, for one of the rare times in my life, at a loss for words as I held that ball out toward the approaching man and woman.

                      At that time I had never heard of Title-ist golf equipment and the brandmarque, of course, lacked any helpful hyphen.

                    3. And we will not discuss trying to pronounce native American names/places. Still remember the time my dad cracked up after I mispronounced Temagami will reading a news story out loud. Yes he did correct me eventually, after he stopped laughing….

                    4. And then there’s that WI specialty of hard-for-many names:
                      (Roughly: shwa-ma-gon)

                      By comparison, Baraboo, Menomonie, Oconomowoc, Kewaunee, Wauwautosa, and Weyauwega are much easier.

                    5. Wasn’t the proper pronunciation of “Weyauwega” featured in the chorus of this Eighties hit?

                      Let us all fervently pray that that era’s hair styles — for women and men — never return.

                    6. Not quite.

                      And then Mazomanie is pronounced as if you were going to say “maze-o-maniacs” but didn’t quite.

                      Locally I only really had to deal with “Wausau’ (which should be easy for almost everyone due to the Wausau Insurance commercials) and the rest were the far easier Merrill, Tomahawk, Rhinelander, Irma, Bloomville, Gleason, and if you really wanted to you could try that run from Marathon to Athens. I suppose Antigo might be a minor trouble. (It’s not annteegoe).

                    7. There was a local businessman who lent his name to a park and street. Goethe. Pronounced “GAY-tee.”

                      Of course, the park is now pronounced “River Bend” now that his particular racist views have become widely known, a fact that annoys my mother, because a) it wasn’t like it was some deep dark secret, and b) we’re talking racist like Henry Ford, who most certainly was, but who has descendants to apologize and have them forgiven. Sometimes people don’t act much different from the general population of the time.

                  3. My first grade teacher had me reading a Bible story to the class every morning, once she realized I could read it as well as she could.

                    Almost. She did eventually ask me why I said certain words twice–the second time slowly and distinctly. I said, “That’s what it says.”

                    The second version of the word was in parentheses. There were hyphens between the syllables, so obviously you were supposed to slow down the second time.

                    I didn’t know what the funny marks over the vowels were, though…

        4. Reading aloud is *not* the same skill as reading silently.It may be related, but it’s a separate thing.

          1. Some where, I heard that one ancient Roman? was highly noted for being able to see something silently.

            IE Reading aloud was more common then than reading silently.

            1. St. Augustine, peeking into St. Ambrose’s office.

              Reading silently was considered a bit Philistine, because you could not appreciate the sound quality of poetry or prose. Also, it was miserly to keep other people from listening and sharing. But as Augie pointed out, it also kept people from bothering you with questions about your reading, and made it less obvious you were in your office and could be bothered. That was why Augie did not bother him, and went away.

              (But Ambrose had been army, and may have gotten the habit for security reasons.)

              1. It was more that it’s actually a skill, and one more difficult to acquire than it may seem.

      2. I must be enemy number 1 on the SJW list then. I read to my kids all the time. Did different voices and pantomime too. The Hobbit was fun, but trying to keep all the dwarves voices straight was rough on the vocal cords. Although both of them complained that when the Fellowship of the Ring came out, Gollum didn’t sound as good as Dad’s version.

        1. When my eldest son was waiting to become an eldest son, we cuddled up together once while I read out loud to him, from a book of poetry. He was a little too young to understand most of it, but he liked listening, and he liked the rhythm of my voice.

          Years later, he read out loud most of the Tale of Squirrel Nutkin to son #3, the day before he died, in a clear voice that had just a bit of the rhythm I remembered using when reading out loud to him. The reading session was interrupted by the youngest wanting a clean and a feed and then a nap. (Eldest son lamented that he never got to finish reading to his youngest brother later that next day.)

          Eldest daughter does not like being read to. I tried, repeatedly. Her general response was to tuck me into bed, hand me a paperback, and tell me to go to sleep. To her, reading was done in quiet, by oneself, probably because she saw me poring over books while doing homework in college.

    3. The Reading Mother

      I had a mother who read to me
      Sagas of pirates who scoured the sea.
      Cutlasses clenched in their yellow teeth;
      “Blackbirds” stowed in the hold beneath.

      I had a Mother who read me lays
      Of ancient and gallant and golden days;
      Stories of Marmion and Ivanhoe,
      Which every child has a right to know.

      I had a Mother who read me tales
      Of Gelert the hound of the hills of Wales,
      True to his trust till his tragic death,
      Faithfulness lent with his final breath.

      I had a Mother who read me the things
      That wholesome life to the child’s heart brings-
      Stories that stir with an upward touch.
      Oh, that each mother were such!

      You may have tangible wealth untold;
      Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
      Richer than I you can never be —
      I had a Mother who read to me.

      Strickland Gillilan

      1. You know what has been found to have an even more profound effect on kids than a parent reading to them? Parents talking (gasp!) to them. In the womb the child learns to recognize his (her, TBD’s) mother’s voice and arrives with phonetic programming. And parents who talk to their younglings, using large vocabularies and thoughtful words have an effect even more profound.

        Clearly, all children offspring secondary units must be removed from the privileged care of parents procreational units and reared in equality in crèches.

        1. But of course. If children are taught by their (pardon the obscenities) mothers and fathers, and sometimes even instructed in (gasp) religion, it is a dire threat to an orderly state. If they should come to the opinion that they should rule themselves and not be ruled by others, it will require drastic and expensive measures to control them. So predicted the prophet Aldous Huxley.

        2. Every so often our kids surprise us by properly using a word that is far outside the norm for their age. It usually comes from us somewhere along the line. A while ago, my then 4 year old came up to us with something balanced on his hand and proudly exclaimed “Look! It’s stabilized on my hand!”

          1. *giggle*
            My little brother used to be thought a genius by his elementary and junior high school teachers (once he got past the nasty and incompetent 2nd grade teacher who thought he was retarded because he was farsighted and couldn’t read very well because he got headaches after ten minutes or so of trying to read) because Little Bro would uncork three and four syllable words. No – it was because he was a small child in a family of college-educated adults. He was just saying what he heard around the dinner table.
            And because I used to read to him. One of the favorites was all of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Took a year to get through it all. Little Bro could talk like Samwise by the time we were done.

    4. Heh. Reading to my nieces and nephews is the thing I miss most about living with my sister. So far all of them love to read. Mwahahaha.

  7. …the received (Marxist) wisdom…

    Which is no wisdom at all, and therein lies a multitude of problems.

  8. And programs to hire or promote minorities means that those genuinely capable minorities who make it up the ladder on their own have to face scoffing and remarks about their ability because people assume they’re “affirmative action successes.” This in turn leads to real discrimination because they’re not treated seriously.

    This only applies to those inferiors who are not properly grateful to the hand up they’ve received and dare to think independently instead of taking their direction from their moral, intellectual and social superiors.

    I’ve heard Walter E Williams and Thomas Sowell give thanks that they got earned their doctorates before Affirmative Action.

    1. My first thought was “Wow, that’s racist!” Upon reading the bit above the title, my opinion remains unchanged.

      1. The party of Jefferson and Jackson has been racist since its inception and has only recently turned the race card over to play its other side. The end result remains the same, of course: to profit from the labor of others.

    2. I’ve argued online with someone who refused to admit that Sowell didn’t get Affirmative Action. When cornered, tried to claim that letters of recommendation were the Same Thing. . . .

      BTW, he said his college didn’t require them. Did yours, to apply?

      1. Letter of recommendation? To get into college? You mean, like tuition checks that cleared the bank?

        High school diploma and adequate SAT scores, but then I matriculated well before our current enlightened era.

  9. Most American people think white people INVENTED slavery to enslave black people, and not that it’s an old and persistent sin of mankind, affecting every race and every culture until the industrial revolution.

    And when you point out just how old, and how ubiquitous in antiquity, the institution of slavery actually is the response is that it was different here, that there is some magical difference that makes the institution in the early United States particularly vile while excusing everyone else worldwide.

    There’s no actual reality there, just the assertion. Get them to make some concrete statement of why it’s different, then point out the same factor in other cases and watch the goalposts move. Jay Garrick doesn’t move that fast.

      1. Slavery wasn’t ended, merely postponed. Just wish Congress would be explicit about which “crimes” slavery is the appropriate punishment.

        1. Aggregated Abuse of a Public Trust.

          Should we start the bidding with the VA, the IRS, the CIA, or all sitting congressmen?

          1. I bid nothing…historically slaves had useful skill or at least could do manual labor.

            Neither is a characteristic of most government employees these days or Congresscritters.

    1. To be fair, slavery in Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment European colonies was a different institution than traditional slavery, in that the population had accepted as a general case that slavery was wrong, but not THESE slaves, based on racial criteria (not just blacks; American Indians as well, though not in the English colonies.)

      Traditionally, there would be an in-group who couldn’t be enslaved (your family, your tribe, Roman citizens who weren’t criminals or debtors) with all the rest of the world being fair game if you could impose your will on them, rather than an out-group who could be enslaved, and the rest of the world was safe at least from that.

      1. Nah. this happened many times. Muslims didn’t enslave muslims (theoretically) or Christians Christians. It’s just the criteria shifted to tan, but even there it wasn’t absolute. Black men who came over free weren’t enslaved just because they were black. They had to be purchased from (mostly black) slave dealers or born in slavery to be slaves. It wasn’t “let’s enslave all black people.” Pfui.

