Usaians

Yeah, I’m back on the future history and the Usaian faith.  I know it starts somewhere in the 21st century.  Way too meta, but my name ain’t Hubbard, so ignore that.

I took yesterday off to write, and because I’m actually cursed (right?) I immediately came down with a severe ear infection.  This is not unusual when tapering on prednisone. It’s just… normally not ears.  Anyway, I did the thing I usually do and tried to ignore it, but when I was sweating and crying with pain, I got dragged to the doctor, and am now on antibiotic and better.  Not fully well (duh) but not crying in pain, which I count as a win.  I might even get some work done today.

And speaking of the Usaian faith.  One of you is cute when I mention it, and says she’s not a Usaian but an American, but the two are distinctly different.  I called it Usaian for a reason, partly because I heard it used as a pejorative in international boards (yeah, I know) and we have an history of taking those and using them with pride.  See Yankee.

But I used the term, because I needed a different term from “American.”

I went to school with two American twins.  You wouldn’t know it from looking at them, because they were as Portuguese as they can be. But they bragged of their status, because — get this — they got money from the US every month.

Now back then I saw nothing unusual about this.  In Portugal, you do get paid per-child.  It’s called “family allowance” and it wasn’t a heck of a lot, but you got some money every month (not money back on taxes, just money.)  Now I suspect that these chicks were on some form of assistance for poor families (still most, but at the time all of Portugal would qualify, by income.)  Because they went to the embassy every month to collect a check.  And their entire family lived off it, an upper-middle class lifestyle.

You see, their mother was on a bonafide tourist visa, and went into premature labor as they landed.  They saved the twins who, born on American soil, were American.  In the legal sense, that is.  There was no sign they were American in any other way.

“But Sarah, you say, that’s because nationality of birth on the soil is stupid.  But people who have lived here for centuries, whose ancestors came over if not on the Mayflower, on a decently later ship, are SURELY American.”

You’d think so, wouldn’t you?  I think the founders thought it was impossible for anyone who knew the country not to love it.  Hence, the citizenship rules we have.

However, go through the old families in New England. 90% of them are exquisitely well educated in the best schools, and ideological international socialists.  A lot of them, in fact, amount to a fifth column on our soil, the boot of the occupier on our neck.  The fact that they were turned by a would be occupier who then collapsed from within doesn’t change the fact they are in all but name enemy agents.

But they are AMERICAN.  They were born here.  So were their ancestors.  (And we all know three generations of magic soil will do it.  After all experts assure us of this.  Just like the other experts assure us that being born here would do it.)

Their vote counts as much as mine and yours.

In most countries this would make perfect sense.  Nationality and tribe are roughly covalent in use, if not in fact.  What I mean is though there is a heck of a lot more miscegenation between countries in Europe than you’d think (no, really. Not just the normal people with wandering feet, but you know, invaders, war, economic exiles, religious exiles, you name it.  All of them leaving DNA behind) each nation thinks of itself as the US thinks of races.  (Which is a largely fictitious thing in the genetic sense in the US also.  Anthropologists have a technical term for American blacks: Caucasian.)  They think of themselves as tribes or clans, or sometimes related tribes or clans (the North and South of Portugal despise each other, but will admit they’re closer to each other than say to Spaniards.  And they admit they’re closer to Spaniards than to Frenchmen.  you get the point.) So being born there means you’re likely to intermarry with the tribe.  And if your family stays there for generations, you already have.

But America is something else: it is a country founded on loyalty to the constitution, on belief in self government and on what Heinlein called the immortal poetry of the declaration of independence.

We are sure, a nation of soil and culture, but we’re also a nation of belief.

My future history required that America fall.

I’ve found I have this little defect: I can’t write a book set on our Earth in which America doesn’t exist, even if only just as a dream and a hope.

So I figured after America fell, the dream and the hope remained.  “Humanity’s last best hope.”

Dreams and hopes are important.  It was to an extent the dream of a Rome that never was, the idealized republic that people in the Empire wrote about, which caused America to come into being.

I noticed, further, that we had something here that only one other historical people had.  You see, in most nations, when they lose a war, have a financial crisis, get righteously trounced, the fault is found anywhere but themselves.  It was the great betrayal of an internal minority.  It was our enemies being so dastardly.  It was unfair, and besides the sun was in our eyes.

Americans, by and large, don’t do that.  Instead they buckle down, swallow hard and go “it’s because we deviated from our own principles.  If we do penance and return to a more faithful observance of our beliefs, we’ll be great again.”

Whether that’s true or not — obviously I think it is.  There’s a lot of the USAian in me. — it is a weird religion.

Those of you who have read the old testament know exactly what other nation did this.

It is a belief highly likely to form into a religion when the people cease having any other form of identification.  You live and die and exist by your belief.

Now are these people in the future, who believe in the Usaian religion, are persecuted for it, and who hold onto it as their reason to live Americans?

Oh, h*ll no.  Most of them weren’t born on American soil, and at any rate, America has no legal existence in their world.

So, they’re not American.  But they believe in the founding principles.  And they carry the light of them, idealized, through the night of tyranny, with intent to reestablish the Republic and to be Americans again.

I have — of course — great sympathy with them.  It also amuses me to play with religious belief in the future, divorced from other beliefs that bring a knee jerk reaction (though many of my characters are the religions we have now, sometimes with a USAian overlay) because it allows me to bring forth the nobility of honor, devotion and belief.

But more than that, as the Earth revolution unrolls, we get to see where belief fails, where it can get contaminated, and where it’s impossible to recreate America as such (which America would be the question, given the three centuries of existence they sort of have records of)  because of new conditions, different tech, different people.  And it’s fascinating to see how close they go towards recreating it.

Because it’s my world and I’m a romantic, the closest it comes to existing eventually (oh, there’s many books to get there) is in the North American territories, which weirdly end up including a portion of what we call Canada, because it greens first in this timeline.

But will it ever be America?  Well, it will have or fight for the same principles.  But America the dream will remain as unreachable to them as it is to us: a shining city on a hill to which we must ascend forever, but which remains too perfect for mere mortals.

And yet the fact that it exists as an ideal is enough to keep the hopes of it alive.  Forever.

 

 

 

318 responses to “Usaians

  1. A future history of the Usaian faith? Oooh. They’re going to need martyrs. Can I be a martyr? I think I’d make a good martyr. You have to kill me to shut me up, right? 😉

    • *chuckle* I wonder how we’d be martyred!

      • Lined up against the wall arguing the superiority of free market firearms to those commie knockoffs they’re about to shoot us with. 😉

      • That’s been done. Boblanson. See Vernor Vinge’s ‘Whirligig of Time’.

      • When I build my death ray, they’ll have to nuke me to stop me. 🙂

        • See, you’ll build that. The enemy? Didn’t. They’ll have taken that or stolen it and are the sort that once the weapon is used it’s gone.

          It is really interesting to me though that the dream of utopia and ‘improvement’ on the Left includes destroying – well, everything. Social values, morals, mores, ideals, structures, as well as people who disagree with them, because lets be honest here, silencing is only the start.

          For the rest of us, it’s building up dreams and hopes, making things, having a place, pursuing happiness.

          It boggles that anyone could think the other goals be better.

          But then, I realized, it’s because I don’t have this idea that everything around me is someone else’s fault, even though it could be argued that a number of events in my lifetime are events where I am victimised by someone else. I threatened them in their minds, by being me, doing what I do, or simply being different. Those people are ultimately never happy; because okay, sure they got rid of me from say the social circle, or pushed me out of that job… but then they’ll soon be threatened by the next person who shows any kind of competence. And it’s like that in every aspect of their lives!

          That, to me, is not living and that seems to be the greatest offense that we have become against them: that we have a better way, that their way of life is ultimately petty and destructive and leaves nothing that history would note or judge as good. Thus, they must control everything, must control how they are portrayed, erronusly believing that if they do that their place in history will be as the heroes and victors.

          And that, I realise, is why Communism, Islam and Nazism have so much appeal for the small hearted and why Christianity is something they despise so much.

          • … the greatest offense that we have become against them: that we have a better way, that their way of life is ultimately petty and destructive and leaves nothing that history would note or judge as good.

            Sure, but if they acknowledge that they would be admitting that everything wrong in their lives is due, in large part, to their self-sabotage, their refusal to properly prepare for tasks, to failure to take care in proper completion of tasks, their wasting energy looking for people to blame while claiming they “take full responsibility” for [everything that didn’t blow up in their faces.]

            Have any of those people ever, at any time, in any way, demonstrated the slightest capacity for such self-criticism?

            • Nope! And ultimately that’s why we win.

              We fix what is wrong, starting with working on our own flaws.

              They don’t even try.

              • What I sometimes find thoroughly amusing – magical thinking, belief in magic and practicing it, and believing and practicing things like the law of attraction, all of that seems to be more likely with people whose political views are leftists.

                But if you look at all of those together: the big common thing with all of them is the idea that you create your own reality. And that attitudes and feelings matter a lot, and negativity is the thing to avoid because how you look at things and especially how you feel about things is the key to what you get.

                If you, for example, feel like and think that you are a victim that is what you will stay, concentrating on your victim status will both make you one if you already weren’t, and once you are one it will make sure you will stay one. Concentrating on the wrongs in the world and especially on who to blame for them instead of what to do about them and fixing them with your own actions will increase them, not eliminate them, concentrating on feeling angry will increase the amount of anger in general, and the people towards whom you aim that anger will answer it with anger and will fight you every step of the way, not yield to your demands (well, that is also just common sense too, you may be able to get individuals to behave with those tactics, especially if they actually have done something wrong, but when it’s something like all men, or all whites…)

                Maybe we should encourage magical thinking after all. People who act on their feelz instead of logical thinking are more prone to go for it, and presented in the right way (well, that is pretty much the way lot of it is presented now, actually) it could encourage things like taking responsibility for your own life, as well as not doing stuff like rioting in the streets or constantly telling those different designated victim groups that they are victims, considering that if you believe in the law of attraction or hell of a lot of (other) magickal systems that could be seen as a certain way to lock them into that status for ever instead of doing anything to help them.

