We Build!


Construction work is never glamorous work.  My mother, who grew up in a very poor area, and wanted to marry up, early on excised construction workers from her list of potentials, because they “get so dirty.”

I grew up in and around construction sites nonethless.  One of my grandfathers was a “historical restauration” carpenter.  It’s like this, the castles and monuments stay on, because they’re made of stone, but the bits made of wood rot away with time.  He was one of the few people who knew how to replace them, in the proper medieval (or whatever) way.  Yeah, he was usually foreman, but you get the point.

My other grandfather (dad’s dad) was a cabinet maker.  And because I tended to haunt his workshop and follow him everywhere, and because though retired, he took odd jobs, often “in exchange” I used to follow him on those jobs, and be his “boy.”

More importantly, my parents, who both abhor debt, had saved most of their married life (I was born almost ten years in) and for most of my early life to build a house.  Building that house, which has foundations like a castle, took years, and we visited the site often.  Improving the house took even longer, till about when I got married.

So there were construction workers around all the time, doing this and that and the other thing.  And because of we were, construction workers weren’t just people brought in.  They were usually friends of one or the other grandfather, someone they’d worked with at some place or other, or sons of friends, or some other connection. So they’d eat with us, and I’d follow them around to see what they were doing, and how they were doing it.

This is good, because I find that in a way my destiny was to be a construction worker.

Yeah.  Hush now.  Some of it literal (I’ve rebuilt two Victorians from the ground up almost.) but some….


If you go to New York City or another old place, where there isn’t much room (Lisbon and London even more so, or Paris) you get the impression the city is simultaneously being built and torn down.  And if you’re a construction worker in a country with lots of history you learn mostly what the new things are built on is old things. (You learn really quick not to say anything, too.  The big modern cow shed and milking works in the village are built atop a Roman cemetery (which means our house half a mile way, would probably be outside the Roman walls, but then I suspect that, because the whole village is called “farm” and I suspect htat’s what it was.) And they found Richard III under a parking lot in England.  (Bet you someone knew too, and shoveled and shut up.)

Western civilization is a very old philosophical space, and mostly what it’s built on is the ruins of itself.  Greeks and Romans, Medieval monks, the renaissance, all have added bulwarks of philosophy, machinery of commerce, foundations of technology.  In the age of empires we found we weren’t necessarily all that advanced compared to other races/civilizations, but our foundations ran deeper.  We had records.  (Okay, India and China had deep foundations and records too, but most of it was devoted to metaphorically speaking autophagy.  We are to an extent starting that road now, which is why this is important.)

And then came Marxism.

There is always a certain amount of wrecking and pruning that goes on into a living civilization.  Again, like building in those old cities, stuff gets cleared away, and new stuff built.  The renaissance was an orgy of such tearing down and building.  The romantics got a little silly with it.  But this is normal.  It’s like your brain pruning its own slower pathways, to let others take over.

Then came Marxism.

Marxism is a uniquely wrecking philosophy, because it’s not a philosophy.  Not really.  It’s a religion masquerading as a political theory.  It has its version of Eden (that pre-capitalist pre-history that never exist but which they believe in anyway), its version of original sin corrupting the world (this is why madness can’t be madness in capitalist countries.  It’s just the effects of capitalism corrupting human minds.  And why opposing communism is ipso facto madness, because you know, sane people want to be communists) and its unbreakable certainty in the great redemption and utopia of a communist future, which is inevitable as far as they’re concerned.

So, anything they do to bring about this wonderful future is justified, which is why they went ahead happily breaking eggs, though no one has yet seen an omelet cooked by the left, and also why, as in Islam, any amount of personal dishonesty and evil is forgivable if the ends justify the means.

This makes it uniquely dangerous, because they will stab anyone in the back, run anyone from an industry they wish to invade, and promote any no-talent or incompetent, in any industry, in order to have the right ideological color to bring about their big utopian culmination of their Marxist exegesis. And they’ll KNOW while doing it that they’re GOOD people and everyone who opposes them is evil.

This would be bad enough and destructive enough.  Like the romantics, but insane.

But on top of that, they can’t build.  They just can’t.  Their philosophy doesn’t match reality enough to allow a build.  Their fundamental misunderstanding of human nature makes it impossible to create anything that stands.

They might SEEM to build quickly (though mostly they take over quickly) because of their ruthlessness, but it’s much like Lucia Benedetti’s describing a house built with excrement instead of cement to bind the stones.  You don’t have to mix it, and it dries quickly, and for a while it seems to rise very quickly.  But inevitably the smell gets to you and excrement can’t hold anything, so it falls.

Which we’ve seen, over and over, and over again.  Foundations resting on corpses and destruction (either in reality or philosophically) doesn’t help either.

And then there’s the fact that in this current century they know that.  We know that, they know that.  They know their lovely vision isn’t materializing and can’t materialize in reality.

This is not admitted, of course, but it’s there, at the root of their frustration, their anger, their hatred of anyone happy and successful, and of anything that allows western countries to succeed.

They’re like the pruning mechanisms of the brain set on insane automatic, and turning on the brain of civilization itself.

And like those, the result is pathological destruction and forgetfulness.  It is also — almost in revenge — a nostalgie de la bue, a cultural longing for all that is deranged, destructive, primitive, low.  (Part of this they inherited from the romantics, but it’s now set on 11.)

My medical friends tell me that every human body throws out cancers every day.  Mostly our immune systems take care of those cancers, before they hit the radar.  I’m at a uniquely high risk of it because my immune system is deranged, and attacks good stuff, while ignoring the cancer.  …. most of Europe is at the same risk, and we’re not perfect, ourselves.

There is only one thing we can do to save the greatest civilization the world has ever known, the one that has saved most people from abject poverty and allowed us to raise our eyes to the stars and think of escaping earth: build.

Most of us — and I’m half a century old — were already taught faulty foundations.  It’s been chic and enlightened to run down your own civilization and turn kids into oikophobes, because comparing ourselves unfavorably to places that still practice slavery or where women are chattel is supposed to make children feel superior to those ancestors who could actually build things.  You know, sure, the founding fathers were intellectual giants bestriding the world, but every millenial knows they were slave-owners, and so the millenial can feel superior, without ever doing a lick of work or thought.  (They aren’t taught anything else but this unearned superiority — not unless their parents are crazy as I’ll admit to being, and challenge them constantly from five years of age on — which is why they can’t stand discussion.  Their entire superiority rests on “having the right opinions” but they don’t know why those opinions are right, or even what other opinions are possible.  They just live in fear of changing their minds, or even doubting, and hence falling from grace.)

It was already that way in my day, and it wasn’t until I dared question and started to learn that I became capable of discussion and of understand.  And of building.

Most of us, here, under sixty, probably had the same faulty education.

Whatever you do, wherever you are, the only antidote to Marxism in all its poisonous versions, from soft socialism to oikophobic poison, is to learn.  To learn and to build. To build solidly on the intellectual and moral foundations of the past before the cancerous growth.

It’s a lot of work.  It’s not glamorous.  Most of it is small no one will know you did it.  Improve a little thing here, connect a little thing there.  Teach the young.  Laugh at the absurd preening of the wreckers who can’t build.

The world will probably forget us, but if we win — and we will win! — our grandchildren will be able to build on with western civilization.

Learn, do, build.  In every facet of life, where you’re called, learn how to do it properly.  This might be me learning the lost art of ironing clothes, or the even more lost art of cooking from scratch, or teaching myself Latin and Greek so I can read primary sources.  Or it might be just figuring out how business is supposed to work, really work.  It might be learning technology, it might be learning classic story telling, it might be learning plumbing or how to create a brick wall.

Go back before everything go corrupted, and learn.  Learn to build.

And in every place you have a choice, choose building.  Choose life.  Choose creation over destruction.  The only exception to this is dismantling the machinery of despondence and destruction, including the ridiculous belief that humans are bad and a plague on the world.  (Compared to what?  If we go to the stars, we’ll be the biome’s salvation, their cause of expansion.)

And build. Build. Build.  Build knowledge, build friendships, build businesses, build structures.

It’s dirty and sweaty work, and you’ll go home smelly and tired.

But the west might be saved by it.  And the individualists of the Earth with it.  And we might yet conquer the stars.

We build.  Remember that and go do.  Be not afraid.





394 thoughts on “We Build!

  1. I started years ago. I have continued the work and hope to expand upon the building. Collecting books, teaching people, building myself. Things will get better.

  2. One advantage to growing up among the”” “Working Poor” is the ethos “If you want something and can’t afford to buy it, build it.” And the ability to fix things, even supposedly unfixable, disposable items.

    1. Every once in a while I hear of (yet another) Last of the Great Scroungers… maybe the unfixable can’t be fixed… but the darnedest things can be combined in the darnedest ways to get some useful result – and that’s impressive. Backwoods? Redneck? Hillbilly? So what?! Does. It. Work? If yes, then.. who cares about silly names and classifications?

      And sometimes the seemingly complex problem has a really simple (and obvious in retrospect) solution…

      Problem: Local city water is crud. The joke is that there’s so much iron it you can bend the water with a magnet. [NOT VERIFIED]
      Solution: Filter jug.
      Problem: Filling jug is a time-sink.
      Solution: Another container, a valve to regulate flow so filter doesn’t overflow.
      BETTER, SIMPLER solution: Siphon and choose a small inner-diameter hose as the flow-rate limiter.

      1. I have a friend whose water source is way too high in iron AFTER filtering. They can’t afford a second system (this is a personal well), but as a general question, would a secondary filter be helpful?

        1. I cannot say for sure if it would be sufficient, but each filter-pass does have an effect.

          I have this strange image now of a water-smelting operation…

    2. Quite so. A corollary is “If you can’t afford to go out to eat – cook it yourself.”

      I had a yen for a Philly cheese steak yesterday, so that is what we had for dinner. Ten of them for the (approximate) cash cost of two at the single place in town that I feel does a decent job. The sauce was a bit “grainy,” though, thanks to limited time and lack of a gripping hand…

        1. That (the original article rather than Correia’s fisking obviously) was clearly written by someone who was raised by French poodles: well-intentioned but with no clue of how real people deal with things.

          1. I beg your pardon! I don’t really LIKE French Poodles much, but I have known a few and as a breed they exhibited more common sense when chasing butterflies than this ‘the poor can’t cook’ imbecile.

            Maybe raised by a pack of those little rat-dogs that people like Paris Hilton are shown caring.

              1. Never planned on ever having anything smaller than, say, uhmm, Siberian Husky / Malamute. Have a PomChi, genetically 6/8 (1/8 Great Pyrenees, why she is at her upper size range @ a year), I wanted to know. She is SMART (if a bit yappy when home & someone “intrudes”, where “intrudes” = on sidewalk in front, sigh). She HAS to have a job or she’ll drive us all nuts. Her “3” primary jobs, she self learned, although one of them is herding the cats; she has a ball trying. 🙂

                1. Wait, wait, wait. Pyrenees? The Hell?
                  Although that gene set would be why it NEEDS a job.
                  as an aside:
                  Knew of someone in Texas who had a Great Pyrenees. One day, a Pit Bull in the neighborhood got loose and stuck its head into the small square hole in the backyard fence (just big enough for the GP to fit its head so he could see if it was family coming up the drive) and snapped at the Great Pyrenees. The GP pulled the Pit into the yard through that hole, and the pit did not survive the event. The Pyrenees owners were really sorry, the Pit was otherwise friendly, but it did not like other dogs. The owning family’s mother had seen it from the upstairs window, and before she could get downstairs and out in the yard, the Pit was already extruded into the yard.

                  1. I adore Pyrenees. We had a pair when I was growing up–ostensibly to watch after the animals on our tiny little “Farm”, but they were also the best bodyguards. Anytime my mother or my sister or I went out to the pasture at night, they always flanked us and followed us around to be sure we were safe.

                    And so, soooo patient with baby things, including small brother at the time. When our male (Beast–he was a good 120 lbs) got tired of brother climbing on him and hanging off his ears, he’d very gently nudge him to the ground and plant a paw on his chest until mom came and got him.

                    Our asshat neighbor, we are fairly certain, killed him. And when my parents moved away, we had to rehome our female (Belle.) I still miss those dogs.

                    1. There is something very wrong with those people who kill dogs which are in their own yards, minding their own business. The degree of malice and cowardice involved is terrible.

                    2. They do tend to patrol, and really are not happy not guarding several things. One of the breeds on my list of “Dogs I’d have”

                  2. Great Pyrenees & Chihuahua pairing. Reactions have been: “WHAT!!!” “Wow”, & “Wait, wait, wait. Pyrenees? The Hell?”

                    “Although that gene set would be why it NEEDS a job.”

                    I figured. That was why I wanted her DNA done. Was not thinking Pyrenees, but smaller herding dog. Thought Corgi (but no, not a drop), because she is a little rectangle, not much, just barely off from square. But apparently that is normal for the PomChi, which is skewed to the Chi.

                    1. Just a FYI, the DNA breed-ancestry tests on dogs are often wildly inaccurate. And from what I’ve seen, I strongly suspect the longhair gene gets tagged as all sorts of things it is not.

              2. I’ve met a number of these poor beasts. They are hyperactive, noisy, nervous, and (mostly) affectionate. They AREN’T smart. They are tight little bundles of instinctive reactions, and nothing else.

                I’ve met RABBITS that were smarter.

                1. The chihuahua breeder who lived in the plat next to my college would like you to know that most small dogs are smart and quiet, unless bred and trained to be yappy idiots. Smart chihuahuas don’t have the weird bulgy eyes and bulgy heads, either.

                  Being watched and judged by a pack of smart quiet chihuahuas is… impressive. Like terriers, except more of a nice guy, with a stiletto dagger, sort of attitude.

                  1. Chis were originally a sort of rat terrier for indoor use. The old-line Chis were good hunters and watchdogs, aggressive toward strangers, but not idiots.

                2. I’ve met a few, very few, who were not any of the above, but still the average yap-dog is a level above the yob who wrote the fisked article.