        1. An ancestress of mine was a.) black enough to be considered legally enslavable in the brothel where the sea captain she nursed back to health amidst a typhoid (or, other sort–Records aren’t clear) epidemic found her, and simultaneously, b.) white enough to pass for the scion of a non-existent New Orleans French family when he took her back to Boston as his wife.

          The constructions we’ve created around race in this country don’t bear real examination, I’m afraid. There’s no logic, just farcical unreason.

        2. Muslims not enslaving Muslims and Christians not enslaving Christians are still examples of having an in-group which is immune to slavery; it’s just a BIG in-group. Nor did I say anything about all blacks being enslaved; it was a matter of it being acceptable to enslave Negros (often including people with trace Negro ancestry) and in some cases American Indians.

    2. I saw in the CD version of the Encyclopedia Britannica (approx. 2005 edition) that both slavery and racism were Western, White constructions. Of course, both articles were unattributed because they’ve stopped actually listing all the contributing authors and sources for each entry like they used to do in the older, print versions.

      1. I’ve got an environmental history of western Africa before 1776 that begs to differ with that argument. The natives didn’t fear Anglos – it was the Arab and Berber slave traders that terrified them. And given the loss rates among the slaves crossing the Sahara, they had good reason to be scared.

        1. *mischievous grin* Do you think that’s why the SJWs and Marxist-spawn still curry favor with the Islamists? Because the Islamists will be the ones to continue the slave trade, with a new, more politically acceptable name?

          Interesting little bit of history-lore – supposedly, Magellan carried with him on his ship a slave, who was able to speak with the natives when they found the Philippines. Said slave supposedly had been purchased from Arab slave traders.

    3. I will say that I consider American slavery to have been a bit extra-pernicious by virtue of applying Industrial Revolution thought to an ancient mostly-evil system. (Mostly-evil because I’m sure there were many captives who found it preferable to death when victorious invaders came through, and because there have been degrees of slavery throughout history.) Talk of treating people like widgets…

      1. American slavery wasn’t as bad as some other European colonies. Consider Haiti. Hell, consider the Belgian Congo. But American slavery had its own peculiar evils, mostly born of being slavery in a time and place where people knew it was wrong….

          1. Actually, not quite. There had already been people in Virginia sentenced to lifetime slavery by courts, for crimes including escaping indentured servitude.

            The first man to be declared a slave *by purchase* – prior to this all purchases which didn’t specify a time limit were held to be limited to a maximum term of purchased servitude of seven years – was John Casor, at the instigation of Anthony Johnson, both black.

            1. The latter was the one I was remembering. Thank you.

              Considering though the first example was a punishment for a crime that is not unlike a lifetime sentence, and the latter is the chattel slavery in the US vastly imagined to be ‘the creation of white folk’ I don’t really see why it is touted as a ‘whitey’s sin’.

      1. Political authorities do not generally attempt to enforce natural law. Efforts to establish pi by legal edict seem mostly to occur only in jokes.

          1. As it Happens Indiana once attempted to do just that. Oh, the bill itself wasn’t supposedly to set Pi, it was a bill to “square the circle”, but int he course of the math within it it implies various incorrect values of pi such as 3.2.

            This, incidentally was 15 years after the rigorous proof that the circle could not be squared using only a compass and straightedge–that is that using only a compass and straightedge one could not construct a square with the same area as a given circle in a finite number of steps.

            And, as it happened, a mathematician visiting the legislature on the day it was up for vote was able to point out the errors in it and so it wasn’t actually passed.


            I don’t know whether Goodwin actually thought he had something or if this was all an elaborate troll.

        1. Oh, Jordan! Don’t you know, as ‘everyone knows’ that the enlightened Romans and Greeks never ever practiced slavery? I mean, they’re THE proof, after all, that history would have been JUST FINE AND DANDY without the scourge of Christianity/Catholicism, and that if ONLY that rebellious Jesus Christ had never been born, we’d have SUCH A LOVELY UTOPIA!!!!! Also Atheism would’ve been the TRUE ruling line of thought and reason, for REALS.

          /sarc /dry /eyeroll

  10. It’s a pendulum. I believe it’s already started swinging back.

    And BTW, all-the-way-back looks a LOT like the current extreme, only inverted.

    “every teacher is terrified of telling a girl/woman she needs to work harder, or she’s just no good at whatever”

    Half a century ago most teachers were perfectly happy to tell girls they shouldn’t take STEM classes at all because girls were no good at them, and the best math teacher I ever had truly believed that black people shouldn’t take his classes because they were too dumb.

    See? It was still “Such the womb, such the condition.”

    I’d like to think that some day the damn pendulum will run out of energy and stop in the middle, but it seems there’s always somebody coming to wind it up again.

    1. The pendulum annoyed me when it was used for affirmative action arguments: “The pendulum has to swing the other way for a while.”

      When is that “while” over? And then, do they know how a pendulum works? Do they really want that?! Get that sucker to Bottom Dead Center and nail the damn thing into place there! Oscillation is not a good thing here, even if a damped wave — and there seems risk of a positive feedback loop where it will NOT be damped.

      Even ox understand this.

      1. Ah, but nailing it bottom dead center would require regulation to keep it there. Regulation would also induce stresses, and pushback. Life is dynamic; if it doesn’t move, it’s either dead, or it never lived. I don’t mind a little movement of the pendulum in any direction; I just don’t want it smashing into the walls and bringing down the whole damn tower. And I don’t want people cheating and holding it in one position favorable to them only.

        1. The pendulum is useful, for it reminds each generation of what it has never experienced. It’s social norms of trust and tolerance that help to limit the amplitude of the swings, probably most effectively.

      2. And then, do they know how a pendulum works? Do they really want that?!

        No they don’t understand how a pendulum works, and “that” will never happen because its the product of racist/sexist/homophobic privilege. Of course the pendulum will stay where they’ve shoved it to the far left because history is on their side. /sarc

          1. They don’t need to know. History is a white patriarchical construction designed to oppress minorities. So is physics.

            I can’t wait till they decide to fly off the garage roof because gravity is only someone’s opinion.

              1. We had a Natural Law Party once here in Canada. “Yogic flying” was a key pillar of their campaign.

                Still better than Trudeau 2.0, though.

          2. If they knew how anything worked – they wouldn’t believe what they believe. I have been reading a blogger at “thedeclination” dot com and his post today “the weight of the world” I found to be very interesting.

            I think it ties in with what Sarah is talking about here, although from a different angle. They (SJW) are trying to create (maybe not consciously) a situation where the cis-white-male is an underclass of untouchables with all the guilt for the creation of the world on their back.

            Anyway, very busy at work and my brain stops at this point – someone else can pull that one apart. Now back to work.


        1. Where the arc of history bs comes in. Eventually the pendulum will break free. Offhand I can remember two periods where the future seemed fixed. One was the 90s which collapsed one sunny Tuesday. The other was the 20s which crashed and took the world with it.

        2. Given I think those who think being for the abolition of slavery are too optimistic given the short time it has been a minority practice is being on the right side of history I have learned to loathe the phrase.

          And, no, I do not believe the industrial revolution killed it dead…body servants will always be a luxury of the rich as will house servants even if machines can do it and combine the desire for power with such servants and slavery will always appeal. At best the Industrial Revolution will have limited it to a luxury instead of an economic advantage.

          1. Personally, I think the Industrial Revolution removed much of the necessity of Slavery therefore giving strength to the Moral Objections to Slavery.

            This may be a minority opinion. 😉

            1. No, I agree it did but those Moral Objections to Slavery are not universal and in fact are under regular attack even in the US (although the idiots doing the attacking are mostly too dumb to realize it and the ones who aren’t are would be slave owners even if they wouldn’t call it that).

              Without those moral objections the lack of economic need simply changes how many and how widespread it will be, not its existence.

              1. I hear you.

                However, I sometimes wonder if the Factory Owners might have adopted the idea of “Slave Workers” if Slavery hadn’t been seen as Morally Wrong.

                Both the German Nazi and the Communists of the Soviet Union rejected “Christian Morality” and had Slave Workers.

                  1. It depends. If slaves are disposable, then probably true — it would depend on supply, yes? If (as in the American South) the owner is responsible for their lifetime care and feeding, perhaps not.

                    OTOH, if slaves then it is worth owners’ while to invest in training (and other activities) to increase their value. For example, before arbitrator Peter Seitz struck down Major League Baseball’s Reserve Clause, players were effectively slaves of the teams holding their contracts and it was worthwhile for a team to invest in and promote players to the fans. Elimination of that clause has meant that a team which signs and develops a player is subject to losing his services once free agency kicks in and therefore has less incentive to build a team (r team promotion) around a given player.

                    It has also arguably greatly exacerbated income inequality.

                    1. A traveler noted once that in loading a barge with bales, the work was strictly segregated by race: blacks throwing down the bales to the Irish, who stowed them. He asked, and was told that their masters tended to make a fuss if the blacks got their backs broken, or were thrown overboard and drowned.

                  2. Not really. There’s the purchase price, then you have to clothe them, feed them, house them . . . workers, you just pay hourly. Fire the lazy ones, and if they leave or die,there plenty more, with no replacement costs.

                    1. It depends on a number of different factors. Your workers are taking their wages and using them to purchase the same things that you’d need to provide your slaves… and probably a little extra for things like entertainment. So in theory, you should be able to keep slaves for less than the wages you pay your workers – particularly if you don’t need to pay things like payroll taxes.

