The Siege- by Bill Reader

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The Siege Bill Reader

 

The de facto position of the Democrats in what I’m coming to think of as the annual government shutdown scare is maybe more ridiculous this year than it’s ever been before. This year is criminal hostage-taking at its finest—the Democrats struggling to set up a heads-I-win-tails-you-lose without anybody noticing.
To boil down the essentials—Democrats want DACA. No surprise there. They’ve spent long enough screwing over average Americans with their policies that said Americans have become a little unreliable at toeing the party line. If you wanted votes the way the Democrats do—and, of course, had the moral compass of a prostitute, and an understanding of American civics like a Soviet middle-schooler or, then again, a modern Harvard humanities graduate—you’d probably want DACA too. Indeed, when they think of DACA, I imagine Democratic senators unwittingly contribute to the strength of the Trump economy—since they likely are doing much to stimulate the handkerchief industry while they try to manage their drool.

What’s not to like? Illegal Mexican aliens come pre-indoctrinated with the socialist ideals that have made Mexico so amazingly hospitible that said aliens can’t stand to live there anymore; they don’t care much about government corruption because corruption is government where they come from, and that’s music to the ears of the party that gave us, say, the Clintons; they are dirt poor so, by corollary, they’re easily bribed with welfare programs; they’re a convenient source of gardening and housekeeping staff for the Democrat-voting oligarchs of California, whose East coast friends are therefore inclined to think fondly of them; and best of all, they are authentic non-Americans—who by and large understand America’s philosophical roots even less well than the average Democrat, and in many cases hardly even speak English. Put simply, they offer myriad opportunities for Democrats to give themselves more power while continuing to systematically dismantle America—if only they can get their hot little hands on them.

Republicans want to pay America’s military. Some would say that’s the least we could do, given the immense sacrifices they make for the good of the country. They devote years of their lives—and sometimes, unfortunately, lose their lives entirely—in order to preserve the United States against enemies. Unfortunately salaries for troops come from the government, so if you want to pay troops, the government technically has to be functioning. Given that Republicans do not have a supermajority, that unfortunately means that that you have to get some Democratic senators to agree that perhaps we should pay the troops. And this is a problem, because regardless of the lip-service they’re required to pay, asking Democratic senators to pay the people who protect America from enemies is, at the best of times, like trying to sell Fireman’s Ball tickets to arsonists. They simply can’t get into the spirit of the thing.

So the Democrats have come up with a lovely idea—sure, we’ll let you pay the troops. Just give us DACA. Or, to translate this so it’s unadorned—we’ll let you pay the people who protect America as long as you institute a key policy for destroying America. If the Democrats were laying siege to a castle—which in some ways is exactly what they’re doing, since they seek, essentially, to starve our military into submission— this would be something like saying “we’ll be happy to break our siege, as soon as you open the gates and let us in”.

Disgusting? Yes. That’s politics for you. The inevitable question is, what are you gonna do about it, Jack? Well, I have an idea. Remember, ultimately we need to diffuse the ability of the Democrats to force the country to make a huge, difficulty-to-reverse mistake—but we also can’t sacrifice our fighting men and women who they’ve taken hostage. Wrest that away from them, and their position isn’t half as strong. Well, I can’t promise this’ll work, but here’s my thought. Perhaps it is, at least, a nucleus or a beginning for others to build upon.

Washington can’t reliably guarantee that it’ll support our troops. It may well be up to us.

Okay, now I base the possibility of this plan on a few key things. First, although it is certainly true that not every member of the military is conservative, I nonetheless feel that the average Democrat’s view on the military is closer to the average Democratic senator’s than to ours. Not to put too fine a point on it, conservatives are probably more likely to know and keep up with a military family in their friend circle, especially in these polarized times. Secondly, Republicans are consistently more likely to put money into extra-governmental causes than Democrats— exemplified by higher charitable giving on the Right, for example. This, of course, is not really a case of charitable giving—this is just having the backs of our friends and neighbors while the people in Washington try busily, on the one hand, to threaten them with bankruptcy so as to use them as a cheap bargaining chip for, on the other hand, rendering the thing they have devoted so much to and sacrificed so much for moot. So it’s both pretty resolutely extra-governmental, in that Washington couldn’t be bothered, and certainly a worthwhile cause. Thirdly, though I appreciate that the Obama economy pretty thoroughly depleted many of our cash reserves, and many of us are still high… or perhaps, low… and dry, the first year of the Trump presidency has gone some little way towards beginning to turn things around. I wouldn’t say anyone I know has money to spare, not after a decade like the last one. I certainly know I don’t. But perhaps we have just enough margin to stretch what we have a little further now. Some companies are giving bonuses, some businesses have started hiring again, some commodities like oil are, if not hitting their record lows, at least a little less dear on average. Maybe we have a little wiggle room, just in time for it to serve a purpose.

I’m not asking you to draft a check for a whole salary. Just based on the military people I know, I don’t think they’d accept it. But find your military friends and help as you can, and operate on the understanding at the outset that a rough period is coming up for them. Just as you’d help have the back of a friend who was bereaved after a death in the near family, or otherwise going through a difficult time, this will be a time for inviting people over for dinner or bringing meals over, lending a hand with housework and fetch-and-carry stuff, and yes, maybe helping out with a rent check or a car payment here and there. But I’m not, as such, suggesting an extraordinary task, just an ordinary one at an extraordinary time in America’s history. These are humble things, but if we can pull them off, we may be able to help provide the necessary buffer to get through what is, in fact, a siege.

Because if the Democratic senators decide not to bend, then ultimately, our long term strategy has to be to push through until we can replace them. Best case scenario, we can actually continue to take ground in the next election and, at the very least, put the fear of G*d in the Senators who survive this year. Even though, as a high-level stratagem, importing foreign socialists probably is the Democratic party’s best shot, individual politicians may decide that keeping their own bread buttered is more important to them than the party. Why not? It’s a calculation a fair number of politicians have consistently made over the years. This would require an unprecedented election season, where the Republican base shakes off the coating of ennui that usually accrues on a winning party after an election and faces up to the fact that the Democrats, on the other hand, have wasted no time in lining up another existential threat to the nation, to follow on Hillary Clinton.

Worst case we may have to hold out longer, and then we really will need the improved economy to hold out, because after all, TANSTAAFL is still built into the nature of the universe. In which case, well, though the constant fight is surely stultifying, I’m afraid that’s simply indicative of the truth of the political turmoil under the surface of the United States—people who disavow our founding principles so vehemently that they would see us destroyed got just about to the brink of succeeding. Now we sit watching the long, slow, tense struggle, both sides trying to get the upper hand and deal a fatal blow, but on such a giant scale that every twitch, one way or the other, takes weeks to evolve. It’s horrific while also being extremely dull, like the mathematics of entropy or an unassuming but highly poisonous plant spreading through a garden.

But if we succeed, then we will be managing to take from America’s most fervent enemies their most potent chance of destroying us. Moreover, we will have turned simple friendship—not to say, citizenship—into a gentle, and subtle, but highly effective shield for America in its time of need. We may well be able to make ploughshares do the work of swords. I doubt it will ever get recognition if we can pull it off. It is, by intent, distributed and personal, and hence reflects our deepest beliefs, since that’s just the way that we recognize the world innately to be. It won’t get you accolades or medals or probably even speech, but it will stop a friend getting unfairly screwed over and it might well get us all a future.

As I say, I don’t think this is an end-all, be-all idea, but it’s what I plan to do. I submit it as a starting point. And anybody, anybody at all who has other good ideas, I welcome them.

We must survive the siege.

294 responses to “The Siege- by Bill Reader

  1. Hm…if I knew how, I’d figure out how to contribute enough to ensure that at least one military family could get all their groceries for a week, or have a platoon get enough Amazon.com gift cards to get the stuff they needed for a week.

    • Depending on the neighbourhood, it may be possible to get free produce/baked goods.

      One of the grocery stores around us has such a deal with my wife’s school. I mean, the stuff is often near expiry, but if you’re using it in the next few days, who cares?

  2. had the moral compass of a prostitute

    I’m sorry, Sarah, but there’s a whole industry of sex workers out there that deserve an apology for that comparison.

    Difference between a politician (any politician, but particularly a Democrat) and a prostitute? When one of them finishes with you (bowdlerized version), you’re grateful.

    • Indeed! A prostitute has to 1) acquire at least some skill in sex 2) be able to make the client feel wanted, desirable and sexy 3) be able to deliver on the promise of a happy ending, so to speak, for a… ehm… satisfied customer.

      (Note, I really don’t have an issue with prostitutes, especially if they choose to go into business by their own decision. At least they work. )

      And a prostitute who does what the Democrats do – snarl how much s/he hates their client, tells them they should fell horrible for things they’ve never done, and scream should kill themselves – would find themselves starving very quickly.

      • a prostitute who does what the Democrats do – SNIP – would find themselves starving very quickly.

        No, I understand there is a very lucrative, albeit limited, market of fetishists eager to pay for exactly such treatment.

        Which suggests things about the Democrat Party I think they would be reluctant to admit.

      • Admittedly, I am ignorant of the predilections of prostitutes. However, I’ve never imagined that they cared so much about doing a good a job. I always thought they would be more inclined towards “just get it over with”.

        • Good prostitutes get repeat customers. *shrug* Like any other business.

          • Also “prostitute” covers a lot of territory from streetwalking crack whores to high-priced call girls, to “escort services” at $300-500 an hour, to Nevada’s legal brothels and clients range from guys who just want to just stick it in and get off quickly to lonely guys who want someone to pretend to be their girlfriend for a while so they can feel not so lonely to guys who want “arm candy” for the evening finishing up either at his or her place or at a hotel to guys who want something specific they’re not getting “at home” (however “home” is defined for them).

            The guys who just want a quick BJ aren’t going to go to the high-priced call girl and the lonely guy wanting someone to at least pretend to be their girlfriend isn’t going to be happy with a back-alley BJ from the streetwalker.

            • Yep. Different needs result in different markets, for sure! The nightclub girls usually are just there to provide flattery and conversation. I wondered why Dad would take his visiting-from-overseas colleagues to nightclubs, and it’s really just female attention – wanting conversation with an intelligent girl. The club had strict rules – no soliciting the girls for sex, for one – though if the girl made arrangements outside the club, that’s up to her and her own risk, naturally (a woman can make her own decisions!) A number of the girls were my age – putting themselves through nursing school or other degrees; and this satisfied a need for male companionship that ‘wasn’t as distracting as a serious boyfriend or husband.’

              The ‘someone to pretend to be their companion’ isn’t just a female thing – I’ve been reading about male escort services, as well as the male sex services guys who talked about how they’re also there to provide the fantasy of romancing a woman – as well as being more dominating than those women would normally accept from their male peers. Those were interesting to read about – and apparently, it pays really well.

        • If you can find a copy, Sidney Biddle Barrows (“the Mayflower Madame”) wrote a book about the business and how she ran hers, and what clients wanted and what the “girls” (her term) did. It was interesting. And skill, presentation, conversational ability were all important. Granted, she aimed at a much higher-end market than the street-corner hooker.

        • I would expect there are many market strategies, particularly if you’re operating like a fast-food restaurant, family dining, fast casual, food truck, diner, roadhouse, bistro or fine dining establishment.

          I suspect it would be wise to eschew those enterprising ladies employing the health food or dinner theatre strategies.

