Massed Confusion – Now with Footnotes

No, that’s not my life.  Why would you ask, other than the fact that I woke up with a non-functional computer and then got sidetracked into a million other things?  And this is really late.

Okay, fine, massed confusion IS my life, but it is not the kind of confusion I wanted to talk about.

Richard Fernandez was talking about the death of prestige on PJMedia.  He viewed it as a side effect of the recent sex scandals, but I think the sex scandals and the disintegration of our “respect” for people and institutions are more the result of two twin things: first the fact that the left has been undermining established society for a long time, initially because once “capitalist” (which is to say normal) society vanished, paradise would magically appear, and since 91 in a sort of mad fury that they can’t have their little red wagon*; second the same left was, at the same time taking over all the institutions.

Their lack of respect for the institutions they took over, their complete inability to see what’s in front of their eyes, and the fact that their entire philosophy is based on resentment and envy — which means they’re convinced everyone else, everywhere else is getting away with stuff, and so they might as well — results in the “take over a respected institution; kill it; flay it; wear its skin and dance in front of the horrified people involved in that institution, demanding respect.

By institution in this case, you’re to understand “industry” as well.

So when they took over say publishing, or movie making, they didn’t take over with the intention of making movies like the ones they loved (well, the younger ones might, but that’s another and more complex matter**) but in order to “reform” and make things “good” (where good is  value of “effects social change in the way Marx and his successor determined it should happen.”  So, tons of social critique and angst and our good friends resentment and envy of everyone and everything else.)  This means that just about everything they get control of turns to sh–  I mean, becomes less popular.  Because most of these critters are ind–  educated in the best*** universities, they view their failing efforts and are sure — SURE — it is just because the masses aren’t ready for them.  The masses are too stupid.  They are the special snowflakes they’ve been waiting for.

On top of that they also believe wholeheartedly that everyone is dirty, and everyone is taking advantage of the system/institution/industry.  This is part of their twin obsessions with “getting away with something” (from Clinton’s fantastical corruption, to the grab-ass of Hollywood moguls) and wanting the state to regulate everything.  Because they’re convinced without close and continuous supervision everyone is “dirty.”  Hell, they think of themselves as “the good guys” and look what they do.  SURELY the bad guys are worse?  (Rolls eyes.  Or, you know, those of us who oppose them, which is as far as their toddler-like understanding of bad guys goes, have internal moral compasses and aren’t out for all we can get.)

Given this, yeah, we have the sex scandals.  We also have an economically/governmentally/ideologically unravelling society.

Sure, it’s happened in the past — the French revolution; post-WWI, etc — and that’s what gave the left the chance to take over respected institutions to begin with.

So, are we going to do the same?

Well, the problem is when you take over institutions, whatever your political color, the people who take over are people who are attracted to power.  Now, some of them have moral compasses and are therefore better than the left. ****

But at the same time we’re caught in the middle of a technological change.  And at this point it’s hard to tell if the change is just technological or if the directions the technology took is being driven by the attempts of the left to push Marxian paradise down our throats and the resulting and concomitant chaos.

I mean, if the publishing industry had continued trying to make money (sure, but it’s subordinate to “hiring the right people” (meaning left) and “pushing the right point of view” which means they’ve been crashing print runs for forty years and calling it good) by any means available, and hiring and pushing the people most likely to do it, would Amazon’s ebook coup d’etat have succeeded?  Would it have so completely shattered the status quo?

And if the people who are still workingTM weren’t doing the job of three or four people as well as fielding the unreasonable regulatory burdens (on child care, on tax-reporting, on–) we are, would distance shopping or delivery of groceries be accelerating?

If our news reporting and our local social hubs hadn’t been thoroughly corrupted by left-politics would this forum even exist?

At some point it becomes an egg chicken, dinosaur thing.  If the respected institutions hadn’t decayed already, the meteor of new tech might have taken another form, and the current chickens might not have come home to roost.

But the chickens are here, the dinos are if not dead profoundly ill, and we’re in the middle of revolt, ferment and upheaval.

Should we take over the moribund institutions and make them respectable?  Or should we go our own way and do what we can?

Shake the magic eight ball.

My guess is most of us aren’t in a position to take over institutions.  But we’re in a position to work harder, smarter, faster, and to cast an eye to how things are evolving and how we can benefit from them to keep civilization going.

Just because we removed the active wrecker from the top of the pyramid, don’t delude yourself the rest will hold.

Between the left’s massive, breath-holding temper tantrum and their inability to build or create anything, or even to keep something going without undue mucking it up, hell is empty and all the devils are here.

Sure, we bought ourselves a little more time in November.  But it will take way more than that to sustain the shocks ahead.

Build under, build over, build around.  Build our parallel decentralized structures.  Be ready to take the weight of civilization when it rests on your shoulders.

Sure, Atlas can shrug.  But then it doesn’t go too well with Atlas either.

You got this.

Be not afraid.

*This morning, in the news pushed at us by microsnot, there was a professor of politics saying that civilization was a mistake.  Maybe for him it was.  In a tribe in the middle of nowhere, even if he’d been born, he’d probably have died/been killed long before proclaiming such nonsense.  But it’s come to this.  The big hope of the left now is “destroy civilization and we’ll have primitive communism”.  Which only exists in their delusions.

** When you’ve been trained to think that “good” means “preaches the social change we wish for” the end result is to train your tastes to stuff no one else likes.  Yes, it’s possible.  Humans can be trained to like practically anything, including the extreme conditions in Venezuela, if they’re convinced that’s what’s “good.”  Since for three generations our colleges have been preaching that “good” is “brings about social change” college-educated, non-questioning people have imported that into publishing and movie making and other entertainment fields.  Which leaves them rather pathetically flabbergasted that their “good” work isn’t appreciated.  Fortunately they also hook up on the myth of the misunderstood artist (not realizing that it’s a myth and that if artists were that misunderstood they wouldn’t be known centuries later) so they do have that to hug to themselves as consolation.  It’s lovely warm superiority, and since most of them inherited or slept their way into wealth, they ain’t starving, either.

*** That is, the prestigious educational institutions that were among the first victims of the long march, because those drawn to power are also drawn to prestige like ducks to water.  Makes since since the later used to lead to the first.

**** This is why Trump is better than Hillary.  It doesn’t even matter what his moral compass is.  It might just be “I love the US and want it to be wealthy” (in fact this is quite possible) but the fact he’s not suffering from the built in envy, resentment and opportunism of the left is enough to make him better.

304 thoughts on “Massed Confusion – Now with Footnotes

  1. The big hope of the left now is “destroy civilization and we’ll have primitive communism”. Which only exists in their delusions.
    Actually all communism is primitive as far as I see. And the only reason it works in a stone age setting is because everyone has to group together to survive. Once you start having steady, sustainable, and repeatable surplus communism tends to go away. Unless you are like Marx and his bastard stepchildren.

    1. It doesn’t really work in the stone age. There was always a band leader. The difference between him and the rest might not be huge, because, well, poor as dirt, but there was a difference. We know this from both modern primitives and ape bands.

      1. To herr professor, I say, “fine, you first”, and we can drop him, nude, being nice now, into the amazon.
        If he gets stroppy, nude into the Denali.
        In January.

        1. As you may well know – there’s already a Discovery Channel show that’s remarkably close to that. It usually has some relatively sane individuals that are firmly grounded in reality. It might just be fun to have some ‘hollywood’, SJW, or ‘university professorial’ types give it a whirl… 😉

          1. yeah, but with these, it’s a one way trip only. not the “We’ll come get you if it gets too bad” though having a camera crew near by would be mildly entertaining.

      2. Indeed. The ones that didn’t have a strong (ish. Eh. Sometimes you got away with it) leader tended to get dead, one way or the other. Consumed by another tribe/band. Driven off. Starved, killed, whathaveyou.

      3. Since subsistence-level tribes are the sine qua non of hard-core patriarchy, no, you don’t get the beau ideal of communism with ‘ em.

        Unless you belong to the Marxist feminist school that believes women aren’t members of the species h. Sap. Which seen to be a fair number of them. Of course, they don’t seem to think most humans are, well, part of the human species either.

        1. Quibble. Nigh every example of communism of note (excepting the ones supported wholly by capitalism, i.e. itty bitty communes here and there in the U.S. that I’m aware of) *does* have the elites at the top. Who get the best food, best women/men/little toy dogs, etc. etc. And make all the decisions for the little people.

          If you don’t fall in line, they beat on you. Or kill you. They tend to be distrustful of outsiders in the extreme, even while they attempt to co-opt them into the band. Existence is crushingly poor for the little people. Life is cheap.

          Why, it may appear like patriarchal tribalism *is* communism (and vice versa), just with funny clothes and weird accents. *chuckle*

          1. I’ll grant you the the authoritarian tyranny of a band of oligarchs or a Dear Leader, but as far as I know, Cuba, Cambodia, China & the Soviets all took “equality of the sexes” seriously. Now, granted, they employed it as “women are every bit as much cogs in the worker-ant service of the we oligarchs running the State Greater Good as are men,” but they still followed through on this one.

            In this regard, National Socialism was actually slightly less stupid than international socialism, because they valued women as breeders, i.e. different biologically from men. It ought to tell you something about your belief system, when the actual Nazis are smarter than you.

            1. A brag of the USSR was that socialist cities needed less worker housing than capitalist ones, because both spouse would work: more workers per housing unit!

    2. Split it so that “primitive” means “basic”– like family group– and it works.

      But to be healthy, kids have to grow up. Expanding it beyond the legitimate authority of parents and children and disabled, and it breaks. (From each by their ability, to each by their need–isn’t that a healthy family?)

      I’ve been told all sins are a deformed good– makes sense communism would be the same, and it explains why it’s so antagonistic to the Family.

      1. Communism is debased Christianity. “From each according to his ability” is the parable of the Talents. The historian who wrote of the first few years of the Pilgrim community mentioned that at the start, they tried for a version of communism, and many people starved rather than work “for the common good.” (More accurately, “Why should I improve this field when John Slacker then lets all the improvements fall into disrepair?”) Then they decided upon private property ownership and things improved. The writer concluded that the initial try had been a case of what they’d decided “as though Man were wiser than God.”

        (Somebody I know posted a link to why the concept that the Pilgrims had tried communism and failed was debunked, but that link was such a mess I couldn’t make out why it was supposed to be a legitimate argument.)

    3. Sarah: You’re so close. Just one more step…

      There have been, are, and will be 5 great revolutions of man: language, agriculture, industrial, information, and biological.

      You are passing through the mid-point of the Information revolution. It’s turbulent as hell. Just as it was always meant to be. Same for the other four.

      Wars appear. Great religions arise. Diasporas on a global scale.

      But, most importantly, the relationships between the races, tribes, and genders get scrambled by the new technology. That’s what causes wars, religions, and diasporas. Buggy whips anyone?

      This has all happened before, Sarah. This is all happening again.

      1. And if you bothered reading my blog, you’d know I have put it in perspective before.
        HOWEVER the relationships are MOSTLY getting scrambled by Marxism distorting the adjustments. Otherwise the disturbance of the pill (and where does that fit in your neat line sir? the biological revolution has arguably been going on since the neolithic. Never trust too “clean” explanations. Life is not like that.) would process themselves.
        So, you figure why we have a 100 year old multiple-failure philosophy given any credence. Then get back to me.
        You’re so close….

        1. Related, this item from the NY Post overview of commentary of the day:

          Historian: Trump Is the Anti-Wilson
          President Trump is closing the curtain on the Wilsonian century, says Arthur Herman. At National Review, Herman quotes former President Woodrow Wilson’s worldview: To fight “for a universal dominion of right by which a concert of free peoples as shall bring peace and safety to all nations and make the world itself at last free.” But to Trump, the purpose of US power is “to advance American interests, not humanity’s.” That’s not to say Wilsonianism has always been a disaster — Herman points to the righteous battles engaged by US intervention in the two World Wars, the Cold War and the war on terror — but Wilson turned the United States into a “globocop.” In Trump’s mind, “America is not a great cause, but a great power.”

          Or, as said by Gus Grissom in <I<The Right Stuff, “You’ve got it all wrong, the issue here ain’t pussy. The issue here is monkey.”

          1. So Trump is now declared as a non-racist anti-fascist? (Given that Wilson was a racist fascist…)

        2. Hah! Now we’re on the hunt. I love your blog, by the way. Keep it up!

          Marxism isn’t a philosophy, Sarah. It’s a religion. Great religions spring up at the midpoints of revolutions. Marxism was the religion that sprang up at the midpoint of the industrial revolution. What’s the difference between a philosophy and a religion?

          I agree totally that these 5 revolutions of man are intertwined and take a long time. But here’s my point. At the midpoint of them, something tangible appears that ordinary folks latch on to and it changes everything. You get wars, new religions, and mass diasporas in response to those changes.

          So the midpoint of the agricultural revolution is the Roman road and concrete. The midpoint of the industrial revolution is the Model-T Ford. And the midpoint of the information revolution is the iPhone. All things the common folks used. And all things that changed their lives in ways hard to anticipate.

          You can draw a straight line between the Model-T and the rise of divorce.