                • That would work, except that these same folks tend to be the sort who not only deny responsibility and moral consideration (which in some magick systems play heavily in the laws of attraction) but also buy heavily into the meme that they’re the ones who believe in Science! (‘Oh those stupid conservatives, don’t they know it’s just a bunch of cells?’) so while they also reject logical reasoning and facts as the tools of the patriarchy, they appropriate the respect that being seen as an intelligent rational person is, thus the presentation of being ‘more Scientific than you benighted non-Us’.

                  The TL:DR: they will always go for ‘it’s NEVER my fault but it’s totally yours, hater bigot racist misogynist backward unscientific homophobe.’ Doesn’t matter is the belief system is rooted in logical or emotional thinking.

                • I find that thinking positively works very well for me.

          • Reading your comment, it occurred to me that they’re like critics who are such because they have no capacity to create, therefore they feel the need to tear down everything they see in an effort to gain prestige by making that which they denigrate less than they are.

    • Martyrdom is overrated. I mean, it’s not like you can be martyred and then walk into a bar and have everyone buy you drinks. It’s not tax deductible. And martyr’s never seem to get the good chicks, at least not after they’ve been martyred.

      I suppose you could be martyred, and come back as some form of undead. But zombie martyrs just aren’t that cool (even if they are room temperature.) And vampire martyrs usually go overboard on the whole vengeance thing. Revenants, that’s a possibility; but they usually don’t get to hang around and enjoy their victory after achieving it.

      Nope, I’d rather be a live hero, although of the sneaky, Lazarus Long type that either outlives them, or has no scruples against killing them first, even if that means shooting the scum in the back.

      • Nope, I’d rather be a live hero, although of the sneaky, Lazarus Long type that either outlives them, or has no scruples against killing them first, even if that means shooting the scum in the back.

        Sure, I’d want that. But you know what? The Norns seem to have taken it as a personal challenge to show me in no uncertain terms that I can’t always (or all that often for that matter) get what I want.

        Now, more serious reply:

        I recommend John Paul Jones famous statement. No, not that one, the other one: “He who will not risk, cannot win.” You may prefer to do unto your enemy before he can do unto you but your enemy gets a vote too. And so does whatever author of the story we’re in that might be.

        So, sure, I’d like to fight and win and survive (in that order of importance) but I’m under no illusions that that’s certain, or even particularly likely. The only one that I have close to total control over is the first one.

        And finally, let me refer to these words of G. K. Chesterton:

        “Take the case of courage. No quality has ever so much addled the brains and tangled the definitions of merely rational sages. Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die. ‘He that will lose his life, the same shall save it,’ is not a piece of mysticism for saints and heroes. It is a piece of everyday advice for sailors or mountaineers. It might be printed in an Alpine guide or a drill book. This paradox is the whole principle of courage; even of quite earthly or brutal courage. A man cut off by the sea may save his life if we will risk it on the precipice.

        He can only get away from death by continually stepping within an inch of it. A soldier surrounded by enemies, if he is to cut his way out, needs to combine a strong desire for living with a strange carelessness about dying. He must not merely cling to life, for then he will be a coward, and will not escape. He must not merely wait for death, for then he will be a suicide, and will not escape. He must seek his life in a spirit of furious indifference to it; he must desire life like water and yet drink death like wine. No philosopher, I fancy, has ever expressed this romantic riddle with adequate lucidity, and I certainly have not done so. But Christianity has done more: it has marked the limits of it in the awful graves of the suicide and the hero, showing the distance between him who dies for the sake of living and him who dies for the sake of dying.”

        • “I think I could be a martyr if they killed me quick.”

          Well, seriously, you have to love the great martyrs because they are such stubborn cusses, and they often have such a good, joyful attitude about it. Although St. Perpetua’s autobiographical account (like many others) reveals that it is not all fun and hymnsinging.

          That is part of why real martyrs are apparently so unnerving — they just don’t react properly to the threat of death or pain — or at least, when it counts, they don’t. They have a frightening tendency to act like someone who represents every good ideal of their individual persecutors. And they are often more worried about the persecutors than themselves.

          • “But I am really unfit—”
            “You are willing, that is enough,” said the unknown.
            “Well, really,” said Syme, “I don’t know any profession of which mere willingness is the final test.”
            “I do,” said the other—”martyrs. I am condemning you to death. Good day.”

        • To paraphrase MZB, the universe goes as it will, not as you or I would have it.

          Thing is, when going into combat, or any other form of competition for that matter, it makes a difference in your odds of success if you go in planning on winning, and surviving, even if survival is the most irrational of all long shots. Sure, accept that you’re going to take that hit, most likely die from it. My FIL, being a combat engineer, did the landing at Normandy on D-Day. He told me that he knew he was going to die, but just set his sights on each step of the way, and planned on getting to that step, to the exclusion of everything else, including getting killed.

          • “Thing is, when going into combat, or any other form of competition for that matter, it makes a difference in your odds of success if you go in planning on winning, and surviving, even if survival is the most irrational of all long shots. Sure, accept that you’re going to take that hit, most likely die from it.”

            I think I know what you’re trying to say here, but your phrasing is… Off. And, a little unsophisticated.

            Here’s the thing: The mission is the priority, period. Nothing else matters, because if you’re fighting as part of a disciplined, soldierly force, you do your planning based on an overall scheme of operation and strategy. Your personal mission, that is part of the greater whole, may be to perform a spoiling attack, husband your forces, and keep them as intact as possible. In that case, your overall thinking/behavior is going to include pulling a lot of your punches from inception, because that’s your overall role and mission. In this role, inclusion of survival as one of your mission parameters is not only necessary, it is inherent to the mission.

            However, there may be cases where you’re going to be missioned and tasked to do things that imply you need to abandon “self”, and focus solely on mission goals. In this mode, you almost have to abandon any and all reference to anything besides the accomplishment of your mission objective, because to allow any distraction means you’ll probably pull your punches to some degree. This is the mode of thought where you allow your opponents to shoot the bejesus out of your squadron of torpedo planes down on the water, in order to allow your dive bombers unopposed runs in to drop their bombs. At some point, you have to abandon “self” utterly, and just focus on the mission–Sink that carrier.

            In boxing or other martial arts, you can see this happen in front of you in real time: The fighter who is thinking and planning ahead to the end of the match and being the guy holding his fists up in victory is often the guy who gets the ever-loving snot smacked out of him by the dude who only cares about putting his opponent onto the mat, and doesn’t really care that half his forehead has been torn off, and is laying over his left eye… The one guy is “husbanding his resources”, thinking about survival. The guy with the avulsed forehead is thinking about punching the snot out of his opponent, and putting him down. Who usually wins these fights, assuming the ref doesn’t stop it? It generally isn’t Mr. Moderate, who is thinking of basking in the glory.

            • All true. I don’t know how many folks here come from a military background, and was trying to not to induce the eye glazing effect.

              You’re quite right about the martial arts business. Ignore the hits that don’t count. In epee fencing, if you’re ahead, it’s not bad strategy to just double out for the win, even though you’re getting hits from the other guy/gal in each attack-counterattack. Bruises heal, and so do the occasional cracked ribs.

              • A good number come from direct military experience. If you add in “child or spouse of someone who did military service” I think the sum will approach unity.

                • Closest I’ve got is a great-uncle who died in WWI and a great-aunt who served in WWII. (She had battle stars from areas where they couldn’t evacuate her unit fast enough. As for what she was doing, well, the last time we asked we were told, “Don’t ask.”)

                • Father who served in the front lines during the Finnish Continuation War (like his two brothers), mother who served as a Lotta right behind them. But they never talked much of those times. Neither did my uncles.

                • 20 years active Air Force, but mostly peacetime (altho endemic terrorism is another story.) Daughter served 8 years in the USMC, to include a rotation to Kuwait/Iraq in 2003.
                  Father served a tour in Korea at the end of that war. Uncle (Mom’s brother) killed as a B-17 gunner on the Schweinfurt raid in 1943. Great Uncle (older brother of grandfather) killed on the Somme in 1916, with the Canadian Army.
                  I was the first person in my family for three generations to visit France while on active duty and live to tell the tale.

              • My only epee win against Peter Bakoney (Hungarian uprising refugee to Canada and the World epee champion) went that way — I got one point ahead of him and doubled out for the next two touches. Irritated the daylights out if him, but at least I could say I had won a bout with the world champion,

                • My hat is off to you, sir.

                • Congratulations, sir. Such perceptiveness and achievement entitles you to membership in the George W. Plunkitt Memorial Society, complete with authorization to wear a t-shirt bearing his motto: “I seen my opportunities and I took ’em.”

                  Whether this also entitles you to lecture on the distinctions between dishonest and honest graft is a matter of personal preference.

          • “Better to be a dead hero than a live louse. Dying is messy and inconvenient but even a louse dies sometime no matter what he might do to avoid it and he’s forever having to explain his choice.” Clifford Russel Have Space Suit, Will Travel (paraphrased from memory but pretty close if not spot on because it’s one of my favorite passages from my all time favorite book).

        • kenashimame

          “The Way of the Warrior is resolute acceptance of death.”
          Japanese proverb.

          • “Death before dishonor” is also a Western concept–perhaps recognized more violated than followed, but a common goal.

            The challenge is defining what constitutes “dishonor”.
            “Pledge allegiance to the flag, whatever flag they offer, never hint at what you truly feel. Teach the children quietly, for someday sons and daughters, will rise up and fight where we stood still.”

