Opening Prison Doors


When I talk about growing up being hard to do in our time and in our place, I’m not just engaging in the fun pastime of preaching to the millenials, like St. Francis preaching at the fish.

I assume at least the pastime is fun, because so many people do it.  I just don’t think it has any more effect than preaching at fishes, and I think it suffers from… shall we say? … a lack of understanding of the creatures preached to.  Maybe also of the creatures doing the preaching.

I’m highly amused that the boomers, possibly the most media-stereotyped generation in history, where the decent members keep telling us they’re not like the lunatics who protested, shut down universities and joined sex communes to share medieval-like diseases from never bathing, are the ones most stereotyping the millenials, according to how the media portrays the millenials.

As some millenial readers here have said, and as I know from my circle, most millenials aren’t like the lazy, game addicted creatures who preach socialism at everyone that the media shows you. Most millenials I know were raised under the spur of boomer teachers who — sorry guys — really are stereotypical in “challenge all authority except mine!

Yes a lot of millenialss got lost along the way, and yes, I know my share of millenials drifting through life with no aim, no job, no training, nothing.

But do consider these kids were assured from their youngest age that they were surplus (there are too many humans.  I mean they tried to force both of my kids to sign a no-reproduction agreement); that there is nothing they can do (capitalism is inherently unjust, and we’re all ruled by corporations and big, shadowy forces); that no one cares about them (blood for oil; the only reason guns aren’t banned is because people want you to get shot); that their future is poorer and any children they have will be condemned to hell on Earth (we’re running out of oil, water (according to my kids’ teachers), glass (also according to my kids’ teachers) and anything else you can think of, (including some things you can’t.), there is no future for humanity (global warming is going to kill us all.)

The amazing thing is not that some millenials drift through life with no aim and no plan.  Who cares, if it’s all going to end, anyway.

I’m fairly sure they resemble nothing so much as the generation that grew up in the shadow of the year 1000, except without the religious portion, since the prophecies that depress them pretend not to be religious.  And yet, anyone who has seen a millenial white male talk about how he’s guilty of all the evils in the world and how he will never be clean of white privilege knows EXACTLY what the flagellants looked like.

Put yourself in their place.  The kids who swallowed the gospel of human guilt for everything and in particular the gospel that the West is particularly evil and that the end is nigh and inevitable aren’t getting up and building.  I’m shocked, aren’t you shocked?

The brighter they are, too, the easier it is for them to swallow that gospel, because it’s easier for smart people to become attracted by internally consistent systems even if (particularly if) they have no contact with the outside world.

Again, these aren’t all the millenials, just like the toking, commune dwelling lot weren’t all of the boomers.

But they are a significant portion, and in some way they might be the portion that would have been most dedicated/creative.

So, what can be done?

Well, my upbringing wasn’t much different from theirs.  Partly because Europe is advanced in derp.  I took learned all the faults of “capitalism.”  I too learned we were going to run out of everything.  I too learned the Earth was so overpopulated my kids were going to need to ask the next door neighbor for permission to inhale.  And that was if I had children, which I shouldn’t have, because there were too many people, people were a blight on society and anyway, we were all going to freeze to death because of pollution.

Turns out, of course, the fear-mongers were wrong.  But the young didn’t know that.

And as much of a contrary cuss as I was, I swallowed the inevitable doom too, until someone sent me a Reason subscription in 92.  I have no idea who did it.  What I know is that article after article, reason dismantled the idea we were doomed.  Even if they’d done nothing else, it was worth it.  They threw open the prison gates.  They stopped the obsessive fear that consumed so many brain-cycles.  They showed me that we had as much of a future as every other generation, if we worked for it.

It’s perhaps no coincidence I sold my first short story two years later.  Panic and doom are not conducive to achievement.

We live in the richest, best time to be alive.  A little work and commitment can see us off this rock.  Our resources are not unlimited HERE, but they’re endless in space.  And they’re effectively endless here, since our technology changes to avoid shortages and problems.  Obsessing over a future (maybe.  I think we have now proven enough for 300 years) oil shortage, or any nonsense like that is akin to obsessing over a hay for horses shortage at the end of the 19th century.  It won’t come to pass, and it won’t matter if it does.

The world is infinite and prosperity is infinite and limited only by our minds and the work we’re willing to do.

And once you learn that, once you learn that you were lied to, that the preachers of doom played you, they can’t get you back ever, ever ever again.

Sometimes the prison door needs to be opened gradually.  People who’ve lived long in the dark will resist light.

But it can be done.  And once you get that door partly open, the prisoners of depression themselves will help you.

Learn what they’re teaching your kids at school.  Don’t let them become prisoners of despondency.  And reach out to those older kids who are imprisoned in that bleak vision of the world.  Search on line.  Present them with facts that contradict the fears they learned.  Start with things that aren’t so close to the center of their fears.  Stuff like, people in Africa are living better now.  Start slowly before you present them with science fiction stories from 1986 saying that by now the world would be a scorched desert.

Don’t preach, just show them how long this doom-saying has been going on, and not once right.  Paul Ehrlich is a great one for this.  If the one about California sliding into the sea won’t make them snort, nothing will.

Explaining to them that fear-mongering is an attempt to control them won’t hurt, after they’ve seen they were being played.  Or it might not be needed.  The young aren’t stupid.  Only young.

The world is beautiful and prosperous.  Don’t leave the kids locked in that scary, cold place where they can do nothing.

A mind enslaved should be set free.

Go open prison doors.

364 thoughts on “Opening Prison Doors

    1. Well, I don’t invest. Partly because I know I don’t have the information and attention to, given the economic uncertainties I expect, manage risks and returns better than leaving it in the bank. And I expect the banks to have severe issues, because fiscal policy is fundamentally unsound. Any expectations to have any reliable means of retirement, beyond maybe three daughters or daughters in law, would be foolish for my cohort. The only sensible investments are skills, flexibility, and children.

      1. I don’t have the information and attention to manage investments on a daily basis either. I DO have enough of those to choose a company other than a bank to save and invest THROUGH. And I take the time a couple times a year to sit down with someone who is an expert, to better plan where those investments should be moved around to. And yeah, I started with less than $1000. You don’t have to be rich to invest. You do need to start as early as possible to see the best returns. In fact, you want to give your kids a graduation present? Open an account in their name with an investment firm and dump 500 to a thousand bucks into it for them. And get them to sit down with a manager to explain how it all works.

        1. Recent research has demonstrated that even experienced hedge fund managers don’t have the information and attention to manage investments on a daily basis, at least as compared to a simple low overhead index fund. But as banks lose money due to their interest paid being less than inflation & taxes, a good index fund plowing dividends back into the account is a remarkably good investment. Only rarely can anyone play the market and more often the market plays him.

          Over the long haul betting on the DJIA or the S&P 500 is a good bet. If you absolutely have to feel you are managing your investment, find a fund that invests in individual markets, such as Tech, Pharma or Medical Research. You could even apportion, say, 10% of your investment as Lottery Money and throw it at Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson or other maverick entrepreneurs.

          1. Recent? The Motley Fools were preaching the virtues of the stock index funds twenty years ago. If you don’t have intimate knowledge of the market, the field, and the companies you’re buying stock in, an index fund is the EASY button.

      2. I figured I’d have to have between 15% and 18% per annum return on investments just to break even, using my own expenditures to determine the rate of inflation.

        1. You remember that nasty downturn around 2008 where a whole bunch of folks lost a lot of money? I “only” made 9% interest on my entire account that year. Most of the time it’s cruising about 12 to 14%. I’d do better, maybe, if I took slightly riskier positions, but I tend to be a cautious gambler.

          1. Very cautious. We did as well as you did on all our retirement accounts in 2008.

            2008 was particularly bad for us for the kid’s college account as it hit in the middle of needing to use it. It didn’t have the built in cushion because by definition it’d hadn’t been in place as long (tax free donation + tax free withdrawals on earnings type account that hadn’t been around that long).

            Hubby manages ours, but not day-in-day-out. He learned when he was on work pension board. They didn’t do the actual investing but had to be educated on how things worked for the firm doing the investing. I know the processes he works with & generally in favor of the risk/reward flavor we use. I don’t have the patience to deal with it.

    2. but it’s not “faith” — not for most of them. It’s the same type of thing as the boomers waiting for the climate change, or the earth changes, or whatever. They expect that because they’re sure the world is ending.

    3. It’s not too far out of kilter to expect that the feds will help themselves to 401s in the next three or four decades. Especially when the utilization is low (iirc already less than half of working population uses) because we are a nation of part timers and min wagers. The schlubs who didn’t get pension from govt and worked entire lives will be the 1% in the propaganda.

      1. Hmm – now I don’t feel so bad about Required Minimum Distributions reducing my 401k balances. Thanks – I think.

            1. Just very poor family history and expectation that it’ll keep moving forward as money runs out

              1. I think, even under fiscal pressure, the retirement age will advance more slowly that 1 year-per-year. See more international borrowing, even obscured monetary devaluation, as politically easier.

                1. One can hope. My concern is that the folks impacted are the upper middle class non government employees. Exactly the group that would be targeted for retribution by the govt as a not insignificant portion deplorables. I can accept raising ss/Medicare but I’d expect retirement funds to be tweaked to make sure pensions are fulfilled first and if your 401 becomes a 100.25 so govt enforcers can retire three times

      2. I was amazed that the Dems did not, in Obama’s first two years, require that all 401k’s and 403b’s and IRA’s must be invested only in Treasury Bills. Existing accounts would have been converted. Think of all the money they’d have had to spend then. They didn’t do so, and maybe there are existing laws that won’t allow them to. One can hope.

        1. Ya. The only thing I’d think of is that the voter revolts would have probably been even louder, not that they mattered. But it’s same as amnesty and gun laws. They’re not afraid to push thru and sacrifice. Meanwhile the reps can’t even get an administration stood up before they are tossed and impeachment proceedings start.

        2. IIRC, early in Obama’s first term there was a Congressional committee investigating options for retirement and Social Security. One of the academics testifying before them did make some suggestions along those lines – along with confiscating retirement accounts and adding them to the Social Security Trust Fund. There was a brief furor – and little more was heard from the academic or the committee on the subject.

          1. Additionally, I’ve seen the idea of taxing Roth IRAs floated a couple of times “because only rich people have those”. Of course, the whole idea behind a Roth IRA is that your money gets taxed BEFORE it goes into the IRA instead of AFTER it comes out.

          2. Heck. We HAVE self funded retirement accounts because we figured SS wasn’t going to be around by the time we got around to retirement. Joke was, “got paid, paid Grandparents SS”, then later added, “& parents” (some overlap).

            1. “Joke was, “got paid, paid Grandparents SS”, then later added, “& parents” (some overlap).”
              I decided that’s how I had to look at SS deductions in order to stay sane.