          My point? We’re not in the middle of a ‘technological change’. We’re in the middle of a technological revolution.

          So new religions are vying for our attention. New wars are begging to spring up. And the vast diaspora is just getting started.

          Seen through that lens, everything that’s happening around us today makes perfect sense. The eigenview of this revolutionary time we live in.

          Cheers to you and to your family!

      2. I’d be curious to hear the explanation of “great religions arise” on the basis of the listed ‘revolutions’.

        Concur with Sarah wholeheartedly on the “too easy” (“Just 3 simple tricks to…!”) aspect.

        Ironically, the one easy one that I will agree with here is “This has all happened before. This is all happening again.” Ancient wise dude once wrote “There is nothing new under the sun. All is vanity.” He nailed it.

        1. Language revolution: polytheism

          Agricultural revolution: monotheism

          Industrial revolution: socialism

          Information revolution: ecologism?

          Biological revolution: skandism?

          The midpoint of these revolutions is not a point in time. It is a phase we go through.

          I hear what Sarah is saying about ‘too easy’. I’m just trying to identify patterns.

          And there’s a clear pattern throughout history that we work hard to develop a thing and then it takes hold and changes everything.

          I’m just saying that we’re in the middle of one of the big ones right now. And the big ones deserve to be called revolutions.

          Seen through that lens, everything that is happening around us makes perfect sense. Seen through that lens, the future becomes more predictable.

          Not seeing through that lens leads to uncertainty and fear. And that, to answer your question, is why great religions spring up at the midpoints of these great revolutions.

          1. Sorry, but monotheism was not a result of the “agricultural revolution”. Nor even a part of it. Unless you’re buying into the progressive ideas about the “evolution” of religion, which aren’t supported by anything but their own biases.
            Also, “monotheism” is not a “great religion”. It’s a type of religion. And all the “great” monotheist religions didn’t spring up together. So, the theory is, at the least, very leaky.

                  1. I think he meant The Agricultural Revolution, when Wheat and Barley rose up to cast out the Rye and declare their right to harvest themselves. You may have read about their Declaration of Independence in school, it begins:

                    “When in the course of prairie events it becomes necessary for one grain to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of grasskind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

            1. The agricultural revolution takes thousands of years. But something interesting happens at its midpoint. Roman roads allow vast amounts of food to be brought into ever larger cities. Sure, the road idea was stolen from the Persians. But concrete allows roads and aqueducts to be built. It changes everything.

              The industrial revolution takes hundreds of years. But something interesting happens at its midpoint. The car shows up. It creates the suburb which leads to the breakdown of the nuclear family – no matter if that family is urban or rural.

              The information revolution takes decades. But something interesting happens at its midpoint. The iPhone shows up. How disruptive has that change been?

              My point was that the midpoints of these revolutions are enormously turbulent. Why? Because the midpoint is marked by some technological change that allows the technology to be embraced by the common folks. And it radically alters their lives.

              And people become adrift in the middle of that radical change. That’s what we’re witnessing now. Great wars, religions, and diasporas spring up around these times.

              People are seeking out a new religion to find meaning in this turbulence. Will they turn to the old religions like Christianity and socialism or the new religions like ecologism?

              Sarah said, “Be ready to take the weight of civilization.”

              But before doing so, One needs to look around and ask where one is in space and time. This is not a normal time. We are passing through the midpoint of the information revolution and that is scrambling people in profound ways – just as previous revolutions did in the past.

              Expect whatever appears on the other side to be radically different from what came before. It’s possible to get a glimpse of that by studying how previous, large technological revolutions impacted societies. Through that lens things seem clearer. And the madness fits. And that’s the key to taking the weight of civilization.

              1. I somewhat doubt anything requiring “thousands of years” (that is to say, hundreds of human generations at one generation every twenty years) to take place can properly be termed a “revolution.” Not even on geological time scales.

                How much extra are you paying your words, because I do not think it is enough?

                  1. Well, I first started to think deeply about this 20 years ago. I’ve lived my life using those insights since then and they’ve proven to be amazingly prescient. Try it. See if I’m wrong.

                    I’m a scientist. Any good theory has to explain observed behavior and also be able to predict future behavior. Viewing the world through this lens explains a great deal of history. And it has allowed me to predict about 80% of the weirdness going on today. Again, try it and see if I’m wrong.

                    Love your blog, Sarah. Try not to be such a skeptic. Look at your kids and the way you live your daily life and tell me that the iPhone (portable Internet) hasn’t scrambled everything. It’s the biggest change in my lifetime – and I’m an old man. And the changes it has wrought – technical, commercial, political, social were all easily forecastable.

                    But the ultimate end result isn’t – because its created such turbulence that it’s hard to predict which side will eventually win as all of the forces crash into each other.

                    If you knew who I was and what I did you’d see that I’ve been carrying an outsize load of the weight of civilization on my shoulders now for many decades.

                    1. Well, I first started to think deeply about this 20 years ago. I’ve lived my life using those insights since then and they’ve proven to be amazingly prescient. Try it. See if I’m wrong.

                      *points up* We did try it.
                      We pointed out a pretty big list of issues.
                      The answer “but it makes sense to me” doesn’t make it scientific.

          2. So the Chinese and Indians have been monotheist for millenia? Pre-Christian Britain?

            That’s what agriculture = monotheism implies.

                1. Take in account this is wikipedia. This crazy woman went around blundering into into ancient monuments and interpreting everything into a feminist narrative. Now she’s mostly a laughing stock, but her nonsense still underlays most of modern feminism and a lot of communism AND libertarianism.

                  1. Yep. Gimbutas *was* intelligent, in a sense. Her fieldwork was well done, at least. The problem comes in when she took those flying leaps into fancy.

                    Take for example the digs some now call “neolithic urban.” Wrap your brain around that for a second. ‘Stone-Age cities.’ Sounds rather flintstone-esque, right? Well, in (some of) these digs we find some of three things:

                    1)No walls.

                    b)No “warrior burials.” (that’s a specific thing. Grave goods and condition of the remains are what key this classification, but you begin to see it *a lot more* in “patriachal first cities,” which are what I learned as the early agricultural settlements.)

                    iii)No art depicting war.

                    Keep in mind the structure of an athropological dig. You grid off the area your work will take place, and you inch your way down. High tech stuff we use now, wasn’t around then. We’re talking spoons and brushes, itty bitty shovels here, once we get down the the layer we want.

                    The best places to look for historical archaeology are things like battlefields and abandoned cities… and middens. Trash heaps. Trash if effing *gold* for archaeology.

                    So where were these, oh, worshipped figurines of power found, you may ask?

                    In the dump. This little detail was conspicuous by its absence, if you read the more feminist literature on the subject these days. That’s just one example.

                    Nowadays, her “seminal work” is used as the basis for everything from lesbian witchcraft (you may think I am joking. Don’t. Google. It.) to the neopagans to critical theory. Anthropology, most especially the cultural side, has been infested with leftism for nearly a century now, and it shows.

                    Gimbutas isn’t the only embarassment by far. There was also the Knossos on Crete, who, during the Bronze age were supposed to be this peaceful, matriarchal culture of free love… *chuckle*

                    Think about that one for a second. Bronze Age Greece. Would such a society last much longer than a gnat’s fart during the time of the Spartans, Athens, Xerxes, the rise of walled cities (now why would they be doing that?), and the battles that inspired the Aeneid? Really?

                    1. Xerxes was Iron Age. As was the predominance of Sparta and Athens. As witness Aristotle wrote about how it was possible owing to the greater availability of iron,to arm large armies, instead of the single heroes of the Bronze Age.

              1. >>Goomba who?
                >> Oh, one of the “goddess/matriarchy” folks.
                >> Wait, she’s known for the Kurgan theory? Wasn’t that the name of a bad guy on Highlander?
                >> Oooh, that is AWESOME! It’s a word for the Mounds, the burial places, when you’re NOT talking Irish elves! What a clever name-joke, he’s name freaking tomb!

            1. What Sarah said. And the agricultural “revolution” occurred over a period of several *thousand* years, along with stuff like moving from managed herds to domestication, etc, etc. Hardly a revolution in the modern sense of the word. More an evolution.

              Like so many intellectual rabbit holes, it can *sound* plausible, but in plain language it just doesn’t work. Gimbutas tended to jump ahead to conclusions without filling in the details (i.e. goddess theory). The idea is still around in academic circles today, somewhat surprisingly. Or not, considering the way things were turning when I left nearly twenty years ago.

              1. Gimbutas simply asserted that all images found were of one Mother Goddess. Including the explicitly male ones. . . .

  2. One thing about Trump may be that if he ever felt “envy” toward people with more stuff than him, he could have used that “envy” to push himself to succeed.

    It’s one thing to wish that I had a house like so-and-so and work to be rich enough to have a similar house but another thing to “envy” so-and-so’s house and work to destroy so-and-so’s house.

    1. This is why I think that to condemn ‘desire’ and ‘envy’ wholesale is a bit wrong. It’s really dependent on what you do with your emotions. If you use a negative emotion to improve yourself (ex: “I want a house like that someday” = work hard to earn the money to buy one one day; “I was bullied and weak” = become stronger to defend oneself and others) …

      I’ll admit that spite and schadenfreude has been one of the reasons in the past that I haven’t offed myself. I mean, it takes SO LITTLE EFFORT to deny the joy someone would get at my death.

      1. Envy is the sin that says “I want that. I must take it from him, and it will be mine, all mine,” according to my granda. Simply saying “I want that. Therefore I will work hard and earn it,” is just plain old fashioned grit to improve oneself. It’s a virtue, is what it is. You have a goal you set yourself, you work hard to earn it.

            1. This is one of those “healing power of ‘and’ moments”.

              Etymology: < French envie, corresponding to Provençal enveia, Catalan enveja, Portuguese inveja, Spanish envidia, Italian invidia < Latin invidia, < invidus envious, related to invidēre to look maliciously upon, to envy, < in upon + vidēre to see.
              The feeling of mortification and ill-will occasioned by the contemplation of superior advantages possessed by another.
              a1440 Relig. Pieces fr. Thornton MS. 23 joye of oþer mens harme and sorowe of oþer mens welefare.


              1. Covet
                Etymology: < Old French cuveitier, coveiter (in 13th cent. covoiter , modern French convoiter ) = Provençal cobeitar , cubitar , Italian cubitare < Latin type *cupiditāre , < cupiditāt-em eager desire, cupidity n., < cupĕre to desire, covet.
                To desire culpably; to long for (what belongs to another). (The ordinary sense.)
                c1386 Chaucer Parson's Tale ⁋670 Coueitise is for to coueite swiche thynges as thou has nat..with-out rightful nede.

                Inordinate and culpable desire of possessing that which belongs to another or to which one has no right.

                Note that at about Chaucer's time, the word covet also had the meaning of a very strong and eager desire. The negative connotation came to overwhelm the more neutral sense of the word, just as the admirable and positive sense of "gentleman" came to overcome the neutral social status meaning of the word.

                So, as it turns out that while BOTH envy and covetousness corrupt our hears and turn us from the path of virtue, i.e. "godliness" in slightly different ways (hatred vs greed) one can, speaking archaically, "covet" wealth, social success, the Sarah Hoyt Monster Hunter novel, etc., it is theoretically possible to do so ordinately, the desire disciplined to the will. Which could lead the desirous fellow to virtuous action: starting a business, learning the Carnagie method, or donating to the kitty kibble fund.

      2. [Hugging Shadow] You and me both, sister.

        And I’ve been known to advise people to stay Catholic, just to spite the nasty biddies or bad priests….

        It’s not holy, it’s not nice, but a dose of cussedness is what has kept tons of humans alive and kicking. After you survive, you have more time to look for better reasons.

        1. *hugs back and laughs* A dose of cussedness … or as Aff’s put it “I WILL NOT SUBMIT! WHY? BECAUSE EFF YOU, THAT’S WHY! THERE ARE FOUR LIGHTS!”

          *eyes the black WP reader banner that is a result of that sentiment with an appreciative smile*

  3. The left are nihilistic because they have no moral bedrock. So they seek to destroy that first and replace it with a mafia of weasels and words.

    As for education, Google/Bing “The Berkley Flag Experiment”. If the video is accurate, we need to reboot/reform the education “system”. And that whole system is ripe for disruption by technology. If we can deliver text books, lectures, tests, tutors and 99% of the content over the internet for a fraction of the costs of the university, then why do we need these intellectual gulags?

      1. I would speculate that the first of a series of such triggers was pulled at the point where a degree, any degree, did not automatically guarantee one a job. As I recall that was starting to be the case as far back as the ’90s.

      2. Demand. If employers can find a way to say “You know what we need you to know” and it doesn’t involve a piece of paper that MIGHT mean you know what it says you should, then people will stop getting a piece of paper saying you’re qualified for certain jobs. Apprenticeships/etc do this. If someone can figure out a way to certify certain skills and is trusted by employers, a lot of the demand for college degrees would go away.

        Hmm. I wonder what it would take to create something like this. The biggest hurdle would be getting employers to believe your certification means something. Another hurdle would be to figure out what skills employers want and how to certify them.