            And that concept is not entirely unknown to the Samurai culture either–see the tale of the 47 Ronin.

            • Patrick Chester

              As Miles Vorkosigan put it, eventually you end up either dead or forsworn.

              Though Miles did die before he screwed up, thanks to cryo-revival.

            • Except that eventually your left with nothing but the dead and those who have been dishonored.

              • That sounds like a close cousin to Gandhi’s “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind”. The problem is that it didn’t actually work that way in any society that practiced talion law.

                Having a philosophy of “death before dishonor” does not mean that one will be either dead or dishonored. Living with honor is not excluded by that since it’s not all that often that one faces that choice where if you don’t dishonor yourself you will certainly die–you’ve been caught; you’re chained to the post; faggots piled around you (dry ones–no green wood to produce lots of smoke and induce quick unconsciousness), the torch ready, and “betray what you believe or we light it”.

                Pretty rare to be in that binary a situation really. But when it does happen, that really is the acid test.

                • ((soapbox))

                  I absolutely hate that line, because it completely ignores the context of “an eye for an eye”, which was not meant as a call to take revenge, but as a limiter on it (ie. if somebody puts out your eye, you’re not allowed to start a clan war and kill his whole family)

                  • This works only if the other side also agrees to the “eye for eye” standard; otherwise it is probably best to go ahead and kill the entire family so that nobody comes after your eyes in turn.

                    Happily, using government as intermediary often avoids the problem as tracking down and eliminating entire families is not only tedious but likely to entail collateral damages, adding whole new families you must eradicate.

                    • I’m pretty sure that Hammurabi would have come down hard on anyone who didn’t adhere to the standard.

                    • Yep. Thus my remark about “using government as intermediary“. Individuals, once embarked on a voyage of revenge, are often prone to dining at the “all you can take” buffet.

              • Babies are born every day. And eventually you’re left with nothing but the dead — even the dishonored.

          • Lighter than a feather, heavier than a mountain?

          • “The coward dies a thousand deaths; the hero dies but once.”

            – A dimly remember quote on a Legend of the Five Rings CCG t-shirt quite a while back. It’s an adaptation of a real world quote (most people point to Shakespeare as the original source, but his phrasing was somewhat different).

      • Well, one faith you get 72 virgins (which, if you think about it is a total rip off but that’s another post).

        Pretty much all faiths martyrdom is a direct line to their afterlife paradise.

        • Now, 7 clean pornstars…
          And no, I am not intending to invent a religion/cult.

          • Meh. Porn stars are primarily skilled at simulating sexual gratification. My advice is take the hookers.

            • Well, hookers and stripers are more likely primarily skilled in pretending to like you (often while loathing you).

              I recommend swingers or other alternative sexual communities but even then you need screening (a lot of women who swing come with boatload of issues they are trying to fix with sex for example).

              • All the previous is why – go with the virgins.

                (I prefer the interpretation of that faith, however, where they get 72 Virginians. It ain’t pretty.)

                • These days it depends on the county the Virginians are from…

                  *considers the women you find in those government enclaves in NVa*

                  Okay, it isn’t pretty period but the kind of not pretty varies.

                  • Maybe Valkyries? 😀

                  • The joke (since 9/11, at least) was that the hijackers showed up in a very unpleasant place, and this dude with a wig and a funny hat steps up and slaps the Mohammed out of the first one. He says “My name’s George.” Then another guy with this funny hair and hat steps up and slugs him a good one. “My name’s Tom.”
                    And so it goes for each of the 19, to the tune of 72 of these guys just wailing on them.
                    They see Muhammed walking a little ways away, and they cry out to him, “Oh, Muhammed! What has happened? We expected to be playing with our virgins that we were promised!”
                    He replies “Virgins? No, my boys, I said ‘Virginians‘!”

        • Virgins. Such a transient condition. It’s nearly inconceivable how inexperience and ignorance has been placed on a pedestal for thousands of years.

          • It means a) She’s not going to give you a disease. b) You’re not supporting someone else’s offspring at your expense.

            Pre-antibiotics and pre-DNA test, these are important factors. Aside from that, humans are instinctively jealous creatures (see b, above). We don’t like the idea of someone else poking what’s ours.

            • You are also dealing with a faith that wants to ensure the female of the species is unable to ever enjoy the act and preferably suffers in the act.

            • Michael Houst

              Except you can still get pregnant and retain those walls of virginity. Not a very accurate means. And you can still catch an std from a “virgin” if they’ve contracted it by other than vaginal. What was it quoted the other day? “Life will find a way?” Even if it’s microbial or viral.

            • and c) your heir will be YOUR heir. Which was most of the reason for the bloody sheet proof of virginity.

              • Yep, most of the “women are oppressed” things were JUST the only way the poor bastards had of making more or less sure the kids they were supporting were theirs.
                Human infants can’t survive in the wild without males to support mother and child. But men, reasonably, want to know it’s their babies they’re feeding. Hence the whole rules on female fidelity, deportment, etc.

                • [M]en, reasonably, want to know it’s their babies they’re feeding.

                  Just one more way Rape Culture is expressed.

                  Seen at Instapundit last night:

                  FEMINISM FOR ME, TRADITIONAL GENDER ROLES FOR THEE: Harvard Study Shows the Main Reason Wives Divorce Husbands: A Harvard study examining income, work, and marital stability suggests that ‘bread-winning’ remains a central component of marital contracts.

                  The strongest evidence for the gendered institution perspective is that, for marriages begun in 1975 or later, divorce is more likely when husbands are not employed full-time. Consistent with my hypotheses, there is no evidence that this association is weaker for later than earlier marriage cohorts. Just as male breadwinning has remained important for marriage formation (Sweeney 2002), the results here demonstrate its enduring importance for marital stability. The results are consistent with claims that bread-winning remains a central component of the marital contract for husbands.

                  If it’s “rape culture” to expect wives to provide sex as part of the marriage, is it “slavery culture” to expect husbands to be the primary earners? Of course not!
                  https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/268433/

                  • Saw that article, was tempted to reply. The problem with it is the idea of marriage as a quid-pro-quo relationship: If they really see it that way, then they’re using the wrong metaphor – a provide-sex-to-primary-earner is more like legalized prostitution than rape, differing in degree rather than kind. But they can’t use the P word, can they?

                    I prefer to see marriage as a balanced partnership, each giving what they can to make the partnership work well, for the ultimate benefit of the partners. It’s worked for us for 52 years…

                    I wonder if SJWs and their ilk are capable of entering into a partnership?

                    • Is parasite/host a partnership? Their emotional understanding is yet another expression of their economic grasp.

          • Some people like the inexperience and ignorance. I don’t get it but there is something that appeals to some people and the heart (or in this case the genitals) want what it wants. The novel Memoirs of a Geisha provides an interesting example.

            But to be crass, if your thing is having sex with virgins that means your partners are one use. If you get a fixed number of one use items for eternity you are not being rewarded.

            • You forget that they are green virgins – or, renewable, as it were. They are virgins forever, no matter how many you can handle in a day.

              • Oh, so they Orion slave women?

              • (Blinks) While I can understand, on a certain level, the appeal of being the fellow who…hmmm…introduces 72 young, nubile maidens to the pleasures of the flesh, the idea of constantly, repeatedly having to do so seems like it would only appeal to certain very particular demographics.

                • The job that never ‘f*cking ends…

                • What if he just gets them, but can’t use them? Because they are supposed to stay virgins – wasn’t the deal that he gets virgins, not “gets to deflower virgins”.

                  So, he will be eternally surrounded by beautiful nubile young women he can never, ever touch… 😀

                  • So, in other words…hell, at least for someone who’s that sexually frustrated.
                    (Pause)
                    I like it.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      Several years ago, I read a joke about this guy who arrived in Hell and Hell had this golf resort with lovely greens and lovely women.

                      The guy was disappointed when he learned that the golf greens didn’t have holes but decided that he’d enjoy himself with the lovely women.

                      Then the demon showing him around informed him that the lovely women “didn’t have holes”. 😈

                    • Not to spoil the joke, but if you think holes are strictly necessary for gratification, you’ve lived a *very* sheltered life.

                  • Hmm … sounds like a great basis for a story to distribute among the Islamists, might create some doubts about their motivation?

        • You forgot the 28 young hairless boys.

      • “I mean, it’s not like you can be martyred and then walk into a bar and have everyone buy you drinks.”

        You’re telling me there’s no bars in Heaven? There’s totally bars. Pickup bars. With -awesome- chicks. Every awesome chick that ever lived, in fact. And free beer.

        Its Heaven, right?

        • When you drink your free beer and then whiz off the edge of a cloud, where does it go?

          • Well, if heaven is a closed universe, doesn’t that mean you’ll be peeing on your own head?

        • Viking heaven: Booze, pork, “sporting with Valkyries”, and “sports”.

          • Don’t forget the fighting, dying, and waiting for the giants to come and end it all on a frozen, muddy field. (So, something like the NFC East.)

          • kenashimame

            Which is why I’ve always considered SCA wars “Valhalla-lite.”

            • There’s a filk to that effect.

            • “Be careful what paradise you deal,
              what hope you make other dreamers feel
              for if too many hear it,
              they will struggle to draw near it
              and in the search they just might make it real”

        • You’re telling me there’s no bars in Heaven?

          Well, to quote the well-known hymn:

          In heaven, there is no beer
          That’s why we drink it here
          and when we’re gone from here
          our friends will be drinking all our beer.

          • /slaps forehead
            Duh!
            I forgot about that one! Nice catch!

          • That’s because in Heaven, there is nothing that tastes as nasty as beer!

