Poor Darlings

You know what?  I’m sick and tired of whining brats.

And if you’re looking at me, just now and wondering what I’m talking about since the sons are 26 and 22, you haven’t been reading newspapers, or even doing an unprotected turn of Facebook, beyond the confines of the friends you trust not to be completely insane.  Because it’s a crying, whining, feet kicking fest out there.

The proximate cause of their insanity is obvious: their chosen candidate didn’t win.  Not that they knew much about the candidate, mind you.  But they were told that she was wonderful and would bring ice cream, and give them everything they wanted.  So, like all children who have been denied candy, they’re metaphorically speaking on the floor, kicking arms and feet and holding their breath.

How is this different from what we did when Obama won?  Oh, it’s markedly different.  The thought process and attitude is different.  We knew what was in Obama’s head — the crazy Gramscian cant taught in all the best schools — the strange idea that by bringing down America the world would prosper.  And we’ve been proven more than right to be afraid of what he would do, if you look at the dog’s breakfast he’s made of international politics, of the economy and of culture in general.  We were afraid of what he’d do, and we prepared in our way to take the impact.  Many of us retrenched and retrenched and retrenched again, in our financial and professional lives and therefore suffered less than could be expected if we hadn’t.  Others for the first time in their lives took to the streets, in what the tea party used to be: a movement of the taxed-enough-already.

Note that there was no property destruction, no shooting of representatives, no long-sustained, breath-held screaming from all quarters, and certainly no sanctimonious signs in front of our houses saying we’d joined the “resistance.”  We had, honestly, but we’d done so long ago, most of us before Clinton even.  We’d seen through the veneer of compassion of the left to the chasm of crazy beneath, and we’d realized what they aimed at was nothing less than the destruction of western civilization.

It’s not what they think they’re doing.  Like deluded missionaries for a doomsday cult, they think they’re fighting for paradise.  Of which more later, and which is why you should pity them.  But it is what they’re doing: biting the hand that feeds them, pulling up the planks from under their own feet, generally making it impossible for the prosperity they were born to to exist.  And in the process taking us down too.  So we’ve been resisting.  For a long time we resisted inside our own heads, then we resisted in our friends’ group, in our tiny blogs, in our news reading and oh, very much in our voting.

What we didn’t do is put up big signs in our yards and throwing noisy fits.  Why not?  Because we’re not spoiled children.  If we screamed, cried and held our breath, we’d just get pulled along by our arms.

The entire society is a machine for patting the back of “progressives” and tell them how great they are.

It was organized that way by those in power: progressives.

It’s not what they MEANT to do.  Or at least not what their ancestors meant to do.  Back in the early twentieth century, when “scientific” everything was shiny and chrome, they were “scientific” governance.  All that bs about semantics, and psychology as a hard science you find in early Heinlein books?  Yep, that was loose in society at large.  We were going to deconstruct the “machines” that were humans, and from that organize society so “scientifically” it would be a paradise.

You still find that a lot in really early science fiction, together with the righteous indignation of “smart” people who knew they were right and couldn’t understand why people weren’t listening to Marx, a smart person, who was “obviously” right.

Of course, the reason they weren’t listening to him was that the little angry ink blot, stewing in his own juices in the library, had no clue what he was talking about.  The injustices that outraged them were already naturally mitigating, by the time he was writing about them.  He didn’t know distribution from a hole in his elbow, so his economic system would always end up delivering a million baby shoes for the left foot only, and his idea that without indoctrination people would naturally have free-love and no families was one of those ideas so stupid you have to be massively smart (and taught to ignore reality) to come up with.

So the bright men and women who embraced Marxism for all things, particularly as a cure-all to the “greed” and “hatred” that had led to world war one were destined to be disappointed.  The working class they counted on to destroy the system were by and large sane people, with their heads on tight.  They knew that, harsh as the industrial revolution jobs were, they were better than looking at the South end of a Northbound mule or the other “earthy” jobs available back on the farm.  And they knew that things were getting better, already.  And they had ambitions, which didn’t involve giving jumped up intellectuals the right to dictate their lives.

So the left turned to deconstructing the society they lived in in terms of “oppressed classes” and pointing out that we weren’t perfect.  For a while, they had their pattern of perfection, the Soviet Union.  Those of us who took the trouble knew how bad things were in all the communist countries (guys, seriously, healthy countries build walls to keep interlopers out (even if those can be ineffective when it’s an armed invasion) they don’t build walls to keep their citizens IN.  They don’t shoot people trying to escape.  There is a name for that yes.  The name is “prison.”)  Then it fell and revealed itself for what it had always been, a cesspool of misery and oppression.

Which brings us to why you should pity the left (even while refusing to give in to them)

Why?  Because where they’ve gone since then, makes it perfectly clear who they are.  The current left is not the defender of the working man.  Hell, they’re not even the defender of those they claim to defend: women, minorities, etc.

What they really are are the spoiled brats all of us know from kindergarten.

You know the ones as well as I do.  They’re the ones who, when told they can’t have the third cookie, when all other kids were given one, tell you how you oppressed little Timmy last week by not giving him a cookie (even though Timmy’s mother as him marked down as gluten intolerant) and how you don’t show pretty pictures to Heather (who is blind) and how you don’t speak Serbian with the twins who are just arrived from Serbia and so aren’t fair to them.  The brat is going to hold his/her breath and/or scream until you correct all these injustices.

Half the time, given the brat being loud enough, other kids, intimidated by them, or thinking that it’s logical that you should be all things to all people, will back the brat up.  Faced with rebellion, the kindergarten teacher who is not paid enough for this, and just wants to get on with teaching the colors, will give the brat another cookie.  And then the brat will shut up, because that’s what he/she really wants. And then more kids will side with the brat, because they want extra cookies.

That is the left in a nutshell.  They are spoiled brats, eternally hiding behind their causes, when all they really want is more power and control, and even though it’s been proven that when they’re given any power, their causes (and everyone) lose.  Which tracks with the metaphor.  How many of us knew those brats growing up?  How many have gone on to be happy, fulfilled human beings, without some great bit come-to-Jesus moment?

I can’t think of any, honestly.

Which is why we must be the left’s come-to-Jesus moment.  We need to confront their nonsense and their hypocrisy.  We need to return their insults at their level “we know you are, but what are we” should be about right, since these are the privileged accusing us of privilege, the tyrants accusing us of wanting to put them in camps, the straight-up nazis calling themselves anti-fascist.

The one thing the spoiled brats need is “No.”  Say it often enough and loud enough, and they might eventually realize their tactics aren’t working.

And if they call you privileged tell them they’re right: Damn right you’re privileged.  You’re privileged to have had to dig behind the barrage of lies of the mass-industrial-communications-complex for the truth; you’re privileged to have had to work twice as hard, because the teachers to whom you didn’t virtue-signal in the left way never gave you a pass, you’re privilege to be shut out of a bunch of careers in fields dominated by the left, you’re privileged to be held guilty for things that happened before you were even a glimmer in your great-grandfather’s eye.

You’re privileged because all of this broke you out of the futile counting of “victimhood points” as it’s taught in schools today, and forced you to learn real things, work at being smarter, and faster and more resilient.  You’re privileged because you live in a time when you can use the internet and know for a fact you’re not alone.  You’re privileged because your thought isn’t cluttered with a bunch of nonsense put there by highly paid spoiled brats.

Most of all you’re privileged because you can work and create and all the spoiled brats can do is take over an institution or an industry, gut it, then wear the skin demanding respect.

You’re privileged because if we ignore the screaming brats and just go around working and building and being happy (man, they really CAN’T stand THAT) they have no power over us.

In the end, we win, they lose.  And that’s why we’re privileged.  The poor spoiled darlings never had the privilege of being told no and don’t know how to take being laughed at or even being argued with.  They need safe rooms, and for everyone to avoid the trigger words, and stop making them cry.  Because they’re not prepared to cry.  They were never told no.  And if they hold their breath and stomp their feet and come up with JUST THE RIGHT WORDS, we’ll give them what they want, won’t we?  It’s always happened before.

Pity the poor darlings.  They are only that which passes.



371 thoughts on “Poor Darlings

  1. In response to Obama the Right acted as the Loyal Opposition. In response to Trump the Left has become the Resistance.

    The distinction ought be obvious, but as we do get the occasional troll, a few explanations should probably be offered:

    Loyal Opposition recognizes the legitimacy of the election while deploring the results. It opposes policies by argument and by lawful legal and legislative means.

    Resistance denies the legitimacy of the election and opposes governance, not simply policy, by shouting, denouncing and intimidation (“This is how Democracy works!” is why the American Founders created a democratic republic, not a democracy.)

    1. I’d of sworn I had ticked that dang box, but just after hitting the Post button I saw that empty eye glaring at me, indicating it was the box had ticked me.

    2. The “Resistance,” both by name and nature, are living in a LARPing fantasy of revolution. They have a very muddled concept of how Nazis and World War II worked, mostly coming from movies about the overthrow of regimes which were supposed to be stand-ins for the Nazis, mostly written by people who didn’t know or care all that much about actual history.

      So they have Trump — a Mk. I Standard Semi-Corrupt Moderate Republican — stand-in for “Hitler,” and they think they’ll be like La Resistance and overthrow him (ignoring the reality that La Resistance never did more than slightly inconvenience the Wehrmacht, the heavy hitting was done by the Allied and Soviet ARMED FORCES).

      But they’re just PLAYING at “resistance” — they’re willing to break things and hurt people, but not to risk being harmed themselves. That’s why they stage public tantrums every time that one of them gets beaten up by an intended victim, or arrested on felony charges. Because that’s not how the game’s supposed to work. After the session’s over they just pack away their character sheets and go home, right?

      If things got REALLY violent — with routine firefights — they would be totally lost. We’ve seen this before, with the 1960’s-70’s New Left, and Kent State. ONE accidental volley of rifle fire, that killed just FOUR people, broke their “Revolution.”

      I see no sign that today’s “Resistance” is any more serious. The main reason why they’ve lasted as long as they have is that society has cut them a lot of slack.

      So far.

      1. Resistance movements general fail because they do not have parity of weapons, and have no centralized organization.

        None of the insurgency movements in any of the countries occupied by the U.S. military ever succeeded in driving the military out. the only thing that worked was for people back home to change their minds and give it up as a lost cause, or the politicians to find a better way to make money elsewhere.

        You can guarantee the Progressives will never have a successful resistance by the very fact that most of them have no weapons, and wouldn’t know how to use them even if they didn’t wet their pants at the sight of an empty shell casing.

        1. Another aspect of “why resistance groups fail” is that they need an outside supporter of their activities.

          Every resistance group that had even partial success had somebody sending them supplies that the occupiers were unable to completely stop.

          Of course, while there are some countries that might want to cause the US problems, I suspect they’d look at this “resistance” and laugh their heads off. 👿

          1. The irony is that this Resistance is doing more damage to America’s democratic process than any amount of Russian collusion had achieved. That they denounced the possibility of Trump potentially rejecting the results only doubles the irony.

            Or perhaps irony is not the word, that what is really ongoing is a deliberate attack on democratic institutions by people who only deem those processes legitimate when they deliver the result they desired. They do seem to display a certain “Heads we win, Tails you lose” philosophy.

            1. RES, you hit the nail on the head. Granted that just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re actually out to get you; it also doesn’t preclude there actually being people out to get you.

