Un-American. There. I Said it- by Vindaloo Diesel

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Un-American. There. I Said it – by Vindaloo Diesel

I try to be a pretty tolerant guy. Tolerant of different views, different lifestyles, different cultures. But one thing I’ve always had a tough time of it with is collectivist ideology. Not the people necessarily, your average person who ascribes to such modes of thought tends to be no different from others in a lot of respects. Now, the people in power, and some of the people on the dole can be a different story. But for the most part, I approach debating and questioning them as I would a child who hasn’t carefully reasoned out his stance. Not because they’re inferior intellects, but rather because, like an intelligent child, they seem to have formed their opinions without all the facts and without carefully following their reasoning through to the end. Not to mention just a touch of the ‘It shouldn’t have to be that way’ mentality, even when it’ll always be that way. Karl Popper, the philosopher best known for his work on the nature of science, addressed this in his opus The Open Society and Its Enemies, in which he showed the basic flaws of Marxist theory, although as he said himself, he was sympathetic to said mode of thought.

I’m not sympathetic to it. I believe it wrongheaded; it violates everything from the basic biological tenets of behavior to the natural processes which created such a wondrous thing as complex social behavior to the innate diversity and uniqueness of every individual. Yes, it is born of good intentions. But if I recall correctly, that’s what the road to hell is paved with.

Of all the wrongheaded claims that collectivists make, the most transparently wrong is that they love America. They don’t. Not in anything more than the superficial way that I love my mustang. Or watching Shakira shake it in Hips Don’t Lie. They ‘love America’ so much that they want to change the very things that define it:

Listening to them prattle on is like watching Amanda Peet try to change everything about Jason Biggs in Saving Silverman. Now, I’ve never been in love, but I’ve been close a couple times. And it strikes me that if you truly love someone, you wouldn’t want to change their core identity. You might fuss about details like their habit of using the couch as a clothes hamper, or the fact that they never want to go see the new guns and glory action movie with you, but you don’t try to change who they are. Yet ever since Franklin Delano Roosevelt (hah, got the first name right this time) tried to redefine the word ‘freedom’ in 1934 that’s exactly what ‘progressives’ have been up to.

What is America, what is it that makes us different from other nations? Our founding philosophy. Now, there have been other populist revolutions and other countries in which oppressive governments were thrown out. From the French Revolution to the November Revolution to the fragmentation of the USSR. But all of these, though catalyzed by the same types of injustice that drove us to enter the Revolutionary War, were underpinned by a very different way of looking at the people. All of these, in some way or another, were collectivist (mainly socialist) efforts, and thus largely about removing one statist government from power in order to implement a different sort of statism, which often enough turned out to be just as oppressive or stifling as the one that preceded it. What makes the American Revolution and the country that followed it so different is that this was a conflict of individualists against statists, about those who saw government as a tool of the people instead of the other way around.

What makes our country America are the ruminations of Thomas Paine in Common Sense. It’s the Federalist papers. It’s the long tradition of classical liberal philosophy. It’s the principled, reasoned, and articulate stance on individualism that no collectivist has ever managed to approach in detail, coherence, or viability. It’s the impassioned speech of Patrick Henry declaring no alternative to freedom but death. It’s George Washington crossing the Potomac and Thomas Jefferson pulling the world’s most famous all-nighter to write the Declaration.

‘Progressives’ have tried to change everything. There is nothing American about ‘People For The American Way’. There is nothing American in their ideology, their speech, or their behavior. Although I guess the flags they fly help to assuage their consciences just a little. But worst of all they try to tell us that rather than remaining true to being a country founded upon Freedom From Government, we should become a country that espouses ‘Freedom’ Through Government. They are not patriots, they do not think like Americans. Now, their heart might be in the right place, and in a couple of instances they might even have a point, but that doesn’t change the fact that what they believe in isn’t the America that men have fought and died from 1776 until today. They want to change every principle that defines our country as they vilify those of us who remain true to its ideals. If that’s love, I don’t want to see what hate looks like.

** Vindaloo Diesel is alternately known on the internet as a meathead, intellectual, geek, or giant troll, which he uses to disguise the fact that he’s actually an amazing guy who helps people he should probably ignore. His friends find equal amount of consternation and amusement in the fact that he’s incapable of dating women who aren’t evil gorgeous blondes who treat him like garbage. When he’s not ranting about life, the universe, and everything; he’s either lifting weights, looking for fights (but they keep running away!), engaging in juvenile humor, or making homoerotic jokes with male friends who may or may not actually be straight (because Gay Roulette is even funnier than Gay Chicken).

 

216 responses to “Un-American. There. I Said it- by Vindaloo Diesel

  1. As E. O. Wilson said of Marxism “Good ideology, wrong species”

  2. Un-American, or un-Canadian. Of course I have no idea really what Canada was founded on unlike Americans that had a very clear idea of why and what for. The progressives and marxists up here have taken over almost everything and defined the rest according to their doctrine.
    Thanks for writing this.

    • “Not being American” is what Canada was founded on. It started “We’re loyalists unlike those dirty rebels, eh.”

      • An interesting comparison of a Canadian town and and American town, only 2 miles apart:

        http://www.unz.com/print/AmEnterprise-2004jul-00022/?View=PDF

        • It would be interesting to know how long it took the people of Hyder, Alaska to replace their fire house. I’d be willing to place a modest bet that it was back up before the first flakes of snow fell.

          Only reference I can find to a “Hyder firehouse” is apparently a community somewhere around metro Denver – eight years. Considering the differences between even top-heavy governments in the US and any community in Canada – if such a disaster happened to Stewart, they would probably still be waiting…

          (Knowing the type, I’d also be willing to bet that the Hyderites just replaced the scorched bits and pieces and are still running the same fire engine – those beasts are built tough. Takes quite a bit to total loss them.)

        • Well, those loyalists were nearly as contentious and rowdy as the American Rebels. Seems they managed a couple of revolts in Canada over their conceptions of mis-governance. Looking back at the history of Canada up until ‘independence’, it seems more like jolly old England just got tired of the whole mess and when a delegation showed up to discuss the problems, they basically said, “Fine. You’re your own country now. You take care of it.”

      • Honestly? I am not sure really. There’s lots of myths that have been taught and are part of current education. It’s one of those areas I am looking into reading up on because I no longer trust the narrative taught to us. Getting the information though is hard and expensive. Example, It took over 100 years before an academic gathered ALL the debates and speeches and published them in chronological order. I was shocked when I found that out. Book is no longer in print and I managed to get one from Amazon.