          • Which had an entirely different tone in a Twilight Zone episode when a drunk driver in an accident suddenly found himself in a bar up for sale. He noticed the song was on the jukebox right before he passed out.

          • “In heaven there is no beer”? That is uninformed. St. Brigid says she will be brewing a lake of beer in heaven, and serving it up to all the saints, angels, and God too. Plus snacks. Unfortunately she doesn’t do a St. Dorothy or a St. Therese, and doesn’t distribute beer as a sign here on earth. (As far as I know.)

            Moreover, considering that the Messianic Banquet of Temple-era Jewish theology included not just unlimited bread (which along with the Davidic “five loaves” was part of the messianic references in the multiplication of bread miracle) and food (including grilled Leviathan and Leviathan-ess); but also unlimited wine (which was part of the messianic references in the miracle at Cana), I think we can safely guess there will also be unlimited beer (aka “strong drink,” siker) in both the Judeo- and Christian- versions of heaven.

      • I fail to see the point in arguing what someone will do in another person’s story. Is there a point I’m missing here? The story universe’s Fall of America is already established. Why is a given person wrong for asking (in a humorous fashion, so as not to put the author on the spot if it doesn’t agree with their plans) for a specific type of inclusion in the storyline?

    • I think just providing the screen names of the Huns and Hoydens would provide the martyr’s list plus give some fan service.

      And, yeah, the screen names, not the real names, to match the passage of time and let future academics argue about how HerbN was just a sock puppet of RES so the latter could have a straight man and how Shadowdancer and suburbanbanshee are the same person with DID and…

      Yeah, I’ll get my coat.

      • * Pours you a glass of Old Overcoat. *

        Aw come, on, keep writin’.

      • I could see you and I becoming siblings: two plant names, both starting with ‘H’ . . .

      • Hrm. If Shadow and I are really the same person, and she claims to be a Filipino-Australian while I claim to be an Ohioan, I guess the real poster must live in Hawaii somewhere.

        Probably we’re really just a Mormon male with a great rack.

        • No, you have DID or as it used to be called multiple personality disorder.

        • Great gun rack. In the back window of the pickup. In Oz, I think that’s a ute. Which ties in to the state of Utah, which in turn is the connection to the Mormon thing. So it all ties together.

  2. Scot Douglas

    c4C

  3. Just wanted to say I deeply sympathize about the whole getting sick thing. I’ve been catching different strains of flu, cough and cold for a while now.

    set on our Earth in which America doesn’t exist, even if only just as a dream and a hope.

    So I figured after America fell, the dream and the hope remained. “Humanity’s last best hope.”

    Quite honestly, I’ve found that the American ideal is one of the best mindsets to emerge ever – and it’s not really one that exists outside of the West (and Europe, not so much; though Britain has some of it; the closest is Australia.) It’s why people still try so very hard to get to the US.

    There aren’t very many places on Earth where that dream can come true, as well. Dream, hope, wish, ideals. All of it, is important because without those things, everything looks so bleak.

    • Too. Much. CHOCOLATE! Bad elf!

    • It’s as if throwing a bunch of colonists into the fire and making them rebuild society from wilderness changes them.

      The question is whether the risk takers were that way before leaving and thus remove that mindset from base society or it’s a learned attribute. It’s one thing that has always nibbled at my mind, when tribes split and one stayed put and other ventured out, how will drive and accomplishment in adversity be affected in future for both groups. Will remainers be complacent and vulnerable to unanticipated changes or will leaving group change things for sale of change and bury themselves.

      • Well, there were successes and failures in that whole “pitch them out into the wilderness” thing. Some colonies flourished. Others didn’t. Some Most eeked it out.

        The ones that survived, though. They might have been onto something….

      • Playing around with that concept is why I write HF – and that a good few of my characters are immigrants who become American.

      • Americans generally came here voluntarily, unlike, say, New France, where they were sent.

  4. Now, on the subject of “American but not Usaian” a large part of that is deliberate socialist (it predates the USSR actually, so not just “soviet agitprop”) aimed at taking over our cultural institutions: the arts and education, but also law and, for a good many years now, government.

    Propaganda, technically speaking, is simply a word that means a systematic effort to spread belief but the connotation is so bad with it’s implication of lying that people in the Right to Libertarian regions of the political map are averse to using it. The techniques of propaganda can be used to spread truth and good things as easily as lies and bad. But “we” (for a rather broad definition of “we”) have been reluctant to use it and even now for the most part aren’t very good at it–the Left has spent decades polishing their skills in it. We’re largely latecomers to the field.

    If we had a fair field, I think the “to know this country is to love it” would mostly be right. We could handle the few who didn’t since most would. But we don’t have a fair field.

    And so, I tend to take the “rabble rouser” role for the most part–kind of like Patrick Henry or Sam Adams. I may not be fit to polish the buckles on either of those men’s shoes, but I try.

  5. Eep! er, thanks for explaining the difference. I still prefer the term American. My grandparents emigrated to America. But I understand that USAian works better for your novels.

    • I think it works better for discussion, too. There is a large overlap in the sets “American” and “USAian” – but they are not identical.

      Nor have they ever been – there were monarchists among the Founding Fathers, and even a couple that, from their writings, were much closer to the proto-Communists in France than to limited government.

    • I think your family, like mine, adopted Americanism (okay, fine, some of mine made it up in the first place, others adopted it) as the same sort of all-encompassing worldview that Sarah’s Usaians use.
      When all is well, in America, the two are exactly synonyms, after all.

      The problem lies in things not going well. One is born American. It is a nation. I doubt the founders thought people would naturally love it, but they didn’t conceive of their descendents throwing it away instead of educating their children in it. Remember, these guys figured the top two vote getters for President would work as President and Vice President. They were optimists, and as someone from a Masonic family, I see why the Masonic contingent thought that, forgetting that one asks to be a Freemason, and may be expelled for behaving poorly to a Brother.

      I don’t think they foresaw the national public schools. How could they? There had never been anything like that, at their time. I suspect many of our current problems would have been avoided if our school boards of a century ago had the guts to turn down the new, supposedly scientific education methods and the funding that went with it.

      • Should probably say I mention my ancestors who made it up because it’s some of their descendents who became progs. I expect they’re spinning in their graves at the stuff their descendents got/get up to.

        If there’s anything genetic about being an Usaian, it’s awfully subtle and sure doesn’t show up in every generation.

        • My maternal ancestors came to Canada from Russia.My mother came from Montreal to New in 1945 or 1946. My paternal ancestors came to America from Vilna in 1923. People didn’t use the term American in the 20’s or 40’s.

      • Feather Blade

        I have read that one of the original purposes for government schools was to help immigrant children integrate into American society, by giving them…. a standardized curriculum of “how to be American”, as it were.

        If this is true, then the instant that schools started teaching non-foreign language classes in any language but English, and the moment they started talking “Multiculturalism” rather than “integration”, and as soon as they stopped teaching civics… they should have been disbanded.

        Instead mission creep and bureaucratic inertia have given us the mess we see today.

        • Let’s draw a line between schools administered and funded entirely by local school boards and schools controlled in part by state and federal governments through funding.

        • The emergence of Teachers’ Unions may have somewhat to do with it. Because teachers carry considerable social capital they are very effective in persuading voters (especially parents of schoolchildren) and wield disproportionate force in local elections where their ability to turn out their voters can largely determine who wins. (And even if they can’t, politicians think they can.)

          Yet one more reason all public employee unions ought be barred as a conspiracy against the public interest. Decertifying the Wisconsin teachers’ union was the boldest move Scott Walker did and the primary source of the vitriol in the attacks on him.

        • Between the carrot (federal funding) and the whip (the ACLU ready to wage lawfare), school boards get herded willy nilly into compliance with agendas not their own.

          • Meant to mention this earlier, but there be reasons why, after Weatherman revolutionary Bill Ayers left the Underground, he

            earned an M.Ed from Bank Street College in Early Childhood Education (1984), an M.Ed from Teachers College, Columbia University in Early Childhood Education (1987) and an Ed. D from Teachers College, Columbia University in Curriculum and Instruction (1987).
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Ayers#Academic_career

            and eventually becoming a leading proponent of “school reform” and revisions in pedagogical content.

  6. The United States of America. The one place, so horrible, for much of its existence, people have risked all to get here, just to have a better chance in life.

  7. The notion of personal freedom does not sit well with a lot of people. Some really want to be told what to do, and some really want to be the ones doing the telling.

    There is also the industrial social model to be considered. Many hands working together to Build Something fore the Greater Good. It is a seductive notion. In the industrial model you have the Planner(s), the Foremen and the Workers. The few direct the many to produce goods of high quality.

    It works in industry, but it gets applied to things like hospitals, schools, and even churches, where it doesn’t work. Churches particularly are viewed by some as factories of the soul, a mill for churning out Goodness.

    Personal activity in the Industrial Model is considered waste motion and is frowned upon. You’re supposed to work hard at your job and be rewarded later.

    The problem is that Reality(tm) doesn’t work that way. Real humans don’t fit in these structures, any more than we fit in the agrarian Feudal structure that came before.

    The thing about the American Experiment is that it looked at people for the first time as Sovereign. Every man a king, every home a kingdom. The interactions between people, when viewed from that notion, take on a different import. Those interactions take place between Equals, no matter the relative social status, education or wealth. The street sweeper is EQUAL to the Rockefeller in his top hat, and everything from the Constitution to the working of the traffic lights is arranged with that view.

    Now, it can be argued that the above Equality is a fiction as well, just like Feudalism and the Industrial model. And it is. The Rockefeller probably is smarter/faster/stronger/better than the street sweeper.

    But.