              The scope of this ‘resistance’, occupiers, BLM, etc. movements as a whole begins to take on a big picture of a deliberately orchestrated attack on the fundamental institutions of our western society. If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, you start looking for water fowl. Were I Mr. Holmes, I’d be looking to project where these movements are leading to, who benefits from those movements, and who benefits from when they reach their goal (may not be the same person or group), and finally, who is/are behind all this.

              Is it insane to postulate an antagonist or organized group of antagonists planning and working to achieve all this? Just because it sounds like fiction, doesn’t mean it can’t be, or isn’t, real.

            2. Most of them don’t understand that they are creating the tyranny they claim to oppose.

              1. But they actually want tyranny. They want to be able to silence those of opposing views. This isn’t a bug in their belief system. It’s an actual feature baked into their little psychotic cake.

                1. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn became a non-person in the Western world for noting that the gulags were the point of communism.
                  It wasn’t well received at Harvard.

                  1. They don’t believe it. They will be silencing. And how can it be tyranny when such wonderful and empathetic people are in charge? (We, on the other hand, are not empathetic because they can’t imagine why else we would oppose them.)

                    1. Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their consciences.
                      – C. S. Lewis

          2. I’ve actually thought about this. Laughable resistance or not, the right words in the right (wrong) radical Left ear, along with some relatively cheap material support might not “bring the US down”, but it sure would cause a WHOLE LOT of chaos. There are enough groups out there that might decide that they could benefit from that chaos. Frankly, I don’t think the idea is all that far fetched.

        2. Apparently they’re starting to ‘learn properly’ from a school established somewhere especially for the Ignorant Marxist Puppets/pawns.

          I don’t suppose you saw this one photo that was circulating some time back, with the various box cutters, bricks, sticks, etc that were supposedly confiscated from antifa? I’d always wondered what the tiny pair of green safety scissors were supposed to be for.

          1. That might have just been what someone had in their backpack– I’ve got a bunch, because they’re a cheap thing that won’t put holes in my bags and isn’t a straight blade.

            1. I’ve got a pair of school-child use scissors in my bag, mostly so I can open packets of snacks without running the risk of tearing a packet in the way that usually results in foodstuff everywhere, except in the bag. The ones I remember from the photo looked more like those utterly useless tiny scissors you get from cheap emergency sewing kits. Those can’t cut the thread they come packaged with unless you have the thread held at a certain angle and don’t mind the ragged ends…

              *sigh* I miss the days when I could carry a little swiss army knife around with me wherever I went. Nobody blinked an eye when I’d take it out to do something obviously harmless, like use the little knife in it to open a packet of potato chips.

              1. Gah. I carry a Swiss Army Knife around with me all the time. Any location that forbids that is a place I’m not going to visit willingly.

                (Though Jury Duty requires me to leave that in the car. Then again I did say visit willingly.)

                1. It’s me erring on the side of caution; I almost lost the one my Dad gave me in that last fight I was in back in Paris, and I didn’t want to lose the thing so I stopped carrying it (it almost fell out of my pocket. At no point ever did I think of even using it.) Also, I’d like to buy one later on since they’re multitools. I don’t know if it’s expressly forbidden.

                  1. One of the reasons I rarely fly is because I can’t carry my swiss army knife on board. It goes into the luggage but I find that annoying.

                    The other reasons involve the security theater, but I guess the knife restriction is related to that.

                2. You know, it’s usually in those places that REQUIRE your presence that such things are actually needed.

        1. One of the design problems with resistance is that it generates considerable waste heat.

          1. I thought about joining the resistance, but I went back and forth, and in the end something was impeding me.

            1. Have you considered joining the capacitance instead? I’ve also heard that some seek to be rectifiers of our current political morass. In any case, now is an electrifying time to be involved in politics, though few will be the great transformers they hope to be.

      2. We’ve seen this before, with the 1960’s-70’s New Left, and Kent State. ONE accidental volley of rifle fire, that killed just FOUR people, broke their “Revolution.”

        Sadly it did not. It has been memory holed (gee, I wonder why) but there were over 1000 terrorist bombings in the US in the 70s by a mix of progressive revolutionaries and non-white racial identity groups.

        The recent book Days of Rage should be required reading for those who think The Resistance isn’t going to be violent. The people most surprised will be the majority of The Resistance when they find out they aren’t officers or special forces but human chum to be used as shock troops in the Revolution.

        1. I might agree with you if we start seeing instances of morose young canines blowing themselves up in their mother’s basements similar to how the Weathermen blew up their Greenwich apartment. I suspect a Molotov cocktail is about the maximum extent of their explosive technical abilities since the Boston Marathon bombing put the alert out for people buying quantities of those specific IED materials.

          1. We’ll see. I think we are still in the ’67 Summer of Love or ’68 Riots of Hangover phase.

            Most of the bombings were after the mass protests ended.

          2. That’s wildly optimistic.
            Making something go “bang” effectively is dead simple. It isn’t exactly new tech, there’s no mystery to how it works, and the sheer number of options available boggles the mind.

            Making explosives is as difficult as making a Molotov cocktail. (Which is, admittedly, slightly more difficult than you’re giving credit. But not by much.)

            The tricky part is the trigger. (Or in the case of some more volatile substances, transport.)

          3. ehh, you can still buy the ingredients necessary for higher quality stuff its just… harder to mix. They will likely have ‘classes’ on it just like the 70s.

      3. ignoring the reality that La Resistance never did more than slightly inconvenience the Wehrmacht, the heavy hitting was done by the Allied and Soviet ARMED FORCES

        Yes… and no.

        To the best of my knowledge, the best known WW2 resistance – the French resistance – didn’t do all that much in the grand scheme of things. The important French contribution was the Free French forces, which fought alongside the British in North Africa (go look up Bir Hachiem if you’re not familiar with it). On the Eastern Front, though…

        There were a number of very large partisan bands roaming around behind Axis lines in the USSR. These weren’t groups of people pretending to be cowed citizens during the day, and saboteurs at night. These were essentially guerilla bands roaming through the rougher areas in “occupied” USSR. Their mere presence tied up German troops who were forced to provide security for the rail lines and supply shipments being sent to the troops at the front.

        Additionally, there were two uprisings in Warsaw. The first was the lesser-known of the two – the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. In April of 1943, the remaining Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto decided that they wouldn’t go quietly. Despite that, of course, it was still a somewhat limited affair. It took the Germans roughly a month to crush the uprising (and the ghetto itself), and casualties are believed to have been limited on the German side.

        But in the Summer of 1944, with the Soviet army approaching the opposite bank of the Vistula River, a city-wide uprising took place. The Germans had a major battle on their hands that lasted for two months, and it’s commonly accepted that the city would have essentially been the Soviets’ for the taking if they had merely made the attempt to cross the river in force.

        Of course, it is still important to note that usually, your point about the armed forces being required is true and correct. Even the Warsaw Uprising ultimately failed because only very limited military support from regular troops was provided. But I think it’s fair to say that it did more than “slightly inconvenience” the Nazis. The thing was – the Poles knew that they only had one shot at it. So they made sure that the one shot was a doozy.

        1. Also, don’t forget Tito and his crew down in Yugoslavia. Tied down good chunks of the German army for most of the war–and managed to liberate themselves (albeit largely because the Germans were pulling their troops out to fight the Soviets, but still.)

          1. Nod.

            Of course, Tito had support from the Soviets.

            On the other hand, there were other groups in Yugoslavia fighting the Germans but they had to worry about Tito as well as the Germans.

            On the gripping hand, Tito kept the Soviet Union out of Yugoslavia later on.

            1. Sort of. The Chetniks and the Titoists went after each other pretty hard, and the question of who started it is…interesting.

            2. Tito also had a good bit of support from Churchill, who wanted the Second front in the Adriatic.

    3. Listening to some of the squallers, I sometimes get the feeling they thought once the Wicked Witch was anointed, they wouldn’t have to bother with those troublesome “election” thing any more. And now that things didn’t turn out as they expected, they want to tear the system down and replace it with something that will always meet their expectations.

  2. his economic system would always end up delivering a million baby shoes for the left foot only

    And three years after the baby had started walking.

    1. Even just regular government inefficiency ends up with the situation where my supply sergeant once called me into his lair to take issue of my maternity uniforms. Youngest boy-child was then 10 months old.

      Then he had the gall to be surprised when I refused to sign for the damned things.

  3. Yes – spoiled, tantrum-ridden brats who have never been told no …
    A commenter at one of my regular AM reads (Weasel Zippers, IIRC) linked to a woman – a closet conservative and a professional (lawyer, mental health?) who lives in Berkeley, California – the belly of the beast, almost. She writes about living there – and how horrifying it is; filthy, dangerous, dispiriting. I think I read some of her other stuff, linked on another blog ages ago, so I was glad to be reminded of her.
    This is her blog – scroll down, those of us to live in relatively sane places – and weep for what urban California – especially the Bay area – has become.

    1. One thing about Robin: I do not understand why she stays in Berkeley. I don’t think she’s said.

      1. I just read about six months’ worth and was thinking the same thing. Particularly since she keeps commenting on “who do those people come here”…

        “I feel her pain,” but I’m not feeling much sympathy. The place is a dump, the people are rude, the government is insane… this is America, you don’t have to have an internal passport and travel permit. Yet, anyway. Just freakin’ *leave*. For that matter, there are still places in the People’s Republic that aren’t complete sewers yet.

      2. More’n likely is upsidedown on a mortgage and can’t get out without losing everything, or suddenly owing a big cash balance to the bank. That would be typical of the whole Bay area, where average home prices have been very high for a long time.

        There are still a lot of very nice neighborhoods there, and more being built all the time, so don’t take it to look like Detroit. And the swarms living in the older areas and on the streets are still nowhere near as bad as Paris.

        The real problem is that immigration (legal and otherwise) has put a lot of pressure on the low-end housing market (and in CA there’s no money in that, so nothing new is built) and has driven rents beyond what’s practical for the previous low-end workers, and they can make a lot more money as a professional beggar, or by selling crack or meth. And the Bay area is fairly compact, and parts downright cramped, so any influx of people basically becomes an overflow.

        Nice year-round climate and a big lefty-run welfare state keeps it a practical abode and magnet for scummy people who otherwise would go elsewhere… maybe we should count our blessings.

    2. Interesting perspective. I’ve seen similar musings from a more rural viewpoint by Victor David Hanson, a regular contributor to PJmedia. Just as bad, but by a retired professor and now small farmer.

    3. > how horrifying it is; filthy, dangerous, dispiriting.

      But liberals don’t see it that way.

      They have the thrill of superiority, seeing how their station is so high in relation to others. And the thugs and winos aren’t problems, they’re *opportunities*; providing funding and virtue-signaling in a convenient package.

    4. I was curious, so I read a bit of the robinofberkeley blog. Either that person has serious issues, or California is UNBELIEVABLY worse than when I lived there twenty-some years ago.

      1. From what I recollect – I think that family and possibly her job keeps her there in Berkeley. The place from her descriptions sounds like one of those horrible overcrowded rodent enclosures, just before they all begin attacking and eating each other.

        My daughter is currently in So-Cal – Pasadena, actually, helping out my sister with the care of our mother. It’s not so bad there, but still, she says that the roads and highways are in absolutely horrible condition. She drove out and back last year, and said that she could see the difference the minute she crossed the state line. It doesn’t look to her as if proper maintenance has been done on some CA highways for years. She also says that my sister is quietly apprehensive about driving very far out of a familiar orbit, because of fears of random crime or auto accidents involving an uninsured driver.

        1. It doesn’t look to her as if proper maintenance has been done on some CA highways for years.

          Maintenance contracts offer some opportunities for graft and corruption, but there are no ribbon cuttings, no fawning news coverage, and “He maintained the highways!” lacks oomph on bumper stickers.