        • Heh, in true Canadian fashion we’re the only nation to gain our independence by asking politely. 🙂

          Seriously though, much of our independence, from the reading I’ve done, stemmed from being too costly to manage properly, so England was happy to let us go as a part of the commonwealth (amongst other reasons). We’ve, to my knowledge, never had the ‘catalyst moment’ such as the American war of independence, though we’ve come into our own in other ways over the years. Don’t even get me started on the ‘identity by not being American’ nonsense so many of my countrymen have. Love the USA as a neighbour, you rock.

          If you have a ref to that book, Paladin, please share. Would be interesting to get a copy or try to find it in the library/digitally.

            • What link?

            • Christopher Moore wrote a good book about 1867 confederation in the late 1990s but don’t know if there is anything more recent.

              There aren’t many decent history books written about Canada, there are loads on Pierre Trudeau but it gets sparse after that. I did history degree at university between 1989-1993 and for Canadian history the most recent books were often published in 1950s or 1960s.

          • The impression I get is that Canada, like Australia and New Zealand, really came into its own in the First World War. Where they REALLY hit above their weight class.

            (Bonus SF-related question: Who is Arthur Currie?) 🙂

            • While not meaning to disparage the ANZAC troops, they were not, repeat, not hitting above their weight class. They were only fighting Europeans, after all.

              Besides, they suffered almost as badly as the British Tommy from that worst affliction known to modern warfare: British officers.

              • I’ll just note that British officers were *very* good to have… in the Middle East. Just ask Jordan.

              • I won’t contest that bit about British officers, though Monash broke protocol by interrupting the King – “If we win?!” – and if the war had stretched on, he might’ve have been put in charge of the British military.

                Also, giggle: “I cannot surrender. I am in command of Australians who would cut my throat if I did.”
                -British Colonel Charles Hore, Battle of Elands River, Second Boer War

                page quote.

                • The story of the ANZAC who told the snotty Pom officer to write home to his mum he’s seen a real soldier comes to mind.

                • There have been some awesome British officers– but they’re usually the crazy ones.
                  Example: John Malcolm Thorpe Fleming “Mad Jack” Churchill.

                  AKA the cat who played bagpipes, charged in with a sword, and has the last confirmed longbow kill in battle.

                  ….very non-standard Brit officer, though a lovely example of English insanity.

                  Some Crowning Moments of Awesome, too, not sure how they correlate to being any good as an officer, and doesn’t do much to fix the “well so we just keep charging the guns” type tactics.
                  (That’s a pet peeve– your men are a valuable resource, not zerg; zerging is for mobs.)

                  • Crazy…or Navy. Although the two don’t preclude each other. Jackie Fisher comes to mind. I’m prepared to argue that he was the most brilliant naval officer ever…but most eccentric. A man I’d have dearly loved to meet.

                    • I’d think that “Navy” had a baseline requirement of crazy.

                      Seriously. “let’s go fight people by sitting in a box, on something we can’t live on, in the middle of nowhere.”

                      #SailorLife

                    • Which is why the future space forces are all Navy based, since that’s going to describe space travel AND combat precisely.

                  • YES.

                    And I think the fact that he was non-standard is what made him awesome. And there’s that bag of nuts, Adrian Carton de Wiart.

                    And I definitely second that men are a valuable resource, not zerg.

                  • Unrelated, but I thought I’d share the crazy:

                    • Shadow, just remember: these people are perfectly willing to use weapons and tactics against “fellow American citizens” that they regard as war crimes when used against foreign enemies. See also: Sherman’s March and Sheridan in the Shenandoah.

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              Arthur Currie or Arthur Curry?

              The first was a Canadian general.

              The second is (in some versions) Aquaman.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aquaman

          • I’m sure memories of what happened the last time the North American colonies started complaining didn’t hurt.

          • Yes, but when you asked politely, there was a little reminder next to you of what could happen if the answer was “No.”

      • To be fair, it is normal for kids to start out defining themselves as “not my sibling” and “not my parent.” (And the US land grab urge during the War of 1812 probably did not help the sibling rivalry thing.) But after a few hundred years, you start to need more.

      • Christopher M. Chupik

        If we Canadians aren’t American, it leaves the question of what it is we actually *are*.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          Enemies to all that is right and good in the world? 🙂

          Canada and Mexico are in many ways the US, through a mirror. Lots of similar influences.

          Mexico was more homogenous, hence more collectivized and thus weaker on property rights, which caused poverty and heavily influenced the current level of issues.

          I have a feeling that something similar can be said wrt Canada, but I’m either missing information or haven’t done enough of the right analysis.

          What kinds of civil wars and private local wars has Canada had?

          • I could be wrong, but I think Mexico also inherited the less egalitarian Spanish view toward classes -particularly nobility, who are apparently still around in that country (even if they don’t have titles).

            • Mexico is still stuck in, I guess it’s phase 2 of human government/organization? With phase 1 being tribalism (my family, my clan, my tribe before all else, right or wrong), phase 2 is Big Man (king, dictator, autocracy, socialism/marxism – very small group on top controls everything and is rich, everyone else is very poor).

          • What kinds of civil wars and private local wars has Canada had?

            You might look into Louis Riel.

          • US, Canada, Mexico?
            Canada and Mexico began as traditional colonies, bringing their native cultures with them. While they’ve become something a bit different, they retain those qualities, for the most part. While they attracted adventurers and malcontents, the governance came from the culture “back home”.

            America started with malcontents and adventurers. Those malcontents (them religious nuts and the outcast Scots-Irish, in particular) set up their own local gov’ts in a lot of cases. While a lot of the governance came from “back home” in the American colonies, too, a whole bunch of it became very localized and infected with the same malcontent/leave-me-alone ideas. Then they went and got uppity.
            As Sarah has noted, “Americans don’t listen well.” 🙂

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            America is geographically between Canada and Mexico but, I think, in terms of what shapes the national character Canada may be between Mexico and America.

            What do the Old World countries have that Mexico, America and Canada lack? The other countries have oral histories that go back many, many generations. At least in America, the common oral history pretty much goes back to colonization, and no further. It seems this would also be true of Canada, and maybe Mexico. (I speak no Spanish, and am not that familiar with the oral history of either country.) The effect of that on America is that we have never known true defeat, and it isn’t in our mental landscape. (Okay, it is more so there since the Cold War.)