    By all measures, the American Experiment is wildly, fabulously, stupendously more successful than centrally planned factory Socialism or agrarian Feudalism. Therefore, declaring men to be equal before the law and each other is a more effective approach. It is measurably superior to declaring some better than others, by birth or by talent.

    And that is why the USAian thing isn’t a religion, its more an observable truth about the way the world works.

    • Face it, those of us who abide by Usaian values tend to be just a bit ornery. 🙂 As I tell folks, my political philosophy is:

      1) I’m not bothering anybody.
      2) It’s none of your business.
      3) Leave me alone!

      I wrote a long(ish) piece some months ago that I called, “What We
      Believe,” in the hope that it could be used to convince other Americans who have been biased to believe that “conservative” or “libertarian” mean some distasteful things to actually think about the values we hold and (I hoped) realize that they also believe these things. If you’d like to read it and comment (or to pass it on to anyone else), please feel free. It’s available here:

      http://www.gopbriefingroom.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=234344.0;attach=2730

      • Face it, those of us who abide by Usaian values tend to be just a bit ornery.
        How was it Sarah put it a while back? We “don’t listen well”. 🙂

        • The curse of high intelligence, again. When faced with someone telling you there are five lights, telling them to shove that non-existent fifth light is more of a moral imperative than a mere knee-jerk reaction.

          Commies have been telling us “five lights” now for a hundred years, getting out my multi-meter and my camera and all that, I still see four.

          Not for much longer though, it seems. Lately people have taken to punching the guy with the five lights. This is a hopeful sign and an alarming one, in about equal measure.

      • Ahem.

        “Warning! It seems that you are not allowed to download or view attachments on this board.
        Please login below or register an account with The Briefing Room. “

        • Whoops. Try this then:

          http://www.gopbriefingroom.com/index.php/topic,234344.msg1147234.html#msg1147234

          If that doesn’t work, let me know and I’ll figure something else out.

          • Success! Reading now…

          • I see nothing there to object to. But then “get out of my face!” is one of my fundamental organizing principles. ~:D

            You won’t convince anybody though. The time of persuasion is over, now its more picking sides.

            • I wasn’t looking to change peoples’ views so much as to demonstrate to them that the views they hold are more in agreement with ours than with the folks they’ve believed they’re more aligned with. But you’re probably right, it’s difficult to carve off those crypto-individualists the other side has sucked in now that things are getting heated.

              • It’s a noble effort to be sure. But they’ll just assume you’re lying about your beliefs the same as they lie about theirs.

                Because -their- fundamental belief is that people are stupid and must be controlled. They’ve been inventing ever more wonderful circumlocutions to excuse/explain/cover up that truth for the last 100 years.

                The very idea that people should be Free, it gives them hives. We’re not under their control, we check them at every turn, and we refuse to knuckle under like we are supposed to. Hell, we even fight back! That’s why they want to kill us.

                Why did ChinaMike and the Hugotrons have such an massive freakout? We dared to speak up without permission, that’s why. We were an uncontrolled constituency, rudely intruding in their hallowed space, bringing chaos and discord into their carefully monitored nominations.

                Expand to the national political scene, that’s what’s going on. How dare you insist on your freedom! Shut up and get back to work paying your taxes!!!

                • Oh, the committed leftists will. But that’s not who I was hoping to address. I want the somewhat puzzled followers who thought their side was espousing the doing of good deeds and the thinking of good thoughts, and who are now seeing those they’d followed committing criminal acts of violence, and are beginning to wonder if there’s anyone who they can believe. I want to give those folks an understanding of our principles, and try to cut them away from the leftist herd.

                • It’s a noble effort to be sure. But they’ll just assume you’re lying about your beliefs the same as they lie about theirs.

                  Near the end of Flint & Freer’s “Pyramid Power” where Sigyn regrets her path of revenge (in this story a large part of the whole Ragnarok thing was Loki and Sigyn’s revenge for Odin’s murder of their sons Narfi and Nari, which was in turn revenge for Baldr) and she thinks maybe she should have let it go.

                  Another character told her that that wouldn’t have worked because Odin would never have believed she would let it go because he would never have let it go.

                  Same thing. They won’t leave us alone so they don’t, can’t, believe that we would.

                  • They’ll believe us when we walk away from their beaten asses lying on the sidewalk, instead of kicking them to death like they’d do to us.

                    I’m a little testy just at the moment, I’ve been reading about the ISIS slave trade in little kids. Nothing we do to those people will be over the top. Nothing.

                  • Naah, Narfi was killed by the Dark Brotherhood. Well, that’s what i *heard*, i wouldn’t know anything about it *whistles innocently*

            • But think of the children!

              If we can convert a single progressive…

      • Unfortunately, there are too many people who are bothered by you not bothering anyone, who believe it IS their business, and will NOT leave you (or anyone else) alone.

        • Then they reciprocally make their business MY business, and will not enjoy the effects of that reciprocity.

          • Indeed.

            Leftists consistently fail to understand that they only succeed because most people don’t know/don’t care what they do. When people start noticing what the Left is doing, then it doesn’t go well for them.

            Now that they are actively pissing us off…

      • “am I being detained?”

    • Real humans don’t fit in these structures, any more than we fit in the agrarian Feudal structure that came before.

      Actually, given how much of human history (at least the past 6-8,000 years depending on some assumptions and definitions) agrarian feudalism is a pretty natural forms for humans. It might not be the best system ever conceived but it does seem to be a local maxima in that moving away from it gets worse before it gets better.

      All the theory aside modern Marxism and other flavors of leftism seem to be attempting to design industrial feudal structures.

      This doesn’t surprise me. Feudalism has two powerful things that appeal to ape frame and our conscious mind. The hierarchy inherent in feudalism appeals to the ape frame by structuring a larger society in ways that make sense to our ape band instincts. The idea of place in the order that provides purpose appeals to the conscious mind.

      Look at how many voluntary organizations have some variant on the hierarchy and purpose based on place that parallel feudalism.

      Freedom is much harder. Freedom doesn’t feed the ape frame because it allows for (although does not require necessarily) atomization of individuals. Freedom pretty much means make your own purpose.

      This is why I’m semi-pessimistic on liberty. I believe it is the next, best step for humanity but I’m not sure the trip to it is something the majority is ready to make. I don’t think it is an accident that it first took hold in a place made by people thrown out of all the decent and respectable countries (nor that Shadowdancer said only Australia seems to have it close to what the US does…see that thrown out bit).

      I think if it fails this time it will rise again if humanity lasts long enough but I suspect the interregnum will be a lot more than a few hundred years. I suspect it’ll be a few millenium.

      In between there will be a lot of feudalism…first industrial feudalism and then agrarian (because the reason liberty is the best future is because without it anything about agrarian can not be sustained).

      • Great Minds… I was musing earlier this afternoon about how feudalism seems to have conditioned people to accept that power and rights belong to the state/lord/protector and that he grants them to his villains if/when they earn them or at his whim. (See also: being sentenced to prison for criticizing Islam on social media.) And them along came the Scottish Enlightenment, and then the American Revolution that argued no no, rights are granted to the government by the people, and may be reclaimed by the people at will. And keep off my lawn/farm/doorstep.

        • … argued no no, rights are granted to the government by the people, and may be reclaimed by the people at will.

          Frequently referred to by Elites (and those who worship them) as Worst. Idea. Ever.

      • “Actually, given how much of human history (at least the past 6-8,000 years depending on some assumptions and definitions) agrarian feudalism is a pretty natural forms for humans.”

        It is a cultural adjustment to the technology of farming, not a “natural” form. Mammals don’t act like that. Take away the massive labor cost of stoop agriculture, the feudal system disintegrates almost immediately. It lasted a long time, but it was teetering long before gunpowder, the rail road and later the steam engine killed it forever.

        Industrial Socialism is again another unnatural form, the response to capital intensive and labor intensive manufacturing.

        Neither thing fits us, we get jammed into those shapes by the limitations and practicalities of technology.

        • Well, if we’re going that far I’d point out anything but being a hunter-gatherer in a family or clan sized ban is something we are “jammed into”.

        • Most mammals don’t act like that because they can’t speak and so can’t indulge in the division of labor.

          One note, for instance, that only fully anatomical modern humans, who could speak, domesticated dogs. The human discovery that if you listened to the wolves you could heard where the prey was important, the lupine discovery that if you hung about after the humans butchered the animal, you could eat the rest was important, but the real switch probably came when the hunters concluded that just as the gatherers expected their share of the meat in return for gathering the reliable vegetable stuff (for additional food and in case of hunt failure), the wolves expected their share of the meat in return for finding the deer, and that’s why they were hanging about.

          Chimps can’t do that.

          Likewise, you can have a feudal structure if you can make a deal that these men will work, and those men will fight.

      • what about Israel?

  8. “The Rockefeller probably is smarter/faster/stronger/better than the street sweeper.” Maybe, but the baseline is it shouldn’t matter. Like Dr. P. is found of writing, “Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.”

    • And I would disagree. To be free, they must be equal – equal under the law, and in opportunity.
      No, they are not equal in outcome. But only an idiot could believe that any group of men ever could be equal in that regard.

      • This is where semantics is a pain in the ass.

        Being treated equally by the law is not the same as being equal. If we were in the state of being equal, we’d mostly be bored to tears, because there would be no variety.

        • Wayne, sorry to put this so bluntly, but due respect for the accuracy of the record compels me to point out that, even if we all were “in the state of being equal”, I would still be more equal than you.
          ; )

  9. The “Usaian” ideal would be wonderful to live under. Warts and all. I giggled when you said that the new N.A. territories included Canada. Wishing we had a better constitution writer then what we got. :/

  10. Thank you. This put into words some things I’d been having trouble expressing, both in fiction and in every day life.

  11. Very nice, Sarah. It’s those ideals that make it worth doing. And it’s the loss of that ideal that hurts so very much as you look around these days.

