It’s Not The Worst of Times

So, this is not the worst of times.  It’s not the best of times either.  Oh, sure, there are indications both ways, but neither is the way to bet.

We are better off, have more material wealth and abundance than ever before in the history of humanity.  That by itself is probably setting off all sorts of alarms.  You see, it seems that whatever else we were or are, we are built on the framework of a scavenging ape species. This is sort of like one of those kit cars that help with building a model T on top of a VW structure.  It will look like a model T and it will impress people, but it’s all fiberglass and trickery atop the old VW.

Same thing.  We look like it’s all rational and we’re the thinking/reasoning dominant species in this world (Greebo-cat, at my feet, would laugh if he could laugh) but underneath we still have all the impulses and signals that run at an instinctive level: the ones of the old beast underneath it all.

And the old beast was a scavenger.  Oh, it might or might not have killed its own meat sometimes.  NOTE sometimes.  Most of the time, it would be eating the leavings of lions and hyenas.

If a scavenger hits really GOOD times two things happen: its population explodes; and if it has a brain above the old chassis, it worries.

Why worries?  Well, think about it.  There probably was a glut for the (tiny) scavenging mammals when all the dinosaurs died.  BUT that meant famine was around the corner.

It’s probably that sort of mechanism that seems to make human populations collapse when people stop struggling.  Sensible, in the Savannah.  Annoying now.  But it also gives us the feeling that things are coming unglued, and we’re about to be in big trouble.

Which is okay, because we sort of are.

No, it’s not the worst of times.  Not even politically.  There is a tendency to enshrine the first half of the twentieth century as either a golden age (conservatives) or a fascist hell (leftists.)

It was neither.  But it was no paradise for lovers of liberty.  I read about the persecutions and purges of people who were three generations removed from Germany.  I read of instigator corps disseminated among the population by luminaries like Woodrow Wilson.  I read of lynchings and of people spying on people with a fervor worthy of the communist republics.

On the other hand, yes, we could build big things.  If we lifted the regulations that cripple us we could build them now too, probably bigger and better and done by private business.

The regulations, and the people screaming for more of them are a manifestation of the scavenger’s fear, too.  Oh, sure, they’re a manifestation of a greed for power in some, but the reason they get away with them is that the rest of the people are scared.  The hind brain is reading that something wicked this way comes, and the regulations are an attempt to slow change, to keep things static, to be safe “until I run out the clock.”  I’ve heard this phrase from a number of boomers.

It’s nonsense, of course.  You can’t stop the clock.  You can go too fast or you can die.  And it’s easier to go too fast, because when you close avenues of development with regulation, other avenues open, unexpected.  Statists more or less closed the avenue of space, perhaps having realized it would be harder to control all of humanity?  Or perhaps out of an atavistic desire to stop everything that scares them.  Who knows?  It doesn’t matter.  They closed that, and the engineers slipped away into cyberspace, which has had side effects like destroying the big narrative of mass media, which the left had spent a century positioning to control completely.  Evil will oft evil mar and all that.

But it’s not the worst of times, no matter what your back brain is telling you.  There have been much worse ones.  And there will be again, more the pity.

Lately a lot of people including some of my friends have been posting some variation of “Do you want a civil war? Because that’s how you get a civil war.”

It is of course nonsense.  We’ve been in a civil war my whole life.  A cold civil war, between the forces of Western civilization and the enemy (encouraged, if not started by the now defunct Soviet Union) within.  And the forces of freedom have been losing badly.  Until about 15 years ago or so, when we started fighting back.  Not in the political realm, or not effectively enough yet, but increasingly so.  Mostly we were fighting back in the news, the perception, the culture realm.  Which is where we had to start.  Politics comes after.  About 25 years after, because it needs awareness of who we are, and some form of organization (yes, even for individualists.)

The good news — ah! — is that the same thing that is making you nervous, the fast technological change, is also on our side.  Why on our side?  Because we’re the ones who thought ourselves to dissidence in the days of the single, unified narrative blared by news, movies, novels, art.  We have resources to navigate with imperfect, incomplete information, and arrive somewhere sane.

These times of fast change are worse for those who simply memorized/swallowed a narrative.  They want someone to tell them what to do.  They are having a visible, audible, scary breakdown in front of the world and everyone.

Which makes them and the world very dangerous right now.  People who are that desperate to be ruled will find a ruler.  And they’ll try to take us with them.

I didn’t realize how stupid things had got until I hit weather.com last night, and they had a thing about how by leaving the Paris accord Trump had endangered his own properties.

Let’s count the insanity, shall we?

1- I’d come there to look up when it would be cool enough to open my office window.

2- I’m used to the clickbait, but politics, right there, in the front page.  Ooh boy, someone was very sure all their users agree with them and that — wow — everyone will buy this narrative.

3- I don’t buy the narrative.  You see, I have looked into the Paris accord.  It really has nothing to do with stopping carbon emissions — even if carbon were proven to be causing global warming, which it isn’t. Chances are it’s a trailing indicator — because it if it did, it would have to impose limits on China and India.  All it is is a way of transferring money from the West — mostly the US — to China and India, which will of course, be used in more “dirty” development, which if ANTHROPOCENTRIC global warming were a thing, would just back us faster. (Is it a thing?  I don’t know. The data is corrupted, the researchers are corrupted, the programs don’t even predict what already happened, and the whole mess needs to be swept away and investigated by someone whose only solution to EVERY problem isn’t “Socialism!”

4- Even if the Paris accord had actually done anything about global warming, even if global warming were a danger (humans usually do well in warm periods, but there’s indications we’re just in a long break on an ice age.  If you page back, you’ll see a post by Stephanie Osborn explaining what is going on with the sun and the likelihood things are about to get a whole lot cooler.)it would take a LONG time for any coastal cities to be underwater.  To melt all of Greenland’s ice, my friend Charlie Martin, estimated somewhere around 6500 years. This means that for Trump’s properties to be affected, they must still be around in 6500 years.  And for him to be affected by his properties being under water, Trump must be immortal.

To put this in perspective, it’s quite likely at least one and (because there weren’t that many people in the world then, you’re probably descended from the same few over and more) probably more of your ancestors were scratching the dirt of the fertile crescent 6500 years ago for a meager living.

Yeah, it is “ironic” that Trump just arranged for “his properties” to be underwater 6500 years from now.  All hail Donald Trump, Immortal! (Maybe it is the worst of times.  We’re living in a bad sci fi flic.)

5- Weather.com, an enterprise run by the weather channel is a multi-million dollar thing, an investment, a company presumably run by SOME adults.

But they not only thought it was okay to splash cockamamie political propaganda on their front page, never considering some of their users might know better/just disagree, but they think we’re ALL SO STUPID they can do some photoshop and we’ll buy this crap lock, stock and barrel.

…  Which is why I realized the people saying the cold civil war will go hot are right… in part.

Remember, months ago, when I told you that the left thought they couldn’t lose the election?  Because their way is the “future” and history comes with an arrow and moves only in one direction?

To be fair, this is human, not just leftist.  We all impose a narrative on chaos, so we can predict the future.  It’s often imperfect, but also somewhat useful.  For instance, if you know communism in all its forms has killed 100 million people, it’s stupid to try it again, this time with more eggs broken.  There is still no proof it can make an omelet.

It is however a good thing to keep a flexible mind about it.  What happened before, and what we can extrapolate is a guide.  History is not predictable, malgre the various dreams of the various science fiction writers in the middle of the last century.  It’s influence by humans and how they react to their environment, and humans are deplorably — eh — unpredictable.

The problem is the left has bought into Marxism and its pseudo-scientific lies.  And the system despite many past failures to predict anything, purports to predict our emergence into a paradisaical “perfect communist state”.  Everything, from leftist “science” to leftist “art” (that is to say the establishment versions of those, since our establishment is solid left) is designed to hasten the coming of that ah, eschatological result. According to Marxist/leftist/progressive exegesis, of course.

But the predictive powers of that system are somewhat less reliable than Michael Mann’s cooked up hokey stick, which fails to predict the weather now, fed data from the eighties.

So they were sucker punched by the election.  Inf act, they’ve been sucker punched by a whole lot of things the last ten years.  Mostly the fact people are exiting their modes of information/propaganda at speed and forming a different picture of the world than that fed to them by the industrial education-entertainment-arts-“scientific” complex.

Because their minds were not trained in flexibility and they’re something of a cult, they are having a nervous breakdown.

In cults, this usually ends up in koolaid.  In nations, too, when a paradigm (yes, sorry, but it’s the right word) breaks in a way perceived as sudden.

So– is the cold civil war about to be hot?

Um… Stasis has an inertia of its own.  And our populations are too emulsified for something like the ACW.  If what you’re visualizing is armies taking the field and shooting at each other, this is unlikely at least for the next 20 years or so.  Why?  Because it would take the two sides in the ideological and conceptual civil war separating first.

The bad sign is that this is happening.  Or the good sign.  Depends on how you look at it, okay?  For decades, we who didn’t sing the choir chafed at the narrative or parts of it, but there was only one source for news and entertainment (yes, I know, many publishers, many channels.  BUT the differences in their POV were negligible.)

There were (there still are) penalties for not endorsing the “reality of consensus” which was leftist.  You didn’t get HEARD.  If you deviated you were boycotted.  This didn’t create consensus, but it created the APPEARANCE of consensus.

Now you can get heard, at a lower level, but heard.  And people are listening.  This means instead of the left just boycotting the right, it’s now mutual.  (For instance, I’m using Wunderground.com) Which means, given twenty or thirty years, it’s possible we’ll largely separate into two mutually hostile groups.  It’s even possible we’ll slowly separate geographically.  I’m one of those odd libertarians who loves big cities.  I have conservative and libertarian friends in the heart of the big coastal cities.  But in the last five years, they’ve started saying things like “My time here is coming to an end.” And “I’m getting tired of living in enemy territory.”

Will that happen?

My gut instinct is to say no.  The true-believers are not… Um… how to put this?  I don’t think they can survive on their own, unattended.  I don’t think they’re a long-term viable movement.  A friend once told me “the left screams their defiance loudest when they’re dying.”  And I think he’s right.  I think their collapse will be sudden and shocking like the fall of the Berlin wall.

So, everything is clear?  Everything fine ahead?

Ah, I didn’t say that.  When — at a guess, and for true believers, not the dupes, unthinking endorsers and people to young to have shed educational indoctrination — one quarter of the population goes stark raving nutters, like disappointed cult members when their prophet fails to take them to paradise, we’re in for — at best — very choppy water.

And the left for all their mealy mouthed talk of peace, has ALWAYS been startlingly and unrepentantly violent.

So, will there be a civil war?

This is a very big country.  Conditions are very different in different states, cities, locales.

There will be… a distributed heating up of the cold civil war.  In spots.  This is tricky business, as, for instance, the unrest of the last five years has touched me not at all, despite living (now) in a fairly large city.  OTOH I missed some unrest, once, because we went to a museum a different day than we’d originally planned.  (No real reason, we were just not feeling it that day.)

We’re in for a more noisy, larger version of the unrest I grew up through, where in a normal day, on the way to school, I’d turn the corner and find myself in the midst of a pitched street battle.

Keep your eyes open.  Keep your powder dry.  Stay armed in any way you can stay armed.  If by occupation, place of residence, whatever, you can’t carry, make sure you have something you can use to defend yourself.  Be imaginative.  An ornamental walking stick can be a mace with the appropriate weighting.  So can an umbrella.

Get in as good a shape as you can.  Sometimes your feet are your best defense.  No, I don’t mean kicking, though I did my share of that, but running away when outnumbered or outgunned.  There is no shame in escaping to fight another day.

Most of all, stay alert, and do not buckle.

This too shall pass, and we’re more likely to adapt to the place tech is taking us, and to emerge victorious in the end.  Freedom is always more adaptable, and therefore, in the end, more survival enhancing.

This is not the best of times, but it is not the worst of times.  And though doubtless there is an ending in the future, it is nowhere in sight.

Be not afraid.

 

 

608 responses to “It’s Not The Worst of Times

  1. One thing about the Weather Channel is that they have always had an inflated sense of their own importance. I remember when one of the satellite providers was dropping them, they tried to get the government to force the company to keep carrying them on the grounds that it was absolutely critical that everyone have access to the Weather Channel in case of an emergency!

    Um, no. Back before I had internet in my apartment, I would turn them on in the mornings sometimes to figure out what I should wear, but the one time there actually was a weather emergency in my area, I watched the local news exclusively, because there our flooding was THE story, while on the Weather Channel it was just one of many. There was no reason to go there.

    So my guess is that, if the company thought about it at all, they assumed that weather.com is just such a critical part of everyone’s life that it didn’t matter if they alienated half their customers; those customers MUST keep going to their website or they’ll never know what the weather is. Their lives will fall apart! So giving them critical information about how terrible pulling out of the Paris accords is is a cost free way of saving the world.

    • As Sarah says, I’ve used Weather Underground as my go-to weather information source for a long time. I’ll sometimes check Accu-Weather for some perspective, but the Weather Channel isn’t even my third choice.

    • I think due to increased traffic near their home offices due to the new stadium for the Braves they are just looking for an excuse to shed workers.

    • In one of the many disputes, Dish Satellite dropped Weather Channel for Weather Nation. TWC came back, but after a while, they kept Weather Nation in addition. Far better coverage; they’ll run commercials in a box and still keep weather info running. Not sure what web presence they have, but pretty much no preaching on TV.

      IIRC, Weather Channel got bought by NBC. They were AGW alarmists beforehand, but it got a lot worse afterwards. They’ve also had a strong Atlanta bias in reporting. Protip; people live in the Pacific Northwest, too.

      I usually use NOAA for local weather, but Accuweather.com has good maps, including a more-or-less real time lightning monitor. Since wildland fires are a concern(!), I use that map a lot. FWIW, NOAA insists that June/July/August will be really warm. Er, not according to my garden… When things get interesting, I’ll use the fire weather forecast for our zone.

      • One of the complaints DirecTV made during their drop of WC was it wasn’t weather. It was mostly reality shows, and the viewer rates in now way were on a level with what the price already was, let alone the increased price WC wanted.
        I use AccuWeather, because after Weather.com/WC bought out WU it became feature bloated and the features I preferred tended to go away.
        Where WU is still better is the ability to check on so many personal stations. Accu has far fewer but it too has places reporting to them what the weather is away from the “official” stations. One of our plants here in town is a reporting station that tends to end up as the default on the Accuweather site.

        • Probably why I prefer Weather Street – their default reporting station for Tucson is on Davis-Monthan AFB. I could walk to it from my house in about 20 minutes (ignoring such little things as the gate guards getting in my way…).

          • kenashimame

            I’ve used Weatherbug for a while on my iPad/iPhone. They have a station at Casino del Sol, which is the closest one to my work at Old Tucson.

            Won’t put the app on my computer though, it comes with too much crapware.

            • Probably better for you – we both know that weather over towards the Rincons is frequently not very much like that over towards the Tucson Mountains. (Actually, we know it frequently isn’t the same just two streets over around here…)

              Stay safe over there, though – I have the feeling this is going to be a wet monsoon season with plenty of wash flooding. (I’m right about that 2/3 of the time, approximately, after 50+ years.)

              • kenashimame

                i might need to put a cot in my office, there’s no way home from work that doesn’t cross multiple washes.

        • The western US has a map tool (/www.wrh.noaa.gov/map) that includes various information. (It sort of covers the rest of the lower 48 for radar, but not warnings. I don’t trust it to show warnings east of Utah.) Considering western microclimates, it’s useful to know just where the wind/freeze/falling frog warnings are supposed to effect.

          In addition, you get the RAWS (rural automated weather station, if memory serves) for whereever there is one. Klamath Falls has several, while the nearest one to us is about 10 miles away, and the next nearest is 2000 feet further up the hill. Still, it can help.

          I’ve grown to like it, if only for the radar loop. It’s on HTML5, so I don’t have to let Flash infest my computer…

      • When I was working fires in Alaska in the summer of 89, I would on occasion watch the lightning strike monitor. IIRC, during the occasional thunderstorm, we would be recording hundreds of strikes per hour. “Only you can prevent forest fires”? Uh, not so much, Smokey.

        • Alaska, about the only place where a 747 makes sense as a fire tanker. We had a medium sized fore (2000 acres) a few years ago, and the first day they had a C130 and something else (I think it was a P3 Orion). Watching them at work was awe inspiring; we were 5 miles away, upwind, and separated by a bunch of really good fire breaks (an irrigated hay operation is nice to have between a big fire and yourself…)

          • No, the 747 tankers make sense everywhere. Unlike most tankers, the 747 model has been built so they can drop their loads in smaller, individual batches instead of everything at once.

            My uncle was a welder at Evergreen on this project when they were building the prototype.

        • ” “Only you can prevent forest fires”? Uh, not so much, Smokey.”

          As with everything else, it’s never a matter of preventing all but preventing as much as you can.

      • For local conditions I’ve completely stopped using any of the major national orgs. Local meteorologists are better (albeit more cautious) about the killer weather here plus they have men on the ground all over the state during emergencies. For general conditions we have Mesonet that has the current conditions (During fire season it’s my first stop because they actually have all the necessary conditions info in one place) and gets forecasts from NWS Norman. Weather Channel really has no additional benefit.

        • The NOAA point forecase is usually pretty good. We’re in a really tiny microclimate; a half mile away it’s a lot warmer, but I pretty much know the offsets to use. The weather service people for our area actually know something about local conditions. I was pleasantly surprised to find that.

          The system I mentioned just above tries to integrate every system that feeds into the federal systems. It’s a good approach, and I’m happy to have tax money go to that.

      • Weather Nation seems much better than WC. The Aviation Weather spot we used to get on PBS in the morning was pretty good, but they dropped it.

        WC didn’t used to be so Atlanta centered. The impression I got the last time I watched was the anchors thought it was important because it affected them.

        • I wish my cable would pick up Weather Nation. (My parents get it, on DISH.) I like its coverage much better and it still does the overnight “slow sweep of showing the weather crossing the nation” – years ago, when TWC still did that, it was my go-to for bad insomnia nights.

          Also, yeah, there is a distinct “weather for people who matter” vs. the “oh, I guess there’s weather happening in the REST of the country.’ Interesting to see how a storm gathers hype as it heads for the East Coast even if it’s battering the Plains or the Midwest.

          I keep a battery operated NOAA weather radio on hand for REAL emergencies. It’s not great, but if the cable goes out and the power goes out, there’s not much else – none of the over-the-air radio stations here are really local any more; most of them are just satellite feeds from one of the coasts with a thin veneer of local news every hour or perhaps a nod at local sports.

          • I took a weather radio scanner with me on a road trip in 2014. The tornado alert made the radio worthwhile… (The tornado missed the city; didn’t hear of any major damage.) If I have to do another road trip, I’ll take the scanner along.

          • Or there can be deadly storms in the Midwest, but oh my word, it’s raining a bit in Atlanta…

    • In case of emergency, what made them think that Sat TV receivers would be functional?

  2. Part of why I like your blog is because I learn new words. Malgre’ French for despite according to Google. Oh, I like the political insight too.

  3. The world has always been “ending” since my pre-teens. The apocalypse is coming, and nothing to do but prepare for the worst. So, 40 or so years now and the world hasn’t ended. Things have changed drastically, but they haven’t ended. Will there be upheavals? Of course there will. Nothing remains constant in our world. Only the past is constant. The present is chaotic, and the future is always uncertain. That’s just life.

    Be prepared for anything. It won’t be ending anytime soon though.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

      I’m with you.

      From forecasts of the US’s economic collapse (we should be owned by Japan Inc by now), overpopulation (Harrison’s Make Room Make Room was set late in 1999), the coming Ice Age (which they want us to forget about) and now AGW (yes they want to call it Global Change now), we should be dead (or in deep sh*t) long ago. 😉

      • Bah. They can keep the globalism and the change. Just stop taxing my dollars.

        • “Panic on YOUR own dime!” – Ox

          Meanwhile, the adults have some work to do.

          • Or, you know, go put on a cardboard sign and stand out on the corner with the rest of the “The End Is Coming” preachers.

          • I panic on the couch…it is more comfortable than a dime especially given the size of my posterior.

            • Pressing OFF on the remote does wonders for ending on-couch panic. Assuming the TV is on, that is.

              • Oh, on/off who cares. The laptop or a book is probably in my lap and if it is on it is probably Pandora.

                If I’m watching it is probably NCIS, Criminal Minds, or Curiosity Stream. I love the latter as the weirdest things become grist for the mill. C didn’t know about the tulip bubble thing when we saw a documentary on it pop up so I played it.

                I learned WHY tulips got so valued and now that is turning into a half baked story idea.

                • Now I’m curious – why were they so valued?

                  • The Dutch had become rich being one of the first great trading nations but the strong thread of the Dutch Reformed Church limited the acceptable ways to be ostentatious about wealth. They had to glorify God.

                    One of the acceptable ways was gardening and the tulip became a standard display of beauty to glorify God. As a result bulbs became a common way to spend the new found wealth.

                    What is interesting is the tulip is from Central Asia and had reached the Netherlands less than a century before the bubble. Also, a lot of the beauty was due to an eventually fatal disease in the bulb that blanked out the coloring in patterns meaning we probably don’t have tulips as brilliant as some of those in the period.

                    Also, it was a futures contracts bubble with no bulbs changing hands until months after the sale.