          1. Although “They didn’t fill the potholes!” did lead to serious primary challenge to the only township trustee up for reelection last year. It failed, but it was very close – against an incumbent trustee with 20+ years in office. Oddly enough, efforts to fix the potholes around the township have been more noticeable over the past year.

              1. Those belong to the rich and ‘correct-thinking’ doncha know? How in heavens are the proles supposed to access those! Everyone knows they use their cars and public transport only!

                Christ. I can’t maintain that level of snobbery, even as a mocking example.

                1. Any number of refugees from Cali have come to Plano(suburb of Dallas, TX) following their employers who have relocated here. They have driven house prices sky high. Hope they act Texan (normal) and don’t californicate us.

                  1. It’s what they do.
                    The Idaho I grew up in exists only in memories. Fortunately, most of the economic refugees were the more conservative early abandoners. But the native culture is still gone.

                  2. Texas is totally not normal… visited relatives on the other side of El Paso, which I’ve been informed has been Democrat controlled for as far back as they record such things, and on the 4th there was an entire GAUNTLET of people setting off fireworks, from just beyond the exit from the road after we left base to…I don’t know how far, we didn’t hit the end before we reached their house.

                    It’s a Democrat city, but it’s got flags all over (American ones! Fewer Mexican flags than Seattle!) and big “we love our cops” things for the kids, the congress critter from there car pooled with a Republican critter and was able to make polite and/or normal funny conversation the whole way, and and and…..

                    Texans are pretty cool, but NOT normal.

                    Making that normal would be nice. 😀

              2. It’s also easier to control movement via boat and plane than it is to control movement by car.
                Furthermore, it’s also harder to take physical assets with you when you leave.

                1. There are true refugees who’ve left Cali behind and enjoying the free life here. Free to work and make their own way and keep more of their own money. They don’t have to worry about religious discrimination so much any more.

                  Of course I may have put my rose colored glasses again and not seen current problems. One current problem (?) we have in Plano is that the city is always fixing the roads and traffic signals. Hubby says that they are pleasant to drive on. One highway near me is being widened. The only other bad news I have is that Albertson’s closed one of its locations near me.

                  1. Eh .. HEB has about driven the other national chain groceries out of Texas – ordinarily I would complain about a grocery mono-culture, but I find myself spoiled by their humongous selection of goods (especially Texas-supplied comestibles and green groceries), their customer service, their in-house bakeries, their house brands … and did I mention their customer service? As long as Sprouts, Trader Joes’ and Whole Foods are around – nothing to worry about.

                    One of my old Air Force buddies is big in local Plano city politics. Pat Minor – he and his wife Angela. She’s from Greece, they married when he was in the AF, assigned to Hellenikon AB. We seemed to be assigned to the same units, over and over again – good guy, we had each others’ back, time without counting. Amazing broadcaster and manager when I knew him. I don’t know how much he has had to do with Plano getting on the map of “good places to set up business” … but I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that he did.

                    1. having left Texas, I’m now dealing with a different Grocery monoculture (every “independent” grocer here uses SuperValue’s Everyday Essentials) and being at the end of the Produce chain (even the Walmart produce is worse here), I miss HEB dearly.
                      Yeah, I can get stuff shipped from them, but I really miss good fruit and veggies (well, corn and beans etc. are fine here, but tomatillos and citrus suck here, most of the time.) and I’m not gonna order grapes via the intertubes. Grapes are normally over $2/lb with $1.69 being the sale price, and they tend to small and tart, or over ripe.
                      Green Bay has other stores. Meijers just moved in.
                      Not overly impressed with their meat, some of the house brands seem okay, some look the same as HEB (storage bowls and ziplock bags especially) and their produce manager needs to be shot and replaced asap. I shall check the location near my home town this weekend and see if it is any better (a bit more distance as GB, but far longer trip time). Mom and Dad came up for their summer visit, so I shall be spending time up there. Mostly I shop local for meat, some produce, and make runs to Woodman’s in GB for most everything else.
                      And they have 500ml bottles of Mexican Coca Cola for $.99

                    2. I think that City Journal had a lot to do with it. They had a special TX issue and it might be word of mouth.Kroger is a common chain near Dallas. I love them to pieces. Great stuff great prices and I’ve go to get off the ‘net for my grocery delivery. It’s a life saver for those of us who don’t drive!

                  2. Albertson’s closed their two closest locations, so did ralphs. If i saw any of the people that used to work at the nearby albertsons, i’d be forced to say ” how’s that union strike workin out for ya?”

                    1. We’ve got signs all up and down one of the highways through Cincinnati saying, “Right-to-work is a lie!”

                      I keep thinking, “How is it a lie to say that you shouldn’t have to join a union in order to get a job?”

                      They keep claiming that it lowers wages and standard of living, but even in the cases where that is true, it seems likely that the union shops have a higher chance of shutting down.

          2. To the contrary, these are what are known as “shovel ready” projects. In other words, paving. Repaving a highway is about the quickest thing you can do, and they can and have touted it, in the form of “shovel ready” signs.

          3. In part, properly maintaining major roadways, such as Hwy 99 through the central valley, has been intentionally not done to discourage driving. And the intentional part was explicitly stated by CalTrans within the past few years.

            The same reason that HOV lane restrictions during commute hours was implemented. With hopes that mass transit would become more attractive to commuting workers.

        2. I will say that I-5 in the northern portion of the state has been going through some nice upgrades. They’ve been carefully doing some major new bridges/straightening curves in the Shasta Lake area, and not all of the perennial road work north of Yreka is due to yearly resurfacing. Since I drive up to Oregon a couple of times a year to take the kids to Grandma’s (502 miles door-to-door, one day, yes, with kids), I’ve been able to watch the progress.

        3. Really. I live in Pasadena, as well. Lovely city, for the area.

          But yeah, the pot holes are starting to get more and more noticeable. Governor Moonbeam is insisting (and being supported by the Dem-controlled State Senate and Assembly) that as much money as possible be dumped into the LA to SF high speed rail project. And of course the estimated costs of that have been ballooning like mad. Of course, all that money has to come from somewhere, and highway funds have presumably been cut at least partially as a result (incidentally, my parents tell me that Brown also cut highway spending the first time he was in office, with predictable results).

          Brown isn’t completely ignorant of the sad state of California’s highways. So he pushed for a hike in gas taxes and vehicle registration fees early this year which is supposed to generate funds for highway repairs. Since the Dems have super majorities in both legislative bodies in California, the bill passed. Opponents claim that the bill isn’t strict enough in forcing the state to spend the money on the highways. So we’ll see what actually happens with it.

          1. well, people are out in front of wal-mart collecting signatures to stop it… i laugh at them and say “not my problem, you shouldn’t have voted for the people that proposed it.”

            Wanna do coffee before we abandon state? what about you, snelson?

        4. I’m about nine miles from your daughter, give or take, have been in CA since 1999 and *here* since April 2001 and… yeah. Since they don’t have to do winter maintenance, the roads get almost no maintenance, and when they do they close them at the most inconvenient times possible. Right now, a bunch of it gets spent on the freeways or on their next big cattle car project instead.

          A lot of the sheep out here (no other way to put it) have gotten so used to the kind of casual crime your daughter and sister worry about that they don’t see it as a problem and we’re not supposed to worry about. We had someone get into our house and steal a $700 laptop and they did basically no follow up at all… the ‘public safety officer’ (i.e. not even an actual LEO) who took the report couldn’t even be bothered to tell me the pitcher and two storage containers the guy had taken out of the windowsill were sitting in the back yard… you know, the containers which would have had his PRINTS on them. The Detective NEVER contacted us to follow up even after called, and the most involvement we got from them was just saying “ayup they reported it” to the insurance company. I literally had acquaintances say “*shrug* your insurance paid out, right? don’t worry about it.”

          One time a car stopped in the intersection nearest our house and fired four shots at a house a block away. Handgun, brick house, no penetration, so the sheriffs took reports and never followed up on it…

          (when they were here the cops were “how can you tell where the car was? how many shots there were?” and i walked the deputy over to where the car was and pointed out the four shell casings in the street…)

        5. I lived in SoCal for 28 years. (Moved back to the Northern Wastes in 2012.) The roads there take a LOT more traffic damage than in adjacent states simply from the sheer volume of vehicles, not to mention a high proportion of heavy trucks both in cities and on the long routes. (I’d make a wild-assed estimate that total miles/weight stress on CA roads is from 50 to 10,000 times as high as in the next few states over. There are paved roads in Nevada where you may *never* see another vehicle even if you drive ’em regularly yourself.)

          But maintenance was pretty good up til they started using private contractors (this was about 20-25 years ago) — who not only have to cover the cost of fixing the roads, but *also* have to make a profit, so given the same money, corners get cut somewhere — usually on materials. And that means roads take more damage (given the same use) and fall apart sooner, but since they’re still maintained on the same schedule… if you ever wonder why I became a vehement opponent of “privatization”, it’s because I saw it in action (not only for roads).

          This is largely offset by the stable climate (roads don’t get six months of freeze-thaw damage like they do here in MT) but even so, you can see how it becomes a gradual slide toward either accelerating public costs, or deteriorating roads.

          (Come to MT in the spring. You’ll never complain about potholes again… we get ’em even with the best of construction and maintenance; it’s a feature of the climate.)

      2. I would point out that an ongoing issue in San Francisco is risk of the picturesque cast iron street lamps falling due to corrosion of their bases from being the targets of human (not canine but human) urination.

        If enough people are pissing on the infrastructure that collapse due to urine corrosion happens more than once in a lifetime you have an issue.

    5. Level of cleanliness is a sign of whether you have a viable socio-economic environment or not. When you have zero social cohesion, nobody cares about trash, smell, sanitation, etc. I see it every year on my street which is a primary access way to a camp ground. The sheer volume of trash thrown from cars quadruples during the season; because so many of those people just don’t live here and don’t care. Granted, we have our own bad apples who live in the area and make pigs look like respectable citizens, but they’re pikers compared to the itinerates.

      1. “Level of cleanliness is a sign of whether you have a viable socio-economic environment or not.”

        That is just one of the main things that my daughter noticed when she served on a deployment to Kuwait and Iraq in 2003 – that the streets and the outside of the houses were so dirty, piled with filth and garbage. She, being a good Marine and American (even though she was raised in Europe until she was 12) was just appalled. Didn’t these people have any pride in their community, their town, their street?

          1. In my current neighborhood, I’ve occasionally seen graffiti on the walls of the pedestrian underpasses. However, I’ve NEVER seen graffiti on those walls two days in a row; whatever gets spray-painted there is always cleaned up by the next day. It’s one of those things that makes me feel safe around here, and something I’ll be sad to leave when we need to move.

      2. I think it’s similar to the “broken windows” theory of crimefighting. If the streets are dirty, it sends a message: “nobody around here gives a $#@! Do whatever you want.” Similarly, clean streets send a powerful psychological signal that says, “This is a good place. Behave yourself and treat it well, or get out of here.”

        1. Very good point. Yes, trash accumulation and destructive vandalism accelerates to longer it goes un-corrected.

            1. By the time you have made the clutter look highly organized, you’ve basically tidied it, or is that the trick? 😀 But I don’t think it works on weeds.

        2. Which is why it is not a good idea to have decor that screams Early Post-nuclear at observers. Or Early Post-nucular, for that matter.

      3. I’ve observed the same thing, pretty much everywhere. Pristine neighborhood not only means social cohesion, it also indicates a high-trust society. (But I repeat myself.)