                      However, theory and practice often collide in a rather spectacular and disastrous fashion.

                    2. Aimed at junior – in addition to the raw cost, you need to include the opportunity cost (ie the time to buy these things) – which the worker self-funds, but which the owner either has to pay someone else to do or do her/himself.


                    3. In both Ancient Rome and the Deep South, there were times when slaves were paid wages.

                      The only time you really get away with nothing more than the necessities of life is when the slave work is so simple than any reasonably competent supervisor can see who’s slacking and punish accordingly. Any job where you need any judgment, you need to reward good work.

                    4. While living in Columbus Georgia I heard about a slave blacksmith who was bringing in plenty of money for his master. His services/skills had been rented out to other people. To reward him, his master actually went to the Georgia Legislature to have him freed. After the blacksmith was freed, he continued to have good relations with his former master. After the Civil War was lost, the former slave even helped out his former master when the former master needed help.

                    5. After Sam Houston passed, his wife was left in a slightly embarrassed financial condition and their former coachman, who had been working as a free black at that trade came and offered his savings to her. And she refused and told him to use that money educate his children. This was a heartbreaking story to read of. Slavery in the US had all kinds of details and nuances. Which are hardly touched on, in popular culture at all.

                    6. From my own research – which is limited to Texas – there were a lot of slaves with a skilled or semi-skilled trade – who were permitted by their owners to work for wages. And it was thought very miserly of their owners to take those wages or a portion of them. It all depended if the slaves were free-lance labor, or if they were hired out in a body as sub-contractors … yes, the whole chattel slavery thing was complicated.

            2. It’s like women in the workplace. Technology made a lot of things easier, which allowed more women to participate in out-of-household employment, which led to observations about disperate wages for equal work, which contributed to the broad appeal of Second Wave Feminism.

              Technology made certain kinds of slavery less profitable/necessary. It made other kinds a lot more desirable (see the cotton gin, short-staple cotton, and the US south, or the serf-staffed factories in Russia.) The real surge in the moral argument against chattel slavery coincided with the industrial revolution to an extent, but it had been around for a while. For example, Charles V/I of Spain tried to prohibit it in the New World, but had a lot more pressing concerns to deal with first.

          2. Part of the backstory of Poul Anderson’s Flandry stories was the return of slavery. The gap between the haves and have-nots had become so wide that even a slave lived better than a have-not.

            1. Hell, it is part of the backstory on Firefly.

              Speaking of, is it just me or does Whedon’s art not match his personal statement well?

              1. There’s a bit of cognitive dissonance between Whedon’s statements and his work…..

    2. Something like 45 years ago a good friend showed up for the first session of a college math class. The instructor started his lecture with the bald statement that he fully expected half the men and all the women in the class to fail. Being a polite young lady she sat through the rest of the class, then proceeded to the registrar’s office and requested a transfer. Which was granted with very little issue. Apparently that professor’s reputation was well known.
      My friend is retired now, after almost a half century as a high school math teacher and tutor.

      1. 19 years ago, Illinois Institute of Technology. Calculus I. “I do not believe women should be engineers. If you are a woman, you will fail this class. You should leave. Now.”

        And then he turned to the whiteboard and started writing.

        Huh. I’m still annoyed by that. Amazing, what old scars still bleed when poked!

    3. Hell, I once went into a classroom, after the great 9th grade cull where only 20% of people had grades good enough to be on a college track, and a pampered upper class b*ch, unfortunately of my surname, informed us that we had no business to aspire to college. That was in the seventies, in Portugal. Keep in mind that each and every person in that class had passed an exam only twenty percent passed with the minimum B+ to be on the college track. She told us the children “of the poor” should be seamstresses and construction workers. We had no business aspiring to college. That was for the children of the rich who could either send them to private school, or pay for the suplemental tutoring so they could handle college.
      Well, I got in WITHOUT private school or tutoring, and pegged near the top of my class the whole time, graduating 4th in the nation. THAT for her discouragement.

      1. In fairness to her, she was probably thinking of it in terms of the opportunity cost to those children “of the poor.” Four years attending college is a luxury, a severe extension of the period when you are not earning a living, are not perfecting your trade.

        Historically the only classes capable of absorbing such costs were those for whom earning an income was not necessary. College fr them was an opportunity to develop important social networking skills and refine the knowledge that helped them enjoy their wealth.

        Yeah, I’m sure that was her reasoning.

        1. We were not particularly poor, RES. Dad is an engineer. We just didn’t have the kind of money to go to a private school and as for tutors, dad said nothing was ever won by making things too easy… Woman was just an insufferable twit who thought herself superior to us.
          She taught sociology. Guess her politics. Three guesses and the first two don’t count.

          1. I’ve no doubt she would have argued you were of the wrong class, regardless. If pressed, she likely could have been driven from the “nouveau riche” corner to the “bourgeois values” corner to the “degenerate wealthy” corner because her underlying argument was that only the “proper sorts” deserved higher education and you were clearly not at all proper.

            With such as she the actual arguments made do not matter, they are equivalent to the bleating of horns and banging of drums to drive the herd into its corral.

  11. Heh. Completely off-topic, but now that Bill O’Reilly is at large … how much fun would it be to see his old friend Donald Trump hires him to replace Sean Spicer? They could put the press briefings on PPV.

    1. My immediate thought was, two bulls one china shop.
      O’Reilly’s ouster is a huge win for the extreme left SJWs. They brought down the most popular pundit on TV with rumor, innuendo, and probably a kernel of truth. Expect them to continue with the same sort of attack at every opportunity.
      Of course they tried it on Trump and he laughed in their faces.
      As for O’Reilly, I always considered him a pompous ass, but found that I agreed with him more often than not on a great many things. Probably a grain of truth in the accusations, but mostly I suspect at 67 he was tired of the whole mess and chose to bail rather than fight.
      I’m also seeing a few small signs that with Ailes, and now O’Reilly gone Fox is starting to roll left. Not consistently, just in a few isolated instances so far, but their young Turks taking over the reins have after all been educated in the finest and most prestigious of our ivy league schools.

      1. I heard Rush say he thinks it’s the sons who are taking over from Daddy Murdock. IIRC, daddy just wanted to make money by the ton load, and the boys are married to progressives.

      2. What they miss (among many other things) is that now sexual harassment lawsuits will never be settled no matter what the costs of fighting them are as settling such a suite could cost you your $18 million a year job down the road. It will also mean that those bringing the suites will be subject to total personal destruction by those sued.

  12. Sarah Quote 1: “it’s not obvious how it evolved into the idea that everyone should be born with equal rights.”

    Sarah Quote 2: “Social justice is feudalism dressed in pretty clothes. It is slavery and I say to hell with it.”

    Bible Quote 1: Romans Chapter 2

    The founders of the USA may not all have been “Christians” by some modern peoples’ standards; but they knew the Bible. And it essentially says we’re all equal in God’s eyes. That’s what drove Classical Liberalism (no connection to current so-call “liberals”). For other Bible quotes use a concordance, or Google, or the search engine on your favorite Bible website.

    1. OMG! Is THAT why the Atheist/Communist/Democrat/Liberal/Progressive/Socialist (SJWs) collaboration is so anti-religious in general, and anti-Christian specifically?

      1. In God’s eyes we’re all equal. But the NT allows for cooperation with unfair systems, which is used as a club to beat Christians with since the NT allowed that slavery existed and that some people where compelled to work for others and that you were supposed to do so as if your labor was in service to God… and lots of practical reasons for that, if you’re stuck indentured or are at the bottom of whatever system your society has. But it’s clear that God sees you with the same worth as the rich man has. Equal.

        And maybe it’s because more people learned to read. And maybe it was Guttenberg. And maybe it’s because more people studied theology. And maybe it’s because some Germanic “kings” wanted excuses not to be beholden to Rome. But if there is no spiritual authority between you, the beggar on the corner, the peasant in the field, the laborer or merchant and God Himself. Then at what point does it make sense to allow temporal authority a greater portion than is rightly given the Church?

        1. Twice in 1 Corinthians (6:20, 7:23) Paul says that all were bought with a price, that being the sacrifice of Christ.

          Same price for everyone = everyone with the same value in God’s eyes, which sort of does it for slavery, for starters. I suspect this was a seed for many who turned to ending the practice.

          1. “The humble will be exalted & the exalted will be humbled.” is probably another ingredient in the mix.

    2. yes, to an extent, Setnaffa, but classes STILL persist in Europe, and yep, are accorded different rights no matter what the law says, and Europe has been Christian forever. So, no, that’s not it.

      1. It’s more egalitarian than anywhere else I can imagine, and the US even more so. That the philosophy and concept is there and followed, doesn’t mean it must be followed perfectly or that those with hereditary power or those grown with and accustomed to not having power, do not still feel a “rightness” to the systems of individual equality.

        And it certainly doesn’t mean that there aren’t forces trying to regain the trappings and power of a hereditary class structure. Like the report I saw after/during Brexit where some future professional government trade functionary who was nearly graduation from university was devastated because with the loss of Brexit she lost her future rather lofty and peculiar class status.

      2. Maybe they just didn’t express it as well as we can, now. Very likely “couldn’t”– you can’t offer enough the kind of charity that is involved in imprisoning a vicious murderer unless you’re able to keep the non-homicidal-maniacs base needs cared for; it takes a lot of time to build up the resources to be able to follow stuff very well.