                    Fascinating stuff.

            • Put dime on couch . . .

            • maybe it’s panic on your own time?

          • “Given the scope of the possible disaster, how can you begrudge sensible precautions to prevent its occurrence?

            After all, giant cockroaches MIGHT attack Cincinnati…”

        • But sweetie, cut through the BS and that was always their main goal, picking your pocket.
          Except for the true believers who demand total control over every aspect of our lives. Those we need to seriously consider disappearing, and the sooner the better.

          • Don’cha know we’ve got TROUBLE, (trouble, trouble, trouble) TROUBLE right here in America’s cities, Trouble with a capital “T” And that rhymes with “T” and that stands for Trump!

        • *I*’ll keep my change. It’s about all I have left after eight years of Obummer. He promised us change, and he kept his promise . . .

    • The world ended at 7:46 PM, July 2nd, 1971. Fortunately they can’t actually shut the whole thing down until the paperwork is filed. I figure we have at least four millennia.

  4. Sanity is the process by which you continually adjust your beliefs so they are predictively sound. -esr

  5. >But in the last five years, they’ve started saying things like “My time here is coming to an end.” And “I’m getting tired of living in enemy territory.”

    Have you been psychically eavesdropping on my wife and I?

    15 years ago I had an apartment within walking distance of Harvard Square. And my wife (then gf) and I enjoyed it.

    Now? We live in a well-armed red suburb (of a partially horrific blue city, but it has its good points) in a red state in the lower Midwest. We love it here more every day, and talk about how good it feels to finally have made it to America, and not live furtively in enemy territory.

    • My wife and I made the move from the leftist miasma that is the Baltimore/Washington corridor to east Tennessee a couple of years ago. She still misses some of her friends up there (I didn’t really have many in that area to miss), but I think we’re much happier in general down here. I know I am!

      • Speaking of Leftist Miasma, I see that Denver is no longer penalizing public elimination. While this restraint undoubtedly disproportionately privileges male anatomy the inclusion of defecation among publicly acceptable acts helps balance the scales if not dissipate the odor.

      • East Tennessee was one of the places we considered moving to. We liked it very much.

        There was a period where I traveled to Baltimore on business on a regular basis. I’ve also had many a business trip to NoVA. You did well. 🙂

      • Do you live near the BloigFather? AKA Instapundit.

        • Probably. I haven’t stalked him, so I don’t know just where he lives, but it’s here in the Knoxville area I’m sure. Folks around here tend to not intrude on each other’s privacy unless invited. 🙂 We’re south of Knoxville, a few miles past the airport, so he could easily be as much as 50 miles away. Or just down the street. I dunno.

    • “We live in a well-armed red suburb (of a partially horrific blue city, but it has its good points) ” … now, who IS eavesdropping?

      • Fed the Fred?

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        Fed The Fred? 😉

      • It’s the only sensible solution. 🙂

        Cities create the critical mass of buyers and sellers to create and sustain various desirable things. For me it boils down to ‘bookstores and bakeries’.

        But in this Progressive-damaged country you can’t hardly find a city that isn’t both blue and at least partially horrific.

        So you live near the city, in a suburb. And for sanity and safety, it’s a well-armed red suburb.

        • Bookstores? Amazon. Bakeries? You really think there aren’t any outside the cities? My friend, if that’s all that’s keeping you in near the cities, I invite you to take a voyage of discovery through the rest of America.

          • Hard to sum up the civilizational appeal of a city in 3 words. 😉 Nevertheless, there are things you just can’t have without the population density (and the things that go with it) of a city.

            Like a botanical garden. An art museum. An antiquities museum. A zoo. I could come up with more, but the point should be made.

            I was working in a bookstore when Amazon was founded, I am more aware of Amazon than most of the population, still. And as clever as they are, there are things Amazon can’t do. Their affiliates program closes most of that gap, though.

            Find me a good bagel. I am very picky, I know what they are. Personally I’ve given them up for lost, because there are places I will not live. Costco ‘bagels’ will have to do.

            • Have you tried Einstein’s bagels? They’re almost as good as NY bagels. Then again where I live is population dense. Plano, TX a bustling suburb of Dallas. Plano when you can’t stand NY and CA is too expensive.

            • Botanical garden? The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Zoo? We’ve got some nice ones in the smaller cities (I’m told the Knoxville Zoo is very nice, although I haven’t been there yet. Museums? There’s a very good museum to Sequoyah just down the road in Vonore, and both the Museum of Appalachia and the Museum of East Tennessee History nearby. Likely much the same could be said for many places around the country. I hope my point has also been made. Many of the things you are talking about exist outside the cities too. Civilizational appeal isn’t limited to manheaps.

              • It’s a fine city and I enjoyed visiting, but Knoxville counts as a city. 🙂

                Seriously, doesn’t have to be a big city but there are some good, desirable things that are only to be found in cities and around. So I like living near a city. Half hour to an hour away is usually good.

                I don’t think that’s inherently bad, and I think our blog host would agree with me.

                I just won’t live in a city any more. Especially not one in a blue state. Been there, done that.

                • cities in red states are different. Cities are very useful for people with chronic conditions who need to be close to a good hospital. They are also essential for people who can’t drive.

            • As for bagels, we have Einsteins, Bruegger’s, and a couple of local bakeries (Best Bagels and Hot Bagel Company). I’m not a connoisseur, so I couldn’t tell you what’s best (or even acceptable if you are a connoisseur), but we do have a selection. So come on over sometime and we’ll do a bagel crawl! 😉

              • If I’m in town I’ll come. I am something of a gourmand when it comes to bagels. No one seems to make egg bagels anymore.

              • You still have a Bruegger’s? I used to get host the Bruegger’s Bagels Web site, and got paid in bagels. They moved out of SE Texas almost 20 years ago now.

            • I live in one of the red enclaves of NJ, and have access to a small bagel chain that’s also present in Bay RIdge, Brooklyn. (Bagel Boy. Magnificent!)

              • I had to look up Bagel Boy. I grew up near one of their locations.

                Best bagels ever, the ones I grew up with that set the standard all others can only try to follow, came from a little shop in Sheepshead Bay, oh 40ish years ago. On the corner of E 15th and Sheepshead Bay Road, where I believe there is now a new building with a Dunkin Donuts on the ground floor. Like a block away from where the Bagel Boy on Ave Z is now.

          • I get my baked goods at Krogers. They have an instore bakery.

        • There are some cities that aren’t too bad. crosses fingers. BLM has not come to Dallas. Plano is known for its safety. Not an absence of crime but a very small amount.

          • Tucson is the Big Blue Wart on Arizona’s bottom, but has its charms despite that. It’s pretty much the world’s largest small town.

            • I like suburbs because theoretically you’re halfway between the city and the country.

            • Get east or west of the centerline (downtown, South Tucson, Miracle Mile), and we’re pretty good, actually. (Except for the roads, of course. I have to figure out how to strap up the tailpipe when I can get to it – looks like a bushing cracked off somewhere between Kolb and Harrison on 22nd… Fortunately it only scrapes on the bad speedbumps so far, so I have some time.)

          • “BLM has not come to Dallas.”
            Well, except for that whole protest in Dallas, followed by the guy shooting cops. Other than that, BLM hasn’t come to Dallas.

          • Sorry, dear, but yes they have.

        • I am attracted to living in a low-density area, say at Kanab in Utah, but I’m particularly attracted to computer user groups and universities (hey, I like math, physics, and computer science colloquiums, so what can I say?) so I’m probably stuck living in a little enclave near Provo or St. George, or some place like that.

          Of course, perhaps a good option would be to get a pilot license, and then fly to a university or user group every so often. It’s not unusual for little towns to have airports, after all…

          It seems that higher densities are good for creating start-up companies, too, but I’m not sure how much telecommuting can fill in that gap….

    • When I moved to Atlanta I lived in Midtown three blocks from the BoA Tower where I work and bought groceries and pick up ‘scripts walking home from work.

      Now I live barely ITP over by Tucker.

      When we can afford to buy it will be where my commute is an hour to avoid being in the city.

      While I am not sure about Civil War a la 1861 or even the 1640s I am much more confident about riots when the benefits cards stop for extended periods starting in the mid-20s. C worked at Trader Joe’s when they had that one nighter stoppage and it was…uncomfortable (an aside to note that as much as we liked some of the products now that we don’t have her employee discount we don’t buy much there yet welfare people feel free to use my dimes to do so).

      • We visited Atlanta when we were leaving Montgomery, AL. The only places we could afford were either way outside the perimeter or in a scary part of ATL. So we moved to Plano in 2006 and have greatly enjoyed it.

        • I don’t drive. I’ve flunked the road test multiple times. I’ll only drive in life or death situations when I can’t get an ambulance. That’s why we were looking ITP.

      • LOL. I think you lived in the same area as me, picking groceries up from publix and scripts from walgreens, security guards at both. Was in a gated community, but sadly we got visitors (From the mission is my guess)

    • SheSellsSeashells

      We felt much the same after leaving Durham, NC (ptui!) for a suburb of a suburb of Charlotte. I knew I was home when I checked the local mommy message boards and was greeted by the thread “PREPPER CHALLENGE! Can you find ten new water storage options this week?”

      • Ten new water storage options?

        I am guessing “the disemboweled corpses of my enemies” is not a good option.

        • Ewwww, not for potable water.

        • Generally known to make the water non-potable, if not properly treated first. Things like bladders are designed to hold “liquids” but the whole disemboweling process tends to render even such marginal options moot.

          Best options then are to deflesh, boil (there are other options, but boiling is the most generally available) the bones, and use the cuppy bits. While you *can* store liquid in the hollows of the long bones, it is not recommended.

          • That comment isn’t disturbing at all. No, not a bit.

            (Say, you’re not originally from Ohio, are you?)
            (No, that’s not because of the bone thing.)

            • Hah! Nope, Southern Appalachia, for the most part. Spent some time in Southern Indiana, Florida, upstate New York when I was traveling for work.

              The comment is more or less from the dusty room in my head where the old anthropology and early modern human research sits. Got to know quite a bit about things human-type things (anthropology is a hideously broad discipline, if you look at it right). It’s also gotten me in the strange situation where just recently I now know more live people than dead ones, though that’ll change as I get older, I don’t doubt.

          • Reminds me of the meme going around, asking if the skulls of your enemies are dishwasher safe…

            • They probably are – but hard on the dishwasher. Calcium leaching, you know.

            • *temporizes* Yes and no. The interior of the bone has this spongey layer in it, and the skull itself comes in pieces- the parietals, occipetal, sphenoid process (looks kind of like the bat symbol, very thin bone. Note well: do not get hit here. It’s behind the thicker nasal bone, but those thin bits can play merry hell with *your brain* if they shatter badly), frontal…

              It would be leaky and hold nasty bacteria. Best case, seal it with something. That’s why lacquer was used back in the barbarous days when such things actually happened. Hells. Probably still happens in the barbarous places in the world.

              Sorry. I tend to take things a bit far into the literal at times. *chuckle*

      • 10 Blobs?

    • “But in the last five years, they’ve started saying things like “My time here is coming to an end.” And “I’m getting tired of living in enemy territory.”

      Yep, me too. Just moved from NJ in January to Wyoming (telecommuting is a *wonderful* thing), and its like a weight came off my shoulders. While there weren’t (many) violent flare ups back east in the past few years, there was a definite tension in the air. Even if we’re not going into a hot-hot-hot civil war soonish, I’m happier being far away from flash points like Newark or NYC.

  6. I even gave up on Weather Underground, Sarah. About three years ago they started posting all the “Oh noes, we’re all going to drown when the glaciers melt!” baloney, too. Weather.com has been doing it for more than a decade, though – and that’s why I first went to Weather Underground (along with the neighborhood weather stations).

    Unfortunately, I think you’re right about inertia. We won’t have the hot, brief civil war that would clearly cut out the blue counties and return the rest of the country to some semblance of the ideals the Founding Fathers expressed in the DoI and Constitution. There’s too much entanglement with progressive ideas and progressive gov’t, even amongst conservatives, too much to lose if we kick against the traces even a little.

    We line in “interesting” times. In the sense of the old Chinese curse use of the word.

    • If I were worried about drowning when the glaciers melted, I’d be building a boat. I don’t see any of those AGW yahoos building boats. I do see them lawyering up and checking their wallets; which means it really is all about the money.

      • Aye. I’ll consider believing it to be a problem when the folks telling me it is one, start behaving like it is one themselves. Until then? They can kiss me under my tail.

      • What?!? You’re not going to wait for your neighbor to build his ark, then insist that you be allowed to ride in it? And bring your extended family along? I mean, not allowing you to ride is just unfair, isn’t it? He’s just exercising his God privilege (why should God talk to him and not you? *That* is privilege!), and that’s racist, or something. That monstrosity just has to be a public accommodation, right?

        • Why would I need an ark when I have a canoe, a cover for it, and fishing tackle? Plenty of room for me and my wife. Not so much to defend that I can’t beat anyone over the head with the paddle. Not so much that anyone with something bigger would want to take it away from me.

          • But small enough a shark can take a bite out of it.
            You’re gonna need a bigger boat. 😉

          • The real problem with canoes is the sheer number of tragic accidents they have where one loses all one’s firearms.

            • sheer number of tragic accidents they have where one loses all one’s firearms.

              Perhaps, given the sales levels of American “beers” like Budweiser and Coors Light, that’s related to the sheer amount of sex that’s apparently going on in them. 😉

            • Never had that problem. On the other hand, I clip a line to sling swivel just in case we tip over. Lesson learned watching a scout’s father who claimed he knew how to canoe, dump it, and $300+ worth of fishing tackle into the lake, with no flotation attached.

              • I think you may have missed the intent of the comment. 🙂 Whenever new gun control legislation is proposed, there is a great upswing of tragic boating accidents where all one’s firearms are unfortunately lost in the depths…

              • “Knowing” how to do a thing and being capable of doing it are not exactly the same thing. For example, the ratio of people who know how to have sexual intercourse and the people able to provide a partner’s satisfactory experience of it is not, contrary to what some claim, 1 : 1.

          • Don’t forget your gun. It’s useful on sea critters as well 2 legged monsters.

        • There are people who feel that they have a right to be taken care of by others. They should be careful if they don’t want to be shot.

      • Lots of Silicon Valley Billionaire types are building very large yachts, as well as acquiring offshore villas in far away yet reliably civilized places, like South Island New Zealand and such. Some are reputedly buying up farmland and hiring reliable tenant farmers to run the thing, while also building ‘vacation’ houses there.

        Word is these various homes away from home are more for “social unrest” than biblical floods.

        • Yeah… Remind me how that’s supposed to work, when they show up after the apocalypse they mostly caused, and the local tenant farmers are living large in the Great House, with the local police going “Uh, who are you, again…?” when they ask to have those tenants evicted?

          The “offshore refuge” thing ain’t gonna go the way they think it will. Nor will the “Montana Ranch Scheme”, ‘cos the locals ain’t going to be very interested in allowing the former big-boy billionaires to come in and run the show with their enlightened big-city ways. Unless they plan on coming in with a lot more armed support, with heavier weapons than the locals, it ain’t gonna play out the way they think it will. Hell, even the really isolated “billionaire refuge centers” aren’t going to be viable, when everything goes to shit, because everybody is going to be blaming them for the bad outcome.

          These idiots really can’t do real thinking, past a certain point. They think that when it all turns to shit, they’re going to escape. Ask the Romanovs how all that turned out, with their diamond-sewn undergarments and all…

          • Well, I intend to run the popcorn concession at the sites when they show up and attempt to claim them so it might work for me.

          • A lot of the moderately prosperous (you know, only 1 or 2 digit millions) are looking for offshore boltholes. Apparently Costa Rica and Chile and such are popular for that. You know, buy a little land, set yourself up as self-sufficient….

            What they fail to overlook, is that if things go bad, they are NOT LOCALS. They have no connections, no power of their own (without the threat of Uncle Sam to come bail them out). They don’t belong there. They’re *food*.

            You’re not going to become a reasonably secure local lord without your own (Tom Kratman’s estimate) infantry battalion.

            Billionaires might be able to swing that, but then you have the problem of ensuring the loyalty of your mercenaries. Things go south, and your billions just went to make the head of your security detachment into Lord Noneck the 1st.

            • An examination of just how things went after the fall of Rome for the various well-connected elites might prove… Educational. If I remember right, from my reading, the vast majority of those folks didn’t die very well, out on their isolated country estates. The slaves running wild overwhelmed them, and the barbarians just ran over whatever personal security they had going.

              Only successful exceptions were the folks who settled in Venice, and I think, Florence–Both of which are locales you might take as being the true heirs of Rome, at least on the Italian peninsula. Precise process by which this happened eludes my memory, but I am pretty sure that both Venice and Florence were established as successors to Rome by refugees from the fall of Rome itself…

              Gentlemen like Elon Musk and Tom Steyer might want to crib some notes from those experiences…

            • This is why I like where I am, the Canadian maritimes, despite the socialism and nonsense (which will evaporate in a real collapse situation). If you’re new, people might look at you a bit weird for a while, but they’re not going to have you for lunch if things go pear-shaped. Population centers are mostly just large enough to be civilized but not enough to encourage a slum situation except in certain small pockets. The local culture, outside the academic and government hotbeds, is still quite common-sense. Living next to the treacherous north Atlantic tends to wise people up a bit.

            • “What they fail to overlook, is that if things go bad, they are NOT LOCALS. They have no connections, no power of their own (without the threat of Uncle Sam to come bail them out). They don’t belong there. They’re *food*.”

              I was tech-editor for my Lady’s startup back in the late 1990’s and some of the techs were blathering about high tailing it out to somewhere in the second or third world to avoid the ‘Year 2000 Problem’. I told them emphatically that they were out of their tiny minds. If the Y2K issue had been a real problem, it was far likelier to manifest in places that bought secondhand tech, and if that stuff went south it would;d be a bad time and place to be a Gringo.

              All the planners got real thoughtful.

              Fortunately, the Y2K problem turned out to be the Y2K bushwa.

          • After a real economic collapse, “billionaire” would be a meaningless term.

          • Why am I being reminded of the mercenary-hiring skills of Mick Mickerberg from Ringo’s Black Tide books…..

            😎

      • I see them buying up ocean front property, myself.

    • I use Intellecast. They so far have not used the AGW panic scam. Just the weather

      http://www.intellicast.com

    • As I stated above, WU is now owned by Weather.com

  7. Friend of mine wrote a book back in the early 90s when the wacky idea of the day was about earthquakes and tsunamis, etc. Her book was about how to survive in a disaster. The line that has always stayed with me was when she said something to the effect that the most problems for emergency response teams are caused by people who are doing nothing but standing around waiting for help to come.

    • Flip side, some of those “teams” are much more interested in “managing the situation” than actually helping with anything. At least, from the reports I got from people who were involved with Katrina.

      • it is in FEMA’s name. the M stands for Management. FEMA is not supposed to DO anything but manage those doing.

        • Based on my family’s encounters with them, FEMA mostly manages to KEEP people from doing things…

        • All they really do is cut cheques. I had to deal with them a few years ago after a rough spring break up in a nearby community caused the ice in the nearby river to move down town. Ten to fifteen FEET of ice. Luckily most of the buildings there were built on pile so they just slid back and were not actually destroyed. The roads were, however (why I was there) and FEMA came out, it got declared a disaster and they paid for the repairs. On the plus side (from a non-locals point of view) FEMA also said that the who area was now officially a flood zone so if it happened again they were not paying for it.

    • It’s one extreme or the other. The percentage that do nothing and the percentage that try everything even if it’s not a smart move. Especially when people get themselves injured or start taking up resources needed because they went over their head.

  8. Go ahead and be afraid. Don’t let fear rule you. Use that fear to motivate you. Motivate you to get in shape. Motivate you to learn new things, new skills, new crafts, or rather old things, old skills and old crafts. Motivate you to make social connections with people you want on your side in a pinch; that is, junk yard dogs, and not people who are the equivalent of a toy poodle. Motivate you to take a page out of the Prepper Book.

    No, you don’t need the whole book unless you’re moving off grid in Alaska or northern Canada. You probably don’t need the 5 recommended firearms and couple thousand rounds of appropriate ammunition for each of them; but a reliable shotgun with 5 boxes of shells is a good start for your home or business. A carry-able and concealable pistol you know how and when to use. And a legal permit for it if required. (I don’t recommend it, but you can choose not to get a legal permit but the risk of getting caught is never zero, and the penalties are very harsh; but it beats being dead. Be realistic in your evaluation of the pros and cons on that.)

    Point is, like Sarah says, a hot civil war of massed armies isn’t in the near-term projection. I think you’re going to see more flash riots of city-wide extent lasting days to a couple of weeks. Watts or Ferguson-like conflicts with various government entities trying to pull a New Orleans-style firearm confiscation if they can get away with it, followed by SWAT and National Guard deployments with martial law in those regions. You might see the tension escalate over a couple of days prior, or not. Point is, like any disaster, if you are prepared for it, you can do something about protecting yourself and your friends and family. Avoidance is the safest. Staying in place to defend the fortress might save your business or home from looting and firebombing, or it might not.

  9. And the forces of freedom have been losing badly. Until about 15 years ago or so, when we started fighting back. Not in the political realm, or not effectively enough yet, but increasingly so. Mostly we were fighting back in the news, the perception, the culture realm.