        3. I seem to remember there were a couple of congresscritters talking about federalizing 401k accounts to copy Europe, and the reaction was, er, strongly negative.

          1. Tar & Feather/Lynching negative. One item all party member types agreed on “are you nuts?” Language may have been stronger … YMMV

        4. That’s another one of those “hot civil war” triggers the Dems weren’t crazy enough to pull. Then. Pretty sure the next Democrat President we get with a majority in both houses will.

          1. And nothing will happen other than online grousing. Maybe the Washington Generals will get a few extra players to ignore

            1. That’s what they’re counting on. And if it moves beyond that, will you be the one picking up the phone?

      3. Jesse Jackson has been advocating the looting of 401ks for at least twenty years by advocating that they be required to invest only in things like low-income housing and businesses in financially depressed areas. (I’m too lazy to look it up but my recollection is that it was limited to investment in cities. Appalachia can shift for itself.)
        Obama’s 2014 budget wanted to cap your total investment across all tax-preferred investments because any more than his proposed cap was just excessive; you didn’t need that.
        I agree that the Feds will be coming for retirement accounts, but not till most Boomers have died and the youngest Millennials get politically active. (The cynical part of me thinks the march coming up this Saturday is an effort to jump-start that.)

        1. Tail end of boomers be my guess. Early enough that Z still schooling and millennials still struggling.

          But donation to charities like the billary fund will still be tax advantaged. As will the shelters of the techies

          1. Actually…

            Obama took a swipe at this in his first year in office. IIRC, he attempted to put (can’t remember if it passed) a maximum cap on the amount of money that you could claim as tax deductible due to charitable donations.

            1. Just a matter of redefining charity. Money to church? Separation of church and state you see. Money to Civic organization? Here’s your refund. Please remember to provide some of it to that org.

    4. That article on Salon was linked to with approval from one of my younger friends. It had a section in the middle where a chocolatier (!) talked about his dream future, where people could work only a few hours at a job they loved, with the rest of the time for relaxation. And he honestly seemed to believe it was not only possible but likely. IOW, he believed in MAGIC! With fairy dust and sprinkles.

      1. Sounds like runaway exaggeration & generalization of likely job evolution in SOME fields of endeavor – specifically, the ones where automation raises the individually-attributable productivity far enough that, e.g., a week’s worth of work can be accomplished in 30 hrs or less while at the same time total production is constrained. Might also happen as a ‘fix’ for high unemployment in an overcontrolled economy, or (taking Europe’s example) where social expectations are for less wealth accompanying more off-time. I don’t see this as becoming the common experience in America any time soon.

      2. It is a common misconception from “Singularity” advocates. Basically, because robots / AI will be doing pretty much everything, there will be so much “free stuff” that socialists won’t run out of “other people’s money.” Of course, there’s lots of handwavium over two issues:

        1. What are you going to do about whoever owns the machines that make the free stuff deciding “No free stuff for you, you BadThinker!” What recourse will you have when you CAN’T go out and make your own living, because the basic skills to do so aren’t taught / can’t actually be done. Note that we’re already seeing that with ideological tests for employment by “private enterprise”.

        2. What are you going to do with the people who prove that “idle hands are the Devil’s workshop” and now have all the leisure in the world to torment other people?

  1. “If the one about California sliding into the sea won’t make them snort, nothing will.”

    To be fair, I’m not sure if that’s a doom-and-gloom prediction or a fervent hope : -)

    Seriously, though, I know what you’re talking about. I remember the constant barrage of “the environment is being destroyed, the planet is falling apart, and we’re all going to die” propaganda from when I was a kid. Recently, I was looking back at some of my stories from high school and realized how much they suffered from that premise: Earth was doomed, almost everyone agreed that there was no hope for it, only thing to do was move everyone to Mars, which shows not only my swallowing whole the propaganda but a complete ignorance of how space travel would work.

    Some of the characters were good, though. I may have to conduct a rescue operation and see if I can transport them to a better world…

      1. Shouldn’t that be, “Sweet Saint Andrew, Save Us!”? After all, “San Andreas is just Spanish for “Saint Andrew.” Or maybe, “¡Dulce San Andrés, sálvanos!”

      2. Slide off into the sea while the eucalyptus and sagebrush burns as the mud is sliding downhill……

    1. I was quite disappointed to learn that the nature of the faults means that coastal California is likely to merely slide northward, rather than falling into the Pacific.

          1. “SanFran and Seattle already seem joined at the hip…”

            And Portland & Eugene & Brookings. At least the latter is actually on the coast … other 2 not so much.

      1. Read that chapter on the earthquake in Wearing the Cape. If we’re lucky, it will at least clean up enough of coastal CA so that mopping up will be easier.

  2. I keep boggling at the “tried to make your kids sign a non-reproductive agreement”. (I’ll grant you, this is Colorado, yes? And I too am familiar with the garbage that school system puts into kids–though in my case, it’s via the crap they pulled with much-younger siblings.)

    I mean…I can just visualize what my mother* (or me, in her shoes, had I kids) would have said to that bunch. “So how is this different from the pro-life folks you hate so much? Aren’t you telling someone else what to do with their bodies and reproductive organs?”

    Or, “And you plan to enforce this ‘agreement’…how, exactly?”

    It’s just so…I mean, not only is it insanely invasive, evil (because terrifying small kids with garbage like that is EVIL), but it’s just so unbelievably STUPID. Because it was meaningless, and pointless, and the opposite of legally binding served no other purpose than to bully small kids and make them fearful.

    *Who once went in to have a Chat with younger siblings’ principal regarding the lack of Christmas songs in the Christmas program. She had no problem with there also being Hannukah and Kwanzaa songs, but it was, y’know, a Christmas program. And therefore should have stuff from traditional Christmas-celebrating cultures. And was informed by the (white) principal that “Lady, you’re white, you don’t HAVE a culture.”

    She said she strongly tempted to return to his office naked, and painted with woad, and heavily armed, and educate him as to just what HER ancestors’ culture was… (She did yank sibs out for a brief time and homeschool them, until her own mother made that counter productive.)

    1. Isn’t it interesting that a non-reproductive agreement segues so nicely into justification for abortion?

      1. I await, despondently, the day a school shooter claims to be performing post-birth abortions.

        1. that claim will last until a school defender takes out the school shooter for the same (claimed) reason. So, once or twice, maybe.

    2. And the cultures of my ancestors? Bloody Hell! We are the survivors, and we aren’t nice people, except to our own.

      1. Going by the family tree (and both parents are very fond of doing geneaology), our ancestors’ favorite pastime was beating up/killing/robbing those bastards…the other ancestors. (Mom in particular is almost entirely Celt. So yeah.)

        1. Anybody who objects your engagement in such practices is suppressing your cultural heritage. If they employ force to prevent you they are engaged in cultural appropriation.

        2. Hmmmm…. I guess since my ancestry is mostly English/Dutch with a hefty dose of Scandanavian (Wooten and Robinson), my culture is mostly about colonizing and oppressing other cultures, so if you try and stop me from doing that, then I am completely within my rights to kill you…..

          1. It does seem a characteristic of that chunk of the world that folks who originated and/or settled there in ages past were an awfully stroppy bunch. Though it seems all the stroppy ones emigrated away, possibly mostly the US…

    3. Pretty sure that if they had tried that with my mom, the teacher would have found herself in court. STARTING with trying to get a kid to sign a sexual contract, and abuse of position, and going on from there….

      1. I WOULD have dismantled the school, but as happens neither of my kids would sign. Keep in mind even the Church couldn’t convince younger to take the chastity pledge. He said he wasn’t signing anything his future self might disagree with! Older one, signed, (Ring wouldn’t work, because it was silver and he corrodes metals, like my paternal grandmother did, but we bought him a stone one and he still has it) but younger one is my clone. He’s full of nope.
        However even the school couldn’t convince older one to sign non-reproduction agreement. His reaction was “So you hate humans and want the species to die out? Fine. you first.”

        1. “So you hate humans and want the species to die out? Fine. you first.”

          That’s becoming my generic response to all “The sky is falling, we must impose Government control,” schemes. I’m old enough to have lived through several iterations of these schemes. Overpopulation, Ice Age, Global Warming, Pollution…all by the same people, selling the same answer.

          A set of shackles.

          My response tends to be the same. The solution to ALL problems is to kill Leftists. Reduces overpopulation, cures Global Warming, prevents pollution…why, it even fights the common cold! 🙂

          1. The solution to ALL problems is to kill Leftists. Reduces overpopulation, cures Global Warming, prevents pollution…why, it even fights the common cold!

            Ooooh, this could be fun to tell some Very Special People who think of themselves as Oh So Special.

          2. But if we kill off the intellectual class (not used as synonym for intelligent) who will be there to guide the poor slobs who don’t live in the city and have the right credentials and pedigree.

        2. Smaller schools for us– pretty sure that your sons’ school(s) were more the size of my husband’s, while mine…well, EVERYONE knew my mom after the first screwball job.
          You had to make the impression every dang class.


          I think I still have my chastity pledge somewhere– it was actually very well done, set up as look, this is what it means, this is why it’s good, IF YOU WANT A REMINDER here’s a card you can sign and keep in your wallet explaining why it’s important, other than that it’s up to you.”

          My mom knows I’m the kind of person who would try to stick to a sterility pledge, even if it was illicitly solicited, so Extreme Measures would be involved.

          1. Frankly so are my kids. I forewarned the younger.
            In their schools I was referred to by the word that goes “If she gets upset — and it’s easy — she’ll come in and fly around your office on her broom. Don’t get her upset. If the kid says “my mom wouldn’t like that” drop it. Oh, and when she teaches her kid the water cycle and he takes over the class to teach it to other kids, don’t fight it. It’s easier. Otherwise she’ll come in and ask you what your family does with grandad’s pee. Is it still in jars in the attic? That’s the only way we’ll run out of water.”

            1. Did you boys school have a graduation-party-mom’s-gone, when the last one graduated? Ours did. THEN about 20 years later, starting with 6th grade, my sisters kids went to the same middle & high schools. She said it was priceless when the staff that was still around realized who grandma was.

        3. Y’know, a chastity pledge was never something they tried on us (I’m LDS, aka Mormon.) Not sure why, really. (Not that some of the lessons taught to youth regarding the subject aren’t absolutely AWFUL, or at least, used to be. I’m behind the times on what the current manuals say.) And I certainly heard about some truly Less Effective approaches to the subject by parents of LDS friends. (Which were on par with the ‘pretend there’s no option other than abstinence, and have no clue what to do when hormonal teenager/young adult does something else.’)

          I liked my mother’s approach. (Dad’s was “Go talk to your mother,” while blushing furiously.) Her take on it was “The commandment/our expectations says don’t, unless married. But in case you decide not to follow that, please do it safely. And here’s what you do to do it as safely as possible–but the only 100% safe is don’t.”