        1. No, the biggest hurdle is defending the lawsuit when a disproportionate number of Official Government Victim Groups can’t pass it.

      3. HUGE news last week. IBM has a software apprenticeship program launching. Bye bye converged academia!

    1. The universities aren’t selling education. You can get education for free. What they’re selling is credentials. Which is a vastly different thing.

        1. I, yes. I’ve known too many people who bought into the Microsoft / Novell / Cisco / whatever certification treadmill.

          Besides the credentialism in hiring and promotion, it always reminded me of the Hubbardites and their stepwise path to enlightenment, each step carefully defined and with its own price tag.

    2. *waves* Home brew home schooler family, here.

      I could probably be replaced by the schools reforming away from age based teaching, and into knowledge based teaching– so you’re in Basic Math 1, 2, 3, Intermediate Math 1, 2, 3, then Advanced Math 1, 2, 3, THEN you have all the other flavors of math.

      Make it a challenge-based system– so you can “challenge” the class, to not have to sit through it– and use computers to support it, and it wouldn’t be that hard. (It’s what I do, and I’m teaching four different classes at once, with re-purposed materials, and tend to need to do a refresher myself!)

      Teacher would need working knowledge of the subject, but that’s already an issue with the textbooks and sorting-by-age.

      1. One of the persistent complaints about homeschooling was the idea that parents weren’t as competent as teachers on the actual subject matter. Those of us in the know laughed heartily at that.
        (We also often said “Dear Lord, if you can’t teach elementary school subjects because you don’t have a mastery of them, then you shouldn’t even be a parent, much less teaching anyone.”)

        (Also, I’ve complained for years about the age-based schooling. And not just in public schools.)

        1. You’ve probably heard the one of basically:
          “So you claim I can’t teach a six year old math, and the solution is to send them to a system that graduated me from high school without that basic level of ability?”

      2. > Home brew home schooler family, here.

        Which reminds me of when my brother asked his 11 year old daughter to bring some beer for some visitors. She served them, then opened a bottle for herself, much to the horror and outrage of a few of them.

        My brother’s comment was, “Why should I tell her no? She *made* that beer, after all.”

        Which brought a whole new level of confundity, as some of them apparently thought “homebrew” meant “decanting from a keg into bottles.”

        [not how you meant ‘homebrew’, but I couldn’t let it pass… ]

        1. Oh, we are working on that, too.

          Probably do an apple ale, honestly, my poor husband got food poisoning and his body decided it was the normal beer he had with it. *wry* The wine turned out OK, though….

          1. Cider is a good one, too. And appropriate for the current season! 🙂

            (BTW, all that requires is un-pasteurized apple juice/cider, cider (or champagne or wine) yeast, an appropriately sized carboy (some red wines come in a 4L bottle that is perfect), whatever additives you want (honey, cinnamon, yeast nutrients etc.), and a balloon. Put everything in the carboy, put the balloon over the neck, punch a hole in it with a straight pin, and voila! When the balloon semi-deflates, you know the yeast is basically done.)

            1. We got a lovely big carboy and this, that and the other thing, for a pretty dang good price– just need the TIME!
              First to clear up the garage, then to get the stuff clean, THEN to make it…..

              1. Well, my son has been drinking what I got. But I got it for cooking (I don’t generally drink red wine – except sangiovese – but others in the house tend to think Open Bottle = Must Drink, so I bought the BIG bottle of burgundy so I won’t have to buy a second bottle before the next time I cook).

                1. Thank you. I might well acquire such. It seems that while I have developed some (alarming? annoying? expensive?) tastes as regards beer, and spirits, and coffee, and to my surprise now even tea, I’ve no issue with wines unless they are of the.. extremely.. low end. But I do have a little vacuum setup to attempt to prolong storage just a bit.

                  1. That was exactly the last use of it – put it over the vegetables in the bottom of the slow-cooker while it roasted our Thanksgiving lamb!

            2. cider (or champagne or wine) yeast

              I once bought an unpasteurized pear cider which decided to spontaneously ferment and then explode all over the cooler I was carrying it in.

              So sometimes all it takes is leaving it out in the car for a couple hours.

    1. I’ve read Allen Bloom’s Closing of the American Mind which is referenced right off. Now I’ll have to figure out what shelf in what room it’s in, drag it our, and read it again. Good essay.

  4. Resentment, envy,

    And a staggering conceit:

    “-I- am the one -smart- enough to make Collectivism work! Just do as -I- want done, and we shall at last have the Radiant Future of True Communism!” (Or third way /democratic / non-mass-murder !!Progress!!)

    “Pride” doesn’t really describe the absolutely unwarranted arrogance of these folks. And it -is- a fatal sin, 100 million plus and counting.

      1. To which I reply; “Show me that you’ve learned from history in a small scale experiment, and then I’ll see.”

        The hippies I’ve known who went ‘off the grid, small and sustainable’ either gave it up damn quick, or shed a lot of baggage.

        1. Heh. So very much this.

          We used to get hippies of a certain sort ’round here. Back to the earthers, Mother Gaia worshippers, that sort. *grin*

          Black and brown bear look mighty huge when their snuffling though your campsite at four in the a.m. Also, edible mushrooms- know your types. *That* one got a panicked poison control call, as I recollect.

          There may be one or two still knocking around, but they got wise enough to know when to keep their traps shut. *chuckle* The ones that stick are good people, by and large. The ones that don’t? Eh, they’re probably happier somewheres else.

          1. I know several signs of poisonous mushrooms. I am not sure that I know all of them. My mushrooms are bought from the store or from growers. 😉

      2. Cool: I tried twice to post a joke here along the lines of Lenin getting off the train and saying “Hold my beer” in Russian (i.e. “Poderzhi moye pivo” but in Cyrillic), and WP ate it both times – no “kicked to moderation” warning, no “Nyet!”, just poof and it’s gone.

          1. Because expecting those Americans to read Russian in Cyrilic and thus be successfully propagandized while lamenting that they don’t speak any languages other than English fluently . . . Is totally irrational.

            1. I found Japanese easier than Russian. I could just memorize kanji, katakana, and hiragana, but Cyrillic messed with my mind with so many characters looking like Roman characters, but with different sounds.

                  1. I made it through the entire US public school curriculum without ever encountering either cases or gerunds. Those were apparently Secret Knowledge reserved for “College English”, where there was not only new stuff, but most of what we’d bee taught before was wrong.

                    Fortunately, I’d moved across many different school systems, each of which used different textbook sets, and I was already familiar with how each bookset claimed it wa the One True English.

          2. Well, since they evilly posted Zuckerbook ads to influence the election after the election had taken place, and the Rooskies are not stupid, we now have direct proof that the Rooskies have cracked the time travel problem, at least for Zuckerbook ads.

  5. One thing I’ve observed with the students is that once you earn their respect, you have it period end. Any cynicism seems to disappear and they lock onto “this person has got it. Don’t question them.” Not that they won’t ask questions related to class topics, but we can say “jump” and they start trying to levitate. This is good, once you’ve earned that respect (not always easy, but knowing your stuff really, really well helps). This is not so good, because I wonder if they are going to be more willing to swallow anything a respected person says in the future.

    1. “Any cynicism seems to disappear and they lock onto “this person has got it. Don’t question them.”….That is very interesting. Do you think they are seeing their professors as idealized parent-figures?

      1. I’m watching high school students, and I think it may be relief that someone actually knows things and doesn’t BS them. And we treat the high schoolers as responsible adults (until proven otherwise). As far as college, I wager/fear that there is some of quasi-parent latching on. The activist profs who seem to command a following are the confident ones who are dead-set-certain that they know what needs to be done and how.

        1. Lack of authority figures and role models. *nod*

          It’s a human universal. We’re wired to learn at that young age, and even in college the brain patterns aren’t quite set yet from what I’ve read. As an adult, competence commands respect. If they learn that, and seek to emulate it, well, those students of yours will be much better off than their fellows in taht regard. Good on ya.

        2. I’m watching high school students, and I think it may be relief that someone actually knows things and doesn’t BS them.

          Makes sense– granting them the basic respect they are due as people, to not lie to them, and it’s as much a loyalty-builder as granting a better raised person their earned respect.

  6. “And the rebellious shall be pierced with much sorrow; for their iniquities shall be spoken upon the housetops, and their secret acts shall be revealed.”

    What with the increasing availability of technology, It’s getting harder and harder to hide dinky dirty doings. This business of “it doesn’t count if you have the right politics” tends to make me wonder what the advantages are in being governed (in government, business, or education) by perverts and hypocrites.

    1. I read an article recently about women who were complaining because of sexual harassment and assault by politicians in Sacramento (that’s the capitol of California, for those who don’t know). One of the common themes was that the women who had been victimized were basically told to suck it up and keep their mouths shut about what had happened because otherwise they would damage the political cause.

      Incidentally, a California State Assembly member announced his retirement today after experiencing a rather large number of accusations of sexual no-nos. It wasn’t because he broke any laws. Oh, no. It was because his retirement would make it easier to focus on those who victimize women in our society. See how noble he is to step down in order to allow this to happen?


  7. I cannot recommend THE BIRTH OF THE MODERN by Paul Johnson enough.

    It shows that a lot of what we are dealing with now started further back than I supposed, and ties in with the Tom Wolfe books on Art, and hiw the Art world turned its back on the public.

    “They just aren’t ready for us!”

    Yeah, right. And the pseudo intellectuals LIKE it that way. They are – as I have said hundreds of times – would be Aristocratic snobs.

    1. There’s a very good lecture series for laypeople called “Deconstructing the Bible: Understanding the Crisis in Biblical Interpretation”. It turns out that a lot of problems and concerns we put up with, in modern life, go back to Biblical scholars who were hiding out with Holy Roman Emperor claimants and feuding with the Pope, back in the Middle Ages.

      Machiavelli also gets a look-in, as do Rousseau and Spinoza. But there are also tons of people you’ve never heard of, thinking up stuff that ended up affecting art, literature, politics, and science, all for their own temporary political or religious goals. It explains A LOT about academia in the US, too.

      If you get interested, the Institute of Catholic Culture has a lot of similar videos and mp3s – they do adult education talks for parishes in the VA/DC area, and they’ve got a lot of academics and priests doing talks on lots of subjects, not all of them explicitly Catholic. A fair number of Byzantine Catholic and Maronite Catholic folks, too, which shakes things up in a good way.

      1. Academia is actually a good bit simpler, and depends on disconnecting professors from depending on the validity of what they teach. The woo is difficult to maintain in STEM; much easier in other endeavors.

        1. Well, one of the cogent facts was that Americans wanted to go to prestigious German universities, but the German universities were a lot more state-run than ours. As in, professors were clearly state employees, and could be called upon to teach what the government wanted and to write up anything the government wanted to be fancily worded. This didn’t matter much if you were a math professor, but a guy teaching Bible stuff would only get promoted and kept, if he taught certain interpretations that the German state could use as points against, say, the Papal States. So the “state of the art” in critical Bible studies tended to change very quickly.

          Americans were generally oblivious of their German professors having a political motive, so the reason for these “new developments” tended to go whoosh past them. Then they dutifully took back their new facts and education to the US, and voila! New consensus at the US universities.

          1. There’s also that very provincial desire to be seen as cosmopolitan and worldly that plagues American academics and intellectuals. Which is one reason they grasp hold of European intellectual fads that don’t really fit America.

            1. I tend to view that as analogous to the attitude common among adolescents of being mortified by association with their families.

              Admittedly, I interpret much of Progressive and Liberal behaviour as representative of stunted development.

  8. civilization was a mistake

    Only somebody who hasn’t experienced its absence could make so posneric a remark.

    1. Of the writers like that I’ve encountered or looked into, one ventured into the wilds briefly, with lots of equipment, and returned proclaiming that it was not easy but it was rewarding. The others seem to be neo-tribalists who miss the hardships, or downplay them with “That’s because the government is oppressing these poor people. Leave them alone and life will be wonderful for them. And we should live like they do.”

      1. If capitalism and civilization is so bad, then it’s opposite must therefore be awesome! *shakes head sadly*

        Ran into this a lot with the cultural folks in my department when I was back at the school. Human nature is human nature, whether clothed in a business suit or a rag loincloth. I’ve seen more than one “civilized” man hoodwinked by someone your average Roman primus pilus would recognize in a heartbeat. They don’t quite get that in the society they are pushing for, they would be the slaves. And that, to me, is a *very* sad thing indeed.

      1. They’re just saying that because they’re intolerant. At least the lactose intolerant don’t demand we all eschew moo juice.

  9. Communism is just the same old feudal system dressed up with spiffy new pseudo-scientific 19th century glad rags.
    Any system to organize society based on perfecting the individual by any means necessary is doomed to fail, usually with a prolonged turn into brutality somewhere about the middle of the journey.

    1. I think you are unfairly denigrating Feudalism with that comparison. At least where it operated properly it required obligations both downward and upward, while all instances of Communism seem to recognize obligations upward, only: what you owe the state.

