Shiny! Let’s be Bad!

agent-148505

Most humans want to fit in, and will go a long way to fit in.  In fact, most if not all dictatorships in the 20th century depended on this impulse.  “You don’t want the neighbors to think you’re a bad person” or mutatis mutandi, Jew/Jew sympathizer/wrecker/hoarder/saboteur/running dog of the imperialism/etc etc.

No army in the world can hold even a small mutinous fraction of a large population in subjection, if they are not held back by internal controls and stops, and the ancient social-ape impulse to be liked and accepted by the band.

What strikes me when reading books about the holocaust or the various communist massacres is not that these were horrible people and monsters.  It’s that 99.9% of the people involved were just “human beings” put in a position where the unthinkable had become normal, and there was no one to say “oh, wait, this is objectively not only evil, but one of the craziest things ever.”

The same instinct that made us civilized, that creates rules of behavior like “I will not kill and eat the neighbors” can be turned around completely on its head, where killing and eating the neighbors, or at least their children, is acceptable, as something you do to survive.  (See holodomor.)  In that case, of course, it was needed to survive, because you and yours were being deliberately starved.  However, the fact humans can do things like that then move on, get past it, go back to normal life, tells you how plastic humanity is, when faced with times/a community gone crazy.

Manners, good behavior, lack of social aggressiveness, all of that which we take for granted is in fact, completely part of the “we all do this, and that’s how we fit in society.”

And in the west at least, for a long time, it has been part of the public facade that we’re a meritocratic society, that people will succeed or fail, sure, with some element of luck, but mostly based on what you can do, what you know, and how hard you’re willing to work.

Now all of us have been in jobs and situations where … we knew it wasn’t precisely so.  Sometimes it was simply that, you know, the editor’s ex-roommate or the boss’s son in law were going to get promotion and advantages no one else could have.  This happens, and is, unfortunately human.  You lumped it, and you moved on, looking for another situation where your talents were better appreciated.

In the last few decades, in certain industries and certain fields of endeavor, it would slowly (or fast, in my case, since I’d seen the movie before) dawn on you that you weren’t going to get anywhere if your political opinions weren’t left.  It became clear, hearing say editors talk, that the furthest to the left, the better — which is why some bright lads and lassies formed the “young communists club” for science fiction writers, AFTER the wall fell, and by the time it was formed not one of them under 30 — but if you believed in the free market, individual freedom, and despised the idea of benes for protected classes (even if — particularly if — you fit at least two of them) you’d better keep your opinions to yourself and pretend you were too stupid to understand politics.  Because the moment you revealed your politics your career was done.

This was particularly insidious because the pretense wasn’t that it was your politics.  Even the people shutting you out might not realize that’s why they were doing it.  The fact is that the left has erected a facile self-image as both concerned underdogs (they’re not, they’ve had most of the power most places since world war II) and the “smart” ones.  In fact, of course, they are not that.  All of us, even the blind ones, could see the writing on the wall.  It took a thoroughly disconnected geek not to perceive leftism as a social positional good. Most of us aren’t that.

The people who embraced the “easiest setting” of life as a leftist intellectual were two categories: The first is the genuine good boys and girls.  In this case “good” doesn’t imply moral.  It implies people in whom the fitting-in impulse is stronger than thought.  They are the kids teachers’ loved and parents praised.  They instinctively figured out leftism was how to be “good” and therefore followed it.  The other category, of course, are the amoral SOBs, which usually went the furthest.  They knew how the wind blew.  They were smart enough to know it was wrong, and that communism was the charnel house of history.  The brightest might even know why and that the corpses inhere from the principles.  But they didn’t care.  The way to the top of most professions (except some stem) was to play that game as hard as they could.  What if they were screwing future generations.  They’d got theirs.  I have no proof, but I have long suspected this second group were the ones that were catapulted to leadership.

However, the self image of both groups is that they were the smart ones, the caring ones, and — this is very important — the SANE ones.

This meant the minute you outed yourself as not belonging to either group, as in fact, having too many principles for your own good, you were considered stupid, uncaring (racist/sexist/homophobic) AND insane.  So it was easy enough to exclude you “per cause.” “Yeah, so and so is a good writer/worker, but he/she is insane.”  “Difficult to work with.”  “Couldn’t be part of the team.”  “Isn’t googly.” (Follow that link if you have a strong stomach.)

I’ll never forget — pre twitter — the day I voiced a mildly non-conformist opinion in an email list for female writers.  I don’t know which was crazier: the public pile on, inferring things about me that my worst enemy couldn’t say, or the private panicked emails, saying “I agree with you, but…”

There is a term for this.  It’s preference falsification.  And in totalitarian societies it can be so total that each individual can’t figure out that his opinions are in fact the majority and only a small minority at the top actually believes the opinions they enforce.  It’s what explains Ceausescu and his equally brutal wife being beloved figures in the morning, and cooling piles of bullet-riddled meat by the afternoon.  It’s also what gave us Trump’s victory.

Since then… things have changed.

Look, I kept my peace for many years, and because I couldn’t pretend to be a liberal (because, reasons.  I know too much about the nature of the beast.  I like to sleep at night.  More importantly, I like to look at myself in the mirror in the morning.  Putting on makeup by touch is possible, but can yield inconsistent results) I pretended to be apolitical, and would let political references, jokes and barbs roll off my back.  Now, that required me to work mostly in historical fiction, of course, but that was fine.

It was only two things that allowed me come out of the political closet — besides something that was either my subconscious or perhaps the divine applying iron-clad boot to my behind — a) the existence of indie.  b) the fact that the left had gone so far they were demanding vocal endorsement.  And that I couldn’t give.

Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose.

Even after Trump’s victory most people held their social facade.  If you were in a certain set of professions you’d never (still) admit you voted for Trump.  Wild horses couldn’t make you. For one, you’re probably addicted to food on the table and a roof over your head.  For another, the left is so busy demonizing everyone who voted against Hillary, that it would be the same as stepping forward and saying “Yes, I’m racist, sexist and homophobic.”  EVEN if objectively not only are you not any of those, but there is no evidence Trump is any of those. (I was told there would be prison camps.  Honestly, worst Hitler, EVER.  Not even Hillary’s promised “adult fun camps.”  Sheesh.)

But the left has now gone as zany everywhere and publicly as it’s been for years in my field and covertly.  (As for my field it has gone…. I think it’s achieved terminal velocity on the way to insanity.)  You must loudly proclaim your hatred for Trump, you must exhibit something like Tourette’s about everything the man says and does, no matter how unimportant.  And you must at all times proclaim yourself of the body and stamp out heresy with all your being.

Of course this sends all the wrong signals.  A confident ideology doesn’t engage in heretic hunts, and tolerates the philosophical fringes.

But more importantly, what the left is doing is sending out the same signal I got loud and clear five or six years ago “you can’t pretend well enough for us to leave you alone.  You must join, or we’ll destroy you.  We’ll make sure you never work in this town/business/field/world again.  We’ll leave you nothing, not even your reputation.”

What they’re forgetting, again, is that freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose. Or put another way, if you take away everything because someone failed to conform PERFECTLY, then you leave people free to act the way they always wanted to.

And us, on the right?  Us, the damned?  We were never “good boys and girls.” We were just conforming enough to fake it.  A lot of us were the people who cut classes, spit in the teacher’s eye, and still had straight As.  We are the people who have spent a lot of time infiltrating YOUR organizations, just so we could survive.  And, oh, yeah, we do have a moral code.  And it’s not yours.  And you’ll never get us to kiss ass again, because you’ve proven yourselves unstable, narcissistic buffoons.

We’re evil you say?  We’re crazy?  We don’t play well with others?

Aw, shucks, honey.  That was us being good.  But you wouldn’t leave us alone.  And now many of us are coming to the conclusion the masquerade isn’t worth the reward.

We’re looking at all the work we put in not to disturb you, and the things you call us, nonetheless, and we’re going “Oh, yeah?  You think we’re bad?  You ain’t seen nothing yet.  Shiny.  Let’s be bad guys.”

The only question is how fast what I think is a majority gets there.  But the worm is already turning, and you can’t stop it.  Screaming and name calling will only increase the speed of the turn.

You’d better learn to swim, or you’ll sink like a stone.  For the times, they are achanging.

431 responses to “Shiny! Let’s be Bad!

  1. Fit in? Moi? Gave up on that while still in single digits. Finding a place where I could be myself, where I did not have to be false to my beliefs, did not have to pretend there were five lights when I saw only four — that mattered to me long ago and matters no less today.

    Reality is not subject to a vote. Those who attempt to make it so will reap the whirlwind.

    • I, too, gave up on fitting in before I was 12. A certain belligerent defiance of mere social conformity set in. Oh, if I agree in principle with the majority because it makes sense, or if I see no net benefit in being obnoxious, or if I’m not quite clear on why I disagree, I can remain silent with the best of them.
      However, when it comes to preference falsification, nope, nope, and hell nope. “If we’re going to be damned, let’s be damned for what we really are”, as one Starship Captain once put it.
      And if I do get flak from the zealots on the other side of an issue, so be it. They can’t hurt me worse than I’ve been hurt by friends and family, and I’m in good company.

      • Yeah. Middle school wasn’t great for me, but it wasn’t awful like it was for so many people, because I’d already gotten a hefty dose of “f* it, they won’t like me anyway.” Remember, those were the days when being a geek wasn’t mainstream.

        A dose of f* it at a young age is very useful. I may not have been popular in high school, but I was decently respected.

        • Middle school was kind of weird. My first year of it was in my home school district, and was ok. Next year Fether was invited to spend a sabbatical year at the Princeton Institute For Advanced Study (his second invitation, which was a major honor), so I was in the Princeton public schools, and looking back on it I can see they were a Progressive mess. I was placed in a three room, two grade, ‘open classroom’ run by a woman bult like the front wheel of a steam roller who smelled. My academic accomplishments for the year amounted to learning (very) basic algebra by asking my Father to teach me how to do the only homework I did all year (homework was not collected or graded) and reading THE BLACK ARROW, THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE, ROUGHING IT, and the complete adventured of Tintin (in English). I also started reading WWII escape stories that year, beginning with THE GREAT ESCAPE (because I was not allowed to stay up late enough to watch the film on TV), amd wending my way through THE WOODEN HORSE, and others.

          I was quite relieved to go home, and enter University School, which had structured classrooms and where homework was collected, graded, amd constructively criticized.

      • I just never figured out what was required in order to fit in. I couldn’t be tall, thin, and blonde or golden-brown because genetics. It took until I was a senior in college to learn the acceptable border of eccentric vs. outcast.

        Eccentric is a lovely form of camoflage at times. Especially when you need time to read and process the social environment.

        • There wasn’t much I could do about being physically slow, clumsy, and weak. Socially clueless (Asperger’s synrome, I found out several decades too late to provide anything but hindsight) wasn’t something anyone could cure by punishment for my various lapses. I didn’t *want* to do anything about obnoxiously smart.
          Merely eccentric is a blessed state in comparison to outright persecution.

          • It’s much easier to be eccentric when you are a white-haired old lady. People who ignored me or stayed away from me in school are suddenly becoming friends on facebook because I am a bit eccentric. But gosh, until I turned about 55, it was tough.

            • I know right! Who knew I was that popular in High School. I sure didn’t! Then I am likely to be one of the last ones alive, if my Mom is anything to go by. Her graduation reunions cover class years ’50 thru ’60, with < 60 people attending; but then it was a very small rural HS.

    • I kind of tried to fit in, or at most stand on the sides and not actively rebel while feeling confused about the whole thing. Stood there for a long time too. The confusion coming from the disparity between what everybody seemed to accept as the reality and what I saw when I tried to look into it.

      Things just made no damn sense half of the time. Sometimes all the time. Depending on how much attention I was paying. But they did make some sense some of the time, some parts of the accepted consensus are fairly sensible (hey, water IS wet and fire DOES burn, and when it comes to a lot of the everyday kind of practical stuff that has been taken into account – okay, let’s just take seatbelts, you can debate whether it’s right or wrong to force people to use them but you can’t really debate whether they safe lives in accidents or not, most times they do add to your chances of survival – yes, there is still quite a lot of stuff which seems quite sensible even when you start to really think about it), which of course added to my confusion.