          Though I’m sure there’s probably an LDS congregation somewhere that’s tried it–I just never encountered it in any of mine. 😀

              1. Denver is the Mile High City, after all.

                (It was so bizarre the last time I visited Denver, after they legalized it, because there were all these pot shops along the downtown streets. And stoned fools wandering about in the vicinity.)

                1. I will grant that Colorado has made a crap-ton of money of the tax. Which…hey, why not? Pre-Prohibition, most of the federal government’s funds came from the alcohol tax.

                  1. “weed” Tax. Oregon has profited mightily too. Question is has legalization gotten rid of the illegal public forest grows, or those on forest private land grows (you know where growers can’t distinguish between public & Weyerhauser or Roseburg or ???)?

                    1. Nope.


                      Has a link to the 2017 OSP Cannabis Enforcement Priorities Draft.

                      Looooong quote for the public lands portion:

                      Executive Summary and Purpose
                      The focal points of this section are derived from the federal guidance, issued by former
                      DOJ Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole, on –
                       Preventing the growing of marijuana on public lands and the attendant public safety and
                      environmental dangers posed by marijuana production on public lands 1

                      To this end, this section provides an examination of current illicit cultivation on public lands in
                      Oregon and details research on the environmental impact of this activity.

                      Strategic Findings

                       To date, legalization has not affected the rate of illicit cannabis cultivation on public land.
                       The Illinois, Applegate, and combined Rogue Watersheds are particularly vulnerable to
                      environmental damage from illicit cannabis grow sites.
                       Illicit cannabis grows have consumed 1.04 billion gallons of water since 2004 and consume
                      roughly 442,200 gallons of water daily during the growth season.
                       Eradication and enforcement efforts have a high return on investment; an average of
                      1,040.38 dollars’ worth of illicit cannabis is returned for every dollar spent

                    2. Good link. Figures. Haven’t followed it that close. Just remember being on pre-sale crew in late ’70’s & having supervisors turn the crew around comment being “oops, guess we’ll check other area units today” because a grow was spotted on the way in (not on the road). This was South Umpqua out of Canyonville, & Middle Willamette out of Sweet Home. Not that pre-sale crews are very big or used anymore, but … Crew supervisors (permanent full time) packed (whether it was legal for them then, don’t know), temp seasonal crew did not.

                    3. Yeah, the biggest bust on a grow for my home county was a tourist who went down a less used trail– it was not maintained any more, but a perfectly good trail– and hiked RIGHT into the middle of it. Not that far from everything, but since it wasn’t on a main hiking course and that’s a no-fly area…..

                      Thank God, the grower wasn’t there.

                    4. “Yeah, the biggest bust on a grow for my home county was a tourist who went down a less used trail– it was not maintained any more, but a perfectly good trail– and hiked RIGHT into the middle of it. Not that far from everything, but since it wasn’t on a main hiking course and that’s a no-fly area…..”

                      We weren’t on even hiking trails. Proposed roads for proposed units. Grow went in between Engineer’s laying out the roads. We were in to run profiles to determine future logging units.

                      “Thank God, the grower wasn’t there.”

                      The bad news is, the grower doesn’t have to be. Theyv’e been know to set killing traps & trap wires.

                      Our troop always did (does?) “extended” backpack trips of 10 days on the PCT. That part you generally can know is going to be clean. But adults pre-tripped the less used trails in & out for the route were taking, especially trails we knew were likely to be less maintained (like the one from Scotts lake, South to the PCT off 242). We also pre-tripped if an area had had fires over the PCT in prior couple of years. Worse ever found was the creek that got high in the afternoon. Scoutmaster wanted a minimum of 6 adults there for that creek crossing. Had 3 (experienced backpacking) adults hike in just for that section of the trail & come out.

                    5. Warning, the report has some painfully obvious observations like “climatic and other events” correlating more with the amount of pot found.

                      Yes, I’d imagine ginormous forest fires going through your grow would reduce how much of it is captured…..

          1. Ours (Catholic) did a surprisingly good job of connecting it to not objectifying the other person– maybe because of the whole commit adultery in your heart part.

            So yeah, you might end up really wanting to have sex, or at the very least be starved for intimacy. But, if you did– you were using the other person. Not very loving. Ditto the guy who tires the “if you really love me, you would ___” line. If he really loved you, he wouldn’t be trying to use and abuse your body.

            Should point out that for them, “surprisingly good” and “had any kind of framework at all” are kinda synonyms.

        4. If we all sign pledges of chastity and don’t reproduce, who will pay your pensions? For that matter, what will you do for a job in fifteen, twenty years?

          1. Chastity is refraining from illicit sexual intercourse.

            In marriage it is not illicit. In fact, it may be a sin against chastity to not engage in it, if you or your spouse are not cut out for complete abstinence.

            1. Yep — and what messages are they conveying about marriage?

              They would attrit an already inadequate birth rate.

            2. BTW, after all this time we’ve both been commenting here I am a trifle dismayed at your apparent thought I would use such a word ignorant of its meaning. I would hope I’ve demonstrated more diligence — and you are more perceptive — than that, Margaret.

          2. I’m sure their unspoken answer to that question is something like “the elites we want to rule us won’t have to sign non-reproduction pledges.”

          3. Going off of those one would expect to best illustrate the Catholic meaning of the term, the “not reproducing” thing doesn’t happen. Kinda the opposite…. *eyebrow waggle*

            (I know the common dictionary is not having illicit sex; the theological one is..well, more theological. Chastity means the successful integration of sexuality within the person and thus the inner unity of man in his bodily and spiritual being. Sexuality, in which man’s belonging to the bodily and biological world is expressed, becomes personal and truly human when it is integrated into the relationship of one person to another, in the complete and lifelong mutual gift of a man and a woman.”

  3. As a parent and grandparent my most important task (after keeping the little buggers from breaking their silly necks) was to instill a solid distrust for authority, even my own. Of course at a graduate level one must learn that life is a masked ball, and often times your best most reliable mask is one of agreeable compliance while behind that mask you are free to estimate precisely how deep is the pile of bullchit those in authority are trying to feed you.
    Always question, always look for the hidden agenda, the real reasons behind what you are being told. And often as not you will discover that the true translation of “for your own good” becomes “and I will profit at your expense.”

    1. Diplomacy is the art of saying ‘Nice doggie’ until you can find a rock.
      Will Rogers

      Illustrated and expanded version, for certain values of illustrated.

      Assuming WP permits dot-png extensions to display.

            1. *shrug*

              It’s kinda hard to separate the paid foreign agents from the simple morons. The effect is so similar. Looking back in history, I keep thinking I’ve traced the beginnings of the rot, and I keep finding that I have underestimated things. It may go all the way back to the founding of the State Department in 1889.

              Am I simply too focused on our troubles? Has the British Foreign Office also always been infested with these stripped-pants lice?

            2. Eh, I think Trump is the “foreign agent” there. The US government is the enemy power occupying the territory of the former United States. The busybees in DC are doing exactly what they are intended to do.

    2. “… instill a solid distrust for authority, even my own.”

      I agree with sentiment. One example, I taught my niece her colours about six months before she started kindergarten and I told her green was orange and vice versa. First day of school, she came home with face like thunder because she now knew truth after embarrassing herself in front of class. My niece is teenager now and she says my little stunt taught her lesson she still remembers.

      1. Trust, but verify. How do you know that? What are your sources? Why? Why? Why? (And if they reply, “Because I said so”, kick ’em in the shins.)

      2. Had some relatives that tried similar things.

        All it taught me is that they were abusive liars who would set snares for innocent feet, not that authority had issues. (For most of them, that turned out to be an accurate assessment. They like having fancy ways to justify being jerks. One is just extremely mistaken. )

        Mom’s approach of using phrases like “I don’t know,” “that may not be right” and “I think it’s this, but go ask your dad” established that authority was based on demonstrated validity, not on “because I say.”

        1. When I first agreed to start to do daycare and educate my niece and nephew, I was overwhelmed by how influential I was and wanted them to learn that everyone is fallible. That lasted for short period and then I became more like your mom and encouraged them to figure out their own truths. Neither one of them thinks I abusive jerk.

        2. Parents went with “I think it’s this, but I might be wrong/misremembering, go look it up to make sure.”

          I eventually stopped asking questions unless I figured they had a better handle on the subject than my own sources, and went entirely with ‘looking stuff up on my own.’

          1. On the one hand, we got good explanations and discussions, or “look it up in the dictionary/encyclopedia.”

            On the other hand, my dad often claimed that dessert was “arsenic” and that we should let him eat it all. (Along with many creative variations along the same lines, with the same poker face.) I was a literal sort of kid, so this was both needed and (probably) hard to resist.

  4. Well, Africa is too subject to change for the worse.
    But yeah. It still stands as an example by serving as “This is what happens when you believe the people who are bringing you down, and act in the worst possible way. Don’t act this way. “

  5. I’ve lived though several “great disasters” that didn’t happen.

    IE We heard that we were doomed but the doom is lacking.

    One “big one” was the population explosion.

    Harry Harrison (in Make Room Make Room) told me that by 1999 the world would be terribly over-populated.

    Obviously, it didn’t happen. 😈

          1. Tis included in my other comment. I am just a few years younger than Milady Hoyt. I fully recall we were going to freeze while we glowed because bike winter and I’ve age.
            Fun times.

              1. Actually, Otto’s version was funny. 🙂

                If Goreball warming is so bad, how come I have to deal with a winter storm warning Friday? (Made reservations; the Cascade run promises to be nasty.)

                1. “If Goreball warming is so bad, how come I have to deal with a winter storm warning Friday?”

                  I know, right? We have snow warning for Friday night IN Eugene, at the end of March. I mean, it’s possible, however unlikely, even the South Hills or Coburg range, I’ll believe it when I see it.

                    1. It’s all a clever plot by Big Oil. They’ll do anything to maintain their Return On Investment!

                  1. They’re forecasting snowfall (though slushy roads) in Medford, with medium awful snow amounts going over the Cascades on Highway 140. Retina checks always involve dilating the affected eye, and since this is both a routine check in one eye and a pre-op in the other, driving after that isn’t much fun to begin with. (The stuff they use usually wears off in 2-3 hours; combine that with lots of late season snow, and it’s better to hole up a night or two.)
                    The morning guess for the Cascades is 3-5 inches of snow late Friday, with a huge quantity of “subject to change later”.
                    If it’s not too awful Saturday, I’m going to look for a Chinese place that does dishes I can actually eat. Kung Pao Chicken at a place that does it properly? Priceless!

                  2. Don’t you know? Every hot summer is proof of global warming. Every cold winter is just weather. So get over it. 😉

                    1. Okay. Question. What does it mean if it isn’t a hot summer & is rather short? Which last summer was.

                2. Oh, they covered that early on. As the Earth (capitalized because Gaia is a proper name) heats up, the temperature swings become more severe. Positive feedback cycle or something, y’know. It’s only later that it becomes hot all the time.