    One of the reasons we’ve been losing so badly is because too many have focused on the political/legal arena and not the cultural. While freedom loving individuals have been looking at “elect the right person”, the left has been taking over institutions of education, arts, and the media.

    And entirely too many still don’t get it.

    • Perhaps “indie” publishing is a/the first step. Elections are expensive to win, and institutions take time to infiltrate or de-program, but publishing is at least a small wedge in culture. I could be wrong. (Ox be wrong before. Ox will be wrong again.) But.. well, how long before the ‘pulp’ and such movements have a decided effect simply by existing and showing it doesn’t have to be depressing gray goo?

      • Well, elections can be expensive to win, but don’t have to be. On a note, our current president spent less money then his primary opponents and won. And half the money of his general election opponent and won.

        In a forerunner to that, in a 2015 local election here a newcomer, a friend of mine, ran as an independent since the other party wouldn’t nominate him and didn’t run a candidate, and won the town supervisor position using only yard signs and door to door visits. A presage to the throw the bums out election I see coming. Methinks Trump was the first major throw the bums out victory.

        • Note that various members of his own party spent lavishly opposing him, apparently unaware of the old Hollywood saying “there’s no such thing as bad publicity.”

          Once we were down to one candidate per party, the Democrats spent a lot more time and money slamming Trump than promoting the Wicked Witch. All free publicity for Trump.

          I still think my Presidential Lottery system would be better than the current popularity contest. If nothing else, it would save a lot of money and angst.

          G’Kar: “You want to be President?”
          Sheridan: “Yes.”
          G’Kar: “Put your hand on the book and say ‘I do.'”
          Sheridan: “I do.”
          G’kar: “Done. Let’s eat.”

          • I like mine better:

            “You want to be President?”
            “Absolutely not! That’s the worst think I can think of!”
            “Too bad. Guards, lock him in the Oval Office and don’t feed him till he agrees to act presidential until his sentence…uh, term, is up.”

            • Pretty much…at “Yes” G’Kar should have said, “Then you are not qualified”

              • Nah, that’s lazy.

                It tries to avoid the work of finding someone willing to do the work– even if it’s only because the options are worse– by enslaving someone.

                • Agreed. Which is one of the biggest practical difficulties of politics: Very often the difference between somebody willing to take responsibility, and somebody who only wants the power of authority, is obvious only in hindsight — especially once the latter learn how to convincingly pass themselves off as the former.

              • kenashimame

                Arthur C. Clark’s Imperial Earth has a line about the President being drug kicking and screaming into the White House.

            • Aw hell no. *Nobody* in their right mind would agree to that, and the first one shanghaid into it would spend his entire term, however long or short, finding a way out and a way to *get back* at whoever stuck him there.

              And, if he were feeling especially generous, making damn sure it never happened to another innocent soul again.

              • If it were me (fat chance, I’m Canadian), I’d take my Cars/Planes diecasts with me, set them up on the Oval office desk and threaten to give them cabinet and czar positions, like Incitatus, if everybody in Washington gets too annoying. “Straighten up and do your @#$! job, or I nominate Doc Hudson to the Supreme Court. You won’t like what he says either.”

            • a different version of Douglas Adams’ Anyone who has demonstrated the ability to be elected President should in no circumstance be allowed to hold the job.

            • Michael Houst

              I prefer “L. Sprague de Camp’s” The Reluctant King method.
              5 year term, and the end of which, you get beheaded. Poor schmuck who catches the head gets to be the next king.

              • I proposed a variation on that, a while ago. Any sitting elected official, who stands for reelection and is defeated, should be summarily executed. It would be a bit of incentive to keep the voters satisfied. 🙂

                • I’d be quite satisfied if we settled for them never run for any elective office, or work for any level of government, ever again. Always leave a threatened rat an escape path.

                • The problem is not the elected, it is the electors. The number of people willing to sell their birthright of liberty for a mess of pottage is approaching parity with those desiring to continue this nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

                  As Milton Friedman reminded us, the problem is not the whores, it is the johns. (paraphrased.)

                  • Nothing wrong with whores or johns. The first have a service they’re willing to sell if the price is right; the second have a desire to buy if the price is right and the service is acceptable. Isn’t capitalism wonderful? I’m just not sold on using it to elect people to positions of authority.

                  • The wallaby nails it.

          • Presidential Lottery? Uh-uh. Too great a risk of somebody named Sarkeesian, Wu or Sanders getting the golden ticket.

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      Yup. We have an awful tendency to fall back instead of confront, and the result is a news-entertainment establishment almost entirely hostile to us and what we believe in.

      • And increasingly, abandoned as irrelevant/useless… at best.

      • It’s the inherent weakness of dealing with “facts” and “logic” and “objective reality,” especially from an adult standpoint.

        The internet is, oddly enough, great for that. You can go and check on a claim before responding– you don’t have to have it down cold at the drop of a hat. That’s part of why there are so many nasty fights here…..

    • That was originally why I started writing historical fiction – as a way of teaching and/or reminding people of our history; and not a heap of Zinnified, racist-sexist-xenophobic pile of clap-trap — but as a way to see our actual and metaphorical American ancestors as decent, striving people, doing their best to sort out a way for as many as possible to ensure life, liberty and enable the pursuit happiness.

      • I don’t normally like historical fiction, but with that motivation, I’m going to check it out. Luna City, iirc.

        • Luna City is current day.the other books are historical.

        • Well, Luna City is just pure humorous escapism. We wrote it that way – just a light-hearted account of living life in a small Texas town, told through a good many characters and some interludes explaining various elements. Although there are some serious and bitter-sweet elements – it’s meant to be fun, where not much seriously bad ever happens. It’s like a PG Wodehouse frivolity, a 1930s musical with a happy ending, a bit of a mental refuge in hard times.

    • Part of why we don’t focus on the cultural is that there’s a lack of agreement about what we should do– an awful lot of the arguments I have boil down to “shut up I like that part,” usually with “and you shouldn’t be allowed to disapprove.”

  10. Where the civil war is right now, is among those on the left, as the various identity groups struggle for supremacy. Those who are members of more circles on the intersectionality Venn diagram demand to be kow-towed to the most, while other less oppressed groups whine that they really aren’t _____ist or ______phobic. They can’t be, right? Just look at them!

    When the leftist zombies have eaten enough of their own, they will come looking for you and I. Be ready.

    • It’s worth mentioning that much of the leftist internal civil war is among the cadres, not the spear carriers. If you have an opportunity to talk to some of the followers who are a bit puzzled and upset by the “fratricide” they’re seeing, you might be able to peel them away from their indoctrination and introduce them to the virtues of the individualist belief system. And if not, at least you’ll give them something to think about. Chipping away at their religious certitude will always be useful in the long run.

      • Excellent point!

      • It is also worth mentioning the internal civil war is not new…feminists versus transwomen is 40+ years old and has been actively hot for at least 15.

        I have had front row seats a couple of times and damn did my sides hurt.

        • Oh?

          I’ve seen some of the fringes as reported in the idiot press (I’ve had to read between the lines, but it’s there sometimes).

          Any stories/thoughts you’d feel comfortable sharing in an open forum?

          • Sure. Not a lot to them but the most memorable one was a local (here in Atlanta) women’s only kink event about four years ago (yeah, it was the same year I ran my first SJW) barred transwomen. There was a ton of butthurt and fighting on Fetlife and people not speaking to each other.

            What there was not, and what I thought would be logical, as a competing event.

            The same year I got grief over retaining the core rule of SJW, that it was an even by submissives for submissives. Switches could attend but only in bottom mode. Switches in a D/s relationship as the left sider could not attend based on that relationship alone.

            One of the people made about the kink event being exclusive gave me grief about my retaining the rule my event had before I took it over.

            Again, I suggested she run her own event with the rules she wanted. While last year we got a local day (instead of retreat type) event some parts have the same rule and it isn’t run by anyone who complained.

            They seem to think my volunteer labor is theirs to command how it shall be used.

            • Things like that explain the appeal of Seinfeld‘s “Soup Nazi” — you take the fruit of my labor my way and only if I permit it.

              Or so I gather — never watched the show except by accident, and even then I seemed to get the same episode arc every time.

              • They also explain why, after three years, I no longer run the event….in part at least (there are other reasons and simple burnout tops the list).

                Oddly, it makes me mildly, MILDLY sympathetic to some of the WorldCon attitudes towards the Puppies. They make it happen so it is their awards. However, they wanted it both ways in terms of it represents all sci-fi but only those who make the con happen matter in choosing it.

                • Sympathetic? Not me. They wrote the rules, they accepted the membership payments. If they wanted to ensure the sanctity of the prizes they shouldn’t have become book hos.

                  • Hence my “have it both ways”…either it is your event your rules and you own that or everyone you told was part of the party is part of the party.

                    • Truth. Either accept the responsibility and bloody well *own* that steaming pile, or let it go and may the ones who care enough to, let them carry the torch.

                • what does your acronym SJW stand for? I’m sure it doesn’t have anything to do with SocJusWankery.

              • SheSellsSeashells

                I had a similar problem with Blues Brothers (which I infinitely prefer to Seinfeld); for the first year of Kid’s life, it was on Every. Single. Time that I wanted to pass baby-feeding time with some TV. (She was a big kid; there was LOTS of baby-feeding time.) It got to where the running joke was that I was being stalked by Jake and Elwood.

              • even then I seemed to get the same episode arc every time.

                For ages I was convinced there were only perhaps 3 episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Every. Dang. Time. “Oh, this one AGAIN?!”

                • Your local broadcaster may have only licensed a small number of episodes. They might just take two seasons out of nine, or only a few partial seasons, or some “popular episodes” package.

                  • At the time it seemed like there were maybe three, perhaps only one. That was bad enough, but the channel that carried the main show was not carried by the local cable service. So, in Minnesota, I could not watch a show known all over that was made in Minnesota. And as things like this go, the cable service finally added that channel… a few weeks before the final new show. “But now you can see the reruns.” didn’t matter as my interest was self-defense[1]: seeing WTH everyone was referring to based on that week’s show. When the new shows stopped, there was no need for this. Now, the IRC channel where this happened is history or close enough and I’ve no interest in cable (or satellite) TV anyway.

                    [1] This is also why I saw Star Wars 1[2],2,3.
                    [2] I went with a decided Star Wars fan to that sucker. As we left the theater, he apologized.

          • scott2harrison

            In the last year, it has shut down the women only music festival when the festival organizers refused to believe that women could have penises.

            • Wasn’t that the thing that got Sarkeesian noticed? Shutting down a women’s gamedev conference because the attendees had to actually present as women, then started her own “trans-friendly” one that flopped?

              Or was that Wu?

              • That was Wu.

                Sarkeesian did the Kickstarter to do the misogyny in gaming vidoes of which only one appeared. She also did the video proving a game promoted violence against women when what she did was actually penalized by the game (she had to crop the video to cut out the scoring). Sarkeesian has also been shown to have previously worked the PUA ballroom circuit. She’s just a grifter who found a better long con.

                • Gee, I wonder what might happen were the Trump Administration to announce plans to audit Kickstarter schemes projects to determine if the money were spent as promised or simply diverted into routine (for certain values of routine) living expenses.

                  • Darn, there goes my backup plan for if this whole working for an honest living thing ever fails. ;P

                  • I have to wonder how it would be any of the federal gov.’s business whether a contract between private parties is being honored or not. Surely the appropriate response is for the defrauded party to sue the one who has not lived up to their obligations. THEN the federal government is legitimately involved. But until someone sues, the fed. gov. has no business at all butting in — it would be a really bad precedent.

                    • If I remember right, it says right there several times when you donate that results are not assured.

                    • Note I did not say Trump & Co. should actually implement such audit plans. (Although I wonder what the IRS does about such income received.)

                      The mere announcement ought have the Proglodytes praising the sanctity of the marketplace, attesting to the importance of limits on government power and intrusion into everyday lives and generally writing philosophical checks which they will repudiate as soon as a Liberal Administration regains power.

                      In the interim we can all enjoy tremendous schadenboners from the exploding heads.

                  • The thing is that Kickstarter makes if very clear that you’re making a donation, not an investment. You have essentially no rights or recourse if the project never gets off the ground.

                    What Trump and Congress should do is render Kickstarter obsolete by getting rid of the SEC so that an entrepreneur can easily acquire investment funding by selling shares of his company.

            • Isn’t it only reasonable to assume that women do not have penises?

    • But until they have eaten enough of their own I’ll be making lots of popcorn 🙂

    • Are all zombies leftist-progressives?
      Are the only humans left in Zombieland conservative-libertarians?

  11. If the “cold civil war” does turn hot, it will not be armies on one side taking the field against armies on the other. That’s the liberal fantasy: The gun-owning rednecks would line up on one side of the field, and the order-obeying military would line up on the other and they’d shoot at each other (with the military using tanks and planes and artillery and drones and…) until those evil gun-owning rednecks were all dead.

    The problem is a lot of those “gun-owning rednecks” were trained by that military. A lot of that military has friends and family among those gun-owning rednecks. And there’s this little thing called “fourth generation warfare” (presuming we don’t invent whole new generations). Rather than the model being Antietam, Vicksburg, Gettysburg, Atlanta, et al, the model will be Beirut and Northern Ireland, only a couple of orders of magnitude worse.

    Of course, that’s if it goes there. I really, really want to avoid it going there. Not sure if that’s possible at this point, but still “a consummation devoutly to be wished” (and, yes, I am aware of the irony of using that quote in this context).

    • If it did go there, the military wouldn’t be a unitary organization working in one direction or another. There would be some who would do whatever they were told, but there would be a large number of others who would refuse what they recognize as unconstitutional and illegal orders. And no, I don’t look forward to a future in which that would be tested. But should it come, I think Kratman’s “A State of Disobedience” would look somewhat prescient.

      • There are an astonishing number of quiet little choke points. A switch here, a valve there… and the great concentrations suddenly lack water, power, gas, etc. Coordinated it might be devastating… but uncoordinated it could be horrific as all those switches and valves are nigh-random and which are critical and which are merely annoying? It’d be like as bad as a(n aerial) bombing is by itself, a bombing with, say, 10% unexploded is an even bigger mess to have to deal with.

        • I recall that someone on the Bar mentioned having wargamed it out several years ago, and came to the conclusion that a dozen people could probably cause deaths in excess of 30 million if they knew what they were doing.

          • Didn’t Mad Mike go on to wargame that in the freehold universe? *check* Ah, yes, “The Weapon”

            • I once realized that two things in close proximity on my work commute into downtown Providence setup a quick strike against the city’s water supply and that two people could probably pull it off.

              • Local story in the SF Bay Area: After 9/11 one of the local talk show hosts, a very senior professional engineer with lots and lots of experience, realized some very vulnerable physical aspect about the cable anchorages for the Golden Gate Bridge. He quietly took it to the authorities, they quietly did stuff about said vulnerability, and only once it was taken care of did the story get out, still and to this day without any specifics.

                That vulnerability had been sitting there in plain sight since the GG bridge went up in the 1930s.

                • LOL…

                  You really don’t want to know just how true-to-life that Williamson book was, or how fragile a lot of our support systems really are.

                  Cities like Seattle and others built in rational locations? Relatively safe, from human malevolence. Mother Nature? Yeah; problematic. However, cities like Los Angeles or New Orleans? Oh, holy crap are they vulnerable to man-made disasters, some of which would be really easy to cause under the right (wrong) circumstances. And, also, due to the scale of the problems, aren’t things that the local governments or feds are really even looking at.

                  I think there have been dry runs galore, with all this, and we just haven’t noticed. All those “unrelated to anything” incidents at power substations in Southern California? Mmmmm… My paranoia is still tingling, at those. Likewise, the odd little “accident” at those nice refineries we just sold the Saudis…? Who thought that was a good thing to approve, what with that refinery being a key part of our oil export infrastructure?

                  Modern civilization is simultaneously very robust, and very fragile–Robust against things we’ve anticipated and planned for, and fragile against those Black Swan events like someone deciding to take down the electrical infrastructure in LA via the transformer substations. Buckle up, folks–Life is gonna be very interesting in parts of the US over the next few decades. Don’t pick an area that’s naturally desert to live in, I would advise, and ensure that you live in an economically and agriculturally self-sustaining region, if you can…

                  • Fascinating.
                    Other ‘unrelated to anything’ incidents like this one in 2013 up here in the Bay Area would be interesting to examine for ‘unrelated’ similarities.

                    • I’m seriously surprised that incident hasn’t been disappeared yet. If you’re bringing attention to it, it probably will be soon.

                    • It might be amusing to note that the Coyote substation just happens to be on the other side of Hwy 101 from the county shooting range on Metcalfe road, and the Sheriff’s range higher up the hill on the north side of the county range.

                  • I think that Dallas is vulnerable to Water shortage. Some counties are now purely urban that had been rural/farming in living memory. Say something like 50 to 60 years ago.

                    • Here in North Carolina we are seeing some of the effects of Green Snobbery, destroying coastal scenic views, polluting the land and, as this article explains, rendering agriculture unsustainable:

                      Big solar farms may be stressing agricultural ecosystem
                      N.C. State crop scientist Ron Heiniger says taking crop land out of production for solar has long-term impacts on overall ecosystem
                      Ron Heiniger isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty. He has spent years as a crop and soil scientist helping hard-pressed farmers to get maximum yield and quality from their crops. The N.C. State Cooperative Extension Service professor says it’s his calling in life.

                      These days Heiniger, who works at the Vernon G. James Research and Extension Center in Plymouth, worries that solar installations gobbling up prime farmland could do more to destabilize and diminish the agricultural economy of North Carolina than any naturally occurring threat that he deals with.

                      “We really don’t recognize how fragile our agriculture system is. Today it’s under stress,” mostly from low prices, and to some degree due to young people abandoning the farming life of their fathers, Heiniger said.

                      Utility-scale solar energy facilities are increasing the pressure on farming by taking land out of production needed to maintain a delicate economy of scale, viability, and profitability. At some stage the system will start to break down, but the question is when the decline reaches a point of no return, he said.

                      Some farmers struggling to make a living off the land yield to the temptation to enter a lucrative lease with solar companies, and take part or all of their fields out of production.

                      But many farmers depend on leasing neighboring land from absentee owners or non-farmers to grow crops and graze animals. Those landowners are increasingly finding it more profitable to lease to solar installations, cutting tenant farmers out of fields needed to stay in business.

                      For that reason, the spread of solar installations across the farm belt doesn’t necessarily help farmers to remain viable, as the solar industry claims. Often it makes it more difficult, Heiniger argues.

                      If farmers lack sufficient land to remain viable, they will leave the field, literally. That will create a tumbling domino effect, Heiniger said.

                      “What’s going to happen to the equipment dealer, feed retailers, fertilizer distributors, people who bring in limestone on rail cars and by the truckload?” Heiniger asked. “They’re not going to be in the business.”

                      If enough farmland is taken out of production, the infrastructure would collapse, and grain and animal production would move to other states or offshore. By the time 20-year solar installation leases expire it would be extremely difficult to recreate the agriculture infrastructure from scratch, Heiniger warns.

                      [SNIP]

                      The solar industry minimizes environmental concerns, Heiniger said. While he is neither a solar opponent nor an alarmist, he said long-term issues must be addressed with dispassionate scientific research.

                      Many solar panels are supported by galvanized steel platforms. That steel oxidizes over time and releases zinc into the soil, which can be toxic to plants at certain levels.

                      That has been documented in cases where other types of galvanized steel structures were removed, and crops didn’t grow, or didn’t fare well, Heiniger said. Significant soil remediation had to take place to return that land to production.

                      It is uncertain if the solar panel structures would have that same effect, but it is something that demands study, he said.

                      Most cropland in North Carolina must be spread regularly with alkaline limestone to neutralize their inherently acidic nature. Solar installations do not perform that practice, and after 20 years or more of nonagricultural use the acid content of soil would spike.
                      [END EXCERPT]

                      Water runoff and soil erosion are related hazards. Quelle surprise!

                    • Related reports at: https://www.carolinajournal.com/tag/solar-energy/

                      Headlines found there:
                      Moore County residents worry about solar’s long-term environmental impacts
                      ROBBINS — Julie Morgan saw the environmental hazard in her Moore County hometown created by yesteryear’s textile mill technology, and she saw the industrial materials that supported it. She hopes the contaminated remnants of the crumbled Robbins Silk Mill lead to preventive studies on what advocates hail as an industry…

                      Currituck County fed up with solar
                      Large solar projects haven’t been a good deal for Currituck County residents, says Bobby Hanig, the county commission’s chairman. The developers “have consistently tried to go back on what has been agreed upon in open meetings, and brought on extra work for county staff to ensure they are doing what…

                      Dixon asks lawmakers to study safety of outdated solar facilities
                      North Carolina has no plan for disposing of millions of tons of material from solar installations dotting the state. Rep. Jimmy Dixon, R-Duplin, has asked the legislature to study the environmental safety issues associated with closing the facilities. House Bill 319 is set…

                      State Lacks Guidelines For Safe Solar Equipment Disposal
                      RALEIGH — North Carolina has no environmental rules for shutting down solar projects safely, state officials say, and may lack sufficient facilities to dispose of the glass, steel, industrial lubricants, and toxic elements after solar panels in the state’s expanding solar industry reach the end of their useful lives. State…

                      NC is second only to California in production to solar power.

