Doing Evil by Doing “Good”


There is a peculiar strangeness to virtues, to those things we strive to practice and which are good for us and society in general: you have to know when to stop.

An excess of virtue seems to turn to vice and derange the mind just enough that it doesn’t realize what it’s doing.

Perhaps part of it is that we’re a less religious society, so some people have never been warned of the dangers of keeping the form but forgetting the purpose.  Or perhaps because so many people have forgotten the idea of “virtue” as such and just have these left over, ingrained reflexes of a post-Christian society.  These people can usually be recognized by saying quite the most stupid things about who Jesus was or what he believed, while running down those who have any religious belief in the mean time.  You’ve run into these critters, for instance, deploying memes on compassion to claim Jesus was an illegal immigrant (as though the forms and borders of the 21st century applied to the 1st) or deploying memes to say Jesus expelled the “capitalists” from the temple, (ignoring that the sin was doing it under the aegis of the temple, aka, confusing the market place with religion and vice versa which is not, usually, a sin of capitalists, except in those places corrupted by socialism,) or oh, telling us that we should be willing to pay more taxes because we ere enjoined to look after the poor, or perhaps my favorite from the party of abortion-on-demandTM reminding us that Mary was a single mother, (again completely missing that the forms of the society in 21st century America and 1st century Judea couldn’t be more different.  She risked stoning, had someone not stood by her, and yeah, for the record I completely oppose stoning single mothers, even without divine intervention.  OTOH I don’t remember her asking for government benefits for her baby. Must be a different translation of the New Testament I read.)

But this is not a religious blog, and at least one third of my readers aren’t Christians, as far as I can track.  This was just to explain that the society retains the “form” of Christianity and a lot of the impulses, while having lost the why.

Which allows virtues to morph into truly repulsive behavior, which destroys lives while going unchecked, because it’s hiding under cover of something “we all know to be a virtue.”

Take charity, or if you prefer compassion — caritas, by any other name — which in many ways is unraveling society and destroying lives.

Charity, as practiced by all the Abrahamic religions is supposed to be a PERSONAL virtue.  Sure you can band together with people of your faith or others to extend the reach of your charity. BUT you are not supposed to force other people to participate by force.  That might be organized crime, or perhaps just extortion, and like some organized criminals, you might have the best intentions in the world, but it does not sanctify the arm twisting. Because you’re still “causing harm to do good” and that’s always bad.  Because your knowledge of others is limited, you won’t know the unintended consequences of your actions, or even if you’re extorting from the “right” people. (Not that there’s any “right” people to extort from but people delude themselves about the “rich” paying their “fair share.”

Government is particularly bad about this.

Take us, for ex.  I pay an unreasonably high tax rate, because I fall under a category that is meant to catch under-reporting lawyers and doctors, not free-lance writers. For the government, though, we’re exactly the same thing and if some government drone noticed that we fall into it too, he’d probably assume all moderately-successful writers are exactly like the series “Castle.”

And even programs supposed to be more discriminating (in the right sense) do very weird stuff.  Keeping in mind I’m a writer: we learned earlier that when our kids applied for student loans, we had to make sure my money from writing was in another account, neatly labeled business and locked away by being part of a corporation.  Because suppose I go a few advances, and had been doing well indie for six months, and had 40k in the bank the month the kids applied: the program ASSUMES all of it is available to pay for their tuition (we paid half of each) and none of it would go to taxes or other business obligations.  Nor did it seem to understand the money might be there for some other reason: a new computer, or whatever the need for making more money was.  There were a couple of years we had to shoulder the full thing, because my not unusual situation was completely opaque to what is supposed to be a fairly sophisticated ah “ability and needs” judging program, led them to believe we had a year’s income sitting around in the bank, waiting to be spent on tiddly winks and chocolate milk, and that the kids were only applying for loans out of joi de vivre.

In the same way, many a family business goes bankrupt when the main owner dies, because even though the business’s worth is invested (particularly in the case of farms or restaurants) in things that are neither convenient to sell nor can be sold without destroying the ability to make more money, the government expects the heirs to pay full tax on their WORTH.  It’s amazing how many small businesses (not ours, though some of my colleagues got books seized when the copyright passed to heirs, and the assumption of the copyright value was… interesting to say the least) have a worth of a million or so, while barely making enough for a family of four, once you run it and pay employees.