    • To quote Heinlein:
      A whore should be judged by the same criteria as other professionals offering services for pay — such as dentists, lawyers, hairdressers, physicians, plumbers, etc. Is she professionally competent? Does she give good measure? Is she honest with her clients?
      It is possible that the percentage of honest and competent whores is higher than that of plumbers and much higher than that of lawyers. And enormously higher than that of professors.

      • William O. B'Livion

        You forgot “Are the instruments sterilized between each use”.

        • That was not part of the Heinlein quote.
          And in any case the legal brothels in Nevada seem to have made accommodations to that particular concern. Mostly by the mandatory use of condoms and very frequent physical checkups from a licensed physician. I understand similar practice is common in such establishments in other modern countries.

          • From a long-ago conversation with my father, the legal prostitutes’ union in The Netherlands exists to ensure they get those health checks, health support, and legal support (there are instances of prostitutes being raped or assaulted after all) and so on. I vaguely remember something about some kind of superannuation as well, but I’m not certain about that.

            In other words, it’s treated like a job with OSHA compliance as well…

            A journalist friend of my father’s once wrote about going on a raid on an illegal brothel, and found herself wondering about the whole thing; talking to the arrested whores, she recounted that all of them cited poverty for turning to prostitution, were either married or living with a man, had children, and were doing it because they had little to no education. But one of them a former laundrywoman said this: “I prefer this kind of work because it’s easy. Washing? What, break my back and get my hands all red for P30 a month? Here, all I have to do is spread my legs and I get P2.50!”

            In the same article she also writes of her experience working as a hostess in a New York club, investigating the description of the time of ‘exploited oriental girls’ – and found out that hostessing is hard, and the girls were hardly exploited, from what she could see.

            I’m a little sad that her book is out of print, and never to be seen outside of the Philippines. The one copy I have I treasure. She’s one of those tough birds of classic feminism, who would appall modern feminists today – a strong woman who is also a woman’s woman, confident and self-assured, completely aware of who she is – flaws and all – and proud.

  3. If you wanted votes the way the Democrats do—and, of course, had the moral compass of a prostitute, and an understanding of American civics like a Soviet middle-schooler or, then again, a modern Harvard humanities graduate—you’d probably want DACA too.

    So … Lindsey Graham, then?

  4. Please remember “essential” civil servants like me who are being stuck between a rock and a hard place.

    • We’ll toss you a gift card a week for a local supermarket. Might not be the fanciest of food, but you can get staples.

    • Yeah, though the military folks are of course the most vital, there’s a lot of us little cogs in government that are being screwed over by this. (Part of me is going: “Don’t you DARE BLINK, Republicans!” but this, alas, does not make the bills go away. Still, I’d rather go without a paycheck for a bit rather than see the Dems win.)

      Funny how the congresscritters’ paychecks don’t get stopped during a shutdown. Personally, I think they should…

      • `Don’t you DARE BLINK, Republicans!`

        This is, I suspect, part of why The Donald got elected: the base expects him to NOT blink.


        I gather Trump is all out of bubblegum.

        • Saw some of the Congress are declining their paychecks.

          • *Really*? That…makes me unwillingly think better of the ones who chose to do that.

            Of course, it’s now a moot point, for at least the next three weeks. At which point we’ll get to do the dog-and-pony show again…

      • Actually, failure to pass a finance bill in a timely manner could be considered criminal incompetence and malfeasance in office. Everyone voting No on the bill, or refusing to allow it to come to a vote, should therefore be eligible to be sued in person, not as the government. Any congresscritters taking such a partisan and cavalier attitude toward just compensation of the military and civil service by all rights should have their entire wealth stripped from them to pay for their misdeeds.

        • I must disagree. Control of spending is one of the checks on the executive deliberately granted to Congress by the Constitution. Is it causing unneeded trouble for our military and civil service personnel? Undoubtedly. Do I think we should criminalize members of Congress for exercising what little leverage they have left over the executive? No. Do I think we should try to vote the short-sighted out of office at the next election? Most definitely.

          • Well, to be fair, I also think that citizens ought to have the right to yank a congresscritter immediately out of office for overcommitting us for debts.

            • We’re to the point of needing to “yank” a lot of congresscritters. And other various vermin of big gov’t and anti-constitutionality. And I mean with a rope.

            • Term limits. We desperately need term limits for the congresscritters.

              • Wouldn’t it be better to establish term limits for deep-state bureaucrats?

                • Bring back the spoils system!

                  • Haven’t we essentially done so? Look at the scandalous behaviour of Lois Lerner & Co. at the IRS, at what the FBI’s Peter Strzok and Lisa Page have done, at what Andrew McCabe has done at the DOJ. Look at how the institutions employing them have provided cover, at the pattern of donations made by public employees and their unions.

                    We have one party which is the party of the Deep State and which actively works to enhance the interests of that institution. It might be argued that the spoils system has reversed but that only renders the problem greater.

                  • At least it’s a *different* bunch of corrupt bastards every few years, and they have to start again from scratch.

                • Non-compete clauses for lobbying firms. If you’re in Congress, and you leave office or are voted out, you have to refrain from joining a lobbying firm for X times number of terms years. (Or possibly X years minus number of terms, down to Y minimum. I haven’t quite decided which way is best.)

                  • Heh. *Technically* such rules are already in place. Or at least they are in the Dept of the Interior: namely, that you cannot take a job in the private sector for a company whose applications/grants/APDs/grazing permits/whatever you worked on for x number of years (I think 3? 5?).

                    However, I leave it to you to guess how often this rule is actually honored*–especially by those in higher positions.

                    (*Which isn’t to say that it *isn’t* honored–I’ve met any number of folks who wouldn’t even consider breaking the rule, because they have integrity, honor, etc. Some of them were being very aggressively courted by private industry, dangling big fat paychecks, and were told “Sorry, I’d love to, but I can’t work for you in this region and I don’t want to move my family.” Unfortunately, there are a number of other people, frequently of the higher-paid/more-power variety, who never even take that rule into consideration.)

                • That, too. If is high enough and/or wields , then I would not be opposed to either making it into a temporary detail of, say, not more than four years…or turning it into an elected position.

                  Of course, part of the issue is that it can be very, *very* hard to fire someone from a federal job. So one of the easiest solutions with a problem person is…to promote them elsewhere and out of your hair.

                  The flaw in this is, one would think, fairly obvious, and yet…

                  • One over-looked achievement of the Trump Administration has been the way they’ve made it much much easier to fire incompetent employees at the VA. Now if only such a method can be expanded to all bureaucratic positions …

                    I have been reminded of a story told by Reagan SecState George Schultz:

                    When an ambassador had made it through the hurdles of nomination and confirmation, I invited him or her to my office and said, “Before you can leave, you have one more test. Go over to that globe and show me that you can identify your country.” Without exception, the ambassador-to-be spun the globe and located the country to which he would be posted.

                    One day, the late Mike Mansfield, already many years our ambassador to Japan and an old friend from my previous times in the cabinet, came in for a visit just before he was to return to Tokyo. I told him about my little test and said, “Mike, how about you?” He and I laughed, and he went to the globe. Mike put his hand on the United States and said, “Here’s my country.”

                    • Oh, I wish it would. But this is the same government that has twisted the various forms of affirmative action clauses into outright insanity in their hiring practices.

                      Ex: giving preference to hiring veterans. Now, I am totally okay with this idea, under most circumstances, because the sane application of said idea would be “Given two otherwise equally qualified candidates, give preference to the veteran*…” and instead I watched a hiring committee in the recent past twisting itself into pretzels over a particular candidate. Because, see, the job was entirely computer based data entry. In 2016. And the one veteran on the list proudly announced that he hadn’t touched a computer since 1992, and hadn’t done much with them even then. (He also proudly laid claim to a number of other alarming things, which in any private sector company would have had him being politely shown the door and told to never apply there again.)

                      But they had to find some other reason for not hiring the guy, because “is in no way qualified to do the job for which he applied” wasn’t a good enough reason.

                      (*Although as it is, technically, yet another iteration of affirmative action, it’s never going to work like it was meant to. Especially when the government is the one doing it.)

          • One of the purposes of the Fed is to provide for the common defense; it’s part of what the states gave up when they joined the Union.

            Jerking around with servicemens’ pay is grandstanding. If their “shutdown” were to continue for an extended period, enough to hamper military operations, then the United States of America could be considered to have defaulted on its contracts with the individual member states.

            Yes, they probably *are* stupid enough to go there…

        • William O. B'Livion

          > Everyone voting No on the bill, or refusing to allow it to come to a vote,
          > should therefore be eligible to be sued in person

          So then all the party in power has to do is load the bill down with stuff the party out of power finds unacceptable, and then expose the OOP party to harassment lawsuits PERSONALLY.

          A simpler mechanism is that the budget is due by SOME_DATE. If the budget isn’t passed by SOME_DATE congress is IN SESSION (both houses) and congressmen are required to be present until said bill is finished. Required as in “You will be arrested and brought back in handcuffs to finish your job, then charged with obstruction” required.

          • Prefer to have single item funding bills so each thing would pass or fail on its own. But congresscritters just love loading crap into a single bill and no incentive to cut back.

            • Two edge sword. Oregon is required to do that. At least initiatives put to public vote; legislative too, I think, but they have more creative methods to have the appearance of not doing so. One initiative that can’t get passed is Sales Tax. Because no one wants Sales Tax AND Income Tax. But putting Sales Tax on Ballot with removal of Income Tax is not allowed. You can argue whether Sales Tax is regressive or not. I know when we were poorer, we did not buy much that one paid Sales Tax on (we were in WA which does not tax food, medicines, and used cars (as of early ’80’s). Now, with more disposable income, not so much.

      • Like the Falcon Heavy sitting on the pad that can’t be test fired because certain people who have to be there, aren’t.

        (See folks, this is why you don’t let governments run your infrastructure. It is too important for that.)

      • “Funny how the congresscritters’ paychecks don’t get stopped during a shutdown. Personally, I think they should…”

        The Founders put the sanctity of Congressional pay in the Constitution for a very good reason. They didn’t want the Executive Branch, which handles the actual money, or even a Congressional majority, from using pay as leverage to control a Congressman.

        Now, I would be all for a steep, say 80%, cut to Congress’ (and their staff’s) pay if the government didn’t have a budget for the full fiscal year when it started.

  5. Failure to pay the armed people who keep you in power…
    Now really, how could this go wrong?

    • Someone (somemany?) forgot what happened to Rome.

      True, our military is more civilized and loyal to the country than the Roman soldiery. But I don’t jam a lit match into my hand just because it is smaller than a torch.

      • Biggest reason why the U.S. Military doesn’t engage in a coup under these conditions? Most of us know that historically, that’s never led to a good outcome.

        • William O. B'Livion

          Most of the military knows no such thing. Most of the military are E1-E5 and about all they know about history is that the Vietnam war happened before they were born.

          Look, I got nothing against our military–I was one. Three times (Marines, National Guard and Air Force Reserves). They are good people. They are dedicated people. Some are even bright people. But they aren’t *that* much better educated in things like history than the average population.

          • E1-E5 aren’t going to coup anything.

            • And if they did, they’d get as far as Arlington before Mattis came out of the Pentagon and asked “What the h#$^ do you boys think you’re doing? Sit down and let me tell you a story.” before delivering an impromptu lecture on the dangers of the military overthrowing a republic.

      • It’s worth noting that the closest we’ve ever come to a coup was the Newburgh conspiracy, which began largely because the officers weren’t getting paid.

    • who keep you in power
      Going to disagree with that one in a big way.
      Though it might eventually come to that.