    Odds give me hope.

  12. I s’pose we could distinguish Usains (not fond of the term – awkward on the tongue; do you hate your Audible readers?) as CAs — Constitutional Americans. That would be those of use who’ve sworn fealty to the principles (as opposed to the text) of the Constitution. It is the prnciples embodied in that document which form the core of Usaian beliefs, nicht wahr?

    As for our backstabbing quisling brethren fellow Americans, the ones who worry fret that “Europe is laughing at us” … I don’t care. Their existence is grossest condemnation of American pedagogy possible and we can, so long as they fester, build around, build over, drive through them.

    • I give my fealty to the text of the Constitution, which matches its principles. Why would you separate the two? The Constitution is a straightforward document written — as Jefferson pointed out — in plain English. Its meaning is obvious to any moderately intelligent and moderately educated person, which might explain why all politicians absolutely refuse to pay any attention to it whatsoever.
      Now if by “text” you mean “what modern politicians pretend the Constitution means” then I agree, but there is no connection between that and the actual words. Just study Article 1 Section 8 carefully and it will hit you with a Clue by Four.

      • The distinction was in regard to certain element of the Constitution which are strictly operational, such as the method of separating the powers as contrasted against the principle of separated powers.

        I do not think it worth going into beyond that. Anybody talking about a Living Constitution is attempting to gut the Constitution and walk around in the skin.

    • We need a national term for such quislings. Maybe scallywag?

      • We already have one (more, actually). Leftist, Progressive, SJW, etc. Take your pick.

      • Given the original definition of the term — “a white Southerner acting in support of the reconstruction governments after the American Civil War” (Merriam-Webster — I think that a less than proper term. It seems to represent the opposite of what you wish to apply it to; a scallywag would be one putting the Constitution above partisan/regional interest.

        Perhaps Copperhead better suits the intention?

        • It occurs to me that the term Copperhead and its origins in the American War Between The States might not be entirely clear …


          From Encyclopedia Britannica:

          Copperhead, also called Peace Democrat, during the American Civil War, pejoratively, any citizen in the North who opposed the war policy and advocated restoration of the Union through a negotiated settlement with the South. The word Copperhead was first so used by the New York Tribune on July 20, 1861, in reference to the snake that sneaks and strikes without warning.

          [SNIP]

          Most Copperheads were more interested in maintaining the existence of the Democratic Party and defeating Republican opponents for public office than they were in participating in any disloyal activities.

          [END EXCERPT]
          britannica[DOT]com/topic/Copperhead-American-political-faction

        • Actually – and since this get into the Civil War, a forbidden topic, I won’t say much of it – that Merriam-Webster definition is about like saying “Mafia (n) American organization that aided the Allies in World War II.” That doesn’t tell the entire story. A scallywag is a collaborator with a carpetbagger. It’s easy to demonstrate by pointing out that none called Robert E. Lee a scallywag, yet by the Merriam-Webster definition he would have qualified as he urged compliance with the Union.

          • Rich Rostrom

            Lee advocated submission to the national authority of the United States, like everyone else. But he opposed (genteely) any cooperation with the program of “Reconstruction” of state governments in the South that did not provide for absolute white supremacy and control by ex-Confederates.

            Lee’s “old war-horse”, Longstreet, joined the Republican Party, and even led mixed-race militias in resistance to white supremacist mobs. He was excoriated as a scalawag.

            • It might be worth considering that a) Longstreet, having been best man at the Grant wedding was highly likely to hold a level of trust in his friend’s good intentions and b) the South was hardly likely to condemn “Marse Robert” absent truly abject submission to the Reconstruction agenda — and Lee’s withdrawal from public life and his death in 1870 largely exempted him from any opportunity to praise or denounce Reconstruction.

              I strongly suggest eschewing any discussion of Reconstruction beyond the current level, as it is a subject much misreported in the History of that era, highly complex, and scarcely amenable to exoneration or condemnation in our present day.

              • Nods about discussions on Reconstruction. You can gauge how much is distorted and swept under the rug by how one of the issues behind the 14th Amendment was preventing emancipated blacks from owning firearms based on the argument they were not citizens, and thus not covered by the 2nd Amendment, yet that’s barely mentioned. It was messy and nasty and has been cherry-picked by everyone to a fare you well. That period deserves more attention than it gets.

                • And in the case of Cruikshank, they also had a throwaway line that said it was irrelevant because the second amendment wasn’t an individual right anyway. All later gun control is based off of that.

                  • What Cruikshank said was that the right to possess firearms was not a right granted by the Constitution “nor dependent on that document for its existence” (paraphrased from memory). While the gun-grabbers make much of “not a right granted” they miss that part (deliberately, I suspect) which is right in keeping with the philosophy that the Constitution and Bill of Rights does not grant rights, but merely forbids the government from restricting them.

                • Yep. I have yet to find a good legal history of the period. Everything I’ve read has been on the progressive side of things, and while there are some good books out there on limited topics, trying to find a decent overview… It may be one of those topics that is just too broad for any current historian (we’re almost all over-specialized. Woefully so.)

                  • I’ve read at least two sides of it. A lot still gets ignored or forgotten or not double checked because it’s “too good” to check. It’s not unusual to go blundering along and find something from the period that makes you go “Whoa” for various reasons.

                    • Having recently finished a fairly good biography of Grant (American Ulysses: A Life of Ulysses S. Grant, Ronald C. White), as you might figure Reconstruction is a major portion of the book. In my view the Liberal Republicans and the Democrats both behaved shamefully, and the Radical Republicans gave just cause for such. IOW, pretty much what we see happening today.

                      There may be periods of American History taught more abysmally in our schools but I think it unlikely. Regrettable, as this period is probably more significant than the War of Southern Secession. Instead, what we get is about a thin paragraph telling us Reconstruction was full of carpet-baggers and scallywags, the Grant Administration was riddled with corruption (name one that wasn’t) and the railroads and opening of The West brought economic prosperity.

                    • Ours wasn’t that detailed. OTOH, there was some regional history that wasn’t directly tied to Reconstruction but began in that period, was much nastier, and may have been considered too much of a hot potato to bring up.

                  • BobtheRegisterredFool

                    I went *mumble* instead of history in the laughable notion that I’d be able to find work.

                    Reconstruction is one of my areas of interest historically speaking.

                    It is laughable that an untrained lackadaisical partisan shill with an axe to grind against the Democrats like me can give a better, fairer summary of the topic than the vast majority of readily available sources.

            • Word of caution: I’ve found some suspicious, unverified, comments attributed to Lee after the war. An application of sodium chloride is needed. What I do know is that many former officers, even N.B. Forrest, former member of the KKK, were conciliatory. Forrest raised eyebrows by giving a speech to blacks in Memphis (well worth reading, BTW), yet he wasn’t considered a scallywag. Nor was a Georgia minister who was a former delegate to the secession convention and who welcomed the local occupation officer who came to his church one Sunday, even though what he said went so far that the former Confederate veterans got up and walked out.

              Now I’m trying to recall which former Confederate officer it was who, when he accepted a commission in the US Army, was told by a friend and former Confederate veteran “I hope I die before you do, because I want to see [name forgotten]’s face when you get to heaven wearing that uniform.” I’m wanting to say Joe Wheeler, but he wasn’t the only one.

              That wasn’t joining the Republicans, though. And Longstreet had taken up criticizing Lee, and that ticked off a lot of Southerners.

      • There has been one since the Founding: Tories.

    • I’ve been pronouncing it as
      You
      Ess
      A as in way
      ins

  13. USAianism as a religion. Never listen to ‘Amazing Grace’ the same way again.

  14. I’ve been trying for several years now to think of another state based on the idea that you can have all the rights and privileges and duties of a citizen if you just accept a set of beliefs, including the belief that the government borrows power from the citizens and is limited by those citizens. Revolutionary France seemed like it might go that way, for thirty seconds or so, maybe less, and then sailed into the embrace of “citizens exist for the good of the State” and we all know what happened next.

    After almost three weeks in Belgium and Germany, I’m even more happy to be home than usual.

  15. I recently started watching the anime My Hero Academia. It’s a Japanese take on all the fun with American superhero comics, so of course there was bound to be a fairly positive attitude towards America. (Well, one would hope. And Japanese comics-based fandom usually does.)

    But it cracks me up no end that the mentor character is an actual American who uses American fighting technique names. He even names his physical training plan for the young Japanese protagonist that way — “American Dream.” Though he is living in a world of inborn superpowers, his power is actually something that is secretly passed along, mentor to student, to people without superpowers — but people with a determination to step up and fight for right.

  16. You speak of the citizenship rules we have (born here implies US citizen) in connection with the Founders. But that’s not accurate; that rule was created in the 14th Amendment. This was done to ensure that former slaves would be citizens. It has an interesting clause in it that doesn’t get a lot of discussion: “…and subject to the jurisdiction thereof”. What exactly that’s supposed to mean isn’t clear to me. Time for some more reading. Perhaps it’s in the legislative record. I know other bits of explanation are, such as the fact that it was intended to enforce the Bill of Rights, and the 2nd Amendment in particular, on the states.

    • “…and subject to the jurisdiction thereof” is present to cover cases like an Ambassador’s child born in a US Hospital. The Ambassador’s immediate family typically (although not universally, and not for all purposes) shares (part of) the Ambassador’s diplomatic immunity. Consequently, the child of an Ambassador is NOT automatically a US Citizen, even if the child was born on US soil. There are some other similar edge cases covered by that phrase.

      There’re likewise oddities involving children born in transit between nations, etc. A guy I new in college had recently chosen US citizenship as one of 5 (yes five!) choices available to him at age 18. He was born to non-US parents (two different nationalities) in transit between two non-US contries (two more nationalities) while travelling on a US Flag (owned and operated) aircraft.