The thing is this is all done in the name of compassion, which has been outsourced to the government and therefore is going after the — on paper — rich to give to the — on paper — poor.  This is a lot like the left’s conception of Robin Hood (they have him as wrong as they have Jesus.  Mostly Robin Hood stole from tax collectors and gave back to the people.) And they think it’s a good thing.

But the repercussions or our… ah, developmentally disabled tax system has destroyed many many lives.  And not those of the plutocrats the left imagines it’s taking undeserved money from (they should know about undeserved money, since those of them who work work entirely on the parasitic mechanism of the state “equalization”machine.)  It has taken the money from family businesses that had sometimes taken generations of patient work to build, it has made it harder to survive as a middle class working person than an indigent lay-about, and it has made it harder for families to climb out of government assistance, because after taxes the proceeds of honest labor are much lower than what you can get milking the system.

To the extent that generations on welfare stunts the ability to be a contributing member of society this false compassion based on extortion has destroyed entire generations of people and might have done irreparable harm by creating a tribe of anti-socials in our midst, who consider themselves entitled to living as they wish while not working. I’m not sure how many of those a functioning society can support.  I suppose at some time we’ll find out.

That’s the macro level.

The local level…. Ah, compassion.

Look, I do realize that some people, at times, are homeless through no fault of their own.  We’ve never quite hit that point but after some exceptionally bad years, I won’t say we weren’t close.  We stayed off soup kitchens by eating a lot of rice and frozen vegetables for years.

But you have to understand just like our “hunger in America” count dieting people (the question is “did you ever go to bed hungry” or “Do you normally eat all you want.”) so does homelessness in America count your kid who is between jobs and staying in your guest room, or your friend who just moved to town and crashed on your sofa for a week.  The most common time someone in America is “homeless” is 1 day.  Second most common is 2 days, etc.

But there is real homelessness.  Of course there is.  When Acacia Park, downtown Colorado Springs was infested with them (is it still?) I used to hear them talking candidly among themselves during their morning walk.

Do you know what I never heard them say “I can’t find a job.”

Do you know what I heard them talk about?  Drugs, mostly.  The young ones would talk about not going home, because their parents (gasp) would require them to stop doing whatever it is they were doing, drug wise.

There were also complaints about cities making it hard to beg, talk of having “dropped out” 30 years ago, and the injustice of even thinking of finding a job.

Were a lot of these people drug addicted or mentally ill.  A-yup.  Were a lot of the mentally ill drug addicts who were trying to self medicate?  A-yup.  Were a lot of them on the run from legally prescribed drugs that would control that mental illness?  A-yup. Do a lot of drugs, when used over time, have the uncomfortable side effect of bringing on mental illness which might have been latent?  Seem to.  The relation hasn’t been very well documented or studied, but anyone who knows people who did a lot of drugs in the sixties has noted a difference before and after.

The one thing that’s certain is that encouraging (with money and freebies and that famous “compassion”) the homeless to continue in their destructive lifestyle has horrendous social consequences.

Those shelters and soup kitchens that cater to all without demanding sobriety will turn teens who left home because parents objected to their pot use into hardened street people who will not have any skills and fall, rung by rung into being utterly useless and unable to integrate in normal society.

But they do worse.  Around these soup kitchens and shelters, if near residential areas, there grows an area of crime and desolation, because you know, these people still have to pay for drugs somehow.  If near commercial areas, they blight the tendency of shoppers to come to that area, because no one wants to be followed/accosted or screamed at by people who are acting crazy (whatever the real reason.)

The do gooders then claim the fault is of “normal society”, of those horrible bourgeois who don’t want to live or shop in an area where they’re likely to be assaulted, insulted or mistreated, not mention robbed from.

But of course, there are very few (some of course) middle class people who are that by virtue of having inherited all their money.  Most of us stay out of homelessness by working daily, sometimes brutal hours, so we can pay our taxes and still live and build a future for our children.

When you make the work and our limited enjoyments more difficult we move on.

Now the “compassion” in the more “progressive” locales has reached the point of if not outright encouraging, not discouraging “homeless” — which really should be “barbarians” because they’re actually not just homeless.  The habitual ones are people who live outside our civilization as effectively as though they were the nearby tribe who lives from raiding us — from defecating on the street.

You know, I come from a society where many many illnesses were endemic that shouldn’t be: from cholera to TB to typhoid.  They were finally controlled not by modern medicine but by a rigorous program of public hygiene; by making people buy shoes and wear them on public streets and spaces (in my mom’s time, though there was still a law forbidding going barefoot, which I fell afoul of when boarding the train to school on a day I had forgotten to put shoes on.  Shut up. It was in finals.)  Other things it discouraged included spitting or on ground.  Or pooping on the ground, where it could contaminate ground water.