    2. More simply, any philosophy that relies on changing human nature to work is going to end in blood. It starts with “this will work if people don’t act this way,” progresses to “we can make this work if those people aren’t involved,” (said people being those who act wrongly) and then eventually gets to “we need to get rid of those people.”

      Note that the definition of those people will always get wider. Reign of Terror is a good early example…

  10. ** When you’ve been trained to think that “good” means…

    This reflects a confusion over mission. Publishers, writers, filmmakers, artists are not in the business of creating “good” art. Their business model is should be to make art that people want.

    1. Reading Mencken on literature is interesting; he’s volcanically scornful of what the American literary establishment thought good, and most of what he mentions has disappeared without much trace.

      I think that if we looked we might find that the Right People of nearly every age since the invention of the novel have lionized authors who mostly vanished because of widespread public boredom.

      What was admired by intellectuals the year A STUDY IN SCARLET was published?


      1. Pretty much this …
        Can’t recall the thread or the blog at this moment – but there was mention of someone with pop-lit credentials who went back five or six decades, and re-read a couple of literary selections for those years, and a selection of the popular non-literary-blessed novels, and reported that the selections acclaimed for their literary qualities by the cognoscenti of the times hadn’t aged well at all, while the easily forgettable pop stuff tended to be cracking good reads.
        I can relate. People are still re-reading PG Wodehouse and giggling, whereas the stuff blessed by the lit-intellectuals of the day …

        1. To quote “A Reader’s Manifesto” (from memory, forgive any errors):

          “A thriller must thrill. That is as true today as it every was. The modern literary bestseller, however, need only have a few quotable passages to guarantee at least a moderately favorable review.”

          You can substitute “Contains a woke discussion about transexualism” or whatever the currently favored trend in literary circles is, and the point still stands. The literatie may look down on popular novels for “pandering to the lowest common denominator,” but the truth is that alleged literary novels pander just as much, and what they’re pandering to usually isn’t worth it.

          1. alleged literary novels pander just as much, and what they’re pandering to usually isn’t worth it
            THIS! (Though you might say they pander much more, really.)

          1. Feh. Willie the Shakes was a boot-licker par excellence, sucking up to the Crown, writing plays ennobling their predecessors and blackening the names of their enemies (see: Dick III). As an artist he should have been down with the resistance, not whitewashing the sins of the occupiers of Buckingham Palace. His helping normalize the Tudors was a betrayal of English theatre!

        2. Somewhere in here goes the career of A. A. Milne. Hip intellectual of his day. Wrote for Punch (which as far as I can tell always had the pretensions that the New Yorker developed after Ross died). Wrote (from what I’ve sampled) the kind of airy intellectual driven that was much admired at the time.

          The only thing of his that is still read at all frequently is the Pooh canon, plus the two books of children’ verse. I gather that he was seeing that develop even before his passing, and it infuriated him.


          1. Milne’s treatment of his son, Christopher R. Milne, was typical of the love Leftist artists display toward their families.

            ‘I knew Christopher Robin – the real Christopher Robin’
            14 OCTOBER 2016 • 7:00AM
            AA Milne’s son came to hate his portrayal in the Winnie the Pooh books, but that wasn’t the end of the story. In this article from 19 October 1998, Gyles Brandreth gives an account of his late-life friendship with Christopher Robin Milne
            Mrs Milne dressed her boy not as other boys of the time, as he would have liked, but “girlishly”, with “golden tresses” and “curious clothes” – exactly as he appears in Ernest Shepard’s drawings.

            The centre of his universe had been his nanny, Olive Rand. “For over eight years, apart from her fortnight’s holiday every September, we had not been out of each other’s sight for more than a few hours at a time.”

            AA Milne was either at the Garrick Club or at his desk. “Some people are good with children. Others are not. It is a gift. You either have it or you don’t. My father didn’t.”


            1. Interesting article. I was glad to read that Christopher eventually became reconciled to all of this mess and found some true happiness in life.

            2. I suspect that dressing him girlishly wasn’t a particular leftist trope, but the fading fad for LITTLE LORD FAUNTLEROY. My grandfather got caught up in that and was still a little bitter about in in his 90’s. It was an extraordinary idiocy, well worth looking up.

        1. *grin* That’s Mencken for you. Given the foolery he had to put up with in his day, I’d say anything less would fail to penetrate. Every age has its cast iron sanctimonious b*stards, no question. We’re not so special our own selves.

          I rather suspect some would not be at all impressed, were they brought forward in time to see our version.

          1. I’ve observed that most of the women who lived during the colonial era, regardless of ethnic background, would be rather contemptuous of the feminists and what is deemed ‘a great pressing concern’ (such as microaggressions, which change rather swiftly, and aren’t like the good manners of old.)

        2. You really need to read more of him than just the scathing stuff. The DAYS books, in particular HAPPY DAYS, show that he could take honest pleasure in the wonderful world, too. And he could be genuinely admiring, even of people he generally despised. Somewhere or other is an appreciation he wrote of Bryan’s power as a speaker. Mencken thought that Bryan’s opinions were drivel, but he greatly admired the man as an orator, and said so.

      2. Well, there’s The Portrait of Dorian Gray, which came out in Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine in the same year they published “The Sign of the Four.”

        Ooh, Sandou’s Tosca came out in 1887.

        Sigh… we really need a space opera that’s not an adaptation of Doris Lessing, and has some good tunes.

        “She” would make a good opera, if you could find a suitably scary soprano.

  11. I’m remembering reading about Bushman economies, though this was a while back. They had what was called “reciprocity.” As I understand it, this meant that when you went hunting, and you killed something substantial, you brought it back and handed out pieces of it (though I’ve also read that the men typically ate the best high-fat parts before hauling the rest home). Sounds like communism, right? Except that if you never killed anything, or if you killed only small animals, or if you didn’t share the big animals you killed, you would be banished, and have to survive alone in the wild—solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short, as the saying goes.

    So really, it was more like having an insurance policy. It was actually economically rational, because if you tried to eat an entire big animal yourself it would rot before you finished, and by sharing it around you were gaining the right to claim a share of the other guys’ kills. In fact, it was akin to present-day insurance in being a form of income/wealth redistribution that is actually advantageous to everyone to participate in. But it takes careful attention, and willingness to make harsh decisions, to keep it that way. The tribes that just said “OK, if you’re hungry you can eat” died out without descendants.

    1. It wasn’t just Bushman tribes that shared out the big kills. My family and their neighbors used to do the same thing, not just with wildlife, but if for some reason they had to butcher a cow during warm weather (maybe she broke a leg or something), they would share the meat around to the neighbors. The neighbors did the same thing back. Of course, this was before they had electricity and freezers, but we would still do this if we had more meat than we could fit in our freezer.

    2. This is important, because it’s the distinction between “community” and “communism“. “Community” has always been important in the world. It’s sharing your life with those around you – partly for altruistic reasons, partly for pragmatic ones.

      Marx tapped into a difficulty with the industrial revolution: it tended to make community harder than in the agrarian lifestyle. It tended to urbanize. It tended to task you continuously from dawn to dusk. It tended to make family/community time less pleasant (or unavailable).
      So, Marx’s dialectic stupidity had this appeal – to reinvigorate community, but with a modern, scientific, rational approach. Oh yes, it also played on envy and the like. But it also appealed to the idea of community, village, family – all those people with whom you would willingly share your table, if only those danged robber barons didn’t make it so impossible (see, I worked the envy back in there).

      Conservatism angles for “community”. Community allows for keeping out those with whom you don’t want to share your table. It allows for “he who shall not work, let him not eat.” It allows for all sorts of freedoms that communism doesn’t. While, at the same time, trying to work together a whole panoply of folks who mutually support each other.

      1. Then there are the idiot who confuse “community” with “government”. 😦

        1. That should be “idiots” not “idiot” as there are more than one of them.

  12. I had a half finished comment, but deleted it. There are other things in addition to these, including something I can’t put my finger on. It’s trite to say that respect is earned, not commanded, but I think that’s a factor, and it fits with the American idea of “You and the horse you rode in on.” To be honest, a lot of that respect was already thin long before Marx let his family starve. And yet, there’s something more.

    1. Wait… You had a comment half finished, and you deleted it?

      I’ve only ever had it happen that WP nuked my comment.

      Are you… WordPress?

        1. You’re not the only one…

          Oddly, it’s the longer and researched replies that most often hit the bit bucket. Usually because I realize I’ve crossed over into the “Someone is WRONG on the Internet” zone…

          Sometimes it’s because I realize that the reply would be appropriate for some of the… ah… more combative places I hang out, but inappropriate here, where butting heads like rams, nitpicking, and trollery would be considered uncultured.

              1. Whereas I occasionally wander in from the bullrushes.

                We all know the adage, “Bulls rush in where elephants fear to tread.”

  13. “Should we take over the moribund institutions and make them respectable?  Or should we go our own way and do what we can?”

    At the risk of referring to the Bible, building a temple with foundations on sand is a losing proposition. I would suggest going your own way and building new, with solid foundations. Just remember that those occupying the current institutions will do their best to prevent anyone from infringing on their entitled spaces.

    1. “Ha! We’ve taken over city after city after city. All traffic goes through OUR cities… hay, what are you doing?”

      “Oh nothing much, just building bypasses.”

      1. Don’t mind me, I’m just sailing around this headland here, not going far… *leads small flotilla of counterband smugglers out of sight*

    2. The problem with taking over the moribund institutions and making them respectable is that once an institution has been desecrated a tremendous amount of effort is required to rededicate it. Some of those stains will never come out and once that Liberalism stench has gotten into the vents it’s likely to be with you forever.

      Let’s see what Meredith Publishing does with Time before we reach any conclusions. Replacing corrupted reporting with honest news is simple contrasted with some of the other institutional reclamation projects.

      1. I read one article today that said when Meredith first tried to buy the Time Inc properties, a couple of years ago, they wanted to exclude Time itself.

  14. Have yet another risk to our freedoms, but more importantly, to American freedoms. This is somewhat related to the main post, but, the TL:DR is Net Neutrality is being threatened again. Why is it important?

    If America lose net neutrality their cable providers will be able to dictate what Americans view online, or at the very least, make it so that things they don’t want you viewing load very slowly.

    Please spread this as far and everywhere you can – PJM, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media.

    1. No. Net neutrality was an Obama Boondoggle. IT threatens the cable providers with persecution for hosting people with impolite opinions. The liberals are the ones screaming about this. I was one of Obama’s pen and phone bs regulations, and it was a poison pill. You have the wrong end of the stick.

      1. My understanding of Net Neutrality is that its purpose is to make everyone who doesn’t watch Netflix pay for the bandwidth of those who do watch Netflix.

        1. Not to say that the proggies are not capable of loading more really bad ideas onto it. They excel at that.

        2. My understanding of it is the reverse – that you would be made to pay a premium for what you use the net for normally (now) if it wasn’t there. Ergo, gaming, and video streaming would need a different plan, than for someone who uses the net for just email. At present, regardless of your plan, you can watch Youtube, or stream videos, at no extra cost to you (all data is considered equal in priority.) A heavy Netflix user and someone who browses facebook and watches cat gifs all day and only occasionally watches Crunchyroll (another streaming service) can presently access the same content without having to buy extra bandwidth (they pay either Netflix or Crunchyroll access to the content, versus having to pay the ISP for the ‘extra’ bandwidth they’d be using to access that content.)

          Alternatively, accessing larger size content would cost more – by charging Netflix, Youtube, Blizzard, etc a premium cost to ensure that their users got better connectivity to the content (which would likely filter to the end user.) Similarly, Amazon could be charged by ISPs to get better connectivity than a smaller business. The smaller business’ site would load slower than Amazon’s in this example. This is the main reason I was concerned, as this interferes with Indie and small-time businesses, with the potential in increase on overhead costs and lowering of competition.

          1. I’ll admit to 100% ignorance about how all this really works, but doesn’t using more bandwidth and paying for more bandwidth kind of make sense? The idea of locking out particular sites is alarming, but doesn’t cellphone data pretty much get billed the same way without turning everything into walled gardens?

            1. From what I understand, part of the reason why you’d pay a subscription to Netflix is so that they have the bandwidth to distribute their content, which is necessary given that their content is video, and that lots of users access the site for the content library. So, by that sense, the ISP is already paid, and this hypothetical end user only has to pay their general Internet bill, plus their Netflix subscription.

              They don’t have to pay extra to their ISP so they can access Netflix’s streaming services, and then additional for say, gaming, and additional for Skype / other VOIP. Nor can the ISP currently charge you for the types of data and content you access. For the end user, all types of data is the same, and you’re paying a flat fee for your Internet speed (and, depending on some areas, how much data you access – ergo, 1tb of data per month.) Believe me, I’m aware of the limitations (I sometimes get ‘wtf, you have DATA CAPS?’) and that can be wiped out if multiple computers need lots of updates (and there are lots of programs now that require constant connection to the Internet, all costing data and bandwidth.) For most places, your speed is what you pay for. (In my case, at present, we get 1 tb of data per month at a certain speed (10 mbps?), but once we get past that our speed is shaped to less than 1 mbps until the billing cycle refreshes.) This is in contrast to the 10gb (?) speed with no data cap that my housemates’ parents have in Adelaide, because NBN.