      3. Europe has been nominally Christian since forever, but Setnaffa was talking about knowing the Bible. My experience growing up in France has taught me that the two are VERY different: people who answer religion surveys saying “I’m Christian” but who only go to church at Christmas (and occasionally at Easter) do not, by and large, know the Bible. So the fact that Europe has been nominally Christian does not necessarily mean that they would have bought into the “all men are created equal” idea that came from the Bible.

  13. All the rest is just the old beast wearing a prettier costume.

    Am I the only one who thought of Puzzle dressed in the lion’s skin?

    1. That’s not a bad comparision given most SJWs are about as clued in as poor Puzzle and just following the lead of their Shifty leftist professors.

  14. “Middle-class parents are entreated not to read to their kids, lest they give them privilege.”

    To be fair, if this is the same article I’m thinking of, the author wasn’t saying that middle-class parents SHOULDN’T read to their kids, merely that they should feel guilty while doing so and think about all the unfair privilege they’re giving their kids. Presumably the ideal parent should read his kid “Goodnight, Moon,” then go out and flagellate himself while saying five “Hail, Engels,” and a “Our Marx,” or whatever it is that SJWs do for penance.

    1. And meanwhile the organizers of this codswallop send their kids to Maxwell Friends and private schooling with tutors as they slam a boot on the face of those who follow this.

      1. Well yes, of course. Can’t have the little darlings actually competing with persons hailing from the unwashed masses, after all.

    2. Guilt is just a tool the SJW’s use to make themselves look good and others feel bad, nothing more. A lot like how Algore’s words and lifestyle do not line up.
      Do you actually expect them to practice what they preach?

      1. My personal theory is that “White Privilege” is nothing more than weaponized “White Liberal Guilt.”

        1. People have often tried to attenuate their own guilt by pointing to the more obvious guilt of others.

        2. Current experience: I’m a “travelling coder”. My next gig is in Cleveland, starting May 1. Pray for me…

          Renting an apartment has become unbearably onerous. The leasing agency is concerned only secondarily with determining that I’m someone they want to rent to. Their primary concern is compliance with this or that FHA non-discrimination ukase.

          I’ve lived a middle class life, without putting any major blots on my record. Once upon a time this would pay off in access to reasobableness; if people wanted to see document X but you only had Y, no problem. It is this exactly that is gone. And my epiphany : oh, this is White Privilege.

          I’ve been robbed of my Earned Bayesian Advantage. And I’m pissed.

  15. Most women, including myself, are not particularly interested in doing STEM stuff. (Unless a good reason crops up, in which case experiments and equations are done. But that isn’t every day.) And there does seem to be some hormonal component to this. But our society wants to ignore that, while proclaiming dubious genetic connections the equivalent of original sin.

    I was involved in the Stanley gifted children study, where we all took the PSATs in junior high. That year I got second highest score in the country of this group, with the highest being an older boy with a perfect score. Stanley was delighted that I liked soft subjects, because it went with his theory. I was a bit annoyed to be so normal, for once; but I was not going to lie.

    There is nothing morally superior or inferior about STEM; all kids should have a grounding in it. But only those who like it and want to work at it should be given special pushing toward STEM careers.

    1. I did better in STEM than soft subjects, but meh. I did well enough int he soft subjects I got pushed into (no, not institutional. Mom. Engineering was all men. She was sure I’d be pregnant within months. Rolls eyes. I’d just have ended up with even more adoptive brothers.

    2. My standard has always been women should not do engineering. Men should not either. Those who perform engineering are called engineers and if you are there solely for paycheck, gender, or family pushing, gtfo. Work is enough stupid without adding to it. Dilbert is a flipping documentary.

      1. I agree with this. Younger son was BORN an engineer. The number of times he made, say, the doors of a store that were supposed to be open 24 hours do something weird having defeated security, or that time in Portugal when he set all automated racks in a warehouse dancing before the age of two…
        We lived in fear of taking him near anything electric or mechanic unsupervised.
        Then at eight he hacked the school’s grading system and offered to improve his brother’s French grade…
        Another time we stopped him before he got into our bank…

        1. Heh. I just had to be kept away from anything mechanical that I’d take apart or put together. Found rocketry and model building that kept me occupied.

            1. as a toddler, one of the crib toys i still had, the bell broke on it. My dad found me hours later with one of his screwdrivers, the back panel removed, forcibly ‘ding’ ing the bell trying to ‘fix’ it

              it was one of those things i think they call activity stations

        2. Now I’m thinking of Ferris Bueller hacking the school system to make his absences vanish. Or maybe the “Inventor’s Gene” from the GPF webcomic.

    3. Why STEM in college? Because then you won’t have time to ake and be corrupted by “studies” classes. Not saying that’s the only way to avoid them…

      1. That wasn’t even so in the Cal State university system way back in the antiquarian age of President Reagan – In addition to all my real engineering classes, I had to take a whole sequence of squishy humanites stuff to make my degree “more rounded”. And they were all writing-heavy by design, to make sure you couldn’t just read the text and ace the final.

        1. They have been replaced by victimhood studies.

          Those breadth requirements, btw, are why I assert the superiority of STEM.

          When I took my social sciences breadth it was economics and history. I took the same entry level courses as the people majoring in those subjects. These classes counted towards their major (in fact were required for it).

          When I took my humanities breadth it was English and American lit. I took the same entry level survey courses as the people majoring in English. These classes counted towards their major (in fact were required for it).

          When I took my art breadth it was music history. I took the same music history course as music majors. These classes counted towards their major (in fact were required for it).

          However, when music, English, economics, and history majors came to my house to get their mathematics breadth they took “History of Mathematics” which could not be counted towards a major in mathematics They took “College Algebra” which could not be counted towards a major in mathematics

          We had to make up courses for them because by their own admission doing the basic work in my field was too much for them to handle. I could do the basic work in mine.

          I must be inherently smarter than they were. They don’t like it they can take a semester or two of calculus or discrete math first. Then we’ll talk.

          1. No, I think you’re right. There’s really no point in telling a Gender Studies major that she should have gone for a STEM degree. Most likely it was never really an option.

          2. When I switched from an engineering major* to broadcast studies**, the thing that bothered me was the precipitous drop in the average intelligence of my fellow students, and the fact that the concept of the inverse-square law (which is important for lighting) made them all flinch. I’d gotten through EM, optics, and general relativity in one intense physics class; this was easy stuff.

            *My dad said, “If you were enjoying yourself, you’d be getting As.” And he was right. I had a solid B but it wasn’t my joy.

            **Ooh, shiny equipment. Still a little bit of bleedover of geekdom.

          3. It always annoyed me that the “studies” crowd could satisfy their math requirement by taking “Math in Art” and their science by taking “Druids and the Night Sky,” but there was no similarly BS way for me to satisfy the foreign language requirement. I had to take a full year of French to finish that. (Okay, technically I could have gotten through with only a semester of Spanish, but after my high school experience, I asked myself if I wanted to take another Spanish class or have hot pokers shoved in my eyes, and the hot pokers seemed more attractive than they ought to have…)

            1. What?? There is nowhere near enough historical evidence in existence to run a paleo- astronomy class focusing on druids. Ridiculous.

              And the math behind the various pre-druidic solar/celestial alignment artifacts would be difficult.

              1. My roommate took it. Apparently the course started with “Pretend that you’re a Druid priestess…” and got less scientific from there.

                (Not that there’s nowhere interesting you can go from that premise. Suppose you knew nothing about the seasons or the rotation of the planet. What would you figure out just by observation? What tools would allow you to figure out more? What more would you even realize you wanted to know given your existing knowledge? But (a) it didn’t sound like this course made a particularly good exploration of those questions, and (b) I’m not sure that doing so is really “science.”)

                1. That kind of work should fall under anthropology.

                  How hard a science anthropology is is left up to discussion.

                  1. I’d consider some of the sub-disciplines to be hard science. Some of the social-anthropology and anthropologies of modern society…. en, not so hard.

                  2. Well, its like sociology, but its guesswork about historical cultures these days being performed partly by people who don’t want to admit the physical differences between men and women. Often, who read the Earth’s Children series too many times.

                2. That’s sad because there is enough solid evidence for how much astronomy early bronze age man knew such as The Nebra Sky Disc to make a good class. There is also an archaeologist who claims evidence of astronomical knowledge in cave painting including cave selection. Can’t remember her name but Curiosity Stream has an interesting documentary.

                  Guess those would be too much as you might actually learn something. In fact, the biggest lesson from both for me was humility.

                  1. The ancients tended to have a much better view of the night sky’s stars than anyone in present times. Back when I was much younger and traveled the WVa Turnpike a few times a year I was wont to yield to the temptation to slow down, turn off my car lights and enjoy the 2 AM sky but I don’t have cause to make that drive any more.

          4. In my film school people were required to take a math class only if they failed the two-page math quiz given on the first day.

            The test, and the math class, used seventh grade LAUSD approved math books.

            1. My college required English 101 (“learn how to construct sentences and paragraphs”) for everybody except the twenty students in the Honors Program. Talk about incentive—I’d gotten a 5 on my AP English Composition, and you couldn’t test out of that class.

              The funniest part was that I found out later that I had gotten in the Honors Program on the strength of having my nearest brother already in it, because apparently my phone interview didn’t go over well with the other students on the party call. People who knew me when I was there were astonished. 😀

              1. My 1200 word entrance essay (most were apparently 200 or so words and horribly written) was enough to convince the Dean to let me take creative writing instead.