      Most of the time I just figured I was too stupid to figure it out and tried not to pay much attention because doing that could make me both frustrated and angry. One problem with thinking that I might see better than most seemed to: I don’t know how prevalent that attitude is in other cultures, but in Finland thinking that you might be in some way special, or smarter than others and that you can see that something generally accepted is wrong and then letting anybody else know about it gets you piled on pretty damn fast for being conceited, full of yourself, deluded and so on. So it’s very bad for your peace of mind to let that to be known. It’s usually fine to act as the smarter than others if you have gotten on top of the heap by accepted means – education, getting chosen for important jobs and so on, you need to have proof of your smarts by having gotten social standing with them – but being the rebel just gets you in the sh*tter.

      And I guess there may be hell of a lot of people more or less in the same spot. People who like me may grumble under their breath and maybe speak a little with trusted friends but who don’t have the courage to take the risk of becoming social pariahs – or the real risk of losing their jobs or their chances of advancing their careers when they have anything to lose on those fronts (I really don’t anymore, but I’m scared of that pariah status, and I guess I am most scared that I might find out those friends I have here would drop me if I became generally known as somebody who thinks wrong, some of them know how I think but THEY are not known as friends with somebody who thinks wrong because I am not visible as somebody like that, and what scares me is that if I ever became visible in that way I might find out they would not be willing to take the burden of being friends with one. I want to think I could trust them. Even if I really don’t, but then I have been wrong a few too many times when it came to trusting people, and finding out you were wrong hurts bad).

      • Damn, save not safe… I had a bit different sentence there first, looks I again left bits of the original when I changed it.

      • *chuckle* See, the ‘problem’ was, I wasn’t remotely interested in the things that preoccupied a lot of my age-range peers – and apparently that was UNFORGIVABLE – and worse, I didn’t care about their verbal bullying. As long as they never, ever put a hand on me – and the few times that someone tried snapped my leash so much it terrified the whole student body into leaving me alone physically. It was easy to tune out jeering with a pair of in-ear earphones – and usually resulted in an embarrassed bully when they realized I had them in (I’d take them out once I noticed the teacher walking into the room, and they were hidden under my long hair). Since that embarrassed bully couldn’t seek physical retribution…

        I think what was unforgivable to the minds of those people was, ultimately the concept that just because we weren’t interested in the same things, they thought that ‘we think what they like is a waste of time.’ Which is only somewhat true – because I wouldn’t waste my time dithering about my crush or gossiping about this or that band, but if they found doing that fun, well, …have fun?

    • I’m on the spectrum, and have no filter.
      And I come from an Eastern European family on my Mom’s side, so argument is a beloved sport.

  2. “I am to misbehave.” Yeah, I have seem the rabid leftists blindly sharing stupid memes all over social media. Doesn’t matter what they say as long as it’s a slam against a so-called conservative. Seen it so much. Had one friend that always said “thank you for your service,” and then turn around and call me out for supporting anything to the right of Lenin.
    It’s getting old and it’s getting painful. Especially when I lash out at their hypocrisy and I find myself a little more alone.
    Thankfully I have a strong core group of people that mesh with my morals. We may have differing opinions about some things, at least we can TALK about them instead of scream “denier” at each other.

  3. I used to be polite; now I’m just blunt.

  4. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    The assholes won’t like it when the people they hate show them “just how nasty the hated ones can be”. 😦

    • On the other hand, teaching that lesson promises to be Jolly Good Fun.

    • As I kept saying during the Obama admin – “do they want a civil war? Because this is how they get a civil war”

      • I’m just wondering when the war will be. I already know that there will be one.

        • I’m thinking there won’t be, that once the preference cascade starts the other side will be revealed as just how powerless they are.

          For instance:

          WATCH: CNN Stunned By What Democratic Ohio Voters Think About Trump
          CNN’s Martin Savage interviewed a diverse group of Democratic voters from Ohio on Wednesday who all praised President Donald Trump for the things he has done during his first year in office.

          The group of Democratic voters, who had all crossed over to vote for Trump during the 2016 election, agreed in their assessments of the president and on the importance of his key agenda goals, like ending illegal immigration.

          When asked how they thought he was performing, the group replied, “Fantastic,” “Phenomenal,” “Better than I ever would have dreamt,” and “He’s doing wonderful, he’s staying on task.”

          The panel did not agree with the media and the Democrats’ portrayal of Trump being a racist, as they also said he does not get a fair shake from the media. …

          • Y’know, just the other evening I was wondering about all those in MSM obsessing over Trump’s health and how they dismissed concerns over Hillary’s far more dramatic health issues and low and behold, it turns out the Washington Free Beacon had been thinking the same thing:


            The MSM no longer holds control of battlefield air space.

        • Maybe not, Emily. Maybe there will be a miracle. Himself seems to be way fonder of us than we have any right to expect.

          • Byzantine_Corporal

            Daily prayers for gracious mercy. Because we don’t have any other kind coming.

            • Right. Don’t pray for justice. Pray for mercy. Without it, in this fallen age, we’re all d*mned.

              • I got into so many political arguments in 1992. Some again in 2000-or-so. I think I eventually ran out of steam, or became too much of a coward to test the reactions of the people I wanted to be able to work or play with on other topics.

                One of the things mercy might look like… thinking of wondering how people stood by for things… is if my grandchildren’s generation look at socialism and abortion clear-eyed enough to be appalled that I spent so much time being quiet.

      • I saw a good line today – You lefties better stop kicking the dog, it looks like he’s ready to bite…..

  5. Had to have “that” conversation with our daughter– in this case, she ran into someone who was being “smart” by cheating people.

    It took her a while to wrap her head around the defense mechanism where people will do something they know is wrong, they know they shouldn’t, but they’ll sell it to themselves as them being “too smart” to follow those “foolish” rules– even though the only reason their cheating works is because everyone else is doing it.

    You can’t have a public candy dish if everybody fills their pockets with it, and nobody fills the dish. If there’s a public candy dish, you only take one or two, and you say thank you, and it takes a relative lot of the people who are behind the dish (so to speak) to keep it full– or there’s no dish at all.

    • Knew a fellow in Australia who had his candy (dish) thus pilfered. He had been raised in various places, due to diplomat father, and thus acquired tastes for things that are not common flavors in Australia (so I am told). He once asked for some Wintegreen candies, which I sent him. The pilfering stopped. “Are you trying to poison people? This smells like foot powder!”

      • We stopped the pilfering of pitchers of tea by using several bottles of hot sauce. My father stopped someone from stealing our farm gasoline by setting two full five gallon cans of diesel in front of the gas tank. We came home and found the cans empty, and where they pushed the car out of the yard.

        • I once had a roommate that ate/drank anything that was not bitter. I took to drinking an orange cappuccino coffee mix he found too bitter, and tonic water if I wanted something cold. After his not refilling the ice tray after using all the ice for the nth time, tonic water cubes was the result. He did not appreciate those ice cubes. Awwwwww, too bad.

          • We knew some folks when we lived in New England who had a sponge who would show up every Sunday just about dinner time, but never invited them over for dinner. One Sunday, after dinner, she stayed around to talk rather than leaving quickly as usual. While she was still sitting at the table, the husband collected all of the plates, put them on the floor, and called in the dogs to clean up. Then he picked up the plates and put them in the cabinet.

            The sponge never came back for Sunday dinner. After she was gone, of course, he pulled the plates out of the cabinet and washed them.

        • My granddaddy raised watermelons. The field that ran next to the road had a remarkably high theft rate until he treated the 5 rows closest to the fence with injected phenothalene……. Word got around quickly.

        • Housemate was telling me about how he was getting his lunch pilfered – he had an idea who, but no proof. So one day, he brought lunch, which was made with ghost peppers – something he had no problems eating and was fond of – and waited.

          That day, they heard the sounds of screaming, and the guy who Housemate had been suspecting of the thefts was proven to be the one doing the deed. Housemate said nothing, only stared at the guy for a very long time. The thefts stopped. The idiot in question had a grudge against Housemate because Housemate had corrected him on something once. ONCE.

          Some people are stupid and petty.

        • When I worked at a private school bus company in my misspent youth there was a problem with the gas cans on the repair vehicle frequently turning up empty, enough that mechanics learned to always check the can before going out, even if they had just filled it a couple of hours ago. Eventually, an old can due for replacement was filled, sugared, and made the only can on the vehicle. The thieves who were passing gas over the back fence at lunchtime to fill their personal vehicles were relatively lucky and got caught in the act before they ruined their engines. (40-odd years later I still wonder how they disposed of that sugared gasoline.)

      • These are the people who have *musk* flavored candy. Clearly the mutagenic properties of Australia start first with the taste buds 😀

        • Evidently they have issue with cherry and wintergreen. Cherry is cough medicine and wintergreen is foot powder. And I’m not what the reaction to root beer is.

          • …not _sure_ what…

          • Medicine. All of those ring true to me, and rootbeer is cold meds.

            • I’ve been told I have a strange fondness for medicinal flavors. I like cherry, Wintergreen, mints, bitter liqueurs (I admit fernet branca IS medicinal and its flavor can be described fairly accurately as “mentholated dirt”).

              • #SPOUSE is eating beets and can’t understand why I hate them. She’s starting to figure out that “but they’re good for you” doesn’t work with a flavor I truly detest. (It’s only been 24 years…) IMHO, canned beets smell like pickled dirt.

                OTOH, I like hot, though the crop of cayenne peppers was a step too far. Powdered cayenne, si, fresh, nyet!

                • There was a time when I would eat stuffed cayenne peppers like stuffed jalapenos. Sadly, my stomach cannot take that any more.

                • The Indians have learned that pickling beets is better than serving them with their own flavour. They offer a refreshing addition to most entrees.


                  Khatta Meetha Chukandar Kaachaar

                  • In the late ’90s a friend spent several weeks in Australia. Adelaide area, if I remember right.

                    He said that his first experience with the Australian version of a hamburger was rather startling; it came with pickled beets on it. He found that, at least at the time, you always got beets unless you specifically requested otherwise.

              • During the Jagermeister craze the German pastry chef I knew was laughing at everyone “We force people to drink it when they are sick!”

                • When I was stationed in Greenland, Jager was the stuff that practical jokers would use to play a practical joke on the newbies. They’d tell them a song and a dance about how Jager was the stuff that real studly He-Men drank in Greenland – and set them up with shots of Jager at the NCO Club bar, while the jokers (with the cooperation of the bartender, who was usually another GI working an outside job were drinking flat Coca-cola. Which looks like Jager…) IRRC, at one point the base commander had to come down and flatly forbid this jest.
                  (Note – I myself did not frequent the NCO Club on most evenings. The other female Air Force personnel of whatever rank had unofficial membership in the O’Club, which was an oasis of calm and gentility, and where, if un-escorted by a large and presumably homicidally jealous male, we could eat a simple meal without being hit on by every perv in the place. I weep for those dear, relatively innocent days, and that degree of social accommodation.)

                  • I was reminiscing about the mid to late 80’s on here a few posts back.
                    Back then, I knew a girl who went out with “large and presumably homicidally jealous male(s)” all the time.
                    Oh they weren’t to prevent people from hitting on her, it was because at 5’2″ maybe, she was a merry drunk who forgot her strength (Nautilus champ for her weight class) and the “dates” job was to prevent her from accidentally harming her friends.
                    ***has Adam in a head lock***
                    “I like you Adam, yer a good guy!”
                    Adam- “I can’t breath, please let me go”
                    The Steve Stonebreaker fellow I mentioned once hit on her, and she cross body punched him in the ribs . . . the bruise was impressive.

                • It’s still something of a thing in WI and surroundings (as you likely know), at least for some. I can deal with it (I like anise/fennel/licorice flavor) but I do not get the appeal of the “Jaeger-bomb” and such.

                  • Yeah, I like anise etc as well, but it is like cherry in cough syrup. I like cherry, cough syrup tastes like cough syrup. I remember when Coke came out with Cherry Coke.
                    I had had originals in soda fountains and liked those, so I bought one. egad, I’d think I’d rather drink cherry NyQuil
                    As the radio stations up here play the same crap from when I left in 1984, I can see that ‘trend’ hanging on around here.
                    Well that and the bar on every other corner, means someone has to have a gimmick of some sort.
                    Actual Quote from work today:
                    “Gimme a break, it was Dollar Beer night, last night”
                    I do wonder what the percentage of employees we have who walk, ride bike, and whatnot to get to work because they have lost their licenses to DWI. There are bikes in the bike rack at -15f and blizzard conditions.