              Using the example of cellphone data, you’re able to pick and choose what content you view because you’re aware “I have x amount of data left on my plan this month.” YOU are able to regulate YOUR behaviour on your cellphone – you can always hop on your computer and not worry about data caps. (Well, at present anyway.) You can choose “I’ll just use my phone’s data plan for MMS and email, and GPS, and browsing a couple of fanfiction sites” for most of the time, but you have the choice – if you want to – access Youtube and watch a Ben Shapiro video if you want. Your choices aren’t limited to your normal browsing habits because all data is considered the same by the provider, regardless of whether it’s a video, or image, or text. (Also, because most sites are aware of the data limitation, you actually see a different, smaller site on your phone than the one you see on the computer – well, if they have a mobile version, which most sites do now.)

              A business, or a blogger, or hobbyist at present doesn’t have to worry about data caps, or the type of data they upload and use on their site. They pay an ISP to access the Internet at a certain speed, regardless of how they access it, and pay a webhost a fee for their site hosting. They don’t have to worry about how many people access their site and it’s contents, nor do they have to worry about regulating such beyond ‘is my site secure from hacking?’ (and some site hosts will handle that for you too.) They don’t have to worry “Ah, I can only have 100 visitors visit 5 pages and see 3 images and maybe 1 video each every month!”

              Plus, it’d be difficult from the small-time business to limit how often their site is accessed (rather defeats the purpose – you *want* people to be browsing through your site a lot and hopefully, buying.)

              Without the concept of “All data is the same”, cable companies can charge Americans for the type of content they access, regardless of whether or not they have subscription fees.

              I suspect that my explanation is clumsy, and I apologize for that.

              Mind, this is not a worry for me (I’m in Australia.)

              1. Most US broadband providers have “usage caps” beyond which they charge stout fees, so most of the “net neutrality” arguments are specious.

              2. A business, or a blogger, or hobbyist at present doesn’t have to worry about data caps, or the type of data they upload and use on their site.
                IOW, they don’t have to make the same business decisions on trade-offs that other people do. Hmmmm, that doesn’t seem like a level playing field, does it? 😉

                1. Not quite what I meant. Since you’re paying a webhost for the hosting, the limitations you have are based on your purchased package. The business decision would be based on ‘what is appropriate for my needs?’ One indie book seller who doesn’t have those video trailer book advertisements might not need as big a package – in terms of hosting space and bandwidth – as someone who has those. But if the first seller wanted to experiment with smaller videos, they have the option to do so as long as they have the hosting space available.

                  Part of the worry I thought about was ‘would the blogger/hobbyist/business be made responsible for the data costs resulting from concentrated DDOS attacks’ because of how DDOS works. Given the trend of hacktivist attacks targeting sites of people/businesses that hold opinions they disagree with and the REEEEEE that results, this isn’t a completely invalid concern. Right now Cloudflare disperses the effectiveness of DDOS attacks, but…

                  1. From what I understand, Net Neutrality originally was supposed to mean that all data travels at the same speed, regardless of where it originates, or where it is going. It had nothing to do with bandwidth or data usage, just travel speed.

                    The various ISP companies were trying to go the way of cable providers, charging for ‘packages’ and groups of channels, and content providers would need to pay premiums in order to get into the ‘fast lane’ groups, which would get higher transmit priority over the rest, which would not only not be fast tracked, but might actually be choked back. (see netflix transmit speeds when they were negotiating their contract with Comcast) The government immediately decided that the way to solve the problem was to heap regulations on things and demand to be in control, as usual, when the best way to combat this would have been to simply tell the ISPs that if they wanted to prioritize the data they carried based on payments from content providers, then they would lose their common carrier status and be liable for the content they were carrying if it proved to be illegal.

                    1. When youtalk “speed” with internet communications, you’re really talking bandwidth. All the trons flow at near-c. You “slow it down” by forcing it into a smaller portion of the pipe – your flow is fewer trons per time, or ‘bandwidth’.

                      But, your statement on “trying to go the way of cable providers” is at least one of the ways they wanted to go to maximize the bandwidth of $$s flowing their way. (Of course, the ISPs wanting to go this way often were the cable companies, so….)

                    2. From what I understand, Net Neutrality originally was supposed to mean that all data travels at the same speed, regardless of where it originates, or where it is going. It had nothing to do with bandwidth or data usage, just travel speed.

                      This is the general understanding I have of it too.

                      The government immediately decided that the way to solve the problem was to heap regulations on things and demand to be in control, as usual, when the best way to combat this would have been to simply tell the ISPs that if they wanted to prioritize the data they carried based on payments from content providers, then they would lose their common carrier status and be liable for the content they were carrying if it proved to be illegal.

                      I thiiiink that’s what happened over here in Australia; going from the conversations had in the house about it over a long time.

                      It sort of branched out from a discussion about how Hollywood wants to be able to do the same thing in Australia as it does in America – jump down the throats of the copyright violators and illegal torrent users by leaning on the ISPs. Australian ISPs are ‘notoriously uncooperative’ they want Hollywood lawsuits to go through official channels – ergo, through the Aussie government, before they take action and investigate against claims. Which is how it’s supposed to work.

                      This is different, mind, from helping with anti-terror and CP traffickers (I gather there IS something in place for trying to monitor that, but they’re not talking about the how, which makes sense from my POV.)

            2. The whole point of the Internet is that Point X can access Point Y, without having to pay Points A through Z inclusive. If the ISP needs to charge more for access because the backbone is charging them more for access, the customer is supposed to be able to shop around.

              The problem is that a lot of the large Internet companies are determined to drive the small ones out of business, either by making business deals or by making onerous regulations. They don’t really care which.

              Net Neutrality isn’t a good idea. What’s going on now isn’t a good idea, either. Very annoying to have no good option presented.

            1. Because the infrastructure for the top level DSL is the same for the low level one? Ditto for cable? It doesn’t actually cost more for the ISP. Because you already are limited by how fast you access something? (Ever tried streaming on 786kbps or less? High media consumers already pay for faster speeds and as noted, the streaming subscription for those things; Youtube uses ad revenue for those costs or Youtube Red; let’s go pay MORE to the ISP because it says video and gaming should cost more even though there is no reason for it to, since they already have T1-T5 connections designed to handle that sort of traffic) Because you already pay for a data cap, if that exists where you are? Because large file content can vary by type? Because if you are a small business trying to make it you can’t compete with the costs that a bigger business can afford to take on? Because companies like Blizzard have been working on optimizations to their player-to-server access that made the data stream itself smaller in terms of usage footprint, thus the ‘it uses more bandwidth’ is crap? Oh and, remember DDOS attacks? Let’s have the target pay the financial penalties for that, that sounds really wonderful. (Because then Cloudflare, under the ‘it uses more bandwidth’ idea, doesn’t matter – it’s MOAR BANDWIDTH. Let’s have the end-user small blogger or shop pay for someone else’s actions… or wait, pay for their political opinions because someone didn’t like their politics and DDOS-ed them off the net.) Or, oh shit, Windows security updates? SEVERAL A DAY? EHRMERGERD SO MUCH BANDWIDTH. (OH wait, that assumes people gave a shit about their computer security, MAH BAD. But no, really, there were some times where OS updates were freaking HUGE. Ever tried to update a Vista box? Or reinstall one? Update the updater…) Oh, the budding artist purchased Clip Studio and needs to download it? And download materials? Let’s have program downloads and app downloads pay extra to the ISP! Let’s allow the ISPs to charge both the content providers AND the end users even more for stuff like that!

              Woohoo. Tops. Sounds awesome. Not.

              Ultimately, this isn’t an issue that affects me as an end user – or, even as a small business. (Remember, I bring up these things because I worry about how it’ll adversely affect my American friends.)

              But if its not a worry, just let me know,and I won’t mention it here again.

              1. It doesn’t actually cost more for the ISP.
                Really? Because the explosion in bandwidth usage across their delivery platform does require more bandwidth for the provider, in general.
                I’ll invert your question: why should grandma – who just uses the internet for email, Farcebook, and watching the occasional cat video – have to pay the same to get her internet as the neighbor who has three teens – who are constantly online gaming, plus voice, simultaneously streaming death metal videos, all while downloading peer-to-peer movies in the background? Why should she have to pay as much?

                1. Yeah. An ISP has a finite total bandwidth available. It may be astronomically huge compared to what any one user consumes. But it’s not just one consumer; it’s millions of us. When you add that up, it can create constraints on how available connectivity is. And someone like me, who mostly sends and receives text files and watches a few hours of video a month, is not creating as many constraints as one of the kinds GWB mentions.

                  If you compel everyone to pay for the average amount of bandwidth, then the people who use less bandwidth are being compelled to subsidize the people who use more. How do you figure that’s fair?

                  And really, the solution to all the problems about bandwidth lies in making more bandwidth available. If you allow companies to charge more for more bandwidth, then there’s an incentive for them to innovate and increase bandwidth. We really want to provide that incentive.

                2. Having read some of the reasons against, I realized something before I went to bed last night that might have escaped me: Don’t ISPs over there offer smaller packages for – for lack of better term, I’m not caffinated yet, sorry – lower-bandwidth users? Because from what I know from over here, they do that here. They are given lower data caps, after which they get their speed shaped to a slower speed, or pay for additional gigabytes – the latter is a common source of complaint I’ve heard from some of the mums on a budget here, because it’s either all they can afford, or because their children have used it all up. It’s usually the cheapest package. Personally, shaping is the way I prefer since it still allows for the most basic uses of Internet – browsing web pages and sending email.

                  But even if the hypothetical grandma here is paying the cheapest package, should her email, FB/page loading speed be slower and ‘must hit refresh several times’ before it loads, than the neighbors the more expensive plan? If she is paying for a set data cap but is also paying for a certain speed, I think she should get what she’s paying for. What she does with her set amount of data is up to her, and since what she might do with the data isn’t set in stone, it’s packet priority is no different. Should end users be able to negotiate with the ISP if they want lower-bandwith use data caps or such? Sure, why not; that’s something the ISP could do. That’s the market and consumer driven response.

                  1. Here in Canada we tend to be limited to who our ISP vendors are depending on location. 10 years ago things were very expensive. Think I was paying something like $60 a month for the light package which only gave me 25 GB a month. Overages were hideously expensive like $25 for an extra 5GB or something like that.
                    Limits have gotten better. My current ISP has a cap of 150 these days and unlimited between 2 and 5 in the morning. Of course you get more options in urban centres depending on need and price. Rural areas are more limited and options are more expensive.

                    1. That’s been my experience, but because of the push for Australia-wide fiber to the node, and the NBN infrastructure being accessible by all carriers, the various Internet companies are competing on packages. The trend over here though is the noticed “Everyone has a mobile and WiFi, not everyone goes for landline packages any more.” So it’s changed how companies are approaching the market- they’re trying to make the landline/net/cable to your house more attractive costwise. We also still have prepaid, reloadable mobile phones, so there’s lots of options.

                      I think it’s 1 gb for 10$ if we go over our mobile plan. The carrier we are with offered an interesting thing: since both my hubby and I are on the same carrier, our mobile data cap is merged (10gig for him, 10gig for me = 20 gig total for both of us) and it’s shared. Hubby’s the heavier mobile data user, so while we still pay a flat 40 dollars per plan (so 80 total), if he goes over his 10 gig during the billing cycle, he doesn’t get smashed for extra gigs if I have data left over (which I tend to do.) I think it’s only recently that we did get hit by an additional cost, but it was the ability to share the data total that was very attractive, as well as the overall cheaper plan.

                    2. Don’t get me started on Canadian cell phone packages. :/
                      I got lucky and I am paying $40/month for unlimited texts and province wide calling as well as 4GB Data for the month. Way more than I need for a phone currently. It was about $30 cheaper from my other provider that gave me 2GB and unlimited cross Canada. Before that? *shudder*

                    3. 40 AUD for Australia wide unlimited calls and texts; 10 gb of data and 300 minutes per month of international phone calls. 30 or 50 bucks cheaper than my old Telstra plan (I don’t remember the exact difference). This became available in the area where I used to live once the non-Telstra tower went up (it was available on the other side of Townsville, closer to the CBD.) Some providers also offer MUCH cheaper “bring your own cellphone” packages, which is awesome because I like ASUS’s Zenfone Zoom.

                  2. There have been some experiments with capping data– they tend to not go well, unless it’s set REALLY HIGH up– but mostly the cost changes are on speed, for home service. Home service tends to also allow “throttling”– for example, if you’re streaming, the first fifteen seconds or so will be at the “high speed” level, and then if there’s other high demand it will slow it down. This keeps things like updates from utterly destroying basic webpage browsing, even during really high demand times.

                    Cellphone data tends to be sold by units used, though.

                    1. Then the problem is more the consumer response to data capping, right? Which is a bit of a head-tilt to me. Why shouldn’t a company be able to offer cheaper, low-cap plans if there is a demand for it, if the examples of ‘low Internet use Grandma’ exist?

                      (For a while some long time ago, Housemate canceled his mobile plan and went prepaid, since he used his phone so little. Calls to him weren’t counted towards his use.)