  6. I was hearing about a program that provides funds for the family of someone KIA, a program that had been threatened in the last shutdown and saved by voluntary donations for funding it. I was wondering whether a fund couldn’t be established to provide credit for our men and women in the service, a sort of interest free payday lending to keep their cash flow viable during such times as this. It would be replenished when Congress got its head out of its (ahem) and issued checks for missed pay. Initial funding could be by government action or independent charitable contributions. It seems to me that any government capable of establishing a CFPB with its own independent sinkhole slushfund moneypot ought be able to find a way to pay our service men and women during such times as this.

    • The American Service Insurance/Mortgage Banking company (see adds all the time don’t remember the name) is offering interest free loans to service families. Don’t know about essential and furloughed non-military government employees who don’t get paid whether they work or not.

      Then again, any kind of loan, while helpful short term, can get one into trouble long term. Especially if government does not vote to pay back pay. If they don’t work, they likely won’t get paid, so now what. You can bet the dem-rats are going to hold back pay hostage too.

      Please, may the powers that be, make sure the Republicans get more than they need for a super majority in the mid-term elections (won’t hold my breath); or would someone get their heads out of their rear and eliminate the super majority requirement (yes, that has it’s problems too).

      • Jeff Gauch’s comment below lists the correct one and others.

      • USAA is the company name. I’m an affiliate member. Often, if you are near a military base, there are charitable family support groups as well, especially for the families of those deployed.

      • I don’t know how it would work for military folks, and it might also depend on the state of residence–but in my case, in my state, we would have had the option to apply for a form of unemployment for the duration. (Tricky, not knowing duration–ie, in this case, it was only a few hours in terms of ‘actual work missed.’ In 2013, it was three weeks. Which really sucked for me, as I was an independent contractor then.)

        The catch is that a.) if you drew the unemployment and b.) they DO end up giving you the back pay, you gotta pay the unemployment back. Which is only fair, but can cause a problem if one did not anticipate it from the start.

        Much as I could have done with at least a day or three to sleep in, I’m just as glad to not be sitting at home today trying to determine which bureaucratic hoops to jump through to apply for the unemployment, and should I, and will it even be worthwhile because I have no idea how long it will last…

  7. All of this reminded me — I realized that PayPal was no longer drafting monthly contributions to Chez Hoyt so I reviewed my account and sent a pittance your direction. Scheduling it as a recurring payment seems off the table, but I notice there is a “Coming Soon” sign over the Patreon option; is that going to be up and running soon?

  8. the Democrats need DACA because they need a fresh crop of voters as well as taxpayers because well… they have been telling each other not to have kids for sixty plus years…

    • DACA’s, assuming they actually have jobs, already pay taxes, just not as consistently as legal residents and citizens. My biggest beef is that they’ve had nearly a decade to fix their immigration status. If they have not at this time, then they have no intention of doing so, and should therefore suffer the logical consequences.

      • I wager that most Americans would pass DACA in a heartbeat if it granted citizenship on acceptable completion of a term of military service. Granting it simply because they went to college seems akin to rewarding them for cashing checks or wiping their bums.

        My only concern with the military service requirement is the likelihood it would exacerbate already extant political corruption of our officer corpse (as a prior president was wont to pronounce.)

        • I’d be fine with some sort of “Americorps” type work, a STEM degree (coupled with a job in STEM), working in the medical field at a job that requires something more than a short correspondence course, or heck, any job outside the service industry that has potential for longevity and promotion. Couple that with a clean criminal record, and a bar on sponsoring family members for a minimum 5 years after citizenship is granted.

          • William O. B'Livion

            > I’d be fine with some sort of “Americorps” type work,

            Um. Do you realize how badly this will get gamed by the left?

            They are already practiced at using certain the slush funds in certain agencies to support their political goals. This would be at least a threefer for them.

            > a STEM degree (coupled with a job in STEM), working in the
            > medical field at a job that requires something more than
            > a short correspondence course,

            Nope.

            Something that involves *sacrifice* and *penance*.

            • More importantly, something that involves ACCULTURATION and not getting involved in the victimhood groups of the left. ANY of them with a record of EVER supporting La Razza? Send him back with a bow and a “no thanks. We have our own homegrown racists already.”

              • Legal immigration needs fixing first, but I wouldn’t object overly much to a military service and acculturation amnesty provided the person involved doesn’t have ANY kind of criminal record beyond the ‘brought over as an illegal as a kid.’ And getting that isn’t straight citizenship, it’s a green card; additional service in say, an active war zone might result in citizenship. No membership to race groups like La Raza too. Joining such things revokes the green card and gets them punted out. Gets criminal record harsher than parking tickets or running a red light? Out.

                Harsh? Person’s gotta prove they’re willing to follow the damn laws and acculturate and is willing to sacrifice themselves for the land they want to call home. I am sick of illegals being treated less harshly and with less scrutiny than people willing to jump the legal hoops to immigrate.

            • They are already practiced at using certain the slush funds in certain agencies to support their political goals.

              We can be confident that in certain areas their “service” would consist of “registering” people to vote or lecturing on the joys of socialism.

              The problem is that we construct vehicles (such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) for the Mick Mulvaneys of our society but more often they are driven by the Richard Cordrays.

          • No family members. Spouses or ailing parents/distress cases only.
            And NO AMERICORPS, otherwise known as “depressor of beginning wages.”

        • I think they should make DACA law, but only along with the funding for the wall* and a tweak to immigration laws to end chain migration.

          * Perhaps President Trump should consider giving up on the wall, and go with the fence, instead, so he can have a “Good Fences Make Good Neighbors” campaign for it.

          • William O. B'Livion

            Nah, just move Sniper school to Ft. Huachuca, and the final involves live fire exercises with running targets.

            • Make sure they’re ready for targets that shoot back. We got a very stern warning on field exercises on that base: We would have blanks. Any illegals we saw would either be unarmed… or would be firing something OTHER than blanks.

      • Timothy E. Harris

        “My biggest beef is that they’ve had nearly a decade to fix their immigration status.”
        Well, not exactly. These minors brought here illegally were given a deferment of immigration law enforcement and work permits – not a path to permanent residence.
        Now, our Executive Agencies under BHO did promise them (without actually having authority to do so) that they would be able to stay if they registered & followed certain rules. That’s why you’ll see a lot of right-of-center people for a DACA fix – because a Government should keep its promises. That’s essentially where Trump is. But he knows the only way it won’t be a disaster is if
        a) Only those that registered & followed the rules are given any protection, not those still in the shadows, and certainly not the parents who broke the law bringing them in, and b) Chain Immigration is greatly restricted. Thus the impasse.

        • Obama was not the Government and made a promise that exceeded his authority. I fail to see why we should honor a promise that should never have been made by a man that shouldn’t have made it.

          He also stuck us into the Paris Climate Deal, should we do that just because he said we would?

          • Well, for one thing, Trump is using it as the carrot in his border wall plan. He’s basically saying to the Dems, “You want DACA? Get me my wall.”

            And that’s the way that the system is *supposed* to work. Both sides compromise, and no one’s completely happy with the outcome. The Dems, of course, are trying to do their usual schtick where anything that isn’t completely rolling over to there demands is “Republican obstructionism”.

            • Which is fine. I understand that. What I’m not fine with is the idea that we have to honor the promises of Obama ‘because it’s the right thing to do’. Obama did and said a whole lot of things that need to go away.

              There is zero reason to trust the Dems on anything. When your entire political platform is lies, disinformation, and complete sh1t then you can’t really blame people for saying ‘No thanks’. If we’re going along with this ‘Dreamer’ crap then it needs to be done in a way that doesn’t give the Dems 800,000 or more votes.

    • I do not think there is really any agreement on what a reasonable solution to DACA entails. For the Dems I’m sure it’s immediate amnesty and a fast track to citizenship. Gotta have them votes yah know.
      For the rest of us, the kids were brought here through no fault of their own so let’s give them permanent green cards but citizenship on very strict terms involving military service or similar contributions to the nation. And any felony conviction gets them jail time followed by permanent expulsion. As for anyone entering illegally after the resolution of DACA, no, nope, not gonna happen. First time you’re caught here you go home, second and following you serve jail time first.

      • This. Permanent Green Cards, with permanent expulsion for criminal activity. Road to citizenship, military service, with those already serving on fast track, or other service (peace corps, teaching or clinics in inner cities, etc.), not everyone is cut out for military service. Someone also mentioned STEM. Little more concerned on that one. I’ve been through a STEM program.

        Personally, they make it harder than it needs to be to get into any part of most non-medical STEM programs. I “back doored” into the program, did fine, and made a 35 year career out of it. I think we’d have a lot more graduates coming out of these programs if they didn’t make it so hard to continue on into Jr & Sr years.

        Even my first degree, our first classes Jr year the professors were all going “now that we’ve got rid of the C and lower students we can get serious.” My thought was, what am I chopped liver? I just never gave up. Science, but not considered STEM. Never would have gotten into STEM program, based on their strict criteria.

        • No programs in inner cities. That’s known as “indoctrination.” NOTHING that competes with wages. The military has non-fighting jobs. Not cut out for those? Too bad so sad. Learn Spanish.

          • Okay. Convinced.

          • 11B-Mailclerk

            If we need a military-equivalent “service job”, we could create de-mining teams for those folks not up to the rigors of full-time active-duty service. They spend their tour clearing out mines from the various places on earth where the leftovers plague the locals. It is hazardous but survivable, societally useful, militarily useful, and will be likely to encourage team play.

            Usefully for the above purpose, but tragically for Earth, there are probably a billion of the damn things lying about outside properly controlled and mapped minefields. Also, they are so -useful- to combatants, no treaty or promises will -ever- end their use. They simply work too well, and are far, far to simple and cheap to make, quickly.

            Both sorts of service should be set up to encourage society-preserving virtues. (Noted, that will be one heck of another-topic argument.)

            What else for service? Unpleasant drudgery, in crappy unpleasant environments, mixed with occasional significant life-risk.

            • De-mining. I had to read the rest of your post to pickup it meant “clearing mine fields”. There are also the environmental kinds. Maybe not as physical hazardous, but possible hazardous to health. Many sites to cleanup.

  9. If you don’t know someone personally, the various military relief societies are going to be hard-pressed if this keeps going. They provide interest-free short term loans and grants to military members in financial difficulty. Search for (no links to avoid spam filters):

    Army Emergency Relief

    Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society

    Air Force Aid Society

    Coast Guard Mutual Aid

    Several banks have committed to lending service members their next paycheck – or at least a portion thereof – if this keeps up into next week. I know that Navy Federal Credit Union and USAA will do so.

    Also, this is why Trump is on my top ten Presidents list just for his nomination of Mattis: https://www.defense.gov/Portals/1/Documents/pubs/Defense_Secretary_Guidance_on_Government_Shutdown.pdf

    • Hmm. Interesting memo. Could be why the scuttlebutt in his company is that the CO might play games with their “official” duty hours from this last weekend. (Marine Corps Reserve, bulk fuel MOS.)

      Okay, it was already set for a medical stand down weekend, so paper pushing, not training – but he pulled gate guard at 0500 and (surprise!) inventory most of the rest of the time until 1600, both days. Meh. We’ll have to see…

  10. The National Park Service seems to have gotten direction to make things less painful on the public than in the 2013 Obama shutdown. While maintaining the same staffing levels as during the 2013 shutdown, they’re keeping many parks at least partially open (no NPS-provided visitor services) and accepting donations-in-advance if anybody (state or local government, supporting associations, concessioners) wants to fund some aspect of operations (e.g. the concessioners at Yellowstone are funding road grooming operations, and somebody’s paying to keep a couple restrooms cleared at Pinnacles). Some are accusing the NPS of being irresponsible since emergency services are much reduced, but they’ve placed plenty of “at own risk” announcements. And Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke was spotted on the National Mall cleaning up trash and offer tours to visitors.