              3. Nemo has more common sense in his claws than that stupid writer ever did. He’s a Jack Russell Terrier/Toy poodle mix. He’s energetic, yappy, patient, cunning, and loves his family.

                1. so Nemo knows he is actually a St Bernard, no really, he is, just ask him. Every Jack Russel I knew thought that it was a large breed, and poodles can be that way, but not nearly as bad as a Jack.

                  1. My (oversized) Jack pretends to be a Betty Bad-Ass, but when anything bigger than a hamster snaps at her, she jumps back and barks louder. She won’t get in there and mix it up with anything. Of course, this keeps her from getting into scrapes where she would really get hurt, but it is still pretty funny to watch her jump back when the VERY immature groundhog she has cornered snaps at her when she gets too close.

                  2. You misspelled “dire wolf”.

                    I’ve seen him back down a Doberman. I’ve seen him try to back down a Great Dane….. who just looks at him. “Should I take a deep breath so you disappear?”

                  3. “Little dog syndrome”. Or (my new one) “(Colossal!) Very Big Dog in a little bitty package!”

                    Seriously, unless you are a dog person, & absolutely willing to take the time & train them, the littler dogs can be a noisy pest. Just like all puppies they are adorable & cute. As little dogs as puppies they appear more frail & breakable. At a year mine is only 15 or 18#’s depending on the day I weigh her. Labs, Retrievers, Pitmix’s, Great Pyrenees, Danes, etc., are that size at 8 to 12 weeks! Most, even non-dog people, know with big dogs you have to train them to some degree, before getting out of puppy stage. Small dogs most think you can put it off “until they are bigger & older”, “let them be puppies”. No. Don’t. Just Don’t.

                    Our new pup was leash trained before 2 months (5#’s) & was in her first in class training session before she had her full set of shots. Was she ever “perfect” in class. Heck no. But she doesn’t bark if we’re out & about. Not a dog trainer by trade or even hobby (she’d be better trained if I was), we are learning together.

                    1. I have known a few naturally docile small dogs, usually a Chihuahua mix of some sort, but even a docile dog will be somewhat yappy if it isn’t trained at all

            1. They are supposed to be one of the most intelligent of dog breeds so not a good comparison. Poor things just had the bad luck of becoming fashionable with certain type of owners. 😛

              So yep, hamsters or something might work better.

              1. One of my best friend ever was a well-bread large cinnamon beige standard poodle who joined our household the winter I turned 10.  In my experience a standard poodle is extremely intelligent, very loving, and can be ferocious when defending his people. (As with all breeds over-breeding is detrimental.)

                That intelligence can be a problem.  The family went from using the word walk, to spelling the word ‘w-a-l-k’, to referring to it as ‘you know’, but each time he caught on and would go sit (not always so patiently) beside the door to the place where his leash was kept.  In the end we had to be creative and used a wide range of synonyms and euphemisms. 

                1. Just got through taking our dog to get her Canine Good Citizen certificate. Taking a class VS just taking the test was only about $10 more, so did that. What we found funny is that everyone taking the class spelled commands when we didn’t want our dogs to actually do the action. Class was in a public venue. You could hear people walking by chuckling.

          2. My tinfoil thought about that author of the original article is that his unstated mission (or the mission of whoever signs his check) is to keep people eating fast food because it makes them too slow to run and too foggy to think straight and therefore perfect specimens for mind control.

            1. Possibly, but I suspect he also commonly rails against “Corporatisation of the American Dining Table.”

              That such would reflect intellectual incoherence has never seemed the type of hobgoblin afflicting Leftist minds.

          3. I refuse to accord good intentions to someone who tweets a picture of his very young daughter to a self-admitted and self-describing pedophile to ‘make them feel better.’ (which the writer of the original article did during GamerGate.)

            1. Okay, didn’t know about that part.

              Doesn’t seem like there’s anything to say to that. Moving on…

                1. “Hi, I suffer from a well recognized evil temptation.”
                  “Oh! Well, here is a big ol’ attack on that weakness!”

                  It’s like deliberately trying to get a drunk to drink, but even eviler.

                  1. Because in this case the ‘drink’ can be damaged, too.

                    Swine. Wish he wasn’t about what I have come to expect from New York Intellectuals. One of the reasons I have enormous respect for Tom Wolfe is that his reputation is founded, in part, on exposing this kind of societal parasite for what it is. And the Intellectual Left tittered nervously and fawned on him, because they were scared to death of what he would rite if they didn’t.


              1. http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/09/15/houston-press-writer-jef-rouner-tweets-picture-of-his-own-daughter-to-self-confessed-pedophile/

                This was part of the reason why the sjzs were desperate to smear Milo as a pedo – because he exposed pedos, and it would’ve removed the social ‘protection’ of his being gay. I watched all this crap unfold and saw a number of the chatlogs pulled from Nyberg/Butts’ server. I always felt very, very much in desperate need of a hot, scouring shower afterward.

            2. Hunting over bait is illegal most places, and using your child as bait should be a SERIOUS last resort.

          1. It is implicit in Larry’s disagreement. He was defending bourgeois values of self-reliance, competence, living within your means. Who but a White Supremacist would argue for such an extremist standard?

          2. I think prudent money skills were what the SJW crowd was calling racist that week.

                1. The Hon. Mr. Freitas (R), a gentleman of Virginia who is perhaps going to run for governor, is apparently also a racist. Because he pointed out the Democratic Party’s history of racist atrocities, as well as the facts about guns. In a single speech.

                  But Freitas is a Portuguese name.

                  So I guess he’s secretly another Mormon with a great rack.

                    1. Don’t you Portuguese realize that the route to success in contemporary America is by playing the Victim Card? Hard work, deferred gratification, and self-discipline are for suckers. If you on’t learn to play the victim you will never experience the joys and sense of achievement that come from putting one over on The Man.

              1. *Sigh* Yep, and not capable of getting a valid id, even though you need an id to do pretty much everything.

                The only thing I can think of is they are really working on getting the homeless vote out.

          3. It’s testament to Larry’s crowd’s self-control that comment didn’t get drowned with responses, I think.

          4. It doesn’t, but the standard prog doesn’t think nonwhites are capable of complex things like cooking so expecting that of them is “white supremacist” to them.

            Because it’s always the other person who is a complete and utter racist, not them.

            1. Ah the soft racism of low expectations. It’s insidious.

              It’s one of those “teach a man to fish things”. Beat a man because of his race, and you’ve controlled him for a day. Teach a man that he is incapable because of his race, and you control him for life.

              They don’t want the poor to learn how to escape poverty, it makes them less likely to vote correctly (ie. for their Progressive, Marxist betters).

          5. *head hurts*

            Wait, only white people can cook? So whose food do we keep getting accused of appropriating due to insufficiently visible ancestry of teh correct type?

              1. few years back, SooperMexican did a youtube video making tacos when the leftoids were doing their $1.79 lunch gig to drum up some support for raising some benefit payments (“Wow, look how little I could afford by buying a single piece of fruit and a boiled egg from a convenience store/Whole Foods/Trader Joe’s! How do you expect the Poor to be able to eat!?).

                1. Yeah, fun stuff. I love the leftists when they try to “live” on a welfare budget. It’s hilarious how they shop and what they look for.

          1. Hmm… we could be generous and still come in under budget really easily:
            2lb chicken leg quarters (1 leg quarter each): $2
            2 bags generic stir fry vegetables: $2.50
            3 bags generic cauliflower to make mashed cauliflower: $3
            Add another very generous $2 for the meal contribution of some condiments, seasonings for the meat, butter and milk for the mashed cauliflower.

            Total: $9.50 and it is also low carb so maybe the father can do something about his Type II diabetes.

            1. Okay. Been out of scouting adult leadership now since 2007, with kid in a patrol. If I remember correctly, patrols ate darn good 5 meals for weekend @ $4/scout. Patrols ran 4 (senor) to 6 or 7 scouts. FYI. So did the adults who adhered to the same just to set the correct example.

              Scouts chosen meals = limited amount of dishes, both cooking & eating, they didn’t like doing clean up. Cook in foil. Cook eggs in orange peels (plus they ate the orange), scrambled eggs in baggies, etc.

              1. I got camp certified for the Girl Scouts and their budgetary limits are $11 per person per day. Within that limit, my patrol was able to come up with three meals, two snacks, low-carb and vegan (we had someone with gestational diabetes AND somebody who was vegan, and working around dietary restrictions is mandatory), s’mores ingredients for everybody, cards for the instructors, AND we all had to pack food home. I mean, while this does have the big assumption of having certain bargain places around and the ability to get there, we obviously had plenty of wiggle room.

                1. On special weekends, we’d (adults), would provide entire troop with deep fried turkey & jojo’s, & still be under budget. Special not because of the cost, but hauling that equipment & oil was a pain. We had to work around special medical diets too. Dietary preferences, well that was what well rounded dietary requirements come in. Just because meat/milk/eggs were offered does not mean you have to eat them. Teaching scouts (& parents) that just because the budget for the weekend was X, if the meals & snacks chosen, did not require the expenditure, don’t spend it, was harder. Too many families it is “ooo, I have money left over, what can I spend it on?”

            2. In re all the “how cheap can you eat?” — I would point out,for context, that most of the cheapness comes from the economies of scale (feeding a large family or a group).
              If you only have to feed ONE or even two people, you have too much left over (boring after the third day), or pay a premium for the SMALLER packages at the store.
              FWIW, I used to feed church groups. After one event, I was so tired we took the family (7) out to eat at a Red Lobster. Our meal cost nearly as much as what had I paid to feed about 70 people.
              We didn’t take the kids out to restaurants very often.

              1. While I agree with you about economies of scale, I find it amusing that the particular comment you chose to respond to did not rely on such for any part of it. 🙂

                Not arguing with your comment, I’m just sleepy and easily amused.

              2. If you eat something besides never-frozen, it is probably worth it to buy a little freezer. My mom got an adorable little one for hauling meat, it’s just over a cubic foot.

                I’d probably pay the thirty bucks extra and get a chest version of the 5 cf ones that’s about a foot and a half deep, two and change wide and nearly three foot tall, though, with a dryer-drawer of some sort under it so you can use it as counter space.

                1. Yeah, with a freezer you can take advantage of economy of scale, as well as taking better advantage of sales. The local grocery store currently has hamburger at 3lbs for $5, and I’m going to buy a few packages, then separate them into 2lb portions, put those in plastic bags, and freeze them. The way I do that is to put the meat into a gallon ziploc, then press it down into flat, completely filling up the length and width of the bag, with as little air left as possible (I don’t have a vacuum sealer, or I would use on of those), so I have a large flat square that I can stack in the freezer like bricks. They also have the advantage that they thaw faster and can be thawed in the microwave with less of the meat being cooked before the rest is thawed.

                  1. We only have 3 people in the house. So I avoid non-freezable perishable large purchases. Hamburger is one I get that I break up into small packages or make hamburger patties out of & freeze. Want spaghetti or chili for dinner, or hamburgers, get out needed quantity & defrost. Avoid freezing steaks, roasts.

                    1. I have a vacuum sealer – and it is fantastic for prepping things for storing in the freezer. Not just purchasing in bulk, and sorting it into easy portions, but for sealing one-or-two portion servings of leftovers into easy-boil-in-bag servings.

                      On Fri, Mar 9, 2018 at 6:57 PM, According To Hoyt wrote:

                      > d commented: “We only have 3 people in the house. So I avoid non-freezable > perishable large purchases. Hamburger is one I get that I break up into > small packages or make hamburger patties out of & freeze. Want spaghetti or > chili for dinner, or hamburgers, get out ” >

                    2. Second this. Have one myself and use it for bulk meat purchases. Like getting a 10 pound pork loin roast that’s cut into small roasts. Sealed and frozen.

                    3. “I have a vacuum sealer – and it is fantastic for prepping things for storing in the freezer. Not just purchasing in bulk, and sorting it into easy portions, but for sealing one-or-two portion servings of leftovers into easy-boil-in-bag servings. ”

                      So do I; & I have a very big box of build-your-own-side bag material. Just don’t use it. Not real fond of leftovers, whether frozen or not. Part of the reason is, it is easy for me to buy weekly, at reasonable prices, for the 3 of us; still have “all-you-see” eater, although he is close to 30, at home, so leftovers are limited & what there is he takes for lunch on swing shift.

                      Hamburger & frozen chicken breasts are the few meats I buy in bulk, even then it only takes me a couple of weeks to go through. So, not a “cook”. Hubby & kid cook the bacon & eggs, grill steaks & hamburgers … So far family has 100% banned: Meat Loaf, Chicken (for awhile, back to cooking it), … uhmmm … Basic meals are fine. But other than that I’d rather clean up, than cook. No excuse. I’m retired. Have no problem throwing food away.

                      Yes, one of those kids whose parents when they said “there are kids starving in China/India” the answer was “send them this.” Didn’t get away with it (they refrigerated it & spanked). Until “needed” to “loose” weight (I so didn’t, but culture back then … I would be Thrilled to be 145 now). To this day. I. Will. NOT. Eat. Liver. Organ of any kind. Creamed Corn. Green Jello. I won’t even buy them.

          2. Oh, I *pray* for my child to get a few of those when her turn comes for HomeEc (her school actually HAS HomeEc, which fills me with glee). She’s watched me cook and shop for years. Though I doubt her school will let her get away with the generous amount of wild greens I dump in the food this time of year.

            1. My daughter actually had a course in her senior year – where the girls were dealt out cards defining their potential life situations, and had to come up with economic plans for dealing with it – to include serious research into the cost of rents, food budgets, etc. It was an eye-opener for my daughter, as she went through my receipts for expenses with a fine-toothed-comb.

            2. “I doubt her school will let her get away with the generous amount of wild greens I dump in the food this time of year.”

              When we were budgeting for the training I mentioned above, one of the things they said is that if we had a free source around, we had to put it in the budget as though it were bought at cost (because such things aren’t always available.) I’d budget it at the comparable level of “spring greens” in the bulk packaging.