        On that note, an interesting talk:

  4. If you go to Yosemite for more than a day trip, you’ll notice a few things. People taking showers in the morning, for example, when they’re going to be spending all day in the dust. Women doing their makeup and hair (for the ground squirrels, one presumes.) The common room of the campsites filled with people on their phones and tablets. (I was charging my camera; finding an open outlet was hard.) I’ve even seen folks with earbuds, listening to anything other than the world around them.

    I grew up in a camping family. You need sufficient and correct clothing; you need good shoes and socks; you need the appropriate food and drink. If you’re renting a cabin, you don’t need shelter, though you may want enough blankets/sleeping bag to keep you warm.

    You don’t need half of the “modern” conveniences, and you certainly don’t need to be taking long showers when drought is continually rearing its head. And yet, if you suggest this to folk like this, they look at you as though you’re speaking gibberish. How can they survive without their daily dose of mindless games? How can anyone be forced to live like that?

    It’s a failure of imagination, really. They have no idea how possible it is to live with very little—and to be happy about it. And that’s not even getting to a level that constitutes poverty in this country; “very little” here is actually quite a lot.

    1. Pity the poor folks whose brains have no cycles to spare, and who then waste cycles, for they are the mindless.

      Pity the rest of us, for having to fix whatever they did and believed was a “Good Idea.”

      Pity we don’t have enough fissile material…

    2. My great grandparents bought a ranch up a canyon somewhere in Utah. They purposely passed on the electricity being hooked up and stuck with a generator and a gas tank. Three or four working toilets inside buildings, two kitchens, two showers, some permanent buildings and plenty of tent space. It is a place so surrounded by mountain peaks you have to drive 15 minutes to place where there is cell coverage. Yeah, the hand held games work but you can only recharge them at night when the generator is turned on. It was intended to be a place to get away from the world so you could focus on what was around you. We call it “Heaven on Earth” because it is so peaceful and fun.

  5. The Hamburg riots were a perfect example. “I’m setting things on fire because I hate capitalism; now don’t bother me while I take a selfie with my iPhone.”

    1. That photo should be waved around every time one of the younger set starts bleating about the Revolution. (Like the OWS people who refused to give up their iThings, laptops, and lattes).

      1. When asked if he was against private property he won’t give his iPad to the interviewer one OWS darling said he was against private property not personal property.

        All of China head desking simultaneously wouldn’t have been enough.

        1. I do like how those idiots were the same ones defecating on police cars and screaming obscenities and threats at the cops, then expecting the police to help them when they were mugged, attacked by the resident homeless, or in some cases, raped.

          Some folks might think me heartless, but they wanted anarchy. What did they expect?!

          1. They wanted the fun anarchy on TV where they get to do what they want and mumkins and dadkins pick them up and dust them off and give them candy when the bad people show up.

            1. I told one OWS supporter I’m all for giving the anarchists what they want.
              Shoot them out of hand whenever you come across one.
              For some reason they did not like that suggestion.

              1. Hannah Wallen (who was on the spot) described the Kent State shootings a little differently than what we were told: apparently there’d been rioting for four days already when a gaggle of brats decided to charge some green young National Guardmen… a few of the disorderlies got shot and the rioting stopped like magic.

                There’s a lesson here somewhere, methinks…

                Meanwhile, to my eye Hamburg looked disturbingly like the 1917 Bolsheviks. I guess no one told them you don’t commemorate a social disaster by reinacting it.

    2. Tangentially related: I think one of the burning car photos was on the same block as the lovely B&B I stayed in a month ago in Hamburg. I really hope not, but it’s in a row of houses facing a channelized stream near a technical college, quiet, well-cared for little neighborhood with nice people.

    3. And not a single one of them could express a coherent philosophy to justify it beyond “Capitalism=Bad”.

      1. I really, really hope that when I heard some teenagers talking about the horrors of capitalism on a Eugene bus last year, and I asked them if they thought their lives had value*, which sparked a civil discussion about the distinction between capitalism and cronyism, and how communism leaves a power vacuum that the worst are apt to fill, that they actually thought about it afterwards. Given their comments, nobody had ever thought to do so much as define terms, let alone give a rationale for why certain institutions actually work.

        *”Does your life have value?” followed up with “How do you define that value?” brings up a great way to explain why wages as a measure of value allow a lot more freedom than a “neutral” arbiter setting a value on your life.

  6. Personally I am sick and tired of all the spoiled brats. From the age of 18 to 65(maybe older). Having seen protests and demonstrations in person I have been one of those people that sometimes wish for the apocalypse just to shut them up once and for all. Then I wake up and carry on doing what I do best, moving forward. One step at a time.

  7. On Baen’s Bar (in Truth vs Pravda), we got a new poster who is of the “California College Student Moon-Bat” species.

    He decided that Eric Flint’s 1632 Series is PROOF of how terrible Christianity is.

    After being criticized (politely) for that, he shout back with more “rants” including one rant having nothing to do with the topic he started. [Shakes Head At Stupidity]

    1. Shame the fellow was only partially literate. How could he have read Eric Flint’s novel without knowing what the word, “fiction,” means?

      1. Consider what they have done with The Handmaid’s Tale. They don’t know what fiction means.

        1. Some non-lefties have trouble with the concept of fiction. They said that demons would get my soul if I read Harry Potter. I replied that Harry Potter was all made up.

          1. It’s more complex, and best illustrated by a tie-in we once saw in a Wallyworld. It was a DIY wand kit, complete with the spell to cast on it. Real spell? Probably not intended to be. From spells that are supposed to be pretend, how far is it to spells that are supposed to be real?

            That alone is going to strike some as wacko. So be it. Even if someone thinks all such is hokum, anyway, it doesn’t change the motivation behind it. That may not be a problem for anyone who thinks religion is hokum, too, and I’m not here to hand out tracts. However, if you take your religion seriously, you must also take seriously certain warnings. Harry Potter books are fantasy. Where they might lead with particular people at a particular age is something else. DIY wand kits with incantations? Maybe more?

            This is how I explained it to ours who asked why I objected to Harry Potter when they were younger, and one admitted to seeing nothing wrong in it. I agreed: there is nothing wrong with Harry Potter books in of themselves, but the tie-ins and where it could lead at a certain age was another thing. I also told them they were old enough I no longer objected to them reading Harry Potter books, precisely for that reason. The Harry Potter books are probably a lot tamer than the Hairy Pothead spoofs I imagined. No I did not write any of that down.

            1. The argument, from an apparently large portion of the anti-Potter factions, is that there is no magic that does not derive from either the Devil, or Demons, and that therefore, the witches and wizards in Harry Potter were consorting with demons or the Devil in order to derive their powers. No appeal to the fact that it was fiction, and therefore did not have to be so derived, would sway the ones I saw.

              1. “there is no magic that does not derive from either the Devil, or Demons”
                That always drives me nuts. So what’s the difference between magic and miracles? And how do you tell? (Not that I’ve seen any instances of either that I could confirm as being real.) Sometimes I’m glad magic doesn’t appear to be real in this universe. Too many people would misuse it with far greater catastrophic results than we already have with misuse of science and technology.

                1. Getting into Theology here. 😉

                  Miracles are God acting in the world sometimes without humans asking and sometimes in answer to prayers.

                  Traditionally, Magic was the result of humans “compelling” intelligent spiritual powers both for good and for bad. Note, these spiritual powers were often seen by the “spell casters” as gods or demons or both.

                  Christian thought has been God (and his angels) can’t be compelled to do anything and dealing with other “spiritual powers” is forbidden.

                  Note, IIRC much of Old Testament condemnation of “use of magic” is generally concerning “magic used to harm others” or “worshiping other gods”.

                  IMO if there existed “real magic” that didn’t involve “compelling intelligent spiritual powers”, the Church might focus more on “how the magic was used”.

                  Oh, when talking about using “Harry Potter magic”, there’s a thought that well the magic won’t work but by trying to use magic you’re inviting “harmful spiritual powers into your life”.

                  As for your comment about the shit people would do with magic, I agree.

                  It annoys me when somebody claims that their magic can only be used for good.

                  If magic exists separate from “intelligent spiritual powers”, then it is “just a tool” and tools can be use for good & for evil depending on the person using the tool.

                  1. Hm. I was remembering an anime series called The Slayers where IIRC, there were multiple forms of magic. Some were sort of an energy force a mage could tap into, but some spells called upon an entity’s power to cast it. Good or evil, depending on what the entity was like.

                    Though Megumi Hayashibara’s voice when Lina cast the Dragon Slave spell sounded awesome, even if it called upon the power of a pretty nasty Mazoku. 🙂

                    1. Dragon Slave is a great example of the traditionally forbidden magic. From memory:
                      Dark beyond the blackest night
                      Crimson beyond the blood that flows
                      Deep within the sands of time
                      is where your power grows.
                      I pledge myself to conquer
                      All the foes who stand
                      before the mighty gift bestowed
                      in my unworthy hand.
                      Let those who oppose us be destroyed!
                      DRAGON SLAY!!!!!


                      Note, this fits rather well with the very-not-American style of getting power by swearing yourself to the service of a more powerful person who will GIVE you power, to do what they want.

                  2. As Drak says, the difference is dominantly the source of the power. Also, Miracles do not require human involvement. The Almighty can do them whenever he pleases (There’s several long theological rabbit trails there that would be a bit much for the post at hand). Not getting into it too much in depth, but, for the record, I HAVE seen such things personally. One of my major issues with many of modern practitioners of paganism and new age religions, especially Wicca is they tend to not take what they’re doing seriously as far as potential consequences go. I’ve had to clean up the mess when they have called up what they can’t put down, so I very much understand the desire to keep kids from going down that road. It ends up messy. Sometimes VERY messy.

                    If you can’t directly perceive what is and isn’t calling up nasty things, some people are going to err on the side of shutting out everything that MIGHT cause issues. Even if the end result is along the lines of living underground and never venturing forth at all in order to avoid skin cancer from sun exposure.

                2. So what’s the difference between magic and miracles? And how do you tell?

                  Miracles are a gift– and miracles of information, you’ve got to get help checking that it doesn’t conflict what is already known before being able to safely accept it. Even then, it’s not required. (Some folks have serious issues with the fact that no Catholic is required to believe in a single apparition of Mary. There are problems with going “it’s a miracle, I refuse to believe it,” but that’s a different thing.)

                  Magic, of the forbidden type, is trying to control something that you’re not allowed to control. (information you can’t get is just a form of control)

                  This angle of attack dies HARD in Harry Potter because his first two on-screen magical events are 1) accidentally making glass disappear and reappear, and 2) talking to a snake, at which point he’s startled.

                  In the technical sort of theological definition, Potter would be more of a psychological gift than a “magic user.”

                  Basically, calling it magic is a translation issue. It’s like flipping out about stage magic.

              2. My immediate response to that nonsense as soon as I encountered it was “So there’s something in the Creation that the Creator didn’t make? or that He made inherently Evil?”

                Funny, I never got any response after that that wasn’t some version of “because I said so!”. And my response to that is always my middle fingers.

            2. *nods* It’s all a mater of vulnerabilities– my kids? With their mental equation of “magic” to our video game mechanics that are no more real than “put the ball through the hoop and win” for real life? They’ll be fine.

              Some kid that is actually vulnerable to wanting more than anything to magically fix the problem they’re in? With a shaky understanding that has “magic” at least as reasonable as science? Yeah, that’s a bit worse….