                    • 25 years ago, I took a bike back to a family reunion in Muskegon. It was the first time I did a longish (60 mile) ride without wind or hills. Must say, the numbers of roadhouse bars (and ice cream places) in the countryside were quite impressive. I remembered the ice cream joints as a kid, but was way too young to note roadhouses.
                      I’d ride year round (many years and pounds ago) in Silicon Valley; rain didn’t bother me. Riding bike in real winter, no way.

                    • I also years and pounds ago rode everywhere, and not so long ago or many pounds ago, rode a motorcycle 24-7. When I was in High School (and not suffering from a broken leg) I rode my bicycle to school every day, year-round, and often for fun in the depths of winter.
                      These folks for the most part, look like I do now (20-40 lbs overweight) and a few of the bikes look worse than those I had made from trash from the City Dump.
                      I know of one who was complaining because his daughter got a job and it’s hours and travel time make her unavailable to get him to work if it rains or snows. Now one guy from a different shift changed his hours and he rides with that fellow as he lives past his house a few miles.
                      I do see one guy I think is just a nut. He rides a “city” bike and the one I see in summer is a newer model than his winter beater. In summer he rides past my house and I have to keep an eye out for him when I leave for work. In winter he sticks to the main roads as this side does not salt or sand all the streets, so they stay slick.

                    • My joke to non-WI folks is that to get a drink in WI, you just stand there and hold out your hand. Someone will put a drink in it.

                    • Granted bars up here are different for the most part than those on other places, but being in the Shipyard/industrial area, those here in the river cities can be very annoying places.
                      Other have quite good food and one has a pretty good in house brewery.

                    • I spent a good many years in and around Merrill, WI. Which is not terribly far from Rhinelander, WI (which has a Rather Large airport setup as it was once the backup/secondary for KI Sawyer). Depending on who you ask and what the time-frame is, you can get either as a reply to “What town has the most bars per capita in the USA?” I once explained that if I tried to do bar hop I’d be snockered from a trip around a single (admittedly larger) block* – and that’s after many establishments had closed down. Also that this was so that when stumbling home in Coldest Winter, you always had a place to warm up a bit… of course partaking would potently nullify that once setting out again.

                      * The block across the street from what used to be Merrill Monument, which most people might better know as the “Rock Shop” in The Giant Spider Invasion. It’s now a health food store. The times.. they dun changed some!

                    • sum haz changed
                      much is frozen in time. egad

                    • SheSellsSeashells

                      My rural little town is infested with mopeds. One of my friends calls ’em DUIcycles.

                    • Michigan requires some sort of licensing for them, but not, I don’t think’ to ride them, just an age limit, but they will gig you for DUI on one. Wisconsin I think is if it’s under 50cc, you’re good to go, basically it’s a bicycle.

                  • If it’s done right, it apparently tastes really good to people who don’t like the flavor of jaeger.

                    …. I really like jaeger, although I don’t get to drink it very often, and it annoys my sister in law if I let it warm up. Apparently shots are to be drank quickly, only, not enjoyed. /sigh

                • My last bottle of hard liquor (quit after a spell of depression that scared the hell out of me; one of the worst nights I ever had) was Jaeger. As I recall, I kept it in the freezer and had really small shots. (Well, a fair number of them….)

                  Some years later, I had a little bit of Bailey’s on a business trip. I was in much better mental shape then, and it didn’t throw me off. Said to self: “If I was thinking I can take or leave it, I was better off leaving it.”

                  Now I’m on Warfarin, and I’m not going to adjust my meds to accommodate ethanol. Cold water on a hot day is fine by me.

                  • I drink so little, though to be honest this place (work really) could make me want to do more, I have bottles that are over a year old and not empty yet, and I need to make another beer buy. I do have much of a 30pack of Busch my dad bought when visiting and left behind and the only real use for that I have is cooking.

                    • Ma has a can of Old Milwaukee that my uncle brought over several dwellings ago, sometime in the early 1970’s. It has a Post-It note on it not to open or attempt to drink it. It’s become… a fixture in the fridge (yes, really). How dated? Well, back when the Apple //e was new, a friend had to get a picture of himself at the Apple, holding that can, as it was already anachronistic due to label style changes.

                    • We have unopened Oregon Rose Bowl bottle beer from their first trip to the Rose Bowl in 1990’s (’98 I think); it was a joke gift from Brother-in-Law. We’re Beaver (OSU) Fans.

                    • OM was Grandpa Tony’s tipple of choice.
                      Old Style in a pinch. I recall those old labels.
                      Dad did Stroh’s and when they went on strike, drank Black Label until it came back.
                      He was saddened when they got bought by Miller and shut down. He did Milwaukee’s Best then moved to Busch, and now the Docs got him to go with Busch Light. He is 5’3 and was north of 240 lbs.

                    • We too drink very little. We still have some stuff that is older than our kid and he’s pushing 30. Occasionally when out for dinner, never at home. Used to be daddy and bother-in-law would have one at Christmas, so we kept a small bottle available to mix with coke. Dad’s been gone for 10 years. Brother-in-Law does the snow-bird stuff, so bottle just sits there. Used to be we’d go to New Year’s BYOB party. Take our diet Pepsi’s and whatever bottle of alcohol we wanted to get rid of (either a gift or golf/Elks lottery winnings) to the party and conveniently, accidentally (of coarse), leave it. Had one bottle that kept coming back; got to be a joke. Don’t remember how we eventually got rid of it; I think finally found someone who wasn’t doing what we did.

              • I like all of the ones you’ve listed too. I haven’t tried fernet branca though, but there was this stuff I had to take for iron supplements that match your description.

                *shudder*

                • Chartreuse is like cough syrup meets moonshine. I like it, but it is strong.

                  • Checks his bottle…

                    40% ABV.. or 80 (US) proof. Anise/fennel/licorice flavor… hrmm… there some cough drops (and syrups?) flavored thus. 80 proof.. isn’t light, no. Yeah, packs a wallop and the flavor is decidedly Not For Everyone.

                    It’s one of “those bottles.” “Those bottles” are the ones $HOUSEMATE has assured me (repeatedly, with great vigor, nay – insistence) are ALL mine. Unlike, say, Aperol or Woodford Reserve bourbon or Meyer’s rum.

          • After drinking a lot of cherry flavored cough syrup in my youth, anything with both cherry flavor and alcohol is cough medicine and makes me gag. Cherry by itself is fine. I love cherry pie.

          • Bananas is paregoric. Why they tried to make the child’s version taste like bananas, I’ll never know. There probably isn’t a child’s version, or any other version now – that stuff had opium in it. Tasted nasty, too.

            • $HOUSEMATE claims licorice (and LOTS of it) is paregoric. I do not recall ever encountering the stuff.

              Once I did try mix a drink, forgot which, and made two incompatible substitutions as I was out things and hadn’t realized. $HOUSEMATE claimed I managed to make a drink that tasted like kaopectate. Obviously, I did not save the recipe.

            • When I drank soda-pop, I liked Dr Pepper. To me, the primary flavor is black cherry.

              • Prunes is all I taste, and I dislike prunes.

                • Curious, as I don’t mind prunes (though prune juice is just plain narsty) and don’t notice any such flavor. And, of course, the Dr Pepper folks have been denying the prune juice claim(s) for decades.

                  • well, it is a secret formula, but I know that the copies base off using prune flavoring to get a close match. I know that the first time I had it as a kid I spit it out and thought it was carbonated prune juice.
                    Maybe instead of prunes they use a related plum not pruned, then in process it gets that taste.
                    Just know I dislike it or the copies.

              • Dr. Pepper and Cheerwine are the only sodas where the diet version tastes just like the sugared version.

                • They make diet Cheerwine?!? Oh wow. 😀 I know what I’m going to look for next time I’m back east.

                  • SheSellsSeashells

                    I was up near Seattle a couple years ago (I live in NC, in a wee tiny town that is very fond of both Cheerwine and SunDrop) and went to a froofy supermarket to pick some stuff up for the lady I was staying with. Stood there giggling for about five minutes upon finding six-packs of both of the above proudly displayed in the Exotic Sodas section, since around here SunDrop is basically “what you drink if Mountain Dew is too high-class for you”.

            • Hey, it’s good stuff. Doesn’t cloy like Pepsi or Coke.

            • My dad likes hot Dr Pepper. Just not up for heated carbonated prune juice, myself….

          • I still don’t like medicine pies. There are medicine trees in the neighborhood. My wife, who is from Michigan, always picks some when they ripe.

            • Ah, cherry. Then, I perhaps liked Sucrets more than one ought. It amuses me how after they switched to a plastic case, the Altiods “tin” took over the improvised case world. The other part of changed times is articles proclaiming “Fits in an Altiods tin!” rather than “No larger than a cigarette pack!” for ‘shirt-pocket’ sized DIY electronic gadgetry.

        • I’ve tried Marmite — and thanks to my Australian friend who told me how you’re supposed to eat it (spread really, REALLY thin over the butter on your bread), I liked it. (He told me that most people take WAY too much when they try it, which tastes like eating a mouthful of salt). But musk flavor? WHY?

      • We stopped a sponge who’d show up around dinner time at a friend’s place, never with something to contribute, nor did he ever buy anything from their produce stand. All it took was one batch of chicken stew.

        My son and I liked the habañeros, as did the farmer, but not Mr. Sponge. (Our wives did recommend that I use fewer peppers in the recipe.) Mr. Sponge remembered an urgent dental appointment, and I understand that he wasn’t seen around the farm for the better part of three months.

        • A trick to quickly counter the hot– lemon juice.

          If they don’t mind the flavor change, anyways– I think apple and chicken stew with habañeros and lemon would be nice, but I’m strange.

          • Sounds familiar. We had a rice dish once at the interfaith dinner years ago when I lived in Big City College Town. Chicken and peppers, apples, small sweet tomatoes, and lemons. Good stuff.

            Actually, lemons with hot stir fry was a thing at the restaurant I cooked at for a while, too, so it isn’t so strange.

            • Thai food is apparently very heavy on it– although I think they use lime mostly?

              I was looking around for a solution to when my dragon noodles were a little *too* dragon. 😀

              • As I understand it Thai food uses a lot of lemongrass. Is the flavor similar to lemon (I don’t know much about Thai food)?

              • Limes.
                One day, at an official dinner, the general’s aide was bragging a little about eating hot peppers, so I just began eating the little slices of thai pepper in the bowl on the table. He matched me. For a while.
                He finally realized I was reaching into the little bowl with the tiny pieces of lime, first. I would pop a piece of lime (same size as the pepper slices), then a pepper.
                He got an education that day. 🙂

                • Limes huh? I’m one of those people who are VERY sensitive to spicy (hot) foods, and I’ve always felt a little left out. I’ll have to do some experimenting.

                • KFC had a run of lime and chilli spicy chicken here for a while and OH MY GOD THEY WERE AMAZING.

                  Housemate and I actually sulked when the run ended. I’m not that great with spicy food but that was … oh. That was yummy.

                  • I remember a time a few years ag when I was Googling the local Dominoes for to place an order and found myself staring at an assortment of Kashmiri toppings for pizza … and finally worked out that I’d somehow accessed a menu from a Dominoes that absolutely was not going to be delivering in a half-hour or less. But Dang!, I wished their toppings were available locally.

      • Horehound candy is good for that

        • Yeah, close enough to root beer for the off-putting. The thing that surprised me was that an Australian visitor couldn’t deal with root beer – but loved sarsaparilla.

          • I prefer Birch Beer, when I can get it. Most root beer in America is too sweet – which moight be why your Aussie acquaintance did’na care for it.

            • Local grocery store has Sioux City Birch Beer on the shelf. Need I send you some when there is no danger of it freezing?

              • My ability to get it is limited by pancreas, not location, although I greatly appreciate the offer. I have not always found sodas travel well. When I lived in Detroit I greatly enjoyed Vernor’s but elsewhere, even as close as Southern Ohio, it simply lacked the snap. In Detroit I would always sneeze at the first attempt to sip from the can, but never have I had the problem elsewhere.

                I have found memories of Red pop, a beverage found along the Ohio/Kentucky border and which I always admired for its willingness to say, “Who do you think you are, wondering what flavour this is? It’s Red pop, that’s what flavour it is!”

      • Coworker used earwax jellybeans, among other of the “Harry Potter” specials. Worked for him (I can attest that they do taste just like earwax, that being the only thing I was willing to risk comparison on.)