                1. Oh, if anyone could have tested out, that would have been marvelous. But for some stupid reason, it was an un-skippable requirement, yet my 3 in AP Calculus was enough to skip the 101 version of that.

                  1. Guess it tells you what they thought of HS English. In all fairness, the AP Calculus exam, as with mathematics in general, is much more objective than the English ones. I got a 5 in the AP English and Lit one and skipped comp my first time in college.

                    I could have skipped it the second time but intentionally took it to shake the rust out.

                    1. When I went to get my degree in physics there were two required English Composition courses. There was a program in place where if you take the second and do well enough in it, you get to skip the first. I was taking that. Note, at this point I had already been professionally published (Analog, Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Fantasy Magazine, and non-fiction pieces in The World & I, and High Technology Careers). My instructor, on seeing some of this work, suggested I go speak to the office and see if it would exempt me from the course.

                      It did. But it was only after they’d accepted my being exempted from that class that they realized I was doing the “take the second to get credit for both”.

                      And, so, I became the first (only so far as I know) to be exempted from both English composition courses in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Akron.

          5. This here is exactly why I insisted taking a lab science for my Paralegal degree, even though I could have gotten away with a lesser course. “Humanities majors science” seemed like a major cop-out.

            1. My props to you and my apologies for inflammatory remarks, at least with respect to people like you.

              Those “humanities majors science/math” really annoyed me because they proved what a lie the breadth requires for a well rounded education are. Either make them real across the board (ie, if it won’t count for the major it won’t count for breadth) or eliminate them.

              1. Don’t apologize–I had to take the rest of my classes with those folks, it’s deserved from all I’ve seen. -_-;;; Just from the community college perspective (I’ve never been to a four-year), your second paragraph is wholly accurate.

                (I am more proud of the A- I got in Physics than the 4.0 I would have had without it. The other humanities majors seem to have taken climatology and nutrition.)

              2. The basic ceramics course I took was actually a pretty knowledge and practical intensive course, simply because the ceramics professor was annoyed by people trying to take it as an easy A. So the basic chemistry of the clay and firing temperatures were a must for the quizzes, as was a lot of art history, and you had to produce a large amount of work in each of the techniques he was displaying. And that did not include wheel work; that was saved until the second semester.

                I loved the safety talks, too, because they all came with specific horror stories of people who used the equipment while bypassing safety measures. There’s always somebody…

    4. I was a bit annoyed to be so normal, for once

      There is nothing wrong in being normal — every so often the rest of the world will get it right and fall into step with the superior mind.

      It ain’t no badge of honor, however.

    5. If it wasn’t science, I wasn’t interested in it. It’s an individual interest that has very little to do with gender, but may run in families. Although my family leans as much toward “lots of engineers” as “lots of scientists.”

        1. I love science. I am also an intuitive as opposed to processional thinker. It’s funny that I managed to fool myself about my natural leanings for long enough to get through so many engineering classes.

    6. Our AP classes in high school were full of girls. Out of the 6 people taking the highest Calculus class offered Calculus BC (went faster and further into the college textbook than the AB class), four of us were girls and three of . us were the three youngest in our grade. All six of us were in the top 10 of our graduating class and the remaining four of the top ten were mostly girls who had been in the science and math AP classes too. We were GOOD at calculus (and science). But I don’t think any of us went into the sciences because we just weren’t interested.

  16. “Let’s not forget that hilarious time when an upper middle class, white American woman who’s never done a days hard work in her life came over to lecture me — a first generation immigrant who started from nothing and is writing professionally in her third language about “sensitivity to the downtrodden and racism.” Yeah, that was a bucket of fun.”

    The 3-names incident?

    1. I would have figured you to have more than three choice names for that individual, though. Especially in three languages.

      1. Well, I feel sorry for the poor dear – she has an inferiority complex because Sarah has more names than she does.

  17. “We won’t get fooled again.”

    Unfortunately history demonstrates that this is most unlikely.

    1. That phrase has unfortunate history in The Last Battle. I always wondered what happened to Susan after she lost all her family to the train wreck.

      1. There was a brief, not a story but maybe the outline of a potential story, that I saw (and can’t find now–figures) which gave an interesting interpretation of Susan, one in which she very much was still a Queen of Narnia (“once a King or Queen of Narnia…”) but since she was bound to the real world and no longer going to return to Narnia, she had to deal with the realities of this world. The nylons and lipstick and such were all tools she was using to attempt to build success in this world so that she could get to a position (perhaps as an MP down the road?) where she could bring a little bit of “Narnia Values” here. And the other kids, still wrapped up in the Narnia that was, simply did not understand what she was trying to do.

        I’m not expressing it well, partly because I only half remember it. But I remember thinking, “I want to read that story now.”

        1. The thing I liked about it was the implication that Susan was the one who “got it right.” It’s been a while since I read The Last Battle but I seem to recall it was the other Peevensie’s that were critical of Susan, not Aslan. Could be mistaken though. As I said, it’s been a while.

          1. Yes, Aslan doesn’t say anything about Susan in The Last Battle

            However, according to the wiki article on her: C. S. Lewis is quoted as saying the following.


            The books don’t tell us what happened to Susan. She is left alive in this world at the end, having by then turned into a rather silly, conceited young woman. But there’s plenty of time for her to mend and perhaps she will get to Aslan’s country in the end… in her own way.

            End Quote

            There’s another quote from Paul F. Ford (author of Companion to Narnia) in the wiki article (see following)


            This is not to say, as some critics have maintained, that she is lost forever … It is a mistake to think that Susan was killed in the railway accident at the end of The Last Battle and that she has forever fallen from grace. It is to be assumed, rather, that as a woman of twenty-one who has just lost her entire family in a terrible crash, she will have much to work through; in the process, she might change to become truly the gentle person she has the potential for being.

            End Quote

          2. No, her own family didn’t say a word against her. They also didn’t defend her against the others, but one can’t have everything, I suppose.

          3. I read it not too long ago and was struck by the same. Aslan never said a damn thing. It was all the Friends of Narnia–and they were all being downright catty.

            Read *anything* by Lewis and tell me the layers in that aren’t intentional.

        2. Now that sounds interesting and intriguing. May have to re-read the books myself now.

        3. I’m inclined to quibble with that, mostly because Susan seems to have done her level best to forget about Narnia, and doesn’t seem to be thinking that long-term.
          But you’re right, Aslan doesn’t criticize her–it’s mostly Polly who does, IIRC.

          1. Yes. The only girl there. And therefore the only one not restrained by gentlemanly reticence.

            (Or sisterly love and childhood crush–it’s been a long time since I read it, and I honestly don’t remember Lucy having been there or having said anything if she was.

              1. Couldn’t remember. On the other hand, getting her to say something bad about anyone was a job. Much less Susan.

              2. Don’t forget Jill! She was only present for most of the book!


                (along with Eustace)

                But yeah, Lucy wouldn’t be the kind of person to criticize her sister over that. The brothers *maybe*. But not Lucy.

                1. But Jill was never portrayed as particularly close to the others. I couldn’t see her or Eustace saying too much–especially given Eustace’s previous record, which he was working hard to live down. Jill had a similar background, and might have had a similar reticence.

                  Polly, on the other hand, had both the qualifications *and* the temperament to simply say what she meant.

                  (I actually did remember Jill being there, by the way. Just took a shortcut to avoid “the many and diverse exceptions and their reasons include–“. 🙂 )

                  1. Polly also had the most experience, so she was looking at Susan from the perspective of “thank goodness I grew out of that.”

        4. Neal Gaiman wondered, too, and wrote “The Problem of Susan” to explore it.

          In his short story The Problem of Susan, Neil Gaiman creates a fix that attempts to highlight the issue of Susan’s exile within the world of The Chronicles and within the ‘real world’. Since the publication of Gaiman’s story, ‘the problem of Susan’ has become used more widely as a catchphrase for the literary and feminist investigation into Susan’s treatment.

          The Problem of Susan depicts its protagonist, Professor Hastings (who strongly resembles an adult version of Susan), dealing with the grief and trauma of her entire family’s death in a train crash, as she is interviewed by a college literature student regarding her opinion on Susan’s place in the Narnia books. Gaiman himself has said of the story that there is much in Lewis’s books that he loves, but each time he read them (or read them aloud to his own children) he found the disposal of Susan to be intensely problematic and deeply irritating. Dealing with this problem was one inspiration for the story, while the other was, in Gaiman’s own words “to talk about the remarkable power of children’s literature”. Hence Professor Hastings comments on “the Victorian notion of the purity and sanctity of childhood [which] demanded that fiction for children should be made… well… pure… and sanctimonious”. This observation is important because, while the story is primarily focused on the ‘problem of Susan’, through it Gaiman also illustrates that Lewis’s beliefs seem to be similar to those of the Victorians. Lewis’s Narnia tales are, on the surface, moralistic adventure books – but they also rely heavily on Christian allegory, and this is what Gaiman and other critics seem primarily to have taken issue with.

          JK Rowling once groused, “There comes a point where Susan, who was the older girl, is lost to Narnia because she becomes interested in lipstick. She’s become irreligious basically because she found sex. I have a big problem with that“. [OpCit]

          It would seem that all these complainants are missing the point (surprise, surprise, surprise) that Susan has been lost to Narnia by becoming too much of this world rather than simply in it, and has focused her attention on the material rather than the eternal. Even in Gaiman’s tale she has failed to learn the lesson offered, complaining, “A god who would punish me for liking nylons and parties by making me walk through that school dining room, with the flies, to identify Ed, well… he’s enjoying himself a bit too much isn’t he?”.