    • Hooray for Zinke.
      The NPS goons who seemed to enjoy harassing visitors at Obama’s direction are either gone, rehabilitated, or so pliant they just “follow orders.”
      Maybe some of all three.

    • Seen on one Facebook thread:

      [A——]: The monuments are not being shut down.

      [B——]: They did under Obama. Perhaps Trump has given better orders.

      [A——]: […] All Trump has to do to give better orders is not give any.

    • IIRC, the last shutdown tried to close several places that they actually had no control over. Monuments that weren’t federally owned, etc.

      • Or worse, put up barricades to prohibit access over something that had no previous restricted access at all. :/

      • and ordered parks police to BLOCK VIEWS at Yellow Stone. I.e. do more work, just to make it uncomfortable.
        It’s almost like Trump doesn’t hate Americans.

        • Yes, it is almost like President Trump intends to impose the least pain possible on Americans while still complying with the Anti-Deficiency Act. Amazing.

        • Perhaps Trump doesn’t Americans need to be reminded who is master and who is serf?

        • But only a truly evil dictator would take advantage of a political situation to intentionally cause as much pain and suffering to their subjects as possible. What public figure could be that callous and cruel?
          Oh, wait, never mind.

        • It’s almost like Trump doesn’t hate Americans.
          ^^THIS^^

        • I know of at least one airport that made some significant changes at that time that drastically cut down on the efficiency of getting people through screening.

          Flying out of that airport was relatively painless until the shutdown. After. . .it became a PIA.

    • For whatever reason, my Guard unit was declared “essential” during the last shutdown, so we had to drill (although they held our pay until it ended IIRC). That month I had an APFT and was doing our usual run on the through road at Frederickburg Battlefield Park, which only to be thrown out by a Park Ranger, who was being paid during all this to remove any foot traffic, although the road was open to vehicles. The whole passive-aggressive Obama thing is something I don’t miss. Aggresive-agressive is at least honest and can be dealt with accordingly.

  11. ‘Sex workers” are mentally ill, drug addicted, self-destructive slaves. Pulling out the PC mythology won’t change the fact that “sex work” murders children and women. I don’t know if a prostitute can have a moral compass. They have no self left to even make those distinctions.When someone is enslaved, and/or determined to commit suicide, ethics are miles and miles away. At any rate, drop,the pro-pimp bullshit.

    • Okay, time for a quick primer on employment.
      There are four kinds of people who work in any profession:
      A. People who would do it as a hobby if they weren’t getting paid
      B. People who are doing it because they’re getting paid, but are getting some other satisfaction out of it
      C. People who are doing it only because they’re getting paid, and would switch in a heartbeat given the chance
      D. People who are coerced into it.

      Yes, sex work does have a much higher percentage of Group D than average. Yes, exploitation is rife in the sex industry’s various iterations. Yes, pimps are usually human-shaped garbage piles. Yes, in an ideal world, sex would not be “for sale,” but regarded as a unitive act placing the final seal on a lifetime marriage.

      But jumping from these statements to “ALL sex workers are beaten, abused, mindless drudges” is…kind of hysterical, in the Reefer Madness sort of way.

      • Yes, sex work does have a much higher percentage of Group D than average. Yes, exploitation is rife in the sex industry’s various iterations. Yes, pimps are usually human-shaped garbage piles.

        And how much of that is because sex workers, being engaged in illegal activities, have limited access to the legal system that minimizes such abuses?

        • If your theory was correct, the percentage of D in those areas where the “punishment” for that illegal activity consists of therapy, food and a place to stay until you’ve recovered would be incredibly much lower.

          Evidence doesn’t go that way. It’s statistical noise.

          Suggests that demand far, far outpaces willing workers…or that slavery is part of the demand.

          • ^Yep, that. Also, consider the stories that come out of the porn industry, which is not illegal.

            As to the second paragraph, that should probably be an “and,” not an “or.”

            • Possible.

              There is additional complications in that one of the more effective methods of enforcement is forced addiction*, which does not help the way the topic already doesn’t play well with most Libertarian theories. You can’t operate off of free will when there isn’t free will.

              *that getting put in with extreme mental abuse is even more difficult– I sometimes wonder if brain washing was a parallel development or if they took pointers.

          • Timothy E. Harris

            It’s a mixed bag, and partly it depends on what restrictions are placed on the practice of prostitution. From most reports it worked out reasonably well in Rhode Island. https://www.vox.com/2014/7/15/5898187/prostitution-rhode-island-decriminalized

            • ….you realize that article didn’t touch on any aspect being discussed, right?

              They didn’t even draw a connection, just decided there must be one? And that the sex workers accusing someone of rape wouldn’t touch on the slavery aspect? That it might point to a higher rate of slavery, since the paper states flat out that they’re much harder to police, being hidden?

      • And how many of these problems are because prostitution is illegal? (c.f. Prohibition)

        As for the moral “sex should be…” unless one is arguing to make all pre/extra marital sex illegal, that’s not much of a justification in and of itself. Claiming prostitution should be illegal on this basis but not, oh, say me having sex with my then fiance before we were married is special pleading and a logical fallacy.

        • You misunderstand my point on the moral question. In an ideal world, there would be no guns besides hunting rifles and fowling pieces, the government would have no role beyond building infrastructure, and we would be building spaceships for no other reason than to see the awesome stuff in the universe up-close and personal, because human beings would always treat each other as they would like to be treated.

          However, since that sine qua non condition is unachievable barring supernatural intervention of some kind, I do not believe we should be making policy designed to make that world a reality. Because doing so would create Hell.

          • Oh, I wasn’t accusing you of making that argument but that “ideal world” idea is behind many of the arguments against “sex work” (which includes far more than prostitution), but rather springboarding since, yes, I’ve actually heard that argument made before.

            Another factor is that some people are just “broken” in some way (there are many reasons why, far more than we can really go into here and many of them are not well understood anyway). And there are monsters out there who will take advantage of that brokenness. This is going to cloud the issue with anything because it remains the case whether something is legal or illegal. I submit that making something illegal because of this factor just makes it worse because it simply adds to the “trapped” feeling and prevents some from getting help to get out that otherwise would not.

            Better to attempt to deal with the “brokenness” of those people than cover it over with a band-aid by prohibiting the particular expression which just drives it to the black market.

            • BobtheRegisterredFool

              Yes, but there are questions about what can alter the rates of brokenness and the rates of monstrosity. Is it possible that, say, legal porn elevates the rate of both? I don’t think regulating* the distribution of the majority of pornography is practical. It does seem like there are defensible arguments for a number of the different possible positions one can take on these matters.

              You would expect me to claim ‘grounds over which reasonable men can differ’ given my other defenses of government regulation.

              *Is restriction a better term? I feel like I’m using an almost right word.

              • Is it possible that

                It’s possible that if I flip a razor blade (never mind a coin) over a ceramic tile floor it will land balanced on edge. It’s possible if an airplane flies into a mountain it will appear unharmed on the opposite side of the mountain (yay, quantum mechanics).

                But that’s not the way to bet.

                Prohibition for things that people want rarely work out for the better. We’ve heard this argument about alcohol. We’ve heard it about Rock and Roll. We’ve heard it about Roll Playing Games. We’ve heard it about Science Fiction and Fantasy. Same tune, different lyrics.

                • BobtheRegisterredFool

                  And if what people want is prohibition?

                  • People have wanted a lot of things that were bad for them. There was that whole “give us a king so we may be like other nations” thing in the Bible, for example.

                  • “Vox populi, Vox Dei” often translates into “My God! How did we get in this mess?”

                    • “Vox populi, Vox Dei” is a bit too close to Rosseau’s General Will for my comfort.

                    • BobtheRegisterredFool

                      You brought up alcohol, and suggested that it is parallel.

                      Carrie Nation. How did the legal status of alcohol and hence of its prohibition, exacerbate or moderate her activism?

                      If the lack of national prohibition combined with the wants of the temperance and anti-saloon movements didn’t cause a rise in organized crime comparable to that alleged to be caused by national prohibition, there is some other factor involved besides the want and the prohibition.

                      Every activity has a constituency that wants to do it, and a constituency that wants it prohibited. Where, say, the murder of prostitutes is concerned, wants to do it are a small minority of very sick people. And there is a very large constituency for prohibition. The for breathing constituency is huge, and the against pretty small.

                  • They’ll get it. And those who don’t want it will find bootleggers.

                  • And if what people want is prohibition?
                    If what people want is for any certain practice to cease then just don’t do it. And you are encouraged to attempt to persuade others to forego that activity as well. But prohibition is all about one group trying to use the law to prevent another group from doing what they wish to do, whether that is alcohol, drugs, sex for money, or whatever.
                    Prohibition is all about one group’s desire to coerce another group into doing something the first group wants and the second does not.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      I want to “prohibit murder”.

                      Do you mean that I can only “not murder others” while not pushing laws against murder?

                    • I believe we abolish laws against murder, and see how long murderers last.

                    • Longer than their preferred prey.

                    • In general, the law exists to protect the criminal against the victim, and to prevent the victim from turning into a monster by way of taking vengeance. It’s an ass-backwards way of looking at it, but it does explain a lot of the way the system works–Much the way the Spanish Inquisition actually worked to ameliorate the whole “burn the witch/heretic/annoying neighbor with more money and property” thing with the witch-hunts of the era.

                      Anarchists would not like the world they seek to create, nor would those who would tear down the law like the world that came after the tear-down. The problem we have right now is that too many people have lost sight of the nature of the social contract surrounding the law, and have tried to bend it to correction of what they see as moral flaws in others. As such, the system is way out of focus, and spinning out of control. You can’t make law against what people want to do, in regards to relatively minor things like the taking of drugs or alcohol. Not enough consensus that these things are bad, see… You’re lucky you can get consensus going for the truly major, important stuff, like murder and rape. And, even then…? My friends, you do not want to know how many of those “unclosed cases” out there represent privately obtained justice, or the number of those who have “inexplicably vanished” actually represent someone taking matters into their own hands.

                      There’s a principle of military leadership which goes along the lines of “Don’t give an order you know will be disobeyed…”, especially with regards to the petty minutiae of daily life. You want to save your limited amount of “leadership credit” for those occasions when you truly, direly need it. The martinet who expends his credibility as a leader on minor things generally finds that when the time comes when he really needs the troops to obey him, wellllll… They’ve generally become habituated to ignoring his stupid ass, because everything he’s said before that moment hasn’t been enforced effectively.

                      The law works the same way, although without the personal connection to a specific person. Lawmakers need to be careful about making laws that will be ignored, because the habit of ignoring the law is developed from that, no matter what good sense goes into the law in question. I’m sure that there were good reasons that were articulated by the Prohibitionists, but we all know how the hell that worked out, in the end. The law that will not be obeyed is the law that should not be made, for it erodes the habit of obedience to the all of the law, not just that one specific one.

                    • Well, given that some on the progressive left wish to include justifiable homicide in defense of self and family in their definition of murder, I guess I’m not willing to rule murder out as a consideration.