                  So, y’know, the cold weather PROVES Global Warming!

                  Kind of like when they said the icecaps melting would be proof of the coming Ice Age…

                3. It is also proof. Cold weather is actually proof of agw, and warm weather is proof, as is wet weather as well as dry weather. Their waking up in the morning is all the proof they need.

                  1. I saw an article at (I think) Climate Depot where they’ve found predictions of “more snow” and “less snow” salted in the literature along with other contradictory items. That way, they can always say “we predicted that; now give us your money”.

          2. they were just early, the next ice age doesn’t actually get rolling for a few more years…

              1. as a cause, quite right.
                Looking to get some good out of bad ‘science’, I’d want to see people using the GC/AGW multi-hysterias as a wake-up to build more robustly – further from shorelines for hurricanes & storm surges, residential shear walls that will survive Richter 7.0 quakes even when that’s a “once in 500-year” probability, city planning to minimize and drain major floods, etc. — generally more disaster-resistant. Seems we could if we would…

                1. Judging by the alarmist crowd, they’d demand money for such, but if any restrictions would adversely impact the In Crowd, such restrictions would melt away.
                  Kind of like the Private Jet Set telling us to stop emitting so much carbon before flying from LA to Paris for the weekend.

                  1. I kinda wouldn’t mind the In Crowd continuing to build in scenic-but-risky locations while everyone else ended up in more robust housing, except I’m afraid the natural tendency toward gov’t corruption would mean all that “robust housing” would be over-hyped and under-performing.

                2. I’ve started thinking one thing on that in past year. Assuming for debate that there is warming and that it is probably anthropogenic there seem to be two choices. The one followed is to try and affect inputs. Failure of nations to follow, or errors in assumptions will mean catastrophe according to their Gospel. Or you can attempt to mitigate the results. More robust solution.

                  But the former is only option. Because it’s about control, not solving problem.

                  1. “Or you can attempt to mitigate the results. More robust solution.”

                    Unpossible. First, they would have to figure out what the optimum climate is, and for whom? Humans? Whales? They won’t ever tell us.

                    1. Piffle. We all know what the optimum climate is: something other than the current climate.

                      They will never place a marker on a specific measurement.

              2. Nope, its solar variability, which most of the AGW models were just using the 12-year sunspot cycle to account for with no other cycles or non-cyclic variability. To put it nicely, they are effectively using a constant for solar output even when they have data that shows it has changed.

      1. Nuclear winter. Can’t forget that one, unless everyone has already died from radiation from clouds of nuclear fallout. {Dang it, Mr. Schute. How could you write such great flying books and then produce that dreck?}

        1. And he wrote “Trustee from the Toolroom”, which was truly excellent, even though it was written in the stodgy Britlish of my grandfather’s generation.

        2. yeah, see, we’re not actually here, we all died in the nuclear winter that followed the nuclear war that Reagan started with the Russians in 1983.

    1. So far we have been missed by that, an ice age, desertification, oil drying up, overheating over-pollution, famine . . .
      Umm, getting lost in all the crap I learned in highschool (and elementary, for that matter).

        1. Just trying to not leave a good job in the city.
          The job is done, it’s co-workers and management that suxxorrss in the extreme.

            1. I have enough difficulty typing on a Real Keyboard(tm) to even consider using a smart phone’s.

              1. I just argued with it on my last reply. Swiped our, selected our from the three choices, and as soon as I started the next word, it changed it to pre. Twice. I think Google is mad at me for recent comments about their hypocrisy on YouTube.

      1. I recall more than a few articles about desertification, and a single one about how it wasn’t a big deal anymore when it reversed.. as it does when condition $X changed back, and that there was a natural oscillation.

        1. Sorta like the Ozone hole. We got the CFC ban based on them finding the hole, noticing it was growing in the short time they discovered it, and drumming up a cause before they ever studied the facts of its existence. Only after banning Freon 12 etc (and not mentioning AlGore’s financial ties to Dupont who had lost exclusive rights to it and had a replacement on hand that, while not a CFC was a larger greenhouse agent and poisonous in more situations than R12. but I digress) the facts of “The hole was likely always there, it also seems to grow and shrink with variations in temperature, seasons, storm activity, and solar activity. R12 et al probably had nearly no effect on the thing.”
          But they got more beuracracy and taxes so alls good. But you can tell it isn’t a big deal because they ignore the fact the hole is still there, grew after the ban, and didn’t shrink until the temperature stopped climbing.
          That last is likely why it is ignored, as it doesn’t fit with “Warmenest Year Evarrr!” claims they make yearly. Becauses if it was, the hole would be bigger.
          And it isn’t.
          So it doesn’t fit in with the AGW scare tactics.

          1. Just read an article that stated categorically that NOAA has “adjusted” the temperature records by as much as 2.5 degrees Farenheit in order to make a case for global warming. Most recent data from thousands of sensor locations the results are “estimated” rather than empirical. Polite way of saying they are cooking the books to bolster their agenda.

            1. Don’t worry – the US Judicial System is on the case:

              Judge wants climate change class in case against big oil
              SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge presiding over lawsuits that accuse big oil companies of lying about global warming to protect their profits is turning his courtroom into a classroom in what could be the first hearing to study the science of climate change.

              US District Judge William Alsup has asked lawyers for two California cities and five of the world’s largest oil and gas companies to come to court Wednesday to present “the best science now available on global warming.” He also wants them to go over the history of climate change research, focusing on ice ages and previous cooling and warming cycles, among other topics.

              Legal observers say they have never heard of a court holding a tutorial on climate change and they are eager to see how the oil companies explain global warming.

              Alsup may want to get the companies’ views in the court record, said Michael Wara, a lawyer at Stanford University’s Woods Institute for the Environment who studies climate and energy policy.

              “That could speak to the lawsuits’ claims that these companies were not forthcoming about their internal thinking about climate change,” Wara said.

              Alsup is considering two lawsuits, one by San Francisco and the other by neighboring Oakland, that accuse Chevron, Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips, BP and Royal Dutch Shell of long knowing that fossil fuels posed serious risks to the climate, but still promoting them as environmentally responsible. They also allege the companies mounted campaigns to downplay the risks of global warming and discredit research that human activity was to blame.

              [END EXCERPT]

              What could possibly go wrong?

                1. Judge Alsup is the judge who blocked the discontinuation of DACA.
                  He is also the Judge from Oracle v Google about Android’s dalvik supposed infringement on Java, where he properly ruled that although the code that APIs point to are copyrightable, the APIs themselves are not.
                  Having closely followed the Oracle v Google case at the time, I have a high regard for his intelligence & ability. His DACA order is well documented & reasoned – although I disagree with his analysis of the Plaintiffs’ “Likelihood of Success on the Merits”. It’s not a “because Trump” screed, it’s that the DOJ’s argued position is that because of the DAPA decision (currently under appeal) that DACA is unconstitutional and that’s why they’re ending it. Alsup shows a history of S.C. decisions & other administration’s immigration actions that seems to indicate that DACA is indeed a legitimate exercise of executive discretion, so it’s discontinuation was done on a faulty legal basis.
                  The same ruling (and this I had to read the decision to see – I hadn’t heard it reported anywhere) indicates that for any particular DACA recipient, ICE, the Dept of Homeland Security or the President can still at any time revoke their deferred status and deport them for any reason, so there is no need to stop the DAPA & DACA court cases from being heard and adjudicated in the normal fashion.

                  1. Perhaps, but the feds in general have earned my assumption that they are evil creeps who deserve nothing. Don’t care if a judge, politico, or flea. They are all liars.

                    1. If Rule of Law fails, the country fails. Honest judges are a necessary part of that. Read Alsup’s published opinions. He is one.
                      Had he been a partisan operative he would have left out the paragraph about how the order doesn’t affect ICE’s ability to deport any particular DACA recipient – leading to uncertainty in the day-today immigration enforcement operations and a bunch of pile-on litigation.

                      The initial assumption of creepitude [ totally a word 😉 ] must at least be rebuttable unless you’ve entirely given up on the country.

                    2. Not the country: the government. The Constitution can still serve as the blueprint; it’s simply going to require removing the termite eaten structure that wasn’t maintained to those specs.

    2. Matt Ridley – Apocalypse Not:

      Over the five decades since the success of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring in 1962 and the four decades since the success of the Club of Rome’s The Limits to Growth in 1972, prophecies of doom on a colossal scale have become routine. Indeed, we seem to crave ever-more-frightening predictions—we are now, in writer Gary Alexander’s word, apocaholic.

      The past half century has brought us warnings of population explosions, global famines, plagues, water wars, oil exhaustion, mineral shortages, falling sperm counts, thinning ozone, acidifying rain, nuclear winters, Y2K bugs, mad cow epidemics, killer bees, sex-change fish, cell-phone-induced brain-cancer epidemics, and climate catastrophes.

      1. They’re still offering up apocalyptol… and some are still swallowing it.

        I find “the apocalypse!!1!” has gotten routine, dull, etc.

        “OMG!! The WHOLE WORLD is gonna END if we don’t $SURRENDER!!”
        “Like it did, what, three dozen times during my life? Relax. Been through the ‘End of the World’ so often it might as well be re-named ‘Naptime’ — it would better for everyone.”

        In the late 1970’s and/or early 1980’s there was some big kerfuffle about UV leakage from fluorescent lights. The amount was insignificant. As I recall, someone pointed out that the real problem wasn’t the trace, if any, of UV, but that all the articles about it might be causing stress, which was more significant.

      2. Silent Spring is credited with the worldwide ban on the use of DDT for mosquito control.
        In 2016, there were 216 million malaria cases that led to 440,000 deaths. Of these about 70 per cent were children under five years of age. This translates into a daily toll of about 800 children under age 5. Most of these deaths occurred in sub-Saharan Africa.
        Thus making Carson perhaps the greatest mass murderer of all time as that one will note is for a single year. The good news is that alternatives have been developed making those numbers less than in previous years.

    3. I was having lunch with a friend last week and he brought that book up, saying he’d read it in junior high and it made him so depressed he felt like killing himself for weeks after he finished it.

      Yeah. I read it at the same age and had much the same reaction…

    4. How about the always immanent nuclear holocaust when we would not just surrender to the USSR?

      1. Why would anyone want to surrender to the Russians? Better Dead than RED! Read some Robert Conquest. I hold Rachel Carson guilty for the discontinued use of DDT and the uptick in malaria.

  6. … the only reason guns aren’t banned is because people want you to get shot

    You forgot those huge campaign contributions the politicians get selling their souls to the NRA. Which proves Republicans are The Stupid Party, as they could not only sell their souls for 100 times that to Planned Unparenthood, NARAL, George Soros, Tom Steyer and the Unions but the MSM would give them air cover for having dne so, praising them for being evolved and tireless defenders of our civil rights to kill our children, impoverishing and condemning to slavery those we don’t kill.