            The wide range of cultures providing colonists to what became America, and that many of them were warlike individuals displaced by European peaces heavily shaped the earliest oral histories. That so many cultures were represented force a conversion to the simple common denominator. That so many of the founding immigrants were warlike shaped the pattern of war, success in war, and the sense of who the real dangers are. The common denominator forces some of the open and ‘honest’ display culture that rubs so many in the commonwealth wrong. (Compare the Australian humility culture to the American ‘honesty’.) We smile, and ‘hey fellow well met’ to tell each other that we are not planning to kill, at this time. That’s important because indians and other foreigners in foreign lands have never been as dangerous as other Americans, and we make each other nervous.

            Mexico is much closer to a single cultural template. Iberian feudalism and the worse part of Rome’s inheritance. (America and Canada have inherited the better part. It must be said that the Mexican fighting man deserves respect, even if he may be saner than the American fighting man.) As a less diverse culture, Mexican culture can agree on ways to distribute wealth collectively, in stead of only individual property being viable. As such, it could agree on landing the aristocratic land owners control everything, which wasn’t a stable government. Hence many civil wars, and Texas. Hence the current level of relative poverty in Mexico. Mexico does still have people from many corners of the world, and does somewhat assimilate.

            But on matters of civil wars, it would seem like America is between Canada and Mexico. Why am I arguing otherwise? Canada has more templates than Mexico, but perhaps less than the US. French and English have a long history of differences, but it is not clear that Canada has truly drawn from as many as the US. Did that mid nineteenth century wave of Germans and Irish wind up in Canada? (I’m pretty sure Irish who ended up in Canada were not as opposed to the English as many of those who wound up in America.) What other cultural templates? I’m not sure if the other major influence is better described as English or as a subset of the population whose other part became America. I.e., are they English, or do they include, say, ethnic Dutch who dropped some of the oral history from where they had previously settled? My guess is the latter. As for the rest, that may be politics. Canada may have drawn from a lot of the same populations as America, but effectively selected more for those happy to live in a Dominion. There may not be a whole lot more trust for your fellows, but if you are not enthusiastic about sharing what you believe, quiet and polite is another way to manage things. Whereas America, in one of my theories, is bitterly divided between democrats and republicans (note lowercase) who are only sometimes able to work together. In other words, the ACW is because Canada only removed one faction from the US political equation. Whereas, Canada may have avoided civil war due to less political diversity.

            I dunno, this is mostly today’s work on this, I’ve been busy enough that I may be further off than I realize.

            • Mexico and the US … I ventured an essay on this some years ago.
              http://www.ncobrief.com/index.php/archives/bordertown/
              Sorry for the wierdities caused by the age of the post. (I’ve been at this blogging thing since 2002, you know!)
              The relevant take from that post:
              “They enlist in large numbers generation after generation; machismo is untrammeled, and makes for a large proportion of soldiers who are admiringly described as ‘crazy-brave’. Citations for battlefield heroism run well above the norm for other ethnicities. Mexico ought to be a military powerhouse, with all that raw soldiering talent, but somehow, that never works out. They did beat the French once, but then hasn’t everyone? The Garcias and the Gonzalezs come north, as they always have; the suspicion on this side of it, is that the Border is Mexico’s safety valve, bleeding off the potentially politically restless and/or economically ambitious.”

              • For an idea how old the complaint that Mexico would be awesome if not for that Darn America, heard a complaint from one of the high ranking Mexican guys after they found out that shooting at American soldiers when you’re turning their diplomats away turns out ugly– I think he was actually near El Paso, because the local history show is the one that had it.

                It was seriously close to “if not for those meddling kids” level, too. Any good fortune the US has was obviously stolen from Mexico. :/

                • In fairness, we did snag California, its gold, its fertile land, and excellent ports from Mexico.

                  We just did a whole lot more with it than Mexico ever would have.

                  • Not sure it counts as “we” snagged anything, when they invited folks in, promised to let them live there, and then tried to evict them when they saw the improvements. Can’t justly be upset at locals responding to your dick moves.

                    It’d be like if the Crown had tried shipping “home” anybody who they found obnoxious, and then we had the revolution.

            • The Canadian “identity” is difficult and yet simple as well. One phrase used by Pierre Berton was that we were “Hudson Bay People”. The company not the geographic location. Other then that it’s something that has been hammered on and hammered out and then tossed back into the forge when things break apart.
              So much reading and searching for information to understand the “whys” of my country.

          • Mexico has been a failed state since before Spain let go of it.Nor was it all that homogeneous (still isn’t, but we’ve become MUCH more heterogeneous).

        • You, my friend, are a USAian.

        • Feather Blade

          Depends, can we convince you all to come down and burn Washington DC to the ground again?

      • While I have said the same I think modern Canada was born in WWI at places like Vimy Ridge. A national identity formed in that cauldron would explain a lot of Canadian politics having never gotten beyond the Oxford Union circa 1930.

      • I have a sudden mental vision of Canada as North Ireland, and the US as Ireland– differences worth dying for, but folks unversed are looking at them unable to tell ’em apart…..

    • Canada is ‘peace, order and good government’ while America got ‘endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.’

      Like Mrs Hoyt says, Canada has been very conservative for centuries, all the Libs stayed in America.

      • Canada wanted to be England, but bigger. Then came 1867, and Confederation. Which, looked at from a certain jaundiced view, was a Special Deal for the “elite” of Montreal, where all the money was, and Hamilton, Ontario where all the industry was. Toronto was a pig farm in those days, which is why we call it Hog Town. Britain was downsizing their Empire, cutting off the less profitable bits and keeping the money makers.

        So really, Canada started as a mercantile arrangement for the benefit of a few hundred wealthy men, and has continued on that way pretty much ever since. Peace, Order and Good Governance is what you want on a farm. Nothing noble about it, pure functionality and a certain expectation of cooperation from the Unwashed Masses. That would be us, the people who live here on sufferance of The Crown. Subjects who have no God given rights, just privileges granted by the sovereign and English Common Law.

        It worked fairly well up until WWII when the rot of socialism crept in. Pearson dealt the arrangement a mortal blow, then Trudeau The Elder finished it off and danced on its grave.

        Now it is no longer “peace, order and good government.” Now it is “Shut up and pull, galley slave. Your taxes are due.” People have been a bit slow to understand the new arrangement. But when the enemies of our nation start driving vans down the sidewalk while our leaders insist everything is perfectly fine, they start figuring it out.