        Oh, I rather liked the black pepper flavor he had, but it honestly wasn’t all that much similar to the real thing.

      • SheSellsSeashells

        My sainted (?) mother snacked on canned pineapple during her college years, half a can at a time. For a few month, someone would pilfer the remaining half-can during the wee hours, despite polite and less-polite attempts to put a stop to it.

        Finally, Mom ate her half a can, drained the juice, and replaced it with liquid of her own production. Her NEXT half-a-can remained unmolested.

    • Many years ago I was a pretty heavy drinker. My friends, and eventually our whole outlying group of friends, figured out that I ALWAYS had booze. LOTS of booze, and I was free with it when people came over. So for a while, it felt like I had a LOT of friends (a feeling that was, and still is, relatively alien to me.) Eventually, it became clear that while at first, there was a lot of BYO happening, it had tapered off and almost nobody brought anything anymore. It all came to a head one evening when someone I wasn’t sure I even knew started complaining that I didn’t have a particular beer that he liked (I have problems with something in beer. It makes me projectile vomit…. so yea, I don’t bother buying it.) Being drunk off my ass, and more than a little annoyed, I created a new rule. “If you are drinking my booze, you are drinking what I’m drinking.” This weeded out some of the freeloaders, but I like decent whiskey, so I still had a lot of freeloaders.

      One evening, I was in a liquor store with a friend and we were talking about it. She was pushing me to just buy the most generic stuff to serve, and keep some good stuff for me and a few choice friends. The guy behind the counter overheard our conversation. He liked my “you’re drinking what I’m drinking” rule, and suggested buying something really nasty to switch over to when I wanted people to go home. Then he came up with a dusty old bottle of Wintergreen Schnapps. Turns out, I actually LIKE the stuff. After that, I didn’t have ANY problem getting rid of people.

      • I could see liking Wintergreen Schnapps.

        • I’ve never had it, but I could see enjoying wintergreen schnapps with some very dark chocolate…

          • I’m not as big on chocolate but I could see that being a good combo

          • Gonna have to play the EW card on this one. Mint and chocolate do NOT go together, nor even approach each other closely, for me.

            • It’s not for everyone. I love mint and chocolate like woah though. (so do my kids.)

              • York Peppermint Pattie has been produced continuously since 1940. Presumably somebody likes it (beyond the shareholders of Hershey’s).


                There appear to be a number of recipes and videos about making your own at home.

                Andes Mints have been on the market since 1950 and appear to be a popular after-dinner treat to judge by the number of restaurants which present them (or equivalent) with the check. Junior Mints appeared in 1949 and After Eight mints came on the market in the UK in 1962. “Fry’s Chocolate Cream is a chocolate bar made by Cadbury’s, and formerly by J. S. Fry & Sons in Union Street, Bristol, England. Launched in 1866, Fry’s Chocolate Cream is the first mass-produced chocolate bar. They are dairy-free and vegan.[3] It consists of a fondant centre enrobed (with a minty taste) in plain chocolate, and also peppermint fondant.”

                Data and Fry’s quote courtesy Wikipedia.

                • I looooove York Peppermint Patties, Andes and Junior Mints, and After Eights… yum yum yum.

                  I also love butter mints; I miss those.

                  I’d love to make some of my own, honestly. =9 So I’ll have to look up how sometime; but for now, dinner (Tinapang scad, with rice.)

                • I never call in to radio contests – but yesterday I just had to at least try. Okay, $25 to the local barbecue joint, not worth it – but the winners of that are entered into a drawing for a YEAR of Thin Mints.

                  Probably better for the waistline that I failed to even get through the busy signal…

            • I’ll happily take your peppermint chocolate and wintergreen chocolate.

              • As would I. Wintergreen schnapps? That could be either really good, or depressingly rotten. I had a bottle of root beer schnapps. HAD. I spent a year trying to work what to do with it to render it tolerable. And I LIKE root beer. My conclusion: Never buy that again. There’s precious few things that are not widely known as lousy (e.g. “bumwines”) that I’ve drain-poured or considered that… that’s on the list – and I’d feel sorry for the drain.

                • I have cases of liquor. Some good, some so-so. The so-so I use for cooking, mostly barbecue sauces.

                  I buy the absolute cheapest wine I can find for cooking, though. So long as it has the approximately correct sugar and acid content, there’s really no difference. Unless I was planning on flambeau, which I don’t do. Well, not intentionally, there have been a couple of occasions…

                  • Btw, has “The Five Lists of Five Things You Can Skip Next Christmas” been put off until NEXT pre-Christmas season? Or just…. left to simmer a bit?

                    • Ah. Hoped nobody remembered that…

                      Short story is that I had penciled it all down (along with several detail notes on the novel WIP) – and then lost the pad I had them in. Third one I’ve lost this year, so a very bad excuse!

                      Long story is that I decided after that, that my irk was rather overdone. Although the top two I’ll stick with:

                      #1 – list of the “five Christmas songs you should not sing, because they are theologically incorrect.” According to WHOSE theology, buddy?

                      #2 – list of the “five worst or inappropriate Christmas movies.” If you like “Elf” – watch it! If you like the Martians and Santa Clause – enjoy it for the season! (If you think “Die Hard” is a Christmas movie, well… I disagree, but I’ll sit down and watch it with you, whatever the time of year.)

                      I suppose that if they annoy me enough next season, I may be moved to write it again (with whatever changes are appropriate). No guarantees, though. I’ll do it at home, however, in front of this here keyboard.

                • SheSellsSeashells

                  I found cranberry liqueur once around Thanksgiving, and never again. It was sooooo good, especially when I started dumping it into screwdrivers.

              • Sorry, but that might result in losing a paw to the wife-unit. As much as I do not like such, she loves them, and claims any that i might receive as her own.

    • Absinthe, anyone? Ive yet to try it the traditional Czechoslovakian way, but I discovered by mishap it tastes pretty decent with Rose Flavored syrup by Monin.

      • The water drip onto a sugar cube until the louche?

        $HOUSEMATE knew it had been A Really Bad Shift once when the first sight was me doing that “absinthe ritual”… and also knew it wasn’t Rock Bottom as I was taking the time to use the sugar and water, rather than just “a slug from the jug.”

    • Excellent metaphor of the candy dish.
      I sometimes think that hell is not much more than the way this world would be if all the good people were removed from it, and no one remained to clean up after the bad people and look after them and their victims.

  6. Just a thought, but there is one yuuuuge difference between ‘our’ idols and the (left wing/SJW/communinist socialist) idols. Ours have a sense of humour, and can be seen smiling and even laughing on occasion. Others, not so much. Any validity to the idea that they’re sociopaths?

    • Validity? Tautology.

    • I’ve long believed extreme left wing people are maladjusted, many of them have Cluster B and other personality disorders.

    • See 0bama whenever anyone made fun of him to his face vs GWB in the same situations.
      Heck, GWB might give you self deprecating pointers to correct those making fun of him.
      0bama looked like he was chewing ground glass and constipated but trying to hide those facts.

      • The difference being that GWB knew he was smarter than the person mocking him believed, while Obama was afraid people would realize he wasn’t.

        That’s a big part of the problem with relying on social proof: valuation of your worth is subject to change without warning. Sorta like modelling yourself on Audrey Hepburn when Marilyn Monroe becomes the fashion.

        And why those who have Style lead happier lives than followers of Fashion.

        • Sorta like modelling yourself on Audrey Hepburn when Marilyn Monroe becomes the fashion.

          Sounds like a good way to weed out the…… shall we say aesthetically challenged (lest I call them worse). The first option listed is definitely the better one.

  7. This seems appropriate:

  8. Ah yes, while (some) teachers might have liked me… well, I was “insane” to so many for so long I kinda adopted it. Don’t mess with the madman (or mad bull). You see, whilst you were shutting us out, we were thinking and that was, even more than all the rest, your big mistake. And, aye, we may well be as atoms, small and insignificant….right up until criticality – and then the world changes.

  9. A lot to unpack here, from what was lurking below the surface in Europe and a whole lot of places, to the standard methods of totalitarians. Some places that go nuts for a time already had that predisposition and were looking for an excuse. Then the veil of civilization comes off and Kati bar the door. In other instances, I think people know they may not be in the minority, but when a minority opinion is in power, they might as well be the minority because they are the ones in power.

    Bad? I don’t know. Is it bad to have no ***** to give? I’ve stood up at times when I didn’t give a **** and times that I did, and the latter is much harder.

  10. As I have learned, it’s amazing how freeing having nothing left to lose can be. There may be some theoretical “worse that can happen” but not all that much, really, particularly when it can still happen anyway.

    And then you find out that the thing you feared isn’t as frightening as you had previously thought.

  11. It seems to me that this pretty much encapsulates the thinking of the alt-right, which is not simply a bunch of white supremacists and assorted deplorables that the left has been portraying. The left should be worried about what comes after the alt-right if “nothing left to lose” gets coupled to a more immediate desire to take action. Not everyone will be content to fight with words.

    • No, it doesn’t. The Alt.right, like the CTRL left is mostly devoted to overturning America and everything it stands for with their “Dark Enlightenment” crap.
      Yeah, it could fall to them if people get mad enough. But right now we have a chance to strike one for sanity.

      • Elizabeth Creegan

        I don’t want to have a racialist system. I don’t identify as white or European; I identify as American and Christian (Enlightenment, facts-based, individualistic, etc.) I think racialist systems are evil: you don’t choose your ancestors and you shouldn’t be rewarded or punished for who they are or what color your skin is.

        But if we’re going to have a racialist system I want whatever race I’m classified as to get AS LEAST as much out it as we put into it. It looks like the left is determined to give us a racialist system, so I tend to STFU about the alt right and be clinical when I say anything. Gut the racial spoils system which deliberately channels things away from me and I’ll be happy to condemn the alt right. When my sons are deliberately put at a disadvantage compared to darker-skinned boys, not so much so.

        Now, if you want to find ways to help the poor, which will not benefit my family personally, and will help dark-skinned people disproportionately, we can negotiate based on how much it costs and how much it helps and what the side-effects are. There’s nothing wrong with helping the disadvantaged, and there’s nothing wrong with neutral benefits going to classes I’m not a member of. But NO penalty for racial class, which necessitates NO benefits for racial class.

        • There is a ton of things wrong with using the government to help the poor. It seems to be unintended effects all the way down.
          As for race, we live in a crazy age. Race, which doesn’t exist under the microscope (regardless of looks we’re ALL mutts) is sacred to the left. Sex, which is obvious is, however, a “social construct.”
          Oy.
          But no, flipping the spoils system won’t do anything, except install a new layer of bastards on top. You might even find out you’re not white after all.
          No kings, no queens, no lords, no ladies. We won’t be fooled again.
          Facilitating the new bastards won’t get you anything. I’ve seen this movie before.
          Read Night watch by Terry Pratchett, please.

          • Elizabeth Creegan

            Oh, I’m not in favor of the alt right. But I’m not interested in spending effort to oppose them until they’re an actual threat, let alone allying against them with anyone who isn’t out to junk the racial spoils system entirely.

            If they become an actual threat, that’s a different story. Till then they’re no more obnoxious than any other racial grievance group and somewhat less of a personal threat. (I *might not* be considered white for some bizarre reason. I’m *definitely* not going to be considered a member of any other group.)

          • There is a ton of things wrong with using the government to help the poor. It seems to be unintended effects all the way down.

            A lot of it comes down to the Iron Law of Bureaucracy. In this specific application of the law, any bureaucracy for helping the poor will have two kinds of people in it: those dedicated to helping the poor, and those dedicated to furthering and enhancing the bureaucracy itself. In a mature bureaucracy the latter will take control of the bureaucracy.

            Our “help the poor” bureaucracies are fully mature in that sense. Those in charge are far less interested in helping the poor than they are in their “turf” and political power.

          • Once you have departments dedicating to righting racial injustice, they will find racial injustice whether it’s real or not.

            • As exemplified by state agencies dedicated to righting child abuse.

            • …or finding witches…

              • I have a severely disabled son (Down syndrome + autistic) in state-sponsored foster care. His mother, my ex-wife, gave up custody to the state when he was a minor (a mistake, in my view, but I wasn’t consulted) expecting to get him back when he turned 18. His foster mother moved away and alleged all sorts of…equine excrement…in order to keep custody (not to mention her paycheck). The state agency, and the court, chose to side with her. The state guardian in charge of his care recently submitted a report to the court admitting that she had only only seen him once during the year. She is supposed to see him at least quarterly. As an “interested party”, I was offered the opportunity to file an objection, and if I could find a Utah-qualified lawyer who would take the pittance I can afford to pay, I would.