                    • I understand there are some things that the Constitution does not permit people to have, such as censorship (specifically: prior restraint) bars on peaceful assembly, complaining about Congress, establishment of religion, unreasonable restrictions on gun ownership, compelled testimony against one’s self, loss of rights without due process, taking of property without due process and just compensation and a wide variety of other items whether specifically enumerated or not.

                      Of course, that was set up with the presumption that localities might be able to enact some restrictions and them what don’t care for ’em can move.

                    • BobtheRegisterredFool

                      Kirk,
                      The status quo is a compromise. You seem to loathe it and I surely do.

                      There are two reasons why it might be better not to force a replacement for fear of producing a consensus in my favor. The first is crime reporting, and the second is healthcare.

                      There are a few cases that were reported very widely. If one takes the time to dig into them, and has some understanding of pharmacy, one can see that essential facts are widely different from what has been reported. Certain of the spree shootings and alleged police brutality? Recreational drug use and or self medication by people who might’ve made other choices if they had stayed away from that crap. Are these representative of all US crime? No. But trying to pick cases to personally study makes it very easy to cherrypick.

                      But weed is perfectly safe, say those whose anecdotal evidence may be the equivalent of wine for dinner drinkers. These selected incidents in media, where they involve weed, are closer to a blood in his alcohol drunk staggering drunk doing a knife rush at a cop in mid draw. The wine for dinner cognates chiming in on ‘police brutality against an innocent man’ makes it look like they have similar judgement to the deceased, when they may simply have the standard level of fooled by the media.

                      Healthcare side is simple. When you are high on the right doses of the right substances, you are effectively mentally ill. PCP? Disassociative analgesic, don’t feel pain and are out of your head. Compare the retarded kids whose parents have them in helmets. Right trip, and you aren’t competent to care for yourself, and you probably don’t go on those trips much in the custody of someone who is. That’s their choice, and I just don’t like it, you say. You can’t deliver to me complete freedom from liability for them when they aren’t cared for properly. BLM has showed that conclusively.

                      I grew up around a specific flavor of mentally ill that scares the crap out of me. I’m very grateful it isn’t one of the ones I have. Taking care of the mentally ill is a crappy job that one does for love or for money. Mental illness is a tendency to make a specific type of bad decision, and in some cases can easily spend any amount of money doubling down on that bad decision. The folks I love enough to invest mental illness amounts of my time and energy in taking care of are much fewer than live on this Earth. The government has decided that to fund all the mental illness programs they will take money in taxes and in personal financial costs for healthcare. It may be impossible to really convey how much I resent this. Furthermore, there are absolutely reasonable grounds to be concerned about costs and effectiveness. A cop does a lousy job of being a psych nurse to a schizoid on the streets, and will kill more of them than a psych nurse would if they were institutionalized. The same would seem to be true for a tripping junkie, and we are required to fund the street option over the institution or cutting off medical services entirely.

                      It is a mess, and there are rational reasons why ‘status quo, only with legalization’ might not be entirely an improvement in every eye.

                      As for my personal reasons, why I’ve bothered to track down my alleged rational reasons, perhaps we can agree that I’m nuts?

                  • People ‘wanted’ Prohibition so much that a good portion of them spent a decade-and-a-half thumbing their noses at the law. And wasn’t that just peachy for society?

                  • From my reading on the subject, the biggest problem with Prohibition is that the temperance lobbyists (yes, we can thank Prohibition for lobbyists. And income tax.) moved the goalposts at the last minute.

                    The original intent of the thing was simply to make, in effect, bars/saloons illegal, as well as the sale of alcohol. Production of alcohol for private, personal use was originally going to be just fine. And so a significant number of people went “Well, okay, I guess I can make my own beer/wine/etc.”

                    But as soon as the prohibitionists realized victory was in their grasp, they changed it at the last minute to make the consumption of alcohol, except for religious rites, illegal period.

                    Suddenly, it was about interfering with what people did in their private lives. And THAT was what screwed it up beyond any hope of working.

                    I’m not sure it would have worked in its original form, either…but of course, we’ll never know, because the self-righteous people behind it pushed it too far from the start, and broke it.

                    • yes, we can thank Prohibition for lobbyists

                      The term lobbyists dates back to at least the Grant Administration, where Atlas Obscura informs us “local lore has it that the president spent so much time drinking brandy in the lobby that favor-seekers started staking it out to get access to him, popularizing the term “lobbyist” in the United States.”

                      My memory is a) the term goes back to the Lincoln administration and b) tales of Grant’s drinking were as overblown and factually insubstantial as claims of Trump’s instability.

                      Wikipedia reports:
                      “During the nineteenth century, generally, most lobbying happened within state legislatures, since the federal government, while having larger jurisdiction, did not handle many matters pertaining to the economy, and it did not do as much legislating as the state governments. When lobbying did happen in those days, it was often “practiced discreetly” with little or no public disclosure. By one account, more intense lobbying in the federal government happened from 1869 and 1877 during the administration of President Grant near the start of the so-called Gilded Age. The most influential lobbies wanted railroad subsidies and a tariff on wool. At the same time in the Reconstruction South, lobbying was intense near the state legislatures, especially regarding railroad subsidies, but it also happened in areas as diverse as gambling. For example, Charles T. Howard of the Louisiana State Lottery Company actively lobbied state legislators and the governor of Louisiana for the purpose of getting a license to sell lottery tickets.”
                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_lobbying_in_the_United_States

                      It is common that, as an issues gains significant popular support, politicians will hitch their hobbyhorses to the platform, hoping to slide a few extra benefits through under the cover of the popular agenda.

                    • The earliest lobbyist I can think of are all Biblical– what else do you call the various “mother or favored wife go talk to their husband on behalf of someone who wants something” stories?

                      Suggests that “people going to court to try to talk the guys into power into doing something” is pretty old.

                    • Pfui. Goes back as far as Jacob and Esau, with Momma lobbying Pop on behalf of her preferred son. But the term Lobbyist has its origins somewhat later.

                    • So basically, they’re an incurable disease of the human condition…

                    • Fair enough. It’s likely that the author of the particular book on Prohibition was commenting on lobbyists achieving a truly national level, and becoming entrenched in DC, and I missed that bit. 😀 It has been awhile since I read the book.

                • And murder, rape, theft, slavery…..

          • what do you mean? all of my firearms are hunting pieces. The handguns were lost in a horrible boating accident…

            • Y’know… My take on the whole “sporting use” line of BS has always been that I happen to regard the taking of politicians and tyrants as a sporting event… One without season, or bag limit.

              “Sporting use…”. LOL… What idiots–They were better off with the “militia use” idea they used to ban sawed-off shotguns, even though we now use those to blast open doors during urban combat. The whole sorry edifice of arms limitations here in the US is well overdue for a major house-cleaning, which they’re going to get if they keep pushing. There are segments of the US population that are not nearly as compliant as the Australians, and who will react badly to their 2nd Amendment rights being abrogated.

              The whole of the GCA 68 idea about “sporting use” is directly in conflict with previous restrictions, which basically highlighted that the whole thing was predicated on “militia” weapons that were appropriate for issue to said militia. How the hell that squares with “sporting use”, which ain’t even mentioned in the Constitution…? You tell me–I think the Supreme Court is going to slap some faces down in the states before long, because if they try to make the 2nd say what they want it to, the rest of the Bill of Rights is a dead-letter issue.

              • the army owns 25,000 shotguns with a 7.75″ barrel.

                The standard issue rifle across the entire army is a short barrel rifle, according to the NFA.

                All three services issue ‘machine guns’ by the legal definition.

                The excuse they used in US v Miller was that short barrel shotguns have no militia purpose, and they pretty much meant every part of the NFA was constitutional for that same reason. bleh.

                The USSC is literally deliberately avoiding all AWB-related cases etc, because they know how they should decide based on Heller and MacDonald.

              • The Constitution isn’t a menu that you can only pick out the parts you like. And it’s not a “living document.”

        • I think you left some steps out of that argument– or you’re assuming some starting assumptions that are unclear.

        • As for the moral “sex should be…” unless one is arguing to make all pre/extra marital sex illegal, that’s not much of a justification in and of itself.

          Which is why I cannot muster much outrage even when I agree with the Moral Guardians on this subject. Try, just TRY to give me an argument that the larger portion of the dating scene (and I’m not even including pure “hook up” / FWB situations) isn’t prostitution with a really crappy market that doesn’t clear very well, and not have that argument devolve into some variant of “because I said so”. I’ll be sitting over here with the popcorn.

          Of course there is also the fact that the would be prostitution banners absolutely stink of Good Intentions. What the police did to the Rotherdam girls was unusual only in that it included Mohamaphilia.

      • Know of too many marriages where one party just cut off the other. Infidelity may often be cheaper than outright divorce.
        And of course the transmission of STDs to the other party in the marriage in those cases doesn’t exist.
        It’s not an ideal situation, being another case of the lesser of two evils.

        • To put it bluntly the prohibition of sex for money allows a spouse, generally the female but not exclusively, to weaponize the sex act.
          What with this and the upsurge in radical feminism I predict a great future for the Japanese sexbot industry.

          • Oh, I wholeheartedly agree. Look up the popularity of Real Dolls and Dutch Wives in Japan, and the discussion about the preference for ‘2D girls’ over ‘Real’ or ‘3D’ because ‘2D girls are safer/make more sense’. Frankly, there are so many women threatened by a mere illustration / fictional female, it’s ridiculous.

            Housemate has shared MANY stories where a woman’s gotten seriously angry at him because of an illustration I’ve done up as a custom background (usually an anthropomorphic representation of the computer, since we give our computers names so it’s easier to figure out which one we’re talking about. This is a practice that is fairly common for the folks Aff knows who have multiple systems due to work; both male and female IT people. The place he used to work at named their servers after gods in the Greek pantheon, for example.) It’s happened so many times we’ve both lost count. This is the usual pattern of the conversation:

            Woman: You have an anime woman on your computer background!
            Aff: ? …yes?
            Woman: That’s discriminatory/injurious/harmful towards real women!
            Aff: I’m asexual. I’ll never BE attracted to real women. I’ve never wanted a romantic or sexual relationship with ANY woman, ever.
            Crazy feminazi: Asexuality is a lie, it doesn’t exist, it’s a fake made up thing that men are using now to unfairly deny women the choice of man they’ve made.
            Aff: How is that unfair? I’m not obligated or required to exist for the pleasure of women.
            CF: Yes you are. Men are supposed to give women attention and be available for women to choose their dates or husbands from. To do otherwise is to deny women their sexual choices, thus it’s rape. Anime women diminish real women’s value and hurt them by giving men unrealistic expectations of women.
            Aff: Uh, my female roommate drew that. (usually starts texting me about this point, to share the latest crazy) So obviously there are women out there who do NOT require me to sexually available, and are not insecure about anime girls.
            CF: You’re making her up / she’s brainwashed by the patriarchy / doesn’t know how she’s hurting herself in the long run / is contributing to real world harm to women by bringing unrealistic standards that can never be fulfilled by a real woman.
            Aff: * *says this is why Western women are driving men away to Asian women*
            CF: *gets angry I’m Asian (having usually somehow gone to that) / goes on rant about Asian women stealing white men from white women*
            Aff: Since I’m not sexually interested in any woman, I’m not available to ‘steal’ / you’re only proving my point.
            CF: I told you already that your sexuality doesn’t exist!
            Aff: Isn’t that discrimination? That triggers me. /s
            CF: Your sexuality doesn’t exist, so it’s not discrimination, and you’re a man who must be sexually or romantically available to any woman who wants it! And you’re hurting women by liking anime girls better than real women!
            Aff: Nothing about this encounter with you is convincing me that real women are an improvement over anime girls.
            CF: You’re part of the problem!
            Aff: Even if I were actually attracted to real women, what makes you THINK I would be attracted to someone like you?!
            CF: That attitude hurts women too!

            it usually devolves to screaming from the CF / another female friend steps in /CF getting kicked out from venue/ banned from the channel as it’s often a TECH SUPPORT channel / CF saying that denying women’s sexual choices is rape

            Sometimes if another woman points out the illogic of ‘all men must acknowledge/be attracted to women’ the CF says that then the attention of the man is sexual assault too and only the woman has the ability to decide whether the man’s attention is desirable or not, but it must always be available.