        Evidence of people waking up? Doug Ford is going to be the next Premiere of Ontario. He ain’t Trump, but close enough for government work.

      • America is comprised of citizens, Canada of subjects. The distinction is probably too subtle for subjects to discern.

        • A lot of Canadians refer to themselves as citizens because they don’t like how subject sounds even tho it is accurate description.

          • A lot of girls refer to themselves as boys (and vice-versa) but that doesn’t enable them to write their names in the snow.

            The current idea that by changing the label on the time we can alter its contents is unlikely to end well.

            The foundation of Western Philosophy is that a thing is what it is, and not something else. That has served in good stead for some two and a half millennia while competing philosophies have fallen by the wayside, typically with blood and death in abundance.

            • Well, I can’t write my name in the snow, either. Although I can blame a lack of chances to practice, being an Arizona native.

              (Side note – the people to my north finally did something right. Broke that “blue wave” in special elections. Kinda-sorta; Lesko is still a dues-paying member of the McMachine.)

      • You know, the Progressives are always complaining that we’re not happy. We’re not supposed to be happy. Happy people don’t do as much as unhappy ones. That’s why we need to be allowed to pursue happiness. It’s the process, the voyage, not the goal that’s important.

    • “Peace, order, and good government” was the Canadian slogan.

      • Key word, “Was”. We no longer have peace, or order, and definitely haven’t had good government for decades upon decades(the civil servant side and most of the times the politician side as well).

        • No, but there was insufficiently close examination of the actual meanings of “peace” (submission?) “order” (do what you’re told) and “good government” (Mao’s definition of this differed slightly from the one held by Adam Smith and America’s Founders but has proven interchangeable) and failure to define terms is always a fatal flaw in any contract.

  3. But worst of all they try to tell us that rather than remaining true to being a country founded upon Freedom From Government, we should become a country that espouses ‘Freedom’ Through Government.

    Some people ascribe to the myth that with the right formula we can make the world a perfect place — and that therefore we need the Government to force all those malcontents who spoiling it by rocking the boat to sit down and shut up.

    • The biggest problem with ‘Freedom Through Government’ is that it is existence through Government. Which means that the Government also controls your existence. That’s not freedom.

      That’s not even getting into the economics or psychology of ‘utopia’. It’s one thing I really liked about the ‘Matrix’. I think they nailed how humans would handle being in one.

      • Cough — as I ascribe to the belief that we are born endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, and that the government is instituted among men deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed — I do not think that freedom comes from the government.

        • Can’t argue that. Did we get wires crossed? Having kind of a rough morning. . .

          Freedom can be, at best, not hindered by Government.

          • Freedom can be defended by government, but it is not granted by government. A simple thought experiment suggests this fundamental fact: was there freedom before there was government? Can there be freedom in the absence of government? What are the distinctions between government and tyranny?

            • Nice points!

              What the Progressives seem to want instead of personal freedom is freedom from consequences. That no matter what happens, they will have food, shelter, water, cell, and internet.

              • What the Progressives seem to want instead of personal freedom is freedom from consequences.

                But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
                And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “If you don’t work you die.

                • And the coldly rational part of me thinks that if you don’t work (and are physically and mentally capable) that death is not an unjust outcome. If someone doesn’t value their own life enough to work to sustain it, then why should anyone else’s work be taken (by force) to sustain it?

                  Children would be an obvious exception since they would fall under the parent’s responsibility.

                  • “If you don’t work you die” applies to nearly every single life form on the planet. Plants have to grow their leaves to the sun and their roots to the water. Even phytoplankton have to move nutrients and waste across the cell membrane.

                    The only exception are those who have others working for them. The most common are children, whose parents work to keep them alive. If someone wishes to work to keep you from dying, that’s great, but you have no right to claim another’s time or effort.

                  • Children will act to sustain their lives. That sometimes translates as “work”, sometimes as “learning”, and sometimes as acting like little monsters.

          • It could be crossed wires, it could be I forgot to put a snark marker, it could be that where I live we are well into green season, it could be any and all of the above in some combination — or, then again, maybe something I have as of yet to become aware.

            • Nah, I’m willing to take the blame. It was 60’s yesterday and woke up to snow this morning. My sinuses are hating life (so i am as well).

              • Life is great. It’s reproducing life that causes so many of us to have upset respiratory systems. Between the plant sperm and the fungus eggs filling the air, it’s hard to draw a decent breath of O2.

                • Especially over 6k above sea level. I always thought there was supposed to be ‘clean’ air in the mountains. This has taught me 🙂

                  • Don’tcha just love pine pollen?

                    • Sage & Bitter Brush. More & more, Scotchbroom, Western Juniper. May not have invaded Colorado, but latter 2 are sure making inroads into Eastern Oregon high plains & desserts. I don’t have allergies & all 4 of these get me sneezing.

              • William O. B'Livion

                You in Colorado too?

        • Now that give the whole “Freedom from Religion” group’s name a new meaning and one I doubt they’d like.

          • I just wish the definition of ‘Freedom from Religion’ included the the Progressives’ religion.

            • Time to punch back twice as hard. 🙂

              • Don’t tempt me. I’m about 99% certain that if this mewling morons actually feared for their safety they wouldn’t be nearly so insulting.

                • Like the Duke protestors the other day who complained that the alumni at the event the protestors attempted to hijack made their displeasure clear?

                  • I saw that it and it cracked me up. It was kind of like that article on how millennials were all hurt and crying about people calling them ‘snowflakes’.

                    Sometimes the jokes just right themselves.

    • In a word Miranda.*
      *kudos to Joss Whedon, the TV series Firefly, and the movie Serenity for a graphic depiction of how belief in such a myth could kill a planet and create a race of monsters. All with the best of intentions.

  4. Reblogged this on The zombie apocalypse survival homestead and commented:
    A side to pick. m

  5. UN-Americans? That sounds a bit Tranzi to me.

  6. “And it strikes me that if you truly love someone, you wouldn’t want to change their core identity.”

    Modern Leftists are people who think everyone but them is an idiot. Their fundamental, rock-bottom belief is that people are stupid and have to be controlled. It resembles the notion of Original Sin, but for atheists.

    Modern Leftists are also LAZY. They don’t want to do the work of controlling the stupid masses. They want someone else to do it for them, so they can get on with whatever their kink is. That’s the basis of a policy as fundamentally idiotic as gun control. Take all the guns away from the idiots, and then we few smart people can go about our lives with blithe unconcern in perfect safety.