          3. For this experiment we’ll need grits, and egg or two, and a can of salmon. Salmon and grits – yum. Also cheap.

            Breakfast for supper can also be cheap. Then there’s fried cube steak and gravy, served with rice and garden peas. Don’t like fried? Try making pressure cooker cube steak and serve with the same sides.

            1. College. Egg & Cheese toasted sandwich. Got tiring, but 14 meals (Brunch & Dinner) 7 days a week. Today’s cost that is <$20/person. Cheddar cheese is the most expensive item. For variety, leave off the egg for grilled cheese.

          4. In some ways, feeding more people is easier. I live alone, and have to worry about some of my food spoiling before I can eat all of it. A lot of produce items are only available in packages that will go bad before I can use them up if I’m not careful.

          5. 1lb pork, diced, $2/lb.
            1 can Cream of Chicken Soup. $1 if the store is high priced.
            3 cups rice over estimating at $0.50
            1 onion, very large $1
            Spices at a generous $0.50

            In a couple of years I anticipate that just feeding our family of 4 one meal (growing boy who’s looking to take after the VERY tall Scotts side of the family, and his sister who is a portable hole will be using a fork by then.) There might be enough for me to take for lunch the next day. Up the rice to 5 or 6 cups? Yup, left overs for certain. So $5?

            1. If you swap in pork chops, mix the soup with half as much water as you’re supposed to, mix that with the spices, onion and rice, put it it in the bottom of an oven-safe dish and lay the pork chops on top then cover with tin foil and bake an hour at 350 , it’s “no peek pork chops.” Cheap, reheats nicely; you can either mix in a bag of frozen mixed veggies or have a salad on the side. I have five of these sitting in my freezer right now as “it’s three, I don’t want to cook, just chuck it in the cold over and it will be done by 5” meals. Re-used foil baking pans, too, so if it gets too nasty I just throw the mess away.

              1. I need to get some of those and spend a weekend preping some of those projects. Too many night’s we’ve come home and gone ‘screw it’ and hubby and I have had Ramen. We’ve got more quick options for the kids at the moment than ourselves.

                1. I do “ramen with stuff in it” for the kids. Two packages ramen, one with the “Oriental” flavoring (which Top Ramen is renaming “Soy”—and that honestly never occurred to me it was the flavor), a heat-proof bowl and a cover. Boil water, pour over ramen (no spice packets) and cover. Fry up a little ground beef with one spice packet and some onion powder; scramble a couple of eggs. Throw some frozen peas and corn into the bowl with the ramen; drain once heated. Mix in beef and eggs and serve immediately.

                  1. I used to pre-cook and chop up chicken thighs, then freeze in a bowl , and throw in one handful of mixed veggies, one handful chicken.

                2. Do you like noodles? They heat up faster, and I’ve got a recipe where I basically tear apart a Costco cooked chicken and make a big bag of whatever noodles were cheap, then add a jug or two of pre-made alfredo sauce and frozen broccoli, sometimes cheese.
                  Portion it out however you like (sandwich bags for individual, gallon bags for family) and freeze as flat as possible. Cut out of bag and either microwave or bake until it’s hot.

                  Also has the advantage of being easier to fit in a small freezer than the baking tin.

        2. Loved that one! Thank you. Apropos of other things – the girls are, right now, watching an episode of “What Not To Wear.”

          They were just talking about finding clothes that work well for the poor woman – and about the “cost per wear.” Mixing a nice dress with different accessories, so it can be worn frequently. The subject appears to be in one of those jobs where you can’t wear the same outfit three times a week. Sigh, all too many ladies are in that situation. When in office work myself, I had two pairs of black dress slacks, five white shirts, five pairs black socks, and the one pair of shoes. Oh, okay, I at one time had a couple dozen ties – I think I paid for one of them myself?

          1. Although with a much wider range of colors*, add in a fancy looking sports coat and most of the ties he chose himself**, and another batch of shirts for “polo Friday,” my husband does the same.

            * Partly because his wife adores how nice he looks in them, and because white clothing is evil.
            ** He is very nice about it, but the few times I tried to pick a “nice, conservative blue tie” as he put it, I swear he went pale in outraged fashion sense. He tried to explain what was wrong with it, but none of it made sense. 🙂

            1. Oh, I have more clothing for non-paid-work purposes.

              White is not “evil” – unless you are a total klutz. Now, I did replace two or three work shirts a year, but the coffee or tomato stained ones made great art smocks for the kids (the short sleeved) and just the thing for extended projects outdoors in the middle of a Tucson summer (the long sleeved).

              I will admit that I don’t buy all that many new shirts (jeans are a different matter, I abuse the heck out of them). I am fortunate enough that I’m still wearing shirts that I bought (well, that Mom bought) when I was in high school 40+ years ago. (One reason to get my weight gain back under control, besides health – clothes shopping is evil… BG).

              1. The Oxford cloth shirt is a closet staple, always looks sharp and ages remarkably well. Traditional blue is perfect and many of the other shades are equally becoming.

              2. White shirts and tomato sauce? Let me tell you a story…

                In college, I was in the Men’s Glee Club. Every year we would do a one-week tour of one area of the U.S., usually singing in churches since their sanctuaries had great acoustics. Every evening, we’d arrive at the church around 4:00 PM, have a rehearsal, eat supper, then go out to perform. So at suppertime, we usually were in our tuxedo shirts (white, naturally), with the black jackets hanging on the wall hangers behind us.

                Now, if you’re in charge of a church kitchen and you’re supposed to feed 40-45 young men of college age, what do you feed them? Something you can make it LARGE batches, of course. Invariably, without a single exception that I can remember, our meals were one of three things: lasagna, spaghetti, or sloppy joes. Eaten while wearing white shirts, and there were usually only one or two spare shirts available if anyone dripped on himself.

                Lasagna was easy, and sloppy joes turned out to be surprisingly easy as well: you just had to learn forward over your plate when taking a bite, so that if anything dripped, it fell onto the plate and not onto your lap. It’s spaghetti that was the real threat: slurp just one noodle, and its end would be almost guaranteed to flick a little blob of tomato sauce onto your nice white shirt. Spaghetti dinners were dangerous.

                1. Tomato on mine were usually ketchup or barbecue sauce, when I had the rare lunch from Carl’s Jr. during a “crisis” time. Eating a Double Western or an onion ring with one hand and trying to type with the other.

          2. Hubby & my work clothing & at home leisure clothing, except summer, were the same (no shorts, he couldn’t given work environment & I wouldn’t, although others at my work did). He worked outdoors, & I wrote software. Haven’t worn a dress to anything other than a wedding for 40 years. I think my clothing budget is something like $200/year, & I usually don’t spend that (okay it is really “what clothing budget”, YMMV). Shoes I have 6 pair, counting my slippers; 3 pair are hiking or snow boots.

            1. I am a stay at home mom, mostly, with side gigs of Mary Kay consultant and cello teacher. I’m also active in Eastern Star. Eastern Star officers buy a new formal every year and wear it for that term of office. I have an entire closet of nothing but “Holly, would you like this?” formalwear. Some of these ladies have sixty years of dresses they want to give to someone who will wear them. (I generally decline office-it’s out of my budget.)
              Betwen home made flannel or calico skirtss and sequins, I have nothing to wear. So I’m often overdressed-see my facebook profile picture.

              1. It has been often noted that women like to dress up in formal war, complete with carefully applied “war paint.” Current culture overlooks the degree to which boys love to dress up in military uniform, but it has been well demonstrated historically.

                I leave any theories about correlation as an exercise for the reader.

              2. Know all about Eastern Star, grew up in the culture. Helping mom clean out Grandma’s closet(s) was an education. Getting another one when it’ll be mom’s turn (she’s 82 & may it be another 20 or 30 years!). She’s not as active in Eastern Star now, the chapter (?) folded, very small town. Mom is active in Ameramth (sp?), Daughters of the Nile, & another one of the “wife/sister/daughter of” Mason &/or Shriner. I have a permanent deferral from Eastern Star (joined at 18, but college, etc.). Was in Jobs Daughters, from age 11 through 18. Jr year was very interesting, I had forestry & advanced biology, which meant we were in the field for classes, a lot. Went from muddy boots & rain gear to formals, regularly. Handed off my formals to my sisters girls (back in style, very nice & would be very expensive to replace with equivalent), for dances, about 20 years ago, I’ll never be that small again, ever.

          3. The subject appears to be in one of those jobs where you can’t wear the same outfit three times a week.

            That’s easy – have a different-colored shirt for each day of the week, wear the same skirt, and have a couple of jackets and a couple of scarves that you wear on alternating days or depending on the weather.

            The key is to not wear the same color of shirt on each day of every week.

            Or just tell your co-workers “This is my work uniform. You want me to wear something different, then you buy it for me.”

            1. IIRC, it was a full dress, not just a skirt. (I only caught it on my way back to the desk from making more coffee.) But from other snatches I’ve caught of the show, that is probably what they were getting at – one or two expensive pieces, then a bunch of less expensive accessories.

              I think the girls are getting some good from this show. The wife, way back when, always wanted me to sit down for the “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” show. I probably would have benefited myself, but just could not get up the caring about it.

    3. I wonder what would have happened if Mum & Dad bought me a nice Fender Jazz bass & blackface Fender Bassman amp for my 16th birthday, instead of a cheapo no-name pawnshop special & tiny Peavey practice amp?
      For one, I probably wouldn’t have taught myself how to build my own basses, amps, effect, pickups, ect.
      On the other hand, Gear Acquisition Syndrome is 10x worse when you can look at a bit of kit, and know that you could probably make that easy enough.

      1. LOL!!! Yes. GAS really sucks! So often I find a guitar that I REALLY want… but I don’t buy it because I feel guilty buying when I could build one like it (and maybe better) for less money. Only I worry that my family might have me committed if I build yet another guitar! How many guitars CAN one person own? (I’m tempted to find out!)

        1. At least enough to create a nice guitar wall. (Composite molding, painted appropriately and cut to eight foot lengths, hardware into wall, wall-bracket guitar hangers spaced so that you can have two lines of guitars alternating but still within reach.)

          That’s not mine, BTW. I only own three guitars and one bass. The rest are his. Including the electric ukulele bass he just picked up.

          1. No livingroom is complete without a fliptop tube amp and a Hofner bass (or other combo of classic amp & guitar)

        2. I have a friend who is a luthier. I don’t know about guitars, but for other strings it’s limited by space and wifely tolerance.

      2. Well, I watch some Crimson Guitars stuff on the Tubes of You (the owner’s old handtool fetish caused a link to show up), and seen some amp builds because of “recommendations” on those vids. If I could play at all, I’d likely be trying to build a guitar, and might try an amp for a household sound system.

        1. I’m a fan of the look of old Ampeg “fliptop” amps, and have built a few using the old Marshall 20watt Bass & Lead circuit.
          Next will either be a 15watt Class A bass amp with a single EL34 and Fender style tone stack, or a 20watt “Mini-Plexi”.

          1. I’ve been daring myself for years to build a tube amp from scratch. So far, I’ve chickened out because of how much the parts cost. That would be an expensive fail!

      3. P.S. My bass is a Fender Jazz. Black & white, named “Shamu.” I have a double-shoulder snap harness for the sucker so I don’t hurt myself when I play it. Lovely beast.

  3. Though you didn’t mention it specifically, Sarah, you’ve hit on the core idiocy of Gramsci’s Long March Through the Institutions. The left can conduct the march, and had. They can destroy; they have. But they have no idea of how to build, only the idiot child’s faith that his fantasy is true, correct, and natural, and will automatically arise.

    1. In our discussions here on Lenin’s book, we hit this tangentially.
      Lenin (and the other Marxists) just assumed that you could throw any ol’ proletariat into managing the “means of production” and everything would continue to work.
      They had no concept of the need for ongoing building – the need to add energy to the system continually. And, consequently, no idea how a manager or owner or venture capitalist or whomever adds to the system.

      Maybe, too, this comes from so many of them not having had to work in their formative years. If you don’t have to struggle, you never really learn how to build.

      1. > Lenin (and the other Marxists) just assumed that you could throw any
        > ol’ proletariat into managing the “means of production” and
        > everything would continue to work.

        There’s a whole bunch of corollaries that fall out of the “Dunning-Kruger” effect.

        One of which is that if you assume you really *are* that smart, then you assume what other people do can’t be that much harder than what *you* do.

      2. The same disaster occurred in the former colonies which celebrated independence by throwing out or killing all the people who knew how to “make things work” — it’s a variant of the Cargo Cult phenomenon.

  4. I’ve framed walls, put up sheetrock, mixed cement, laid brick and block, put in plumbing with plastic and glue and copper and iron and solder, run electrical wiring, used dozers, backhoes, and excavators. You say that construction work isn’t glamorous, I disagree. When it’s done and you stand back to look at it, and say, “I built that,” THAT’S the glamorous part.

    The problem isn’t just the progressives inability to build. It’s largely their fascist ideology that requires you bow down, kiss the various body parts of your betters while stuffing bags of money in their hands for the privilege of asking to build something. And then doing it all over again at every stage in the process. Why do I have to beg for permission to put up a building on my property as long as it doesn’t really impact anyone else? And no, lowing your property value isn’t sufficient justification to deny me a permit. Neither is not meeting fire or construction code. Or reselling the house as logn as the buyer knows the ‘deficiencies’. Caveat emptor and all that.

    On the other hand, I’m the kind of guy that builds things to massively exceed most specs. Magnitude 7 eathquake? I’ll build to level 8 or 9. 120 mph winds? Let’s try 300 instead. 50 psi in the lines? I want double that. Yeah, it usually costs more, takes longer to put in, and often is a PITA. But done right, and it will outlast everyone. Just keep the sleazy socialists out of my hair.

    1. Uncle built his house, to the official specs. Upon walking around the second floor and feeling the sway, he had The Realization… those folks he had heard say things about looking at the recommendations/min. specs and then going a couple lines further in the specs to “overbuild” were speaking, possibly experienced, truth.

      1. The one bridge that stayed up over the Salt River in the face of the “Great Flood” of the 1970s had been built close to a century before. Every “modern” bridge was taken out.