    1. NRA spends quite a bit of it’s money mobilizing and informing their members to actually get out and vote. Which we do in greater percentages than the rest of the population on average.

      1. how do we know the leftoids are incompetant and don’t understand Americans?
        The NRA and the Koch brothers spending millions are so much more effective than the Leftoids’ Soros et al spending billions.
        no wonder they are raging fools on the wrong side of sanity

        1. It is a source of great comfort – and laughter- to me to read that, and to recall that Trump spent a fraction of what Hillary did on her campaign and despite everything that Hillary’s side did, including cheating (remember the results of those election investigations? bahahahahahaha) SHE IS NOT PRESIDENT.

    1. I know, right! At least when I comment the “notify me of new comments via email” should be checked by default. I keep forgetting to select it, then wonder where the follow up comments are. *sigh*

  7. Looking over the list of “resources we are running out of on a global scale,” the only one that I can really confirm is/was whale oil. We hit peak whale in the 1850s and were forced to find a substitute, lest we all end up sitting in the dark (but not freezing to death). And steel replaced baleen in corsets.

    Yes, there are resource shortages on a local scale, often caused by hunality’s usual problems (greed, corruption, unwillingness to spend public funds now for long-term benefits, willful ignorance). But other than peak whale, we seem to be doing pretty darn well.

    1. Actually, no. Whale oil, while certainly becoming less abundant, was mostly edged out by kerosene, which was both cheaper and less disagreeable. Tho I imagine in the day there was much, um, wailing (probably mostly by vendors of kerosene) about how we’re about to run out of whale oil and it’s time to switch to alternative fuel!

      1. My favorite tidbit on that is the fact that gasoline was originally an unwanted byproduct of kerosene refining.

        Unfortunately, MTBE was a similar unwanted byproduct of refining until somebody in Cali got “persuaded” to mandate that as the gasoline oxygenate. Great, poorer gas mileage and screw up the water systems. For all the problems with ethanol in the fuel, MTBE was worse.

  8. Sadly the drivers for gaining independence that drove people to being less likely to look at giverment as mommy bird are derelict in many if not most cases. Retirement is a joke for most of my generation. Jobs are often ephemeral and will disappear at no notice. And the industry that provided livelihood previously is now located overseas or populated by H1b. So people turn to government as the only person dangling a carrot.

    1. > no notice

      I showed up for work one morning and my key didn’t fit the lock. I looked in the window, hoping to attract someone’s attention, and saw that all the furniture was gone, and the cubicles, and even the carpet, since I’d left the previous afternoon…

      I should have suspected something when they said our paychecks would be late. I went to labor court and technically “won”, but gee whiz, the corporate sock puppet had no assets, sucked to be me.

      On the other hand, it was only a few weeks’ wages at a time when I had enough to survive the shortfall. It could have been a much more expensive “learning experience.”

      1. Twice. Not that bad but:

        1) Was told corporate was spinning off our division, either to be sold, or more likely the division would be spun off as a new company. Option #1 unlikely because it would be “too expensive”. No mention of an option #3. They found one. Option #3 turned out to be sell assets & shutdown facilities. We had 30 day notice. Major international corporation so pay not held up & good severance pay for those who stayed local.

        2) Company was bought by corporation who’d recently purchased a similar complimentary company in town. Within 6 months layoffs started. Since I was the only one working on one project & only one of 3 on another big one figured I was safe. Nope. Finally got caught just as company went in to receivership for bankruptcy. Came back from vacation to notice to see boss immediately. Technically was suppose to be escorted to desk for personal items (like purse, coat) & escorted out, with latter to have security “assist” with remaining personal item removal, after work hours. Didn’t work that way because by then immediate boss was not happy. Since I was the only employee being notified that week (being on vacation at youth camp dial-a-prayer-if-you-want-to-contact-me hath it’s advantages) boss said a few 4 letter words & failed to inform security I had officially been notified, until I let boss know I’d cleaned out my desk to the car & talked to everyone still remaining & was leaving, so no “escort”; don’t know if he ever notified security.

        1. We had the first scenario when Agilent (spun off from HP a couple years earlier) decided to get out of the semiconductor business. Multiple divisions. This became clear after I was laid off.

          I’m not sure how many of us in my work group got tagged in the first round, though two of us noted that the older folks got it first (I was 48 when I got notice, the other guy was in his 50s. Everybody else was in their 20s or 30s.) I might have had a couple week’s warning, but this was the beginning of the Dot Com bust, and Agilent was quietly preparing to shut down.

          The good news is that if I waived my right to sue, the severance was really good. I found a job consulting for a (non-HP) company that made automatic testers, and made good money until they went bankrupt. By that time, I was 50 and had enough money to finish remodeling our house in San Jose. We sold it for a boatload of money and lived rather modestly until retirement assets were available.

          I think the first wave got the best deal, then it got worse before they closed the doors. The only person who really did well was the head of the semiconductor group. He thought the Dot Com bubble would go forever and made bigger and bigger plans. Somehow, he made CEO of the (shrinking) company. SMH.

          1. Make that “Agilent shut the semiconductor business down”. Somebody’s picked up the products, though.

            1. My sister & her husband retired from HP on a golden parachute, plus severance & insurance, from the Deskjet division. She didn’t expect to get approved as she was 44 & just barely qualified with age + time worked for company >=65. HP didn’t get enough to volunteer, so she got it. Later “forced” severances were not anywhere near as generous.

              Sis found work for other small firms before finally fully retiring. Her husband went to work for an HP sub-contractor doing what he did before, for better money, if not benefits. He is retiring this year sometime.

          2. 1st one was International Paper selling off the Western Land & Timber assets (land) to Roseburg Lumber, in South, & Thompsons, north of Columbia. To be fair IP offered employees options to transfer, but would have meant finding position that covered both our salaries as hubby’s job is only done in PNW (Log Scaler); a transfer would have meant leaving the PNW.

            2nd one was PSC (never knew what it stood for) purchased Spectra Physics, flat bed barcode scanners. Owners of Percon, hand held scanners, started talking to PSC about purchasing Spectra Physics from them. Next thing we know Percon was sold to PSC. Less than six months latter layoffs started, within 18 months they were in bankruptcy & receivership; I got caught in 4th(?) wave. What survived was eventually picked up by Data Logic. I was 46. Tell me about age description, worse than any of the gender version; took me 18 months to find a job programming for a small firm (where I retired from).

          3. While part of the dotcom bust was due to the irrational exuberance stuff, a big part of the “It’s gonna go on forever” was spillover from the WorldCom scam. Bernie Ebbers just lied about the traffic he got, and let the public extrapolate how much money he must be making with that much traffic. Yes, he did a bunch of fraudulent regulatory filings to back it up, but the real game was the hype the stock value and buy other companies that were actually valuable, strip them down so they showed a short-term gain in profitability. That pushed the stock even higher, letting him buy another company. He swallowed up MCI, and I got the ax in the first round of layoffs. It finally came crashing down when regulators told him “No, you already own MCI. You can’t have another giant phone company.”

            He took in everybody. I remember years later seeing an interview with C. Michael Armstrong, who had been CEO of AT&T at the time. He talked about the frustration not just in his company, but in the whole communications industry trying to figure out where Bernie was getting the traffic growth from. He said, approximately: “I would hire or promote people, tell them to figure out how to match what Bernie was doing. When they couldn’t, I fired them.” Then it turned out that there was no actual traffic to match.

            I got bitten more than once by Bernie’s scam. I was cut in the first wave of layoffs after he got MCI. Most of my 401k was in MCI stock, which became Worldcom stock, which became toilet paper. A few months later I went to work at Cable & Wireless USA, which was running what had formerly been MCI’s part of the Internet. (Regulators made Bernie sell that because he acquired an even bigger chunk of the internet in a three-way deal when he bought MCI.) Cable & Wireless kept expanding to meet the traffic projections too. Eventually, it was put into bankruptcy a couple of years after the world learned that all was not Kosher at Worldcom and the remaining part of the dotcom bubble went. So most of THAT 401k went south, too. Most of the network management techs (that was me) and the data center techs were let go, about 2/3 of the data centers were shut down, and what was left was sold to SAVVIS.

            1. From where I sat, it looked like the tech bubble was actually several bubbles clustered together that burst in sequence over a few years.
              -First came the dotcom companies that no real product or value, which took with them any company that didn’t have enough value yet, along with some that did but got caught in the general panic.
              -Next Y2k disrupted the equipment and software upgrade cycle. Fear of trial lawyers is why Y2k was a big nothing. Everybody knew what the danger was and that lawyers were just drooling over the lucrative lawsuits that might result. So if it couldn’t be PROVEN to be Y2k compliant it was replaced. But everything had been manufactured and delivered by some time in the 3rd quarter of 99, and manufacturing layoffs started. Layoffs of customer support and tech support at manufacturers started only a week into 2000 after no disasters happened. And most of them didn’t get called back because EVERYBODY had all new kit for Y2k. There was some new stuff being sold for the growth that Worldcom was faking and everybody else was chasing, but almost nobody needed upgrades in 2000-2002 other than forklift upgrades to handle the increased traffic that never came.
              -2002, Worldcom’s fraud starts to become apparent. New equipment orders get canceled. The frantic bidding war for people with Cisco and other certifications stops, and layoffs of datacoms people and data center people begin in earnest. (C&W USA had a bunch of open slots, and thus avoided immediate layoffs. Using simple attrition works until early in 2004 when the British parent company folds the US operation.)
              Meanwhile, as data centers close or are consolidated and the same thing happens to smaller networking companies used, but not VERY used, equipment becomes a glut on the market. Manufacturers suffer too.
              -One more little bitty piece of a bubble. In 2007 it becomes apparent that Nortel Networks has managed to hang on despite much of their manufacturing, training, and support being shut down because executives cooked the books starting in 2000 so that they could get bonuses by meeting certain financial goals. They declared bankruptcy and began selling everything off in 2009. (Guess what company’s managed services division I had finally found a job at after C&W died?)

              1. That’s pretty much what happened with Agilent Semiconductor group.The Powers that Be were focused on The Big Win (and skipping some potential bigger wins–we were in partnership with Phillips for Lumileds LED lighting, but Agilent sold out to Phillips. Gee, what a bust that LED lighting was. [sarc]). The thing that was going to Make Everyone Rich was high speed internet, and the ICs that supported such.
                By July, 2001, it was clear that even if the business could be there, we didn’t have the parts ready, and Agilent was short of cash. (We were split from HP; they got the computers and printers, and we got this (list off the top of my head)
                Semiconductors (silicon and LED) — sold off
                Medical equipment — sold off
                Biotech lab-on-a-chip — kept; what Agilent is/was doing (at least 6 months ago)
                Test equipment — spun off as Keysight.

                The surprise to me was that the guy who made the big play in semiconductors made it to the CEO spot.