    So really, who they love is themselves. They fucking hate everyone else, as evidenced by their eagerness to kill anybody who resists them. 100 million dead so far, killed by a few narcissists in an effort to control the stupid.

    But of course they -say- they love America, because the third thing Leftists are is horrific liars. They lie about everything. They even lie to themselves.

    • What needs to be kept in mind at all times is that the Leftists are not fundamentally different from the majority of social elites that have gone before them. Most start out as reactions to the moral and ethicsl shortcomings of the group that came before, and many begin from fairly noble sentiments. The Leftist/Marxist/Progressive axis seems particularly devoid of common decency, but I’m not completely convopinced that isn’t a view through a lens distorted by their recent behavior and the fact that they are winding down to the ‘devouring their own entrails’ phase.

      Who knows, in a century or so the Libertarian Establishment may be just such a concatenation of nitwits.

      • Many would claim the Libertarian Establishment already is. (Note that would be the political party sort of folks.)

      • You mean like a candidate on the Libertarian presidential ticket that’s in favor of gun control?

        • Did someone tell all the parties that the 2016 Election was a loathsomeness contest? At least Trump understood what the core beliefs of the people he was wanting to get votes from.

        • tregonsee314

          Or a candidate for VP (Cough Bill Weld Cough) who when governor of Massachusetts had the states attorney general file an amicus brief in the US Supreme Court for New London in Kelo Vs New London? For those two Candidates the only thing they had in common with Libertarianism was Zsuzsa’s earlier suggestion…

      • “What needs to be kept in mind at all times is that the Leftists are not fundamentally different from the majority of social elites that have gone before them.”

        I take your point, and even agree to some extent. However the Leftists -are- a fundamentally different sort of nasty. 100 MILLION dead in the 20th Century. No other political or religious movement has managed that level of catastrophe in history. If you throw in their fellow-traveling socialists like the Fascists, those schmucks barely move the needle.

        • It’s just the normal gang/raiding party setup, applied across a much larger group than usual and with better tools.

          They got better numbers because they were able to draw on a much more successful culture.

      • Normal progression. Most of the Socialists at the start of the 20th Century were quite sincere. They had seen the horrible conditions of urban industrialization (although if they had seen the horrible conditions of contemporary farm life…). They had seen the carnage of World War I.

        By and large, they made the right diagnosis – and then prescribed exactly the wrong medicine. Much like the other purveyors of patent nostrums in those days, who really did believe in their products.

    • Modern Leftists are people who think everyone but them is an idiot.


      They forget the fundamental thrust of the “When you point one finger …” adage.

    • I’ve decided that the whole point of bigotry, of any stripe, is to allow the bigot to imagine him/herself superior to the rest of humanity merely by existing. This means a very simplistic and inaccurate view of the world, and a low bar on what makes someone superior – especially no actual achievement (I just finished reading an otherwise good graphic novel series, but SJWisms were there. I’m still rolling my eyes at a young man being being considered positively heroic because he acquired a sentimental tatoo. I’m afraid I have a higher bar for heroism.)

  7. The most frustrating part of the collectivists’ MO is how they try to convince people that their ideology is valid by equating collectivism with community. A community has a strong bond, helps one another out, and works together! Surely we can see how that is just a small scale version of communism, yes?

    Uh, NO. It’s a disingenuous argument and they (well, the ones that are wanting to be in charge) know it. The American way is extending an open hand when needed but really pushing and encouraging personal success, not settling into a crab bucket because the powers that be are determining who will get to succeed and who will get bare minimum.

    • They have a peculiar way of constructing bad analogies, such as when declaring “Jesus was a community organizer” (in fairness, they clearly thought Obama better than Jesus; see recent articles in GQ and the New Yorker) or claiming that “Joseph, Mary and Baby Jesus were homeless.”

      • Best response to that I’ve seen was Mark Steyn’s:

        “They weren’t homeless. They couldn’t find a hotel room because they had to schlep all the way across the country to pay their taxes, a scheme that could only have been invented by a liberal.”

        • Although they were political refugees for a while. Had to immigrate to Egypt for a few years while Herod was busy conducting country-wide, post-birth, male abortions.

      • I recently ran across a leftist proving that conservatives departed from the words of Jesus. Proof? They talked about Hell.,

    • In a community, what’s mine is mine, and I can chose to give as much as I want to.
      In a collective, what’s mine is everyone’s, and they can give as much as they want.

      • Terry Sanders

        With Communism, everybody gets an oar, but nobody gets a yacht.

        –Shell Scott: Fifties fictional detecti\e

  8. Of all the wrongheaded claims that collectivists make, the most transparently wrong is that they love America.

    I quote the philosopher Linus Van Pelt:

    They love America, it is their fellow Americans they can’t stand.

  9. :What makes our country America are the ruminations of Thomas Paine in Common Sense. It’s the Federalist papers. It’s the long tradition of classical liberal philosophy.

    Did you know that they used to teach those documents (the actual effing documents, not even about them!) in our grade schools?

  10. All of these, in some way or another, were collectivist (mainly socialist) efforts, and thus largely about removing one statist government from power in order to implement a different sort of statism, which often enough turned out to be just as oppressive or stifling as the one that preceded it.
    Hmmm. I will quibble with this. While it is perhaps true up to a point about those revolutions*, I think another prime difference in the revolutions is the issue of class. Our revolution was one where “class” was no longer functional, in many ways. There was no class envy wrapped up in it; Americans saw themselves as equal to both lords and peasants in Merry Olde. So, there was no resentment/revenge built in.

    * I think it would be safer to say that those revolutions replaced one authoritarian with another authoritarian, removing the “collectivism” from your argument. Lots of revolutions throughout history did that, regardless of political affiliation/-isms.

    They are not patriots, they do not think like Americans.
    Absolutely correct.

    • There was also a very healthy mistrust of both the passions of the mob and the ambitions of the powerful; yet they understood that both groups needed representation and a say in government.
      The subsequent revolutionaries tend to use the passions of the mob to replace one set of the powerful with another.

  11. Great article except this:
    Yet ever since Franklin Delano Roosevelt (hah, got the first name right this time) tried to redefine the word ‘freedom’ in 1934 that’s exactly what ‘progressives’ have been up to.

    You misspelled “Woodrow Wilson” and “1913”.