                    2. Because they already established that they were selling it by speed– suddenly switching it up went over like if you were selling coffee by the pound, then added in a charge for weight.

                      If they’d offered “budget internet” options that were uncapped speed, but had data caps, they might have gotten bites.

                    3. I dunno, would the method used here work?

                      You get say 10mbps for 1tb worth of data, after which you get dropped to 2 mbps for the rest of your billing cycle (unless you’d like to pay for additional data.)

                      That’s what worked here, because while you got slower Internet that was still functional for browsing, email, Skype and even gaming you weren’t penalized for additional data use.

                      The success and source of competition has been the data cap (Get 2 tb per month; shaped speed after; or things like that.)

                    4. Not since they totally blew their credibility.

                      MAYBE a Jitterbug type internet company (they make “I just want a freaking phone!” phones and plans) would have luck, but not the big guys.

              2. It is not true that streaming at full capacity doesn’t cost the ISP any extra money. It doesn’t cost them anything extra to deliver data that extra final step from the wire into your house. However, the *entire* network has data limitations, and those limitations are smaller than everyone running the last step at full capacity.

              3. “Because the infrastructure for the top level DSL is the same for the low level one? Ditto for cable? It doesn’t actually cost more for the ISP. ”
                Not quite true. While this is true for the DSL link itself as each user has their own pair to the switch, it is not true for cable, or for the link from the switch to the backbone. Say that a cable will handle 10 gigabits per second. The company then sells perhaps 300 people 100 megabit per second access counting on the fact that they will not all try to use it at the same time. Bring in streaming video and too many of them do resulting in the cable being overloaded and everyone’s access slowing down. This means that the ISP has to pay for more cable bandwidth which puts prices up for everyone, even those who don’t do much video streaming. Thus the people not streaming are effectively paying for those who are.

          2. Beware. Arbeit Macht Frei didn’t, and something with the name “neutrality” isn’t necessarily neutral. Those who pushed it was the same ones who wanted to restrict what was said. It might be well to see what’s beyond their selling point and see why they pushed it in the first place.

          3. Ergo, gaming, and video streaming would need a different plan, than for someone who uses the net for just email.
            Why would that be a bad thing? It’s called a market.

            If you want to prevent gouging by the cable companies, you have to make sure there’s competition for those companies.

            The biggest improvement would come with clear, concise contracts that spelled out exactly what you were paying for, with clear billing practices. Then you *enforce* those contracts. Along with competition, this gets you the best, fastest, most efficient internet possible.

            But, it doesn’t have adequate opportunity for graft and corruption, so don’t expect the bureaucracy or the politicians to endorse or enable it.

            1. I think one of the bigger problems I’ve observed exists over there is that the big cable companies hold, over large areas, effective monopolies. The phrase we most often hear is “We only have Comcast in this area.” It’s a separate, but somewhat related issue, since that’s ultimately what will prevent any kind of market competition from sprouting and taking root.

              I’m not sure those effective monopolies exist over here – even when I lived up in distantly ‘rural’ Townsville, we could, and did switch phone line and Internet providers. The wiring to the house stayed the same; but who was providing us with a landline and Internet changed, based on which one best answered our needs. Telecommunications infrastructure is considered part of required utilities, I guess. I think Telstra used to have an effective monopoly, but that was broken some years ago, I think with some government interference. (I am not sure)

              1. One important point: no matter whom you pay for your telecom access, the wiring is still provided by ONE provider (usually, but not always). I pay EarthLink for my access, but they lease the actual line from Verizon. Which means that the best I can get is what Verizon provides. They happen to provide only the slowest access to my neighborhood, which means I can’t get a faster line, no matter what I do (without switching to cable).
                (Weirdly, we think their refusal to offer a better phone line was to encourage switching to FiOS. Unfortunately, they stopped short of our neighborhood with FiOS, so we can’t switch to that, either. So, away we all go to pay someone else for our internet. Majorly stupid business decision.)

                (Anyone here know how hard it would be to run a cable down to the FiOS box on the next street?)

                1. Part of the problem, as per housemate’s explanation, was that we’d pretty much hit the technology capacity for the old phone lines (you really couldn’t go any faster, or handle heavier loads.) Thus the push for FiOS. The installation of it has been rather uneven though; some rural areas don’t have it; but where I used to live in Townsville (which had only ADSL1 while we lived there) now has FiOS (NBN). And as the NBN rollout happens, more and more of the old lines are removed, which makes those still on ADSL 1 and 2 suffer. Part of the reason for it’s being unevenly rolled out is because to cheap out on the installation costs and bring them down, the people doing them aren’t as skilled as they should be. To prevent a rant: It’s annoying.

                  The companies will all be leasing the lines from NBN co, from what I understand.

          4. If that was so, why didn’t the ISPs DO that in the decades before someone came up with “net neutrality”?

            It has my husband spun up because if you force ISPs to treat all data identically, it’s going to really screw up basic load management– rather than getting the 100 tiny downloads done and disconnected, you’re forced to have them going at the exact same speed as the 10 streaming guys.

            They’ve also been offering “proof” that other countries force you to pay more that consisted of a phone company offering discounted additional data packages for specific uses– sort of like how AT&T lets my folks’ tablet stream their cable without eating up metered data.

            1. other countries force you to pay more …

              WTF? If other countries jump off a Marxist cliff does that mean we should, too?

              The USA is not like other countries, was not established like other countries and has not operated as other countries do. Only the USA has First and Second Amendment (or equivalent thereof) guaranties of rights. To the degree that other countries recognize popular sovereignty of the people it is in imitation of the USA.

              Other countries wage wars of conquest, the USA wages wars of liberation.

              SCREW what other countries do, it is naught to us.

            2. I don’t know why ISPs over there didn’t do that? My experience with Internet connection was different; I came from a place where you bought Internet credit (access X amount of data at any time) or had ‘unlimited data’ but could only access the Internet from 7 pm to 5:30 am. It wasn’t until muuuuch later that we got a DSL connection with X speed and ‘unlimited bandwidth.’ And over here in Australia, it’s X speed for Y amount of data, after which, you get dropped down to, or less than 1 mbps for the rest of your billing cycle (or you pay for more data per gig, depending on your ISP. Shaping was preferred. The more gig thing is now limited to cellphones, and I vaguely remember discussion that they were thinking of dropping it. Telstra has WiFi hotspots that let you connect your mobile using your home Internet plan’s data, so you don’t have to take the hit on the mobile’s data allocation if you had the option. Apparently, this is available outside of Australia in some countries as well.)

              I’m confused. Doesn’t having the 100 tiny downloads go faster mean they download faster and thus get disconnected faster? Explanation as to why I’m confused: Aff’s parents have 100 megabit connection, and he’s had to remotely connect to their computers on occasion to handle their OS updates, and by comparison, we have muuuuuuuch slower Internet. The update will download much faster on their connection than ours, and get done faster.

              I’ve watched Aff handle the load management on our router at our home. Since we have a fixed speed, the settings are handled there. And we’re an unusual household, in that we have multiple computers. But that’s regulated at our side, and as far as our ISP is concerned, we are getting X amount of data per month, and X speed.

              Optus has streaming video and music from their servers that don’t count toward your mobile data cap.

              1. Basically, they didn’t do it because there is no way that people would accept it.

                But it’s still the example that the folks pushing “Net Neutrality” keep pulling out to show that they should be given the power to micro-manage.

                From how my husband explains it, getting those relatively small, short downloads out of the way keeps it from a lower level version of the same issue as DDOS. One computer pulling 100 units is “less” of a load issue than 10 computers pulling 10 units.

                Our ISPs are only now heading into looking at measuring units, and that is mostly because of automated file sharing type use– really, really heavy use. They screwed up a few times and placed the limit way too low… it didn’t go well.

                From the rants I’ve read, the companies that put in the data caps are the ones FUNDING the “net neutrality” stuff.

        3. The idea of the original network neutrality was to maintain that “A packet is a packet is a packet” and there would be no premium-fee-ridden “fast lanes” (or slow lanes for the non-premium..). Fees for using more packets (data usage) could still happen – so then video would be more costly than audio would be more costly than text, if not (or above any) flat rate.

          The term, being (almost) universally seen as a Good Thing, it was soon co-opted and hung on things undeserving.

          1. And even that one, I would disagree with, because I want ISPs to be allowed to treat various data streams differently, favoring one at the expense of another if it makes sense. For example, let’s say in one local segment of an ISP’s network, there are 10 Skype sessions going on where people are doing live video chat with friends or colleagues, and also 8 Netflix sessions where people are streaming the latest episode of Musical Thrones, no wait I mean Game of Chairs, or whatever that show’s name is. And let’s further say that this network segment doesn’t have enough bandwidth to sustain more than 15 streaming-video connections at once, so three connections are going to have to be degraded in quality for a little while. Well, the thing about live video chat is that if you drop packets in it, you’ve harmed the experience of the people in the chat, because they miss a word or a sentence and there’s no “rewind” or “pause” button. (You can usually ask the person to say that word again, but that doesn’t always work). Whereas if you drop packets from a Netflix connection, it just causes buffering and the person will still get to see the entire show (albeit at a slightly degraded connection level).

            There are other examples that have been given (the “surgeon doing a remote operation”, for example), but they’re a bit theoretical. But the Skype vs. Netflix example is very real, right now. And furthermore, ISPs could compete on service by offering different favored-connection status from their competitors: “Our connection favors Skype over Netflix, so that if all your neighbors are watching their favorite shows, it won’t keep you from calling Grandma!” “Our connection favors Netflix over Skype, so that if all your neighbors are calling Grandma, it won’t keep you from watching your favorite shows!” Result: most of the Netflix users migrate to option B, most of the Skype users migrate to option A, and the market has self-sorted out the connections that should be favored on each side.

            I can see the impulse that leads people to want to write “a packet is a packet” rules. But it’s still government meddling into a matter that the market could sort out without outside “assistance”.

            1. Concur.

              The biggest problem being there is usually one (maybe two – if you’re lucky enough to have FiOS available, for example) decent pipe to each person’s house. (I’m excluding wireless options, here.) The infrastructure outlays are what hinder competition in a lot of places. Fix this and a market could really flourish.

              1. I’ll definitely agree that it’s existing (and outdated) infrastructure that’s hindering competition by a huge margin.

                I’m jealous that South Australia (or so I’m told) is pushing for upgrading THEIR connection infrastructure from the existing NBN to the 10gigabit one. But apparently they can afford it for the whole damn state.

                1. And there’s the problem, for many: the state is building (or contracting for) the infrastructure.

                  Is it their business/duty/responsibility to build that? Is it more like a road or more like a private service? Or more like a utility? And should even utilities be more like roads or more like a service?
                  Treating something like this as a public service tends to decrease innovation, increase cost*, and reduce outlays on maintenance. But, unless you figure out a way to make it cheap and easy for JimBob’s Internet to run fiber to your house, there’s no way you’re going to have real competition there.

                  My compromise is to have the physical cable be a utility, and for the resident to contract with whomever to get whatever data he wants, in whatever fashion he wants, over said cable. But it’s still got those utility drawbacks. (When was the last time your sewer was upgraded? Or even maintained? Likely the last time there was a break/leak.)

                  And, again, this is why the national gov’t shouldn’t be involved. Let this stuff get solved at the lowest level possible. You’ll get much more flexible solutions.

                  (* I bet you’re paying more than $40 a month. It’s just that a bunch of the cost is in your tax bill, instead of your ISP bill. Where it’s buried amongst all the other things you’re paying for.)

                  1. A compromise could be a very basic public utility type internet, maybe contracted out to local companies, that is tied to something the gov’t should be doing.

                    Basically, the post-office format, but without the monopoly on extremely basic internet.

                    I know my power bill back in Washington came with notes about the city’s internet and basic cable service. (we looked into it, it sucked, the only selling point was that it would still sell to you if you had a loooooong history of ditching the bill)

                    1. Personally, Rhys and I liked the thing that Queensland has going. Ambulances and emergency services are paid through a small hike in your utility bill (I think your electricity and water) and it’s disclosed every bill how much of it is towards that. It makes sense, since Queensland is bloody massive, and the hike covers services through the WHOLE state.

                  2. I’m largely sympathetic to the arguments that Internet access is like roads: a necessity for businesses to do business. And therefore, the government (at whatever level: city, state/province, country) has an interest in investing in the infrastructure, because having good roads increases the ability of people all over the country to do business with each other, thereby increasing the country’s GNP and, not coincidentally, the state’s tax revenue as well. Since any government is an economic parasite* that can only survive by drawing from the host’s bloodstream GNP, the government has an interest in making the host economy as healthy as possible; the best parasites are the ones that can turn themselves into symbionts instead. (Many politicians forget what they are, and start thinking that they are the host, not the parasite, and thereby start sucking too much blood and end up killing the host.) I think a good case could be made for the government to be in the business of laying fiber: the national government could lay fiber between cities, and the city goverments could lay fiber between major neighborhoods, and then let private industry run the last-mile connections from the neighborhood distribution centers to each individual’s home that asked for it. With, perhaps, an Internet usage tax on each person’s Internet bill, similar to the gas tax on cars. While that could be abused just as the gas tax is abused, it would not be a completely unreasonable idea in my mind: the increase in the public welfare created by having a good country-wide Internet connection would be justifiable just like the American interstate-highway system is justifiable as a legitimate government expense.