              1. This is why curses make me leery, even when people are “joking around.” Nor cursing, although I have my limits there, but making curses. What do you open yourself up to if you are that intent on calling something so you can hurt someone else? Even if it’s just psychological damage, it’s not great. If something happens to be wandering by and sees and open door? Ugh. I saw a little of that in college, and brushed against something else ten years ago or so. There’s a reason I will not touch a tarot deck, even to hand it to someone else. And I was picking up the pieces, not actually involved in the “magic.”

                1. Look, when freaking George Noory of Coast to Coast AM is willing to take a firm, almost rude, stand against deliberately opening a door and yelling “hey, y’all, FREE EATS HERE!!!”– there may be an issue.

                  1. In one of Mercedes Lackey’s Urban Fantasies, her main character (a magic user) steers some teen girls away from a book containing Love Spells and points them to a book containing superstitions concerning “how to know your true love”.

                    When girls also want to purchase a Ouija board, the main character “wards” the board so spirits won’t answer.

                    Does that mean Lackey’s main character is a Fundamentalist Christian? 😈 😈 😈 😈

                    1. ooh, the one with the Gypsy vampire!
                      (incidentally the same book that changed my mind on gypsies– from “cool sub culture” to “organized crime culture.” I was mildly disturbed by the.. attitude…towards other folks’ stuff, and researched and found that it was at best an understatement of the facts on the ground.)

                    2. “Cool sub-culture” and “organized crime culture” are not mutually exclusive. Just means you don’t want to emulate it.

                    3. It’s the difference from “yeah, sure, wahtever” and “shoot the bastards when they’re lifting your window.”

                    4. Yeah, I met real gypsies when living in Romania. I came to understand that there were the ethnic gypies–people who happened to have gypsy blood in some percentage, and caught a lot of unfair crap for it, but who were otherwise perfectly decent folks–and then there were the actual, living-the-culture gypsies…who were giving people very good reasons for the ethnic gypsies to be catching the crap simply for ‘looking’ gypsy.

                      I was told multiple times by ethnic gypsies (several of whom I presume had been born into but left the culture) that the gypsy “mafia” was larger, older, and more powerful than the Sicilian one. And a lot scarier, and a lot more secretive. I believe them.

                2. A few years back some girls got a hold of a book containing “magic curses” and “cursing” their classmates.

                  The school apparently tried to get them to stop and some idiots were wondering “what’s wrong with that? The curses don’t work”.

                  My thought was that if those girls wanted to “cause harm” to their classmates something was wrong even if the spells didn’t work.

                  Oh, one idiot Wicca tried to say that having the book in the school was no different than having a Bible in the school.

                  Besides the “fun and games” tried by some schools when kids did bring a Bible into school, this idiot Wicca was accidentally saying that “Curse Spells” are part of her religion. 😆

                3. A companion of mine when I was on my mission had some rather hair-raising tales of her father (who was a branch president–which is not unlike a Mormon bishop, just over a smaller congergation) having to deal with some things brought up by newcomers who had, well, not left some of the darker traditions of their homeland behind, and finally had to call on their new church leader to come deal with it.

                  Some stuff you just should not mess with…

          2. Ugh.

            To this day, certain family members “express concern” with my enjoyment of Larry Correia’s MHI series, other zombie books, fantasy series that aren’t blatant religious allegories, etc. Of particular worry was an anthology of short stories about hitmen and assassins. They are “afraid that I might believe it’s real,” or in the case of that one anthology, that I might be a sociopath or something.

            My go-to response is now to roll my eyes and say, “Okay, let me explain to you the difference between fantasy and reality…” That usually shuts them up… for a while.

            Funny enough, the same relatives have no problem with Harry Potter, and the only grief they give me over it is losing interest in the series after Book 4 and not reading Books Five through Seven.

            1. *Clarification: The only grief they give me over Harry Potter is because they can’t understand how I lost interest in the series after Book 4 and didn’t read 5 through 7, since it’s supposedly the best thing since Lewis and Tolkien.

          3. Dear, I went through the same thing when I started playing RPGs. There’s been a faction who insisted neither Lewis nor Tolkien could possibly be Christians because fantasy. The private Presbyterian school myself and my younger sisters went to actually sent them to tell me they were concerned about my soul. I sent back the reminder that I had graduated from their tender care, but if they wanted to have a debate on the subject in the weekly Bible class I’d be delighted to show up; never heard another peep out of them.

            Ultimately, you have to tell them that they’re the reason why Protestantism became a thing, and these are your middle fingers.

            1. Both Lewis and Tolkien are known gateway drugs to heavy theology, even Catholicism.

              They were just worried about you!

              *laughing so hard she should be crying*

    2. The three great religions of the world, and by that I mean Christianity, Islam, and Communism, have all been twisted and perverted to justify great evil by those who would seek personal power. Judged purely by body count Communism seems to be ahead, though Islam is still a contender. Christianity mostly shook that business off a good many years ago.

      1. In all fairness, Communism hasn’t stood the test of time the first two have. If you want three I’d put in Buddhism.

        If you want three Western Religions maybe the Communists qualify.

        1. I have to give Communism this much “credit”: it has racked up a rather impressive body count at a much greater rate than Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, or even Islam.

      2. Actually, if you read the Koran as a Muslim, you quickly find out that either “moderate Muslims” aren’t Muslims, or they’re adhering to their religious belief that infidels should be lied to and no treaties or oaths (yes, including US citizenship) with infidels should be kept unless they are to Islam’s advantage,

      3. I favor the argument that Communism is a Christian heresy– it’s got obvious Christian roots, just tries to mechanize the “love” aspect. Turning something that requires perfect knowledge into a system…doesn’t work.

          1. *wry smile* Wasn’t going to go into that– Islam sure LOOKS like someone took then-current tribal Arabic culture, added the useful chucks of Christianity, and took off– but the case is not as strong as for Communism.

  8. Pity the poor darlings. They are only that which passes.

    Digestive gas? Poop? Kidney stones?

    1. Were the damage only to the spoiled brats themselves I would be in total agreement, but they always seem to manage to spread collateral damage far and wide to include innocent bystanders.

  9. “You know what? I’m sick and tired of whining brats.”

    Let me start over…

    You woah nut? I’m tick and sired of brining wats.

    (Alright, so I listen[ed] to lost of Lirty Dies and Zilch the Tory Steller..)

    1. “You know what? I’m sick and tired of whining brats.”

      It has always been my understanding that bratwurst are properly cooked in beer, not wine.

      I suppose a dry white wine might work. Perhaps a Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, or Gewürtztraminer?

      1. Gewürtztraminer is not dry, but quite sweet. And bratwurst (along with beer bread) is a reasonable way of putting lesser beers to good use.

      2. If meat agreed with my digestive system I could see trying the Gewürtztraminer for the Brats. Not sure the effect of the wine would have in this application on the peppers and onions which are to be stewed along side, but what the hey.

        And, if I could eat it, I would save the Pinot Grigio for serving with grilled chicken or shrimp with garlic and lemon…

        1. Cheese. I like cheese, very much thank you. And I can eat cheese. Now my mouth wants cheese. Cheese with some port. Ummmmm.

          Dang Ox. It is too early in the day.

          1. I will assume that port follows similar “rules” as sherry. And Terry Pratchett in one of the later Discworld books stated that “Some people say that sherry should not be drunk before noon. They are wrong.” or something close to that. I might not have it quite right as it has been a while, and the sangria is… agreeable.

            1. Reminds me of my reserve unit’s tradition of “Adjutant’s Tea”. Cheap sherry before morning parade. Goes back to this one adjutant for the unit (WW1 I believe, if not earlier) who was a bit of a lush. Good officer and well liked by the men. So in order for him not to stand out each men would get a sniff of sherry in their canteen cups before morning parade so everyone smelled of cheap sherry.
              As an aside, it was interesting when looking at militia unit traditions in Canada, over half of them involved alcohol in one form or another.

            2. Which brings to mind, from the TV film adaption of Sharpe’s Honour — Sharpe has been framed for attacking the Spanish Marquesa and has been sentenced to hang, an entourage including Wellington and the Marquesa’s husband are assembled on a nearby hill in order to see the sentence carried out:

              Aide: Should I serve sherry to the Spanish officers, sir?

              Wellington: Damn it, Stokeley, it’s an execution, not a bloody christening.

              Yes, Sangria can be refreshing. Just be careful about eating the fruit.

            3. The rule is correct; sherry should not be drunk before noon.

              Of course, as is well known, it is afternoon somewhere.

              1. Been poking at something someone said here, about a book having “summer” and “winter” court of the fae flipping entirely….

                Realized that the “5 o’clock somewhere” model works better. Someplaces they’re gaining ground; someplaces each is losing ground. One is in dominance, world gets warmer; the other, there’s cooling.

            4. Those jugs of wine — the ones that come in the big, “oh gosh I can TOTALLY DO SOMETHING WITH THAT” crafting type jugs– have a “sweet red table wine” that is delightful. The Moscato Sangria is pretty good, too.

              (Yes, I buy cheap wine because I want the bottles. And then I find out that it’s a lot better than it works. Dang my life?)

              1. If it is good, it is not cheap. It might well be inexpensive, and that is a good thing indeed.

                A few years ago I had a gin & tonic made with a bottom shelf gin (I went to a local liquor store and looked…) and it was tolerable. Not great, but it would do. The next night I had another, at a different place, that used a different bottom shelf gin. That G&T was just nasty. When I looked, I found that the second place used truly cheap gin (until called on it, then I got Hendrick’s… helluva jump, that!) and the first place used stuff next to it, at slightly more (a dollar per 750 mL bottle) and that was inexpensive or least not too cheap.

          2. Now I have the Cheese Shop sketch running through my head.

            “Yes sir, this is a cheese shop we have many fine cheeses.”

        2. Peshtigo and here in Menominee the wineries are supposed to be okay. All wine is just rotten fruit juice to me, so I cannot say from first hand. The local beers are pretty good though.

            1. as an aside, I once had a champagne or other sparkling wine, pale pinkish, that I was able to force down, for toasts during a wedding.

        1. Which one? Doesn’t the average American have 2.3 spouses during their lifetime?

  10. The past couple of years convinced me that I had made the right choice to avoid Facebook. From the reportage on incidents as varied as the Harvard tantrums to Berkeley riots I have been quite unimpressed by the quality of critical thinking displayed students interviewed. Why should take what limited time I have to go looking for more?

    1. FB has its uses; in a very narrow set of circumstances, like keeping in touch with your extended family members rather than playing telephone tag with them, or spending nearly half a dollar on postage for a letter that you’d write on the computer anyway. Beyond that? Waste of time and energy.

        1. More like AOL, except bigger…

          Whenever I see someone complaining about the nutjobs on Facebook or Twitter I always think, “Doctor, it hurts when I do this…”

        2. Worse, Big Brother owns the bulletin board and data-mines everything done on it.

          I am constantly reminded of the Hundred Flowers Movement when I look at Farcebook.

          1. Well how else am I supposed to keep the U.S. Marshall’s apprised of my nefarious schemes?

        3. I find e-mail works just fine. I admit have never been a fan of bulletin boards or photo albums or those elaborate scrapbooks.

          When Daddy started doing a great deal of transcontinental work we found that email worked beautifully. My email would find him wherever he was, we didn’t have to worry about time differences and we could respond to each other at our convenience.

          1. Aye, it seems “old fashioned” to some (many?) now, but it does the job well. I often look at Skype etc. and wonder how many more times they are going to re-invent IRC badly.