    • Yeah, but FDR did the big speechifying about “freedom from”.

    • You misspelled “Abraham Lincoln” and “1860”.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        How dare Lincoln be against the Freedom To Own Slaves! [Sarcastic Grin]

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          Sorry about that Sarah.

          I posted the above forgetting that discussion of the ACW isn’t allowed here. 😦

        • One can be opposed to slavery but also not be opposed to the Tenth Amendment.

          • Many of us note that the Emancipation Proclamation was an Executive Order. It’s legal effect was limited to those States that were in rebellion. Nearly one million slaves were not freed by it, because they could not be under the Constitution.

            The legal condition of those million slaves was only altered by the passage of the 14th Amendment. (Practically, there were very few affected by it. But the others had been either freed by State legislation in each of the Union States, or voluntarily manumitted by their owners. Not by Lincoln’s decree.)

        • Lincoln wasn’t universally supportive of the 1st Amendment either.

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            I would argue that during conditions such as civil war, the rightful scope of the executive power naturally grows to permit such things as would be infringements in normal circumstances.

            • The problem is dialing it back afterward, as Mr Lincoln’s government (along with many others since) demonstrated.

              • I am not sure how fair it is to blame Lincoln for that, as he wasn’t around to oversee the dial back. While he might not have done a better job of it than his replacement he would have been hard pressed to do worse.

                The South owes considerable condemnation of Booth and his associates, who provide a lesson our modern Democrat Resistance might do well to contemplate.

                • Which is why I said government, rather than Mr. Lincoln. He assembled what he needed to win the war, and didn’t have a chance to discard the ones who would lose the peace.

  12. What makes the American Revolution and the country that followed it so different is that this was a conflict of individualists against statists, about those who saw government as a tool of the people instead of the other way around.

    One of the reasons it was so different was that while we call it “The American Revolution” it was actually more of a counterrevolution. The colonies, for the most part, already had the rights they were fighting for and were opposing recent intrusions on them. So they had a long history of living in a relatively free society. They were mostly fighting to preserve that and to restore against recent abuses.

    That makes the situation at the time of the American Revolution practically (I am tempted to say “totally” but there’s much I don’t know) unique in history.

    • Freedom is rather scary, and it’s interesting that people’s freed from one oppressor will often turn to another.
      The Russians went from the autocratic Tsar to the liberalisish Provisional Government to the tyrannical Soviets. The Germans went from the autocratic Kaiser to the loose Wiemar Republic to the tyrannical Nazis- and so on.

      • A lot of the time, that’s because the people who are most effectively prepared for the removal of the oppressor– want to be oppressors themselves. And were restrained by the current oppressor, who didn’t want anybody else to be able to slaughter the sheep.

        So you either have to make sure that the population can defend themselves, or have a better option in waiting. Even if they’re not perfect, you can go for better.

        • And don’t forget how very close the US came to that same fate. If it weren’t for George Washington we’d be talking about King Charles I of America.

          • Washington deserves praise for that alone- very very few men can have that kind of power in hand, then give it up.

            • I wonder if that is part of why so many want to tear him down…..

            • Yeah, but then Washington actually knew enough history to know who Cincinnatus was.

              • Cincinnatus is the guy with the big plaque and bronze statue down by the Ohio River, holding the fasces in one hand and the plow in the other. Which is turn the inspiration for the its flying-pig imitator. And namesake for the barbecue restaurant named Lucius Q. And namesake of the city of Cincinnati, in which all of the above may be found.

          • I would argue that we are approaching that fate. It just seems to have taken much longer to swing back to authoritarianism than most other places, due to our somewhat unique character.

            We still have a fight to prevent that.

            • Massive disagreement on basic behavior, coupled with one side refusing to be tolerant (while screaming about how they are the tolerant ones) will tend to do that.

              • Well, more to my point, is that people will naturally swing back to authoritarianism as human nature’s desire for being taken care of/told what to do/becoming a sheep reasserts itself.

                It’s the natural state of man, though it’s not the intended state of man, imo.
                And it’s not so for every person, but again, the state of man, in general. And yes, it’s very bizarre to us freedom lovers.

                • Well, more to my point, is that people will naturally swing back to authoritarianism as human nature’s desire for being taken care of/told what to do/becoming a sheep reasserts itself.

                  Problem being, the point only conveys if one already agrees with the idea of “authoritarian” as a meaningful descriptor.

                  I can see the appeal of it, it’s a lot simpler than just vs unjust authority or the idea that people might have rational reasons for choosing something we would object to, but it really isn’t much good for solving problems.

                • Two characteristics that are near ubiquitous among the human species:

                  “I don’t like that so there ought to be a law against it.”
                  “I want goodies that other people pay for.”

                  The Scylla and Charbydis between which the ship of Liberty attempts to sail.

            • We always have to fight. I don’t think we’re really that much closer than we were with, say, FDR. It just seems that way because the same communications revolution that allows us to see one another also allows us to see each and every proto-feudalist out there.

          • Ah yes. I love the farewell song of Washington from Hamilton.

            Like the scripture says:
            “Everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree
            And no one shall make them afraid.”
            They’ll be safe in the nation we’ve made.

    • They were mostly fighting to preserve that and to restore against recent abuses.


      Dr. Benjamin Franklin: Please Mr. Dickinson, but must you start banging? How is a man to sleep?

      [laughter from Congress]

      John Dickinson: Forgive me, Dr. Franklin, but must YOU start speaking? How is a man to stay awake?

      [More laughter]

      John Dickinson: We’ll promise to be quiet – I’m sure everyone prefers that you remained asleep.

      Dr. Benjamin Franklin: If I’m to hear myself called an Englishman, sir, I assure you I prefer I’d remained asleep.

      John Dickinson: What’s so terrible about being called an Englishman? The English don’t seem to mind.

      Dr. Benjamin Franklin: Nor would I, were I given the full rights of an Englishman. But to call me one without those rights is like calling an ox a bull. He’s thankful for the honor, but he’d much rather have restored what’s rightfully his.

      [laughter]

      John Dickinson: When did you first notice they were missing, sir?

      [laughter]

      • I think my favorite part of that scene is Franklin’s grin after the “When did you first notice they were missing, sir?” line. That’s a grin that says, “Ha! Good one!” He can appreciate a good joke, even when the joke is directed at him. I like that attitude.

    • And the Second American Revolution we’re headed for will be for a different reason…. how, exactly?