                1. The funny thing is, HP’s baseline workstation PCs were up until recently still coming with a PCI slot so that they could take their old medical equipment cards….

              2. In 84/85 when transitioning from Forestry to Computers, with the 2 year programming program, I had a paid internship with one of the small AT&T spinoffs. When my husband got transferred 3 hours south, investigated whether the internship would turn into an actual job. Since the answer was “no”, did not extend internship when had a chance, & we moved at the end of the school year & program completion. At the time was not happy, but was a good thing that happened. Despite having (not opting, lets be clear) to change jobs, the positions I applied for & didn’t get (regardless of the reason), ultimately were better for me as those companies were soon acquired & disappeared locally (dot com bust hit hard) as frustrating as the process was at the time. Was not happy when IP left, but Percon position tripled my previous salary. Percon was purchased, earned a lot of money on options early (not enough to quit, but made difference 18 months later) & 401(k) stock (luckily by then the required to have stock in 401(k) was history & did not allow new stock to be purchased), got a boost in salary.

                Last job was a huge, major, drop in salary, but also a huge drop in some stress (not all, but most), plus a job in a firm where I was there for 12 years & when I left, were employees still there after 17 & 20 or more. Depending on what the firm does when the owner retires (he’s 70) & supposedly the 20+ year-employee (also SIL) is suppose to take over (he’s qualified & earned it). FWIW. Anyone if anyone on list is interested/needs a programming/support (you do both & need to) within commuting (or willing to move to) Eugene/Springfield (Oregon) area, mention it & I will mention the firm’s name & web site. Last I heard they were still looking for programmers. Hired 4 when I left, one didn’t stay. If you can stick the trial period, you are there until you quit.

  9. I am in charge of reprogramming my sister’s two children when they come to my house after their day at public school. I’ve told them left wing ideologues are maladjusted people who are inflicting their neurosis on the rest of us. I explained that for past fifty years at least, left wing peddling theory that everything getting worse for humans and planet but it’s nonsense on stilts, never been a better time to be alive. Niece and nephew now treat school like social hour, especially since it is almost impossible to fail classes, and that I will expose them to ideas based in reality when they get home.

  10. There is an important fact about such prisons we should keep in our awareness.

    Their bars are in our minds.

    1. One of the best films of that era, certainly one of the best Western satires of all time. One of Garner’s best roles. Great part for Harry Morgan. Some people really like SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL GUNFIGHTER too, but that one didn’t click for me.

  11. Running out of glass……


    I vaguely remember that assertion. Can’t even recall what decade I first ran into it. Just AMAZINGLY stupid.

    Are the idiots still claiming that, BTW? I stopped listening to them a long time ago. There are just so many more informed sources of data, many of them living on damp wallpaper.

    1. Glass? I always thought that was a typo. I remember running out of gas in the 1970s. I got to use the stepmonster’s car if I stood in line for hours to get it filled up for her, which was probably the only good deal I got from her.

      1. the advantage to living in somewhat backwater places.
        There was a distributor in town, and not many people here in the whole of the U.P. and they managed to work around, over etc.
        We never suffered lines.
        We did have one station that sold gasohol. most folks avoided it.

      2. Just use the car? You got gypped. I got paid to take folks & neighbors cars down to sit in line & get gas. Paid better than baby sitting. Yes, my folks did pay, not as much as the neighbors.

    2. It’s true that the world is running lower on easy to use sources for the best glass and ceramics.

      What these people never seem to realize is that prices rise and people research how to create the necessary material from other more expensive sources.

      It’s like they imagine people would just stop making glass, when, if it came down to it, we’d assemble it from raw elements in huge chemical vats and charge people through the nose for it.

      But oh, horrors, it won’t be exactly like the hand crafted porcelain of the 12th century! Or whatever century — I’m not an expert.

      1. Sand IS a raw element. Get the wrong kind for good clear glass, y’might have to refine it a bit…

      2. I rather doubt we’re “running out” so much as it hasn’t become expensive enough to seek out new sources (see gas.) The village I grew up in was white finest clay, perfect for good ceramics. That we managed to grow potatoes in it is a testament to no one paying us for the clay.

        1. Well “running out” all depends on perspective I think.

          What I’ve been told (and I believe it too) is that certain kinds of traditional ceramics can no longer be made because the local clay source is gone. It’s not that they can’t make the same thing or better somewhere else, it’s that it’s not properly Japanese, hand made in the right tradition, or something. Honestly, this is kind of vague in my head it’s been a long time.

          1. It’s like the blurb in a Time-Life trivia book I once owned (worked for them and got a bunch free). They said ‘nobody knows how to make Damascus Steel’. Now that isn’t true. Nobody knows FOR SURE how it was made in the 12th Century (or whenever). But at the time I read the thing I knew of three people who made it in Virginia alone.

            The people who spread this tripe know very little history, and what they do know they failed to understand.

            1. I wonder if it’s like the people who ‘oooh’ and ‘ahhh’ over the Japanese technique of folding steel as some kind of super amazing technique that makes katanas super duper special. When in reality, or so I gather, it wasn’t because of ‘supermagic sword making skilz’ but because Japanese steel sources suck and are brittle.

              (I could be wrong, it’s been a long time since I read anything at all on that subject.)

              1. Your memory on Japanese swords matches mine.

                In addition, IIRC the Japanese swords weren’t much better than European swords.

                The Japanese sword-smiths had to work harder to get swords of similar quality as European swords.

                1. One of the more entertaining bits of watching Highlander: the Series (which is good cheesy fun, withal) was sneering at the fight choreography. Because if you tried to actually fence with a katana like that, it would shatter…

                  (Actually, the fight choreography overall kind of sucked. But I didn’t/don’t care, the series is still entertaining, mostly.)

                  1. Remember the Rule Of Cool!

                    TV and Movies fights have to look Cool rather than look correct. 😉

                    1. Rule of Cool does indeed trump most things. Which is why I love the Fifth Element so much, even though you can totally tell he wrote that screenplay when he was 12. (Which is probably why it’s so very chock full of Rule of Cool, come to think of it…)

                    2. Besides, if they really could skewer each other if not appropriately parried, it would register on the audience that the actors are in danger.

                      Does not help the escapist effect.

              2. Same basic stuff as Damascus steel; with low grade ore and no easy way to purify it, they did the best they could.

                The Industrial Revolution had to wait for reasonably cheap steel in commercial quantities. That happened at Coalbrookdale, England, on the 10th of January, 1710. At about ten o’clock in the morning, Abahram Darby poured his first steel ingots with his new high temperature smelting process. And the world changed forever…

                Coalbrookdale operated for three hundred years, until just recently, when the current owner decided to shut it down to build an office building on the site. If there were ever a place that deserved to be designated a World Heritage Site, it would have been Coalbrookdale. But it was just a dirty work site where things got done, not “Art,” so nobody cared.

                1. When we did a family vacation to visit relatives in New Hampshire (1961), my dad made sure to visit the Saugus Iron Works near Boston. Pretty cool stuff to my almost-9 year old self.

                2. There are entirely too many ‘National Registry’ and ‘World Heritage’ lists. Oh, there are buildings we might like to notice and protect (the Bradbury Building from BLADE RUNNER, for example. Been there. Great example of the architecture of its era, and beautiful besides (the two don’t always go together)).

                  But my Mother was involved in the historic preservation movement from its early days in Architectural circles, and before two decades had passed she was arguing that just because a building COULD be designated ‘Historic” didn’t mean it SHOULD be.

                  The buildings in question were 1880’s worker housing that had been bug-ugly the day they were put up and been getting worse every day since.

                  Rather than preserve every rat-hole where anything important ever happened, how much better it would be if we actually taught our children about History that matters?

                  Yeah, that ain’t gonna happen either….

                  1. It’s good to preserve an example, even of butt-ugly stuff, to better inform one’s ability to imagine living/using in period; and perhaps to provide a resource for answering questions we haven’t yet thought to ask. But you’re right, not everything!

                  2. Somebody in San Francisco is trying to convert a laundromat into apartments (and no, I have no idea how that’s supposed to work out).

                    The place had been used for some Wonderful Government Agency Work in the ’70s, and was briefly considered for the Historic register. Turned down, because there were no shortages of places doing WGAW.
                    He’s getting turned down by the SF planning bureaucracy*, with the latest is he’s supposed to fund a study to see if his building should be on the historic register. The article I’ve read said the guy has $1,000,000 in the project so far, with no tangible results.

                    I have a strong suspicion he could have saved $900,000 and gotten approval with some strategic “donations” to select people on the planning bureaucracy. OTOH I’m a cynical bastard who left California because I couldn’t stand the progressive utopia Those Better Than Us had planned.

                    (*)After all, SF already has far too many places to live. Sidewalks, places under bridges, million-dollar shacks, high rises sinking into the ground. How could they possibly need more housing?

                    1. Somebody in San Francisco is trying to convert a laundromat into apartments (and no, I have no idea how that’s supposed to work out).

                      Hm, for mico-apartments, that could work very nicely. Shower, toilet at the wall, bed, desk, common area out in the middle. Figure three foot per washing machine, that’s a six foot by ___ room. Think Japanese hotel.

                    2. Not converting at all. He owns a laundromat and large parking lot and wants to tear it all up and build a nice high-rise with pricey and spacious apartments and rather than have a party to celebrate some badly needed housing in a city where people commute three hours to Hayward, they locals are fussing that the building will cast a shadow and claiming that the laundromat used to be a historically significant place with a mural THAT NO LONGER EXISTS, but it has ghosty significance and people don’t need apartments anyhow.

              3. As others’ comments indicate, the reputation of katanas owes more to Japanese film than to facts of the blade. Same thing has people shooting handguns held sideways and imagining that it is possible to dodge bullets (although not from AR-15s because those travel super fast.)

                1. IIRC, it also mattered that if you had a sword in Japan, you’d made a major investment– you were very likely to be very, very good.

                  As opposed to the Europeans, where it wasn’t totally out of the realm of possible that your draftees had a sword and were swinging it like farm tools.

                  Kind of like looking at a guy’s tools– a poser is unlikely to have good quality, well used tools.

              4. I’ve been watching the pendulum swing on Katanas; first toward “they were really lousy swords after all” and now some back. Don’t know where the truth lies, and not too sure I care. In fantasy, all forms of Knight can be cool, and in reality most of them were rude bastards with a propensity for raping peasant girls.

                1. Katana are great swords for using as designed . . . just like a Claymore is great for fighting in the style it was designed to be used in. A claymore sucks at being a cavalry sabre, and a katana is rotten at getting through the steel armor of a jousting knight.

              5. Yep. The Japanese used the technique in the sixteenth century to compensate for lously quality iron. It is the same reason that the Germans were using similar techniques in the Rhineland almost a thousand years earlier.

            2. IIRC one aspect of Damascus Steel Swords wasn’t the “workmanship” but was the source of the ore that the swords were made from.