In the densities of people in cities, it is very easy for one barbarian to infect the entire tribe and I look forward to seeing what sort of new epidemics develop in one particular city.  Or I would, if our society weren’t so interconnected and people didn’t travel all over taking their germs.

And ultimately that’s it.  Like a gap in our immune system — or an exploit-worthy flaw in a computer system — this “outsourced compassion” and this non-judging charity without paying attention to when it actually becomes harmful, is a gaping and growing wound through which barbarism is invading civilization.

The idea that instead of people being secure in their possessions and in the enjoyment of their space, anyone who has anything is somehow beholden to those who don’t is a Marxist lunacy, (not Christian) and a part of that whole fixed pie economics fallacy.  It’s the idea that whatever you have you stole from someone, and if you wish to enjoy a clean and safe walk through your neighborhood, you’re some sort of despoiling ogre who caused the filth and the aggression of your neighbor, and therefore must have your nose rubbed in his (never learned to restrain it) anger and filth.

It destroys decent life, enjoyment of the fruits of one labor and the safety that civilization is supposed to provide.

It’s not Charity.  It’s the “Marxist virtue” of envy dressed in charity garb and strutting and dancing to fool children and idiots.

And unless we start combating it, it is enough, by itself, to undo civilization.



295 thoughts on “Doing Evil by Doing “Good”

  1. There are times I want to scream (but I know that that would be counter-productive).

    How does it help anyone whose habits or life style decision led them into trouble to fail to challenge the way they live? How does it help victims of crime to cut back on the policing and fail to do anything to reduce the crime rates in the neighborhoods in which they live?

    Is this what happens when we extend the worst of Dr. Benjamin Spock’s theories of child care and discipline to the whole of society? Are we letting the ones who are willing to throw a tantrum run our lives?

    1. People who think children should ba allowed to ‘act naturally’ should be forced to watch any good documentary on the life and habbits of baboons. British comedian Bill Bailey did a pip in 2011. Makes you appreciate how nice it is to live in a part of the world where the worst nuisance animals you have to deal with are raccoons.

    2. “Are we letting the ones who are willing to throw a tantrum run our lives?”

      Yes, yes we are. It is very narcissistic society and many angry people can’t handle disagreement or criticism.

      1. Love to take those antifas over my knee and paddle their backsides since their parents obviously failed to do so.
        On the other hand, my hand would get sore and my arm tired before I’d even made a dent in it.

        1. One can always improvise with a leather belt, ruler, or kitchen spatula, but for serious work I highly recommend a paddle fashioned from a hard dense wood with a form fitting grip. Do drill holes in the flat as this reduces wind resistance and as an added bonus creates an attractive waffle effect on the target.

          1. Mr. Paddleoppollous, as hubby called it. The paddle welded by the math/PE teacher when hubby was in HS. Hubby is almost 67, so this was a L O N G time ago …

            At home, we didn’t name the wooden spoon anything (well maybe “I’m sorry”) …

            1. Ah, yes, the Board of Education . . . met it once, by mistake. Never dealt with it again.

              1. There are experiences where once is quite enough. That was exactly the level that did get through to me in first grade.

                Actually, I still have my grandmother’s paddle around here somewhere, from when she was a one-room teacher in Kansas. Never used it on my kids, though, as they seemed to have not inherited whatever genetic quirk buried all of my nerve endings very deep in the gluteus.

                I never developed a fear of the spatula, either. But Mom was more often to be found with a knife in her hand, cutting up meat and vegetables. Seeing what that did to a roast was quite enough to instill the proper respect (at least in the kitchen).

              2. My sainted mother was a charter member of the BYBWABB (Burn Your Butt with a Butt Burner) club in high school. My father the shop teacher had a paddle that 1) had holes carved in it for improved aerodynamics and 2) was signed by all its unlucky beneficiaries. Corporal punishment has never bothered me overmuch. 😀

          2. Nah. We’re dealing with serious criminals here. Use the Singapore Slugger…a meter-long rattan cane that has been soaking in mustard oil to make it supple. And, of course, to be more painful. Create negative association in the hindbrain.

  2. The main victims of the homeless are the dirt poor who can’t get away from them. Once again the lowly suffer so that progressives can feel good about themselves.