      I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV. If you need legal advice on which you can rely, please consult an actual lawyer.

      • At least, that’s what the courts say it means.

      • Rich Rostrom

        Or other diplomatic personnel. The idea was to prevent someone who was a foreigner de facto, and probably of that nation’s power elite, from claiming US citizenship. Such a claim could entangle the US in that country’s affairs, or allow that country to “infiltrate” US politics. It was not all that long since foreign princes had wormed into control of European states on the basis of dubious claims of nationality; the elective monarchy of Poland had been repeatedly usurped by an outsider backed by a Great Power.

    • What exactly that’s supposed to mean isn’t clear to me.

      Silly rabbit — it means whatever prog judges need it to mean.

  17. The fact that they were turned by a would be occupier who then collapsed from within doesn’t change the fact they are in all but name enemy agents.

    Enemy propaganda and psy-ops ought be recognized under the same protocols as radiation, chemical and bacteriological weapons — each inflicts long-term damage on the attacked party that requires extensive clean-up operations to counter and reclaim the damaged territories.


    As for the distinction between Usaian and American … while there is considerable overlap the two spheres are not congruent. Many an American is not Usaian, and many Usaians are not American. See above video for case in point.

    • But America is something else: it is a country founded on loyalty to the constitution, on belief in self government and on what Heinlein called the immortal poetry of the declaration of independence.

      Hence one sure test of whether a person is Usaian or merely American is their answer to the question: “What is American Exceptionalism?”

      America is exceptional because it is the only nation whose foundation is credal. America The USA is not a nation of soil or blood, it is a nation of Faith. Any incapable of recognizing that (such as a certain birth-certificate challenged former president) may be American but they are not Usaian. (Can we move to Usayan, or has that ship sailed?)

      • Exactly. The US is (or at least was) a creedal nation, allowing citizenship to anyone who swears or affirms allegiance to the core beliefs of our creed. Well, there’s a bit more to naturalization than that, but in essence that’s it. I’d consider the term “Lockeans,” as in John Locke…

      • It’s in three books. The ship hath indeed sailed.

        • SheSellsSeashells

          Two things, apropos of nothing except An Encouraging Word (and the fact that Kid is an 11-year-old fangirl of yours).

          1) Aforementioned Kid and I generally read together on our respective tablets in the afternoon. She is STILL laughing at me for my spontaneous “oh, shit near the end of “Darkship Revenge”. I told her to stop or I wouldn’t let her read it.

          2) Kid has been tearing her way through the first Shifter book. “I wonder what happens next, because the diner is awesome!!” Being distracted by boiling jam, I mentioned vaguely that there were sequels and I really should buy them. “YES. YES YOU SHOULD.”

      • And there’s a considerable number of folks doing their utmost to destroy any expression of faith in this country.

      • Michael Brazier

        “What is American Exceptionalism?”

        When that term was first invented, it meant the USA’s failure to follow the trajectory predicted by Karl Marx for capitalist economies. No, really. It’s a phrase coined by Communists in the 1920’s.

  18. You see, in most nations, when they lose a war, have a financial crisis, get righteously trounced, the fault is found anywhere but themselves. It was the great betrayal of an internal minority. It was our enemies being so dastardly. It was unfair, and besides the sun was in our eyes.

    “I take responsibility for every decision I make — but that’s not why I lost.”

    “I’m now the nominee of the Democratic Party. I inherit nothing from the Democratic Party. It was bankrupt, it was on the verge of insolvency, its data was mediocre to poor, non-existent, wrong. I had to inject money into it — the DNC — to keep it going.”

    In further remarks, it was FBI Director Comey, the NY Times, a shadowy conspiratorial cabal Sid “Grassy Knoll” Blumenthal told her about, and it was those deplorable people in those misbegotten flyover states.

    No way was it because she was out of touch with the American people.

    • She wasn’t just out of touch with the American people. She was out of touch with fellow Democrats in States that weren’t supposed to be swing States but were struggling and calling for help.

      So, yeah, she may claim responsibility for her decisions — but she isn’t at all about to cash out those claims.

      Frankly, I hope that Democrats continue to follow this path. Sadly, Republicans will probably continue to follow this path as well…

  19. The current crop of Islamic terrorists also seem to think that going back to the “pure” original Islam is what will restore them to glory. Their romanticized version of the original faith includes slavery, removal of unbelievers’ noggins, forced conversion, and doubtless some other forms of kitten kicking I’ve overlooked. But, then, Old Mo’ did crib off the Hebrews when he was working on his magnum opus dei, so it shouldn’t surprise me that they’ve copied that bit, too. Anyone remember the Michael Keaton movie ‘Multiplicity’? Copy off a copy off a copy and you end up with some jihadi sitting in the corner eating paste.

    On Usaians – how do you pronounce it? Always struck me as awkward… too many vowels on the end, like the opposite of Serbian.

    • you end up with some jihadi sitting in the corner eating paste.

      umm, that’s the inbreeding by way of good ole fashion cousin-loving ad infinitum

      • That, too.
        I was thinking ideological paste-eating, but that can get a little muddled, too, when you have the same grandparents on both sides.

      • The fact that it’s almost “us aliens” when said that way is no doubt a bonus.

        • I’ve felt very alien for some time. And I have gotten that “did you leave your saucer double-parked?” look more than a few times. Like I’d still be here if had a saucer…. of the spaceship variety. I have a few saucers, but they are more of the teacup/coffee cup variety. Ox slow. Ox not (completely) uncouth.

  20. “However, go through the old families in New England. 90% of them are exquisitely well educated in the best schools, and ideological international socialists. A lot of them, in fact, amount to a fifth column on our soil, the boot of the occupier on our neck. The fact that they were turned by a would be occupier who then collapsed from within doesn’t change the fact they are in all but name enemy agents.”

    [sigh]

    OK, I’m gonna let you off, on this one, but… Jeezely Jones, have you misread these people. And, badly. These bastards were never “turned”, in the least–They’ve always been like this. The currently adopted leftist ideology is only the latest expression of their worldviews, and a part of their attempt to co-opt populism to gain and retain control of things.

    These ‘eff-wads were never American. Ever. Want to know why I say that? That’s where my mother’s side of the family came from, New England, and there has always been, from the founding days of the 13 Colonies, two distinctly separate threads of tradition that came over from England. On the one hand, we have the liberty-seeking types that came to America to escape religion-based oppression, the Enclosures, or what ever other petty tyranny the nobility was coming up with back in the old country. Then, you had the other thread, where the “noble families of good name” were coming over to serve as overseers of investment monies, government, and what-not. From the one thread, we got the American experiment, the notion of liberty, and on the other…? We got the control freaks, the hypocrites, and the parasite class.

    The two have been fighting it out since, with some “exchange of jerseys” between sides, but the mentality/cultural threads are still there. The current lot of control freaks are sadly consonant with our history–Look at the struggles between the Puritan colony at Plymouth and George Morton, the founder of Merrymount.

    https://bangordailynews.com/2016/11/24/the-point/how-the-founder-of-maine-and-a-three-time-exile-almost-derailed-new-englands-1st-colonies/

    Do note that the Puritans burned Morton’s house down, fraudulently charged him with abusing the natives (when, in fact, he’d been trading weapons with them so that they could stay on an even keel with the Puritans who had designs on their lands…), and shipped his ass back to England. Sounds oddly… Familiar, don’t it? Tactics-wise, at least.

    These people were never, in a fundamental sense, American. Not in mindset, not in behavior, and in politics. Not as those coming here to Sarah’s site would understand “being American”, anyway. You go back and look at things, and you can identify two primary threads woven through the history of the country: On the one hand, you have the “control freaks”, who were generally “of the nobility” in the Old Country, and then you have your “freedom freaks”, who came here to get away from the BS imposed by the controllers. Memetically, those are the two sides to the coin of America as an ideal, and while the players have changed their shirts occasionally, the shirts haven’t changed. At all.

    And, those “old New England types”? They were always on the side of the control freaks, even back in the beginnings of it all. They were intermingled with the freedom and liberty believers, but when those moved on further west, in order to get away from the control freakish, well… They took over. It’s kind of like what’s going on in California: California hasn’t changed, really–All that’s going on is that they’ve driven enough of the freedom and liberty types out of the state so that they can get control of it.

    Same impulse that led the Puritans to drive out George Morton is still driving a lot of people on the left, today. Don’t mistake the fact that they lost the fight to people like Morton for them being our actual antecedents, because they really weren’t–Do remember that they first founded the colony at Plymouth on a Christian Socialist ideal, and then damn near starved to death before they realized that private property was really a necessity to get people to work. Morton was a practical man, and dealt with the local Indians on a far more equitable scale than did the Puritans, who were all about grabbing as much as they could, as fast as they could. Even as the locals were keeping them alive through the winters, they were out looting the abandoned villages, and making what they found their own. A lot of the antipathy the Indians had for the Puritans stemmed from this attitude.

    One might also look at the list of people and trades that they brought over with them, and then suddenly realize that a lot of the idiocy in cities like San Francisco has precedent. Most of the early Puritan colonists knew jack and shit about practical things like farming–They were all merchants or tradesmen, and it never occurred to them that it might be a good idea for them to have some “humble farmers” along for the ride. Which was why they all damn near starved to death, that first winter.

    There is a continuity to all this stuff, and it’s one we’d do well to recognize, understand, and make use of when arguing with these people, who’ve been trying to run the world for everyone else since at least the freakin’ Reformation.

    In a fundamental sense, these people that Sarah is framing as suborned “traitors to the cause” were never on-board with the cause in the first damn place. It would be wise to remember that.