                    * I am indebted to that famous philosopher Dave Berry for observing that the word “politics” comes from two root words, “poly” meaning “many”, and “ticks” meaning “blood-sucking parasite”.

                  3. I think it’s the physical cable is the utility; and different companies are the Internet provider. (I think? I am not sure on that, mind, but I do know they’ve been working on putting in the new cables, and that our current provider will let us know when NBN is ready in our area.)

                    The sad thing is, the company provided …router? is where they’ve seriously cheaped out, according to housemate. The complaints that people aren’t getting the speeds they’re paying for is apparently slowing down the rollout by a lot; but it’s not the cable, it’s the router. Something about it unable to handle the bandwidth. I’m vague on this because it’s been a looooong time since the housemate laughed about it.

                    And taxes are taxes. It’d be a bit hypocritical for me to complain since my hubby is military.

                    On a somewhat related note to the taxes part, I noted with some amusement a small article in the Australian complaining about the people who ‘identify’ as Aboriginal taking away much needed funding from the real and needy Aboriginal people living in Northern Territory.

                    1. And taxes are taxes. It’d be a bit hypocritical for me to complain since my hubby is military.

                      Nah, that’s the “libertarians can’t have roads” fallacy.
                      Heck, over here we have military folks that will agitate to get some benefits cut, because they’re just a bad idea.

              2. Partly infrastructure outlays and partly that the cities tend to sell exclusive use of right of ways to one and only one cable company.

            2. Part of me says that the ISP should take that at letter of law. Your Netflix comes with same priority as the enhancement spam.

              1. same priority as the enhancement spam
                That seems to come through pretty fast on my connection…….

        1. I am and have been generally against the ‘Net Neutrality ‘ movement on several grounds;

          1) Government regulation should at all times be regarded with a high degree of suspicion.

          2) It is being pushed – HARD – by the sort of people who I associate with the Fairness Doctrine. On that basis, I fully expect that it will be used as an excuse to censor opinion. That is basically what they do.

          3) The FCC’s involvement makes me suspect that it is, in part, an attempt by a threatened bureaucracy to ensure continued employment or to expand its empire.

          4) As a rule, any time you see an attempt by an aging legislative body to regulate a technology that is primarily the domain of people generation younger you are courting regulation written by and voted on by people who have no idea what they are talking about. This is seldom a good basis for legislation.

          5) I observe that the Net has escaped much regulation. Politicians in general and the Left in particular consider regulation that Natural Order of things, on little or no evidence.


          6) I observe that those private interests that support Net Neutrality are frequently established businesses. When this happens what you typically find is that successful businessmen are trying to freeze in place a situation that find favorable to their interests. In short they want the government to enforce their business model.

          1. As for the repeated argument of blocking via ISP, that genie’s long out of the bottle. And most of those making the noise about this are even more abusive about ideologically curating your results. Look at how Google and rest of the SV crowd find no issue with deplatforming. YouTube is currently screwing over many streamers by automatic demonetization and delaying review. I’ve seen it with gaming streamers and Prager institute had an episode with Mike Rowe that was targeted toward high schoolers that was found offensive and not for minors.

            Is there a level of natural monopoly with cable owners, yeah. And the hand in glove nature of regulators in towns doesn’t help. But adding another regulatory level won’t aid anything.

            Finally, compare the power industry vs the isps in the past 10-15 years. The former are regulated and we tend to have a vastly similar system to the one that took out all of the Northeast a decade or so ago (I’m probably simplifying and downplaying advancements but the prognostications of a failing grid seem as consistent). Meanwhile we’ve gone from DSL to Fiber in that same time with internet (using the higher tier cities as examples since outlying areas may only have done dialup to DSL or satellite). I remember at least one of the pieces I read noted a sharp falloff in investment after the title II switch.

            1. The difference between the power grid and the shifts in internet and phone access have a lot to do with who’s opposing them and why. The power industry has been telling lawmakers since the 1980’s (if not earlier) that there needed to be more baseline power generators brought online and heavier infrastructure put in place, or the grid was going to fail. And they have gotten SOME of what they want. But very few people are willing to live next to a power plant (I am!), nobody wants the power company putting up heavier poles and more wires in their neighborhood. Property values might suffer! The tech shift in communications has been about doing more with less intrusive infrastructures. That isn’t currently available as an option in power production.

            1. There is one additional reason to oppose net neutrality, as pointed out in today’s Best of the Web Today* at the Wall Street Journal (some emphasis added):

              Why Is the ‘Resistance’ Harassing This Man?
              FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and his family endure a season of hatred.
              By James Freeman
              Nov. 28, 2017 6:27 p.m. ET

              The self-styled “Resistance” to the Trump Administration is by its nature offensive to many participants in our democracy because it portrays our duly-elected President as some sort of tyrant. Lately it appears not just offensive but dangerous.

              This week the head of the Federal Communications Commission appeared on Fox News to discuss his effort to repeal misguided 2015 rules that imposed 1930s telephone regulations on the Internet. According to Fox:

              FCC Chairman Ajit Pai on Monday blasted net neutrality activists who protested outside his home with signs directed at his children, saying the demonstration “crosses a line.”

              The protests followed Pai saying last week that he would follow through on his pledge to repeal Obama-era Internet regulations.

              The move set up a showdown with consumer groups, but the backlash recently reached Pai’s own home — with activists putting up cardboard signs that ask if this is the world he wants his children to “inherit.” One sign says, “

              Speaking of crossing lines, unhinged critics on Twitter have attacked Mr. Pai’s Indian heritage and wished death by AIDS and cancer upon him and his family. Mr. Pai’s Chief of Staff, Matthew Berry, has posted some of the appalling messages.

              According to Variety, Mr. Pai’s wife “has received threatening messages at her workplace, according to an FCC source.” April Glaser has more in Slate:

              It wasn’t the first time that activists apparently showed up near his home. Menacing, handwritten signs also appeared in Pai’s local neighborhood, including one that named his children and the question, “How will they ever look you in the eye again?” In May, in what appeared to be a coordinated campaign by the advocacy group Popular Resistance, people left flyers on Pai’s neighbors’ doors that included his picture, age, and weight. Unfortunately, such attacks aren’t new to Pai, who has endured a steady stream of racist, lewd, and threatening backlash since April, when he introduced his intention to gut the net neutrality rules.

              Variety offers some reassurance that not everybody who disagrees with Mr. Pai is insulting him and threatening violence:

              Public internet advocates who oppose the FCC’s pending action condemned the harassing messages.

              Jessica Rosenworcel, an FCC commissioner who favors the current rules and opposes Pai’s proposal, said on Twitter that the harassment was “unacceptable. Under any circumstances.”

              According to the Washington Post:

              Craig Aaron, the president of Free Press, an advocacy group that supports diverse media ownership, told The Washington Post: “We condemn any racist comments or harassing messages sent to the chairman of the FCC. We don’t think there is any place for that in the debate.” Aaron said his group was not involved in the sign-posting incident at Pai’s home.

              Let’s hope Mr. Aaron means it this time. In March his organization published a screed called, “The Resistance Must Be Digitized.” The online rant referred to “our nation’s authoritarian new president” and claimed that “people are resisting the neo-fascist agenda President Trump is unleashing on our nation.” The document went on to claim that the President and Mr. Pai share a “disdain for popular democracy, privacy rights, the truth and the poor.” It also claimed that carrying out the President’s agenda at the FCC would mean “intensifying surveillance of our communities and cracking down on political dissent.”

              As irresponsible as such language is, it’s also ridiculous. The resisters are casting as a fundamental free speech right what was essentially a gift to tech lobbyists. Companies like Netflix, which by some measures generates more than a third of all North American Internet traffic, and Google, which also generates significant traffic via its YouTube video service, didn’t want to pay market rates to companies like Verizon for moving that traffic. Essentially, Silicon Valley wanted to cut its phone bill and it persuaded President Obama to instruct his supposedly independent telecom regulators to make it happen. In early 2015 the Journal reported how it went down:

              In November, the White House’s top economic adviser dropped by the Federal Communications Commission with a heads-up for the agency’s chairman, Tom Wheeler. President Barack Obama was ready to unveil his vision for regulating high-speed Internet traffic.

              The specifics came four days later in an announcement that blindsided officials at the FCC. Mr. Obama said the Internet should be overseen as a public utility… The president’s words swept aside more than a decade of light-touch regulation of the Internet and months of work by Mr. Wheeler toward a compromise.

              The Journal went on to describe “an unusual, secretive effort inside the White House,” led by two aides acting “like a parallel version of the FCC itself” and pushing the agenda of the tech industry.

              The plan was sold as a solution to problems that did not exist–hypothetical cases of Internet service providers blocking content they don’t like.

              Predictably, it hasn’t worked out well for consumers. As Mr. Pai has noted, investment in broadband networks has declined for two years in a row for the first time in the history of the Internet, not counting recessions.

              All Mr. Pai and his colleagues are doing is restoring the freedom that existed until 2015 and allowed the Internet to become a jewel of the U.S. economy and a benefit to the world. But regardless of one’s views on the best way to encourage investment in broadband networks, he doesn’t deserve this appalling treatment. Here’s hoping a few principled Democrats will start loudly condemning the nasty people of the Resistance.

              *Behind paywall but if you pick a key phrase to Google (may work with other search engines) you can likely find a free access version. This is the full text, go to article for links not embedded here.

              1. Jessica Rosenworcel, an FCC commissioner who favors the current rules and opposes Pai’s proposal, said on Twitter that the harassment was “unacceptable. Under any circumstances.”

                And I agree with that, 100%. That is not discussion, nor is it acceptable behaviour.

                Criticism of, and arguments against Pai’s previous employment and his agenda is fine but attacks on the rest isn’t.

                1. My mind about this issue wasn’t made up until I saw the tactics employed by the people supporting net neutrality. After witnessing all the lies, distortions, and outright character assassination they’ve employed… Well, know them by their actions. These people aren’t making reasoned arguments, they’re petulantly insisting on getting their own way, and most of them don’t even understand the ramifications of their own positions.

                  Their conduct and behavior pretty much makes my mind up not to support their cause. The majority of these people are wannabe brownshirts.

    2. While I greatly appreciate your keeping us up-to-date about threats to Internet freedom, I have to tell you that you’re badly misinformed on this one. The thing that is misleadingly called “Net Neutrality” is really government interference in the free market, and amounts to price controls. Look at it this way. It’s been reported that about 1/3 of American households use streaming video, which means that about 2/3 don’t. Now, from an ISP’s point of view, streaming video is EXTREMELY resource-intensive: someone browsing the Internet ALL DAY on blogs like WordPress and Instapundit would use about a couple hundred megabytes of bandwidth total during that day. Just ONE 20-minute Youtube video at 720p uses the same couple hundred megabytes of bandwidth. With current “Net Neutrality” rules, the ISP is not allowed to offer a reduced-price Internet connection with a “no streaming video” rule for that reduced price. Result: the guy who doesn’t do Netflix or Youtube ends up having to pay the same $30 per month price that the guy who streams video all day pays, even though the first guy would be HAPPY to jump at a $10/month offer.

      All the “Net Neutrality” advocates keep screaming about how Verizon et al would hike prices on people who use Netflix — but that’s the current status quo, except with the roles reversed. Right now, due to the current price controls, ISPs are required to hike prices on the people who don’t use Netflix, and who could therefore switch to a cheaper no-streaming-video connection if the ISP was allowed to offer one.

      When you see “Net Neutrality”, you need to think “price controls”, and then you’ll realize what the right position is.

      1. BTW, “1/3 of American households” should have been “1/3 of American households that use the Internet” in that first paragraph. And likewise, “2/3 don’t” is “2/3 of Internet-connected households in America do not use streaming video”. I don’t know how “streaming video” was defined for that response, as Youtube is essentially also streaming video and the idea that 2/3 of Americans don’t use Youtube seems unlikely. Probably “streaming video” meant Netflix, Hulu, etc. in that statistic. But the video-usage patterns of Youtube are significantly different from those of Netflix (Youtube users tend to watch one or two videos and then do something else, so the bandwidth usage is still quite a bit lower than Netflix viewers, who tend to use Netflix like their TV). So on the whole, I think the argument still applies even if Youtube users were lumped into the 2/3 figure above.

      2. Very similar to Obamacare, requiring a mid-fifties couple (where the wife has had a hysterectomy) to have contraceptive coverage on their insurance…..

        1. And this makes you way smarter than hordes of internet key-mashers.
          But we already knew you were smarter because you’re here. 😉

          1. See, unlike a lot of people, I don’t mind being told why someone else thinks I’m wrong, or why someone doesn’t agree with what I said. I’m okay with that, especially since most of the reasons why ‘I’m against this’ is explained, and I could then see where the ‘no’ side is coming from, and understand their reasons and position. (Actually having a discussion, yay!) In this case, if folks think that the removal of NN is not a terrible thing and have told me why, I’ll accept that reassurance.