          Collected in his Fragile Things anthology.

          1. And C. S. Lewis had made it clear that Susan’s fate was still open.

            IE She hadn’t died yet and may still find her way to Aslan’s world.

            1. The biggest problem most secularists have with Lewis’s work (and Christianity in general) is the principle that salvation is not earned. They want a relationship with The Divine on their terms and cannot accept that it is not an option.

              The problem with Susan is when Narnia called she didn’t answer. The preoccupation with make-up and “smartness” is the expression of her having distanced herself from Aslan’s world, but these critics see it as the cause.

              The true sadness in Susan’s tale is that the question of whether she will ever accept the gift offered and go further up and further in or will she cling to tightly to the Temporal World in which she is making such great effort to succeed?

              Of course, that is the Truth of most of us, even many who call themselves saved.

              1. A lot of girls hit puberty and do become “silly.” And it is not about the hormones; some girls become more serious and dig into both their interests and their relationships. Similarly, a lot of people after WWII spent their time pretending they had never done responsible jobs.

                Susan had already done fashion and attracted princes. She had done great things. Why would her second puberty be a forgetting of experience? Only because she wanted to forget and forsake her own power and responsibility. Not unheard of, but silly.

            2. People find their way to Aslan’s world when and if they can learn the lessons from it.

      2. I figure she got there in the end, but had the harder path. Making your way in the world after all of your family has been killed in a train wreck would have been hard, and she probably turned away for quite some time, but I think as she got older and times changed, she may have found a lot of value in simplicity and returned to the fold, so to speak.

  18. I’ve noticed that the entirety of the SJW is based entirely on an appeal to the kindness and good will of white heterosexual men. The basic idea is that brown peoples and gays and womyn et al are utterly helpless unless strong white heterosexual men step in and help them out.
    The tone has warped and twisted- from a basic appeal that “all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights”, which itself is a rational appeal to men of good will to see others as people like themselves.
    But through the warping of that old bastard Marx, the appeal has warped into “gimme gimme GIMME!!!!!” from spoiled, cosseted children who cannot see that they have more opportunities, better living conditions, and better lives than all humanity before them.
    And the good will of the people they absolutely need to survive is pretty much done run out. The National F#*&s To Give is pretty much depleted.

    1. The basic idea is that brown peoples and gays and womyn et al are utterly helpless unless strong white heterosexual men step in and help them out.

      More than once I have argued this is an admission of the superiority of the white, heterosexual, able-bodied, male…they are at best 10% of the world’s population, oppress everyone else, everyone else knows it, and the best everyone else can do is ask us to stop.

      If that isn’t an admission of WHAM superiority, what is.

      1. Y’all are also the only ones able to come up with your own opinions on politics and philosophy–the rest of us are either Marxists or suffering false consciousness.

        1. Don’t forget “internalized oppression”. After all, any woman or minority who holds ideas or opinions contrary to Leftist doctrine is either brainwashed, stupid, or evil. Apparently because neither is able to formulate their own views based on their own beliefs or observations.

    2. I am watching with interest, (as well as equal parts wariness and schadenfreude) the growing hostility toward white women in SJW circles. They’re never content with the first scapegoat, I’ve said that for YEARS, and I only expect it to get worse. My projected Next Scapegoat after white women is *probably* black men, unless Hispanic men suddenly make a strong showing in right-leaning politics.

      1. I noticed a couple of claims that “white women are racist” coming people whose pictures looked suspiciously like white woman. and wondered “What does that make you?”

        1. No doubt I am a trifle slow, but it has always seemed to me that broad categorical statements about any group defined by skin tones* are racist.

          *or any other similar broad category, including but not limited to race, gender, dietary preferences, or political philosophy — with alteration in the phrase of opprobrium (e.g., strike racist, insert sexist or other suitable phrase.)**

          **I acknowledge this is tantamount to declaring myself a cilantrist, but I have never claimed to be perfect.***

          ***Merely the closest thing to.

    3. The claim is that the White Man is holding them back by having built a system that automatically excludes non-Whites and makes it more difficult for non-whites to get ahead. That’s where the whole Privilege thing comes into play. Note how more and more pretty much *any* habit that might help someone get ahead (i.e. reading to your kids…) in the modern world is greeted with hateful cries of “Privilege!”

      So it’s not that minorities need help from Whites. It’s that Whites are the creators of a system that automatically holds back minorities.

      1. “Privilege” is just another term for “we admit; you’re superior” anymore as things like reading, restraint, planning, etc are “privilege”.

        It is people who are calling me a white supremacist doing the most work to sell me on white/male/straight supremacy.

        1. There’s a basis for it. Excelling within a group is easier if you’re familiar with the culture that dominates that group. While performing well is supposed to help you succeed at work, it’s also true that being familiar with the culture of your workplace helps as well. Should it? Maybe, maybe not. But successfully blending into that culture does help.

          Given that, someone who starts a new job at an office and sounds as if he stepped out of the ghetto is probably going to have a more difficult time of it than someone who grew up in a middle-class household. For instance, the person from the ghetto will probably need to make major changes to speech patterns to fit in (which, these days, makes them a “race traitor”), while the person from the middle-class family will likely only have to make minor adjustments to how they speak. Office politics will probably come more naturally for someone who’s spent their life around the kind of people that make up that office.

          The problem, though, is that the people who push privilege blow it all out of proportion. Instead of the issues being something that can and should be overcome, it’s claimed as a permanently restrictive thing – to the dominating of all other factors (such as, you know, ACTUAL PHYSICAL HARDSHIPS). There are many reasons why that claim is made – far too many to get into here. And while those claims are all spurious, it doesn’t change the fact that when you dig down to the very bottom of the mountain, you do find an actual molehill.

          Also worth noting is that the stuff I’ve mentioned is one of the reasons why the idea of “race traitors” is pushed so hard. Much of the privilege argument boils down to claims of culture. So if a minority group were to abandon those elements of their culture that were disadvantageous, it would expose the weaknesses in the privilege argument.

          1. … the person from the ghetto will probably need to make major changes to speech patterns to fit in …

            Not to mention the importance of learning the subtle rules of office mores and of resolving perceived violations. For example, “busting a cap” on somebody who disrespects you by using your non-dairy creamer to dilute his hot coffee is generally frowned upon. Nor is shouting “Bitch, you do that again and I will cut you” considered a suitable response to the person taking the last doughnut, even if she’s done four times in the last two weeks.

            Do not ask me how I know this.

            1. Been looking for new doctors.

              One of the pediatricians got knocked off the list because that second incident was more or less described in some Yelp reviews….

              1. I was trying to be “over the top” for humorous effect.

                I guess I’m going to need a higher top.

                (Pipe down, Herb – I’m not into that.)

            2. When showing up to work on time is considered an example of racism (and that argument has been made) and hate speech, you have a problem.

              When the idea is pushed that hate speech as defined by SJWs justifies violence against the speaker, you have a war zone.

              1. A “student leader” at Flat State U complained that certain ethnic-history classes should not be scheduled before 10:00 AM because “our ethnic culture” was to stay up late and not work until later morning. The instructor encouraged the “student leader” to talk to facilities and scheduling, because SHE didn’t like getting up at 0530 to prepare for an 0810 class. I never heard what the result was.

            3. But if someone takes the last doughnut four times in the last two weeks, is it a suitable response to steal HER non-dairy creamer in retaliation?

              Asking for a friend.

          2. Anything an “outsider” enters a close-knit group, they have to adjust to how the close-knit group does things.

            This is just a fact of human-nature.

            The “Privilege Game” just gives the “outsider” an excuse to say “it’s the group’s fault” not “my fault” if they don’t “fit in”. 😦

            Mind you, it is a fact of human-nature that the “close-knit group” may not want an outsider to fit in. 😦

        2. So much this. All else aside, if you *insist* on dividing the world into itty-bitty boxes and deciding that YOUR box has moral superiority and is the only one allowed to speak…oddly enough, I will probably choose the box that doesn’t tell my husband, father, and to a growing extent, me and my daughter that we’re less than human. I would rather have NO boxes, but that’s becoming less and less of an option.

        3. I have superior knowledge and education than most humans on the planet. I have a superior job, home, food, clothing, transportation, and family life than most humans on the planet. I have superior health than most humans on the planet. I’ll probably have a superior lifespan than most humans on the planet. Privilege? Not really.

          A lot of what Fred Reed was saying last week resonates. Rather than an unearned privilege, this is a result of a lot of damn hard, backbreaking work, gut-wrenching miserable conditions, and endless long hours suffered by my parents, grandparents, and great-grand parents to the nth generation; the weak died out on the way. And that’s topped off with a father and mother who cared enough to live those ethics and instill them into me.

          My “privilege” is to work just as hard, not squander the opportunities my forbearers gave me, and to instill the same ethics and opportunities to my own children and grandchildren (when and if), and any of their friends who tag around with them. There’s enough of a feeling of noblesse oblige that I tried to pass those ideals down to other boys and girls in scouts (before the national leaders were subverted by the Progressives and SJWs) and sports.

  19. It’s been a few years ago but when Halle Barry was asked if her daughter was black or white, she said she believed in the one drop of blood principle.

    So that idea had come full circle. The rule that would have prevented her from marrying a white she now embraces for her daughter.