            • And of course there is now the additional requirement that all men must be available to transgender persons.
              Of course the ultimate goal of the crazy feminazi as far as I can tell is to relegate all males into the roles of brood stud and drones. With themselves and their ilk as queen bees of course.

              • Pretty much. I showed my husband the articles about the rapper who refused to accept a transgender’s advances… and the anger in his eyes is not something I see often. The rage it ignites in me… I would rather not describe.

                He has been in several conversations with men who described themselves as ‘happier with their Asian wife/girlfriend’ – but also notably never describing them as submissive (“She’s the boss in the house” is the frequent description!) These are usually after various failed relationships where the local girlfriends/wife was various forms of emotionally abusive… and don’t know how to uphold their side of the emotional contract involved in relationships (the whole ‘it takes two’ concept apparently isn’t there any more. Girls are ‘take take take.’)

                But ultimately it’s not because the wives these men took later were Asian, it’s because the women still understood the value of a relationship, the value of the man they chose, and how important those things are still. One man said “My Asian wife… at least she knows when she’s wrong she’ll say sorry. The girlfriends I had before that, never would, they’d keep blaming me.”

                What’s the point of being in a relationship if your partner doesn’t cherish you more than whatever small argument it was? And yes, usually the cause was small and petty.

            • So my choices are an evil, discriminatory, sex-crazed, misogynistic rapist,
              or being a slave to my female overlords?

              Sorry, I’m not a regular human. I’m a genetically modified super ape designed to appear human. Your human pheromones and feminine wiles have no effect on me.

              • *chuckle!*

                Wanna bet this is all being quote-mined and placed entirely out of context somewhere?

              • Lemme tell ya, those awful women are making it really hard for those of us American females who AREN’T lunatics, ’cause most of the available men are either running scared (with good reason), or just not gonna even go there. :/

                • True. It’s a tough go finding sensible women in sensible shoes who are delightfully heterosexual without being attacked by those who are not.

                  • Wellll, even us sensible heterosexual women can quite like not-sensible shoes…but I hardly ever wear them, because they’re murder on my feet. I’ve discovered this is one of the great uses of Pinterest: I can have all the totally-bursar cute shoes I want to admire, and neither have to spend money on them, or try to wear them. 😀

                    (I do still own a couple of pairs, but sadly they rarely see the light of day. And anyway, four-inch heels put me at 6’3″…)

            • And feminists love to whine about how they’re living in “The Handmaid’s Tale.” You really want The Handmaid’s Tale, honey? Because *this* is how you get The Handmaid’s Tale.

              I’d take leftist dystopia fiction more seriously if they’d quit using such dystopic fiction as blueprints.

            • Wait…what?

              Asexuality is a lie, it doesn’t exist, it’s a fake made up thing that men are using now to unfairly deny women the choice of man they’ve made… Men are supposed to give women attention and be available for women to choose their dates or husbands from. To do otherwise is to deny women their sexual choices, thus it’s rape.

              Poe’s law strikes again. That reads like a parody.

              • It’s always interesting to hear these ideas, and then turn them around on the creature who has them. You find you can induce apoplexy at will, once you point out that you’re merely parroting what they’re spouting, with a gender change.

                From my perspective, there’s a whole swath of the female population here in the US that has, to put it bluntly, gone insane. Why and how does not concern me, other than as a question of academic interest, but the fact remains: They have gone bat-shit insane. The sheer mind-boggling sense of entitlement I see in some specimens is truly a thing to behold. I actually got raged at because I wasn’t “doing my duty as a man” and being out there to date them. When I politely inquired what it was I was supposed to be getting out of these theoretical “dates” I was refusing to make, I was informed that that didn’t matter, since it wasn’t right that I should expect anything at all in return, either in terms of companionship or just pure platonic polite company, let alone sex. I am, apparently, just supposed to provide a convenient target for verbal and emotional abuse, and, of course, free food and entertainment.

                It didn’t go over at all well when I pointed out that I didn’t find anything the least attractive about the person I was talking to, and would sooner have congress with a pack of hyenas than with someone like her. That I was laughing a bit hysterically at the prospect also didn’t help, I suppose.

                The whole situation between men and women in much of this country has gone to hell in a handbasket, mostly due to the supposed “revolution in sexual affairs” that was touted as the greatest thing since sliced bread. In my opinion, we lost more than we gained, and what we gained was a spoiled mess of pottage. Sad fact is, a dog is better company than a significant swathe of American womanhood. And, the dog hasn’t got the right to take half your stuff in a divorce, either…

                • the dog hasn’t got the right to take half your stuff in a divorce, either…

                  PETA is working on that.

                  • That would be an interesting thing, that. I think that whoever took it upon themselves to advocate for one of my dogs in a divorce would find themselves suffering severe trauma in very short order, once they’d made it clear that the guy who gives the treats and the walks was being taken away… It wouldn’t go well, at all.

              • It isn’t. Bear in mind I said that this is the pattern of how such conversations go. The first time Aff had such an encounter, he started spamming me with communications. I’d already seen something somewhere online about this concept so I wasn’t surprised.

                Meaning poor Aff has had this conversation LOTS AND LOTS OF TIMES. (The variation is when his gaze goes to an Asian woman walking by, and the non-Asian standing next to him or he was talking to having a pleasant conversation with prior blows the hell up, because Aff finds Asians visually attractive – but that’s as far as it goes. But yep, he’s gotten yelled at by either complete or near strangers for just looking at a pretty Asian that passed by.)

                • That’s…that’s…O.O your poor friend. How do these women keep finding him?! I mean…I’m cool with it if a guy isn’t attracted to me. Maybe a bit disappointed if he’s someone I wouldn’t mind dating…but I’m not exactly deeply interested in dating/sex myself. (I would like marriage…you see the problem. 😀 ) But that’s his business, and my disappointment is my own business and none of his. And screaming at him for daring to not be attracted to me? Like that would somehow…make him attracted to me?

                  That’s just insane. How are all these women so very insane?

                  No wonder I can’t find a date, if there’s so many of those lunatics out there being horrible to men!

          • You want my opinion on how things are going to go, over the next few centuries, vis-a-vis the relations between men and women in the “industrialized world”?

            Two things are going to happen, the precursors of which we’re seeing in Japan and a few other advanced nations: First, the reproduction rate is going to drop like a stone, not just because of things like feminism, but because the whole male/female thing has become entirely unbalanced, and like anything that’s not balanced, it’s spinning out of control. The drop in reproduction rates is just a symptom of a far deeper set of problems.

            Once the various governments get it into their heads that the rate has dropped below replacement, and what that implies for the future of their nations and ethnicities…? Well, you’re seeing the first flawed attempts at dealing with that, in Europe. Importing Third-World cultures to replace the locals that have quit having kids ain’t going to work out so well, so we’re either going to see the former European cultures and nations subsumed in a wave of Third World migrants, or we’re going to see what I suspect is going to be the final stage of this situation, where reproduction is controlled by the state, and not by restricting it, but by mandating it. Early attempts are going to be like those in the Scandinavian countries and Japan, where tax breaks will be offered, and so forth. Final, panic-stricken end-stage of that whole deal…? Watch what happens when they start mandating that women can’t enter the work force or be considered “adult” until they’ve provided their requisite children. They are going to flip from “encouraging” to “demanding” so quickly that your head is going to spin, and you’re going to see the forces of the various governments come crashing down on the whole idea of “reproductive liberty”. It is going to be an unholy mess, and the idiots who set us up for all of it are going to be in the background wringing their hands and saying “We never meant for this to happen…”.

            I would not be a bit surprised to see things like sex-bots outlawed, and the countries with deficits in children to start demanding people to have kids, regardless. Adult males without issue are going to get taxed to support kids that aren’t theirs, and may or may not be forced to contribute germ plasm towards their creation. Adult women without kids are going to be social outcasts, and likely receive a multitude of state-sponsored “encouragers and discouragers” designed to force them to reproduce. Look for them to link “social duty” with things like access to college, and all of that.

            The fall-out from the decades of the so-called “Sexual Revolution” are going to resound for generations, and aren’t likely to end well.

            • The manga (now an anime) Koi to Uso (Love and Lie) addresses what happens when Japan institutes a law where after a certain point, children born from that day on are observed, studied, and then at 16 paired with someone deemed to be compatible, and, while the premise is the involved pair can reject their government assigned marriage meeting, in truth doing so has long term consequences for them socially and careerwise. The first set had most of the marriage meetings result in marriage (in Japan, you can get married at the age of 16) and were apparently successful in the relationship stakes as well as having children.

              Frankly, I think they WILL go with that – a government arranged marriage. Omiai meetings aren’t as socially upsetting to Japanese since they still happen, so this makes sense to some extent.

              • They’ll come up with a uniquely Japanese solution, one that others will try to copy, and then fail at.

                Singapore is another interesting case, and I look for them to be doing a bunch of stuff that appears strange to the rest of the world, but which will work for them. Mandated babies, whether you want them or not, to be raised by the state in creches if it’s too much trouble for you… Supported by heavy taxes on the childless singles that aren’t raising a family. After all, if you’re not going to commit to providing the next generation of bill-payers for the welfare state… The logic is going to be “You’ll pay, one way or another…”.

                The dystopias of overpopulation are not going to happen. What will happen is that the “modern industrialized world” is going to experience a demographic bust, due to the trap they’ve set themselves with the welfare state. First, they will try to import the replacements from the Third World, but they’re going to find out that there’s a reason those people were in a Third World state in the first place. Dislocations will come as they either shed those populations or kill them off, once they figure out that they won’t work as replacements. From there, the next step is going to be a mandated birth policy, where the native ethnic Europeans are going to be “encouraged” to start making babies–Or, else.

                The whole thing may crash and burn somewhere along the line, but that’s always a possibility. I don’t think it’s going to work out the way the Malthusians keep projecting, or the “population bomb” types think. If anything, there’s gonna be a population implosion like nothing we’ve ever seen before, and I would project that it’s entirely possible that we won’t get out of it with things as we know them at all intact.

                • BobtheRegisterredFool

                  Mandated childbirth will probably crush and burn also. I’ve grave doubts government is up replacing family or administering families.

            • Bye-Bye Abortion on demand and the concept of Bastard. Neither of which are bad. However, reproduction rates are also biological; and decreased fertility trend is evident.

              I don’t have only one child by choice. Or (under TMI) birth control was extremely cheap, getting pregnant and staying pregnant, OTOH not so much. In the era that doctor would not proscribe extreme measures, twins however were possible, with my family history, even likely. Was not that lucky.

              I am not the only one. Multiples are generally not natural. Treatments are not cheap, with a lowish success rate, and are not covered by insurance (or weren’t)

              • A lot of women are prescribed birth control or other hormone pills for just about anything, without their doctors actually checking to be sure that they are helping and not hurting. Since many girls start taking hormones before their bodies are even fully developed or stabilized, this means that minor medical problems tend to become major ones.