                    • Feather Blade

                      And all of that is why you put solar installations on roofs, in cities, close to where the electricity is used, on real estate that can’t effectively be used for anything else.

                      Is it, or it it not, insane to put solar plants on arable land and try to put arable land on rooftops?

                  • BobtheRegisterredFool

                    The Barfly Walt Boyes is/was some sort of controls journalist. Yeah.

                    Clock Boy.

                • I live in an area with tunnels.

        • Patrick Chester

          So… we demand their surrender or you guys unleash me in a room full of buttons and switches?

        • Isn’t there a huge problem with transportation stopped? No food or medications. I used to get the idea that I should be a farmer or live in a small town to show that I was a good conservative. I got the feeling that if you lived you weren’t one of us. You were only slightly better than them.

      • If it did go there, the military wouldn’t be a unitary organization working in one direction or another.

        Yep. There are entirely too many people, on all sides of the issue, that either don’t know or don’t care how truly ugly it would get.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        Or even pleasant.

      • I’m aware of it because of my contacts at the time. In the aftermath of the 2000 election amidst the court battles, junior officers were openly discussing what their obligations under the Constitution would be if someone stole the election. They were 100% fully aware of what was going on, and they weren’t talking about what to do if Bush came out ahead.

        My sources are fewer now, but there’s grumblings in the ranks going on about what to do if the legitimately elected president is removed in a “legal coup” for no legitimate reason. DC politicians are playing with fire.

        • We wouldn’t sink to Argentina’s level would we? I could see it happening though.

        • “In the aftermath of the 2000 election amidst the court battles, junior officers were openly discussing what their obligations under the Constitution would be if someone stole the election. ”

          Wasn’t just the junior officers. I was working on an Air Force base at the time, and comments like that were coming from full colonels and 30-year Master Sergeants.

      • Notable thing, y’all remember that rancher in Nevada where the BLM called in armed agents over a very long run grazing dispute?

        Didn’t get much airtime, but a lot of those agents informed people giving them orders a response to the effect of “that is an illegal order, go hump a near relative.”

    • The liberal fantasy, unfortunately, has its counterpart among conservatives; namely, that the gun-owning rednecks, experienced marksmen and veterans all, will be able to quickly and decisively overrun the liberal snowflakes. It’s like they’ve managed to learn nothing about how urban warfare actually works, or how determined people get when they think their backs are to the wall.
      Frankly, Beirut and Northern Ireland are the best-case scenarios if a hot civil war were to erupt in America. Think Yugoslavia as the most likely scenario, Rwanda as the worst-case.

      • However, the gun-owning rednecks wouldn’t be the ones attacking. They would be defending. And even urban warfare favors the properly prepared.

        If you’re thinking of places where the gangs have guns, those are not likely to be where the red-blue struggle occurs. And they would have a trek to reach the red areas.

        • Wonder if the snowflakes think the dusky legions of LA Raza and the Panthers are going to bravely destroy the crackers and then hand power back over to their pale & pasty ideological superiors (that was Charles Manson’s model, by the way…)?

        • “And they would have a trek to reach the red areas.”

          No, they tend to hop on the bus or light rail. If more people were aware of what the actual crime rates are in larger cities, rather than the reported crime rates, they would realize that the warm civil war has been going on for about 20 years.

          • This is actually a “thing” to look at when buying a house.

            If you have to take public transit….well, look into gated communities.

            If you do not, look for places that don’t have one in easy walking– you could tell when the public transit around our last house tried out new stops that were closer, because we suddenly had property crimes.
            I had an attempted knock-and-open robbery where they didn’t realize we were home, and tried to break down the door.
            When they realized we were (me plus kids…so no help there) home, in spite of there being no car, they ran off…but what if they hadn’t? They very well could have been on enough drugs to not notice that I had killed them until AFTER I was, also, dead.

            Oh, and where they ran off to? Out behind our house… to try the neighbor’s back door. And his shop. Then climbed the fence to try the back-door neighbor’s door…. yes, I called the police.

      • I think you’re assuming that the “gun-owning rednecks” would try to clean out the cities. I strongly suspect they wouldn’t. Instead, they’d just try to make sure the city-dwellers don’t overrun them out here in the sticks. Think siege, not house-to-house.

        • Bingo! Although some gun-owning rednecks don’t always think things through first. Conservative-libertarian gun owning rednecks then to be of the MYOB and don’t go looking for trouble. Since most superheroes don’t mind their own business, and DO go out looking for trouble (usually very easy to find), does that mean they aren’t conservatives?

          • I was never that into the superhero comic thing, mostly because the density and the length of the things never really satisfied me. I was the kid who thought that Tolkien and Herbert had it “just right” with The Lord of the Rings and Dune. Plus that, there was always something a little off-putting about the whole milieu in the superhero comics, and I never could quite put my finger on what it was until the movies started coming out. And, basically, it’s this:

            Superheroes are the fantasy of the left–Someone else is going to come in like a god, and solve all their problems for them. The antecedents and propaganda value of even the most “conservative” superhero archetypes are entirely left-wing in conception, deed, and iconography. Stop and think about it, for a second–With most superhero stories, it’s all “Man on a Horse” wish-fulfillment, come to save the day. You don’t see stories or iconography where there’s “just” some everyman guy dealing with crap because he has to. If you were to posit a truly conservative-style storyline and so forth, it would wind up looking a lot more like The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance than anything Marvel or DC has ever put out.

            I’ve gone back and looked at the whole genre with different eyes than in childhood, and while they’re still just as boring and trite, I also see that they’re predominantly subversive propaganda of the worst sort, which isn’t exactly surprising considering who most of the writers were. The recent decline in their popularity isn’t due to a sea-change in the writing and story-telling, it’s because they turned it up to eleven, and now the real face is unavoidably exposed behind the posturing.

            There are no real bourgeoisie-derived or origin superheroes; men and women who mind their own business, and just do their own thing. Although, come to think of it, carrying on with that line of thinking, even Tolkien didn’t really write that–If he had, Sauron would have come to his end after having decided he wanted dominion over the forest lands that Tom Bombadil overwatched, and ol’ Tom would have turned his ass into fertilizer for having the temerity…

            If there were truly bourgeoisie-style heroes, the stories wouldn’t be worth writing to their authors. They’ve got to get their way, in the fantasies they tell themselves, and the only way that can happen is by making the enemy some super-villain (Lex Luthor as archetypical industrialist/capitalist, anyone…?) and having their fantasy Mary Sue protagonist be the White Knight on a horse, come to save the day. It’s trite bullshit, and entirely indicative of most of the thinking these people do in daily life. “If only…” isn’t just the starting point for the Berniebros, it’s where they got most of their cultural and mental programming as kids. Bernie/JFK/Obama is their superhero, come to rule the world and save the day…

            The hero archetype is a fantasy, and like most fantasies, their number-one adherents are of the left and the statist right. Why? Because that’s how they think–Look at the whole idea behind Marxism, for an example. No real thought goes into “How does one motivate the masses to actually contribute…?”, they hand-wave the whole question aside, and go on to “From each according to their ability, to each according to their need…”. It’s the fantasy-land of a sophomoric parasite who’s never had to actually, y’know, do anything. The practicalities simply aren’t there; these are people who’ve never had to go beyond the first-order layer of a problem, seeking a long-term solution or dealing with the implications of the poorly-conceived first-order solution someone came up with on the spur of the moment.

            Had Marx ever had to actually run a factory, or even been responsible for cleaning a communal bathroom, the poor bastard would have wound up going quite mad as the tragedy of the commons overtook his efforts. He’d have also wound up starving to death. The fact that their hero never successfully did more than posture over some trite postulates, and actually accomplish something? Yeah; that point eludes them. For me to even begin to take Marx seriously, he would have had to been a guy who actually put his ideas and ideals into practice, and run some factory or other enterprise somewhere. Successfully.

            Nota bene: Marx never actually ran squat, in real life. Ever. Anywhere.

            Practical people don’t believe in deus ex machina solutions, superheroes from the sky coming in to save situations created from their own malfeasance and laziness. Instead, they do what works, and that’s a different, far less entertaining kettle of fish than daydreaming of what it would be like to be Superman, an all-powerful, all-knowing demigod. What’s ironic as hell is that the average “fan” doesn’t realize they’ve basically recapitulated and recreated the archetypes of mythology, and that while they mock the ancients for possessing their multitudinous pantheons, they’re not that much different.

            Which makes me wonder how seriously the ancients really took their soap-opera pantheons, in the first place. Maybe what we’re looking back on isn’t so much worship of the divine, but really elaborate cosplay and story-telling? At least, part of it… Some of that crap you read in the myths, and you’re thinking “Who the hell would want to encourage this crap, by worshiping these baby-killing incestuous freaks?”.

            Seriously–Zeus? Odin? Meet those guys as mundane neighbors, screwing their wives, your wife, and the kids around, and you’d run them out of the community on a rail. Or, burn them at the stake in the town square.

            TL;DR: Liberal fantasy life, and where it originates; speculation that it stems from the archetypes they pick up reading comics and most popular entertainment, these days.

            • This provides the first solid explanation to me for the superhero film craze in movies since, well, I think Iron Man.
              Hollywood is nothing if not consistent, and the Hollywood story pickers consistent pick any story that both aligns with their tropes and makes money. Looking for their betters from Krypton or Valhalla, or individuals with power from Gamma Rays or Rich Fathers Named Stark, is well in line with the Man on a White Horse memography that underlays the feudal Marxist world view: Once the Party is in control, the true betters will run things, the best will be promoted to real power, and their wisdom will guide the happy proles as they develop towards perfection.
              This also matches up with how Hollywood treats actual people; eggs and omelets and all that.
              Tracing that all back to comics makes perfect sense.

              • Anything requiring hard work and dedication is anathema to the people who rise to the top in that world; it’s all about connections and luck.

                Look at the backstories on all their true archetype heroes: Lana Turner, Marilyn Monroe–Supposedly, “discovered in drug stores”. That’s the reality they dream of, being one of the undiscovered “select”, and rising above humble circumstances. You don’t see too many “official backstories” of the stars that includes long, hard work and serving apprenticeships–It’s all Harrison Ford being “discovered” as he, the humble peasant-carpenter, installed a door at a producer’s house.

                The reality that these people create inside their own heads is how we get this distorted crap in the media; they can’t even make out the truths they’re living while they are living them. They really think the world works the way it does in their stories, and the superhero movies are a huge indicator.

                Note the way all the damage is handwaved aside in most of them, reset in between movies portraying mere months or years between them, yet somehow all the cityscapes that were destroyed in one movie are rebuilt and thriving in the next; no allowances made for what people would really do if Superman were truly throwing Zod around like a giant wrecking ball, which would be to move the hell out of the cities and disperse into the countryside like refugees from a war zone–Which is precisely what all those cities would be.

                The childish nature of the movies is a reflection of the childishness of the people making them. Likewise, with their politics. For the life of me, I can’t even begin to comprehend how the political opinions of a movie star are even of interest, let alone real import. I look back on the days when actors were considered the scum of the earth, and not fit for polite company, and I suddenly understood the wisdom of the ancients…

              • It does make a lot of sense, doesn’t it?
                Someone – can’t recollect who, my mind runs that way – observed that feudalism is the default setting of human society. Always some all-powerful lords on top, a few comfortable clerisy-enablers-managerial class to aid and assist, and the rest all serfs and cannon-fodder. That said serfs are obedient and productive goes without saying. Communism-Socialism is just the same old feudalism in shiny new robes. There was a history of the Soviet commander-class during the reign of Stalin by a writer called Simon Sebag-Montifiore (British, despite the surname) called Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar. It was horrifying reading, actually. But the subtitle said it all – Stalin was just another autocratic and brutal czar. Only the terminology had changed, not anything of the power, pomp and privilege.
                An independent and prosperous middle class is an obstacle to that end. So that is why the prospective new nobles and their aspirant clerisy must destroy the productive middle class.

                • That was one of my main objections to Elizabeth Moon’s Paksennarion series, to be honest: Feudalism simply doesn’t work that way, with Girdish types establishing peasant self-defense forces and local militia chapter-houses. It’s a nice fantasy, but… Crap, there’s not a single example of something like that really happening, anywhere, in human history. Which, I strongly suspect, means that it’s unlikely as hell–The unenlightened peasantry simply don’t have enough surplus to put enough time, effort, and money into something like the Girdish granges she postulates. There are a few edge cases, like the Swiss and the various Hussite-like things, but it’s notable that damn near every feudal lord within reach of those movements instinctually moved to crush them as soon as they could.

                  It was ever thus; it likely will ever be as this.

                  • Switzerland happened. Lake Ladoga happened. A lot of small republics happened. Rome happened, and survived because it did not stay small. Ditto Venice.

                    • Mmmm… I’d have to disagree, and point out that all of those cases featured deep differences between the world of the Girdish order and what happened in them. Rome started out as a traditional feudal-style oligarchy, and never really got past that origin. Venice? Again, an oligarchy sans any from-the-bottom-up peasant militia. Switzerland might be a good case, but they managed what they did only due to the terrain and the ineptitude of the Hapsburgs. You’ll note that the same terrain, with the same relative differences, did little good for the Helvetii some 1500 years earlier against the Romans.

                      The Girdish order as Moon describes it is something that hasn’t happened anywhere in our history, and is damned unlikely. Peasants simply cannot make the leap to military dominance until and unless the technology (gunpowder) enables it. The Hussites were only marginally successful because of the gun and crossbow; I’d speculate that their tactics would not have fared much better against the aristocracy than the earlier migrant barbarian tribes did against the Romans.

                      There’s not a lot of room for a citizen militia until firearms, considering the amount of training and effort it takes to field combat forces. Some few of the Greek states managed it, but even then, there was a huge underclass of helots and slaves supporting the supposed “citizen militia”, so… The yeoman Girdisman thing is pretty much a non-starter, in terms of actual history.

                      It is a lovely idea, though, I’ll give it that.

                    • The other thing Kirk (and lots of fantasy writers) fail to take into account is the effect of actual working magic and objective proof of the existence of deities. Kind of changes the whole dynamic.

                  • “Peasants simply cannot make the leap to military dominance until and unless the technology (gunpowder) enables it.”

                    Oh, I suspect they could. It depends on resource availability, and motivation. You need enough food for surplus so you don’t spend ALL your time trying to get enough to eat. You need time to train; that in feudal societies was often consumed by religious observations: keeps ’em busy and harmless. You need trainers, and you need some form of weapons to bring you close to parity with your opponents weapon systems. And you need to have the peasants clearly understand, and want to avoid, the consequences of not resisting.

            • Michael Houst

              I don’t mock our ancients for possessing their multitudinous pantheons. It apparently worked well enough that I’m here. And I haven’t seen any evidence that they were anymore wrong or right that we are with monotheism. Ancestor worship still works as a belief system in the Far East. Animism still works too.

              As for Zeus and Odin, they wouldn’t be run out of town on a rail. They’re just doing what everyone else is already doing, pretending the rules don’t apply to them.

            • Superheroes are the fantasy of the left …

              You need to read you some Steve Ditko, then. Seriously dedicated Ayn Rand-phile. Creator (essentially) of Spiderman, Dr. Strange, The Creeper, The Question, Mr. A and The Hawk and the Dove.

              • Feather Blade

                …Is is just me, or does anyone else have the urge to slap The Dove across the face and tell him to snap out of it?

                • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                  Sane people would want to slap Dove. 👿

                • I’m not saying Ditko had a bias for or against any of his characters, but let’s just say he seemed to have a better intrinsic understanding of Hawk’s philosophy than of Dove’s.

                  • There’s a reason for that:
                    “A “pacifist male” is a contradiction in terms. Most self-described “pacifists” are not pacific; they simply assume false colors. When the wind changes, they hoist the Jolly Roger.” — Lazarus Long

                    “An authentic buck pacifist has rarely been seen off Earth, and it is doubtful that any have survived the trouble there…regrettable, as they had the biggest mouths and the smallest brains of any of the primates.” — Lazarus Long

                    It’s hard to write a viewpoint that alien.

            • BobtheRegisterredFool

              I think it is more correct to say that superheroes are a development of vigilante crime fiction, with worldbuilding that combines two disparate elements. a) A society that appears to match our own in legal system and form of government. This is solely for reasons of immersion, the ones where the world building better matches the second assumption probably don’t sell as well, and are harder to write. b) A society where vigilantism broadly makes sense as a way to handle crimes, and where noble champions effectively the same as an ancient Greek Hero are unchallenged.

              Realistically, the society should either show the results of so dysfunctional a mundane criminal justice system, or show the result of effectively being an aristocratic despotism, or both. Or, clearly show that supers are an edge case, most crime can be adequately handled mundanely, and there are reasons a super army can’t just roll over conventional infantry.

              Delusional in its foundation, but not necessarily founded that way.

              • of course they are, Batman first appeared in Detective Comics, after all… and not in the first issue.

            • I disagree. See Spiderman.

          • Since most superheroes don’t mind their own business, and DO go out looking for trouble (usually very easy to find), does that mean they aren’t conservatives?

            Nah, they go out looking for trouble like we all go out looking for fights— me, at least.

            You know how some twerp can go on and on and on about whatever SJW thing is big this week, but if you say “hey, I don’t agree,” much less something stronger, then you “started a fight”?

            Same thing with superheroes.

          • Most “libertarians” my acquaintance are selfish enough to think that way. Most conservatives of my acquaintance recognize that it’s better to get rid of the crocodile early instead of hoping he’ll be satisfied with just the neighbors.

        • Hopefully, but I could see some of the more…radical groups trying to clear out the cities.

          • And that would be a tiny minority. The great majority of us just want to be left alone, and would get fairly extreme about that desire.

            • True, and I agree with this. But.

              There is a but.

              Consequences. Infrastructure. Scarcity. Just-in-time ordering. Logistics. Mission creep. And desperate people. Nobody here wants to get too specific, for obvious reasons. We do not want things to get to that point, really.

              If you haven’t already, read the words of the wisest dog I know of:

              http://thelawdogfiles.blogspot.com/2017/01/meditations-on-monsters.html

              I’m worried, a bit, about the increasing violence on the left. I’m worried a WHOLE LOT MORE about what we’re going to do about it, what we’re going to become, if it comes to that point. And I would really, really like for it not to go that far. I love my country, disfunctional as it is. It’s a far better place to live and raise a family than, say, Beirut.

              • Don’t take what I said to mean that we won’t defend ourselves and those we’re responsible for with extreme measures. I can guarantee that we will. But if those desperate people come looking for help and are willing to work, they won’t be turned away (in general; no one can say it would never happen). If they come looking to loot and pillage, they’re much more likely to meet the rural 3Ss–shoot, shovel, and shut-up.

                • Oh, I don’t believe that was ever in doubt. The thing is, well, consequences. Are there times and places for shoot it, shovel it, and shutupaboutit? Yes. Do I want them to be here, if there is any way around it? Emphatically NO!

                  You might find that your local sheriff, or police chief, would tend to take the side of lawful defence being justified. I’m a mighty big fan of the rule of law. It’s a fine thing to have, and a benefit to all who embrace it. Respect for the law and traditions thereof make us a better country and a finer people, for it. Let’s not turn away from it so soon.

                  Triple S sounds too much like vigilante justice for my mind. It ain’t that I object to the killin of those that need it, it’s the not notifying the local authorities, so as they can be on the lookout for further goblin problems. I can guarantee you that such as them won’t be near as hobbled and bound up with regulation that they *can’t* put a few ounces of lead where it makes a difference. Give ’em a chance. They might well surprise you.

                  • No worries there. A deputy sheriff lives catty-cornered across the street. 🙂

                  • “Triple S sounds too much like vigilante justice for my mind. It ain’t that I object to the killin of those that need it, it’s the not notifying the local authorities, so as they can be on the lookout for further goblin problems”

                    Except that vigilante justice is almost automatically the result of a situation where the local authorities can’t be trusted to provide actual justice.

              • Some of that, we can work against– my personal #1 for it is to remove the tax penalty for having stock on hand, which will make “just in time” ordering a matter of capital management rather than tax management.

                I want stores to go “….you know, how about we just keep one or two of these pretty rare parts on hand in the back? The computer means we won’t lose it, and they’re cheap right now.”

                • Part of that tax penalty comes from taxing the square footage of the business. You HAVE to have space to store that stock, even if it’s a slow mover.

                • There used to be good reasons contra that, not too many years ago down here. You could borrow money against stock on hand, and use that capital to grow your business, assuming you had the consistent, solid sales/income from said stock to back it up. That changed somewhere around ’08, if I recall correctly. No hints as to why.

                  I am totally behind removing that idiotic penalty, though. Idiotic regulations in general, actually… *chuckle* Perhaps we can get some of that going on, if the spirit of de-regulation gets moving again.

              • I’m worried about the normalization/glorifying of random violence, too.

        • Exactly right.

          The rednecks don’t want to overrun the cities. They just don’t want to be RULED by the cities (and their taxpayer-funded vote plantations) anymore. As a bonus, they’d like the cities to see what it’s like trying to survive without the things rednecks make. Like, say, food.

          Wall up the cities. Siege and blockade.