                • what happened to him?

                  • He’s still in foster care..same state as his mother, different cities. I don’t see him regularly, she does. But in the Infinite Wisdom Of The State, his mother is a danger to him (B! S!) and he needs to be kept away from her except under supervised conditions. Which…surprise!…no one actually supervises, when he spends pretty much every other weekend and most holidays with her.

            • True of any institution. The SPLC and the NAACP are just the start if the list.

              The one exception might be the Congress Of Racial Equality who seem to be actively proclaiming their goal would have been achieved were it not for those idiots profiting from maintaining claims of inequality.

            • Like the ones that didn’t manage to catch those horrible psychopaths in California, when one of the kids was going to college classes?

              California CPS confiscated kids from a homeschooling mom because she decided the girl’s diabetes was “not being controlled,” and they kept the kids over a month, but there’s no way those psychos actually fulfilled Cali’s homeschooling requirements and…they get discovered when some poor kid breaks out.

              AAARGH!

              • There is a curse word that I use a lot, which not everyone who hears me realizes I’m using as a curse word: “Bure*ucr*cy!”

                I apologize if you had little kids looking at your screen when you read that.

              • Byzantine_Corporal

                Once at the dojo I let out a real kiai. The A-10 pilot who was coming at me was suddenly moving backwards. This was not free, and not to be used recklessly.

                When I encountered that story I noticed I was growling. I expect a lot of peeps are doing homegrown primal reconnection therapy these days.

              • The bureaucracy will catch the ones who are earnestly trying. The man who thinks he followed the law and doesn’t try to hide. The ones that actually do the damage would have to be searched for because they usually hide it or attempt to. Why go after someone you gotta dig out when you can entrap someone who you think is just as bad and more common.

          • Absolutely this.

            Helping the poor, the blacks, the single mothers and so on (*anyone* really) the way it’s been done… Ain’t just bad. It’s evil.

            Because when you strip away a man’s motive to better himself, when you train him to be dependent, when you reward the very kinds of behaviors you claim to want to eradicate, you attack his basic humanity. That kind of learned helplessness and dependency sickens the soul. There is literally no way to spoil a man (or woman, or child) into good, healthy behacior.

            Confidence requires adversity. Kindness requires sacrifice. Ability requires the work and time be put in first, the mistakes made and learned from, before its of much use. To have the kind of citizenry, the kind of people I want to live alongside, charity must be personal. Governments are horrible at personal charity, it takes a massive disaster for them to do any good (and often enough they can screw even that up).

            The impulse to help others is a good one. I shall not be arguing again it. But “help” is a hand up, not a hand *out.* If the results of my “help” create a dependency, it is no help at all but a harm. Kind of defines the whole quota system inherent in “diversity” as the term is commonly used today. Depriving anyone of the opportunity to fail (and thereby the opportunity to *learn* from one’s mistakes) is one of the more insidious ways that certain factions keep the potential of, say, poorer, browner people in check.

            • And on the remainder of society you grow the resentment of seeing your progeny held down to “help” the downtrodden. When you realize that you could work extra hours or make more money by taking more risks but you would see half of the proceeds while doing nothing changes nothing. It brings about a very nihilistic attitude in those who don’t want to game the system.

              • Which leads me back to the idea that capitalism is the natural form of human economic activity. It exists in every system. Consider the black market, and how it operates under mostly capitalist free economines vs. how it operates under the SMC (socialist/marxist/communist where there’s a difference) systems.

      • Christopher M. Chupik

        “Dark Enlightenment”.

        *headdesk* *headdesk* headdesk*

        • Right? The ignorant leading the foolish.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          They have perhaps half a good idea.

          They’ve almost seen the cathedral of lies that the Soviets used the religious communists and socialists to build.

          But their race realism isn’t.

          There’s maybe one biological factor different between ‘ethnic groups’ that is perhaps necessary for understanding the dynamics of social systems. That being alcohol enzymes, which are pretty important for understanding some of the perspective disconnects in 19th century American politics. Maybe some other biological factors will come into play as habitual usage of other poisons becomes more significant, but we are perhaps more ignorant of what is happening with those than the 19th century folks were about alcohol. Currently, biological factors are lost in the noise of culture, and it isn’t clear we will in the future have genetic populations with enough distinctions to be useful.

          Biological factors are about as useful an avenue as ‘what if druggies are actually zombies animated by demons’.

        • It started as a joke a few years back. Someone (don’t recall who) made up some Magic-style cards representing individual fringe bloggers that were challenging dominant assumptions, and labeled the set Dark Enlightenment.
          Leftists freaked out about it, and it became a meme.

          I haven’t heard the term used for quite a while, mainly because after a certain number of repetitions, a joke stops being funny.

          Alt-Right is a pretty large category.
          Wildly generalizing, it holds that if identity politics is the coin of the realm, whites and Christians are facing a Prisoner’s Dilemma, and the only rational response is to act as identity groups themselves. (Which individual members embrace with varying amounts of joy or regret.)
          It’s a valid point, much as I don’t like it.
          In a perfect world, we could split the balkanized Left. But we’ve been trying for longer than I’ve been alive, and tribalism fused with socialism has only continued to accrue power.
          I think we’re close to a precipice.

          • Let’s hope that we don’t get get smashed to teeny tiny bits when we hit the ground beneath the precipice.

      • A lot of the alt-right “racists” remind me of the Armaghan Satanist backstory in John Ringo/David Weber’s Prince Roger novels: The Satanists started out as the losing (to begin with, anyway) faction in a civil/religious war between rival groups of Catholics who, after years of being persecuted, suppressed and demonized as minions of Satan by the faction in power, basically said “OK, whatever, you win, we’re Satanists. Screw you.” And, with no fraks left to give, they ended up winning the war.

        I think a lot of white Americans are at that point right now: “OK, whatever, you win, I’m a racist. Screw you. No fraks left to give.”

        And a lot of them are drawn to the alt-right, whatever its flaws, because unlike so much of mainstream conservatism the alt-Right is willing to fight. And yes, the alt-Right draws a fair number of actual racists too, but I suspect that’s becoming less and less important for the simple reason that thanks to Leftist identity politics, one’s skin color has become one’s uniform. The tree of liberty requires fertile intellectual soil in which to grow along with Jefferson’s famous manure, and just what has the Left been doing for the last several decades but salting the earth?

        When you’ve nuked American values and history and polarized everybody along every conceivable racial, political and social fault line – and a few that were previously inconceivable before idiot leftist academics invented them – then all you’re left with is “blood and soil” in the narrowest nationalist sense.

        Can we reverse the process, and return to at least some notion of a common history, common values and the melting pot? Honestly, I’m not optimistic.

        • This.

          I think a lot of white Americans are at that point right now: “OK, whatever, you win, I’m a racist. Screw you. No fraks left to give.”

          And a lot of them are drawn to the alt-right, whatever its flaws, because unlike so much of mainstream conservatism the alt-Right is willing to fight. And yes, the alt-Right draws a fair number of actual racists too, but I suspect that’s becoming less and less important for the simple reason that thanks to Leftist identity politics, one’s skin color has become one’s uniform. The tree of liberty requires fertile intellectual soil in which to grow along with Jefferson’s famous manure, and just what has the Left been doing for the last several decades but salting the earth?

          ESPECIALLY this.

          • As the meme says: “You want more Trump? Because this is how you get more Trump.” Insert “real racism/intolerance/anti-government actions” for Trump.

        • PFUI. I’d be glad if we returned to the constitution which the alt-right ALSO does not believe in.

          • Byzantine_Corporal

            The Hell you say!

            The alt-Right points and laughs at the odious kritarchy wearing the vestiges of the Republic as a skinsuit. But the Constitution would suit me for one just fine. I can’t speak for my Imperial Wizard.

          • Yes, I was fixing to say this. I grok whats being said EXCEPT that they are harkening back to old memes put forward in the early 19th century, namely by John C Calhoun, who wanted the Declaration of Independence to reflect racialist positions and turn the Constitution on its head. Thats something I cannot abide either.

            I hate that so much of our traditional language and understanding of words are being constantly twisted. It makes the fight even more cloudy.

            • Byzantine_Corporal

              A frequently exercised bee in my bonnet is the meaning of “are created equal”. pTerry got it right. “Equal” modifies “created”, not “are”.

              No lords, no ladies. Very few Korean NBA players. And it’s enough, in sublunar space. Now in g/6, basketball is a whole different game, so who knows? But still, no lords, no ladies.

              Although the case that a monarch has different incentives than a strip miner is very seductive.

        • Seems as good(?) a place as any for this:

        • I think a lot of white Americans are at that point right now: “OK, whatever, you win, I’m a racist. Screw you. No fraks left to give.”

          This. Right here. I got there when the Tea Party movement got called that.

  12. It’s that 99.9% of the people involved were just “human beings” put in a position where the unthinkable had become normal, and there was no one to say “oh, wait, this is objectively not only evil, but one of the craziest things ever.”

    The phrase ‘the banality of evil’ comes to mind. And earlier this morning I was reading a review/summary of a book that pretty summed it up as, “Put people into an evil system, you will get evil done even with ‘good’ people.”

    • That’s what I really recall from Mitchner’s _The Bridge at Andau_ – how disfunction turned into horror in ways that I still can’t re-read. (The prison chapter, for those wondering. When I recommend the book to students, it is with a major caveat for that chapter.)

      • Byzantine_Corporal

        After “The Last Closet” I’ve decided that periodic mortification with hard books is a good thing. Overall. So thanks for the pointer.

  13. The coming Corporate Thunderdome is not going to be a trivial affair. People who want to survive will need a solid grasp of 4th-Gen Warfare principles, and an attitude that’s a lot closer to Rabid Puppies than Sad Puppies.

    Sarah:
    “Oh, yeah? You think we’re bad? You ain’t seen nothing yet. Shiny. Let’s be bad guys.”

    With respect to our esteemed hostess, you’re outside and that matters. Not everyone has the mental makeup and skill stack to be an entrepreneur. If feeding your family, and keeping it, depends on being inside, it won’t be a role. It will be a grinding War to the Knife, with practicality as the only limit. Not cosplaying The Joker. BEING The Joker. With all that implies.

    Civil Wars aren’t fun. If aggressive government intervention and some prominent examples made is what it takes to short out this circuit, I’m good with that.

    • If you’re thinking what I think you’re thinking when you say, “aggressive government intervention,” it will not go the way you imagine it going.

      • Oh good heavens no, it will NOT go that way AT ALL. I’m slow, I admit, and I can think of too many ways to “short circuit” most any gov’t top-down intervention attempt – and that’s without being genuinely violent.

        • Worth looking at the Bundy mess, too– as I keep pointing out, some SOB did tell the guys with guns to fire on the Bundys.

          Said guys apparently demanded it in writing, and there may or may not have been comments to the effect that once they got it, the guns would be aiming at said order-giver.

          And then some bright boy tried to fuss up the legal case…..

          • And as I understand it, if the feds had fired on the Bundys et al., they would have been met with a fairly withering return fire…

            • Yes, but when there are professionals who already have their weapons out, they know exactly where you are and you don’t know what’s going to happen, chances are that there won’t be much of a chance to effectively return fire.
              Ambushes suck.

              • Trust me when I tell you, some of the people on the Bundy side of things were at the very least just as experienced as the feds, and probably a good deal more so. I guarantee you that the feds were not an irresistable force vis-a-vis them…

                • I’m not looking at “the feds” as a whole.

                  I’m looking at the guys who were there because their entire job, both before and then, was to be the guys with guns who are effective in using them.

                  It didn’t work the way the little psychopaths wanted because those experts were actually experts, rather than trigger-pulling automatons.

                  • I’m not looking at the feds as a whole either, just the folks on the site. Do not believe that only government operators know how to run operations. Many of the best don’t stay under government control. But as you say, there were professionals among the feds who understood the situation on the ground much better than their political higher-ups.

                    • ….that is absolutely irrelevant to the question of what happens when people who know how to use weapons and are acting in unison are able to do an unexpected attack on a relatively small group who doesn’t know it is coming.