        Looking at the time it was built, there were most likely old-timers around who remembered the “Great Flood” of the 1860s, and built it to take that and “a bit more.”

      2. Heard about one house I helped on, and subsequently added onto, that the new part didn’t feel rock steady like the old. I’d heard many pick at my old boss that he was building warehouse floors, but have never heard any come back and say his building wasn’t sound.

        He always pointed out that the code was the minimum requirement. IIRC, he always exceeded code.

      3. My dad was a surveyor; primarily a construction surveyor. He got his training laying out roads and highways, then went to subdivisions with associated water, sewer, storm drain, gas, and electrical lines and storm drains, and streets with curbs and sidewalks. He also help build at least one major mall and a nuclear power plant. He liked working with his hands and took quiet pride in saying “I helped build that”. I worked under him for a couple of seasons and learned a lot of respect for his skills and his work ethic, but it wasn’t the career for me.

      4. The funny thing about building codes is that they are the minimum acceptable standard.

        There’s nothing to say that you can’t exceed those standards, except the cost.

    2. Fire code, I would accept – if only because a house fire does put one’s neighbours at risk.

        1. Context counts, then. Within a city that has smallish lots, it is a definite concern.

        2. Not where I live. One house fire needed an air tanker to put out the surrounding woods. That was a kitchen fire with typical rural response times. That was fatal for one resident.

          The guys playing with fireworks in mid-July burned 2000 acres and 2 dozen houses. No idea who they were; knowing the area, they’re out of the area. Maybe alive. “Shoot, Shovel and Shut up” ain’t just a joke.

          June is considered the beginning for fire season around here. Summer is a secondary consideration.

          1. Hwy 126 Fire of 2003. Lightening caused. First remember the lightening & wind storm, it blew through & we had 12 scouts & adults on PCT north of main highway. We came out 2 days later, no fires. Lightening caused, but it smoldered, in multiple spots, for 3 days before breaking out (which means we were out one day before things blew up, very sobering). Weather got dry & HOT, fire took off, bad. I remember the comments from “people not in the west”, why it was not put out. Fire JUMPED a freaking 5 lane + major truck side pulls at the top of the pass!!!! It burned HOT. Part of the steep rocky mountain areas where there were trees & brush still haven’t recovered, even with bear grass, huckleberries, or scotch broom (that stuff grows in lava!).

            2017 fire season was particularly bad up in the Cascades. I think there were 3 or 4 fire complexes: Detroit, Sisters, & Hwy 126 between Oakridge & before climb into the actual pass. There were fires in the Sister’s & neighboring wilderness areas, that had no one fighting them, monitored only.

            In the Cascades, they MIGHT get the fires surrounded but they don’t go out until it snows.

            1. We all had some wildfire experience because out in the boonies you and your neighbors were the first responders. The forestry would get there with plows, but sometimes it took both (and once we had to pull out one of those tractors and plows when it bogged down to the seat – a tale and a half). I never – thankfully – had to deal with a crown fire.

              My personal worst was one at a neighbor’s. We had part of it under control (trying to save their house), when it got into a pile of stumps. I saw green grass turn brown and catch on fire that day just from the heat. It backed us up pretty well until a neighbor who worked with a timber company stopped, cut a limb, and used that to reach way out and slap out the fire.

              One windy day a neighbor burning trash let it get out, and the fire was jumping firebreaks. Went back with my father than night and we threw dirt on smoldering stumps to keep the fire from flaring back up.

              That one got into some land of an absentee neighbor. A good family friend, but he lit into my father about letting the forestry plow up his land. My father stood there and said the neighbor’s whole place could go up before he’d fight a fire there again. And he never did.

              1. The ranch south of us is vacant and weedy. The owner was a cantankerous SOB more interested in playing cattle baron (on 80+ poor acres!) than fire safety, and his widow just didn’t care.
                I’ll feel a lot better if 50′ of weeds and grasses are mown. I might try a call to the real estate folks, or there might just be a spot of impromptu fence damage and repair. It’s going to depend on fire season and how much we can do on our side of the fence.

                Between the huge patches of ancient trash on the land (old mill town first half of the 20th century) and the high asking price, it might be on the market a while. Another place was grossly overpriced after the owner died. It was on the market for 12 years; might have sold, but not sure. The heir had occasional renters, ranging in quality from “great” to “lead story on nightly news” (He lived) to “I’m going to open carry as long as they live there”. (He got caught in a big drug raid). I hope the ranch sells to someone willing to clean it up.

                1. Oy. We’re waging war with cedars on our property. (Doesn’t help we’re using hand tools and my husband is allergic to cedars.) Some of the brush is as tall as I am. When our neighbor, who raises cattle, asked if he could mow part of the mess in exchange for the hay we were more than grateful. We’re down in the plains, but got any tips for cleaning up with, essentially, hand tools and a push mower? (More than that isn’t in the budget for a while.)

                  (Our property is weird. The year we bought it, it was largely overgrazed and barren except for the, around 2 acres that the house is on. Then the month we closed we got approximately one years worth of rain in that single month. Over night it went from ‘maybe we can salvage this if we let it be… maybe we should sow something to encourage it’ to ‘the grass is taller than I am’ between the time our offer was accepted and closing.)

                  1. Yeah:
                    Ask your neighbor to run his cattle across it whenever he wants, then just focus on getting the trees down.

                    Buy a couple of goats or sheep.

                    1. In southern California, someone is leasing a herd of goats. There’s a variety that can eat our local thistles. Hmm, I know somebody with goats…

                  2. Assuming the cattle and hay routine is going to deal with a bunch of the grasses, your task is simpler.

                    For what’s not used for hay, bear in mind that flame height tends to run 50% higher than the fuel. (6′ grass, 9′ flame length). This is going to be a factor for driveways and fences. If you cut down the grasses, you will see lower flame height. Best to clear the down grasses away, but if you mulch them with a mower, that would help. I use a weed whacker (one with a triangular-ish steel blade) to knock down the grasses. It’s messy, but it’s the only way I can deal with grass on some of the little hills.

                    Cut a wide swath around critical areas, especially egress routes and the house. Especially the propane tank(s).

                    The cedars are going to depend on size. If the main trunks are fairly skinny (1.5 to 2″), you could use compound pruning shears. We use a couple Fiskars with long handles for trimming low branches and cutting juniper seedlings. Leather gloves help with skin reactions. I buy 3’packs of Wells Lamont gloves at Costco, and usually go through 1 to 3 pairs a year. That will keep the oils off. $SPOUSE is allergic to juniper, and she lets me deal with those seedlings. OTOH, we don’t have too many anymore. We can burn the slash in the spring and late fall, and occasionally during winter. The powers that be will have a say on burning. Don’t even think about it if you have a red flag warning. I’ve seen some irate forestry people dealing with violators in that case. (And she deserved it…)

                    If the trunks are a bit bigger, a pruning saw will do the job, though slowly. Under an odd circumstance, I had to cut a base of a neighbor’s wind-downed branch that was hitting our fence. (We tried not to speak to each other because reasons.) That was 8″ pine, and I did it with a folding pruning saw. Not fun, but it worked. Cedar, not reaching through a fence, would be easier.

                    If the wood is big enough for fire wood, try “you cut it, you keep it” with friends. A used good chainsaw (Stihl or Husqvarna are popular here, YMMV) will beat a $99 Poulan any time. Note to self: replace the ignition coil on the old Stihl before you have to do limbing.

                    It’s wonderful using some kind of tractor and trailer to move wood trash&slash, but a wheelbarrow works. We got a basic garden tractor thrown in with the house, but it didn’t work well with dust. We had enough money for a bottom end Deere 790 (long obsolete; stick shift, actually a Yanmar tractor) with loader and implements. I set it up to haul our utility trailer around for land cleanup. 2′ side walls and a 2 x 10 tailgate board. Implements were bought, bargained for, or built. My pine needle rake uses teeth from a hay rake, but the rest is all my doing. I adapted an ATV spot sprayer to mount on the 3 point hitch. (A neighbor had one set up on the back of his Jeep. We have a thistle problem…)

                    As our retirement kicked in, we splurged on a better garden tractor and minitrailer. My wife uses it for pine cone and downfall cleanup, with a poop scooper to minimize bending over.

                    Cedars are a lot like Juniper; the oils make them burn hot, and you are going to have branches close to grasses. OTOH, seedlings are easy to cut. Get the high grasses away from utilities (especially the propane tank) and the house, and you should do OK.

                    Hope this helps.


              2. Have an Uncle whose had a place out side of Sacramento, 3 or 5 acres. Extremely wild land fire savvy & when a neighbor’s place had a wild land fire, Uncles place actually stopped the fire. Don’t know the entire story. Fast forward, they retired, sold that place & bought outside of Grantspass to be near her siblings. Had difficulty getting home insurance because of the above fire “on their place”, which had no claim against it (they lost some grass)! Uncle was not happy. All that proven effort to be fire aware/safe, & their insurance pulls this on the new place. Eventually got it straightened out, but it took some effort.

                1. We got fire insurance through Country Mutual after striking out with the majors (I wanted to put a small kiln in the barn and that threw a wrench in the works.) We had good luck with them, and they paid the dishwasher-leak-kitchen disaster claims with no quibbles. (I don’t use the kiln any more, and the contents of the barn aren’t covered, but the building is. Oh well.)

              1. You don’t even need a crown fire. In the summer of 2000, we drove down from Spokane through the Gorge one Wednesday as part of our multi-stage move. I didn’t work until Friday evening, which was just as well since I-84 was apparently closed due to smoke from a grasslands fire somewhere near Umatilla.

                That Friday, we drove through a huge burnt-out area. (“Smoke”, my foot.) And looking across the Gorge—the Columbia River is a good half-mile to a mile wide at that point—we could see where this little grass-only fire had jumped the river and set the opposing hills, hundreds of feet high, completely on fire.

                My Friday job was at a news radio station. I looked the fire up—barely even got a mention on the news—and it had burned something like 60,000 acres that day. Pretty much all unoccupied, which is why nobody seemed to care, but still. “Just” a grassfire.

                1. Happened again this last fall, 2017. Lightening & man caused fires started in Columbia Scenic Recreation area, combined. I-84 was shut down days due to smoke AND because the fire jumped the freeway AND the Columbia. Do you know how wide the Columbia is at that point? Not grassland farming fires, these are very steep cliff timber lands, you don’t take in motorized equipment of any kind. Yes, the fireworks caused fires got the most press, but other fires that combined were lightening caused.

                  1. Just about all the big fires in southern Oregon were lightning. Chetco Bar (the 190,000 acre fire near Brookings) was throwing spots for a mile.

                    OTOH, the first big spot fire I ran into was in San Jose, CA in 2002. A huge timber frame construction project went up, and apartment complexes a half(?) mile south of there were getting burned. That was due to some sloppy hot work near flammables.

                    1. Southern Willamette Valley area had horrible smoke because of all the fires from the South, East, & North, as far North as Canada. Worse than when field burning was allowed (grew up here). Not allergic to anything, nor have any type of breathing aliments, & smoke bothered me.

                    2. We’re in the Sprague River Valley, and the fires at Crater Lake were bad, and then we had the other complexes. When Pelican Butte started, ecch. There was a temporary air quality station by Chiloquin, and the quality was flipping from “unhealthy for sensitive groups” to the occasional “hazardous”. It wasn’t quite so bad further upstream, but the air cleaners were working a lot.

                      That was one of the reason why I call it Cheop’s Pumphouse. It wasn’t badly over budget, but it sure took a lot longer to finish than I had planned. Having to knock off after a couple hours to breathe clean air didn’t help my productivity.

                      The worst smoke was when we had a fire 4 miles north of us in 2014. $SPOUSE had to go to California to help her mother, and I stayed at home with the dogs. The temporary helicopter base a mile from us was invisible in the haze. Eventually the winds pushed the smoke further east, and the air wasn’t quite so chewy.

                    3. My mom hasn’t gotten rid of her cough since the ’14 fires, since there’s been such nasty ones each year since. 😦
                      (Yes, she has seen a doctor. They tell her to lose weight and not work so hard. In an admirable display of self control, she has neither flipped out nor flipped the bird.)

                    4. I had something like that due to a combination of mold allergy and exposure to perfect mold growing conditions once. That led to a persistent cough that lasted 18 months until I developed pneumonia.

                      After everything settled down, we figured that I had had a low-grade sinus infection that was dripping into my lungs and causing the cough (and asthma). The antibiotics for the pneumonia also cleaned up the sinus infection. I suspect the steroid nose spray (Flonase, among others) may have kept the infection going.

                      I’d been seeing an allergist, but the sinus infection symptoms were subtle enough to escape detection. This was in ’98, and there may be better diagnostics now. And yes, high concentrations of smoke set off my sinuses (sinuii?), but I haven’t had the subtle problems. I use saline nasal spray to clean things out. Haven’t used steroid sprays since the pneumonia was cleaned out.

            2. We had a fire west of Upper Klamath Lake that illustrated the distinction between “contained” and “controlled”. Controlled == it’s out. The smolder went on until we had some heavy rains in the fall. I had to drive downwind of that fire for trips over the Cascades; the smoke was nasty.

              That was lightning, and a part of the fire went into a wilderness. That rules out mechanized fire fighting equipment, and some of the eco-nuts were freaking out over air drops. Strange, though. I’ve never heard of Sierra Club fielding a 20 person hand crew to deal with fires in wilderness.

              1. “I’ve never heard of Sierra Club fielding a 20 person hand crew to deal with fires in wilderness.”

                Funny how that works. Hwy 126 fire. That was part of the problem. Hwy borders multiple wilderness areas. You have: Sisters, Mt Jefferson, Mt Washington, Mt Thielsen, etc.

                When the troop spent 10 days @ Camp Milakua (“high” adventure summer camp) vehicles left @ camp were parked facing out. Adults HAD to have vehicle keys on them at all times; at the required fire camp fire drill, we were asked to show the keys. No open toe sandals were allowed except at water front doing water activities. Everyone had to be able to hike out if needed, or appropriate assistance had to be immediately available. Hike out was (likely) to be direction of Scott Lake & hwy 242, through wilderness.