    I miss the good old days when all men were created equal and treated equally before the law..

    1. Halle Barry: “gimmie an Oscar because of my black father who abandoned me because he matters more than the white father who raised me.”

      I guess what I think of her opinion is kind of obvious.

      1. Barry Obama: “Gimme the presidency because my black father who abandoned me matters more than the white grandparents who raised me.”

        Seems to be going around among the Barries.

      1. The only reason we know she is black is it was to her advantage in her acting career. Hell, the campaign for her Oscar was basically, “gimmie or you’re racist”.

  20. Two points:
    1) Slavery still exists in this country, it is retail rather than wholesale, but it exists and it targets children.
    2) Mala Obama probably needs more help than the boy with the drug addicted mother, just based on who their parents are.

    1. You’re almost certainly right about that. I’m horrified to see what has become of Chelsea Clinton.

  21. The other direction from “Such the womb, such the condition” can be seen in the provision of the Constitution that “no offense shall work corruption of blood,” right next to the definition of treason. That is, you could commit the worst of crimes, and be punished for it, but your kin would not be put to death, or exiles, or imprisoned, or stripped of land or wealth; what you did was on you. Such was not the case in many other countries at that time. The whole collective white guilt thing seems to be an attempt to bring back corruption of blood, and thus deeply un-American.

        1. Starting with police officers. The penalties for attacking a police officer are far harsher than those for attacking a civilian, and it’s virtually impossible to bring one to trial for ordinary crimes, or get a jury to convict if they are tried. That’s a lot like the special privileges of ancien régime aristos.

          1. It isn’t as if we are asking police officers to do anything particularly important or dangerous on our behalf, the sorts of things which might make them more likely to be targeted for attack or force them to make dangerous judgement calls in haste based upon partial data.

            If we tasked them that way it might serve a purpose, it might make sense, to grant such immunity.

            1. Same rationale as for aristos, then: local lord had a duty to protect, which exposed him to some risk, and justified his privileges.

              1. Also found among the early Romans, who argued that the extra burdens borne by the Patricians justified protections not available to the Plebeians. Also, in contemporary society by those supporting a special obligation for the state to succor wounded veterans.

                What’s your point? That the Fascists wanted the trains to run on time means we ought not? The Nazis preference for sound currency means we ought welcome inflation?

                1. Umm.. more like, defining what we actually mean by the Constitutional prohibition on titles of nobility, and honoring it by finding a way to accomplish our root objectives without violating the prohibition.

                  The alternative seems to be “let’s honor the Constitution unless it makes achieving some worthwhile thing inconvenient” – and that way lies rule by men rather than law.

                  Appeal to examples of the past may not satisfy the objective – neither Romans nor Fascists are good examples of Constitutionally-bound legal cultures; and succoring wounded veterans seems less applicable to a discussion of enabling authority that exceeds the law for a special class.

                  I’m NOT saying cops don’t need tools to do their job; but IF the Constitution, and the ideal of rule by law, are to mean anything at all absolute, perhaps a flat assumption of limited liability isn’t the right tool.

                  And it’s very possible the right tools will be more expensive (in time, process, etc.), but will improve respect for first responders generally: That if they screw up, there will be assurance of accountability. A fair number of people don’t have that basis for respect, now, and I think it could be improved.

                  1. For a police officer the color of law principle is premised that the officer is acting according to lawful orders and not of his own volition. Thus, as with Geneva Conventions, the burden of responsibility falls on the ones writing the laws, crafting the procedural protocols, providing the training and supervising the officer. The premise is that the command structure is responsible, thus the officer is “protected” from retaliation so long as she is following those directives.

                    This is in many ways entirely similar to the “protections” accorded a slave who cannot be held liable for following master’s orders. So, not exactly a violation of the “prohibition on titles of nobility”.

                    As Foxfier noted, special penalties accrue for those abusing their “privileged” status.

                    1. Except that a police officer can act in direct violation of the law and be held immune because “he didn’t know”. This is not right. On the other hand he can consult with the DA first and still be held responsible because the DA as absolute immunity rather than the officer’s qualified immunity. This is not right either.

                    2. OMG – are you saying there is something in this world which is not right?

                      Generally we seem to have a choice of different “not rights” and I am inclined to suspect the abuse of sovereign immunity in a democratic republic is a lesser “not right” than, oh, anarchy. (In honor of our recent president I have indeed employed a false choice rhetorical sleight of hand.)

                      Perhaps if people were more inclined to hold public officials accountable and less prone to apathy on the one hand and hashtaglivesmatter tantrums on the other we would have fewer of such problems, but I am not putting off any trips to the toilet in anticipation. I agree it is not right, but I don’t see a probable fix that isn’t likely to be worse than the problem.

          2. The police officer, if he’s acting lawfully, is taking the risks involved in protecting the law– so attacking him is not just attacking a person, it’s trying to disarm/hobble the entire group by removing the biggest threat.

            I seem to remember there are multipliers for other first responders, as well as worse penalties for attempting to destroy the agreed-on system by intimidating the humans involved in carrying out actions.

            Kind of required for law and order, otherwise you just end up with those who are brutal enough to scare the officials not having any law.

            1. “Kind of required for law and order, otherwise you just end up with those who are brutal enough to scare the officials not having any law.”

              Which is why you have a Chicago police officer preferring to take a beating rather than defend herself.

              “Superintendent Eddie Johnson said the patrol officer told him she did not use her gun to defend herself for fear of a backlash. “She didn’t want her family or the department to go through the scrutiny the next day on national news,” he said.”

              See also: Ferguson Effect.

              1. …the unfortunate thing is that limited liability for first responders is partly ambiguously defined, i.e. by the courts rather than clearly by law, so that even if we had competent legislatures, it’s harder to set bright lines between reasonable facilitation of public safety and abuse of office under color of law. And so we get documentable violations of reasonable behavior on both ends…e.g. LEO’s afraid to do their jobs, AND LEO’s with a habit of shooting family pets they’re not being threatened by.

            2. Although the flip side of that probably should apply also: if the officer is not acting lawfully, he’s not just a person breaking the law, he’s the embodiment of the State abusing the power entrusted to him. Thus, he needs to be punished more harshly than a private citizen guilty of the same crime.

              1. Definitely should– and in the law, it does. “Under color of law” is the usual phrase.

                Just like soldiers following lawful orders, vs unlawful ones.

            3. More to the point, if the officer is arresting a murderer, the murderer still has something to lose by killing the officer. I don’t know if it works or not, but that is one of the justifications for the different penalties.

  22. Re The Re-Creation of Feudalism…Peter Drucker (Austrian, lived in German before coming the the US) wrote in 1969:

    “One thing it (modern society) cannot afford in education is the “elite institution” which has a monopoly on social standing, on prestige, and on the command positions in society and economy. Oxford and Cambridge are important reasons for the English brain drain. A main reason for the technology gap is the Grande Ecole such as the Ecole Polytechnique or the Ecole Normale. These elite institutions may do a magnificent job of education, but only their graduates normally get into the command positions. Only their faculties “matter.” This restricts and impoverishes the whole society…The Harvard Law School might like to be a Grande Ecole and to claim for its graduates a preferential position. But American society has never been willing to accept this claim…”

    We as a country are a lot closer to accepting Grande Ecole status for Harvard Law School and similar institutions than we were when Drucker wrote the above.

  23. OT: I see that the CEO of United is blaming “The system” for the beating of a passenger, and not anyone in particular. That’s a wonderful way to avoid responsibility: If you diffuse it enough, everyone gets a “tut tut” and no one has to take it on the chin.

    I don’t know who or what “the system” is made of or who runs it if it isn’t employees of United. Trained monkeys? Robots? Master Control Program running the Rule Book? Russian spies? But if he can’t hold it or any part of it accountable, it is the system that really runs the company, and he needs to get out of the way and let the system answer to the stockholders. If the system is going around beating up the customers, it has run amuck and needs to be fixed, fired, or shut down before someone else gets hurt.

    1. “”A chief is a man who takes responsibility. He does not say, ‘my men were defeated,’ he says, ‘I was defeated.’”

      –Antoine de St-Exupery

  24. Women and STEM….thinking of a woman I’ve known for years, a talented salesman and sales manager. I was surprised recently to find out that she actually started out her career as a programmer. Don’t know how good she was at that, but pressuring her to stay on the tech track because somebody had a % female STEM number to meet would not have been a good thing either for her or for the company that employed her.

    It’s often asserted that women on the average have higher emotional intelligence than men, and that might even be true…yet may of those who would strongly agree with that assertion would still argue that women and men should have equal statistical representation in all STEM fields. But a person with good social skills might well be better off and happier in a field that makes extensive use of those skills. (Not saying the STEM work *doesn’t* use emotional intelligence, just that in general it’s more critical in certain other areas.) There is an obvious application of the theory of Comparative Advantage to career choice that I’ve never seen discussed.

    1. There’s a bunch of assumptions that aren’t necessarily well founded.

      First is the question of biological biases towards aptitude and enjoyment. I really have no concrete opinion, and have no desired quota derived from forecasts based on this. (I think there are people who would enjoy and be good at stem who are not aware of it. I think there are people who would not. I think every separation mechanism has trade offs, and there are strong reasons for both recruiting more fit people and excluding unfit people.)