                      Same way that Jihadis can wipe out a team, even if they’ve got their weapons almost ready– they just have to be expert enough, and there isn’t time to effectively react.

                      But they did hire people who are good at it– and it worked like it’s supposed to, just not as the power-drunk idiots wanted.
                      Thank God.

                    • Drloss, I think what you’re saying is everyone learned from Ruby Ridge that there wasn’t going to be a repeat of Ruby Ridge. The Bundys had guys who were fed-trained, the feds-on-site knew.

                      I’m an Idahoan. I have Strong Opinions based on Ruby Ridge.

                    • “I’m an Idahoan. I have Strong Opinions based on Ruby Ridge.”

                      I’m NOT from Idaho, and I have strong opinions about Ruby Ridge. Along the lines of, the idiots who fired should be RIFd, but the morons who PLANNED that operation and then swept it under a throw rug (lamest cover-up EVER) should be publicly crucified. And I don’t mean ‘have their reputations destroyed’, I mean roped to a cross and left to exhale themselves to death, on national television.

              • As was demonstrates in Oregon.
                And the feds were nice enough to post video of them gunning down a man in cold blood, lest we miss the point.

      • drloss, everything you fear in that respect has already happened, and is already happening. The prospect of having the malefactors’ status and employment badly hurt by action in the other direction is part of the equation for re-establishing deterrence.

        As with the Kzin, they must learn that We Are Not Prey.

    • Yeah…ask William Quantrill and Co. how adopting that attitude worked out for them.

  14. It helps to remember that we’re the majority…or at least enough of a minority to put up a hell of a fight. Our opponents rely on deception and bullying to put up a sham of strength.

    The real key is getting people to recognize that the Rabid Left IS a minority.

  15. “It is for this reason that the unscrupulous and uninhibited are likely to be more successful in a society tending towards totalitarianism.”

    My favourite chapter from Hayek’s Road to Serfdom is number 10, titled Why The Worst Get On Top.

  16. The only thing necessary for evil to flourish is for good people to do nothing.

    I aim to misbehave.

    • I’ve been feeling a bit deplorable, myself.

    • It always amazes me that the writer of Firefly didn’t seem to read or understand his own show.

      • Not to mention the actors who said the lines as well. Goes to show that you don’t have to be that intelligent to be in Hollyweird.

        • Depends on which Firefly actor you’re talking about: Adam Baldwin definitely falls into the ‘I aim to misbehave” camp, and from what I’ve seen Nathan Fillion isn’t a total liberal, either. A couple of the other cast members, OTOH, are just about as far out there as Joss Wheden is. Oh well, they still can’t take the sky from me . . .

        • Given the probable result of “coming out” as even mildly mid-range, much less conservative or even libertarian that doesn’t have the right Liberaltarian twists, intelligence might result in shutting up.

          It’s not like they can’t act, after all.

  17. BobtheRegisterredFool

    Over thirty cohort grew up used to the illusion that there can be peace.

    Under thirty knows it is impossible even if they won’t admit it. Well, there are some who simply assume that belonging to a cult is a normal part of life, and have blinded themselves with the fragility of cultthink.

    Under thirty, once they make the break, will be naturally able to extend that from socialists to Muslims.

    • I’m part of that over-30 cohort, and I was involved in the Peace Thru Mutual Assured Destruction group. When one has held a key that can open the Gates of Hell, it does tend to concentrate the mind.

  18. well, yesterday i learned that pro-puppy opinions are not welcome in the Space Opera group on FB.

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      It’s a place you’d think would already lean in that direction.

      • You should follow Jon del Arroz on FB. Scalzi is having a major hissy-fit because Jon isn’t willing to be shamed by Scalzi’s caterwauling.

        • Poor Johnny barefoot. He sold his soul to be one of the darlings, and as the establishment collapses around him, he’ll be left holding the dirty end of the stick.

          • Byzantine_Corporal

            Mipselled “personified”.

          • What really burns Johnny up is that don’t hardly nobody cares about John Effing Scalzi’s approval — and the louder he squawks, the more people don’t care.

            • If he had the towering genius of Heinlein’s left little toenail, it would be different. Heck, even the towering genius of one hair of Asimov’s eyebrows. But it’s hard to kowtow to someone living life on the easiest liberal setting, who has … well… average talent. I mean, it’s a nice talent and all, but meh. In a saner age he’d be a midlister. (Note that I am a midlister. It’s no insult. It just doesn’t command the heights of anything, really.)

              • but-but-but… he was President of the SFWA! And he has a mighty contract with Tor! And he has a hugely popular blog! And hires Chinese click traffic to promote it! His opinions must be Learned and Important!

                • he was President of the SFWA!

                  There was an observation made a good many years back (when I was still a member of SFWA) that somewhere along the line instead of being something fairly big names in the field as a means of “giving back”, being President of SFWA became something relative wannabes strove for in order to rub shoulders with the big names in the field as an attempt to boost their careers.

              • did they include him in the Black Tide Rising book to showcase how rotten his writing is? I couldn’t get past a page or so of that ‘story’ he and whoever submitted.

                • Christopher M. Chupik

                  I guess they were obligated to carry it no matter what. It’s the only explanation.

                  • I am not sure, but I think Ringo personally likes Scalzi. I first heard about Scalzi’s blog from Ringo’s comments endorsing it waaaaaaay back when I (and Ringo) was actively engaging in the Tavern / Baen Conference. I think that was when Scalzi’s blog was only a year or two old and when the only major work he’d published was Old man’s War.

                    I visited, looked at a few posts, commented once or twice and decided that if I wanted to be surrounded by a**holes I would be better entertained in less time by sitting in the restroom at a downtown bus depot.

          • There’s a clean end?

          • People who hold the dirty end of the stick usually are displaying their ignorance on how to operate the plunger.

        • Scalzi’s a slow learner. He also picked and lost a bunch of online fights with Larry Correia back in the days when Correia, like del Arroz now, was also a relative “nobody” compared to Scalzi. Correia’s fanbase, output and sales have only exploded since, while Scalzi is at best treading water.

          And when Scalzi goes under, he’ll likely take Tor and the Nielsen-Haydens down with him.

          And now he wants to pick on del Arroz? Welcome to fame, glory and “Shut up and take my money” status, Jon . . .

          • I’m postulating something called the “Reverse Streisand Effect”, where someone’s popularity goes up in direct proportion to how vehemently they are denounced.

            The “there’s no such thing as bad publicity” people probably knew that already, though…

            • No such thing as bad publicity? Nonsense! Sometimes the bastards spell your name wrong. This is particularly troublesome for those with names that are not “traditional” Amurican, such as Korreia and Del Arrows.

              One more instance of White Privilege!

    • Oh? I need to drop out of that, then. Let them stew. What do they have for space opera? Ancillary yet another noun?

    • So … it’s the Space Soap Opera group?

  19. Nailed it with the big hammer. (Dylan & Bobby McGee in the same post. Dang, girl!)

  20. I had a very different childhood from most ‘others’. My parents were ‘other’, amd so were my grandparents. Father was an academic, but he was a genuine scholar AND an expert in his field. The Lefties on campus were scared to death of him, for good reason. When yourmtarget in an academic setting has published more BOOKS than you have scholarly articles, you tend to shut the hell up…at least until very recently, amd Father retired before it got that bad.

    I grew up with THE NATIONAL REVIEW on the coffee table. I went to public schools until high school, but the local public school teachers had long ago learned that pulling the ‘I’m and Education Professional, I know more than you parents’ crap was asking for an intellectual curb-stomping because the neighborhood the schools served was a bedroom community for four colleges. Telling a full Professor that he doesn’t understand Modern Education is unlikely to go well (the middle school had a principal who tried this. She lasted ONE semester).

    The private high school was conservative, for sertsin values of conservativd. A lot of the teachers had lefty sentiments, but would accept that other people disagreed.

    I should have gone to one of the little colleges that usedmto advertise (and may still) in the back of The NR; the ones that still taught what used to be called a Classical Education (Latin, Greek, lots of Military History). I didn’t, and dropped out of Johns Hopkins in one year, but I met my Lady, and we’ve been married for more than a third of a century, so I’ll take what I’ve got.

    My Lady was a software engineer and is largely apolitical. My jobs tended to be retail. When my Lady’s health failed, my family could support us, and Father left us enough to live reasonably.

    I am one lucky sonofabitch. Amd I know it.

    I may have gone through a phase when I thought a massive, paternalistic State was a swell idea. If I did, I was in grade school at the time and grew out of it fast.

    But I come from a long line of nutters. Father once occupied the Lynn Thorndyke Professorship formthe History of Magic and Experimantal Science. Mother studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London and acted in rep. theatre for a while. Father’s Father was a,Methodist Minister with a genuine Calling, amd Mother’s spent decades working on studying the relationship between the stock market and the sun spot cycle.

    My attitude towards the Left is summed up wonderfully by a line from THE ADVENTURES OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN; “Your reality is lies and balderdash, and I am delighted to say I have no grasp of it whatsoever”

    Except, or course, I do understand it, and hold it in contempt.

    The Left is failing. They have been losing ground overall since they ousted Nixon. They may make gains in some areas, but they lose in others. Hell, when I was first aware of politics, it was accepted wisdom ON THE RIGHT that we would see the banning of handguns entirely in amvery short time…and now look at it. In the 1970’s the Network news shows defined reality…now they have a hard time even accepting it, and most people know it.

    We’re going to see some remarkable silliness, especially when Trump wins again in 2020, but they are mostly spent.

    • Doesn’t mean they won’t ban handguns tomorrow. Although unlikely to get it past Trump at the moment. Thing is, they push a ban through, that instantly means you have millions of armed patriots who have little to lose resisting. Not to mention that most of the police in this country are also members of the handgun group.

      • Their problem there is that there are too many States that have a right to own guns for self defense written into their State Constitutions. Hell, Pennsylvania is an ‘open carry’ State. And likely to stay that way. No, this is a battle they’ve lost for the forseeable future.

        • Water Rights are written into Idaho’s State Constitution.
          That didn’t stop a federal judge from ruling that a federal regulation supercedes them.
          (And Bush II did not a thing.)

        • I don’t know about the state’s constitution but still recall a few years ago when the NY governor and legislature seriously talked up restrictions on gun ownership and the state’s sheriffs, with a single voice, said “Hell NO!”

          • I remember one NY gun regulation 0roposal; they were talking about outlawing magazines above a certain size, and apparently picked,the number out of a hat. The cops loudlyminformed them that theymwere on the verge of outlawing every LEO issue magazine in the state…..

        • Did you notice the reports of Fusion GPS head Glenn Simpson trying to sell a story about the Russians infiltrating the NRA? I think he may have confused the National Rifle Association with the FDR era National Relief Act.

    • Did your folks read Commentary?

  21. Byzantine_Corporal

    The main thing I learned being an Army brat and moving every 6 months was that the locals have Rules. The Rules are not up for discussion. And, of course, they contradict the previous-locals’ Rules. You might say I was an anthropologist before I was 8.

    Learning to turn edgewise and let the Rules just… blow past me took longer, and was not necessarily optimal. Oh well.

  22. I pisted a comment on another blog today making exactly the same point. Weird.

  23. Another way to put it is:
    You’ve given us a target-rich environment. And you’ve declared weapons-free.

  24. “The way to the top of most professions (except some stem) was to play that game as hard as they could. What if they were screwing future generations. They’d got theirs. I have no proof, but I have long suspected this second group were the ones that were catapulted to leadership.”

    I’m sure the mechanics behind Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy are in play here. https://www.jerrypournelle.com/reports/jerryp/iron.html

  25. Another downside trying to blend in?

    Severely exacerbates conditions like anxiety and depression.

    (Not a fun lesson to learn.)

  26. ” . . . each individual can’t figure out that his opinions are in fact the majority and only a small minority at the top actually believes the opinions they enforce . . .”

    Except that it’s likely the ones at the top don’t actually believe the principles they espouse; it’s only that their path to power demands, in that milieu, that they *profess* to do so harder and louder than their contemporaries.

  27. 11B-Mailclerk

    The way a small minority enforce their will on a larger populace is terror, shrewdly and ruthlessly applied.

    Old as humanity, yet fresh in each iteration.

    The problem for Free folk is that we tend to wait until the barb-wire boxcars are up and running before we drop the “nice” .

    The time to fight does not begin when the shower heads start hissing.