                2017 area fires scorched the camp (lost a couple of outlying site locations & one pavilion). Summer camp was over for both Scouts & the adjoining church camp. More than a few “THIS is why we take the precautions & training we do!” going around. This entire area is highly active for Scout groups, throughout mid-July & August (any earlier there is still snow 2 or 3 feet deep on the trails!); people do hike May ~ Early July, but it ratchets up the difficulty. Already talked about the 2003 fires. We weren’t the only group hiking the area (no way, whether we saw them or not).

                1. I saw an article about the people caught on the Gorge trails for the 2017 fire having to hike all night to get to a safe evacuation point. It’s a mercy that nobody died.

                  1. Yes. A lot of day hikers & they were NOT prepared to be out for an over night stay in September; a number of them did not have jackets with them. Not only lucky no one was injured by the fire, there was no severe hypothermia. They had to helicopter rescue. There are no roads, up high, to get them out. The 2017 September fire, is a HIGH use area, lots of tourists, & just east of the Portland/Vancouver metro areas.

                    1. Whatever happened to Fireworks Boy? I heard he was caught after he started his part of the fire, but then life got in the way of following that story.

                2. Oh, and it’s general policy for the Girl Scouts to have vehicles parked facing out and keys on hand at all times. At least one of the camps that my council owns has a single route in and out of the camp, vulnerable to fires *and* to a narrow canyon flooding.

                  1. That is the problem with Camp Melakwa. One logging road in & out. Otherwise you hike the wilderness area to the next nearest road, not easy & not “close”. Don’t remember the name of the camp, but there another one, that is not high adventure (more established), that is east out of Salem, off Hwy 22, in the Detroit area, that is the same. Technically the council camp out of Florence is the same as it sits at the end of a peninsula extended into a lake, with a single road in from the coast highway. BUT, though fires possible, extremely unlikely & not likely to be severe. Cascades & fires = BAD.

                    1. Camp Baker. We were there off & on 2000 – 2006; kid got Eagle 2005, graduated 2007. Troop didn’t go to Baker every year, then. They’ve gotten bigger, so now the first year scouts go to Baker, & rest go to more high adventure, unless the second option requires 14+, then anyone under 14 goes to Baker. Plus (we) at least did a 10 day backpack; co-ed. 2003 was the first year for this troop. There were 4 adults who could go backpacking when hubby & I joined (well hubby couldn’t go for a week during the summer, job wouldn’t allow time off in summer).

                      2003 was a lesson in adult logistics. Put in troop with 3 adults Friday. Picked up one adult & dropped off two scouts on Sunday; scouts had been at youth training the week before. Tuesday drove backup with two other adults, we hiked in, then one of them & one of the adults from Friday, left. Leaving us with 3 adults & 9 scouts. Wednesday & Thursday nights were the storms that blew through. Lets see how did that go. Oh yea. Crack. Sigh. Zip. <– Adult getting up & checking scouts (who never stirred) & surrounding area. Zip. <– back to bed. Repeat. Don't think the three of us got a whole lot of sleep.

    3. My spouse & his siblings, especially his brother, because their dad was an engineer who worked for an airline builder, who also built early space rockets, who at home built ground items to “flying specifications” & expected family to do the same. “Good enough” was not in that man’s language, & the boys aren’t any better. Both of us wives actually insisted that RV Campers were no longer going to work (well to be fair I put my foot down after 10 extremely rainy camping days in it with a toddler). The camper HAD to be exactly centered when loading on the truck, no so much as a fraction of a mm off. Luckily our truck wouldn’t load the camper if it wasn’t exactly right (or plumbing went bye-bye). Oh, god it was a pain. That’s just ONE example. Luckily he is getting older that he just doesn’t want to do most things. OTOH, he tends to help contractors hired. He’s good if not certified, so eventually saves us money &. Keeps. Me. Out. Of. It. Me. Yes, things have to be done right, but it doesn’t have to fly.

      1. My dad had vinyl siding put on his house about 20 years ago. He had the seller’s contractor’s do it. I’m not sure why, because the house had to have soffits added to it, which he did himself, and was undoubtedly the more difficult job.

        Anyway, whenever dad raised a concern to the contractor, he would answer, “Don’t worry, we’re professionals.” Finally, one day dad had enough (probably after about the ninth thing he had to make them go back and fix), and told the guy, “Well, you might be Professionals, but I’m a Perfectionist, and I’m the kind of guy that gets called to fix the things you guys screw up.”

        He said the guy never mentioned being professionals after that.

        1. Cousin is a CFO and was a Temp CEO, and had a contractor try some of that on him (forget if it was fencing or roofing).
          Cuz pointed out that really, the only reason he called in someone was he did not have the time currently and wanted the storm damage fixed during the work week so he could help his father with some roofing and lumber cutting at the family farm come the weekend. So, if they continued, he would gladly demand his money back and do the job himself, or they could stop the B.S. do it right, and get paid.
          They did it right.

          1. These guys STILL didn’t do it completely right. They finished when dad wasn’t there to catch them, and the corner where they started and ended doesn’t match up. There’s something like a 2″ jump going around the corner. Dad wasn’t going to pay the final payment until they fixed it, but mom paid them when dad wasn’t home to get them to go away. I don’t know if dad ever did quite forgive her for that one.

            1. Oi
              I managed to keep them lined up when I did the rental’s siding, even that on the attached garage, which started at ground level as opposed to the house with skirting. The courses on the garage were half height off by fudging the tightness of the lowest courses, so the lines lined up with each other once it reached the level of the top of the skirting.

    4. It is something to ride by a house and think “I helped build that.” My old boss use to have us sign off on them, usually on a part of the exterior wall that would be covered.

      BTW, the only excavators we used was a “grubbing hoe,” a shovel, and a hammer. The hammer was to knock the clay off the shovel.

      1. Cheop’s pumphouse was mostly me. I contracted the external electric because I didn’t want to dig 350 feet of trench and run that much wire through conduit. I’m wary of plumbing after brass fittings lost the lead (and gained a lot of brittleness), and PEX is best run by people with the tools and experience. The propane heater had to be installed by a pro; some damfool screwed it up and the state fire marshal decreed it. The installation is a bit prettier than one I (legally) did 13 years ago, but both work correctly.


        1. I was fixing the proto-pex (grey poly pipe) in the Texas rental so often I bought the crimp tool for the stainless clamps. If I had gotten the house I rented here (was one of my possible purchases) I would have been using it a lot to add to the heating system. As it is, I still use it on certain hose clamps and might add some plumbing to this house.

        2. PEX reminds me too much off some plumbing hose we used on the farm. It rapidly broke down. Plumbing I can and have done, mostly with PVC pipe and glue. Have worked with galvanized pipe, but it’s been a long time. What copper line I’ve done involved flaring tools and screw fittings. And faucet repairs – so many faucet repairs, usually after 10:00 PM. That when my wife dubbed us “Cheek’s Midnight Fix-It Shop.”

          The last trenching I did involved a borrowed trencher, and worked out nicely. Depending on depth, it might be possible to rent a chain trencher for such jobs.

          1. I had the opportunity to run water and power in the same trench, and an 18″ wide one was perfect to keep the lines separate. (Not required, but I wanted it.) The 100′ lengths of PEX meant fewer joints. I gather crimping is now pretty much for DIY installations. Milwaukee and Makita make dedicated tools for breathtaking prices.

            PEX now seems to be the favored material for remodels. It sustains freezeups, and that can be important here. It seems to be worlds beyond polyethylene.

            The pumphouse solar array will need a skinny trench. I’ve used a rental Ditch-Witch, and that will be ideal.

            I did a couple houses in soldered copper (one major oops, fixed the next day). A portable fire trailer is partly galvanized and partlyreinforced tubing.

              1. I know, and took as minor a risk as possible. I was ready to do another trench, but the plumber, electrician and county all said OK. There’s a tracer wire to locate the trench. There’s maximum separation, usually 15″ in the trench.

                I did some overkill on the power. I calculated 5% drop assuming both 20A circuits were at full load. All this on a 1/2HP pump and a seldom used milkhouse heater on the other phase. Once I got the size, I rounded up a bit; I think it was marginally OK for 6ga wire under those assumptions, so I did 4ga. All 3 lines (separate ground) were in PVC conduit to discourage gnawing critters. PEX is at least that tough. The electrician argued that I was overdoing the size, but I pulled the “MSEE” and the “I’m paying for it” cards, and he was happy. The trench is in pumice/clay and mostly pumice, so there aren’t any rocks to cause trouble. I did all but 6″ of the backfill by hand.

                The old shared well had a short length of poly pipe, and it got nicked by a rock after 30-40 years. I think I’ll do better.

                FWIW, we plan to do a medium sized solar system for the well and pumphouse, though without much electric heat. The sole solar contractor in the area doesn’t do off-grid any more, so I get to do it. The only new thing is the ground mount; I did a similar, portable system 2 years ago.

                1. Oops, I backfilled half (18″) by hand and pushed the rest in with the tractor. No leaks, and 36″ is plenty deep for power. (Required for plumbing; we get cold.)

    5. You can’t have a GOOD shower with 50 PSI. Not with nice PRESURE AND VOLUMN. If you don’t have both, is it really worth it??

        1. Returning to the town of my birth to inter my parents’ remains I had the opportunity to revisit the showers of my youth, showers I remembered as stinging, fierce experiences which were like to flay you. I had somewhat attributed the experience to the more tender epidermis of childhood, but no, apparently storing water atop mountains resulted in sufficient pressure to guarantee you got rinsed down in short order.

  5. Egad… Communism is Tinker Bell and if we just clap/believe hard enough…

    “This time for sure!”

    Bullwinkle did get one thing right:
    No doubt about it, (t)he(y) really got to get another hat!

    1. Economic Cargo Cult- everyone has to join in, or the magic spell won’t work and the cargo won’t come.

  6. The lost arts of ironing clothes and cooking from scratch? We do those every week, sometimes multiple times. Just a few days ago I ordered a couple of zipper end stops from Amazon, to repair some windbreakers that had lost the originals.

    1. My wife never laundered or ironed a single one of my uniforms.
      When she asked me why shortly after we met; I told her that it wasn’t going to be her standing tall in front of the sergeant explaining why I had a spot on my uniform, or a loose thread, or the patches weren’t on just right.

      1. I had to learn too. I hate ironing. When kid did his Household Management Merit Badge, he learned. I never did his cleaning or ironing again after he was 11. Don’t do hubby’s either. If he wants his shirts ironed, he does it. Kid did ROTC in college (Obama killed his options), he kept his uniforms spotless.

    2. I did very well in Basic ( Air Force BMT) in swapping ironing for shoe-polishing. I knew how to iron, and was good at it. No interest in shoe-polishing.
      As an aside – I was out at Wilford Hall (the Air Force medical center at Lackland AFB) today – and noticed that the uniform footwear for the troops was a sort of high-rise desert boot with a fabric upper.
      I wonder now – what do the training cadre task the trainees with, in place of shoe-polishing?
      I am certain they have sadistically come up with something … my good fortune that I don’t have any reason to know what.
      You kids – get off my lawn!

      1. Was never military, but had some boots like that once. I polished the leather uppers and the strip going up the fabric. Wore them for ankle support.

        Think it was Sportsmans Guide who had some surplus military boots in that style, and the fabric was flame retardant. That’s after we had to go to flame retardant wear. They had steel toes, too. Looked into them for work, but, alas, the largest was several sizes too small.

      2. An antique shop once had a Coleman iron. Yep, gas fired. I passed, having done a fair amount of ironing as a kid. Mom had 3 sons and a job to supplement Dad’s income. I was too young for a part time job, so ironing was mine.
        When I went to college, permanent press just hit the market. Left over wrinkles or no, I was a happy person.

        1. Watched a lot of “Perry Mason” ironing my dad’s dress shirts for work (just the manager of a five & dime, but white shirt and tie every day; he dressed down on Sundays because that was when he did the books).
          Taught all the boys to iron and do basic sewing because we were pretty sure whoever they married wouldn’t know how to.

      1. It’s kinda what the people at the Laundry/Dry cleaners do to get the wrinkles out of clothing.

  7. . And they’ll KNOW while doing it that they’re GOOD people and everyone who opposes them is evil.

    You can see this behavior modeled in, of all places, D&D– the classic and probably over- parodied group that is “good” by their character alignment but usually chaotic evil in their behavior– say, slaughtering entire villages if the detect evil spell goes off, or they’re always evil races.

    Somewhat related is the Lawful Stupid (follows any law right off a cliff, even though the book says in black and white that they won’t follow unjust laws) or the Chaotic A-Hole (who is nice ish to you if they like you, but will totally kill you because damn it’s funny).

    1. Most on-line games promote the chaotic crazy alignment too. You just can’t advance many quests without having your Lawful Good Paladin slaughter some innocent peddler or even some poor small gnome just minding his own business. Although I have seen a couple of quests recently where they employed multi-forked logic that allowed one to do one task if evil, and a different task if good. Just not very often.

      1. The MMORPG Everquest got some backlash on this. Several months after the game was released, a set of quests was made available to acquire class-specific armor. The quests for paladin armor involved things like looting certain items off of the corpses of fairies.

        The paladin players were pretty angry, but the devs blew it all off.

    2. Speaking of “Always evil” other races: Older son just brought one to me that I never really considered while playing – do you slaughter the women and children, too? He said that came up in one of his games recently. I told him that, for myself, I always assumed that the places I was playing in weren’t the homes of the evil creatures, but either their assigned station or the barracks of the ones who were employed by some other being, but that it was a very interesting question.

      1. In D&D, the women and children are also “always evil.”

        It’s part of the problem when they lifted Lord of the Rings’ world setting, but dumped the background and morality; Tolkien’s orcs could be always evil* because they were corrupted elves, not a race like hobbits or men.

        It doesn’t work well when you add in free will– which is why Drizzt is so freaking awesome, and half orcs use to be such a blast.