      Second is the influence of culture. I heard of a case of some stem prep highschools which had differences in male/female enrollment between them that probably correlated with culture. The people I spoke with wanted to know how to ‘fix’ that. There is a limit to what schools can do to culture without Romanian methods, which would have Romanian results. Look at how much and how little the Indian schools did, and these public schools are not going to have that sort of free hand.

      Third is the influence of school curriculum. Making the school math curriculum worse really screws the disadvantaged students over. Students of privilege may have family who can teach them math, or get them out of the barren wastelands that are public education. If public education is forced to favor girls, there may be a slightly greater tendency for boy students to get pulled out and given the math education they need to to succeed in STEM.

      If the truth is all one way, then demanding equal enrollment of male and female students in stem isn’t entirely insane. If the truth is all the other way, then doing so will see more female dropouts. Or worse, if the schools are forced to pass students, more accidental deaths or a decrease in the value of the education.

      Furthermore, STEM covers a wide range of disciplines. Which means wildly different aptitudes and tastes. Lockstep uniformity is bollocks.

      1. I’m not sure I’ve made my point clearly above. My argument is that if you assume that men and women on the average are *absolutely equal* in STEM skills (and I agree with you that ‘STEM’ is oversimplified, in reality, the skill mix required differs by discipline)….but if you also assume that women on the average are *better* than men at dealing with other humans…then the optimal mix of men and women in career fields will not be 50/50. (Analogous to David Ricardo’s classic model of wine production and cloth production in England and Portugal.)

        Now, maybe one could argue that men should get special enrollment in emotional intelligence classes (assuming such a thing can really be taught) as part of the Great Equalization. Or one could argue that women on the average aren’t *really* any better at emotional intelligence.

        But I think is better to recognize that there is a vast range of individual preferences and of constellations of skills than to try and force everyone into a procustean bed based on a single dimension.

        1. To choose an example which is far away from gender/race issues that can cloud the issue, it is not unreasonable to recognize that, while both may be entirely capable drivers, there is a disparity between the ability of left-handed (versus right-handed) drivers to flash rude hand gestures at other vehicles in the United States.

          In England and other countries that “enjoy” driving on the wrong side of the road, this disparity is reversed.

        2. and then, after the Great Equalization, everyone is shocked to discover that different employers, different industries’ stereotypical cultures, different locations – all have different optimal mixes of skills & preferences.
          Which is part of why, if you’re lucky, your first STEM job begins with an old hand taking you aside and pointing out your hard-earned degree is of use to only a minor part of your daily work, and you should expect for it to take a year, or two, before you’re really contributing.

        3. I thought you did. I just thought my own thoughts on the matter might serve to expand, and that it might be a good place for them.

    2. I think I’m going to start responding to women who pronounce that “we need more women in STEM,” with : “You first. Do you want my old textbooks to get started?”

      1. I may just fold my arms, look over the top of my glasses, and say, “I’m a historian with environmental science and historical climatology on the side. Now you talk.”

          1. *evil grin* At which point I start droning on about statistical analysis of historical climate records and secular macro-regional shifts in precipitation patterns and evaporation rates and percentage of soil left bare by bunch grasses as compared to tall-grasses as compared to riparian forests and seasonal albedo variations and… They run away before I get to the point, which is that my data do not show what the SJWs want them to.

            1. I’m personally of the opinion that we don’t have a valid accurate statistical sample to really understand climate, because we’d need a baseline of about a millennium in order to have a decent idea. And no, historical record or even tree samples (from one area of the world, yet!) is not “accurate” within the necessary deviation.

              I’m all for figuring out the pollution issue. That’s a great idea. But when you look at the world from a paleontological viewpoint, there have been wide swings, and we’re closer to the middle than either pole of that swing.

              1. Sayyyy … which is the political faction always attacking the other for lack of nuance and over-simplifying things, never looking at “root causes” and such like?

                You would think somebody so smart would appreciate the complexity of climate and the impossibility difficulty of constructing computer models of climate.

                1. All models are wrong.

                  Making models is easy. ‘Assume a homogenous Earth of constant, uniform temperature.’ Boom, done, thank you.

                  However said demo model is only useful for some problems, and is useless for most of the reasons people want a thermodynamic model of the Earth.

                  There are two approaches that can satisfy those reasons: 1) Work out from the problem what level of precision you need, from that figure out what measurements you need to keep the error smaller, get the measurements, wait until you get all the needed measurements, and work from there. As Durbin says, this might be a while, depending on the problem. 2) Ask nine friends and one stranger, announce ‘nine out of ten scientists agree, give me all your money’.

                  All models are wrong, but some are useful.

              2. I can do trends, as in tree-ring, formerly buried river channels, historical accounts about frost/freeze and similar up to about 1890, then I start getting temps and relatively trustworthy precipitation records. So I can use numbers for certain locations from 1890 on. Plus some ranchers and farmers kept private records of weather, including temps and rainfall starting in the 1870s, and while they are not “scientifically accurate”, they are data, and show me trends. Just do not ask me what I think about the Feds “adjusting” temps in the record when there are small children or delicate adults around.

                1. my favorite “adjustments” are the ones out of Russia where reading stop because the reader leaves ahead of the onset of winter, and suddenly they were “extrapolating” temps for the months of September through March by using the temps last read and first read once the reader returned to station.
                  By copying the the last week’s average temp of August into Sept and Oct with a guess for Nov-Dec-Jan (shockingly a rather higher than likely temp resulted), then using April’s first read average temp for all of February and March. That’s accurate, right?

                  This was one of the first examples I recall from way way back when and led to me finding the photos of temp reading sites and how they had changed, which led to Watts Up With That, and Ice Age Now (IAN can be almost as bad as the AGW folks at times) and the now lost folder of links to how big a scam the AGW marxists and Albert of Gore were, well before anyone even thought of Wikileaks.

                2. I think what people don’t realize is *how* accurate the historical record has to be to be able to predict trends. +/- 2ºF is a hell of a big spread, and we don’t have more than a century of accuracy in that limit.

                3. It reminds me of the Holmesian line about fitting the facts to theories rather than theories to the facts.

  25. Whereas those of us with no social skills are much happier staying with the mathematicians where nobody notices that we’re staring at our shoes while talking (because they’re all staring at their own shoes.)

    1. Except for the extroverted mathematicians (yes, there are a few). You can usually spot them because they’re not staring at their own shoes when they’re talking to you, they’re staring at YOUR shoes.

      1. I’m married to a mathematician. This is one of his favorite jokes. Though,, in reality, when I met him, nobody could hear him clearly because he spoke so softly. After we were married, some of our mutual friends came up to me and said “You’ve been really good for him. I can hear him when he speaks!”

    2. Oh come on now. We both know that they stare at the blackboard and their fingers twitch as they try to override the reflex to grab the chalk. (note from experience: Do not end the podium before the end of the blackboard. It is not pretty and is very embarrassing.)

      1. My husband doodles math on any surface available: napkins, white boards, blackboards, random scraps of paper. He’s usually working on some problem in his spare time

  26. The funny thing about all of that supposed privilege and class discrimination in America is that if you’ve been here long enough you are nearly directly related to everyone else.

    Through my maternal grandmother I am directly related to Mr. Dumas, whose family came here to escape religious persecution in France, of all places…

    My paternal grandmothers family traces back to the early 1600’s with John Tripp from England. We are direct descendent’s of the father of the scarlet letter’s author. What I didn’t learn in middle school is that Mr. Hawthorne’s family is more than half of the Salem Witch Trials, with his father the sheriff and several cousins executed as witches.

    The melting pot has worked quite well for me and my family. There are 13 of our paternal family name on a good day, but we can count on shining examples, like the chief engineer of the lunar landing project (Doc. Tripp), and more importantly several successful types that managed to stay anonymous, to guide us in enjoying life free of the judgement of our social betters.

  27. And yes, we see this from SJWs in SF, who no matter how many times they watch “Sins of the Father” won’t actually make the connection.

  28. Social justice is feudalism dressed in pretty clothes.

    I’m afraid I have to disagree with you. Feudalism included a concept, which I’ll grant was often honored in the breach, that the feudal lord owed protection to his serfs. If they were loyal to him, then when they were invaded by bandits, he had a duty to protect them.

    The only “protection” the “social justice” movement gives its adherents is the kind that Michael Corleone would be familiar with. Look at how the Twitter mob will turn on their most staunch supporters-up-until-five-seconds-ago.

    It’s not feudalism, it’s something less honorable. The best word I can come up with is “witch hunt”, but that doesn’t describe the totality of the system.

    1. Well, it is feudalism.
      It’s just feudalism as written by George R.R. Martin–and, to make matters worse, they’ve decided to take their cues from Tywin and Cersei Lannister, Ramsey Bolton, and Lysa Arryn.

  29. I blame St. Benedict for a lot of it. He made a Rule for monks that was mostly modelled after the Roman military, but then he had the monks voting monks into leadership offices with limited terms, a la the Roman Republic.

  30. Your blog is delightful. So glad to have found it. Well, except, wasn’t it you who pointed out that Barnes & Noble is relying on the sale of adult coloring books to stay afloat? Now that I see it, I can’t unsee it. And I had done a fairly decent job up to that point of staying willfully ignorant on that particular reality. So there’s that. But otherwise, kudos.

  31. “We won’t get fooled again.”

    You’re a whole lot more optimistic than I am.

    1. Bah. Not optimistic, for heaven’s sake. DETERMINED. Fools will always fall for this. It’s up to those of us who don’t to keep civilization going. Now stop moping and get to it.

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