    The enemy will dial it up slowly, if shrewd, training you that “we are not there, -yet-” . Ideally, we must learn to defang and neuter the enemy -before- it becomes morally acceptable to shoot them out of hand.

    For revolutions almost never end well. The American Revolution is nearly unique.

    So by all means, let us defeat the enemy while a semblance of Liberty still exists.

    • There are, SFAIKT, two primary reasons why the nice wait so long to drop the “nice” part.
      First is an unwillingness to believe the boxcar-makers are really serious, because it would not occur to the nice to do anything so evil.
      Second, the unwillingness to act pre-emptively, in case they are wrong and the boxcar-makers will stop before getting to the point of no return.
      Once the evil is clear, and the path of return is passed, then the nice ones just get the job done so they can go back to living life as it should be.

      • Byzantine_Corporal

        Well, “nice” hasn’t dropped out of the gene pool, so the “We’re gonna snap back, any day now” proposition isn’t totally ridiculous.

        Hmm. I wonder what this “tired of waiting” feeling might be?

  28. It surprises me how much Trump Derangement Syndrome in still a thing. Last night one of my friends was having a full on meltdown because she saw a snippet of a news item that said the Trump Administration would back medical providers who refuse treatment based on religious principals. She’s convinced herself that gay/trans people suffering life threatening medical emergencies will now be turned away from ERs by uncaring doctors.

    • That’s crazy!

    • My wife keeps dropping whatever the latest Trump Outrage is on me, I believe expecting that this time, THIS TIME, it will convince me how evil he is. She doesn’t really appreciate it when i normally laugh and go, “Oh, YEAH!”

      • Uh… just to be clear, that was only in respect to the TDS issue, not the second part, to which I say, “Really? What religion are we talking about, here? Only one that I know of would even consider it.”

    • I heard that too. What part of medical ethics for religious reasons does your sexual orientation come into play? None that I can see.

      What I have heard are doctors forced to provide or participate in abortion services on demand. Or certain procedures on pure religious or cultural reasons that provide no medical or hygienic benefit.

      Personally, I could not have had an abortion. My first (one & only) I had after 30. Prenatal tests were recommended to look for abnormalities due to my age. My response, “WHY? After all this time do you think I am going to risk a false positive, however remote or not?” Didn’t have the tests. Everything (with baby) was fine.

      Although I can’t stand the thought of abortion, nor can I make that choice for someone else. OTOH Abortions should NOT be easy to get. There needs to be not past this gestation period. Partial live abortions are evil, period. No difference than someone exposing a child just after birth or later.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        There’s the so far theoretical “Alt-Christianity”, which takes Socialist, Communist, and Islamic faiths, flips a few bits, and pretends it is in opposition to them. “At least Alt-Christianity fights the paynim”.

        Alt-Christianity could plausibly believe that homosexuality is a communicable disease that needs to be addressed for public health reasons. And that gender dysphoria is always malpractice to treat as is now commonly done.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        Though considering the degree to which some of the younger cohort has been raised to the cultish harness of left wing socialism/communism, Alt-Right Alt-Christians might be a demographic in the future.

      • Same with me on the tests. Kids at 29 and 33.

      • I suspect the rhetorically strongest argument to make here is that it would allow doctors to refuse to perform clitorectomies or other forms of Female Genital Mutilation.

        This would be particularly effective if you go on to accuse the person opposing the exemption of “WANTING doctors to perform FGM surgeries because you hate, Hate, HATE women and can’t stand the idea of them having fun!”

      • They recognize that if they had the power of life and death over their enemies they would make sure they died. So of course they extend that out over what they think their opponents want.

        One side looks at actions to react while other looks at feelings/statements. Similar to how it was so horrible that Bush didn’t charge Byrd’s killers for hate crimes. Never mind it’s his signature on their execution paperwork.

        • Remember, they assume their opponents are worse … although I am not sure what any conservative could do that is worse than what Progressives have proven willing to perpetrate, such as eliminating salt, eggs, butter and bacon from our diets.

          • Imagine, if you will, the outrage that would explode if a few hundred men stood along the sidelines as the Women March in their Pussy Hats while wearing this …


            … protection against the cold.

            (You would not believe the eye-searing images I had to sort through to find that.)

          • Don’t forget the War On Meat… you’ll eat your unseasoned mush and LIKE it, or we’ll have to send you back to the Correction Center…

    • Mostly? It allows Catholic doctors not to do abortions. That’s it. Obama had removed that exemption.

      • I cannot see any reason to force someone to know how to perform an elective procedure that is not widespread among disciplines or holds some special knowledge or skill set that easily translates to say podiatry. But it does act to both winnow out unwanted entrants and make sure that doctors are willing to kill at someone’s command.p

  29. ROLL LEFT AND DIE: NFL Playoffs Ratings Plunge by 23 Million

    • I wonder if there’s any hope for it left, or if it’s entirely too late. Might be time to resurrect the USFL, with plenty of publicity on how they are going to straighten things out.

    • I weep great big crocodile tears for the NFL.

      • I will always treasure memories of watching my Lady and my Father watch football together. Don’t watch sports myself. I don’t seemthe point, though a well put together retrospective film can have a certain interest. NFL Films used to be great at that, but from seeing what they have on YouTube they’ve lost it.

      • Are the playoffs down to two teams yet? I haven’t followed NFL in years.

    • I’m one of those who quit watching. I grew up watching football with my grandfather. It was great fun, and I have wonderful memories of sitting on the arm of his recliner while we cheered on the Vikings. All the political crap has interfered with the escapism of the game. Maybe next year they’ll decide they are actually in the entertainment business rather than a political action party.

      • One day in Hell, it starts snowing and the lakes freeze over. All the Minnesotans start cheering and dancing in the streets. Satan grabs a celebrant and demands to know what is going on. His informant tells him the Vikings must have won the Super Bowl.

    • https://scout.com/college/kansas/Board/103734/Contents/First-They-Came-for-the-Biologists-108431206

      “The postmodernist left on campus is intolerant not only of opposing views, but of science itself.

      Who would have guessed that when America cleaved, the left would get the National Football League and the right would get uncontested custody of science?”

      • No surprise, really. To them science is a religion, and ‘settled, unchanging’ – the rest of us know that science is an ongoing discovery and experimentation and theories, and what we might consider ‘pretty solid’ now, might get turned on it’s head later.

        Scientific fact is also rather decidedly unfriendly to the feels.

        • Scientific fact is also rather decidedly unfriendly to the feels.

          Or, as the meme I saw some time back said, “Science is a cold-hearted bitch with a 14-inch strap-on.”

        • This is why we get “I believe in science” which I find amazingly ridiculous and possibly the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard after “your skin is your uniform” and before the communist manifesto.

          • Byzantine_Corporal

            Skin / uniform confusion:

            After a long series of provocations, the Beeches found themselves at civil war with the Doges. The situation was complicated. The Star-Bellied Sneeches who had in their 95%+ supported the Beeches in the runup and been supported in turn, were apprehensive that the Doges would perceive all of them as enemies. Fortunately,

            and that’s where I got stuck. Help!

          • Yep. Science-ism, versus actual science.

            • Byzantine_Corporal

              If only someone could come up with terminology to disequivocate “science”!

              You’d need at least three terms: one for the process, incorruptible by nature, as it is a definition; one for the somewhat reliable knowledge base sifted by said process; and finally one for the all too human congeries of sifters in the better case and parasites on the knowledge base in the worse.

              • The recent screaming and fainting couch from that Channel 4 ‘interviewer’ who tried really really hard to make that psychologist look bad – and only succeeded in making herself look like an absolute harpy – is probably one of the more recent cases in point. The way that she even tried to defend her being an obnoxious offensive hypocrite was to say “But you willingly came on this show!” (Yeah, because he thought he was going to get interviewed about his book.)

                I rather miss the days when interviewers would let the person they were interviewing finish talking before asking the next question.

            • Well, y’know, for some Science is a noun, for others it’s a verb.

  30. It isn’t so much a matter of “Let’s be bad!” as it is “Where’s the payoff in being what <I<they call good?”

  31. Damned dusty here. (Two links included to put it into moderation, One is embedded in the subject header for the Corner Post, one is for the CSPAN3 portion of the Congresswoman’s testimony, from just about 50″ to 57″ of the total presentation.)

    https://www.c-span.org/video/?439812-1/lawmakers-address-march-life-rally&vod&start=3019
    I refuse to accept this as off topic — it’s what those who praise “civility” in public discourse just don’t want to hear. Besides, I’ve a warm place in my heart for gals named Abigail (and this one’s adorable!)

    From NRO gangblog The Corner, a description of the video that fails to do it justice:

    Washington State Congresswoman Tells March for Life about Her Miracle Baby
    By Alexandra DeSanctis — January 19, 2018
    At the March for Life rally on the National Mall this afternoon, Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler (R., Wash.) told the story of her daughter Abigail to illustrate the value of every unborn life.

    As she stood on the stage with her husband and children, Herrera Beutler said that several years ago, her unborn daughter had been diagnosed at 20 weeks’ gestation with a fatal deformity. The doctor told her and her husband Dan that their child had no kidneys and would miscarry or suffocate at birth because her lungs could not develop.

    Their doctor told them, too, that, when women received this type of news, they would immediately head across the street to schedule an abortion procedure. “The sooner you start over, the better off you will be emotionally,” the doctor told them.

    But Herrera Beutler and her husband did not choose to “start over” in that way. They chose, instead, to hope, and pray, and even work for a miracle. They found doctors willing to believe that their unborn daughter could be saved and who tried experimental medical procedures to save her life. And, as Herrera Beutler addressed the crowd, her daughter Abigail stood beside her, holding her hand, smiling, and waving.

    “I was told there was no chance of survival, but they were wrong,” Herrera Beutler went on. “And they weren’t bad people. They just had never seen a baby with this condition survive. But that’s the point. What if they’re wrong about others, too? What if, together, we can break new ground and find new treatments that will benefit more than just our own families? What if every baby was given at least a shot to reach their true potential?”

    Herrera Beutler continued:

    “Who would we be as a nation? What richness would we get to see? Instead of the equivalent of two generations missing because of that choice. Would we have already witnessed one of these individuals finding a cure for cancer or the key to eradicating extreme poverty? What if we had spent the last 45 years pouring that time and that money into finding cures in the womb for medical conditions like spina bifida or microcephaly or congenital heart defects? What if that money was used to end the baby’s disease, and not the baby’s life?

    ” . . . Today, we have come together to say, ‘There’s hope for every expectant mother who has been given a devastating diagnosis, for every woman who feels fear, or anger, or anxiety because she doesn’t know how she can afford care for that child, for every woman that feels hopeless: Jesus loves you. And for every baby that has been given up on by the status quo: Jesus still does miracles.

    “We must recognize the unborn child as the miracle that he or she is, a person developing with extraordinary potential and purpose, who deserves a fighting chance to live and just maybe reach that extraordinary potential. I believe it’s the only way our society is ever truly going to reach ours.”

    • My cousin was born with Spina Bifida in the late ’60’s. Doctors wanted to take her away without cleaning her up, to die. Her parents fought them. She lived to be 13, eventually dying from her condition. But, the various treatments that kept her alive until she was 13, not only alive, but an engaging intelligent child, one who with braces could stand and walk with some help, are methods that have been expanded on.

      Not the medical interventions, but a lot of the physical treatments, my Uncle came up with crude, but effective alternatives. Ready to crawl, but legs not strong enough. Build her a floor scooter; and watch out (cat and small dog enjoyed the ride FYI).

      Couldn’t got to school because of her condition? When local fight won that, had to go into “special” classroom. A kid who read at 4. That became a national fight. Those that took it on were looking for this (type of) kid as an obvious abuse of the system. Yes, main streaming has gone too far. My Aunt, who became a teacher at 50 (long story), will be the first to complain about this. Main streaming was meant for kids that were mentally and emotionally able to do the work of the grade they were in, without disrupting the teacher and class, but physically needed help.

      • Yeah, Robert went through elementary with a kid with an IQ of 48. Kid had an “aid” who actually did tests and homework for him. He didn’t understand anything around him, so he would throw fits, break things, run away, thereby costing other kids a day of classes.
        His tutor got tired of these games and took him away to a program that taught him actual life skills: Feeding himself; potty training; washing himself; dressing himself. you know, the things he actually both needed, could use, and could be taught with much repetition and patience.