        * He actually had serious issues with this, philosophically, and went back and forth; for the story, it worked, but when you branched out into the rest of the world it was a really nasty hole.

        1. Redeeming “evil creatures” an idea I’d like to deal with. Of course, Weber has already done so, but mine would be different. Hopefully.

          1. It’s an ever-green topic, because there are freaking evil cultures out there, and people from them can become decent people.

            1. It’s on my mind because I was thinking about Tolkien’s Fourth Age and the problem of how to deal with the remaining orcs. Tolkien says they dwindled on their own, but that seems . . . unsatisfying dramatically.

              1. Easy peesy. Sauron was keeping them viable as a distinct corrupted variant of the base stock partly using the power he had tied up in the ring. Ring goes, power goes, orcs and goblins are less successful at procreating, and when they do procreate, the babies have more of the qualities of the original stock. This handwave seems decently dramatic to me.

                1. Yeah, but goblins are also a subrace of corrupted elves, and Tolkien is very clear in The Hobbit that goblins didn’t die out.

                  Unfortunately, their culture seems to have invented a lot of torture devices and nasty sorts of machinery, also according to The Hobbit.

                  However, one could take other goblin references in early Tolkien to mean that they weren’t always evil. And there’s a good troll in a late Tolkien story.

            2. people from them can become decent people
              Only by being *from* them. They have to leave the culture to become decent.
              Of course, in fantasy you have actual distinct races (vice minor variations on human). You can make distinctions and blame it on genetics.

              Mostly, though, the idea of trying to make orcs “decent” is a problem of anthropomorphization. Which is really really funny when you think about it.

              1. How so? There are decent elves, humans, little folk, etc– and if orcs are able to speak, judge and reason, then they can choose the same route.

                “Don’t eat people,” “don’t steal stuff,” “don’t kill innocents”– natural law would suffice to get to decent, if they have free will.

                1. New research in brain science (not an oxymoron!) indicates that certain people’s brain structures* innately render them psychopathic. This might be the case with orcs: all id, no super ego. Think of members of the weasel (Mustelidae) family.

                  *How to tell if your child is a future psychopath
                  … a major study that found at least two abnormalities in the brains of adult psychopaths. There was a lack of gray matter in the section involved in processing emotions, while the area that reacts to excitement and thrills is overactive.

                  1. *gets to the part about the baby biting mom while nursing*
                    …lady, you are either an idiot, or were utterly failed by your parents whoever raise you.

                    An eight month old doesn’t understand “mommy crying.” Hell, he doesn’t understand “crying.” Fake crying can piss them off, but that’s about it. (Not quite as effective as once they’re about two, and understand they are being mocked. #CurrentExperience )
                    That’s why you flick their ear, or something else obnoxious and harmless, so they get the connection between “mommy yelps” and “not good feeling.”


                    Poking around, it appears that the brain scan thing is in context related to responses– and it detects as psychopathic things like a doctor being able to operate to save a life, or a company manager choosing against the desires of the person standing in front of them and in favor of the whole company.

                    1. The article, in my opinion, fails to prove its point in part because it assumes brain structure precedes personality. I don’t think we’ve adequately understood the implications of brain plasticity and the possibility that the material is shaped by the immaterial.

                      Scientists are institutionally directed to think that the physical shapes the metaphysical and not the other way ’round, and I do not think they’ve adequately proven that premise.

                      The article was thus presented as a possible mechanism for some folks being structurally evil and incapable of redemption. While they can be trained to blend in with normal folk they are forever wolves in the dog pack.

                      Of course, the key word there is redemption and it ill behooves anyone to presume to tell Him what He can and cannot do.

                    2. It should be noted that Orcs are mythical constructs and what is and is not possible of them is entirely the work of their Creator. Attempts to explain, conform with known science or otherwise develop psychological constructs for their actions fails the critical test: they ain’t real. Any dispute with their social structure is a literary argument to be taken up with their author.

                      Good grief! You might as well complain that Bill Ding Men, G.I. Joe, Barbie and Ken are not anatomically accurate.

                    3. Except that Orcs were created inside of a philosophical framework, and can be judged inside of that for what will work, or won’t. Further, the assumptions of that framework can be tested and found true, or wanting.

                      To paraphrase Sheen, the giraffe in the drawing isn’t real, but if you insist on being free to draw a giraffe with a short neck then you aren’t free to draw a giraffe at all.

                    4. I think I may have caught a subtle distinction here. Correct me if I’m wrong, but giraffes are real and orcs aren’t. Therefore one is indeed constrained to draw a giraffe according to the reality of the beast but there is no comparable model for orcs.

                      One might similarly note the many variances in depictions of elves; given that we do not know of such beings in reality we are free to depict them as tiny and mischievous or grand and magisterial or ethereal and reticent. No one can say “Those aren’t proper elves” except that they refer to a specific body of lore, such as Spenser or Tolkein.

                    5. It is a distinction, but not a relevant one.

                      If there is a thing, and it is defined, then if the thing defined exists or not a portrayal of them can still be wrong.

                      Inside of a story, if you make the rule that A always equals B, then put in an A that is not-B, you broke the rules. It’s wrong.

                    6. As I said, take it up with the author. I find Tolkein’s treatment of orcs to be consistent and any problems are with those who do not treat his work with proper respect.

                      Did Tolkein make a rule about orcs which he elsewhere contradicted? I doubt he treated them in sufficient depth for that to be true. Such discrepancies as might appear are most likely attributable to the author being human and not paying full attention to elements not critical to the tale he was crafting.

                    7. *chuckles* His angsting over orcs is what got me to thinking on the subject– he wrote them as always evil, basically, but went back and forth on if they could be redeemed after the Dark Lord was gone, precisely because in the story the former worked better, but in the theology the latter worked better.

                    8. Dang it, RES, I didn’t need more plotbunnies on how to hack a structurally evil group. (Short version: same way you tame wolves or feral cats, by replacing their pack/pride with the human group– which looks exactly like the “foundling monster” stories from Lambert the Sheepish Lion on.)

                    9. I am not here to give anybody what they need, I am here as avatar of Loki, bringer of mischief, summoner of carp.

                    10. It’s the accent, isn’t it? I used to have a veddy English accent but I’ve now lived so long in the South that I’ve acquired a drawl.

                      Also, on line nobody can see your eyes twinkle. I’m told I have very twinkly eyes. I’ve also been told a lot of other things which haven’t proved true, so moderate your salt intake prudently.

                    11. PRECISELY THIS.
                      Robert had teeth at four months. I nursed him to a year and a half (partly because we were poor.)
                      I would gently smack his nose, and it would stop.
                      This idiot woman didn’t birth a psychopath. SHE MADE HIM. IDIOT.

                    12. Adorable toddler boy just crawled into my arms, snuggled up…and sank his teeth into my arm. (He does this when he’s tired.)

                      I swear, it’s like they read minds. But skip the flick-an-ear-and-set-down parts.

                    13. Of course kids are born with all the sadism and egotism inherent in the species. Our job is to make them human beings, not to run screaming because they’re monsters. Geesh.

                    14. Yep.

                      Biggest evil of that “nature is perfect” screwballery- folks are shocked that children have to be raised, rather than being perfect from birth.

                    15. But… but… I thought St. Hillary said it takes a whole village to raise a child*… Surely that’s incompatible with the notion that you don’t need to raise them!!!

                      * Or is it, “It takes a child to raze a village”? I keep forgetting…

                    16. The absurdity of Missy Hillary’s thesis is recognizable by anybody who has grasped the difficulties two people typically experience raising a child, and she wants to disperse that negotiation to a whole effing village, many of whom aren’t around to walk that waking child during the middle of the night, change her wet sheets out at three in the morning, negotiate eating anything more than chocolate frosted cocoa bombs for breakfast, calculate the balance between a lunch that is nutritious and one that is likely to get eaten, stand over the kid telling him to finish his homework and that means checking answers for correctness and spelling …

                      I would suggest a verb rhyming with “tuck” her but nobody wants to do that. Talk about “this hurts me more than it does you”!

                    17. SHE MADE HIM

                      No kidding:

                      I tried looking very sad and mimicking crying to show it was hurting me, but he would only laugh,” says Quillan, who ended up having to put him on formula.

                      Well, good job, genius, YOU WERE AMUSING HIM BY ACTING SILLY. I WOULD LAUGH, TOO.

                    18. This is SO typical of stupid adults who think children understand and react like adults. Same people who think — very mild — physical punishment “teaches children violence.”
                      No, no it doesn’t. It teaches them to control the raging ego, by realizing there’s consequences.
                      There’s a reason ALL GREAT APES spank, every real (not imaginary or glossed over) civilization in the world spanked. Because it works.
                      Throwing it out is an insane bit of hubris based on the idea we’re better than countless generations of humans.

                  2. Oh, bullshit. This is the result of raising “no frustration children.”
                    Both boys were taller and stronger than I by 13. Both were male and therefore testosterone ladden. It takes a while for them to get how to control it.
                    It would NEVER occur to either of them to so much as say boo to me or their father. They were taught respect, manners and consideration for others.
                    Children aren’t born knowing these. Neglect to teach them at your own risk.

                  3. As for biting at the breast, Robert got teeth at 4 months of age. You don’t mimic crying. For the love of G-d, he’s an infant. What does he know of your “mimic”. You smack their little snouts when they bite. Just a gentle tap on the nose. THEY LEARN.

                  4. Oh, hell. I finally took the time to read the thing.

                    Experts can identify a callous and unemotional child when they are as young as 3 or 4. Faced with a crying peer, typically developing children either try to comfort them or take flight. But those with the mental condition remain in place, showing apathy and coldness.

                    Horseshit. By that measure, I’m pretty sure *I* presented as callous and unemotional at that age. Today, my friends consider me extremely empathic. But as a child, I would just wait for the crying to stop. In fact, I’d bet that nearly a quarter of children act that way, and most of the rest have been taught to try to comfort the crying person. These so-called “experts” probably completely lose track of any of the ones who grow out of such a stage, and forget them, leading to huge confirmation bias.

                    1. Keep in mind that there is a drive to treatment behind all such analyses. These are essentially sucklers at the therapeutic teat, pushing the need for their services. That does not mean their analysis is wrong, nor that there isn’t a pony somewhere inside all of that, but it does mean they’ve an reflex toward certain conclusions.

                2. Your assumption about “natural law” assumes this world. Even assuming free will can be anthropomorphization. My point is simply that discussing orcs (or any other mythological entity/race) as if they were humans makes them humans with funny faces, rather than truly alien races.

                  The validity of that idea rests entirely with the world-building. Tolkien made them all somewhat representative of some aspect of humanity. Cherryh makes her aliens very alien. YMMV

                  It’s a very human thing to gauge the Other by our own viewpoints, and to make assumptions thereon.

                  1. My point is simply that discussing orcs (or any other mythological entity/race) as if they were humans makes them humans with funny faces, rather than truly alien races.

                    That assumes that humans are the only people– and the point about natural law assumes that right can become wrong simply by being in a different world.

                    Two and two is four; any change to that would have to be justified, and it’s rather hard.

          2. Book of Exalted Deeds has rules for that. They even work on demons/devils.

            Not on dragons, though – they are completely hardcoded based on their colour.

            1. In one of the campaign settings I’m building for my players, the dragon colors were actually a result of the moral choices of the founding of that ‘bloodline’ of dragons. (Massive war between Heaven and Hell, and the dragons were changed like so many other critters, largely based on who they sided with and how.) Near the time of that war, the colors ARE pretty much universal. I’m working on extrapolating backwards and forwards with how that will work. Chromatics are corrupt, and their descendants by magical influence and culture will tend to carry that trend forwards, but what happens to the white sheep in the family?

              1. Bleaching, maybe? The longer they abstain from evil, the more their color gets shot through with white, until you can’t tell?

                1. Or given the chromatic/metallic paradigm of D&D maybe the metallic factor shines up the better they are, and for good dragons, dulls off the more evil they act? It would make an interesting twist on their social interactions if you could visually tell when someone was starting to stray either toward righteousness or away from it. (I also emphasize Good/Evil far more than Law/Chaos.)

                  1. Ooooh, tarnished metallics! Really shiny green!

                    I would not be able to resist trying to work in a high point where someone they thought was a friendly says “do you know what the difference between true gold, and a golden dragon is?”
                    “True gold does not tarnish.” (Roar, sounds of chaos, screams, etc.)

                2. White dragons are still chromatics. (I’ve heard of a DM who set up a tragedy involving an albino silver dragon.)

                  1. That became a short story in one of the Dragonlance anthologies


                  2. I figured that if white was evil in her campaign, the colors could fade away first, then she could figure out what she wanted to happen.

                    White as a specific color rather bugged me, honestly, because of the albino trait. There are white animals, but it’s relatively rare, and I keep having thoughts like “wait, shouldn’t that be more pink?”

        2. Especially since at least in the early editions the women and children were given combat stats and the descriptions mentioned that yes, they would attack too.

          If you look at the world background for most of them, the goblinoid races were literally continuously breeding replacement armies, and were simply going to expand as long as they could find new sources of food…. like non-goblinoids. It was one of the usual explanations for failure to advance beyond a certain point: “civilization” got tired of keeping them in check, and then found out they had been outbred and swarmed under.

      2. Yes, of course. Alignment can be used as a short hand for deeply incompatible fundamental societal differences. So it is kill ’em all, down to the suckling infant, because while kill the men and rape the women is better simulation, it would not be fun for me.

        If you have a problem with that, it is because of racism. No, wait, I’m addressing someone I’m trying to communicate with decently. The barracks explanation works for some tables, and the ‘orcs spontaneously generate’ works for others. D&D is too broad and too easily personalized to have answers to that which are not individual.

        1. The REAL problem is, of course, that D&D alignment is taking every ethical issue that the brightest and wisest have broken their hearts over for centuries, misunderstanding half of them, boiling them down a game mechanic, and handing them over to a bunch of sophomoric gamers (some of whom have the excuse of being sophomores) to use.