          2. I rather like email. My phone plan gives me free international minutes; I call my mom, she skypes me but there are problems with her area regarding sheer noise pollution. It’s one of those things, unfortunately, nothing short of a several hundred dollar noise cancelling gaming headset would fix, one she won’t wear because they’d be too hot and heavy to endure for long.

        4. E-mail where I don’t have to read probably daily emails from 45 nagging aunts, I don’t have to download 500 pictures that I didn’t want to see in the first place, I don’t get infected because half of them think that proper internet security means turning off all updates and removing anti-virus, and it avoids the eternal drama of “but you didn’t email me that” (if you did or not).

      1. Extended family?

        My family is full of graduates of places such as Penn Law, Harvard Med, Brown and Columbia. How much contact do I need?

          1. Problem is they are family – what little I have left at that. If they weren’t family it would be so much easier to simply write them off. They really do love me as best they can, and I reciprocate.

            1. Blood is thicker than water; although sometimes it gets pretty damn diluted.

              1. Well yes I do find they can be pretty thick, but it isn’t blood I was thinking about.

                1. That’s why they call New Hampshire, The Granite State. And I don’t mean geopolitical region.

                  1. Among the more peculiar artifacts in my library is a copy of “Zacherle for President”. In recent years I’d started thinking he made a lot of sense. 😉

      2. Facebook allowed me to unload all my intolerant liberal friends, all but one of whom has defriended me. The one that remains is very slowly digesting the Red Pill.

        1. I unfriended one of my classmates from high school because he was a rabid and unreachable Progressive. Facts were irrelevant to him. And of course he’d be a logistics officer in the USAF reserve. I know casualty rates would be a lot higher if we sent all those REMFs into true shooting combat zones; but that seems like the only way to reach inside their heads to make proper adjustments.

      3. Planning outings with friends is much easier with it…that is about all I use it for: an invites system…that and an occasional post at the Diner.

        1. Gotta get to the Diner at some point… even just having Sarah friended has made my wall a much friendlier place, it’d be awesome to have more stuff interspersed from folks similar.

          (I’ve been intent on not having an echo chamber, part of the reason I use FB at all… but I could stand to adjust the acoustics.)

          1. With this bunch? An echo-chamber?

            Only of reality testing, although there may be some subjects where the only argument is “I do not agree with that, recognize it will start a big blow up, can we change the subject.”

    2. Eh, it’s useful for multiperson message threads (so it’s all in one place and someone can’t forget to hit reply all), event organizing, sharing pictures, and, oh yes, following authors like the ILOH and our esteemed hostess.

      It’s a tool – nothing more or less

            1. He couldn’t ever be that; He grants us Free Will and refuses to contradict it, to become a Progressive He’d have to quit as God.

        1. For twitter there’s gab.ai, for wikipedia there’s infogalactic. For facebook, there’s…., so far, nothing.

          Myspace could have been facebook, but they went another direction. And because of this, I checked, and I still have a myspace account.

  11. This is why the Sad Puppies thing was, and continues to be, so important. (I’m not jogging your elbow. Do what you want, its your thing.)

    What happened with Sad Puppies was the sheets got pulled off. The pretense of loving tolerance and bonhomie was ripped away, and we all got to see the raw, steaming hate underneath.

    I’ve been having a “conversation” about this with some Vilebots at Lela Buis’s blog. (I won’t link, I didn’t ask her if it was cool or not. Google is your friend.) She asked the question, “Does the Hugo represent fandom?” and went on to wonder if it could, given there’s no white male authors nominated this year.

    Then China Mike linked her. Woohoo. (Names changed to protect The Phantom.)

    87 comments later we get this from our good buddy Grog Hullblender (who still posts at MGC, for y’all lurking trolls who say Sad Puppies is about censorship). Quoth the Grog: “The pretense that they’re two different groups is laughable.” Grog likes to pretend that Sads and Rabids are the same. He then, hilariously, starts with the violence references. Amazing, coming from a gay pacifist.

    He’s not actually a stupid man, from what I can see. Annoying perhaps, but stupid? No. He can’t -really- think the two groups are the same. Why would he say that?

    Different thread same subject, we have another Vilebot, Confruitius. Quoth the bot: “It’s hysterical to see Republicans complaining about liberals taking over the sciences when Republicans as a whole tend to be actively anti-education, anti-intellect, and anti-science.”

    Behold, the Liberal world in a nutshell. This idiot accidentally encapsulates the whole thing, responding to something I put up at my place. http://phantomsoapbox.blogspot.ca/2017/07/the-purity-spiral-in-organizations-and.html

    We’re getting down to brass tacks on the whole ideology wars. This is why an otherwise intelligent (probably) person willfully lies about something so trivial as Sad Puppies. The conversation has passed on from “who’s right?” and settled on “KILL THEM!!!” Liberals love the frisson of rage they get when they contemplate the straw man of Victorian era Capitalist excess they project onto their fellow citizens. It makes them feel powerful and righteous, as they storm the Bastille.

    Except its not the Bastille, its some little mom-and-pop company that has one of those “Jesus fish” things on a car bumper parked out in front.

    Bottom line, they’re moving to purge the population of non-conforming individuals. You better get your regulation pink hair dye and bad haircut, or somebody’s going to think you’re a [gasp!] Christian.

    Bottom line, it is 1935 and some ugly shit is brewing.

    What to do? I think a huge fricking tax cut would go a long way to breaking this thing’s back. Vote for that. Be a one issue voter. Tax cut or you’re fired.

      1. Some of the most incapable, most gormless schmucks I’ve ever met worked in the Ivory Tower.

        Given the choice between a low-IQ day laborer who doesn’t speak English and an English professor, I’ll pick the low intelligence guy every time. The dumb guy may slack off when I’m not looking, but he won’t spend the day thinking up new ways to sabotage the job. The English professor will definitely do that. I’ve seen it.

          1. It should be noted that “low IQ” does not mean “stupid” much less foolish. While it means it will generally take such a person longer to learn new information that more deliberate pace might well mean they chew their intellectual food more carefully. IQ has much to do with how quickly, not how well, its owner processes data, and has nothing to do with wisdom.

            There are no fools like intelligent fools, if only because stupid fools are more likely to acknowledge their foolishness.

            1. True. I once worked with somebody who was, very likely, considered to be of a “normal” IQ. Dumbest person I’ve ever met, and I’m including the ones with outright intellectual disabilities, like Down’s Syndrome. This was at summer camp, and he quit before he was fired… and the guy driving him home took much longer than expected. Because he didn’t know where he lived. They called his mom. His mom didn’t know where they lived. They had to drive around until he saw something that looked familiar.

              I mean… seriously. How do you not know the name of the street you’ve lived on for years? And he seemed so normal…

              1. Policeman to lost little kid: “What’s your address?” Answer: “Johnny@gmail.com.”

                I’ve actually run into that same problem of people not knowing where they live in relation to places they are. You wouldn’t believe, wait- in this group you would- how many people don’t know which way to orient a paper road map.

                1. When I was 4 or 5 my uncle took me bow fishing with him to a river by another uncles camp. My Dad had told him and some of his buddies he thought they could take me about anywhere, and I could get back.
                  I had been there the week before with Dad, so my uncle acted like he didn’t know how to get there, and I got us there telling him where to turn. Of course, telling cops my address back then did little good. Rural Route Box numbers were little help back then. But if they got me within 20-30 miles of home, I’d likely lead you the rest of the way.
                  Once I was a bit older (6 or 7), I could show you on a map where my house was, and could point north, south etc from a standstill even on a heavy overcast day, and usually at night without stars. not knowing direction or where to go has been one of those strange things I could never comprehend.

                  1. I normally have an excellent sense of direction, except at this one campground near Show Low, Arizona where my internal compass is off about 90 degrees when I’m within about 5 miles. I continually have to reorient myself with the sun or Polaris while I’m there.

                    1. Now, I have found a place or two that’ll get me like that, but unless it’s a moonless overcast midnight, like you, I’d reorient quickly.
                      I have seen folk I doubt could point north . . . standing at the South Pole

                    2. Sounds like a good place to check for an iron-nickel meteorite?

                      Without a referent, I usually can’t tell you where north is – but I can tell you, pretty closely, the angle I have turned from an original direction. (I might have developed, or kept, a better directional sense – but, as kenashimame know, in metro Tucson you can be lazy. Given the slightest amount of light – even sky glow – you can tell which mountain range you are looking at. Four of them, conveniently placed at the cardinal directions.)

                    3. Vienna. I always rotate Vienna, Austria 90 degrees. I can navigate the inner city just fine (as long as the cathedral doesn’t get moved) but north in my mind is not map north. *shrug* Been like that since the first time I was there.

                  2. Back when I was a young pup, my grandfather used to take me for walks in the woods. When he was ready to head back, he’d have me close my eyes, spin me some a few times, and have me lead the way.

                    I don’t remember the actual experiences much, they fell away as childhood memories will. But the habits that I picked up during them have served me well.

              2. You would be surprised. We get that a lot. We’ve also gotten “What’s the number to 911?” once. Saw it the other day as a sitcom gag, but to us it happened in real life.

      1. Seriously, its like talking to a pig. No matter what you say, you get the same response.

      2. This bit…

        “Well, not entirely. Honor is when you get out of the car and shoot the man in the car behind you because he blew his horn at you.”

        What. What the actual fsck? Where did this guy live, Pakistan? Saudi Arabia? Iraq at the height of Saddam? There is no place in the Western culture section of the planet where this is considered either legal or acceptable. Road rage with shooting is a crime.

        1. Yep. Projection of his own desires upon others. Add a great sound system and he could show blockbuster movies to his friends.

          1. And add to existing noise pollution? No thanks.

            These are the kind of people who would honor kill their children for not bowing to their supreme dictates. Crazy. Only in their universe would ‘blow horn at you’ = result: “I must honor kill you now.” Ye gods.

            Yeah, let’s drop them onto a jungle island surrounded by sharks and deep ocean. If their stress thresholds are that low, they’ll slaughter each other in no time.

        2. I think this is an example of a sadly common problem. While I didn’t read the thread, I’ve seen many statements of similar caliber, in that the person making the statement has a particular definition in mind, and even if there are multiple definitions of a word, theirs is the ONLY ONE that is true.

          1. …or they pick the one that lets them see their opponent as a villain and pretend that’s what their opponent “really” meant?

  12. The poor spoiled darlings never had the privilege of being told no and don’t know how to take being laughed at or even being argued with.

    Ah, sums up a coworker who insists on I not be “so hard on myself” when I use self-deprecating humor. It’s bad enough to not understand a mild zing is only that and in good humor, but to not realize someone else is joking about himself? And not even if one adds a “Well, somebody was gonna say, it might as well be me.” See, LibertyCon was therapy. I was surrounded by people NOT slower than ox!

    And yes, I do “escape Reality” by quite some distance at times. And still, not nearly that far.

  13. Couldn’t help but flash on that bit in Troopers about failing to properly discipline a puppy until you realize you have a full grown dog who still piddles on the carpet. So you shoot him. They took over the reins of power and have always been incapable of disciplining themselves so here we are.

    1. I try, desperately, *not* to fall into daydreams of shooting some of the piddling special needs dogs.

      It’s getting harder and hard to avoid the urge when I hear their “intelligentsia” justifying attempted political assassination because it’s the fault of the intended victims. And how evil, and subhuman, and unworthy of any consideration because of our beliefs we all are.

      If we were half as malignant as they claim – or they have shown themselves to be – the country would already be in the midst of a bloodbath. One that would, at *best* for them, precariously evenly balanced. Yet they keep beating the war-drums and vilifying anyone who does’t toe their party line.