                I suspect that most “fertility problems” are really “body messed around with” problems. (And starting families so much later in life is not helping.)

                • Now, over the last 10 – 15 years, yes (maybe). 30 years ago, not so much. I couldn’t take hormones, still can’t (stupid hot flashes), gives me migraines, which I tend to get anyway, just not as frequently. Didn’t delay deliberately. It just never happened without “involuntary spontaneous fetal abortion”, the medical term; that infrequently, and not once after (finally) carrying to term our only child. Took so long that figured, why prevent, if lightening strikes again, just go with it. Doctors, despite many tests, never diagnosed a reason for the trouble. My sisters had problems too, but they had diagnosed reasons. One, told she’d never have kids, has 4; 1 adopted miracle, and 3 natural miracles.

                  • They ever check for PCOS?

                    • The usual “treatment” is the generic female solution– eat healthy, exercise more, take birth control pills. -.-

                    • Birth control pills *are* a good treatment option for PCOS, but you’d really want a diagnosis in order to get the appropriate dosage and other side treatments.

                    • More of a “can be,” but yes– I just wish they’d be as cautious about “female hormones” as they are about “male hormones.”

                    • Yeah. I’m going to be talking to my OB about some hormonal issues (ah, getting older, wouldn’t mind were it not for the increasingly bad mood swings) and I think the hardest part is likely to be “please MEASURE first, don’t just guess.”

                    • For years they told me I was menopausal, starting at 37. Turns out, no, I was increasingly HYPOTHYROIDAL due to auto immune issue. No one was testing for that, because they knew I was menopausal.
                      When everything was taken out, due to (thank heavens encapsulated still) cancerous growth, I was STILL NOT menopausal, at 53.

                    • Thankfully, I’ve already been tested in regards to the other stuff (thyroid, cancer, blood sugar, kidney function, etc.) By process of elimination, and by the fact that my mood lows *just happen* to sync up on a monthly basis, I think I’ve got a pretty good idea of what’s going on. I just want testing, first.

                    • Side note: If anybody is having issues for depression, etc., a handy phrase to use is “[close relative] had a thyroid issue” or “[family members] had low vitamin D”. Family history is a good reason for them to test, and that’s how we caught my iron deficiency. (And it’s worthwhile to get those things tested anyway. Very often missed, but it’s just a blood test.)

                    • “They ever check for PCOS?”

                      Don’t know. Don’t know what that is. Note kid is going to be 29 soon. So, these tests were ongoing 40-30 years ago.

                    • I found out in poking around that they’ve known about the condition for some 70 years– and that it can trigger diabetes.

                      Also found out that the gal in my shop who actually had the cysts removed was incredibly unusual, and it was probably because she was in the military. For once, something where doctors actually fix the problem, rather than prescribing the freaking Pill. (I swear, I must attract fanatics on that freaking subject, because it’s pushed like a cure-all. They’d flip over milk from cows given hormones, but give ME way more hormones, directly, oh that’s great.)

                    • https://www.webmd.com/women/tc/polycystic-ovary-syndrome-pcos-topic-overview#1

                      Basically, directly harmless growths on your ovaries. Causes hormone issues.

                    • Yes. Tested for. My sister’s yes, part of her diagnosis. Me no. I was never on birth control hormones. Don’t remember what I took for almost 6 months before finally getting pregnant, caused me to ovulate both ovaries each month; thus the risk of twins. Side affects were extreme sleepiness. Since I was diagnosed with hypoglycemia 1/2 way through the treatment, not good. Got so bad finally gave up on medicine. When side affects didn’t go away after stopping the medicine, the doctor essentially said, “Don’t want to get your hopes up, but …”. We were going to wait until well into 2nd trimester before telling anyone because of the prior disappointments. However Father-in-law suffered sever heart attack just before holidays, we weren’t sure he’d live to see the baby born (he didn’t), I was very sick with morning sickness (FWIW, horribly named), and we needed to reassure family what I had was not catching.

                    • I’m glad the boy made it, and that your father in law got to hear about it– and that you don’t have that to deal with on top of everything else.

                    • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. It’s actually more common in my age group (around 40) because of certain common pharmaceuticals when our mothers were pregnant. (Nothing on the level of thalidomide, thankfully, but it did have an effect.) It’s very under-diagnosed, and I’m pretty sure they had NO diagnosis for it 20 or more years ago.

                    • Thanks, I wasn’t familiar with the abbreviation. But yeah, that condition really sucks. And birth control does help that. At least, insofar as keeping both cysts and fibroid tumors smaller and less likely to cause Issues.

                      (I’ve been dealing with it since my mid-twenties. And found out the hard way that going OFF the birth control isn’t really an option…)

                    • I may have been hanging around DoD types too long when the first thing that comes to mind when I see PCOS is Permanent Change Of Station…..

                • I’ve had to take the pill to prevent worse things–such as surgery, which has happened twice–happening. Thankfully, a good doctor prescribed a version that doesn’t have horrific side effects for me. But I’m painfully aware that it’s likely impacting any number of things that make my ability to actually HAVE children (including finding a spouse) difficult, because hormones really do have a lot of say in our interactions, and screwing around with them is, I think, the poster child for “Law of Unintended Consequences.”

                  But no, things are not helped by too many doctors either dismissing various health complaints of women as either “in your head” or “can be fixed with the pill.” In my case, I got lucky and it really does help.

                  Not planning on letting any hypothetical teenage daughters of mine go on it, though. (If I’m ever lucky enough to be able to have kids, biological or adopted.)

            • Russia’s also tried tax breaks to try and get couples to conceive. Some Russian cities have tried incentivizing couples going home from work and basically “making babies”. The government over there is very worried about the problem.

              And the Russians aren’t dumb enough to try wholesale importation of Islamic populations. They know that doing so will just give more support to the Chechnyan seperatists.

              • Russia has had some successful programs.

                ….they involve the Russian Orthodox Church.

                Which, given who tends to reproduce, and that more and more folks are teaching their kids superversive things, is not that unlikely a route for a natural recovery.

                • [cocks an eye towards the long history of the Russian Orthodox Church supporting the despot of the day, and goes “Hmmmm…”]

                  The odds that the Russian Orthodox Church is going to be a part of a truly positive improvement in Russian daily life and politics…? A “natural recovery”? The historical record ain’t what I’d term “stellar”, in any way, shape, or form.

                  If Russia is to break the chains of history that bind it to a continual cycle of “…and, then, it got worse…”, they need to come up with either a massively reformed Russian Orthodox Church, or an entirely different religious edifice to hang things off of, because I don’t see the current lot doing much better than the ones who kowtowed to the Czar or the Communists.

                  There isn’t much in the way of “national conscience” for the Russian Orthodox, sad to say. You’ll look long and hard for a Beckett, who was willing to stand up to his King in matters of the faith–You just won’t find the equivalent in Russian history.

                  • *snorts* Hey, they’ve had more success than anything else the Russians have tried for encouraging babies.

                    I was pointing at Christianity being the thing that would be most likely to work.

                    About the best thing I can say about Russia and their church right now is that at least they’re not being actively hostile, although the Russian gov’t shills are really annoying on the religion blogs.

    • Blink. WHAT? Seriously. I know people have hobby horses, but how did you get pro-pimp from a passing reference in the post?

      • I’d guess they have family that got bit by it, and the casual use of sex-workers with the implication that it was both normal (though demeaning) and as voluntary as being a senator really hit the button.

        I do the same thing with medical malpractice.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        Prostitution is human trafficking is illegal immigration.

        Either someone is pro-pimp or they are racist. You aren’t racist, are you? XD

        I not saying that is the what they are claiming.

      • Sometimes people have not a hobby horse, but an entire hobby cavalry troops.

    • This sounds like an absolutist position. Those tend to be problematic, except when issued from the mouth of a god or well-founded. (A real god, not some puny dude with a magic hammer.)

      But the moralizing in this comment has demoralized me to the point I won’t even argue the topic. *sigh* (And there’s a lot to unpack on the topic.)

  12. *eyes the above name* Curious. Trying to click on that ‘Kell’ ‘s link results in “kellbrigan.wordpress.com doesn’t exist

    The address kellbrigan.wordpress.com cannot be registered. Sorry, that site is reserved! But you can sign up and choose another one.”

  13. I was in the military in 1995.
    Our wages were not affected by the extended governmental shutdown.

    I’m wondering precisely what’s changed. And having a difficult time finding out.

    • Right now, nothing has changed. If the shutdown goes for about a week, there won’t be anyone available to process the military paychecks on the 1st.

    • 11B-Mailclerk

      National Guard gets paid for training days. If those days get canceled, or shortened, so does the pay.

    • Three shutdowns when I was in the Air Force (first while I was in Basic). The question of whether we would be paid never. even. came. up. Hel’s Misty Halls, I wasn’t even aware that they were happening (not terribly politically aware back then).

    • It really depends on when the financial bill runs out and when the next military pay period is. I got paid monthly while in service, and I see a biweekly check as a retiree.

      Most of the military above the enlisted grade of E-4 have enough in savings to get by for a couple of weeks. I remember one time were I think Congress went nearly 90 days and that was hurting a bunch of folks, including some junior officers.

      Most of us would not accept a handout until it gets to the point of not having food on the table or a roof over our families heads. Single military members, especially junior enlisted, usually have dorms and mess halls so having pay delayed may only affect their next car payment. Still not a comfortable place to be when you’re own representatives become your enemies.

      • It’s the first and fifteenth of the month now (at least for active/reserve, retirees are apparently a different system).

        So the civilians who do the processing theoretically have plenty of time to make up whatever work was missed from the one day furlough and meet the schedule for February 1. If/when they shut down again on February 8, though…

    • Same, of course, I was on deployment then so it’s not like I really needed any money. Of course, even the democrats are (usually) smart enough to know you always pay folks with the guns (not to mention nukes).

    • There’s a bill coming up for vote. CHIP. Can’t remember what it stands for, but I think this is what a lot of the military fuss is about.

      • CHIP? You mean Children’s Health Insurance Program?

        From Wiki:
        “The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) – formerly known as the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) – is a program administered by the United States Department of Health and Human Services that provides matching funds to states for health insurance to families with children. The program was designed to cover uninsured children in families with incomes that are modest but too high to qualify for Medicaid.

        “The program came in response to the failure of comprehensive health care reform proposed in 1993 by President Bill Clinton. The legislation to create it was sponsored by Senator Ted Kennedy in a partnership with Senator Orrin Hatch, with support coming from First Lady Hillary Clinton during the Clinton administration. At its creation in 1997, SCHIP was the largest expansion of taxpayer-funded health insurance coverage for children in the U.S. since[citation needed] Lyndon Johnson established Medicaid in 1965. The statutory authority for CHIP is under title XXI of the Social Security Act.

        “States are given flexibility in designing their CHIP eligibility requirements and policies within broad federal guidelines. Some states have received authority through waivers of statutory provisions to use CHIP funds to cover the parents of children receiving benefits from both CHIP and Medicaid, pregnant women, and other adults. CHIP covered 7.6 million children during federal fiscal year 2010, and every state has an approved plan.”
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Children%27s_Health_Insurance_Program

        Funded for another six years in the Continuing Resolution just passed.