          Like the objection that “just because you’re evil doesn’t you don’t have loved ones.” Well, actually, if you actually love them — that is, you would be wiling to do good for them at cost to yourself — you are, insofar as you love them, not evil.

          And that’s not even getting into how Law/Chaos lumps together personal habits, views of society, and metaphysical principles.

          1. Like the objection that “just because you’re evil doesn’t you don’t have loved ones.” Well, actually, if you actually love them — that is, you would be wiling to do good for them at cost to yourself — you are, insofar as you love them, not evil.

            I’ll give you a counter-argument, from L. Jagi Lamplighter’s Rachel and the Many-Splendored Dreamland:

               “Several of my friends have some kind of evil-detecting powers. Or they say they do. They insist you’re evil.” Rachel was rather proud of herself for pronouncing this with an absolutely straight face. She peered at him, her eyes narrowing as if attempting to detect evil. “I can’t see it myself. To me you merely look effective and competent.”
               “Am I evil?” Von Dread stopped and gazed directly at Rachel. “Yes, I am. I am most likely the most evil man at this school. Even with my oaths to uphold the laws and protect the world, I would throw that all aside to protect one person.
               “Given the choice between the woman I love and this entire world, I would choose her, without hesitation. Such selfishness is the ultimate evil. And, worse yet, I will not even apologize for it. She is worth more than anything else to me. So, when you speak of working closer with me and my people, take that into consideration. If it were the only way to save her, I would watch the world burn.”

            1. At cost to yourself. Sacrificing other people to what you want may be called love in some forms.

        2. Kill the men and leave the women and children alone because THAT is the right thing to do.

          PLEASE, think for just a minute. You have condemned those women and children to slow death. In those types of societies the women and children CANNOT SUPPORT THEMSELVES. They would die of starvation.

          Selling the women and children isn’t as bad as some people think. They will still LIVE otherwise they die.

      3. Also, nits make lice. When you are exterminating or diminishing a population, females are the ideal target. When you are pulling up trouble by the roots? Women and children first. (Well, actually, there are practical reasons to kill the men first.)

        Depending on ruleset version, the rules as written may not completely specify the nature of the opposing forces. The referee may have quite a bit of freedom to assume that certain entries are, say, soulless, lacking the ability to choose between good and evil. Note the rough men in some of the early versions.

      4. There are many problems with always evil races. One could perhaps assume a race of sociopaths or the like such that they don’t actually have free will — but then how do they manage to work together well enough to be a threat to anyone else?

        1. I notice Tolkien mentioned that many orcs were slaves of the warrior orcs. One wonders what would happen to them with the rule of Mordor ended.

          1. What happened in the Soviet client states? Either there was a strongman who could seize and keep power by attracting enough followers, or a meltdown followed by a rebuilding after the site was prepared for it.

        2. Usually because there’s a Morgoth / Sauron / Saruman who’s powerful enough to force them to keep the bloodshed down to a dull roar….. and they still DON’T work together all that well; it’s one of Good’s major advantages.

            1. Never actually run an RPG? Because from Manshoon of Zhentil Keep (Forgotten Realms) all the way back through Temple of Elemental Evil (Greyhawk) where demons and demigods are working, the direct analogues of Saruman / Sauron / Morgoth are plentiful and active.

                  1. Considering that my point was that there are orcs not covered by that rule, no amount of examples (not counterexamples) could possibly assail my point. You would need to show that there are NO orcs not being masterminded by such a Dark Lord.

    3. I got a GM to allow me to play a Chaotic Neutral character once by explaining “it’s not so much Chaotic Neutral as it is Chaotic Oooh, Shiny”.

        1. She was a rogue. Got kicked out of the Thieves’ Guild for getting distracted mid-heist by HAVE YOU SEEN THIS GUY’S BOOK COLLECTION I’VE BEEN LOOKING FOR THIS FOR *AGES*!

      1. I played a chaotic neutral character once. Would start each session by rolling an 8 sided die and plot on the alignment chart. I would work my way towards that alignment during the session from my previous alignment roll. Drove everyone nuts and I wasn’t allowed to do a CN character ever again. 😀

  8. The only exception to this is dismantling the machinery of despondence and destruction
    Only one other place I will insist on destruction: government. Repeal. Repeal. Repeal.

    1. What did I say a could days ago? The Constitution could be improved by putting in more robust means of removing the ne’er-do-wells?

      1. “This design… it looks insane. It’s a mere handful of components.. buried in a complex matrix of fuses and circuit breakers. It’s amazing it gets anything done at all!”

        “It works. But it does have a failing, alas.”

        “Inefficiency and too many means of to shutting it all down?”

        “Rather the opposite. There are not nearly enough fuses and circuit breakers. And a few of those really should have explosive charges to really be sure the connection is broken.”

        “What. the….?!!!”

        “Ever see one of these run ‘efficiently’? The result is horrifying. Hell, last time we we had to stop one running really crazy ‘efficient’, we wound up inventing an entire new class of explosives.”

        Or.. recall the very rude Engineer’s Song (“..always fit a safety switch!”)? It applies to government FAR MORE than to (steam) machinery.

        1. That actually sounds like a good topic for you to build a story around, Orvan.

        1. “A republic, if you can keep it.”

          “The Constitution was made to govern a moral and religious people, and is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” John Adams.

          1. A wise man.

            It’s been pointed out that people get the government they deserve. This is presently a rather distressing concept.

  9. “Compared to what?” is the key question that most people on the Left (or most young people for that matter) have never asked themselves. Yes, Western Civ has its serious flaws. We’ve done some really bad things. But so has just about everyone else. Racism? The world’s full of it. You think it’s bad being a black student at an elite college? Try being a white in Zimbabwe, an Untouchable in India, or really any kind of gaijin in Japan. Religious intolerance? Again, take a look at non-Muslims in any non-Israel country in the Middle East or non-Hindus in India. Inequality? Go visit pretty much any “Communist” or “Socialist” country and compare the party elite to everyone else.

    1. Poor kids have had Zinn’s agitprop* shoved down their throats, contrasted only with either the Land of Exploited Brown Peoples, or Supercool Europe.
      Most of the history they do get is boring, dull, the overcooked broccoli of studies.

      *Point out that the line of thought that holds America as the mostest racistist nation ever is just more American Exceptionalism.

    2. “Compared to what”

      I am responsible for teaching my niece and nephew why so much they learn in public school is nonsense on stilts and ‘compared to what’ is something I use a lot. I am trying to teach them humanity is sub optimal instead of thinking about people as platonic ideal.

      Recently talked about slavery, British Quakers and Anglicans were responsible for ending slave trade that existed for thousands of years, at least. Two of our ancestors were press ganged one day while out in Glasgow, made to join Royal Navy’s West African Squadron and were buried in unmarked graves on beach near Freetown. I also told them how slave trade still exists between sub-sahara Africa and Arab countries.

      White people are not uniquely awful like left wing wants people to believe.

      1. ISTR reading somewhere that some of the monarchs attending the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in the 50’s brought slaves with them to England in their parties.

  10. If you go to New York City or another old place, where there isn’t much room (Lisbon and London even more so, or Paris) you get the impression the city is simultaneously being built and torn down.

    At ten my family moved into center city Philadelphia. From what I have observed: If a city is healthy it will be simultaneously built, rebuilt, repurposed, and torn down.

  11. … promote any no-talent or incompetent, in any industry, in order to have the right ideological color

    That isn’t quite accurate. It is just that they have a different grasp of what talent constitutes. They are like pubescent girls raving over a boy band: the only talent they require is not musicianship, not singing ability (although those are fine if they come with the package), no, they are mostly concerned with whether one or more of the boys in the band is cute.

    1. Having your house professional songwriters write catchy songs for them to lipsync to is also a requirement, but not a particularly hard one to meet.

  12. Two little building projects at home. One three one less than one. Both stubborn as mules and ornery as anyone here. (They come by it honestly) My husband and I are already working to point both the stubborn and the ornery in the right direction. If we succeed at that, we’ll count it good, though I have hopes to succeed at more.

  13. … inevitably the smell gets to you and excrement can’t hold anything, so it falls.

    What a polite way of saying “Communism is a load of [excrement].” It only makes sense, of course, as [excrement] is the one thing Communists have in abundance.

  14. I was raised in a rural town in Southeastern Arizona. My dad was distinctly not communist, in fact he had some sympathy with the John Birch Society. I was fed a steady diet of Western cowboy crossed with
    Mormon pioneer, and I read stories of American heroes and founders when people were not ashamed to cal them heroes. I’m appalled that any educated person could ever have considered Marx a great thinker, one could fly a fleet of jumbo jets through the holes in his historical, political, moral, and social reasoning.

      1. Makes you wonder when folks like Marx, Engles, Guevera, etc. were all potty trained. Much later than average?

    1. I’m appalled that any educated person could ever have considered Marx a great thinker

      On the positive side, reports are that the new hagiographic biopic, Le jeune Karl Marx is tanking at the box office, drawing an audience slightly smaller than the filmmakers’ immediate family.

      Reviews are mixed, as only the truly faithful would pay to see such a film, and critics display a remarkable mixture of opinions:

      “With the sensibility of a very boring Downton Abbey and a political consciousness to match, The Young Marx is an insipid disaster.”
      The New Republic

      “And by the time Marx writes what his wife calls a…critique of the critical critique – well, my eyes glazing over at the dialectics, I for one needed an antidote.”
      Bob Mondello

      “Watching it is like being tossed into an agitprop blender..It has little depth, either political or psychological.”
      Peter Rainer
      Christian Science Monitor

      “Against all expectations, ‘Young Karl Marx’ makes this kind of brainy content bracing and dramatic.”
      Kenneth Turan
      Los Angeles Times

      “Both intellectually serious and engagingly free-spirited.”
      A.O. Scott
      New York Times

      “The film rejects commodity fetishism at every turn but it abounds with sumptuousness all the same.”
      Scout Tafoya

      “Ideologically dismissive and strictly from the school of scratching the surface cinema, not to mention the enigmatic participation of no less than 27 production companies likely rubber stamping their own two cents all over this politically evasive project”
      Prairie Miller
      WBAI Radio

      Via Rotten Tomatoes

        1. No doubt. Only the best want to pay for tickets, the best, I tell you!

          /sarc, not that it should be needed, but still…

          1. I am of the belief that if you have to /sarc you haven’t truly sarc’d in the first place.

      1. That makes the movie sound remarkably like the book Amanda recently reviewed for us. Almost as if someone said, “How could we best communicate Marx’s ideals?” “I know! Let’s make a film that is as incandescently boring and impenetrably thick as the ideas themselves!”

        1. In fairness, some reviewers seemed overwhelmed by the (purported) charisma of the lead actor, so it does reflect Che Syndrome.

      2. There’s also the stench of the classic “Quote Whore” type reviews in there- the people who write positive and dynamic reviews solely to be quoted in the film’s ads.

          1. I find it interesting that the NPR reviewer thought: ‘…well, my eyes glazing over at the dialectics, I for one needed an antidote..

            I think in this case we can agree; the whole world needs an antidote to Karl Marx.

      3. I love looking at reviews in aggregate like this – it’s the only place you can get:

        [It’s dreck]

        [It’s dreck]

        [It’s dreck]

        [It’s boring dreck]

        …and then “bracing and dramatic!” from the dude at the LA Times.

    2. > educated

      “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

      It’s a synonym for “indoctrinated.” What you probably think of aseducation, the certificariat think of as “trade school.” You know, mud people stuff – math, physics, engineering… that’s not Real Education at all.

      1. Heh. Funny you should mention …

        Citing the high cost of college, even honors students opt for trade schools
        by Kate Hardiman | Mar 8, 2018, 11:50 AM
        While college tuition continues to balloon even as graduation rates fall, more students — including high-achieving ones — are beginning to look toward trade schools.

        Western Pennsylvania honors student Raelee Nicholson recently expressed her desire to enroll in a two-year technical program for diesel mechanics in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. Despite the conventional wisdom of adults telling her that college is better, Nicholson is seeking out a different path.

        Though the number of college enrollees is increasing, more than 40 percent of students do not graduate within six years, saddling them with debt and low job prospects. Moreover, of those who do graduate in four years, a third of them work in jobs that do not require this level of education.

        Other students certainly face a similar conundrum as Nicholson, feeling that they are going against the popular narrative that college is a necessary pursuit. Vocational education has traditionally been thought of as the landing place for those not academically inclined, but the current market demands are changing that narrative.

        The choice to pursue trades that do not require a traditional bachelor’s degree, especially those in the tech industry, is facilitated by a rise in states and high school programs emphasizing them. Last year, 49 states put policies in place to support some form of career and technical education.

        [END EXCERPT]

        College entails three costs, presented here in ascending order: the cost of attending (tuition, books and fees, room and board), the opportunity cost (even a minimum wage job at $7.50 will generate income of $60K, given forty hours a week over fifty weeks a year over four years) and the cost of correcting your brain for the false ideas and false knowledge they pack into your thinking.

        1. Hubby & I, right out of college, ended up in a “trade” that required a Forestry Degree. That has changed in hubby’s 33 year career; whether that is good or not, don’t know, he’s been retired now for 6 years & lost contact. I’ve been out of that career path for 35 years, & just have his perspective.

          Kid has his college degree, which no, technically he is not using, but he is working. In this work environment, may change now, what we’ve all learned is in general, when the non-licensed trades shut down & a large group are now unemployed, baring those with connections, those with degrees jump to the head of the employment line, in front of those with just 2 year associates, who then are ahead of those with their HS diplomas or equal only, & those without the latter, good luck. This is for trade professions.

          FWIW. We got kid through without loans. Saved, small scholarships & awards (hey just getting books paid = big deal!). His last few terms we were scrambling to find the next terms money required. Luckily no emergencies occurred, & we did it (we being kid too). Yes, that included living expenses & not at home (too far).

      2. Ah, but I was thinking of real education. Of the kind that people pay many thousands for and don’t get; in history, world geography, religion, government, and economics, acquaintance with at least one skilled trade and one foreign language, a little bit of mathematics and a little bit of science. I start to describe it and suddenly I feel like Mr. Darcy describing an accomplished woman.
        A proper education should include one course from Hard Knox University, enough to know better than to spout inanities about life on the easy setting, or nonsense about how agriculture is an invention of the evil patriarchy, or mathematics is racist, or that health care will be So Much Better when the government controls it all.