      • In the American (counter)Revolution the restrictions were being imposed from outside. Once we broke the connection to that outside power, we were able to govern ourselves in the manner we had become accustomed to before the various “intolerable acts”.

        Now, the problem is one of our own making. It’s not a distant King and Parliament imposing restrictions on us. It’s our own people doing it through their elected representatives.

        Overthrow the current government and…what? The same people who voted for people like Pelosi, Schumer, etc. won’t vote for the same types in the new order? Have a Constitutional Convention to Amend the Constitution with further restrictions on government? How are you going to select delegates to that convention? Vote for them? Then you have the same problem.

        Or are you just going to impose a new Constitution at gunpoint? Congratulations. That just makes you the tyrant.

        An armed revolt simply does not solve the intrinsic problem, which is that we have an electorate wedded to the twin evils of “Goodies that other people pay for” and “There ought to be a law!” That’s not limited to either left or right. The main difference between them is which goodies and what laws.

        If you can solve that problem, then an armed revolt is not necessary. If you can’t, then an armed revolt won’t help.

        • You’re assuming the electorate will still be composed of anyone with a pulse, productive or not. That’s not what the Founders intended, and it’s what you can’t have unless you enjoy losing the fruits of your labor. So I’ll be a tyrant? Then so were the Founders. You can claim otherwise, but that is what it was and will have to be again. You’re just hoping everyone will accept your version of history.

          • You’re assuming the electorate will still be composed of anyone with a pulse, productive or not.

            So a carefully chosen electorate to produce the results that you want?

            Well, why didn’t you just say you were going to re-institute aristocracy.

            That’s not what the Founders intended,

            So, you’re going to limit it to only white men who own property? After all, that’s who the Founders permitted to vote.

            So if you go with the Founders’ standard you are re-instituting aristocracy: land owners who have all the political power and tenants who had none. Where have I seen systems like that before?

            It didn’t do that back then because there was a wide open frontier (well, there were natives there, but nobody cared much about them) where anyone with the stones could go out and take some property This was an entirely different matter from the modern day where there isn’t exactly property one can just go and grab.

            So I’ll be a tyrant? Then so were the Founders.

            False equivalence. The situations are entirely different.

            You can claim otherwise, but that is what it was and will have to be again.

            And the attempt to try to recreate what worked in the late 18th century, in a vastly different social, physical, and economic environment today is a good way to ensure it will fail, just like attempting to fight a modern battle with 18th century weapons and tactics isn’t going to have a whole lot of success.

            So, invoking the Founders and the solution they came up with for their situation does not answer to current or future needs. Even if you agree on the basic principles, the details of how they have to be implemented have to change (otherwise you’re in “the 2nd only applies to muskets” territory). So presuming you don’t mean to simply invoke the Founders “white men who own property” as the limitation on the francise, which would be a bad idea for reasons given above, you need to come up with a new one that. And how is that limitation going to be decided, let alone implemented?

            Consider the Convention that gave us the Constitution. They operated to a very large extent within the existing structure. The delegates were elected by the electors of each State–their pre-existing governments. Then, once the Constitution was hammered out, those self-same State governments, had to approve it. If you really follow the Founders, we’re right. back. where. I. started. You have to deal with the existing State governments, and that means dealing with the voters who put them there.

            Every one of those pre-existing State governments ratified the Constitution. Even Rhode Island who didn’t send anybody to the Convention in the first place. What Constitution do you propose that all the State governments would accept that would do what you think you want. If you’re going to invoke the Founders, that’s what they did. (That meant making some compromises that turned around to bite them later–and in no small part led to where we are today.)

            You have this naive faith that if we just forcibly kick the bums out it will be all better. Vastly most likely result is you just take the problems with you and add the chaos of war to it. That’s even leaving aside that the American Revolution was also remarkable in that the well-meaning people who started it were still in charge when it ended. Generally in revolutions those starting it are not well-meaning, or if they are, they are soon replaced (and “first up against the wall” more often than not) by people in it for their own personal aggrandizement. The results are not pretty.

            • snelson134

              If warm body democracy is such a good thing, why didn’t the sainted FDounders we can’t do better than institute one?

              • If warm body democracy is such a good thing,

                Any further straw men you care to knock down? Why don’t you go back and read what I actually wrote and address that rather than what you apparently want me to have said?

            • snelson134

              Also, I am only calling for an aristocracy if the definition is “don’t want to be taxed into serfdom to support people who refuse to work.” You’re dishonest enough to make that argument.

              • If you’re wanting to limit the franchise “white men who own property (i.e. land)”, what the Founders set up, in the modern US, where the land is already owned then that’s what you’re creating whether you call it that or not. Particularly when you impose it by fiat rather than using existing State governments to establish legitimacy (which the Founders did).

                You may be able to convince yourself otherwise, but that’s exactly what it is.

                Unlike economics, land is a zero-sum game. It wasn’t at the time of the Founders, but it is now. If you can’t see the problems that come from that, you need to look harder.

                • snelson134

                  Funny, the only person mentioning race is YOU.

                  And the pie only continues to expand if there are more bakers than eaters. Unfortunately, in a warm body democracy, the eaters can simply vote their plates full. Are you actually going to claim otherwise? Again, you’re dishonest enough, but I doubt anyone else is fool enough to buy it.

                  • Funny, the only person mentioning race is YOU.

                    You keep saying that the Founders put limitations on the franchise. that is the limitation they put on it–white men who own property. Which word didn’t you understand?

                    For that matter, the thrust of my position has been the “own property” part rather than “white men.” Property, as the Founders meant it, meant land. And in the modern world land is a zero sum game. They aren’t making any more of it. The only way to acquire it is from someone else.

                    But at the time of the founding, land was available to anyone with the stones to grab it. Sure, the risks were high. You could end up dead in so many ways. But the potential was there for anyone who really wanted to go after it. Now, however, the only way to get land is to acquire it from someone who already owns it.

                    You want to put some different limitation from landowning on it? Fine. But don’t maintain the hubris of putting yourself in the Founder’s place when you do it. And spell out your position: what is it? How is it to be implemented? From whence comes its legitimacy? How about something other than glittering generalities and wishful thinking?

                    Whatever it is, you’re going to need either a new Constitution or, at least, a Constitutional Amendment. How are you going to implement that? The Founders had the then existing State governments send delegates to the Constitutional Convention. Do you really think that the current State governments will send delegates that propose an Amendment that matches what you want? But if that’s not what you’re doing, again, you can’t use “the Founders” as a justification.