    1. YES! I’ve often wondered whether the Elites have any idea of how draining it is to live next to dysfunctional people. Worse, to see them get benefits YOU don’t qualify for.
      We could probably stop the homeless crisis in a few months:
      Just mandate that anyone bringing up the homeless, and arguing for more money ‘put up or shut up’, and take a random person into THEIR home, forcing them to feed them, put up with their bullshit, and pay for all the things they destroy.
      One or two of those experiences oughta get them to shut their piehole.

      1. Of course not. There aren’t any street people shitting on the sidewalks in *their* neighborhoods.

      2. Worse, to see them get benefits YOU don’t qualify for.

        Or to reach the point you do qualify for the benefits, but you have to spend months and money you don’t have to jump through the hoops put in place for “fraud prevention.”

        Which oddly make it so the long-term welfare leaches are the only ones who manage it.

        1. This is of course completely backwards. When receiving government benefits, your fingerprints should be registered so that we know if you’ve received government benefits under another name or the like. Then *at first* you should just get money to help you get squared away, with increasing restrictions and requirements as time passes to reflect your inability to get your feet under you and care for yourself.

          1. Plus positive incentives (not the negative ones that Sarah mentions in passing). Something like reducing the benefits by fifty cents for every (net) dollar earned in legitimate employment.

      3. I live more-or-less in Opioid Central. Many of the wonderful, loving people in my church have taken in assorted addicted relatives, and..well, God bless them (and I mean that literally and fervently) for the charity they’ve chosen to extend, but SO HELP ME the next person who tells me the gummint needs more of my money to help those unfortunates is gonna get smacked. If they don’t respond to someone who knows and loves them and desperately wants them to be happy, what makes you think an invasive federal program is gonna do any better?

    2. And the main victims of urban dysfunction and near-to-open borders are the working class and blue-collar people who live in the very neighborhoods where the urban-dysfunctional and blue-collar people with jobs live … until the urban-dysfuctional make their lives such hell, and the people with construction and factory jobs lose them to illegal aliens.
      The daughter-in-law of my next-door neighbor (black, proud and working-class) has an opinion about the residents of Section 8 housing that would peel the varnish off furniture. She and her hub and family were driven out of one neighborhood already, when too many Section 8 recipients moved in.

  3. I find it ironic that people who fret about some kind of Handmaid’s Tale scenario want to use religion as a justification for big government.

    1. Bringing religion into government is only bad when their opponents do it. It’s not a problem if Obama or Pelosi or someone tries to justify state-run healthcare as a Christian duty. It’s only the road to theocracy if some Republican objects to having men in the women’s changing room, and the Leftist mind readers realize that he’s only objecting because the Bible said God created male and female.

      1. Or the Lefty Woman who screams God Wills It when people “resist” Trump (including harassing Trump administration people). 😈

    2. It’s the same logic as people calling the police brutal racists insisting that only cops should be armed.

      1. I think C.S. Lewis summed it up very well:
        “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

        1. Also, re the hypocrisy of the left: The same people who insist that it is imperative to listen to the Pope when the Pope endorses leftist policies on climate and immigration are the same people who shout “How dare he” when he speaks against abortion. Of course if they didn’t have double standards they would have no standards at all.

    3. Except that I don’t think most of them really believe. They’re just trying to piece together some sort of rationale that they think will appeal to the rubes who actually do believe.

  4. As usual, Shakespeare said it best:

    “For nought so vile that on the earth doth live
    But to the earth some special good doth give,
    Nor aught so good but strain’d from that fair use
    Revolts from true birth, stumbling on abuse:
    Virtue itself turns vice, being misapplied;
    And vice sometimes by action dignified.”

  5. Ever run into ‘prosperity gospel’? Friend of a daughter married an adherent to that heresy, and every time they visit I have to bite my tongue until it has little frilly edges to keep from shouting, “No, Jesus doesn’t want you to be rich! He doesn’t care about that!”

    1. Yes. Same as socialism, with a few bits flipped.

      God cares about our souls. Not wealth for its own sake. Not lack of wealth for its own sake. Likewise, not politics for its own sake.

      1. Oh man, that stuff is terrible. Yep, Jesus was walking around Judah in silks and satin, with his limo-like donkey. And let’s not talk about that whole suffering and dying thing, shall we?

      2. Or “The Bible encourages slavery.”

        No. It says masters should treat their slaves well and slaves should follow their master’s orders. God doesn’t care about what status you have in life.

        1. Also, side note, there’s a couple of verses that make slavery nonviable.
          “Masters, cease your threatening.” Well, when you don’t have coercion as an option anymore, how are you going to get your slaves to work?