  15. Last year someone on my company’s private social media site made the comment, “Humans are not complimentary (sic) to the ecosystems on any level.”

    I replied “People with greenhouses, zookeepers, animal preservationists, and those who farm the Imperial Valley live their lives complementing the ecosystem. I love Nature for its beauty, for the knowledge I can glean from studying it, and for the use I can make of it to make my human life and those of my fellows easier and better. I recycle and pick up stray litter, not for Nature’s sweet sake, but because I don’t want to live in a pig’s mud hole. Nature doesn’t care, she’ll turn anything to her use. See Sara Teasdale: https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/there-will-come-soft-rains. Thinking that we can ruin the planet is mere hubris, but we can to some degree shape our local environment to better our own lives. Nature has never done anything for me except try to kill me every day of my life. I don’t return that indifference because I am human, and that makes all the difference.”

    1. Humans always alter their environments to suit themselves. Even the supposed wilderness of the Amazon has been found to have been extensively cultivated.

        1. There are hidden contradictions in the minds of people who “love Nature” while deploring the “artificialities” with which “Man has spoiled ‘Nature.'” The obvious contradiction lies in their choice of words, which imply that Man and his artifacts are not part of “Nature” — but beavers and their dams are. But the contradictions go deeper than this prima-facie absurdity. In declaring his love for a beaver dam (erected by beavers for beavers’ purposes) and his hatred for dams erected by men (for the purposes of men) the Naturist reveals his hatred for his own race — i.e., his own self-hatred.
          In the case of “Naturists” such self-hatred is understandable; they are such a sorry lot. But hatred is too strong an emotion to feel toward them; pity and contempt are the most they rate.
          As for me, willy-nilly I am a man, not a beaver, and H. sapiens is the only race I have or can have. Fortunately for me, I like being part of a race made up of men and women — it strikes me as a fine arrangement — and perfectly “natural” Believe it or not, there were “Naturists” who opposed the first flight to old Earth’s Moon as being “unnaturaI” and a “despoiling of Nature.”

          Lazarus Long

    2. One thing I note in common with all these “humans are ecological horrors” types is that they have absolutely no sense of scale. To them, the whole world is about as big as their back yard, and needs to be babied accordingly. They’d benefit by being dropped in the middle of the Great Plains (or the Sahara, or any random ocean) and having to walk back to civilization.

      1. Heck. Locally, just in the woods, barely off the road or trail. Don’t recommend doing it in the coast range, or west side of Cascades, they’d be stuck in the brush under the trees; that I’ve over heard don’t grow together … uhhh What? Ummm, okay … & walk away shaking head.

  16. Sarah, I’m considerably older than you, but even I, in Catholic school, was taught that the American Indians were great because they owned everything in common. Truth of that assertion aside, the disdain that insisted that private property was somehow evil rather than the greatest of human inventions was strong even then.

    1. The smart-alec in me would have responded to that with something to the effect of, “Which American Indians? The Utes? The Seminoles? The Aztecs? Perhaps the Inuit or the Incas? Isn’t it rather racist to ascribe beliefs to two continents worth of people without any regard to their individual cultures?”

    2. I have noticed that “the disdain that insisted that private property was somehow evil” frequently originates among those desiring to use other people’s property to their own benefit.

      I thought the American Indians were great because they ruthlessly slaughtered and/or enslaved their enemies, engaging in early forms of ethnic cleansing.

      1. One of my seminar classes in college was a focus on Native American history . My biggest takeaway was that Native Americans were no different than Europeans when it came to trading, expanding, conquering, and warfare.

        1. One of my grad-school profs had done work with one of the tribes, and took great pains to point out that Indians are people. They did great stuff and lousy stuff, conserved some things and ruined some things. And if you are invited to a dog-feast, you go, you eat, and no, it does not taste like chicken and don’t ask for more details.

        2. Europeans were just better at it.
          The American Indians hadn’t invented and raised themselves up. Mostly they didn’t need to, the land supplied what they needed. They were ALWAYS going to lose.

      2. What’s wrong with a little raiding of your settled neighbors mixed in with your seminomadic hunting and gathering? Many of them did practice true, authentic Communism: The “what’s yours is mine, what’s mine’s my own” version.

        1. There’s apparently a new documentary coming out about a Native American woman (probably an activist). In the commercials, she gets all indignant because “Wherever you live in America, all that land belongs to us!”

          So yeah, not so big on land being impossible to own… I laughed so hard.

          Of course, the biggest funfest is that South Dakota thing, where the activists claim the land is the ancient possession of the Dakota. When the Dakota moved out of Wisconsin only in the time of Jane Austen, and only got to the Dakotas about fifteen-twenty years ahead of the white settlers.

          They stole that “ancient” land fair and square, and they’re not giving it back to the tribes who used to own it!

          1. And they left Wisconsin because the various Iroquois tribes were were pushing everyone else west, thanks to a distressing habit of genocide when they already had enough slaves.

            Source: my late professional mentor, who was an Ojibwa chief, and whose grandmother knew people who had survived fleeing from the Iroquois.

            1. Where’s the last of the Huron tribe now? Prairies I think. When they used to live and thrive on the shores and area surrounding Georgian Bay. Pushed out and narrowly avoiding genocide by the Six Nations in the 1600’s.

    3. That seems to have largely come out of the same fad that made Westerns so popular– if folks actually watched the old movies, instead of screeching about “cowboys and indians,” they’d be shocked.

      (It’s funny, the black and whites usually used “cowboy” correctly, as well as “rancher.” A good cowboy was less-to-deal-with version of a bandit with a heart of gold, you could have him being the Drizzt of the type.)

    4. There you people go again with “actual history” and “details” and stuff.
      Can’t you just buy into the Rousseauian mythology and modern fantacy about the Poor Little Brown People Who Need the Mighty White Man to Save Them?

    5. Including their slaves? What a feat! Slaves who own their share, including, no doubt, of themselves!

  17. Something just clicked for me reading your post. It has to do with Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead. I’ve spent fifteen years thinking that it’s Rand’s most literal novel and that she was commenting on culture and media as opposed to politics.

    But building. Duh. Big honking metaphor in my face there. Peter Keating can build, but only by cribbing better buildings that have come before. Ellsworth Toohey can’t build at all, and spends the whole novel pulling The Long March to bring everyone down to his level. They are both threatened by Howard Roark, who stands on his own terms. Whole new level of appreciation for a novel I already really appreciated.

  18. It’s a religion masquerading as a political theory.
    Whereas Islam is a political theory masquerading as a religion.
    May explain why they tend to feed off each other.

    1. The point I was making to some of my students about Soviet Communism (the topic they asked about.) They got really thoughtful and quiet for a while.

      1. I sure as hell hope that things will become better before the Squire gets to post secondary school age. Unfortunately, I don’t have much hope up here in Canada on that front. They have been going further and further left.

          1. Christ has nothing to do with this. :/
            Stuff like this has been going on for years, and only now is it getting into the mainstream media. York University is particularly vile for certain demographics.

          2. Caught one line as one of the protesters ‘explains’ to a young woman who comes down the hall, ‘He’s only here to change your mind. He’s not here for a dialogue.’ (True, Peterson was there as a speaker.)  Finally the young woman is serenaded by the crowd chanting, ‘Get out, get out, get out…’    

            These people do not wish to participate in a dialogue.  They want to harangue and shut down what they do not wish to hear. Moreover they do not want to let anyone else hear it either.  Having explained that we must listen to them because they have been othered, which is a great moral wrong.  Having experienced this great wrong they are now justified in whatever they choose to do, including the use of the power of the government to legislate their dogma. All of which proves that they, in fact, have no problem with othering just so long as they are the ones at the helm.  

            So what is new?  Sadly, not much.  Groups of people have long used whatever tactic works for themselves to acquire what power and control over society they can, attempting to limit challenges is a perennial.

            In third grade The Daughter actually had a teacher who asserted to me that bullying ends by third grade.  I didn’t believe him.  (I wasn’t sure if he was profoundly naive, dense, or wishful.)  What we have here is grown-up bullies.

                1. More likely they were a bully– probably a lower level one, and have mentally defined that sort of emotional abuse as “normal socialization.”

              1. I know. In my experience middle school was brutal.

                At the same time this man was a brilliant teacher in his way, best described as Mr. Wizard meets a kind of absent minded professor. While The Daughter was one of those children loved reading, I appreciated his dedication to finding for each and every child who was not a reader that passed through his classroom a book that would convince them that reading was worthwhile.

              2. Whoever said that is on crack. Most of my bullying ended when i hip tossed someone into a locker.

                  1. yep, in my case after that 9th grade ‘incident’ they just rolled it back enough to not actually start fights.

                1. The mean-girl social bullying that I experienced in junior high ended in the 8th grade, when I came to the realization over the summer that their silly games wasn’t anything I cared for. I could laugh at them and go my own way – why should the opinions and actions of people that I didn’t respect have the power to ruin my day? I know it might seem silly, looking back on it – but it was mind-blowing to the 14-year-old me. Why should these people bother me? I shouldn’t care – and didn’t care – and so after that, their stupid social games ran off me like water off a duck’s back.

                  1. Why it may have blown your mind:

                    “Plays well with others.”

                    It’s something you’re scolded for not doing for all of school years–why on earth would a child not assume it’s important?

                    My family had enough twits in it that I understood that even if you love someone, they might be a total jackass- and I didn’t like my classmates that much!

            1. Yep, yep, yep, to all of it.

              And what if the woman does choose to change her mind based on evidence that Peterson presented? “THAT’S BRAINWASHING!” – in other words, if she chooses a mindset or thinking that is contrary to the SJZ/Antifa ‘approved thoughts’, she isn’t ‘really’ thinking, and isn’t ‘really’ exercising her free will (which some of these fools have been arguing against.)

      2. It might be interesting to do a study on how different groups engage in “grooming” their intended targets. How do socialist-themes in modern curricula compare with standard grooming, for example.

    2. When one considers that one of the major formulators of the doctrine of Soviet Marxism-Leninism was a failed seminarian, is it all that surprising?

  19. Concerning building and tearing down it says in the Bible, “The wise scribe in the kingdom of heaven brings from his storeroom things both old and new.”

      1. Possibly:

        What has been is what will be,
        and what has been done is what will be done,
        and there is nothing new under the sun.
        Is there a thing of which it is said,
        “See, this is new”?
        It has been already
        in the ages before us.
        There is no remembrance of former things,
        nor will there be any remembrance
        of later things yet to be
        among those who come after.’

  20. “They might SEEM to build quickly (though mostly they take over quickly) ”

    In Gulag Archipelago, Solzhenitsyn states that the Russian Revolution slammed the brakes on railroad building and it didn’t reach pre-Revolutionary levels for decades.

  21. Reblogged this on Anglic Civilization and commented:
    The Anglic societies more resist to the call of Marxism than many of the other Western societies and civilizations. Unfortunately some succumbed to the false illusion that Marxism presented and it lead to decades of murder and destruction. Others had no choice and had it imposed them from outside, especially the Eastern Europeans after the Second World war.

  22. Sarah, I don’t think it’s limited to Marxism. I think it goes back 50 years earlier, to the French Revolution. Possibly earlier. There’s always been a certain faction that believes in the idea of The Revolution…which will provide them with the opportunity to slaughter their way to Utopia. Marxist economic theory is nothing (and obsolete, BTW – replaced by the stock corporation and mutual funds that make the common man a capitalist), the permanent Revolution is everything.

    Jean Jacques Rousseau may have been the most destructive human being in history.

  23. “Construction work is never glamorous work”…though the work itself is not glamorous, the process of construction and the results have indeed been considered glamorous at certain times and in certain places….for example, in the 1930s, in both American and the Soviet Union. Ditto for manufacturing. (see Joshua Freeman’s recent history of factories, ‘Behemoth’, for some interesting info on this.)

    Indeed, I think one reason for Trump’s victory is that he does see some glamor in building things and making things, and a lot of people responded to that.

    1. Yup. Trump really likes buildings. I’ve seen architects who were less enthused about the physical presence of buildings. You might not like his taste, but he is gung ho for it. But he also has this weird tendency to treat buildings like Play-Doh, seeing what you could change or knock down. Very engineer-y, in a weird way.

      I crack up every time I see him get in a conversation with kids about buildings. It’s endearing.

      1. Yep, I’ve noticed he likes to understand the actual guts of construction, and isn’t afraid of getting his hands dirty. He really does understand how the working man makes a living.

  24. “an omelet cooked by the left”

    I pondered that for a while. I had to stop lest I give myself nightmares. It seems that, as the left takes over an institution, it becomes a cargo cult version of what came before. There is a superficial resemblance to the previously functioning institution, but the function disappears.

    1. becomes a cargo cult version of what came before

      The Cargo Cults, as a result of careful observation from the jungle, actually thought they had the thing figured out: Just put up the towers and such and the planes would come back, carrying all those wonderful goodies. They just couldn’t grok the underlying logistics and technical details.

      The skin-wearers of the left are mocking the old behavior of whatever skin they are wearing not to Get Things Done, but rather to fool the prey animals, getting them to come closer so they can be captured and consumed.

      1. I think leftists, especially communists, believe that if their centrally controlled economy is modelled after capitalism, it will be just as productive as the original. They can’t imagine that private property, liberty, and free markets are the important ingredients in a modern productive society. They think that by copying the bureaucratic structure of large companies they will get a productive economy. They keep proving themselves wrong wherever they try it.

  25. Construction work isn’t glamorous and glorious?

    Observe two sites: One is a construction site. The other is a bank. Which one attracts the swarm of eager young kids??

          1. How about I throw in the Janice Yellin paper doll, with briefcase and three complete outfits?

  26. What Obama, & by extension Hillary’s Democrats, never understood was that you can’t win elections in America by telling people, “You didn’t build that.”

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