          • If we wanted to live in urban rabbit hutches, we’d just move there…

          • The problem is the infrastructure. You can’t travel terribly far on the interstates, or get to any major port, without crossing through areas that are likely to be controlled or influenced by the rioters. Telecommunications are also vulnerable. ARPANET was designed to survive a nuclear war, but the modern internet isn’t ARPANET and if you take out enough of the major routers, almost all of which are in major cities, the network will collapse. If the rioting became widespread enough, America would be effectively cut up into a few dozen enclaves and largely isolated from the rest of the world. That would do not-good things to the economy, which would result in a great deal of pressure on whatever governments formed to Do Something about the rioters.

            • You can’t get far on the interstates, but re-routing around the cities and shifting to using the bypasses and back roads wouldn’t be that difficult.
              That having been said, the ports and telecommunications would be a problem.

              • The problem is that the back roads have a significantly lower capacity. The fragments of America wouldn’t be completely isolated, but their economies would have to bootstrap into self-sufficiency very quickly.

        • Pfft. Drop the high tension lines, blow the aqueducts, and California is yours Same for NewYork, Boston and DC.

    • > The gun-owning rednecks would line up on one side of the
      > field, and the order-obeying military would line up on the other

      The problem is the “order-obeying military” is mostly the officers, and not all of those. Demographically, the military *are* the rednecks, just with uniforms and a retirement plan.

      Liberals tend to confuse the military with the police. And maybe doormen. All those uniforms look alike to them. But while the doormen are their servants and the police are (largely) their toadies, the military aren’t the obedient robo-goons the liberals seem to think they are.

      • Uhm, yeah… About that?

        The military ain’t what it was, and the reasons for that stem from a bunch of the social engineering attempts over the last twenty-thirty years. You may have missed this data point, but the propensity to enlist numbers have been dropping in the key demographics they used to be reliably high in. Minor little things, y’know, like “Hey, your roommate might be gay, and we don’t care how you feel about that…”, and “Hey, we’re gonna put physically incapable women into your job/workspace, consequences be damned…” have done a lot to drastically reduce the enthusiasm with which those unreconstructed types have generally approached military life.

        Bradley Manning ring any bells? How about the latest little OPSEC-ignoring snowflake, Reality Winner? Do you think those two little freaks are outliers, or the mean, these days?

        The military is in the process of being converted from what it was to something else, something we don’t know the reaction triggers for. Have you paid attention to how the Air Force is running witch-hunts for evangelical Christians in the command structure? Wonder why that’s been happening?

        Don’t take things for granted. The Social Justice Warrior mobs are like termites, nibbling away at the foundations of the society we bought into and like. They want to erode the foundation, and force a total reconstruction of the edifice, although they don’t have the slightest clue how that is going to go or what it will look like. They just want “different”.

        • Been hearing about such for years; but I always reckoned I’d be dismissed as a conspiracy theorist bigot anti-atheist paranoid critter if I brought it up. After all, its hearsay, and no proof. But I always thought that if you wanted to weaken something, deliberately putting in termites would be one of the better way to do it.

      • People also neglect that the combat arms are disproportinately Caucasian and conservative

    • Paul Koning

      One problem with the liberal notion of an “order-obeying military” is that they are — not surprisingly — confusing the German or Russian military with the American one.
      The American military is based on an oath that begins with defending the Constitution, and includes the requirement to obey all *lawful* orders. Which translates to a duty laid on each member — officer, NCO, or private — to judge, personally, whether any given order is in fact lawful.
      It’s not a surprise that there exists an organization named “Oathkeepers” which emphasizes this. People whose principles are structured this way are quite unlikely to side with the totalitarian left when things finally blow up. So the most likely outcome of the liberal fantasy is that those few who didn’t starve when their cities were quarantined get rounded up quickly by those very military they thought would be on their side, for summary judgment of a charge of treason.

      • Well, these are the same idjits who were at some pains to demolish following orders as a defense. They’ve drilled that into 3-4 generations worth.

  12. We’ve used Weather Underground for decades, since they first came online. They’ve always had more accurate predictions and data for out here.

    Also, the name makes me giggle every time I open the app/website. Somewhere, a radical leftist is glowering that an actual weather website got that name.

  13. “Keep your eyes open. Keep your powder dry. Stay armed in any way you can stay armed. If by occupation, place of residence, whatever, you can’t carry, make sure you have something you can use to defend yourself. Be imaginative. An ornamental walking stick can be a mace with the appropriate weighting. So can an umbrella.”

    Well said. I carry everywhere I’m legally able to, and even when I can’t be armed I’m always alert. Can’t afford to have your head in the clouds or, more likely these days, buried in a smartphone.

    When I used to work in Manhattan, I carried a laptop bag or satchel to and from the office. Always had one of those big 3D Maglites in there. Served as a great source of light if and when the power went out in the building or the subway, but it also made a great weapon, and one most wouldn’t look twice at.

    • A big, cheap, steel coated mag-light type light is our go-to “you got a new to you car, grats!” gift– even I can grab it out of the map-holder slot to the left of the wheel and slam it all the way to the window on the far side, and I’m a runt.

      Yes, I’ve tried it. Your brain is weapon #1.

  14. You went to The Weather Channel? Why?. In ye olden days, when science was on Discovery and history on History, there was weather on the weather channel. We even had a hook up in our operations center to keep tabs on weather during major outages. But that was then. These days I get weather from several sources on the Internet. That’s The Weather Channel’s excuse for not carrying weather, but if they’re not carrying weather, what’s the point of wasting time on them? Watching paint dry is so much more interesting.

    • Just weather.com. Because it was on the computer. That’s about it.

      • * Ox check browser…

        Ah. weather.gov so NWS.
        Well, why not? Consider who (all) is paying for it, might as well use it.

        • What’s great is you can customize it. Start with entering your zip code and go from there. At work I have one set up with every county in our territory. Don’t know if a weather matrix is available everywhere in the US, but it’s handy for getting some idea when to expect adverse weather.

          Since we’re in Hurricane Season, another good resource is the National Hurricane Center at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov. Weather Underground is now owned by The Weather Channel, but you can look at models and a bit more info.

          • I’m pretty sure you can get the information anywhere there’s a zip code. I used to use NWS all the time when I worked in radio. You can also sign up for alerts for whatever the bad weather situation for your locale might be.

          • Ah! That explains it!

          • The models are there on the NWS site, it’s just a lot harder to dig them out.

            No idea why this is the case. You’d think wether geeks would put their favorite geeky stuff up on display. And I know for a fact that NWS GS-whatever employees do a lot of their own coding on the NWS web site, so it’s not necessarily political overseers keeping that stuff buried. Possibly it’s NWS HQ directives. I’ll have to ask next chance I get.

      • We use Intellicast for radar, and weather.gov for forecasts. We’re signed up for alerts from weather.com, but that’s it.

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      Yeah, our Canadian Weather Network is getting that way too. I only watch to get the day’s forecast. And to admire the weather babes.

      • I stopped watching the Canadian Weather network decades ago. More about “news” than actual weather. Used to focus on three different reports from as many sources to get an idea about weekend weather when I was flying (many, many years ago now). I always found the weather network to the the least accurate of all my sources. The government weather services is all I check since that’s all they post on their page is weather, forecast, and warnings. No politics or anything silly like that.

        • I really miss whatever service the first FBO I used to work at used for Pilots planning. The second FBO had a different service and the free version was less helpful. When up at SWA working, I could get a few of the Ops Agents to poke about their weather feeds. It all used mostly NWS data but some were better at others in how they let you look at that data.

      • I look out the window.

        Its Ontario. If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes. Also, forecast is always wrong. Always.

        • If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes

          I do not recall ever being anywhere where that was NOT claimed.

          • Not on Guam – but that’s the only place.
            I could predict the weather a week or more out, with ease: High approaching 90, lows in the 60s, very good chance of afternoon rain showers. And the occasional “Uh oh, storm a-coming!”

            • My first winter in upstate New York I – bred on the Front Range of Colorado – scoffed at the weatherman predicting a foot of snow on Thursday. Thursday rolled around and sure enough there was 11″ on the deck. I learned that it’s much easier to predict the weather when you can see the storm systems rolling across the continent.

          • Phoenix AZ. Blue sky and sunshine every f-ing day, no matter what. Leave your lawnmower outside, because it will -never- get rained on.

            That dog poo on the sidewalk? It is going to still be there in three months.

            • Drought often? How do you get water?

              • Sun Valley is funny. Its a desert, but the silver mine in Scottsdale closed because it filled up with water.

                • kenashimame

                  One of the first things an Arizonan learns is to disassociate the concepts of “River” and “Water.”

                  • Which can be potentially lethal during the rainy season.

                    I remember being in the Mojave, watching a far-off distant thunderstorm that was probably ten-fifteen miles away, and then nearly getting washed into Barstow by the resultant flash-flood coming down the wadi at us. Had not a more desert-wise member of the group said something, we might have been bedded down when it hit about a half-hour later.

                    We never had a cloud over us, and the sun shone brightly throughout.

                    • kenashimame

                      It’s not the native or assimilated Arizonans who don’t understand the idea of upstream storms equals downstream floods; it’s the newbies who haven’t disassociated the ideas of “river” and “water” who assume that since the low ground named “river” or “wash” is dry it must always be dry.

    • Patrick Chester

      MTV used to play music videos an awful lot in olden days.

      • If you remember that, you are SUPER old. ~:D

        • Dang. I get SUPER just when it’s too old to be much use. *chuckle*

        • Some of us ancients even recall the time before MTV existed at all.

          • And get off my lawn/

          • We got cable TV the year after MTV sprang forth.

          • Did you watch Friday Night Videos too?

            • Yes. That had only a limited time so had to be more selective and thus it seemed to be of generally higher quality. Generally… I do recall that MTV did have some good stuff FNV did not, but the percentage was different.

              • Slightly before MTV there was a recurring HBO program called Video Jukebox, offering a half hour of selected music videos every month. Wiki says it was more or less concurrent with MTV:

                Video Jukebox is an American television program that aired from 1981 to 1986 on HBO. It was a monthly series that showcased music videos from the popular recording artists of the time such as Duran Duran, Michael Jackson, Prince, Culture Club, Linda Ronstadt, David Bowie, Bow Wow Wow, Kim Wilde, Hall & Oates, Madonna, Blondie, Rush, and The Human League. A typical episode of Video Jukebox consisted of seven or eight music videos and lasted roughly 30 minutes, and the lineup changed in the middle of each month.

                During the late 1970s (and before the MTV network debuted), HBO was already airing one or two music videos (or “promotional clips” as they were known at the time) as filler in between their feature films and other series. These short clips also carried the Video Jukebox moniker. When Video Jukebox premiered as a half-hour series in December 1981, HBO was reaching more households than MTV (which had been launched only four months earlier), so a video that aired on Video Jukebox may have received a little more exposure than it would on MTV, a claim that would be short-lived as MTV quickly gained more cable markets by around 1983.

                Clearly, with less time to fill they could be more selective in choosing clips.

                I believe such clips were airing in London record stores by 1980 as point of sell promotional videos, but cannot attest to how prevalent these were, nor whether they were on British or Continental broadcast television.

          • Patrick Chester

            I guess I’m not *that* ancient since I was in grade school before MTV existed.

        • Patrick Chester

          I was a kid when MTV first aired. Now I’m… not a kid.

  15. Christopher M. Chupik

    “There is still no proof it can make an omelet.”

    Ah, but there’s plenty of theory predicting that it should.

  16. Anyone else been experiencing a distinct sensation of deja vu of late?
    Struck me the other day that the current political kerfuffle bears a terribly strong resemblance to what we went through with Sad Puppies, just writ large. The left, the socialist progressives, the true believers, all were almost there, basking in the glory of their complete takeover of publishing, the media, education. Just one more Hugo/election with the right and proper winners and the takeover would be complete. And then the rabble would have to queue up and behave, mind the dictates of their betters. Sing praises to the all powerful narrative.
    And then we ungrateful wretches through a sabo in the gears and it all came tumbling down. The Hugos have been outed as blatantly corrupt, and the Dragon awards are well outside the reach of the literary SF crowd. And the country is being run by a, horror of horrors, business person, a buffoon with no class instead of the rightful successor to the most wondermus POTUS ever.
    So of course the right people are suffering a nervous breakdown. And when that happens a few simply slip into catatonia, but the rest become increasingly violent. Cases in point: Kathy Griffin, Shakespeare in the Park, numerous destructive antifa protests. And of course the sincere belief that Trump could not have possibly won fairly, he must have cheated and once the proof has been found he and all his cronies will be driven from office and Hillary will be installed in his place, or better yet Barack will have to come back and save us with martial law and a new even better Paris treaty.
    Now having channeled the mindset of the typical socialist progressive I simply must have a hot shower with a stiff bristle brush and lye soap.

    • One covfefe after another, really.
      They just seem to get bigger as time goes on.

      • I know it’s a vain wish, but I really wish that the Fast & Furious gun scandal would have gotten even 1/4 of the news coverage that the covfefe typo has received. I’m tired of people telling me that the Obama administration was scandal free. It’s crazy (even knowing all the whys and wherefores) how much the press jumps on every detail of Trump’s administration and ignored some pretty big deal issues of the Obama years.

        • Obama’s administration was scandal free — as “scandal” is all about establishment press coverage and the press had no interest in covering that. The biggest scandal of the Obama Administration was the MSM’s playing the dog that didn’t bark in the night.

          All other scandals of that era are trivial, including the damage perpetrated in their zeal to get a “deal” with the Iranians. (See: “ZEAL FOR THE DEAL” CAUSED OBAMA TO DISMANTLE UNITS TARGETING IRAN TERROR FINANCING)

          Just as the only real scandal (thus far) of the Trump Administration has been the MSM hyperventilating over the possibility there might be a scandal.

      • Is that a real word? It sounds made up.

    • the country is being run by a, horror of horrors, business person, a buffoon with no class instead of the rightful successor

      Being deemed classless in comparison with Hillary has got to hurt.

      • I remember that class from elementary school. Those were the kids with the rusty zippers and the yellow tennis shoes.

        What was it Marx said? [clickety] “I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member.”

        [Groucho, not Karl…)

    • Uncle Lar,

      Decontamination Booth Four is open.

      Someone will escort you there shortly.

      • please ignore that the other three booths are labelled ‘disintegration booth’. We got them on sale cheap on Eminiar VII.

    • And the latest, tried to take out House Majority Whip Steve Scalise this morning, along with as many bystanders as he could take.
      Assailant is now a corpse, thank goodness.
      Best wishes for the recovery of those hit.

  17. BobtheRegisterredFool

    Raving incoherently:

    Even granting there is a problem, Paris accord isn’t any sort of solution. Decreasing man caused CO2 means decreasing humans or making the same number of humans poorer and more miserable. Paris isn’t an enforceable way of doing either. No treaty between so many powers can be. That China and India sign on mean it is nonsense. The feasible choices are sustaining subjugation or extermination. Extermination has higher up front costs, but is more affordable in the long run. tl;dr Paris accord is pointless because it doesn’t depopulate the old world. Trump would be wiser to seek other remedies.

    Cold civil war, sure. We are probably going to see a fair amount of that in a more active phase.

    I’ve hopes we won’t see bad bloodshed. Why aren’t Democrats killing hundreds of adults in organized conspiracies? After WWII, the veterans had seen some very bad things, and did not want to let them happen again. There was a large capable cohort willing to act on that belief. The Democrats got out of that business. Okay, the WWII veterans are a pretty trivial portion of the capable fraction of America these days. My guess, going by how few atrocities of that sort and scale I’ve seen evidence that the Democrats have gotten away with recently, is that an effective majority of capable Americans respect and oppose certain dangers. I never feared a Trump coup d’etat because I do not think Trump can recruit enough loyalty from the necessary very capable men for them to be willing to go to jail for his self aggrandizement. I suspect that there is effectively a violent majority that loves peace, and will resist escalation. I think Hillary was our best chance for the combination of power, drive, and delusional thinking to kick something off, and we may have missed her.

  18. Lately I’ve been having the feeling like the time I drove across a seemingly sound bridge, only to hear alarming pinging noises about halfway across. Yes, things have been worse in general before. This time, though,we have a struggle for what remains of representative government in this country going on right before our eyes. That’s the whole push-back going on right now. Oh, Democrats and their mouthpieces tart it up as being about Trump, but it all comes down to a very small geographic part of this country telling the much larger geographic portion “How dare you even think you have a say in running this country? Shut up and be governed.”

    I’m surprised. I thought Trump would go in and it would be business as usual, and then there would be disillusionment. Instead, we have this arrogant push-back as the entrenched interests essentially attempt to overturn the election. In the long-term that diffuses disillusionment in our form of government. In the short term I fear things could get hot. Not a classic Civil War with fronts, but Bleeding Kansas writ large.

    I do not look forward to it. Not one little bit. Yet I fear that’s exactly what we’re going to see.

    • “Shut up and be governed ruled.”
      FIFY

    • The big worry is a bleeding Kansas writ large might encourage people to engage in the kind of physical separation needed to have a real “armies in the field” type Civil War.

      • Bloody Kansas is probably what the whole thing would look like, and I suspect it’s would initially start off along racial lines when the welfare benefits get cut off and before the inner cities start to starve. There’s going to be a point on the curve where they’re still able to function and before starvation effects set in, and that’s going to be when they go out a-raiding on their more prosperous suburban/rural surrounding regions where there’s still food to be found.

        Note that it will at first look racial, and that’s going to drag in the lefty social-justice types, some of whom will no doubt act as postern-gate openers to the raiders, and that’s where the internal purges would get going.

        The reality that all this conflict is really between the productive classes and the non-productive parasite classes is going to be hidden; the upper parasites are going to use the lower parasites as justification/tools to rape the productive classes of whatever level. The unfortunate fact is that just enough of the unproductive lower class is possessed of higher melanin content in their skins will serve as camouflage for what’s really going on, and will likely lead to some really unfortunate side-effects and solutions.

        Assuming the whole thing isn’t fixed by some Deus ex Machina like spaceborn industry going big, or an asteroid strike. Hell, maybe we’ll get both…?

        The recent “revolution in fracking” kinda gives me some hope that we’ll muddle through all this without it all blowing up along the speculated lines, but who the hell knows? You get the feeling our script is written by some George R.R. Martin type, and he’s just stringing us along until the White Walkers do come out of the North and reduce us all to a fine paste…

      • Read Kurt Schlicter’s new book, Indian Country, where he posits exactly that.

  19. Civil War requires a greater separation than we’re likely to see happen, given the discomforts of moving and the inconvenience of shooting your neighbors. Property values really go in the crapper once that starts happening.

    Then there’s the fact that we’ve been selecting hysterical idiots to do our TV and Clickbait News sites and then reinforcing their tendency to run about like Ted Baxter- with a toupee fire.

    It helps if you keep in mind that a) people on the internet tend, like gibbons in heat, to display their heinies far more readily than they would in real life and b) most of those protesting mobs you see in the news are artificial constructs of paid shills.

    *Of MTM fame, in case you can’t place the name.

    • I still know people who believe that there’s some official agency that approves “the news”, so the news must be true. Nothing will dissuade them; it’s something they don’t remember learning, but they’re willing to go down in flames defending it.

      The last election cycle was proof that a largeish group of Americans either disbelieve “the news” entirely, or regard it as some kind of soap opera that has nothing to do with their lives.

      • I loong ago decided that “Teh News” was simply what somebody wanted me to believe. After that I started watching news with the attitude of “why would they want me to believe that?”

        • I once observed that if there was really a Secret Cabal running the world, they weren’t doing a very good job of it.

          My interlocutor replied, “You’re assuming they would value peace and prosperity.”

          Hmm…

          • There was an article in the old Space Gamer elevating Wargamers from merely a group the Illuminati groups in Illuminati could control to one of the great factions running the world.

            They won by making the game last a minimum number of turns because it was all a game to them.

          • It worked for the Brits managing the Afghan tribes during the Raj. “Lets you an’ him fight” has long been a successful strategy for those eager to hold their coats.

      • The last election cycle was proof that a largeish group of Americans either disbelieve “the news” entirely, or regard it as some kind of soap opera that has nothing to do with their lives.

        And that’s what’s got the Left completely freaked out. There have been some studies that have said that the real political center of the country is approximately Kentucky, and that the Democrat bias in the media is good for something like 5-10% nationally. If the Progressives lose that much support, they’re done as a national political force. Nancy Pelosi, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren will all either have to find real jobs or be consigned to the back bench, giving speeches about the evils of capitalism on the floor at 3am because that’s when nobody more important than them wants to preen.

        • OMG! Under NO circumstances put Nancy Pelosi, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren on any bench what-so-ever. You want them making laws by court decree?

          Yeah, I know what you meant. But the image just popped up there,

  20. My wife is from a country where a civil war just wouldn’t happen. Until it did, and she’s the only one left from her family. When she says that a lot of the things happening here, now, are kind of like how things started there, I take it more seriously than you do. Saying it’s “nonsense” and it won’t happen here is naive. It already happened here before and there’s no reason to believe this country is so special that it won’t happen again.

    • I cannot shake the suspicion that the Left and their Antifas cohort imagine themselves as the Hutus and us the Tutsi should it ever become necessary to cleanse the country.

      I do not think that will go as they expect. They find violence very exciting and stimulating while for most of our side it is just another day at the office. Warriors routinely get their comeuppance from soldiers.

      • At a Superbowl party I listened to a girl who lectured everyone about how to get violent and punch a Nazi and that it was coming to that.