    • True. The Godly (their term) were not always as godly as one would like to imagine. Especially if you start looking at the escatological (end-times) ideas of the Mayflower crowd and their immediate followers, they had a strong sense that unless everyone did their best to live according to the faith as they understood it, they as a group might not be spared the coming punishment about to be inflicted on England and Europe. When Cromwell and Parliament won, it sort of upset what the Pilgrim Fathers had assumed would happen. Plus you got a wave of men who were used to fighting the Irish, and took the Indians to be just like the Irish, and thus not worth keeping around…

      The history of New England is a mess. Fascinating, intriguing, jaw-dropping at times, but a mess.

      • Actually, once Cromwell won, it was a Very Good Idea for the Plymouth crowd to be out of England. Serious theological differences between the Pilgrims and the Puritans. A lot of the dissenters, nonconformists, Puritans, presbyterianists, congregationalists, separatists, et al, hated each other worse than they hated Catholics or cavaliers.

        Some of the Pilgrims were idiots, but they did have a lot of strong ideas about representative government, separation of church and state functions, etc. The Puritans… not so much.

        But yeah, most of the Puritan Congregationalist churches became Unitarian.

        • But yeah, most of the Puritan Congregationalist churches became Unitarian.

          Most of the reason for that being, as Cotton Mather put it, “Religion begat prosperity, and the daughter devoured the mother.”

          As a broader note, the Puritans really get a bum rap. The fact was that most of the complaints they had about 17th-century English society were completely accurate, and the Cavaliers had most of the negative aristocratic stereotypes and few of the positive ones.

          • Yep. But the Cavaliers had the fancy costumes and acted like rebelling teenagers once they got back in power, and rebelling teenagers were “cool” in the 1960s-70s when a lot of the history stuff got into the textbooks. That the next king pushed things so hard and took so much foreign money that he got kicked out and a Dutch monarch took over notwithstanding.

            (I’m still contemplating getting a cavalier’s hat from Tall Toad Headgear, putting dog ears on it, and going as a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel for Halloween.)

        • Agreed, Banshee. Trying to follow the theological arguments between the various Not-Church-of-England groups makes my head spin. But they all disliked Catholics and Quakers, so at least they had that much in common.

    • Amazingly pertinent post over at Iron Ladies was highlighted earlier today at Instapundit:

      View story at Medium.com

      Analyze Owen along the lines of what I’m talking about above–He’s kinda-sorta in both wings, as a control freak, and a liberty-lover: He came to America to try to put his ideas into effect, but those ideas were fundamentally very controlling of those joining his utopia. And, again–Brought over from the “old country”.

      Some of the issues we have today go waaaaaaaay back further than we really imagine. The fight between controllers and free-thinkers has been a see-saw battle for the most of the history of this country. At the moment, the control-seekers are ascendant, and they’re doing everything they can to consolidate and maintain power.

      Same elitist mentality drives a lot of the modern ideologies that drove the aristos of the old days; all that’s happened is that the words have changed, along with the forms. The same fundamental desire to control others, is at the root of it all. Whether or not you’re talking a feudal aristocrat that doesn’t want to give up the power over his peasants, or the elitist left-wing SJW who thinks gun control is a great idea because that will enable them to usurp the power of the state to further their ideology and interests, the end goals are the same, and there is a distinct continuity of motive and goals. Some adherents have changed sides, over the years, but don’t let that fool you: The Kennedy family of Massachusetts is just as much a creature of the elites as the most feudal Norman knightly family was.

      And, they all remain the enemies of liberty everywhere.

    • Bullshit. My husbands ancestors fought for the revolution and yet many of their ancestors are leftists.

      • I think you mean descendants, but you’re missing my point about people changing their jerseys: The teams are the same, it’s just that the membership rotated.

        The other question is, how many of those “ancestors who fought for the revolution” were completely on-board with the whole idea of America and the ideals we think of, when we discuss this stuff?

        I’ve been through family some papers of that era, and there’s a bunch of correspondence that is… Interesting. On the one hand, they’re pissed-off at the economic controls that the English were imposing, but there’s not a terrible amount of idealistic concern for the liberty of their fellow man, either–They wanted the freedom to make a buck, but if that buck came by way of the so-called “Triangle Trade” bringing back slaves from Africa…? No problems with that idea, at all. Liberty for me to make money, and sod all for you, you filthy peasant Scot–Go off to the Northwest Territories, if you don’t like it…

        Not all of the people on the side of the Revolution were angels. Some of those folks were right bastards, when you get down to it. Hell, go digging into the woodwork, and you’ll find all kinds of opportunistic BS that the bright lights were pulling.

        Control-lovers and liberty-lovers: The impulses for both go back to before the Revolution, and the essential corruption of many of the “ruling class” of the day is stunning to contemplate.

        There’s a reason why the mercantilists started in on undoing what the Founders were trying to accomplish almost as soon as they did it. Hell, look at who founded the political parties, and why.

        Like I said, there are two threads here, and always have been. The irony is that a bunch of the people who you think should have taken the side of liberty wound up on the control side of things, like the Kennedys did. As well, some changed sides, but the idea that everyone was always on the side of liberty is basically just mistaken–The urge to control was always there, as a continuation from the beginnings back in England. It got pushed into the background, but it’s always been there influencing things from the beginning. And, now that the frontier has run out, we’re having to deal with the fact we can’t just pack our bags and move on from these jackasses.

        • What one generation holds dear does not necessarily carry over to the next. You don’t have to look hard to see it. Each generation, each person, stands on their own merit, and falls on the lack of it. How my Revolutionary War ancestors believed means nothing in how I believe.

        • One of the major blind spots I’ve noticed about Libertarians is their seeming belief that Americans — particularly the Founders — were natural, 100% freedom lovers, when the reality is that, while philosophies of various Founders had seeds of liberty, they also had seeds for tyranny as well.

          The Founding Fathers didn’t even necessarily consider tyranny to be completely at odds with liberty: as much as libertarians like to complain about Abraham Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus, for example, if I recall correctly, the Constitution allows for the suspension of this in times of war — and both Locke and Blackstone believed that sometimes there’s a need to establish tyranny temporarily in order to preserve freedom in the long run — an idea which dates all the way back to Roman times, actually….

          (And I think the reason why libertarian thought rubs me the wrong way is that they consider things like the Civil War and the Constitution to be Great Evils that destroyed freedom — and while, in some ways, they were right — in other ways, these things also established an ethos of freedom that might not have been otherwise preserved, had it not been for these events. The history of American liberty is complicated, in no small part because of the two threads that you describe…)

          • Support for your thesis can be presumed from the reverence the Founders accorded Cincinnatus, not because he refused dictatorial power but because he resigned having served the necessary purpose.

  21. There were also people like Roger Williams who started out an orthodoxy-enforcing Puritan, decided that wasn’t going to work, went whole hog freedom-of-religion, and got chased out for his pains.
    Also, a goodly share of the children and grandchildren of freedom-loving contingent of New Englanders skipped out on the social conformity thing and went west, to places like upstate New York, Western Pennsylvania, Ohio, and beyond.

  22. I assert copyright to the term USAian (c) 2001 and all its variants. In my Ming of Mongo, epithet: The Merciless, magnanimity, I grant to the members of Sarah’s Diner and acolytes a permit to use the term for 27 years from today. I coined and copyrighted the term to distinguish USAians from Canadians and others who might be called, generically, *Americans. You really won’t like it when I turn you into a clay person and exile you to the Imperial Catacombs.

  23. The Ciceronian ideal Republic certainly inspired the delegates to the Philadelphia Convention of 1787, otherwise known as the Framers, but there was only one example of a historically long lived Republic in history in their time: Venice. The notion of checks and balances, of independent branches of government, largely was deduced from Venetian practives. Of course none of that meant anything vto Napoleon when he destroyed the Serene Republic, largely for loot.

    There was a mention of Normans above; most Normans remained Normans — Frenchified Danes (or Swedes; their part of then Denmark is in Sweden now) for many generations; few actually assimilated.

    Bill Buckley famously wrote that America was unique in that you could study to learn how to be an American; you couldn’t become English, or French, or a Swede that way.

  24. I always found “Usaian” to be an interesting word, partly because the Esperanto word for “United States of America” is “Usono” and Americans are “Usonanoj”

    • Rich Rostrom

      Frank Lloyd Wright designed about 60 middle-income homes from 1936 to the 1950s, in a style which he called “Usonian”. That term was coined by writer James Duff Law in 1903, as an alternative to “American” that would respect Mexican and Canadian feelings.

      • If the Mexicans and Canadians are so touchy about that they ought have put the continent in their names.

  25. clark e myers

    c4c

  26. clark e myers

    Was there any early influence from The Stars Like Dust where the United States Constitution is a McGuffin?

    Reviewer Jane Fowler noted that “Making the re-discovery of the United States Constitution into the climax of the plot implies that the space civilization depicted is going to take up this Constitution as a model for building a new political structure, that the “space feudalism” which dominates the political system depicted in the book will be transformed into some kind of a federal, representative democracy…..

    Any other possible influences explicitly mentioning the Constitutional system whether they actually were or not?

  27. You’re doing the Puddleglum thing. Could not approve more.

  28. Mayflower? Johnny-come-latelies. I can trace my ancestry on this continent back to more than a century before then. (And that’s traceable. Since I have some ancestress up the Acadian branch who, as far as the records go, appear on their wedding days, probably the untraceable goes back farther.)

    Mind you, that’s the side where none of my great-grandparents were born in this country.

  29. in my sect of Usaianism, it is tradition to turn your head and spit whenever Plessey, Cruikshank, or Miller are mentioned.

  30. For obvious reasons that escape me, this seems appropriate here:


    Tip o’ the chateau to the gits at Power Line.

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