            I also don’t mind if I give advice, and it’s rejected because it doesn’t suit the person. (What annoys me, on the advice vein, is asking for my advice or opinion, and then getting upset with me because it’s not what the other person wanted to hear. )

            1. One of the difficulties with this topic is that the normal ‘net neutrality’ discussion turns on points that are past where the actual problem is, so there’s no good answer. Either way you go, there are potential abuses and additional costs to someone.
              You have to go back and find where the actual problem inflection point is (in this case, I think it’s the inability to run out infrastructure by competitors – which is why wireless is so much more competitive), then try to solve the real problem.

              And, yes, I enjoy engaging with you (and the other folks here) because I’m pretty certain you’re actually listening and thinking about most things tossed about here.

        2. Part of why I knew you’d get along well, here.

          …although if you’d gotten angry, you’ve build up enough good will it’d go alright anyways. ….

    3. While I have mixed feelings about the concept of “net neutrality”, the current implementation – regulating ISPs under a 1930s telephone law – should go. It’s regulatory overreach. We need a new law, not some ancient relic.

      1. I’m not persuaded we need a new law written by a legislative body with an average age of 57. That’s MY age, and I’m semi-tech-illiterate despite being married to a former programmer. Most Congresscritters will have had other interests. They won’t kniw what the fuck they are talking about, and bad law will be worse than no law.

          1. There really is a bigger knowledge gap between what they do ‘t know about farming and what they don’t knkw about the internet…..but your comment is well conceived. I don’t think they should be making jew laws about much of anything. At lesst not until they’ve repealed at lesdt half the laws we have now, staring with Drug Prohibition.

        1. Congressmen don’t write laws. PACs write laws, then persuade Congressmen – or their staff – it would be a good idea to enact them.

        2. The law can be written by any group, but it must be PASSED by the House and Senate (and signed by the president or his veto overriden.) The Constitution does not authorize Congress to delegate the authority to change the law.

      1. The political establishment is in full-on headless chicken mode. The Progressive Left is paniced because the world,has been falling down around their ears since Clinton left office. They thought they had turned the tide with Obama, and the. Their ‘sure thing’ candidate tanked. The goddamned peasants aren’t supposed to think for themselves! The Republican establishment is freaking because it looks like the voters might find a,way to hold their feet to the fire.

        All of them want to put assorted genies back in bottles.

  15. For what it’s worth, the “Herr Professor” did not say that civilization is a mistake. He just said the same thing I have heard from anthropologists for quite a while now, namely that giving up nomadic life and settling down came with a high price in terms of vulnerability to disease and crop failures. It’s a matter of claims about historical evidence; that’s all.

    1. It’s a matter of stupid historical evidence.
      Talk to a biologist sometime.
      Crop failures as opposed to no crops? Which would you choose.
      And vulnerability to disease is worse for settled people? No doubt. That’s why when Europeans met Amerindians the Europeans died of unknown diseases.
      Primitivists and their illusions.

      1. Well, there’s vulnerability to crop failures – as opposed to the failure of a herd. I’m sure that never happened anywhere. *eyeroll*

      2. Hm, wonder if that is part of the urging behind that “the Indians had a huge civilization that left next to no evidence at all” theories.

        1. To be fair, there is actual evidence of there being a huge number of indigenous North Americans, as in the population explosions of their cultivated prey species. Huge flocks of passenger pigeons and herds of bison blanketing the plains were signs of ecological unbalance, showing that their major predators had been removed.

          And as a side note, the Europeans had a better resistance to disease because of herd animals. You live in close proximity to pigs and fowl and you’re in the crucible of new disease-making, which means that a) the folk who survived passed on better disease resistance and b) the folk yet living were exposed to sub-clinical levels of new diseases all the time. It’s one of the reasons they think farm kids are overall healthier than city kids, regardless of levels of exercise, and why anti-microbial living spaces are probably a bad idea.

          1. That there were more than a very few roving bands– that makes sense, and can be very well justified.

            It’s the ones where they want to declare that they had at LEAST as many people as Europe, and similar level of development, and all the evidence vanished that makes me roll my eyes.

            Don’t get me started on the stuff that treats rather old information like it’s new– say, that being a hunter-gatherer group doesn’t rule out doing SOME improvements. Even folks camping in a spot for a weekend will make a “cooler” in the creek, or build a little swimhole.

            1. Heck, just going to the beach for a picnic. Okay, the beach belonged to the clan, but just going there for the day, we put the bottles of cola in the ocean to keep cool.

              I remember watching this video someone made of a primitive fish trap that would take advantage of high tide and low tide. Heap mud into a walled off pit that would be much higher in low tide, camouflage with branches around an ‘entryway’ and above. Fish would shelter there, and end up trapped during low tide, but would still have enough water to survive in. Come back later, with a bucket and just pick up the fish.

              Of course, you’d have to trust that nobody came along before you do to steal your catch, or that no opportunistic predator decided to take advantage.

          2. why anti-microbial living spaces are probably a bad idea.

            I am reminded of that House MD patient of the week, whose upbringing was so clean that he had issues dealing with illness. I kinda felt bad for the character, because he probably missed out on a lot of fun.

            Besides, a little boy happily splashing in the mud and puddles is such a delight to behold. And with washing machines these days, why not let them get dirty?

              1. Vincent’s ticked all those. After Rhys returned from his deployment, one of the things we did was order lots of computer parts (because he was building himself a computer, and my hand me down needed some new parts.) Aff and Vincent built a small fort made of cardboard boxes – it entertained Vincent… and Aff… for weeks. On a silly whim, Aff went and told ASUS that the boxes weren’t quite sturdy enough to be used as fort building blocks for little boys to play in. Apparently, they took him seriously; the boxes we’ve seen of their stuff since then have been very sturdy.

                We still have to tell the boyo not to bring home sticks and rocks (splinters from gum trees are notoriously hard to dig out) and the gift wrapper rolls, once used up, turn into temporary swords.

                Back when we lived in PH Vincent had a little mud wallow, which he played in. The hose was between him and the house. But as much as he liked getting dirty, he had just as much fun getting clean. Laundry basins with sudsy water for soaking clothes in? To the toddler: “That’s my bath!” *climb in* to the laughter of the maids and nanny and grandmother. They learned quickly that they had to have a basin ready for him because he also learned when laundry time was.

                Sadly there aren’t that many places where he can get muddy any more, but he enjoyed potting plants, so he’s not completely off the playing with dirt!

                1. … gift wrapper rolls, once used up, turn into temporary swords.

                  We had a cat who adored those tubes. He would crouch atop one end and kick with a hind foot, drumming the other end of that cardboard roll against the floor like Keith Moon*.

                  *Insert drummer of choice here. Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa, Ginger Baker, Phil Collins, Animal …

                    1. That bird is a delight, but it would probably not have been a congenial pairing, as this particular cat was accustomed to terrorizing Blue Jays … and brooked no sass from squirrels, either.

            1. a little boy happily splashing in the mud and puddles …

              Sexxxxxist! Little girls are also capable of going Hippo and surviving!

              In fact, I gather there are entire sub-cultures that have developed centered on girls enjoying mud facials and baths and even Greco-Roman wrestling in mud.

  16. Sure, we bought ourselves a little more time in November.
    Yes. We certainly didn’t fix what was wrong. (There’s some progress on that, but it’s slow going.)

    I almost said “That’s all we did.” But that’s not entirely true. It may be – I emphasize “may” – that we have set up an opportunity to teach people why a relatively powerless federal gov’t is the way to go. As the feckless Republican leadership shows they’re wearing suits from the same tailor as the Emperor, more people might grasp the idea of keeping their politicians close enough to kick in the kiester.

    It’s only one aspect that needs fixing. But it’s an important one. Just maybe it will open some eyes.

    1. Why does everybody expect progress in fixing things to be fast? We took a century or more to get into this mess.

      Trump is doing something I didn’t think I would ever see a President actually do; he’s taking a weed whacker to the regulatory undergrowth. Admitedly I’d rather he took a brush-hog to it, but he’d need cooperation from the Republican establishment and they’re a bunch of weak kneed cowards. He’s also nominating conservative judges by the handfull. Some of them may not be MY kind of conservative, but after the shift in the Carter years (Jimmy really doesn’t get the kicking he deserves) the general shift is more important.

      1. Concur.
        We tend to want to *see* progress, though, and seeing requires enough motion to keep our attention.
        I’m glad we are where we are, rather than where we could be. But, I’m not as happy as I would be with the republic intended by the Founders. So, back to work, slaying prog idiocy.

        1. OK, gotta hold you up there, old boy. The republic intended by the founders had features such as a franchise limited to sizable landowners and certain comparably wealthy townsmen. Note the ‘men’; women were prohibited from voting. Chattel slavery existed, and would ’til midway through the next Century.

          I don’t want to live in the Republic they intended. I want to live in a Republic that has a tad more respect for individual negative rights than we enjoy now, and which sees positive rights as the trap they are.

          1. I won’t argue about slavery or giving women the right to vote (though… nah, won’t go there 😉 ). But giving the vote to just anyone, regardless of their “investment” in things?
            *points to welfare*
            Yeah, that was a very questionable ideal to enact. (And it violated the Founders’ precepts – they assumed men were not angels, and built around that. The idea that even the destitute should vote is based on the prog idea that men are angels, which all historical evidence refutes.)

            1. I would argue that there is a qualitative difference between restricting the vote to people who owned a certain amount of property or paid a certain amount of tax, and restricting the vote to people who aren’t on public assistance….or who are too lazy to get a driver’s license.

              Of course merely mentioning the idea of restricting the vote to productive members of society would cause the Progressive Left to suffer a complete sense of humor failure…they’d never win another election.

              1. Of course merely mentioning the idea of restricting the vote to productive members of society would cause the Progressive Left to suffer a complete sense of humor failure…they’d never win another election.

                We’d have to get serious stocks of popcorn then. I mean, c’mon, the schadenfreude now would be nothing compared to the reaction we’d get if that happened.

              2. I think there’s arguments to be made about how you work it, but the essence is the same: those who aren’t contributory citizens don’t get to help make the rules.

                As to the Founders – I’m pretty sure they didn’t think gov’t (at least at the federal level) had any business in charity work. So, the solution of “those who aren’t on public assistance” wouldn’t have occurred to them. Hence “property owners”.

                The obvious problem with any setup where “those who aren’t contributory citizens don’t get to help make the rules,” is it is prone to developing an aristocracy. Define “contributory”. Define “rules”. Etc.

                But, letting obviously ignorant citizens vote, along with those who can be bribed directly from the public treasury, is not going to sustain a free republic for long (probably 75-100 years, or so).

                1. Our modern culture teds to forget that “property” includes far more than real estate. Thus in the Founders’ time a person would have been deemed “propertied” if he owned a horse, cattle, livestock of any kind and even, yes, a slave. Chattel is property. These days personal private property includes your car, your household goods, your computer, your smart phone, etc.

                  The issue would be where to set the bar on how much property a citizen needs in order to qualify.

      2. Trump is doing something I didn’t think I would ever see a President actually do; he’s taking a weed whacker to the regulatory undergrowth. Admitedly I’d rather he took a brush-hog to it, but he’d need cooperation from the Republican establishment and they’re a bunch of weak kneed cowards.
        Yeah, I wish he could not just drain the swamp but set it on fire…

        During a political chat I had locally a few months ago, someone expressed the opinion that Trump deserved all the blocking he could get because the man didn’t do enough genuflecting towards the media and the Republicans. I had to explain and give examples of how the media was so very against Trump during the election and after that the person I was talking to was rather shocked, and was taken aback by the sheer hypocrisy of the Hillary supporters smugly declaring beforehand that the Trump voters would ‘have to accept the results of the election’ but are now screeching to have the electoral college removed. The other person conceded that given that there was NO WAY media would be unbiased. Still thinks that Trump needs to court the Republican establishment though.

        1. The “Republican Establishment” is a huge part of the problem.

          We basically need to go through the entire governmental edifice with fire and sword, razing the whole thing to the ground. So many unelected little power-hungry bureaucrats are hidden in the woodwork that it’s not even funny, and most of them just loooooove them some Democrats in office–Which is why it was so easy for Obama to weaponize the IRS.

          Frankly, I think Lerner and the rest of them need to have their testimony published and disseminated as widely as possible, so that the public can see just what’s grown up in the background while we weren’t paying attention. Look at the shenanigans the CFPB has gotten up to…

          1. As far as Lerner and her co-conspirators are concerned the potential endangerment from those angered at their actions is incentive to have not conspired to deprive the people of equal treatment under the law and a deserved punishment.

            But, being inclined toward mercy I can see it appropriate to provide them the option of protective custody in a federal penitentiary for twenty-five years to life.

          2. We basically need to go through the entire governmental edifice with fire and sword
            I’m ok with tar and feathers. Or the occasional rope. But fire would work, too.

  17. Because this post’s title keeps reminding me of the start of the second verse of Kansas’ “Wayward Son”:

    Once I rose above the noise and confusion
    Just to get a glimpse beyond the illusion

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