        Now, she is trans and a rollerderby vet so she’s more used to violence than most. Still, it took all that was in me not to walk up behind her, grab her while tripping her, and use my strength and her momentum to knock her unconscious on the counter corner she was standing next to.

        That is the kind of thing I mean by engaging in violence with those for whom it is a way of life is stupid. I do not use it as an everyday tool but I was more prepared than her (much less her audience). For a lot of them this will not end well despite all their posturing.

        In no small part because they believe their own posturing.

        • Many people think that because they’ve done aerobic boxing they know how to throw a punch. Not only do they not know how to throw a punch, they don’t realize that what really counts is the ability to take a punch.

          • And the ability to still fight after landing the punch.

            It was always interesting to see people the first time they actually struck something. It was like the look I got explaining boxer’s fractures (had ’em).

            • The punching of boards in martial arts classes isn’t just a cool trick for impressing people. It teaches you about actually hitting something. Without padded gloves on.

            • Yeah. Getting punched in the face hurts. Being willing to risk getting punched in the face *again* by putting your fists up and throwing a few of your own is not for everyone.

              The thing is, while many on the left may encourage violence and support those who do it, not many can actually handle it when the target hits *back.* They need numbers, weapons, and anonymity. They need the kind of solidarity that comes from knowing your buddies have your back when it counts. They need training. They need leadership. *shakes head*

              They don’t have any of that, in quantity, because the left seems to have made a habit of working through catspaws and proxies. They don’t lead. They don’t trust. And they don’t work very well together (yeah, the popcorn moments just keep coming *chuckle*).

              Without an external enemy to unite them, they turn on themselves. That seems to be why it happens in cities- no real obvious target to pull them together. It started during the Obama years. They were getting everything they wanted, it was just too slow! One leftist of my acquaintance said to me, “Obama is just too much of a puss. He’s letting the Republicans push him around!” This was *just* after Obamacare passed.

              The fractures have been getting deeper. Without internal coherence (the narrative that repeatedly contradicts itself harms them here), discipline is tough to acquire. Honor is right out. There’s quite the whiff of desperation going around… And that can be a concern.

              There are problems on the right, too. Republicans, ah, the ‘pubs… Well. They sure as heck ain’t perfect. If we can get them to do the right things, it’ll be a good start. Heck, electing Trump, much as I don’t like the guy, is a pretty good start, too. If we can get things rolling *without* marching in to Washington to knock some sense into ’em, as much as some of us would like to, all the better. *chuckle*

              • It’s why boxing is a required class at the service academies. Or was in the 1970s- maybe it isn’t now. And if the instructor determined you and your close to same size partner weren’t actually exchanging blows, you both got matched with someone bigger…

                • Still was in the late 80s. All 4 years we had a combat class – Boxing, Wrestling, Judo, Unarmed Combat (where it got dirty).

              • Dreadlocked bitch from Berkeley (?) riots is a good example of ‘can’t handle getting hit back.’ She was happy to attack people with weapons and bottles, but as soon as someone she attacked punched her back in the face, suddenly she turned into a wailing victim screaming for help.

                • I laughed so hard at that video…she was going to punch a 100 Nazis…she didn’t last long enough to punch one.

                • “Hey cracker! You be smart and just stay down there.”
                  White guy looks up, massages the back of his neck, and continues to rise.
                  “Caught me by surprise. Never claimed to be smart, just plain stubborn. Let’s see how good you are when my back isn’t turned.”
                  “You looking at a heap o’ hurt dude.”
                  The old retired marine just gave a slight smile.

                  Would have been good for last Sunday’s vignette except it’s 64 words long.

              • while many on the left may encourage violence and support those who do it, not many can actually handle it when the target hits ‘back.’

                Just sayin’ …


                Blindsided 57-year-old Australian journalist 1, antifa [expletives] 0

              • You know the…sorry, going to mangle this, only read some short-stories… Khzin thing about “scream and leap”?

                Not THAT bad of a tactic, for after you’ve been hit– especially if you’re not very big or fast. If they got the drop on you, they’re probably faster than you, they’re not stunned, and they’ve also got a chance for having buddies ready to catch you if you try to run away.

                But if you get the pattern into your head that “I just got hit, I hurt, SCREAM AND ATTACK!!!” then you’ve got a chance.

                Depending on time and place, “f*** you, I’m Millwall!”

                • Oh heck yes. Hit back. Hitting back is always better than hoping the one assaulting you will suffer an attack of decency and fellow feeling. Fight tooth and nail. Once you’re tagged, you are in a fight whether you want it or not.

            • Yeah as messed up as i am, i can still take a lot of punches, and i guarantee my pain tolerance is higher than the average male sjw/antifa/progturd. And I’m not going to punch them in the face, I’m going to break things.

              (yes kids this is why Draven needs to get out of CA)

              • Yeah, unless I’m out for the count, I’m not stopping.

                That has nothing to do with some sort of bragging, it has to do with “I have been seriously hurt before, it’s not a stopping shock to me.”

                I know that white-noise, everything is crystal clear but can’t quite reach you thing when stuff really, really hurts. (smashed my hand; didn’t break any bones, but…have you looked a nerve charts?)

                This is part of what the secondary explosions in terror attacks are aimed at– someone like me who’s been injured will have done all she can, then stopped and started to break down because all the help is there– and THEN: “boom.”

          • More than being able to throw a punch. More than being able to take a punch, the importance of being able to keep a cool head in adversity is something these snowflakes have never learned.

            And I think I’m about to Kipl. 😉

            If—
            Rudyard Kipling, 1865 – 1936

            If you can keep your head when all about you
            Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
            If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
            But make allowance for their doubting too;
            If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
            Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
            Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
            And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

            If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
            If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
            If you can meet with triumph and disaster
            And treat those two impostors just the same;
            If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
            Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
            Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
            And stoop and build ‘em up with wornout tools;

            If you can make one heap of all your winnings
            And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
            And lose, and start again at your beginnings
            And never breathe a word about your loss;
            If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
            To serve your turn long after they are gone,
            And so hold on when there is nothing in you
            Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;

            If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
            Or walk with kings—nor lose the common touch;
            If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
            If all men count with you, but none too much;
            If you can fill the unforgiving minute
            With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run—
            Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
            And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

          • *considers her options*

            *opts out of those situations where a punch is an option, prepares for ranged combat, and notes to brush up on where the “get cut here, go unconscious in a very short time, then die” spots are*

        • Or the simpler, “You mean like this?” followed by an open hand to the septum.

          And yes, you’re not the only one that thinks those things, but maintains their restraint.

        • It’s all fun and games until they encounter Stickman…

        • Heard that three guys, one holding a camera, jumped a conservative speaker in Australia – who proceeded to beat the cr*p out of them.

        • Reality will bite them hard on the ass.

          • Unfortunately it will bite the rest of us along the way.

            Even if we burn out political violence in roughly a decade (start of Bloody Kansas to Appomattox is 11 years) the country that comes out will not be the one I was born in. I realize things change over time but this will be revolutionary change even if we don’t have a revolution.

            Before the Civil War it was “The United States are” and after it was “The United States is”. What will the corresponding change in this round?

            And now, of course, I need to write a story or six to answer that question. I wish it could just be Lone Star Planet but I doubt that is an option.

      • “I cannot shake the suspicion that the Left and their Antifas cohort imagine themselves as the Hutus and us the Tutsi should it ever become necessary to cleanse the country.

        I do not think that will go as they expect. They find violence very exciting and stimulating while for most of our side it is just another day at the office. Warriors routinely get their comeuppance from soldiers.”

        The other problem, for these people? They are thinking “I’ll punch a Nazi, and be a hero…”.

        On the other hand, the people they’re conceptualizing as “the Nazi” are thinking “That masked goon is trying to hurt me; I need to kill them.”.

        This whole “thing” is going to end badly, very badly, with a pile of enmasked dead bodies, when they run up against someone who likely isn’t even involved in the storyline they’re trying to enact in their little posturing cosplay as anti-Nazis. I can think of a bunch of people I know whose response to finding themselves in the midst of a crowd of “heroes” trying to “punch a Nazi” that they’ve misidentified as such will be emphatic and punctuated with gunshots. If that all gets caught on camera? Oh, my… Like the effect of Kent State on all those brave little protestors, the whole thing is going to cause an immediate shift in their thinking.

  21. Get in as good a shape as you can. Sometimes your feet are your best defense.

    This is sound advice in the best of times. If you aren’t someone who uses violence for a living on a regular basis (and I don’t even count a lot of the military in that category even if they are trained as such) engaging with people who do is likely to end badly.

    Yes, get trained and stay armed. Learn and internalize that any tool held properly is a weapon and learn the proper way to hold your tools.

    But still understand that flight is often the best choice. I’m half tempted to endorse RAH’s wisdom from Tunnel in the Sky and carry a knife instead of a gun, but I’ll temper it to say learn all the ways a gun can’t save you before you decide to carry one.

    • And think about improvised… things.
      And also what makes something not “look like” a weapon. If you have a bat by the door or in the trunk? Have a ball and glove with it.

      • In more Northerly climes it is practical to keep a sack of sand over each rear tire. Also, a spare pair of socks to change into. Some assembly may be required.

    • Feather Blade

      carry a knife instead of a gun

      Tch. Embrace the power of “and”, friend.

      Especially in jurisdictions where your concealed carry permit also covers blades and bludgeons.

      • It was a philosophical stance.

        I have meant too many people without a lot of familiarity with fighting or violence who got “a big gun that holds lots of bullets” and thought it made them invincible. They are worse off with it IMHO and would be better off with a knife.

        YMMV

        • Feather Blade

          Fair point

        • I find it funny this was my dad’s philosophy. “Carry a knife, not a gun. you’ll be less likely to get cocky and go looking for trouble.” At least it was his philosophy for ME personally.

          • One advantage of a knife over a gun is that you don’t have to reload. While this does not necessarily offset the disadvantages, it should serve as reminder that when you carry a gun, carry spare magazines/clips/loose cartridges.

            And carry a couple knives, just in case.

            • Always have a backup, and a backup for your backup.

              • Actual (and repeated) question from various IT customers over the years:

                “Backup? What’s a backup?”

                At which point, another Lazarus Long quote goes through the IT consultant’s mind: “Do not use excessive force in supplying such moron with a period. Cutting his throat is only a momentary pleasure, and is bound to get you talked about.” /headdesk

      • It does no harm to think non-conventional, such as everyday, non-threatening looking items that can double as a weapon in a pinch.

    • Ain’t got much shape to get back to. Things go down, my default setiing is a thermos of soup, a can of ammo and a piece of good cover…

      • Play to your strengths, and their weaknesses.
        Your mind is your greatest weapon; or your greatest weakness.

    • Going to try to do justice to a lesson, the first lesson my favorite uncle ever gave me….

      Teacher: And now, I will teach you what to do when you meet a man with a gun!
      Uncle: Yes, Sensei!
      Teacher: First, assume the form of the crane.
      Uncle: Yes, Sensei!
      Teacher: Then, raise your arms in monkey form.
      Uncle: Yes, Sensei!
      Teacher: Then–pivot on your toes and run like hell.
      Uncle: Yes, Sens— WHAT?!

      Note: the forms change every time he tells the story. Depends largely on what makes the kids giggle.

      • A friend of the family, fairly short guy, once related how he got out of a fight in a similar manner. He decided to demonstrate to the aggressor his “martial arts” stance. One arm flat this way, the other arm flat that way, then drop to knees, hands together, and plead, “Please, please don’t hurt me!” He’d read the guy’s attitude right and the guy lost his anger in laughing.

        Obviously not recommended in the large part, but it was a “bar fight” level of aggression.

  22. I have a probably nine year old boy in the store who talks in the prematurely grown up tone that got me beat up at that age. He’s shopping for Agatha Christie and P. G. Wodehouse.

  23. “For instance, if you know communism in all its forms has killed 100 million people, it’s stupid to try it again, this time with more eggs broken. There is still no proof it can make an omelet.” That’s because they break the shells and then throw away that nasty stuff inside.

    • “But they didn’t do it right last time. *This* time, it will work! Hey Rocky, watch me pull a rabb…”

  24. weather.com is now owned by IBM, IIRC.

  25. So, everything is clear? Everything fine ahead?

    The power structure of the left (i.e., progressives and Marxists) may be about to collapse. Yet once they are out of power we will no more be headed on the avenue to a perfect future than at any other time in history. We will have just avoided a proven doomed one yet again.

    I can understand why the idea of a utopia formed. Human life is so very much better in so many ways. Maybe I’m jaded or maybe I’m a realist. The desire to create a utopia lead into the mess from which we are presently attempting to crawl out.

  26. ” An ornamental walking stick can be a mace with the appropriate weighting. So can an umbrella.” See https://unbreakableumbrella.com/

    • Feather Blade

      I bought one of their factory seconds.

      So far it is undamaged, despite my accidental attempts to shut it in my car door. (I stitched myself a hanger so I can carry it on my belt like a sword.)

  27. Yep, the scavenging survivors were well aware that when times are fat, it’s time to head out and find new territory before the food supply crashes where you’re at. We’re a colonizing species.

    Times are fat? Time to get off this rock! Mars seems like a decent start. And besides, we can practice all the terraforming ideas we want, without our own planet in danger…

  28. I doubt a new civil war will go hot without a major financial crisis. Which, given the government’s unfunded responsibilities cannot be ruled out. But the day the EBT cards are not filled? I’d give it two days max before the rioting and looting starts.

    But that’s not the civil war the Left wants, because the Police, National Guard, and if necessary the army, would be on the side of the non-rioters who tend Right.

    • Two days? It’ll be day of, probably within an hour or so. EBT system goes down, they’ll be burning down Walmart right away.

      In fact, I think if somebody wanted to start it with the USA, the first thing they’d do would be would be jack the EBT system in Washington DC, Chicago, NYC and a few more.

      If there is a civil war, it will be a short one, and it will be fought in the cities against armies of Food Stamp zombies. Cops and National Guard will be nowhere to be seen, ordered to stand down and save their ammo.

      I’d add the boiler plate “not all zombies are on food stamps” crap, but the audience for that has moved on.

      http://phantomsoapbox.blogspot.ca/2017/06/wonder-woman-vs-sjws.html

      • Nah they’ll sit on their asses bitching for one day, scream on the second, and _then_ start breaking things and looting.

        Although Walmart, an hour after midnight when the cards still don’t work, may experience “shoplifting” on a scale never before seen.

        • Perhaps I overestimate their energy. ~:D

        • Has already happened, and is already happening when someone runs out of “benefits.”

          The local one has gone to having young, healthy folks in yellow vests checking receipts at the door, and strategically placing stuff so you CAN NOT drive through it quickly.

          • And one of the things described and documented in Colin Flaherty’s books is how more and more blue city police departments won’t write up a theft report (or even respond, in many cases) if the value of the theft is under $500. Something to keep in mind when you hear about “declining crime statistics”.

            • Someone tried to steal our dodge van.

              They had one of those automatic lock picker devices– which thankfully snapped off inside of the key hole.

              Called the police to report it, they gave us a website… which had errors so you have to be pretty good at figuring out what they screwed up and then manually fix it to report anything.

  29. RCPete…”IIRC, Weather Channel got bought by NBC. They were AGW alarmists beforehand, but it got a lot worse afterwards.”

    The weather.com piece was purchased by IBM, for some strange reason. And WeatherUnderground is owned by weather.com.

    The official NOAA site is not a bad option.

  30. I don’t see a danger of a civil war in the US with the current trends for a while. I disagree with Who Who Must Not Be Named on this topic. People can still vote and have their vote counted, in the US. This has led to massive changes in Government. Social Media still allows for conversations that not all agree with. And we are not in a police state, because of the Constitution US Citizens still have a huge amount of rights that other countries can only dream of.

    Now if the continued trend of politicizing institutions continues, cough Judicial especially, where there is a loss of freedom, plus economic downturn without a safety net, and peoples votes are not counted / listened too, I have no idea what would happen. Or if a nuke or two went off, a biological attack, or EMP with massive US civilian casualties. The response to 9-11 was restrained, compared to what the US has done historically when threatened. The response would be VERY Jacksonian.

  31. Get in as good a shape as you can. Sometimes your feet are your best defense. No, I don’t mean kicking, though I did my share of that, but running away when outnumbered or outgunned. There is no shame in escaping to fight another day.

    Your brain is an important weapon– not just being “smart,” but being aware. Don’t always take the same route or leave at the same time, notice what cars are around you… last week I had a big white pickup follow me for about ten minutes, including a couple of extreme lane changes and two different roads. I decided to pull over and get a Pok’e-stop, and they didn’t follow that time. Chosen specifically because it’s made so I could, if they also pulled off, do a full circle they couldn’t cut off and get back on the road then turn off at a police station in two minutes. I keep my eyes open for places like that all the time.

  32. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    Kirk made a comment here about superheroes being liberals not conservatives.

    I don’t agree for several reasons.

    The Superhero has his origins in the wanderer who sees trouble and even though it’s not his job or his business takes action against the trouble or to take revenge for the victims of the trouble.

    He isn’t required by an Official Government position to do this.

    He does it because It Is The Right Thing To Do.

    He isn’t a “Stand In” for the Glorious Government.

    He is (at his best) the embodiment of the desire in good people to help others in trouble.

    Nobody who reads Superhero fiction wants to be the helpless victims that the Superhero rescues, they (including me) want to be the Superhero who rescues people in need.

    IMO we see this element in the origin story of Astra (Hope Corrigan) in Wearing The Cape, the first book of the series of the same name.

    An explosion has trapped Hope (and others) in their cars and killed others (although Hope isn’t aware of all of the deaths).

    Hope is safe and knows that she’ll be rescued but she is thinking about a little girl that was in a car she had passed before the bomb went off. IE Is the little girl safe and what about others?

    These are her concerns when her “breakthrough” happens so she smashes her way out of her car and begins looking for the little girl to see if the little girl is safe. Sadly, the little girl was killed but Hope does help others to escape.

    This is what a Superhero is.

    The person who acts when others need help even if it isn’t his/her job and he (or she) would be safer if he didn’t get involved.

    The “rich secret identity” that many Superheroes have?

    That’s a bit of realism as a nine-to-five factory worker wouldn’t have the time after “working for a living” and “having a family life” to get involved in Superhero Stuff.

    Oh, Atlas (John Chandler) one of the first Superheroes of the Wearing The Cape world was at the time of the Event (when the first heroes appeared) just an eighteen-year-old baggage monkey at O’Hare Airport.

    He saw a plane about to crash and caught it.

    Definitely, he started out as a working class Joe. 😀

    • Captain America fits your definition perfectly. Just one man among millions looking to serve his country, and going on to become an icon. No wonder Nick Spencer has spent the last ten years trying to destroy him.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        Nope, Helping Out when you don’t need to is the essence of being a hero. Especially when you risk harm to yourself in doing so.

    • No, what I said was that superhero stories are liberal fantasies, not that the superheros themselves are.

      They fantasize the individual superhero, and then imbue them with characteristics completely antiethical to their own ideology, in order to satisfy their need for an out-of-context solution to the problems. In their fantasy-land, the superhero can get away with crap that we know those same SJW types would actually lambaste and harass out of existence, in the real world–Which is only one of their inherent hypocrisies.

      Posit Superman real, and in our world: What, do y’suppose, the SJW types would be doing with him and the implications of his existence? Lawsuits galore, for one thing–The poor bastard wouldn’t be able to do more than pull the occasional kitten out of a tree, and let’s not even get into the way the FAA would handle his unscheduled flight activity. It doesn’t even bear thinking what his costume would look like after OSHA got done with him, either.

      No, the whole genre of superhero fiction is a left-wing fantasy-land, where their mommies and daddies come save them from their self-inflicted boo-boos and monsters in the closet. You just don’t see too many of the victims that need saving working out their own salvation, now do you? And, the few times those passive victims do do that in their story lines, it’s unusual enough that it’s called out by anyone noticing.

      It’s all very subtle propaganda, really–You can’t do shit for yourself, and someone else, some outside power, has to come save your ass when it all goes wrong. In the real world, if superpowers were really a thing, we’d be hunting them down like rats, along with the supervillains–There’d be a bounty on their heads, and we’d all happily be paying it, just for the amount of damage those a**holes do to our cities.

      The superhero genre is purest wish-fulfillment for the leftishly bent–Nothing has to be worked through, there are no compromises, there are no tradeoffs or much of anything else besides the Deus ex Machina working its will on the passive victims beneath their feet.

      There is something a little deranged and nutso about the whole genre, and I’m not even getting into the stuff like Wonder Woman being conceived by a dude who was really into some weird bondage fetishism, either. It’s nearly all the product of some really off-kilter minds, when you get right down to it.

      X-Men? Persecuted teenagers, smarter and wiser than their mundane elders, with wish-fulfillment superpowers giving it to “the man”. Superman? Again, wish-fulfillment of the left-winged journalist-activist, who longs to “do something”. His alter-ego as “mild-mannered Clark Kent, Daily Planet reporter” ain’t no accident, nor is the way he’s constantly “doing good” through crap that would get any cases against the criminals that he “fights” thrown out of court for lack of due process: “So, Superman… How did you find Mr. Smith, again…?” “Oh, well… I used my X-Ray vision to search the building for someone counting money…” “I see… And, did you have a warrant, when you violated the privacy of everyone living in that building…? How many people did you observe, taking a bath or changing their clothes…?”. Batman? Same thing; the courts generally take a very dim view of vigilantism, but in the wish-fulfillment world of the superhero comic writer, they can simply hand wave all those pesky constitutional rights away…

      The whole genre is pretty pathologic, when you stop to think about it and consider the implications thereof.