              IE There was a special ore found in India that could be refined to create excellent steel.

          2. Sometimes I think that’s a big part of why Europe goes so nuts for requiring that things be made in XYZ county to use the name– because an identical product can be made better and cheaper elsewhere.

            1. They don’t know basic economics. Law of Supply and Demand. And all the others. Cali could be swimming in oil, but it’s more important to keep all the water pristine.

        2. “But plastic will ‘always’ be plastic! It’s terrible.”
          “Oh, like glass?”
          “Glass will ‘always’ be glass, but somehow nobody seems to care. I refuse to worry about plastic, glass was the first plastic, in its way.”

          1. “Plastic will always be plastic! It’s terrible!”

            “Well, it used to be the sludge leftover after gasoline was refined, so on the whole I think we’re going in the right direction….”

            1. “For all we know, our only purpose on this Earth is to provide her with plastic.” — George Carlin

    3. I don’t know. They taught it to Robert in Kindergarten. When he told me that I shouldn’t throw away the broken glass because we were running out of glass, I rounded on him so fiercely he never accepted any bs without running it by me first, again. Then I made him read how glass was made. His teachers seemed to think and teach it was a natural substance. You go to the glass mines, catch some molten glass and shape it… or something.

        1. Except as we all know there are no glass mines. Glass grows on trees, rare and environmentally endangered trees that have to grow for a hundred years before any glass can be harvested. Climate change is threatening the glass tree forests and therefore it is essential we all run madly around in circles to stimulate air vortexes which will prevent hurt feelings.

          1. Of course there are glass mines! Deploy the morons to the blue enclaves to mine the glass from government office buildings, colleges, universities, broadcast centers, newspaper offices, and public housing projects.

            1. Tell them they’re expected to work in a mustard mine during the summer vacation.

              Then fire the ones who didn’t laugh, or question your sanity.

            2. no, no no!
              It is hunted down on the steppes of Antarctica by Murano hunters using secret methods.
              Your source is just the remaining ivory. We need to send them out to be beaters for the hunters.

      1. The thing one wants to keep in mind about accredited Teachers at all times is; a small fraction are people with an avocation strong enough to put up with Teachers’ Colleges. The rest are the absolute bottom of the academic barrel; even dumber than football players. It is only on a very few campuses that the College of Education is outdone for sheer stupidity by a ‘Victim’s Studied’ program.

        1. Heh. And yet those are the same nitwits who have the gall to claim parents shouldn’t/can’t/oughtn’t be allowed to homeschool their children because they haven’t got the right degree for it…


          1. I suspect that if Homeschooling families could be forced to pay dues to the Teachers’ Unions …

            1. I’m pretty sure they were drooling over that idea– remember when several states unionized people who cared for family members that got SS payments?

              HSLDA opposes any gov’t funding to home schools partly on those grounds! If there’s no payments coming in, it’s much much much harder for unions to take a slice.

          2. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I still treasure the memory of the new Junior High School Principle, straight out of Ed School, who tried the condescending “I’m an Educational Professional; I know more about teaching your children than you possibly could” routine on a neighborhood that was a bedroom community for four Universities and a teaching hospital. She lasted all of one semester. And spent most of THAT keeping to her office and pretending those parent conferences never happened…..

        2. To an extent, that may not be too far off for elementary education and some other areas, but students aspiring to be high school science and math teachers usually have to be at least somewhat intelligent. They usually need to pass most if not all of the basic courses for the science/math major, plus education courses.

          1. Sadly, it does them no good–because by the time they get the kids, half to most of them have been brainwashed and/or ruined by the idiot elementary school teachers.

            My mother really liked the age-range she taught (she was one of the good ones): about fifth grade. Young enough to undo some of the damage, and old enough to reason with.

            Of course, she was a Special Ed teacher, so the bulk of her students also fell into the ’emotionally disturbed’ category (she was really good with ’em), with a good mix-in of the ‘learning disabled.’ So there was all kinds of issues to deal with…but she was damned good at it. (And even got more than a few of the ‘learning disabled’ ones out of that category–much to the fury of other teachers/administrators. Because non-conformity or something, I guess.)

            But you speak truly: the teachers I remember as ‘good’ or at least ‘not actively harmful’ all were in the high school category. The actively harmful ones were mostly in elementary school, with several in middle school. :/

          2. A good portion of your middle & high school teachers come from the “I got my science or math degree” now what. Where the option is graduate school then PHD & research, or (now) graduate teaching school. Either way you are teaching, but latter you aren’t researching & publishing too.

        3. Jerry Pournelle helped in a study back in the Fifties, IIRC, that tried to predict whether a given student would successfully complete “X” degree. It got shoved under the bed because the administration did NOT like some of the conclusions. They weren’t inclusive enough.

          One conclusion was *quite* inclusive, though. Thae study indicated that *anyone* could get a degree from a teaching program…

      2. I remember a number of articles about the “glass shortage” from industry newsletters. Here’s an article from 1999:

        Of course, what they were complaining about was the price of cheap, highly pure silicates was going up, and they were either going to have to pay more, or add additional capacity to purify beach sand grade feedstock.

        But to the academics, that’s probably a glass apocalypse…

      3. Funny, but I remember looking for good lumps of obsidian in Northern California so I could practice knapping them into knives, scrapers, and arrowheads.

        I suppose you could break it down into itty bitty pieces, melt it and form glasses and panes, but it still would be very dark and hard to see through.

              1. Reduced to essentials:

                Breed the cow, calf is born, cow produces milk… remove calf, but keep on milking. The milk will continue to flow for some time. When it doesn’t, start over. So.. it’s sex-for-food(drink) and so on.

              2. brought to mind this:
                “His educational career began, interestingly enough, in
                agricultural school, where he majored in animal husbandry,
                until they… caught him at it one day…
                whereupon he switched to the field of medicine, in which field he also won renown as the inventor of gargling, which prior to that time had been practiced only furtively by a remote tribe in the Andes who
                passed the secret down from father to son as part of their
                oral tradition. He soon became a specialist, specializing in diseases of the rich.” – Tom Lerher “Old Mexico” on An Evening Wasted describing “Dr. Samual Gall, inventor of the Gall Bladder”
                a vid with the lyrics can’t embed so here is one without:

          1. I’ve had folks assure me of that.

            Now, some dairies do go the veal route, especially since they can now sex-select the calves, but they also are able to get more milk per cow by selling the older milk cows when their production drops– which means they need more calves for replacement.

            “Veal” is a great deal different than the “they just knock them on the head and throw away the bodies” that activists tried screaming at me.
            (Hint: don’t do that to a ranch kid. It goes poorly.)

            1. To paraphrase an erstwhile Hollywood mogul, “Their minds are made up, don’t confuse them with facts.”

    4. … This, despite glass being easily recyclable?

      I have vague memories of that, but was only one of the reasons why we were encouraged to recycle at school in East Berlin. I had read about glassmaking before and watched a documentary about glassmaking, where ‘if you make a mistake, you just melt the pieces and start over’ was more or less what the glassblowers did.

      They used to have tallies on who was the most diligent in schlepping bundles of newspapers and boxes full of glass to the school, but when I found out there was no reward other than a kudos, I got lazy.

      1. A ton of our cities with mandatory recycling don’t take glad.
        No, really.

        Glass and aluminum are easier to recycle than make from scratch.

  12. I can’t speak to all the Millennials, but the 20-something young engineers I work with are pretty good. Intelligent, hard-working.

    My opinion is that the average young person is terribly ill-educated…and knows it. They’re desperate for honest information, but don’t quite know where to get it.

    1. My embryonic engineer — actively looking for internships, should graduate next year, G-d willing and not hating me too much — is polite, intelligent and hard working. Has a bizarre sense of humor, but you know… he’s my son.

      1. Has a bizarre sense of humor

        The more adverts I see for television and film “comedies” the more I am persuaded I have no sense of humour. Beloved Spouse and I routinely face each other to ask, “Does that seem like it would be funny, or is it not just me?”

        I’d nae pay tuppence for most of what the culture sells me as funny.

        1. The thing about unfunny TV and film isn’t new. 90% of ‘classic’ comedies leave me cold as well.

          And the ones I DO think are funny tend to be damned odd. For instance, there are two genuinely funny films that revolve around a dead (and inanimate) body. One is Hitchcock’s THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY, in which most of the characters are fairly intelligent. The other is WEEKEND AT BERNIES, which is a moron movie; a film the action of which cannot work unless every single character has a room temperature IQ.

          Don’t even bother with WEEKEND AT BERNIE’S II.

      2. How far is he willing to travel for a job? The Naval Air Systems Command is hiring. Just about all DOD agencies are hiring, we’re looking at a demographic cliff caused by a 12-year hiring freeze in the 1990s. There are a handful of old-timers like me who are close to retirement…and a bunch of people with an maximum of 17 years experience.

        A warning, though…some of these locations are infamous dating deserts for men. A decided shortfall of eligible young women.

        1. Is there a website to check? My brother in law is looking for a job and he already has a wife so the dearth of eligible young women wouldn’t be a problem.

        2. A warning, though…some of these locations are infamous dating deserts for men. A decided shortfall of eligible young women.

          Isn’t that evidence that women, in general and of a certain age cohort, are bad at economics? That, or that they’ve imbibed the Left’s Kool-aid about needing men like fish need bicycles. Here’s a hint, ladies: it ain’t about what you need, it’s about what can make your life more pleasant.

          My understanding is that polite, intelligent hard-working engineers are prime husband material for the matrimonially inclined: long-lasting, likely to appreciate over the years and requiring only minor maintenance.

          1. You’re right, but geography has something to do with it. We do flight testing in remote areas.

      3. Is Marshall just interested in Denver-based opportunities, or would summer 2018 internship or co-op opportunities elsewhere in the USA be of interest?

    2. That’s prime beer hall material, right there.

      Just listen to them for a while, do a little grooming, and you have a new True Believer in whatever it is you’re pushing.

      Cults also watch for the same demographic.

  13. Tangentially related: This coming Saturday at 8:30pm is the annual so-called Earth Hour … I plan to observe it by turning on every light bulb in my house, including the one in the crawl space hah! Feel free to join in!

    1. I ignore earth hour every year; any reason I have for wanting to lessen my electricity use / wattage is driven by wanting to reduce power bills. The more that people move to solar over here (down under) the more than power companies charge those that still are on the grid – and the main reasons for wanting solar are purely ‘yer too facking expensive, get stuffed, electric company!’

      1. Yep ^^ This ^^ We’ve talked about joining the band wagon, especially since they have to buy back any excess produced. If we ever build definitely. Retro, maybe.

      2. Just did that. The panels are installed, but the power company has not re-metered me, yet. The payoff (assuming no rate increases) is about 15 years. They have a 20 year warranty. When I retire, $100/month less out-of-pocket.