      I wonder if any of them are familiar enough with our culture to recall Gilbert & Sullivan’s _Mikado_. Because I think a *lot* of people have got a little list . . . with them on it.

      1. Oh, *that* Mikado? Mikado gets a makeover to remove ‘orientalist’

        There were two central issues, as she and her company saw it. Lamplighters would not commit to hiring only Asian or Asian American performers for the Asian roles, meaning some might be performing next to a white person acting “Asian.”

        NB: I know some of the people involved with Lamplighters. I also know that this is opera, and the reason they wouldn’t commit to only casting Asian/Asian Americans for the Asian roles (aka all of them) is that opera is hard and takes a lot of training, and even in a saturated theatrical market like the SF Bay Area, the overlap between trained opera singers and the folk who would be willing and able to perform in something that isn’t that remunerative is not so great that they could guarantee enough actors of the “proper” skin tone. So the group refused to tell any of their actors that this would be an opportunity.

        I don’t mind reimagining The Mikado. After all, it’s got a lot of problematic material (some of which was excised a century ago). That “little list” is ripe for playing. But it’s hard to see a company committed to doing something beautiful forced into doing something else entirely—quite possibly equally beautiful, but under threat of boycott.

        1. the reason they wouldn’t commit to only casting Asian/Asian Americans for the Asian roles (aka all of them) is that opera is hard and takes a lot of training,

          I do not believe there are any Asian roles in Mikado, any more than there are Negro Colored Black African-American roles in a minstrel show. Such works are properly presented with acknowledgment that they are artifacts of bygone eras and represent certain fashions and viewpoints of those eras. Moreover, a reason for presenting them today is as a reminder that in some future era the fashions and viewpoints expressing contemporary “enlightened” thought will be as embarrassing as those in these productions.

          And yet great art can come from even such rotten foundations.

          1. Now that I think on it, even casting Asian/Asian-Americans is problematic, as it assumes that Japanese, Koreans and Chinese (of whatever ethnicity)* are interchangeable. Anyone making such demand for Asian/Asian-American casting needs to be confronted with their racism.

            *We need not get into their disrespect for Mongols, Indians (dot), Pakistanis, Bangladeshi, Indonesians and Maori — to name just a few. Although I pity the stage crew that has to construct flats for the All-Samoan production of Mikado (shouldn’t the “natives” in South Pacific be Samoan?)

            1. This was one of the things I saw noted regarding Scarlett Johanson’s casting in the Ghost in the Shell live action movie. Japan doesn’t really make many action flicks. So they don’t have a stable of experienced action-movie actresses. Instead, if you’re watching an action movie with light-skinned Asians, it was probably shot in China. So if you want a “generic” Asian action-movie actress with some experience, you need to cast a Chinese actress.

              For various reasons that I won’t get into here, that’s probably not a very good idea when the original character that you would want the actress to portray is Japanese in the very well-known source material.

              1. I watched the movie; and I liked the REASON why it actually ended up being a white Caucasian woman cast as the Major for the movie. It made sense in the context of the movie’s story, which I rather liked for not having been a complete rehash of known material.

                Plus, if we were going to go by the original GitS movie, Scarlett J does have a pretty good facial resemblance to Major Kusanagi. Heightwise… not as much though. XD

    2. Except they’re more like the puppy who playfully nips, gets rewarded with petting because you can’t damage the dear darling’s self-esteem (instead of the single good slap across the chops that would cure the problem forever), then nips purposefully and is rewarded by fear, and grows up to be the dog that bites every time it wants its own way, and either has to be muzzled all the time, or gets shot.

      The left is slowly muzzling itself (unfortunately not its more rabid elements) but the day is coming when they get shot for biting the hands that feed them.

      [In Real Life(TM) I R a pro dog trainer. BTW the same purely-positive shit is why we now have a flood of dominant and neurotic pets, and meanwhile the problem is made worse as well-bred animals and knowledgeable breeders are being replaced with imported street dogs and high-profit rescues.. Sound familiar??]

      1. How common is the “why are you afraid of that tiny dog” when you do the body language “attack me and I will wipe the floor with your” thing?

        EVERY FREAKING TIME that some idiot yapper runs for me, and I turn, square my shoulders, show a bit of tooth and glare, the owner freaks out because I’m “scared.”

        No, lady, I’m not scared. I’m telling your dog that it cannot take out my heel , and if it tries I will kick it across the road.

        Now, the dogs that are over 45lbs? THOSE I would be scared of. Notably, their owners tend to either have them tied, or behind fences, or both.

  14. If I were put in charge of the world for a day, I’d scoop up all those charming children and plop them down in one of the socialist or anarchist paradises they keep saying that they long for. And leave them for a month or so, then see if the survivors want to discuss forms of government and similar topics peacefully and in a constructive manner. OTOH, the folks stuck in Venezuela, Zimbabwe, North Korea, Cuba, and Communist China have enough problems without that being inflicted upon them.

      1. Probably the “Helpers.” They Norkies would probably be happy: an abrupt abundance of labor in the work camps (hopefully) means fewer locals getting arrested for “crimes against the state.”

        1. Nope. There’s an implicit quota:

          If DPRK Internal Security Forces don’t find a number of comrades who said bad things about Imperious Leader Mark III equal or greater than the number found in the last accounting period, that is evidence Security Forces are not applying sufficient zeal, and so Security Forces get to move into the camps themselves, unless they are used for artillery target practice pour encourager les autres.

    1. From a recent comment by Urgent Agenda’s William Katz:

      I know a teacher who instructs a number of immigrant kids. And she told me of an incident where one of those kids could barely control his laughter at some speaker who was talking about the sublime “cultures” the immigrant students came from.

      “Why are you laughing?” this teacher asked.

      The student replied, “Does that guy understand what it’s like to live in the countries he’s talking about?”

    2. See, thing is, in my experience, they don’t actually long for those places.

      This girl I went to college with used to go on and on about how much the US sucked and how much she hated it here and how much better Latin America and South America was, and how she was going to move to the Dominican Republic as soon as she graduated. So one day I finally got sick of it and offered to buy her a one-way airline ticket, First Class, to the Dominican Republic… so long as she agreed, in writing, to renounce her US citizenship and surrender her passport once she arrived. Otherwise she’d have to reimburse me for the cost of the ticket.

      Not only did she refuse, she acted like I was insane for making the offer.

      Made the same offer to several other classmates (to the country of their choosing rather than the DR, of course), none took me up on it.

      So my takeaway was much as they bitch and moan, they love the perks that America gives them, but hate… something? Never quite could determine what it was other than “America’s a RACIST country!” or some such BS.

      1. they love the perks that America gives them, but hate… something?

        They hate Americans, those deplorable people who make their cushy lives possible and ask little more than to be left alone. But leaving people alone is one thing those people are incapable of doing.

      2. The DR is fairly decent. Most countries are, compared to Haiti, which it shares an island with.

    3. I keep wanting to plunk them down on some nice, uninhabited jungle island and letting them ‘rebuild society’ the way they think it should work. From human prehistory.

      I rather expect they’ll resort quickly to cannibalism. They do so quickly turn on each other, after all.

      /said in the voice of John de Lancie.

      1. You say that like it’s a bad thing. Set up remote cameras and it would likely break all records for reality-show market share.

        For extra points, every week there could be a chance to vote someone else ONTO the island.

        1. We’d have a Btoooom!!! situation rather quickly though.

          I prefer the idea of how the Bear-cultists were removed from the Isle of the Winds. The islands on which they were exiled required spading as much bird manure as they could to eke out the most miserable living as possible. I’m being rather generous in giving them a tropical island.

          Or maybe not. We could’ve dumped them on the island full of vipers as that’s uninhabited by humans…

        2. My idea for a “survivor” reality show was to drop all the members of Congress on an island and filming the results…

        1. I guess I am more generous than thou: I would offer a choice between Lord of the Flies and Tunnel in the Sky.

      2. Ehh, it would be okay, Prehistory was a matriarchal socialist paradise, after all.

        [/BIG SARC]

    4. I had a wonderful history professor back (er, waaay back) in college, teaching Western history. I’m sure he probably started out as a complete socialist, given his specialty was Eastern Europe (and this was back around 1980, before the wall fell). But he told the class he’d actually spent time behind the Iron Curtain. He described a Saturday night in Prague, sharing a crappy apartment with a full blown Communist fellow prof – there was no electricity, no alcohol, no tv, no radio, absolutely nothing to do, and they’re staring at each other, until all of a sudden, the Communist stands up and sings God Bless America at the top of his lungs (then sat down and said, “Don’t you ever told anyone I did that.”)

      I feel sorry for the kids – they’ve been indoctrinated in the schools and don’t know any better, and kids naturally want to do the right thing, even if they’re hazy about what that actually is. Heck, even I was being indoctrinated, back in the 70s (all those Neil Simon sit coms on tv alone). And I had a friend who went to grad school in Berkeley who came back spouting every socialist anti-Western meme there was.

      I was just lucky enough to have sensible parents who challenged every emotion-driven piece of nonsense I’d picked up, and who had the worldly experience to give me actual facts. (Okay, I also read tons of old books, but we had them in the house from my grandparents’ day.)

  15. WP seems to have eaten my rant, so let me simply say this: it wouldn’t be so bad if we weren’t the only adults in the room. See our Republican majorities who — somehow — are incapable of getting anything done.

    1. Normally they don’t have to get anything done. They just play golf and blame the DemocRats for everything.

      Now we can -see- them doing nothing. They have not yet adjusted to being expected to walk their talk.

      1. There is a reason my intent was for my vote for Trump to be a farewell FU to the GOP.

        They haven’t done much since his win to change my mind. This is twice in my lifetime they have all the keys to the kingdom and still the best they can do is Progtard Lite.

        1. All the keys to the kingdom? So long as they don’t have the MSM they have nothing. One part of the Trump Derangement Syndrome afflicting the MSM is his refusal to bend the knee at their altar. If they allow him to prosper their grip on the nation will be broken. The GOP will forever have its McCains and Kasichs but so long as they can be encouraged to run with the Cruzes and Lees they will never be more of a hindrance than Rubio.

          The Murkowskis and Senate ladies from Maine are simply less bad than what the Democrats of those states would be.

          (There’s a cover by Jerry Lee Lewis, but them gals ‘r jest having so much fun I had to use this.)

          1. so, I’m the only one making (rather pathetic, I admit) #CNNblackmail memes?

  16. Wow Sarah!
    A combination of accuracy amplified with passion that reminds me of Dr. Thomas Sowell.

  17. Maybe you had to be living here at the time, I don’t know – but I joined the “Loyal Opposition” in the Carter Administration. It took me until the hostage crisis, though – before that, I just thought that every village had its idiot. I was also not aware that my Democrat neighbors were a dying breed.

    1. During the run up to 2008, the chemist I worked with and I we’re describing out unless work the Dem front runners. The two younger lab workers fully understood why we disliked Hillary. When asked about 0bama, we looked at each other and he asked “You thinking what I’m thinking?” I answered “Carter, maybe worse?” He nodded. We were on the same page. We then let the youngsters know all about it.

  18. no sanctimonious signs in front of our houses saying we’d joined the “resistance.”

    That’s mighty kind of them. If they get their way and have the violence they want because they think we won’t return the favor they will be much easier to find when we do.

    we’d realized what they aimed at was nothing less than the destruction of western civilization.

    Well, as of last week they all went on record that even speaking positively of Western Civilization was raciss/sexiss/speciss/etc and made it clear speak of “we” with respect to Western Civilization does not include them.