        • Oh, also:
          “Two attempts to expand funding for the program were vetoed by President George W. Bush, who argued that such efforts were steps toward federalization of health care, and would `steer the program away from its core purpose of providing insurance for poor children and toward covering children from middle-class families.` On February 4, 2009, President Barack Obama signed the Children’s Health Insurance Reauthorization Act of 2009, expanding the healthcare program to an additional 4 million children and pregnant women, including “lawfully residing” immigrants without a waiting period.”

        • I did say I wasn’t sure what the acronym stood for.

          😛

          I’m pretty sure that there is a military-specific bill that’s supposed to be coming up for vote. And that we should expect to see it passed in the three weeks covered by the current continuing resolution.

  14. I dunno, it’s a tough call. Servicemen—illegal aliens—servicemen—illegal aliens—y’know what, let the servicemen go hang, we’re here to protect people who are here illegally.

    (I’m being sarcastic, but that really does seem to be the Democrats’ plan.)

    • It’s so shocking that we even have trouble believing it.

    • Maybe they looked at service member’s pay and went “ah, just a few thousand bucks a pay check! They won’t even miss it.”

    • “Yes, makin’ mock o’ uniforms that guard you while you sleep
      Is cheaper than them uniforms, an’ they’re starvation cheap”

    • Seriously – it does seem that way, doesn’t it?
      I sat out a couple of these “emergencies”, during my active-duty time. The one which I remember the clearest was in the late 1970s, and to do with approving the budget. A lot of worry over it, because a lot of lower enlisted people literally finish out the pay period with empty purses and bank accounts. No check on payday, no groceries. (And I don’t think it has changed for the junior enlisted since then.) IIRC, the base commissary management on that occasion gave the word that they would sit on checks written for groceries indefinitely – we would get paid, eventually! Food pantries, short-term no-interest loans, donations, delay of payment of rent and other stuff … all of this will help active-duty families.

      BTW, I hope that San Fran Nan gets roasted, over hosting a fancy dinner at an expensive Washington restaurant the other night, while military families worry about where their next meal is coming from. Very bad optics, in the light of the shutdown.

      • For Pelosi to get roasted, that fancy dinner would have to be highlighted and run ad nauseum during every news show for the next week. Even then, her constituency would be going “…And, so…?”, and she’d never feel the pain from her district voting against her.

        The unfortunate thing for our nation is that the Democrats have been operating within an umbrella of cover from the media that has given them the same insouciant attitude towards these things that the US Army has about air superiority–They just don’t care how it looks, because the rubes will never hear about it, and if they do, it will be a nine-minute wonder while they scramble to find some dirt on someone else, preferably Republican.

        We have the worst media in the history of this nation, and a lot of it comes down to the simple fact that the idiot Republicans (but, I repeat myself…) allowed the media to be taken over and suborned by their political enemies without so much as a whimper.

      • You mean like how Obama got roasted for going to a Las Vegas fund-raiser with champagne fountains while an ambassador was being murdered in Benghazi?

        Oh… wait…

  15. Every big military bank that I know of– all the way down to “they’ve got a branch on base in one or two areas” level– are giving interest-free loans to the military.

    In practice, that means their paycheck shows up in their bank account like normal, and when the gov’t finally does pay for it, they won’t see that check.

    I *know* Navy Federal and USAA did it last time, and now you can’t hit a page that covers military heavily without seeing a nice notice for it.

    So, your idea is awesome, AND already in action.

    Might be wise to look for the other folks that aren’t getting paid, though.

    • I know, but I also know people who are reserves and aren’t getting the maneuvers or pay for that, and they counted on it, and other such issues.
      It’s not dire — yet — but it’s uncomfortable, and will get really uncomfortable if it goes on much longer.

  16. David L. Davies

    If we could only require that whenever the FedGov ‘shuts down’ that the FedGov stops collecting taxes, THAT would put the fear of God into the Swamp.

    That will never happen.

    Could we crowdsource an alternative Defense Fund? Devoted entirely to subsistence payments to military families?

    • For every day of shutdown, congressional pay is docked (not to be restored) by 1/365 of annual pay. AND.. a ban on lobbying etc. post-term for sitting congressvolk AND THEIR STAFFS is extended by… oh, how about 3 months?

    • Military members do get taxed on their wages.
      No wages, no tax income needs to be paid to Uncle Sugar.

  17. The Dems are doing this FOR illegal aliens. Trump ran on and was elected for preventing /removing illegal aliens. I see Trump gaining voters on this.

  18. If the government shuts down and no one really notices, doesn’t that mean that there’s a whooooole lot of government that could be eliminated or at least seriously trimmed without causing pain?

    • That appears to be the fear of which the Democrats have become aware and are voting to reopen the government.

      Most of their speeches “explaining” their “change of heart” are premised on a Republican “guarantee” to allow a vote that they were already willing to hold.

      • Senate Minority Leader (hah-ha!) Schmuck Chewmer declared that “DACA is the civil rights issue f our time.”

        Then why was their party futzing around with imposing transgender bathrooms these last few years?

        • Up Chuck Schumer wouldn’t understand a civil right if you hit him upside the head with the 1964 statute.
          I am SO glad I moved out of New York State. Unfortunately, I’m currently stuck with the evil Quadumvirate of Hassan, Shaheen, Kuster and Shea-Porter. /sigh

        • You would think that if this issue were so important, the Democrats might have passed a law about it back when they controlled the presidency, the house, and had a supermajority in the Senate.

          A cynic might think that they don’t actually give a damn about DACA and are just using it as a convenient cudgel to go after the Republicans.

  19. 11B-Mailclerk

    I have to wonder if the whole shutdown/DACA fiasco was supposed to take the “FISA memo” item off the table until it could be defused.

    All of congress has it. It supposedly is. …. problematic for the left and the prior administration. Yet no leaks so far.

    That suggests, possibly, something so very explosive that congresscritters and stafflings are going to great lengths to sanitize the upcoming leaks, so as not to get prosecuted for the leaks. And -that- raises all sorts of troubling possibilities.

    Popcorn?

    • And if any congresscritter gets sufficiently annoyed by delays in the release, he or she can merely read from it on the floor. They’re immune from action for any speech made on the floor.

    • For those of us who like sitting by bonfires with popcorn, I guess.

    • Reportedly nearly all Republican House members have stopped in the SCIF to review the memo, and none of the Dems have done so.

      IIRC, that was also the case back during the l’affaire Lewinski — it’s as if they already know how bad it is and don’t want to be burdened with knowledge of specifics.

    • Would that be white popcorn? Racist!

    • I suspect that the Republican leadership wants to handle this thing *very* carefully. They want to get it out, and they want to try and minimize the spin on it. So they’re moving to declassify it (which takes time), and also threatening to drop the hammer on any Representatives that leak it early.

    • Maybe somebody with some sense pointed out to them that Trump doesn’t play by the rules. He doesn’t give a fat damn what their Media shills say.

      • The only thing that would have triggered this cave would be the D private polling – it was not going their way, so they bailed.

        The most entertaining thing today is reading the various lefty advocacy groups wailing and gnashing and so on.

        At least, finding themselves in a real Schumerhole, the Dems stopped digging after only three days.

      • The media shills had started to turn against it, as well. Their polls evidently showed that a majority of those being polled weren’t buying the Dem line.

      • I’m fairly sure Trump is wise to the fact that it doesn’t matter WHAT he does, the media will vilify him for it. So might as well do the Thing Likely To Result In Success, and not pissing off the voters.

  20. Im not advocating a return to naivete by any means, but I sure would like to wipe out all the sneering, nihilistic, narcissistic cynicism thats taken over the American mood and return to a space where we could have someone stand in the middle of the room and declare they are proud to be Americans and everyone agree with enthusiasm and no one has that fear that we all seem to have that any minute someone’s going to drop a Social Justice Turd into the mix by sighing or rolling their eyes as they mutter “yes but…”

    I remember even in 1976 when we were still feeling the pain of the Viet Nam war, EVERYONE felt really good to be American because of the Bicentennial. Without shame. Without fear.

    THAT’S what Im hoping will eventually come about. Not just economic prosperity. Not just the Left getting their come-uppance. I want to see people coming out the schools not only knowing history, but FEELING that America has the Best Chance for Hope in this world.

    Im sick of the European sneering in my ear and having their whispers and mutterings still in my head. The Europeans havent come up with anything new: theyve been badmouthing America since before the Revolution.

    • The Europeans are dying. Ignore them. They’re the dogs that bark, while the caravan passes.

      • They are a) not reproducing enough of themselves (slow-motion population suicide and b) importing non-Europeans who ARE reproducing themselves more than adequately and don’t like the Europeans. I’m reasonably sure they expect to replace the Europeans within the next 50 years. Unless they learn to operate and manage the utilities for power, light, oil and gas, communications, etc., build and repair cars, trucks, busses and trains, they’re in for very hard times. Oh, yes, also farming; foodstuffs run out.
        I could see the Fall of the Roman Empire reproduced continent-wide. Hey! Someone could write a book about the coming dystopia!

      • Saw the post on PJM that “only four countries like Trump more than they did Obama.” My reaction was “So?”

        To be honest, I don’t even care whether the Israelis like Trump more (though they do, for obvious reasons). I don’t believe that Donald is particularly worried about it either (which is refreshing).

    • Spotted at Instapundit:

      “Donald Trump is only the beginning of a populist retrenchment, one that faces great adversity from a well-entrenched globalist political class.

      “And that, rather than anything to do with Trump’s presidency, is what has gone horribly wrong in America. The broader ruling class in the country, the wealthy and politically connected, the best educated and most widely heard, have abandoned their countrymen. The very concept of citizenship, to say nothing of placing one’s fellow citizens above those whose loyalties are to other states and cultures, has fallen out of vogue among America’s most privileged. The nation and the citizen have been the core of Donald Trump’s appeal-the common denominator in his emphasis on immigration, jobs, industry, and America First in foreign policy—yet even within his own party, the globalist ideology of the 1990s staggers on. This, and not Donald Trump’s temperament or tweets, is the real menace to the country: an elite that has lost the trust of the people because the people knows what the elite will not admit—namely, that it despises them.”
      https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/286606/

  21. I think …
    – Continuing resolutions should be outlawed, except in time of national emergency (such as Congress being forced to relocate due to enemy forces, an epidemic, or natural disaster). Period.
    – Congress should eliminate the “omnibus” budget bullcrap. It would prevent total gov’t shutdowns. It would also require prioritizing budgets. Any constitutionally mandated function that is left unfunded would trigger the below items.

    — Anytime we approach a shutdown, Congressional pay should be stopped. That’s congresscritters (elected), staff members, perks, EVERYTHING. Including their security staff.
    — If the President vetoes a budget, and that veto triggers a shutdown, the White House budget should be zeroed out until a budget is passed.
    — In the period approaching a shutdown, congresscritters will not leave the floor (except for required biological necessities) until a vote is taken in both houses, and the President signs the bill into law.

    – All budget items must be presented in both constant dollar terms and absolute dollar terms, both relative to the last year’s budget, the last administration’s budget, and the budget from 1900.

    • Agreed. But how do we get the above passed? At least in Oregon ‘we the people’ can initiate legislation through proposals and votes. Can also get rid of them or prohibit through the same process. Not sure about federal level.

      At this point we are asking the fox to stop plucking, eating the chicken, and leaving enough to do it again, again, again, …

      • 11B-Mailclerk

        The US Constitution has provisions for amendments. One path is through Congress, who drafts and the States approve. The other is via a Convention of States.

        Per Article Five, that second option does -not- go through Congress. Again in case two, the States approve.

        It has never been done. However, it -can- be done, and was intended as a check on the Federal government.