                    Wishful thinking does not make a good ops plan, and, frankly, that’s all you’ve presented here.

                  • you’re dishonest enough

                    Steve, when you resort to personal attacks of this nature it is a good indicator you need to back away from the bar. Not only is this gratuitous but it damages your own argument.

                    No matter how justified you may think the disparagement, you need to stand down.

                    • snelson134

                      Well, let’s see. I’ve had someone imply that I’m coming from racist motives, and that I want an aristocracy, NEITHER of which I said or implied. Now, why would I possibly be offended by that?

                      So…. NO.

  13. I think it is was Pouncer who first phrased it this way during the late Clinton/early Bush years:

    I keep telling people my wife would be so much better if she got a boob job, a nose job, liposuction, learned French cooking instead of the Ted-Mex garbage she feeds me, fixed her stupid-sounding accent, and quit whining about my drinking.

    I don’t know why they think I don’t love her.

    • We love them in spite of all their obvious faults. Probably because they do their best to love us in spite of our own.

  14. Captain Comic

    1: Socialist nation is declared
    2: Socialist nation is celebrated
    3: Socialist nation fails
    4: Socialist nation descends into anarchy or hard-line statism
    5: Socialist nation is decried as never having been “real socialism”

    Lather, rinse, repeat.

    Try to hide the bodies from history.

    The American way boils down to “Unless I’m hurting someone, ‘Because I want to.’ is all the reason I need.”

    • An exception I can think of would be the dozen years a Communist-Socialist coalition governed the microstate of San Marino after twentyish years of Fascist government. It ended not in failure of the state, but simply a factional split in the Socialists that ended the majority. Of course the Communists did attempt a coup to remain in power, but the coup was crushed by Italy. In any event, it skipped out of the normal cycle.

    • I’ve seen this floating around the interwebs:

      “‘Real Socialism’ has never been tried in the same way that ‘Real Capitalism’ has never been tried.

      The difference is ‘almost Socialism’ resulted in the impoverishment & death of hundreds of millions of people.

      While ‘Almost Capitalism’ has lifted billions from absolute poverty.”

  15. I sometimes think you have to be mentally unbalanced to read the Guardian, if only because regular exposure to their reporting leaves your moral compass with no sense of True North remaining.

    In Which The Guardian Wishcasts
    By Sarah Hoyt
    Before I start this, I want to put in the link of the article that got me started. Now you have it and can refer to it, and also read the whole thing if you have no better use for an afternoon when there’s nothing good on the telly. Usually, when I take off after an article, I try to reproduce it in its entirety, but this one consists of miles and miles of derp, and we’d be here all day. So for the full derp effect please follow the link. Meanwhile, I’ll shred selected tidbits and the general thrust of the article which amounts to denying the elephant in the room.

    The Guardian – aka teh Grauniad – in homage to their amazing spelling, is nothing if not consistent. The domain of international socialists, they continue the project the socialists started, after WWI, of convincing the west that it should be “post nation-state” or that in fact the “nation state is obsolete.” What they fail to adduce is, in fact, anything that would convince those of us not of their persuasion to believe the same.

    They start, mournfully by telling us that populist victories in a lot of countries are making it look like there’s a resurgence of a nation state, but they use language that assures us it’s no such thing, including referring to the Brexit as a national nervous breakdown – instead of a sane defensive measure to separate oneself from a Europe being eaten from within by unassimilated minorities – and resorting to the laugh line of referring to Germany as a bastion of European stability.

    Seriously. I laughed out loud. Germany. Which has only been a country since the mid-nineteenth century, and which in that century and a half has been the fulcrum of two world wars, and had been broken in two for fifty years.

    When it comes to history, Teh Grauniad has learned nothing and forgotten everything.

    Then they go on to tell us that the nation-state is obsolete since we all use google and can order from Amazon.

    This is where I do the sinal salute, inclining my head and pinching the bridge of my nose between thumb and forefinger.

    You’d think it was impossible for the author of this article to be a blinkered provincial since the author’s name is Rana Dasgupta, but who knows? Perhaps the author grew up in England with relatively little exposure to any other culture. Or perhaps Dasgupta is an international “intellectual” belonging to that elite that goes abroad only to communicate with their counterparts, stay at the same five-star hotels and eat the same food. …

    • and that was a great refreshmedia errr pjmedia post.

    • I read the article, looked at the comments, and noticed that someone let the STD out of his cell.

      • Christopher M. Chupik

        And over at Lela Buis’s, too. She doesn’t seem to realize who she’s dealing with.

        • He is rather good at giving the impression that he just doesn’t quite understand what is going on and a little more talking will work– she’s not quite his usual target, not being an obvious minority and possibly being in the US, but I hope he’s not branching out on harassment targets. (Even if that might get him locked away for good.)

          • This puzzles me. Not at PJMedia, because, well, they don’t ban anyone. I think they like comment-wars. BUT I’m puzzled other bloggers don’t keep him at bay. He’s so damn easy to spot, with his stupid pseudonyms, his Massachusetts IPs and his moronic comments. I’ve let him through ONCE in the last several years.

            • Call it the Matilda Rule?

              He’s so dang crazy, and can seem just mildly obnoxious until he hits a crazy stride, that folks just go “oh, clearly he’s being maligned.”

              Named for the excuse given in the book Matilda for why nobody shut down the teacher who did things like shot-putting a gal across the playground by her braids. NObody is that crazy!

  16. How do those “intellectuals” know when they have left and when they have returned home? Every thing and every one around them looks the same.They must wear blinkers, like horses used to. Very easy to identify “s**h** countries if you just look around while you are there.

    • “Very easy to identify “s**h** countries if you just look around while you are there.”
      Depends. If you fly first class and stay in the 5 star resorts or go on carefully planned and guarded luxury eco tourist trips, then you can avoid the crappy and dangerous bits.

      • I recall an article from many years ago by a tourist who took a vacation in Acapulco. He made the mistake of taking a walk over the hill behind the resort.

        • One of the key signs of a crappy nation is that they spend too much of their limited funds in trying to look good to other nations via prestige projects and so on. For instance, the resort areas typically get the working generators, actual road maintenance, and good cops.

  17. Was the author referring to Washington’s crossing really meaning the Delaware, in that famous Christmas attack, or was the “Potomac” reference to him leaving Mount Vernon to whip the northerners into shape before they lost the revolution?