    I suggest we take them at their word on that and deporting native Americans and send them to their workers’ paradises and authentic primitive societies that are so superior to the one they loathe.

    1. as of last week they all went on record that even speaking positively of Western Civilization was raciss/sexiss/speciss/etc

      Jus’ gonna quote Mark Steyn here:

      Apologies to all my readers: Last week I carelessly wrote about President Trump’s Warsaw speech as if the words therein corresponded to the definitions ascribed to them by Oxford, Webster’s or any other English dictionary. My mistake. Apparently the plain meaning of the words is entirely irrelevant. Because the words aren’t words per se, they’re “dog whistles”:

      Trump’s white-nationalist dog whistles in Warsaw

      As James Taranto noted during a previous dog-whistling frenzy:

      “The thing we adore about these dog-whistle kerfuffles is that the people who react to the whistle always assume it’s intended for somebody else,” he wrote. “The whole point of the metaphor is that if you can hear the whistle, you’re the dog.”

      Indeed dog whistles are all they hear. If Trump is, as has been said, the all-time great Twitter troll, in Warsaw he was trolling for western civilization, and an entire army of mangy pooches began yowling and – to mix canine metaphors – set off like greyhounds in pursuit of a mechanical hare. Even if the speech had not been worth it on its own merits, it would still have performed a useful service in demonstrating that the western left now utterly despises western civilization. As I noted on Friday, this is the most pathetic humbug:

      Not just “the dog” but the son of a bitch.

          1. What’s the problem?

            That link went to the cartoon that showed up in the prior post.

      1. The whole dog-whistle thing. You’d think, after everyone has been pointing and giggling at the LibProg spokescritters for this long, they’d catch on that they’re the dogs, if those are dog whistles. But noooooo, no.

        I’m in the process of refilling the popcorn cart. I’ve got *rummages around for order pad/wish list* plain, extra butter, “that good cheese,” caramel, hot cinnamon, white chocolate, dark chocolate crunch [yes, that is a flavor], kettle corn, and, um, I think this one’s alfalfa. *blinks, checks computer, shrugs* yep, one small bag of alfalfa flavor. Any other requests?

            1. Dunno if that’s why, but alfalfa is something of an immune-system booster for humans (and, presumably, dragons) and despite many claims, that’s usually not something you really want to do.

            2. Ever listen to a baseball game on the radio (maybe things have changed since the 1970’s or early 1980’s… I’ve not listened to such, but Grandpa did… so..) and when the crowd cheers some play and the announcer shuts up for a bit… you hear the crowd noise grow loud, then soft, then louder, over and over – until the announcer speaks again? “AGC Pumping” (AGC – Automatic Gain Control.) AGC’s job is to keep the volume not-too-soft and not-too-loud.) When the announcer is talking, it has plenty of signal to work with and the regulation is unnoticed or nearly so. But when the anouncer gets quiet… the gain is moved up as things are too soft.. until it’s too loud and it gets softened again… lather, rinse, repeat.

              Now consider the immune system as something similar to broadcast audio with AGC. As long there is some substantial signal to cope with (random germs…) no big deal. But in a wonderfully clean world where sanitation is excellent and hygiene done well – even by slackers – the immuno-gain-control ramps up the gain as.. where’s the signal?! And it can mess things up that shouldn’t be affected and there is auto-immune as “hey, found A signal to work with” even if it’s very much NOT the signal it should work on. A “bored” immune system begets allergies – or worse.

              And then an immune-booster? Yeah, let’s crank the gain UP even more. Great idea… if you want things going into oscillation from all that positive feedback. Oscillation if you are lucky, mind. If not lucky… something burns out instead. That is a thing not good.

              Perhaps a crap analogy, but it should be comprehensible – or at least entertaining.

              1. Having a wife with multiple auto-immune issues (though one is greatly reduced after the chemo, while another became far more pronounced), I very much get it.

        1. On Twitter one of the folks who did claim Trump’s speech in Poland was a “dog whistle” got rather pissy because people pointed out he was the only one who heard the whistle. 😀

    2. Those signs strike me as much the same thing as the rumored ‘red front door lights’ signaling that the house is an anti-gun one. A bit too much for me to believe is real, but leaving me with the scary thought that those idiocies really ARE real. For the first, “Put me under police surveillance, please!” and the latter “Come in, mug and kill us!” are what they translate to…

        1. Or that the lights looked white when purchased. I’ve got a Christmas wreath that hangs on the front door via an over-the-door wreath hanger. After seeing some illuminated wreaths, I added a small set of battery-powered LED lights that I thought were white, but turned out to be red.

      1. Now, now, Shadow. We do not victim blame here.

        Too busy rolling on the floor laughing.

      2. And I though a red light indicated either ‘darkroom in use’ (safelight) or ‘On the air’. Though once upon a time I used a UV bulb as porchlight (in a season not bug-infested) to make it clear ‘This house’ for some arriving from some distance in those pre-(inexpensive/common)GPS days.

      3. Ah HA! That finally explains the neighbor’s porch light, that I’ve been meaning to ask him about. Blue must mean “retired Border Patrol agent and six-year Sandbox Marine veteran son, armed to the teeth.”

        1. Yep. And around here, green means “This is my token Christmas decoration because I’m working overtime” and yellow is “D@mn it! I hate miller moths!” Supposedly they are less attracted to yellow than to other colors.

            1. YOU can clean up after a 22 lb cat with delusions of flying ability goes after one in the house. There’s a reason we drink out of plastic cups and glasses here at Redquarters.

          1. Pink and purple mean “my daughter was with me, she’s six, and the LED light at Walmart was two bucks. Now, she’s happy.”

        2. There was actually a rather serious fight– on the side of the activists– when some of the “Autism Awareness” folks tried to claim blue lights.

          They’ve been used to allude to the thin blue line since I was a little kid.

      4. Red front door lights mean the house is an anti-gun one?

        So that’s why they got so angry when I asked for Roxanne and offered $20. When did that social signal change?

  19. Off-topic, I know, but does anyone know what happened to Nikki’s blog? All of a sudden it’s coming up as ‘Private’ and ‘must sign in to view’ for me.

  20. As a native of the bay area in California, familiar with the evil done in the name of justice, let me explain why those of the wrong political view may stay.
    First, the Bay Area has the best weather in the world.
    Second, the Bay Area is one of the most beautiful areas in the world.
    Third, if you have owned a house here, it will have made you hundreds of thousands of dollars and if you are over 62 you can pay off your loan with a reverse mortgage you don’t have to pay off until you die.
    Fourth, I have a wonderful chance to witness to many about the truth. There are many of us still here, hiding in plain sight. I go to a faithful church in an apostate denomination, where many of the faithful California churches have escaped. New England had a much higher proportion of apostate churches.
    Fifth, we have been in an earthquake quiet zone for the past 111 years. When the earthquake swarm starts, then you move out. The earthquake faults are why the bay exists.
    Sixth, Did I explain about the wonderful weather, where we expect a summer weather forecast of “fair with late and early morning low cloudiness”. You choose the temperature you like. Frisco a cold 60, Walnut Creek a hot 100.
    Seventh, Fresh fruit. Our lemon tree produces lemons year round. We just go out and pick them. Our Avocado tree gives us fruit for 4 months of the year. We have a peach tree with 200 peaches that will be ripe in August. California produces much of the specialty crops in the country.

    Every place has bad aspects, ours is just the fruits and nuts that have fallen into the state over the past 70 years.

    Are we run by idiots? Yes.
    Is the state being run into the ground? Yes.
    Do i have to be careful what I say? Yes. This is why I post under this name.

    Have I thought of moving? No.
    It would be too much trouble to move 12,000 books.

    1. Texas can’t quite beat you on the weather, and I envy your lemon tree, but I put my 12,000 or so books into storage boxes on cargo pallets last summer in about a week to make way for the hardwood floor installers. It wasn’t too strenuous, just tedious. Besides the obvious upside of nice new floors, I shed about half a ton of printed crap, and finally got all my books organized, categorized, and alphabetized. And neither my wife nor I did any whining.

      1. I find such mundane tasks ever so much more tol’able now that I have audiobooks in my MP3 device.

        1. Note the Bizzaro comic from today about someone seeking to print out their Kindle.

          I saw the power of a book collection when Eric Flint’s latest Span of Empire was published. I checked the local library website to check out the first book of the trilogy, to read the three together. They did not have it, but when I looked through my collection, i found I purchased their copy, (complete with bar code), a few years earlier. My collection let me re-read the series.

          I mentioned this lack when I went to the library. They passed on my comment to the librarian who does the purchases. He called, and said they had purchased Span of Empire because Flint was on an automatic purchase list. However, if they had realized it was part of a trilogy they did not have, they would not have purchased it!

          A reason to keep collecting. You can’t trust libraries any more.

      2. The trick of packing books into boxes is to use small boxes. If you can’t easily lift the full box, it’s too big.

        1. I like lining the boxes with a plastic trash bag.

          Because weather happens.

  21. What they really are are the spoiled brats all of us know from kindergarten.

    You know the ones as well as I do. They’re the ones who, when told they can’t have the third cookie, when all other kids were given one, tell you how you oppressed little Timmy last week by not giving him a cookie (even though Timmy’s mother as him marked down as gluten intolerant) and how you don’t show pretty pictures to Heather (who is blind) and how you don’t speak Serbian with the twins who are just arrived from Serbia and so aren’t fair to them. The brat is going to hold his/her breath and/or scream until you correct all these injustices.

    Half the time, given the brat being loud enough, other kids, intimidated by them, or thinking that it’s logical that you should be all things to all people, will back the brat up. Faced with rebellion, the kindergarten teacher who is not paid enough for this, and just wants to get on with teaching the colors, will give the brat another cookie. And then the brat will shut up, because that’s what he/she really wants. And then more kids will side with the brat, because they want extra cookies.

    And if Timmy, Heather, the twins or anybody else speaks up against them in any way, they will be destroyed.

    Frequently with teacher support, because it’s quieter that way.

    THAT is the “problem” with the millennial generation.

  22. I have a taunt, I’ve been using more and more often:

    And to hear the lamentations of their women … and watch the melting of their Special Snowflakes.

    It is really getting to be fun, watching the pathetic Democrazies constantly foaming at the mouth and going ballistic. It is even more fun reminding them that we get 7-1/2 more years of this entertainment. Trump is a great president, even if only for the entertainment value.

    Thank you, Donald. 7-1/2 more years! Followed by 8 of Pence. Make America Great Again!

    1. I’d like to point out that since Bush Mk I, no VP has followed their President into the Oval Office.

      Before that, have to go all the way Martin van Buren to find a Vice President who directly followed his President into the big job. Nixon was Eisenhower’s VP, but you have Kennedy and Johnson splitting them up.

  23. Sarah, it’s as if the Left is striving desperately, hopelessly, to prove George Orwell, Ayn Rand, and Robert Heinlein were right.

    It’s as if they really, really, really learned the wrong lessons from the Bible, from Kipling, and from all of History.

    It’s really as if they desperately want to be slapped in a manner not unlike the Three Stooges. https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/56/4b/19/564b19b61b86cfacbe890956acd969af–tin-signs-metal-signs.jpg

    And then shot, hanged, drawn-an-quartered, burnt as heretics, and their ashes used to make bricks for outhouses in Sumatra.

    1. Good to see you Setnaffa. How is the health?
      As for your point, it seems to me that at the heart of modern progressivism is self-hatred (as well as a hatred of humanity) so you might not be wrong at all.

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