      • No, the whole genre of superhero fiction is a left-wing fantasy-land, where their mommies and daddies come save them from their self-inflicted boo-boos and monsters in the closet. You just don’t see too many of the victims that need saving working out their own salvation, now do you? And, the few times those passive victims do do that in their story lines, it’s unusual enough that it’s called out by anyone noticing.

        Um, this implies that the people reading the story identify with the people being saved rather than the hero doing the saving. This has not been my experience with most superhero fans. They don’t want to be rescued. They want to be the hero and do the rescuing.

        • They want to be the hero, the demi-god sans rules or restraints… The one breaking the city, the rules, and doing as they please. Against cardboard-cutout villains, who they can do whatever they please to…?

          What, pray tell, does that say about the fans?

          Most of these comics and movies are written for very childish audiences, and it shows. Wish-fulfillment, gratification, and disregard for consequences are all over the genre.

          Which is not to say that there isn’t a lot of other stuff that is similar, or that it’s all done badly, but that it’s a common underlying feature of it all. You very rarely see any of the protagonists dealing with the consequences of their super-powered shenanigans, like paying to rebuild a city shattered under their efforts.

          It’s all “Bang! Zoom!”, and the problems are solved–Very much in keeping with how the immature leftist Berniebro types envision the world–They’re not doing well, financially? Hard to find work? Well, that must be the work of some capitalist super-villain, who’s trying to keep them down! Why, we need Bernie-Man, or Super-Chavez to come in and save us with his hyper-socialism!! Then, all will be well, we’ll be rescued…

          The iconography and the story-telling are all very much of a piece with the idea that everything can be solved by a “Man on a Horse”, if only we can get him into power…

          I’m telling you–Look at the way they framed JFK, or Bernie, or Chavez, and then tell me that the mentality behind the framing of these “Heroes of the People” isn’t contiguous with the whole superhero mythos and idea. The comics grew out of the same milieu as pre-WWII socialist and Communist agitation, with many of the writers being outright members or sympathizers with those political parties and ideals. You wonder why the archetypes are imbued with all the BS that they are? There’s the answer.

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            You are painting with a very broad brush here. 😦

            • No, Kirk has a YUUUGE blind spot: He persists in trying to generalize from this world, where magic, or God / gods, or super powers, cannot ever be proven to exist, because they do not manifest themselves in laboratories.

              In the worlds we are creating, they do. They become part of the givens, the laws of nature.

              And just the fact that they do changes the underlying dynamic of the world and society and all the people in it. Kirk can’t seem to grok that.

              Of course, I’m not sure how he reads science (or any other) fiction; FTL drives have exactly the same amount of reality.

          • They want to be the hero, the demi-god sans rules or restraints… The one breaking the city, the rules, and doing as they please. Against cardboard-cutout villains, who they can do whatever they please to…?

            What, pray tell, does that say about the fans?

            Actually, I’m more interested in what interpreting the genre that way says about you.

            So, no, I don’t buy this interpretation and therefore any conclusions drawn from it can be dismissed out of hand.

            • I also note the way you have now moved the goalposts.

            • Your reaction to what I’m saying is as telling as anything else. Are you that invested? Is it that much an attack on your identity, when someone suggests what I am suggesting as an interpretation of this genre?

              Weird.

              You find it offensive because you’ve invested in these worlds, and do not like having someone make out a negative interpretation of what they stand for and where they come from. Step back, and ask why you feel compelled to do that, instead of being a mature adult and going “Oh, I’ve never seen it quite like that, myself…”, and going on to either dismiss the arguments I’m making, or make a reasoned counterargument.

              Your response and defensiveness is quite illuminating, in and of itself. Do you see something disturbing in the mirror I’m holding up to your entertainment?

              Like I said… Illuminating. This is a fiction genre we’re talking about, here, and you are reacting as though I’m attacking a religious belief. Which is, strangely consonant with the worldview of the left, and going a long way towards making my arguments for me. I don’t happen to view this stuff with the reverence you do, so that means it’s time to turn to an ad hominem dismissive attack on me for daring to have a negative opinion of something you happen to like? Come again?

              You sure you really believe the things you post on here, or are you actually just mouthing them to fit in?

              • … what I am suggesting as an interpretation of this genre?

                Emphasis added.

                I do not think anybody here saw you as offering an interpretation so much as claiming yours as the interpretation.

                That you now go to questions of “an attack on your identity” seems … problematic.

              • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                I won’t “speak for” thewriterinblack, but I don’t find your “theory” offensive.

                I just find your “theory” completely wrong. 😉

              • He’s saying that what you read into something, when it appears to be based off of rather limited impressions, is more about you than about it.

              • Case in point. Where you say:

                They want to be the hero, the demi-god sans rules or restraints… The one breaking the city, the rules, and doing as they please.

                In general they are not “sans rules or restraints”. In fact, that’s the whole point. It’s just that their rules and restraints are internal rather than opposed from outside.

                Superman, over most of his run, could have set himself up as king, and nobody could have stopped him. Luthor opposes him because Luthor knows what he would do given Superman’s power and expects the same from Superman. But he doesn’t do that. Instead he acts to help, to protect, and to leave people their own agency.

                Green Lantern? Hell, Silver age and later he’s a sworn police officer basically, just to a much larger polity than we see on Earth. There’s an organization he reports to and that has been shown quite capable of applying censure when they’re unhappy with his actions.

                Wonder Woman? Subject to her mother, the queen of Themiscyra, also to the gods. But also, like most, having an iron-clad code of honor that’s a far more binding restriction than anything anyone else would impose on her.

                Or let’s pop over to Marvel.

                Spider Man? Okay, he screwed up badly in his origin, driving home the “with great power goes great responsibility” point that is one of his core motivations. Hardly “sans rules or restraints” even if the rules and restraints are internal rather than externally imposed.

                Thor? His whole origin as a “superhero” was because he thought he was “sans rules and restraints” and so his father stripped him of his power, sent him to Earth in the guise of a crippled mortal, and only gave him his power back in dribs and drabs so long as he was “worthy”.

                Captain America? Do we really need to go there? I might not always agree with the way the character, as written interprets “America” but that still binds him far more tightly than any chains.

                The Avengers? You perhaps are not aware that the government has been overseeing the Avengers for decades at least. I remember a storyline where their government “liason” required them to cut their membership, insisted that they add the Falcon to their roster (for purposes of racial diversity–no shit) and, basically micromanaged them for some period doing it actually quite badly. (The government taking something over and screwing it up is such a liberal stereotype, isn’t it?)

                So, given your statement I have to consider that either you don’t consider internalized morals and ethics as “rules or restraint” or you are completely ignorant of the topic and yet feel qualified to pontificate on it.

                Look, if you don’t like comic book superheroes, that’s fine. Different strokes and all that. If that lack of interest means you are largely ignorant of the field, that, too, is fine. It’s when you try to tell people who do (or did–I mostly lost interest in the mid-80’s because most of the comics I followed changed in directions I didn’t care for–but, lordy, there’s a long history before that) enjoy them and do know about them that you somehow know better than they do what they’re about that it starts getting questionable.

              • I don’t care for comics, superhero or otherwise, therefore my experience with them is limited, so anything I say on the subject is with the caveat that I have a somewhat limited knowledge of it.

                While much of what you say is true, I don’t know that it really means all that much. A whole heck of a lot of ‘rightist’ entertainment is also “Wish-fulfillment, gratification, and disregard for consequences” and written for childish audiences.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        Sorry Kirk, I’m fully aware of how unrealistic most superhero comics are.

        Which is why I’m enjoying the Wearing The Cape series. The author has created a world with “super-beings” and worked out how their actions would be legal.

        In that world, you don’t have be “registered” if you’re a super-being but if you want to be a “super-hero” (called cape) then there are reasonable rules that you have to follow.

        Sorry, but you are ignoring that the Fans of the super-hero stories don’t identify with the victims.

        We identify with the Super-Heroes.

        • Give it up, he’s onto us as childish liberals engaging in power fantasies.

          How can we fight such brilliant insight.

        • It isn’t that superheros are liberal fantasies, it is that the people creating superhero comics (with rare exceptions, such as Steve Ditko, Mike Baron, Frank Miller) are liberals, writing, drawing, publishing their fantasies.

          And that the fans don’t share those fantasies s a big part of why they hold their fans in contempt.

          For most of the fans, superhero comics are like Westerns in which corrupt power structures are set aright and Justice prevails because of the actions of individuals. See Shane, Rio Bravo, A Fistful of Dollars, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.

          • For most of the fans, superhero comics are like Westerns in which corrupt power structures are set aright and Justice prevails because of the actions of individuals. See Shane, Rio Bravo, A Fistful of Dollars, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.

            I think it was Paul who talked about that elsewhere as the “wandering warrior” concept–of which the superhero is but one expression. The western hero and the knight errant, would be others.

          • That’s the general thrust of what I’m getting at, RES.

            Look at the milieu that most of the originating writers came out of, and what their politics were. Aside from the odd conservative type, the majority of the original creators were progressives, fully on board with the New Deal. The sort of influence that stemmed from that mindset can be seen throughout the entire genre, right down to this day, with the occasional lapse and exception.

            FDR is gonna save us from ourselves and the eeeeevulll capitalists, so we’re gonna give him all the adulatory hero worship we can… He’s a brand, an icon, not a human being. And, since he’s not a human, but an icon of cult worship, well… There goes accountability for him, and any ability for anyone not a cult member to criticize him. Seems oddly… Familiar, don’t it?

            People tend to think in templates and patterns; accustom them to a template in fiction, in story-telling, and all the rest? Then, it’s a hell of a lot easier to introduce those ideas in real life, because they’ve seen it and heard it in the stories. Oh, of course this one “great man” like Hugo Chavez can lead us all out of poverty, haven’t we heard of that happening in stories all the time…?

            Of course we can fix American health care with one big bill, despite the accumulated dross and distortions of fifty-plus years of bureaucratic and legislative manipulations; that’s what the narrative tells us, isn’t it? You see it all the time in stories, don’t you? The one heroic “fix-it-all” piece of legislation that has to get through, to save the world?

            It doesn’t even need to be an exact one-for-one correspondence for the resistance to a new or unproven idea to be broken down, either–All you need is pathway for the mind of the masses to make the inference, the leap to what you want them to.

            And, that whole “cult of personality” thing that was going on with FDR, Hitler, and Stalin? All of a piece with the whole superhero idea. About the only nation that didn’t fall for the bullshit entirely was the UK, and you’ll note that Churchill managed to get himself thrown out on his ass at the height of the “cult of personality” they’d started on him. FDR, on the other hand? We’d have probably kept right on re-electing that ass as long as he was above ground, despite all his manifest flaws as a president.

            We fell prey to the same damn syndromes that the Germans and Russians did, only there was less room for our cult worship icons to do damage. Hell, look at the sycophantic crap surrounding Obama, and then tell me we’re not just as prone as those other countries to this same bullshit starting up.

            Other places in our culture that hold the same sick hero-worshipping syndrome? Try the entire idea of celebrity and sports hero. Try to imagine a world where people like the Kardashians aren’t huge objects of adulation and outright hero-worship, and for what? What real accomplishments do they have? Why, they’re celebrities–But, ask anyone why, and they’re going to be hard-pressed to tell you a thing about their accomplishments. Similarly, why the hell is anyone asking a musician, a singer, a sports hero, or an actor what the hell their opinion is on anything outside their craft or skill? What black magic imbues someone like George Clooney or Sean Penn with the authoritas and gravity to pronounce on matters outside their narrow sphere of expertise as actors and entertainers?

            I will continue to hold, it’s all of a piece with that whole meta-idea expressed as superheroes. The lefties who got the genre started were true believers in the idea of the Nietzsche-style Ubermensch, expressed as a politician capable of cutting the Gordian Knot of minor little things like the Constitution. Obama, for example, could have been written as “Pen and Phone Man”, similarly fantasized as a breaker of rules that keep the childish whims of the left from being enacted.

            It’s not so much the characters or the story lines, either–It’s the whole damn thing as an idea, the meta-concept, if you will. You see the same sort of adulatory bullshit directed at politicians like Mussolini, Hitler, FDR, JFK, and on and on and on. The mentality is the same one–The “Great White Hero”, the “Man on a Horse” is going to come save everyone and solve the problems–And, to get that done, the masses have to give up holding them accountable for the side-effects of their heroing. Superman, Billy Jack, or Obama, it’s all the same damn thing–They’re excused of responsibility and accountability, ‘cos they’re heros, donchaknow?

            Want to know how the Left manages to so neatly excuse the excesses of the Obama administration? Superhero. He’s above it all, accountability, responsibility, everything. He’ll probably never be called to book for the crap they pulled during his time in office, whether it’s the damn Fast and Furious BS, the Iran dealings, or anything else. He had a “scandal-free” administration, similar to how Metropolis doesn’t look like Berlin, 1945–Despite it suffering daily or weekly pummelings at the hands of Superman or whatever other flavor of the day superhero was involved.

            And, it gets its start in the stories we tell each other. Superman wrecks Metropolis, fighting the baddie of the week, and he’s forgiven his trespasses because… He means well–And, isn’t that exactly what we’ve done with real-life figures like JFK and Obama? They meant well, they were pretty, they were heroic, so we’re not going to hold them accountable for what they actually did. That kind of thinking starts in childhood, folks–Get the kids to get used to an idea, and as adults, some of them aren’t even gonna think about it when they do that same thing in real life.

            I’m not a fan of the genre, no matter what the medium is. Heroes and heroic figures, real ones that have actual accomplishments? Fine; that’s a part of reality. The stuff we find in the Marvel and DC comic universes, though? Straight-up mythopoeic crap, which has unfortunately spread way outside the realm of the mere comic book…? Look at Obama, and then tell me that the way he was and is adulated in some circles isn’t straight-up cult of personality akin to the worst excesses of the past in other countries.

            And, then ask yourself where this shit gets started, that people are so prone to projecting these ideas onto a blank slate like him. I think the trail leads straight back to the whole iconography of the superhero that’s spread throughout our culture like some bizarre cult. It’s not Superman, the character, that I’m talking about, at all, here–It’s the whole damn idea, the meta-conception of it all.

            • Most of the arguments you levy against comics can be made against SF/F, as well. What were most “Golden Age” novels except paeans praising the ubermensch, the technocratic deity? Doc Smith’s Richard Seaton and Kimball Kinnison are triumphant supermen thwarting those who would abuse power to subjugate men. Williamson’s Legion tales or Heinlein’s early stories offer up “men of action” who achieve great goals. Asimov’s Foundation, Herbert’s Dune both present tales advocating liberal heroes defeating the forces of the status quo. This trend tends to flow through all eras of SF, including later Heinlein (Starship Troopers has been condemned, in some ways justifiably, as a fascist work, after all, glorifying the military) and too many since then to enumerate. Probably more than eighty percent of Hugo and Nebula winners these last twenty-five years are Leftist works, or premised on Leftist ideas. Heck, go back to H. G. Wells and you find Marxist concepts at the root of his works.

              Confusing a genre for the way in which its contents have tended to flow is mistaking the forest for the trees. We get that you don’t like nor read comics, but that generally renders your opinions uninformed rather than convincing.

              • Heinlein never wrote a superhero in his life. Every one of his protagonists is a real, fully-realized and flawed human being. Even the character of Lazarus Long is an enormously flawed man, and that’s really the closest one to a superhero I can think of, for an actual Heinlein character.

                You say I’m confusing the forest for the trees, but that’s exactly the point I’m making, here–The characters and stories aren’t necessarily what I’m talking about here. Instead, it’s the whole damn idea of these “super-heroic characters”, creatures who are not bound by any form of restraint except their own nobility–And, not one of them ever talks about exercising any form of consultation with their supposed beneficiaries.

                The mentality and approach to this crap is woven through the entire New Deal and other features of that era–The TVA, for example: Classic imposed from on high solution to the issues, with limited to no input from the actual people who lived in its footprint, and who would have voted against the whole thing, especially in the communities that wound up underwater due to the dam building. In the comic books, Superman raises up a dam overnight, stopping the floods on the towns below–But, do you ever see any sign in the stories that creating that dam and the lake behind it had any effects on, say, the people that lived there? No, not at all–And, you know damn good and well that there would have been entire towns flooded, because that’s what happens in real life.

                You start patterning in early life. The stories you hear, the ones you tell, they’re all practice for the real world. You grow up hearing stories of lone, tragic superheroic figures changing the world, and then you go out looking for that figure in real life, when you need your problems solved. The story becomes the template, the pattern for how you interpret the world and make your decisions, whether or not you want to recognize that fact. We all think in these terms, almost inescapably.

                In my opinion, there’s a nearly direct line from the cultural programming we receive as kids and then reinforce in popular culture to our actual behavior in later adult life. The entire meta-concept or meme of the superhero in popular culture is an insidiously damaging one, because it sets the stage for people to seek out the messiah, the savior, the demagogue to solve their problems. The popularity of the medium and the stories themselves are not necessarily the real problem, here–It’s the thinking, the mindset they generally set up in the audience.

                Problems aren’t things to be solved by your own actions, they’re something you need to have this external agency come in and fix for you. You’re the pawn of circumstances you can’t control, unless Superman or whoever comes in and saves your helpless ass.

                It’s magical thinking at its finest, and why politicians like Adolf Hitler can so easily manipulate the masses–They didn’t want to do the hard thinking and work at hand, so they went out for a guy who made mad promises and “did things”, all while they ignored what his actions actually were and implied for the future. Same-same with JFK and Obama–Nobody looked at the man behind the mask, because doing so would have broken the spell.

                The mentality for this stems from the programming effect of all these stories. You condition people to accept these creatures of the imagination through immersive story-telling, and then they never think past that.

                Think about it, for a moment: Were these stories not a feature of our culture, our daily life, our thinking… Would figures like JFK, Obama, or any of the other objects of adulation ever get traction? Instead of looking at the bunting and the Grecian columns, would people be more likely to go “OK, yeah, cool floor show… Now, tell me more about what this guy has actually done, and what he says he’s gonna do?”.

                I don’t think you get to JFK without at least passing through the mythos of Superman. Likewise, you don’t get to Alexander or Caesar unless you pass through Hercules and the other figures of the then-current pantheon. How many times was Alexander likened unto Herakles, and Caesar unto Alexander…? And, you’ll note, most of the crap that they were being likened to was almost certainly fictional. The stories about Alexander taming Bucephalus, for example? What does that remind you of, in more recent times? Perhaps the tales of Washington chopping down the cherry tree…?

                What I’m talking about in all this isn’t necessarily the characters or the stories; it’s the uses that our minds make of them, and the way they ease us into tolerating and acclaiming things in real life that a completely rational set of sentient beings would look at and say “Just WTF are you trying to pull, here…?”.

                You don’t get to the point where you’re virtually worshipping another human being, and taking phrases from a politician like “I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth.” with a straight face, without having been conditioned to accept crap like that as reality. The only reason that particular speech didn’t induce immediate insane laughter in the audience…? They’d been conditioned to expect that sort of thing, and to expect it to actually, y’know, mean something and have an effect in the real world. Magical thinking at its finest…

                And, that conditioning begins with the mythopoeic bullshit we buy in movie and comic book form. You’re just not liking it when someone points it out to you, but there it is.

                Good grief, look at the adulation and mentality behind what goes into these cults of personality, and ask yourself where it all gets started. The fervor and depth of belief in these political clowns of the left is damn near religious in nature, and you actually find people claiming that being touched by Hitler, or Chavez cured their sicknesses. I remember one lady in my childhood who claimed that her autographed picture of JFK healed her, every time she got sick, because she’d kiss it and then touch it to her “affliction”.

                Hell, I ran into one seemingly sane woman who treated her Elvis Presley memorabilia pretty much the same way… Which, I think you’ll agree, is nuts.

                I honestly don’t know which came first, in this case: The human desire for an easy solution via some demi-god coming in and saving the day, or the creation of this mythopoeic bullshit. Is the affection for the superheroic a symptom, or the cause?

                It goes way back–Half the Greek/Roman pantheon would fit very nicely into the Marvel and DC comic universes, and have actually been written into many of them. The entire thing is indicative of something very unhealthy and immature in humanity, and it’s been around for a long damn time. Alexander the Great had a similar personality cult going, and look where it got him. The human urge to create these things in our heads around leaders and problems in general is a huge issue with actually keeping these assholes, who are never more than human themselves, in line and from doing enormous damage.

                Heinlein never wrote one of these characters that I can think of. All of his heroes are quite human, flawed and striving. Sarah wants us to write and tell stories with a human emphasis, and that’s about the last thing you’re going to find in the realm of out-of-context superheroic figures that you’ll find in most of the comics and movies about them.

              • Seaton ultimately failed. Blackie DuQuesne and his wife had to finish his job.

          • It’s also a big reason why the comic book industry is in trouble with sales being down, even though superheroes are the fad du jour.

        • It can be fun.

          My latest release “Through A Mirror, Darkly” (details will be in the promo) is about working out the logical implications of a popular superhero trope: the mirror morality universe.