        • Yep. Aunt, after she started teaching, was accused of being insensitive. Her response was all “Really? Hmmm? Who initiated the lawsuit on behalf of (law named after cousin)? You know … my daughter? I know the law. This wasn’t it.”

          My sister is a middle school teacher. She puts up with this all the time. Not on the level you describe, because those kids usually don’t get put into her class, but kids that who emotionally should not be in class, period. Then you see/talk to the parents; who are as bad or worse. What keeps her going is that is not universally true. She will get one child, label the family (hey she’s human, and been doing this long enough a bit jaded, yes should retire, but can’t yet, 4 years to SS and last kid out of college), then get subsequent sibling (or more), who in her words “are a joy and are going places given half a chance.” Not usually, not often, but it has happened.

      • My wife’s cousin had a mild case of spina bifida when she was born in the early 60s. She was able to have a surgical correction that helped considerably, but she recently passed away in her 50s.

        • Cousins’ not mild case. Given family history, Aunts’ father was a twin, and he had sisters that were twins, they figured conjoined twins, but one did not survive. But being ’60’s, only speculation. She had shunts running from her head down her spine, plus other corrections. Shunts were constantly being replaced, etc. She passed away 1980. I was only 8 or 9 when she was born. Know generalities, not specifics. When she died we’d (hubby) and I were just into a new job. Normally bereavement not granted for cousins. But told supervisors normally would not ask, but she was a child.

          • Oh, I understand. I wasn’t trying to minimize the seriousness of the condition. Wife’s cousin was extremely lucky in that it was so minor, yet complications of it still wound up killing her, albeit much later in life.

            • I know. Aunt & Uncle were contacted with parents with young children and young adults that had (so far) survived the condition, that gave them hope, that helped them fight for her that harder. Uncle was an engineer for a major firm, and a tinker, allowed him to produce one off items for their daughter and others. Walking with braces and crutches was a major accomplishment for many of them. Even tho his daughter never was able to accomplish that stage. Heavily involved with March of Dimes & I have to guess Shriner Hospitals; although don’t remember them mentioning Shriner & I know they were aware of them back then. Aunts older brother participated in E/W Shriner Football game in early 50’s “We play for those that can’t, so they can walk”.

              • Shriner’s hospitals are awesome.

                My godmother had a cleft palate– she’d be over 100 now, so obviously before it was correctable– but it meant my mom was very familiar with the condition.

                She was there for another family member and a mom comes on with a little girl whose got a very bad case, has obviously had a few surgeries and still has a few to go. Mom gets her “I see a baby!” grin and says something like “hey there sweetheart, I can see why you’re here.”

                The mom breaks down crying… short version, almost nobody would even LOOK at this little girl, because of the deformity, and the woman had been divorced by her husband because she didn’t abort the little girl, late term, when they discovered the freaking cleft palate.

                My mom, meanwhile, had been ready to explode because she knows how scary cancer is, and if there’s not an obvious reason for the kid to be there, there’s a good chance it’s that…so she couldn’t SAY anything beyond basic baby-goos at all those kids.
                Was rather good for both of them.

                By the time that kid is school age, you won’t even be able to TELL, because Shriner’s took care of it.

                Heck, a family friends’ boyfriend looked like he’d cut his lip a bit when he’d first started shaving. Turned out he’d had a similarly horrible cleft palate,

                • Yes. Shriner’s Hospitals are awesome.

                  Dad played in the second Oregon E/W football game, then got involved for 22 years after the stroke that did not allow him to work anymore. He made sure the high school players got nice certificates presented during the dinner before the game; at least the area he was responsible for. FWIW the other areas had the chance too. I made CD copies of the Publisher Certificate file he gave out at the State & Regional meetings to other areas (I made it, it was mine & his to share). Gave out certificates for 25 years (mom insisted, for the 3 after dad died). Mom is still involved in the Women’s corollary groups.

                • There was a thing I saw on television some years back. May have been an ad. May have been a bit on one of those “Discovery Channel” or the like shows. In any case it was a doctor (female) saying “People ask me why I went into cosmetic surgery”, then we see a group of medical students on a tour of a neo-natal ward. They come to a baby with a very severe cleft palate. “Yeah, I deal with facelifts and liposuction, but once in a while I get to make magic happen.” (Loosely paraphrased from memory.)

                  • “work miracles” and because of the expensive cosmetic surgery likely performs the miracles for free.

                    • And that brings up another anecdote. A friend of mine studied Judo in Japan. Tells about asking his instructor what one of the other “students” was doing studying judo (he wasn’t very good and wasn’t getting better). Answer “You are here to study judo. He’s here to keep the bills paid.”

                    • Byzantine_Corporal

                      I used DEX and CHA as my dump stats, OK? I’ve always known I was paying the bills at the dojo. For me, a brown belt was way further than I expected to get.

                      Still when the day came, it was there for me. Situation resolved, nobody hurt.

                  • There’s plenty of cosmetic surgery that isn’t just ‘making someone get bigger boobs’ type, which I knew about. There’s plenty of reconstructive cosmetic surgery (broken faces from accidents, for example) or burns… and I’m grateful that they do that. (Was watching an ER type documentary show sometime back, and they were talking about how this guy was going to need one after getting assaulted.)

                • I… What?! A cleft palete is so FIXABLE these days. Even back when I was a kid, that was fixable in the PHILIPPINES. Abort a kid because of cleft palete?! I’m in tears, that’s awful. Good on the mum!

                • Fox, of all the anti-Trump crap the Left has pulled, one of the worst is that Trump’s kids have been active in raising money for St Jude Children’s Hospital. They’ve been doing it for over 10 years, and are one of the more successful. A bunch of Leftoids raised such a stink about them continuing after the election that they had to pull out of doing it.

                  G-d damn these people anyway.

  32. This seems relevant, with HatTip to the Blogfather:

    Jordan B Peterson, Critical Theory, and the New Bourgeoisie
    [SNIP]
    Nicholas A. Christakis
    @NAChristakis
    This man @jordanbpeterson is preternaturally calm and composed in the face of a hostile interviewer who also had simply not thought adequately about her ideas and approach. Facts and reason are powerful allies.

    Christakis mentions two important things about Newman. First, she seemed hostile towards Peterson, clearly going into the interview with a moral prejudice towards him. Second, she seemed unable to engage with his arguments, instead misrepresenting them (“You’re saying women aren’t intelligent enough to run top companies?”) or taking issue with them (during a conversation about unhealthy relationships, Newman asked: “What gives you the right to say that?” Answer: “I’m a clinical psychologist.”) At one point, she was rendered speechless.

    It was as though she had never heard arguments like Peterson’s before, and was taken aback to discover they existed. As a presumably well-read person, why had she not been exposed to arguments like this before? The answer, I think, is that these arguments have largely been banished from contemporary mainstream news media and entertainment. Only because of Peterson’s immense grassroots success has he forced his way into the conversation, which makes it all the more awkward when an interviewer looking to put him in place ends up bewildered.

    But why have these arguments been banished? The immediate answer is social pressure. As social justice advocates have come to dominate Western culture, they’ve created a situation where interlocutors are more intent on burnishing their adherence to the correct opinions than they are about discovering something new, learning the truth, or even engaging in open and reciprocal dialogue. Hollywood actors wear political slogans to awards ceremonies, comedians lecture their audiences rather than entertain them, and television hosts go into battle with their guests rather than interview them. Naturally, this has pushed out opposing voices.

    [END EXCERPT]

    The goal, of course, is to make some thought unthinkable, a goal tyrants such as Josef Stalin (as Senator Flake reminds) have long sought.

    • Byzantine_Corporal

      “The answer, I think, is that these arguments have largely been banished from contemporary mainstream news media and entertainment.”

      Screaming fits are ok, but a connected series of statements intended to support or undermine a position, not so much. You could get the wrong answer that way.

    • That was excellent. Thank you for that.

  33. Fit in? Me?? Why should I want to ‘fit in’??? Anyone who doesn’t like me as I am will just have to bite the bullet and endure their own problem. I prefer to associate with people who like the same kind of things that I like, and I tolerate their eccentricities such as a likeness for watching sports or preferring ‘serial drama’ (i.o.w. soap operas) to good wildlife programmes on TV. I treat everyone alike, politely and trustingly unless they show themselves untrustworthy – but don’t push me or I’ll push back.

  34. “Putting on makeup by touch is possible, but can yield inconsistent results”

    Love your writing but I can’t quite grok this idiom. Is it not an English saying? I really enjoy seeing the occasional times when your English-as-a-third-language asserts itself. Me? I can barely speak my native tongue.

  35. Byzantine_Corporal

    You’re at stage 1. Stage 4 is willing to deliver said bullet.

  36. Byzantine_Corporal

    I sing of arms, and the woman.

    That knife has no hilt. Bah!

    On the other hand the subtle bunliness of the oven is great. But whoever put it there should be standing in front of her.

    Typing that last brought me almost to tears. Go figure.

    I may not be totally down with kickazzgrllz.

  37. Have always liked “the more you tighten your grip, the more will slip through your fingers.” But then as a Star Wars geek, Im currently rebelling against the dictate Darthleen et al have put out that all FORMER Lucas-created Canon is Nil/Not/Verboten/Annihilated.

    And to further the cause, I am trying to introduce younger generations to Sarah’s (and Larry Correia’s, among others) works at Baen, namely my nephew who is working on a monster-inspired science fiction himself. Figured Id be remiss if I didnt point him in the direction of people who have been through the fire.

  38. Oh, and now the Pres. is trolling the Women’s March:

  39. “We’re evil you say? We’re crazy? We don’t play well with others? Aw, shucks, honey. That was us being good.”

    Hell yeah. WorldCon and SFWA have now both excommunicated Jon del Arroz. I do not know Jon, I probably never will, but I think him being excommunicated by those particular institutions will be a net plus for his career.

    And if I’m thinking that, many more are too. This is not a good look for SFWA, and they should damn well think about that. As in, what are they going to do when a flood of conservative Indy artists start trolling the hell out of them, 24/7. That is probably coming, unless the management throws in the towel and dissolves the whole thing.

    Nerds don’t like bullies.

    • How does one get a list of those who have been excommunicated, and their books? I read what I like, or think I will. Not what is deemed “good” or “bad”, but it is a list to check out.

      Agree. “Nerds don’t like bullies.”

  40. “Nerds don’t like bullies.”
    ‘Nuff said.

  41. Eugene Podrazik

    And, Hillary even gave us a name. Deporable, proud of it.

  42. Goooooooollee! How Inn-convenient!

    Byron York: Congress seeks answers after FBI claims texts missing in Trump-Russia probe
    by Byron York
    Investigators in both House and Senate were stunned late Friday when, receiving a batch of newly-released texts between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, they also received notice from the bureau that the FBI “failed to preserve” Strzok-Page messages from December 14, 2016 through May 17, 2017.

    Given the amount of texting that went on between Strzok and Page, who were having an extramarital affair, that probably meant thousands of missing documents.

    A number of critical events in the Trump-Russia affair occurred between December 2016 and May 2017, including:

    0 Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
    0 The completion and publication of the intelligence community assessment of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
    0 The briefing in which FBI director James Comey told President-elect Donald Trump about the Trump dossier.
    0 The president’s inauguration.
    0 The nomination and confirmation of new Justice Department leadership.
    0 Flynn’s interview with the FBI (conducted by Strzok).
    0 Comey’s assurances to Trump that he, Trump, was not under investigation.
    0 A variety of revelations, mostly in the Washington Post and New York Times, about various Trump figures under investigation.
    0 Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recusal from the Russia probe.
    0 The firing of top Obama Justice Department holdover Sally Yates.
    0 Trump’s tweet alleging he was wiretapped.
    0 Trump’s firing of Comey.
    0 And, finally, on May 17, 2017 — the final day of the missing texts — the appointment of Trump-Russia special prosecutor Robert Mueller.

    Strzok and Page had a lot to talk about.

    In a letter to Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs chairman Ron Johnson, the Justice Department claimed the Strzok-Page texts were not recorded because of glitches in a changeover between models of FBI-issued Samsung Galaxy phones.

    “Data that should have been automatically collected and retained for long-term storage and retrieval was not collected,” the Justice Department said.

    The FBI did send Johnson, along with Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Charles Grassley, hundreds of Strzok-Page texts that were successfully recorded. Some of those might prove as troubling as the first batch of texts, one of which discussed a mysterious FBI “insurance policy” in case of a Trump victory in the 2016 election.

    [END EXCERPT]