    2. They want a dead, dying, shrinking society. If they wanted an expanding one they wouldn’t teach all this crud.

    3. I don’t play their silly game – almost anything else I do (including posting blog comments) seems a better use of my time.

  14. Apropos of absolutely nothing except that I’ve been hanging out for a while: I officially finished a book (writing, not reading. Important distinction.) Any recommendations for indie-minded editors? It’s YAish, a little over 55K at the moment, sorta-post-apocalyptic with no freakin’ love triangle.

      1. Copyeditor as far as I can tell. I’m pretty confident on grammar (aside from my addiction to semicolons; I CAN QUIT WHENEVER I WANT), but I need someone to look it over and help me pick out what works and what doesn’t. I can write marketing copy until the cows come home, but I am a total noob at publishable fiction. 🙂

  15. I don’t remember it as “Running out of glass……” or even “running out of XYZ” However, at least locally, it was “overflowing with garbage”, so how about “recycling & reuse any material that can be, to prevent going into landfills or burners”. Okay, that I can get behind, even if they don’t discount for recycling anymore. Even paying to recycle yard stuff; sure I could do it myself (& have), but don’t want to.

    Now they are pushing solar power, because hydro-power is disappearing out of the PNW (uhhh say what????) or is bad for fish. Whatever, you are making it expensive, as the latter comes down in price, I will invest & cut you out (take that).

    Methane digest facilitates for farms. Wait, you want me to pay to help build facilities that you then take the by product to make a profit off of or at minimum a product that can be used to reduce costs to the farm? Yes, there is an environmental benefit, but there is also an economic beneficial by product, those who benefit, pay; if they are lucky benefit > cost to produce.

    1. I stopped recycling when the contract company that handles the task locally announced that they would no longer accept any sort of glass. They wanted steel and aluminum cans and white paper, but there wasn’t enough money in glass to make it worth sorting by color.

      1. We have big roll carts for recycling that we co-mingle everything except glass & oil & yard stuff.

        Yard stuff has it’s own large roll cart, or we can take it in to where it gets dumped; usually larger stuff, like after the last year’s ice storm. We’d still be getting rid of stuff it we were filling the roll cart.

        Oil gets set into obvious closed/lidded plastic container on the curb.

        Glass goes in box on curb. Glass, the contractor’s are having problems getting rid of it. There was a big article on why. Don’t care. The minute they stop taking it, it goes into regular trash.

        Recycle prices for newsprint has been way down. Don’t follow it now, but for awhile it was worth collecting & turning in, by pickup load, for youth organizations fund raising.

        1. The first time I heard of a “Santa Claus Machine” it was NOT a 3-D printer with delusions of grandeur. It was the idea of feeding *ANY* feedstock (trash, etc.) into a fusion-hot mass-spectrometer to break everything down, and some computer control to recombine things and THEN 3-D printers to generate whatever. The ultimate in engineering, if you have the heat/power/computing – Take what you got, rearrange it into what you want.

        2. Not surprised on the newsprint. The weekly shopping paper used to be 24 pages with an occasional 12 page supplement. Now the thing is down to 8 pages. Some of the loneliest people I see are those at the grocery story trying to drum up interest in the local newspaper. IIRC, the last time I handled a Real Newspaper was visiting relatives in 2014.

      2. Oregon pretty well stopped recycling when the Chinese trash recyclables buyers stopped taking the crap due to pizza boxes, etc in the mixed paper. Now, it’s just glass and cardboard, though the deposit is high enough to make it worth returning bottles (we used to just recycle).

        We’re still getting PSAs on the radio reminding people to recycle.

        1. Yes. Pay 10 cents per returnable bottle/can, & you tend to return them. Only pain is they put teeth in maximum daily return quantity, which our local grocer enforces. Plus machines have to be fed one at a time. Let kid deal with it as he takes them back.

          1. A caret place bailed out of Klamath Falls (AKA K-Falls in case I forget to use the long name) and a bottle return place moved in. Haven’t tried it, but it looks like they’ll take stuff in bulk. I’m pretty sure the automated return facilities in the big stores have shut down.

            The store in our tiny town takes 50 per day, and we’re usually one or 3 per week, so I think we’ll be OK. I’m using a 6 gallon pail, so it should work out.

            1. Arggh, laptop keyboard: carpet place.

              The weather forecast for the Cascades sucks tonight and tomorrow, so I made the trip today. Left the Good Keyboard at home, alas. OTOH, one of the few items that the hotel restaurant makes that I can eat are ribs. I’m doing my best to hold up. 🙂

            2. Yes. Can-Do installed a few bulk returns in Eugene/Springfield, intent that the machines would disappear from the Grocery stores. Latter was not a popular decision. I haven’t seen the new ones, like I said, son takes them back. Problem is, their hours are limited, they are busy, & he works nights. So, he has figured out how many “boxes” he can take back at a time to beat the limit.

      3. John Brown, I can sell aluminum cans myself if I just drive to the place on Saturday mornings; the price has gone down to 30 cents a pound the last time I did it.

        1. I’ve heard rumors that the Chinese are dialing the metals businesses way back. I assume that they’re the market for aluminum.

  16. Even iron can be made into glass if you cool it fast enough; albeit in the case of iron, you have to cool it very, extremely fast—drip it onto a steel wheel cooled to [I forgot—liquid nitrogen temperatures maybe].

    Naturally, it’s a lot easier to get the cheapest source of silica and add fluxes like sodium and calcium to get an economical melting point for the grade of glass you want; aluminum brings the melting point up, but adds durability. Fun fact: Water corrodes glass, except for fused quartz (pure silica).

    1. In the 1950’s chemistry book there was mention that a sample of (once considered) the purest water in the world had been kept in a sealed glass bottle. And, after all this time, the water is cloudy.

  17. I mean they tried to force both of my kids to sign a no-reproduction agreement.

    Their teachers? ???!!! What grade?

  18. Sarah, you have, I believe two sons. As do I. I opine that their experiences in growing up have been significantly different than, say, a household with two daughters.

    I believe, in the middle and upper-middle class worlds, the experiences of millennials, and their expectations, are greatly influenced by gender. The anecdotes are endless, but, to summarize — young millennial males are portrayed as shiftless, worthless, stupid, and hopeless while young millennial women are energetic, intelligent, accomplished, and have a bright future.

    My wife, who taught middle school, also has endless anecdotes on the gender differences in rewards, expectations, entitlements, medication, and treatment by staff and faculty.

    1. My youngest had one teacher who was, honest to dawg, terrified of men.

      How could anyone have let her *teach* boys?

    2. It’s probably worse for the girls. In High School all the girls are medicated. The continuous tension between GRRRRL power and “you’re a victim” drives young women — literally — insane.
      And yep, all the way they’re treated is like little princesses. Girls were the valedictorians in every class the boys graduated from, even when I knew the particular girl and that she was practically illiterate and innumerate. It’s “the lady’s A” that’s responsible for the gap in STEM degrees. Boys have to fight to get there, girls get pats and on the back and grades for nothing.
      Then they hit a degree where people don’t dare pass them for nothing, and the excrement hits the rotating object. And then they convince themselves the school is being mean to them on purpose, because they’ve always been perfect before.

      1. The girls from our son’s private school had a tendency to crash and burn when they went off to another states’ big state university or to an Ivy League school … where there was actual competition — instead of a steady diet of kudos, awards, and plaques.

        We know of one girl who dropped out of a major California university in a graphics design program — she was competing with kids who had been in the field since elementary school and who had gained all sorts of recognition. And who were bloodthirsty in competition.

        She has yet to enroll in the local state school — after two years. I hear she is also afraid to cross the street without one of her parents with her.

        1. This is a common and predictable effect of affirmative action. It can get you onto the ball diamond but it cannot carry your hits out of the infield.

          1. ‘So many of the girls in my sons’ classes washed out from ivy league or prestigious college and ended up at the state school taking non-Stem courses.”

            To be fair it happens to the boys too. Just there are more of them to wash out & not a statistic. With STEM programs it is “How bad do you want this?”

            My junior year, when the “actual” (STEM) degree classes started to a person the professors all stated “now that the C and lower students have self eliminated (translation ‘quit’), we now will grade on straight curve.” My “C’s” (& to be honest a few “D’s”) went immediately to B+ or better; would have done even better if I hadn’t needed to prove I could do this without help, after all the guys got help when they asked (looking back, I really was a kid).

            I think the girls are so coddled in STEM classes in HS & lower grades, that when they hit the “pros” & coddling stops they melt down; only a few harden up to continue.

              1. Yes. Tell me about it. We (with his help) got kid through school without loans & big scholarships, a few smaller ones & some smaller rewards over his 5 years (as “don’t have to figure out how to pay for books”, etc.). The only loans qualified for were the expensive private parent plus loans, no thanks.

      2. “Then they hit a degree where people don’t dare pass them for nothing, and the excrement hits the rotating object. And then they convince themselves the school is being mean to them on purpose, because they’ve always been perfect before.”

        And so “diversity benefits” are extended, and they still get passed, and then they get hired by an engineering firm who’s more interested in :diversity” than whether their bridges collapse….

        1. Well you need to get the contract in the first place. And not having an appropriate number of outward facing nonSWM will do more than failed work to knock you out of running.

    3. As parent to son I feel I fought the similar fights for him, my folk fought for us as girls. Or rather tearing down & ignoring boys is not how you build up girls. VS past ignoring the girls is not how you prop up the boys. We gave up fighting. We supplemented the heck out of his public education. When presented by teachers & other staff “that isn’t fair, do you know how hard it is for the girls?” My response was always “wow, really? Do you know how I was raised? Do you know what I do for a living? Do you know my education? Idiots! Nobody tells my son what he can & can’t do, legally. Just test us.”

      That is what we were told growing up. Capable is a different story, no matter how hard one tries; there is no “fair” in abilities, sometimes it is easy, sometimes you have to work at it, sometimes it is impossible no matter how hard you try, sometimes it just isn’t fun no matter your wishes or abilitites. But allowed to try, heck yes.

    4. When awards day come to my son’s private school, every single award for both son’s was won by a girl. With one exception.

      Best Male Athlete.

      1. Which is, I suspect, why we’re seeing so many “transitioning” guys. They know it’s a scam, but it’s not like they HAVE to keep it up.

  19. Could “running out of glass” have been a stupid person’s way of explaining the concept “easy to recycle and so we ought to do that?”

      1. I remember that, too; we managed to just miss the “Acid Rain” freakout (possibly teachers just thought it sounded nonsensical) but did have several of the pre-printed “we need to recycle” things, and glass was one of the examples.

        When I asked about the whole “but wait, glass is melted sand,” they said it was the wrong kind of sand.

        1. I can remember most of the big 80’s panics – acid rain, ozone hole, global cooling, whale extinction, nuclear winter – though I was just young enough to miss remembering the “Reagan’s going to provoke World War 3” hysteria.

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