      • They fantasize the individual superhero, and then imbue them with characteristics completely antiethical to their own ideology, in order to satisfy their need for an out-of-context solution to the problems

        But… that just means, roughly, that superheroes are inherently nonSJW, and if they’ve got broad appeal are inherently conservative.

        They supers would have to be SJW to be inherently SJW.

        • There’s the character, there’s the story, and then there’s the overarching set of assumptions behind it all, that animates the story telling.

          What stories do you tell, and how do you tell them? Describe those to me, and I’ll tell you a hell of a lot about the author and the culture they’re from.

          The “tells” here in this case are the “out-of-context” natures of the superheroes, and how they deal with things in the stories. You don’t see Superman or Batman lining up to testify in courts of law, all you see is “Bad guy captured; Arkham asylum”.

          Take a look at what they’ve done to Captain America, lately; now he’s one of the bad guys, and the convoluted manner they’ve written that into the mythos is pretty indicative of how they really feel about the character.

          Like I said… The stories we tell, how we tell them, and what we chose to tell and emphasize are telling things about the storyteller and the culture. Ever notice how uniquely… Arab, the stories from 1001 Nights are? Stop and think about the nature of the story they’re telling about Aladdin and his lamp: It’s all about how to take advantage of the situation, how best to finesse the genie and come out on top. There are a set of inherent assumptions built into that whole genre of tales, about the nature of the genie and the finder of his lamp. Nowhere does the Arab mindset find it odd or distasteful that this “found being”, the genie, should be a slave to whoever finds the lamp. It’s a telling thing, that–And, hearing that story from an Arab storyteller, I think I would make it a point to never find myself helpless in Arab territory, lest I share the fate of the genie.

          Another culture would tell that tale far differently, and the lessons they tried to impart from it would be a lot different. You could, for example, have the protagonist of the story respond to the genie’s offer of three wishes that they have no right to the genie’s services, and thus, no moral right to force the genie into servitude. That is, however, not the lesson imparted by the Arabic version of the story, is it?

          That’s the kind of thing I’m getting at, with my point about the superhero tales–They are visions into the id of the creators, in my opinion, where they have unrestrained power to do as they will, reworking the world around them. It’s a telling thing, that instead of them telling stories about working with others towards a common goal, they imagine tales of demigods working their will in the world. That’s how they’d like to rework the world to suit themselves–With no consensus from the rest of us, and no restraints whatsoever.

          Not every comic is like this–Look at things like Prince Valiant, or Dick Tracy. You’ve got heroes there, but they’re not superheroes. The superhero exists in the same mental space as the Soviet Stakhanovite, or the conceptions of both Hitler and Mussolini, where the fuhrerprinzip and idea of il duce run free. Like Superman, there are no restraints on their powers, which is where the basic problem lies. The superhero doesn’t answer to anyone but himself, and that’s one of the key fundamentals behind the attractiveness of the entire idea.

          What I’m getting at here isn’t the surfaces of the stories or the characters–It’s the skeleton on which they all hang, the underlying nature of the specific wishes that the writers and storytellers want to fulfill for themselves and their readers. Those who imagine superheroes basically want a piece of that unrestrained power for themselves, to use to work their will on the world–Or, the stories wouldn’t be attractive. You want to know something about the nature of the storyteller? Look at how they ideate their Mary Sues–Superman, in particular: Alter-ego as a mild-mannered journalist, who is the heroic figure, telling the truth to the public…? Yeah; wonder where the hubris of assholes like Woodward, Bernstein, and Olberman comes from? How they think of themselves? Look no further; this is the ur-source of their internal “stories” that they tell themselves. They’re Superman, and their alter-ego is their “world-saving stories”–Which goes a long way towards explaining how a second-rate hack like Mark Felt was so easily able to manipulate Woodward and Bernstein, without them ever figuring out how they were being used.

          • That’s a circular definition, Kirk. You’re defining all the edge cases as being left wing– even when the details aren’t as you described, and the situations are inherently on the fringe.

            Look at how they ideate their Mary Sues–Superman, in particular: Alter-ego as a mild-mannered journalist, who is the heroic figure, telling the truth to the public…?

            Like “cops have donuts,” it’s an obvious route. “Hey, we have a guy who zips off to solve problems. Who would have an excuse to be hanging around places where Stuff Happens but NOT DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT?

            (For those who aren’t reading the Dresden Files– donuts are a good source of instant energy as well as longer term energy, they don’t become toxic just because you didn’t eat them in two hours– or nine hours– and they taste good while being inexpensive.)

            • This is one of those questions that look different from every aspect. The one you’re looking at it from reveals to you what you see, and what you see is informed by what you take to the viewing, as well.

              Which is not to say that you’re wrong, or that I’m right–We’re simply looking at this issue from different standpoints, with different sets of baggage.

              I see where you’re coming from, and I don’t disagree with what you’re saying, so long as you look at it from where you’re standing, with your eyes. On the other hand, I see what I see, too. I think there is room for both viewpoints, and that there is something concrete to both of our positions.

              I don’t care for the majority of these meta-stories that they’re telling; there’s a core of… Something, there, that has always disturbed me, on a visceral level. Superman has always creeped me out, to be honest, along with the rest of them–Who the hell needs some super-being to come solve their problems? Who the hell wants to be one, anyway?

              I don’t think I ever identified with any of those characters, at all, as a kid. Something about the whole thing, from any angle, just disturbs the shit out of me–Who the hell would want that kind of power and responsibility, or fantasize about having it? Using it to solve problems and “fight crime”, like you can fight an abstract concept. (Felt the same way when Bush said we were fighting terrorism… WTF? Are we gonna go out and tell the tide to go back, next? Paging King Canute; please come to the white courtesy phone…)

              Kinda the way Aladdin first struck me, hearing that story as a kid: My response to that one was always that this Aladdin character was an utter creep, taking advantage of the genie’s misfortune, and that even if the genie was an “entity of evil”, making a slave of him to Aladdin was just wrong–If anything, he should have been made a slave to those he’d wronged, or their heirs, not some random twit who happened to find the lamp somewhere… I never liked Aladdin; he’s that kid who lucked out, and won the race because he got lucky, and was able to cheat the right way.

              • Have you seen that comic of guy standing next to a 6 or 9– one at the top, one at the bottom– and a crossed out bit about how just because I’m right doesn’t mean you’re wrong, and then a new comment about how you have to look at other stuff and figure out?

                Seems fitting….

                I got a vibe that you’re looking the newer (really freaking dumb) libtard stuff.

                You are right about there being multiple meanings, though. Just want to make sure they’re all noted and elaborated!

                Who the hell needs some super-being to come solve their problems? Who the hell wants to be one, anyway?

                Someone who is not strong.
                I’m a girl. Even if I wasn’t, I’m a runt. I am NOT going to be able to slug it out and directly do much of anything.
                Even more enchanting is the idea of “what if *I* was strong enough…” which is the appeal of any Mary Sue.
                *****
                For the Aladdin thing– it’s a mix of cultural mis-translation and…well, assumptions.
                If you switch it around to something like “cannot right the wrongs done directly, so sentenced to doing it more at random”, then it makes a lot more sense. (unless your philosophy doesn’t allow that)

                • I’m a girl. Even if I wasn’t, I’m a runt.

                  Ever read am adventure of the Golden Age Atom (Al Pratt)?


                  Per Wiki:
                  Initially a proverbial 98-pound weakling, bullied at school and unable to impress the girl of his dreams, Mary James (she dumped him after they were robbed by a thug and Pratt was unable to fight him), the 5′ 1″ Al Pratt was trained to fighting condition by ex-boxer Joe Morgan (the same man who trained Pratt’s fellow mystery men, Wildcat and the Guardian). Pratt soon became a founding member of the Justice Society of America, appearing in the team’s various stories during their original Golden Age appearances. In All Star Comics #3 (Winter 1940) the Atom describes himself to his fellow JSAers as “Al Pratt, a quiet sophomore at Calvin College.” He later became a founding and active member of the All-Star Squadron. During World War II, Pratt served as a tank driver in the United States Army.

                  • Semi-side note. No.2 Son’s boss went back east to rescue some impression dies from the scrap hunters. He shipped aroung 21,000 back from the Boston Area.

                    One of the dies he found and brought back was for Justice Society badges.

                • There are a lot of European tales like “Aladdin” — in fact, including “Aladdin,” which is French though based on Arabic themes — where the main character is a scoundrel who gets lucky.

            • Some years back I attempted to do a webcomic “Cold Servings”. The motivation for it was an interview I saw with Mark Hamill that the comic miniseries he was involved with “Black Pearl” was an attempt to show how the “superhero paradigm” doesn’t work in the real world. My reaction to that was “you can prove anything if you get to make up your assumptions which is exactly what you do in fiction” so I wanted to do something going the other way illustrating it working in a fictional version of the “real world”. No super powers. No exotic technology*. Nothing that couldn’t happen in reality.

              One of the things I had to do is determine how the “hero” supports himself. Given the expectation of injuries and the like, plus that he might be involved in “a case” at any given time plus the simple simple fact of the amount of time taken up by training, patrolling for crime, and what have you, means keeping odd hours and the need to “disappear” often without warning. Any kind of job with regular hours would be out of the question.

              There were really only two options. One was to be independently wealthy–able to live on income from investments alone. The other was to be a freelance writer/artist/photographer or something quite similar.

              In the comics Batman took one of those routes. I noticed a lot of characters (Spider Man for much of his history was a good example) too the other. Superman could get away with taking a “regular job” because his power set avoids much of the problem (invulnerable so you don’t have to explain the bruises from the beating you took in the course of taking down the bad guys). But in-story, with his original origin, he took a job in news because that put him in a position to learn early about events that he might want to deal with as Superman. By the time later versions rolled around, that had become an iconic part of his character.

              *”No exotic technology” didn’t stop me from using oddball applications of ordinary technology–a visor in the main character’s helmet that would close at the touch of a switch, protecting his night vision while a powerful strobe flash went off to temporarily blind his opponents, that sort of thing.

          • You don’t see Superman or Batman lining up to testify in courts of law

            Actually, you just proved genre ignorance right there.

            Both have testified as have other. In fact, questions of the fairness of trials where the accuser and other witnesses are behind masks and evidence was gathered by third parties are reoccurring themes in such stories. The problems with such heroes are a huge part of the backstory and plot of classic comics such was Watchman (whose title comes from exactly the kinds of questions that arise for who do supermen consult).

            It seems your knowledge of comics is limited to comic book movies and not the actual comics or their history.

            • A big part of the reason we do not see Superman or Batman testifying in courts of law is that it would be incredibly boring.

              Sigh, I remember the Trial of Barry Allen. Gawd, does I wish I couldn’t.

              Another part of it is that comic book writers know even less about the laws of man than they know of the laws of physics.

              This crap was created for adolescent kids with the expectation that they would only be reading the crap for two, three years. Continuity, characterization, logic were all considered gratuitous elements. We’re talking about women fighting criminals in the asphalt jungle while wearing spiked heels, fishnet stockings, pasties and a g-string for goodness sake!

              Ya need to stop overthinking these things, Sheldon.

              • Well, I read them because they are enjoyable.

                The only real, serious “continuity” argument I have ever made was about Watchman. Well, two. One, I thought the changed ending made a lesser story. Two, and this is the one I think fits what your Sheldon comment, was my angry (yes angry) that Laurie’s costume was made of PVC. She is the SILK Spectre FFS. Yes, it looked like lingerie with the stockings and garters and all but it was PVC. It should have been fishnet stockings and silk cami and g-string like her mother’s costume.

                {rant off}

      • *checks nobody else did the point by point*

        X-Men? Persecuted teenagers, smarter and wiser than their mundane elders, with wish-fulfillment superpowers giving it to “the man”.

        No, for starters the X-Men weren’t even “teenagers” to start with– they’re young adults, yeah, but the whole idea of them being 16-18 when they do stuff is pretty recent. They start having ISSUES towards the end of puberty, but they’re in the “young adults without responsibilities” stage while being heroes, and are explicitly guided by an old(er) guy who is even artificially older than he is by being bald and unable to walk.

        Superman? Again, wish-fulfillment of the left-winged journalist-activist, who longs to “do something”.

        No, wish fulfillment of any normal person, “what if there was someone who was up to 11?”

        His alter-ego as “mild-mannered Clark Kent, Daily Planet reporter” ain’t no accident, nor is the way he’s constantly “doing good” through crap that would get any cases against the criminals that he “fights” thrown out of court for lack of due process: “So, Superman… How did you find Mr. Smith, again…?” “Oh, well… I used my X-Ray vision to search the building for someone counting money…” “I see… And, did you have a warrant, when you violated the privacy of everyone living in that building…?

        1) Superman usually does more immediate “stop the train from crashing and killing a bunch of people” stuff, and
        2) Superman is not under the restrictions of law enforcement, because anything he does would be Citizen’s Arrest. It does not matter for the criminal case, what he did, because he doesn’t have the protections of a law enforcement officer– if a burglar breaks in and discovers a slaver ring, it’s not disqualified because it would be illegal for an officer to do the same.

        Batman? Same thing; the courts generally take a very dim view of vigilantism, but in the wish-fulfillment world of the superhero comic writer, they can simply hand wave all those pesky constitutional rights away…

        Again, Batman is not a law enforcement officer. (Except in things like the Batman TV show, where he was very careful to always follow the law.)
        Batman was doing citizens’ arrests in such a way that a known corrupt police force COULD NOT ignore the criminals and let them go, just be a liiiiitle too slow, etc.

        The give-and-take of rights is difficult, and not very dramatic– so superhero comics are on the edge, the places where the normal way of things simply doesn’t work. It’s frontier fiction without a physical frontier.

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          Actually, if you read The Law Of Superheroes by James Daily & Ryan Davidson, there are plenty of problems with Batman’s (and other superheroes) actions.

          Mind you, I don’t think this “proves” Kirk’s statements, it shows that the comic book writers, from the beginning, were trying to “insert” frontier justice into a non-frontier world.

          Oh, the writer of the “Wearing The Cape” series acknowledges reading The Law Of Superheroes so his “Capes” aren’t vigilantes.

          Will, there was one but she kept her actions low-key enough that the police didn’t see a need to take action against her. 😉

          She’s now a public “cape” and follows the laws governing Cape activity. 😀

          • Different assumptions, different results. 😀

          • “Will, there was one but she kept her actions low-key enough that the police didn’t see a need to take action against her. 😉

            She’s now a public “cape” and follows the laws governing Cape activity. 😀”

            Well, there was one other, the “Silver Hammer”. You know, the one who convinced the Russian mob (by beating into crippling or death) that they could assimilate and adopt “the Deal” just like the media, the government, and the rest of the organized crime had, and leave supers’ families alone, or they wouldn’t survive.

            Even in the Wearing the Cape series, the reason things haven’t gone to “X-Men registration” is because the “capes” made it perfectly clear: Yes, you can do the whole registration / camps thing, but we can make the cost of doing it unacceptably high. You can’t do it with the cops, and doing it with the military will require such high levels of firepower and collateral damage that your government and society WON’T SURVIVE doing it. So let’s work out something we can ALL live with.

            If you think that sounds remarkably like the reason the US government (or any other level of government) hasn’t tried serious attempts at gun confiscation…. you’re right.

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              IIRC that individual was called “The Hammer” by the News Media, hasn’t been hear of again, and nobody knows who he was.

              Note, I call The Hammer “he” but I don’t believe there is any evidence if The Hammer was a man or a woman.

              Apparently, nobody survived meeting The Hammer. 😉

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              As for “why it didn’t come to Super-being registrations/camps” in the US, I got the idea that it was a “mutual thing”.

              The first capes in the US wanted to “avoid super-beings troubles” and President Kayle showed a willingness to work with them.

              But yes, Marvel’s idea of “registration/camps for mutants” was extremely stupid.

              At the very least, mutants (and other super-beings) would leave the US for other countries and those other countries would have a dangerous edge over the US.

              • Just realized it was even stupider than I figured in the first place… the entire bag for Marvel is “we have (Super Groups) because we cannot handle the bad guys.

                And this has been the situation for almost a century by the time the MRA/Internment starts up.

                “Hey, we can’t do anything about the homicidal maniacs– let’s go after the guys who have a long, public history of success against them, THAT will get the public off of our backs!”

          • Fascinating though the Law was, it was exclusively about current law and superpower interaction, and didn’t touch on even the most obvious consequences superpowers would have.

            It is legal to fly without a license as long as you don’t have a device (even in common law — one of the last English witchcraft cases was dismissed on the grounds the witnesses told the judge they had seen the woman flying, and he told them flying was not against the law), but five minutes after flying superheroes show up, it won’t be, or it will be severely limited to avoid mid-air collisions.

            Or secret identities. You can say no secret identities for cops because you don’t need any individual as a cop that badly, and you are capable of literally forcing him to reveal his identity at need. Neither apply to Superman.

        • Fox, it’s Kirk. Forget about it.

          • but he’s FUN!

            K, maybe a quarter turn off, but he does think, and when he’s got a point, it’s a good one– and when he doesn’t, it at least makes sense with the arguments offered.

  33. Professor Badness

    So, I’m a librarian in a small, middle of nowhere town. We are constantly seeing folks moving into the area who have purchased a parcel of land and are building a home. (They come to the library for entertainment until the internet cables are laid.)
    When asked, they invariably say they are trying to get away from the city. I am continually astonished at how many have come to this podunk area.

  34. Yeah, it is “ironic” that Trump just arranged for “his properties” to be underwater 6500 years from now. All hail Donald Trump, Immortal! (Maybe it is the worst of times. We’re living in a bad sci fi flic.)

    Trump as God-Emperor of Mankind/Gilgamesh was a humorous meme – but the way that the anti-Trumptards behave, it’s like they believe it’s real.

    • Feather Blade

      It is tempting to come up with something even more ridiculous, just to see if they’ll believe it…

      • It would be hard. Poe’s law. I mean there is a known satire/troll account on Twitter who was able to write an article published… in… I think it was The Grauniad? And all of the Gamergate / ‘alt-right’ / general folks in the know just about hurt themselves laughing; given the story was an over the top ‘journey to wokeness from being a bigoted misogynistic neckbeard’.

        Then there’s the news reporting very seriously during the Trump campaign that the Pepe The Frog meme was some kind of code or conspiracy theory of alt-right men’s rights anti-LGBT white supremacist Illuminati superpower group …thing… against Hillary Clinton. Yeah. Somehow a slightly smug looking crude frog drawing means that. It makes me want to go buy a flag of Kekistan off of ebay sometimes. (Which is another trolling meme.)

        Then there was this time that another Twitter user and @mombot set out to entrap the SJWs into buying a completely falsified ‘gathered over months’ proof that the Japanese, female, lives in Japan Mombot was ‘really a white man who is such a creeper weeabo that he stalks and harasses women’ because it completely plays into SJW biases that no non-White woman could ever be against The Causes Du Jour (which is why #NotYourShield got started and, as I recall, one of the things i saw @mombot in). From what we know of mombot, she is a woman in Japan, perhaps with children and husband; and a career in translating – research papers, company documents, etc. Who also has a hobby in gaming. Apparently it hasn’t occurred to the largely American SJWankers that there are probably very good reasons why Mombot 1) never gives hints to her real name or appearance 2) has the ability to keep her RL strictly separated from The Wired.

        It was a prank with disturbing results as the goal of the SJWs was to out Mombot and possibly destroy her career ( she was doing too good a job of destroying SJW narratives) and I think one of the people involved on the SJW side works/ed in Amazon as part of the report abuse team. (Am unsure; this happened back in Feb/ early April and I only poked my head into this for a few days to watch while I was ill.) Might have to look up Ian Miles Cheong’s articles if he wrote any about it; though maybe Ralph Retort did.

        And that’s me paying occasional attention to the madness giving examples. Think of how MUCH I missed!

        TL;DR it’d be difficult to come up with something crazy and insane enough for us. They top the crazy and insane. I still laugh that George RR Martin got super upset at my shortening of Anti-Sad Puppies to ASPs and called it malicious or derogatory naming, when I shortened it simply because it got tiring to type it out again and again and… what are acronyms for after all?

  35. The big question will be “How long will it be before a few thousand conservatives can buy out all of Detroit?” It probably will require either a decent bankruptcy or a default so bad that any bailout depends on voiding all contracts and selling the city.

  36. BobtheRegisterredFool

    Heard about the baseball shooting.

    Have lots of obnoxious comments that could be made.

    World probably will not miss them, nor mind if I wait for reliable information.

  37. Trying to apply the 72 hour rule, here; it’s still breaking news – but this morning’s events do not look good for the question of “are we moving towards hot civil war.”

  38. Byzantine_Corporal

    Thanks for the heads up Sarah. Our national divorce starts here, as we deny the light of our countenance to those who hate us and wish us dead and gone.

    But hey! “Gone” is oh so very definitely on the table. Greens and blues intercalated, Byzantium style, but disjoint shoppers? It might even be feasible. And since it’s non-binary it could even avoid destructive purity spiraling.

    What’s the population optimum density for a dose of “sneak around and get some despite the Authorities” skills, genes, behaviors? That’s pretty much the hot travelling minstrel archetype at base, but it generalizes. Hoo boy does it generalize! You might call it “ungovernable”.

    Not zero, and not one. The question reminds me of the mad-dog vs pacifist doves vs hawks.

  39. Pingback: In The Mailbox: 06.16.17 : The Other McCain