          1. It can only work if it was more like what we might call indentured servitude. And given that Paul also advises slaves, “If you have the opportunity to buy your freedom, then do so”… well, that was clearly a possibility for some people. Apparently slavery in Greco-Roman times wasn’t always like the slavery in the American South before the Civil War. Sometimes it was, but at times it was clearly less abusive (otherwise Paul’s advice to buy your own freedom if you can wouldn’t make sense: what kind of slave can ever buy anything?). I’m sure it depended a lot on the character of the master.

            1. Roman Slavery was different in many ways than Southern Slavery.

              While it was IMO more than “indentured servitude”, it was possible for slaves to have/earn their own money and to purchase themselves out of slavery.

              Note, it was apparently common for a high-status slave to purchase a slave for his use.

              On the other hand, punishment of slaves was just as harsh in Roman times as it was in the American South and at times somewhat worse.

              By the way, “child of a slave woman is a slave” existed (in later times) in Ancient Rome just as it existed in the American South.

      1. As far as I can tell, it claims that worldly wealth is a sign of divine favour.

        Weird as all get out…

          1. Sort of. And if you give lots and lots of money to the church (all too often, to the church of the preacher who happens to be preaching), G-d will give it back to you ten fold. Jim and Tammy-Fae Baker are the most (in)famous example.

          1. Sort of. But Scientology is more evil. Prosperity Gospel is one of the many names I’ve heard it called. But pretty much sums up as, if you’re poor and down on your luck, you’re to blame because you’ve turned your back on God and have sinned. Which isn’t entirely untrue in many cases…..

            They’re one of a variety of what I refer to as Bible thumper churches. Each has it’s unique quirks.

        1. It’s had other names. Social Darwinism springs to mind. Which just goes to show that it isn’t only the Left that base unsupportable idiocy on a misunderstanding of evolution.

          1. IMO Social Darwinism was more about using “Science” to support the idea of having aristocrats.

            1. Less ‘Aristocrats’ than wealthy industrialists, so far as I recall. Yes, they used the term ‘Natural Aristocrats’, but they didn’t mean ‘a hereditary caste of political and military leaders whose wealth is based on land ownership’.

              1. Nod, they never had the “legal authority of true Aristocrats” but IMO it supported the same mind-set of true Aristocrats.

                IE Our parents & grandparents were important so we are important.

        2. Pretty much sums it up, and it’s been around since Calvin and the doctrine of the Elect, as one of the signs you had been chosen for Heaven. Bah.

    2. My parents drifted into that early into their Christian years. Happily, the pastor at our Church was adamantly opposed to that nonsense, and helped walk them out of the foolish believe that you could name and claim your way out of a cold or other sickness.
      The sad thing is that way too much of tv religion tends to be of the prosperity type, and far too many of the old and destitute get taken in.

      1. Some time after we stopped going to the local church (long story), $SPOUSE started to watch the Baptist services with Dr. Charles Stanley. I don’t watch it, but can hear it Sunday mornings. AFAICT, it’s straight up Christian teaching; no malarky. The hymns aren’t familiar, but my background is Lutheran, with the mix from the former church thrown in. 🙂

        I’ve not heard a plea for money; I asked, and $SPOUSE says there’s a very low key ask; the TV equivalent of passing the plate. 🙂

    3. Sadly, it appears that they’re not familiar with the Savior’s line about a rich man, and the eye of a needle.

      1. Less ambigiously, they seem to have totally missed the way Himself kept hammering on “just because someone is currently in a screwed up state doesn’t reflect the state of his soul or My favor being against him.”

        FFS, how many of the disciples WEREN’T tortured to death? One?

      2. Nor are they familiar with the story of healing the blind man in John 9-12
        ( As noted the Health and Wealth idea has been around a LONG time (CF Job as noted by Jasini). The disciples asked “who Sinned this man or his parents?” The assumption in 1st century Judaism was if there was something wrong it was because of some (potentially horrible) sin. The health and wealth gospel is merely the converse of that notion. There’s a LOT of scripture that argues against those points of view.

        1. One notes that the theory was that if you were born blind, you might have sinned in utero.

  6. Chesterton wrote about this:

    “The modern world is not evil; in some ways the modern world is far too good. It is full of wild and wasted virtues. When a religious scheme is shattered (as Christianity was shattered at the Reformation), it is not merely the vices that are let loose. The vices are, indeed, let loose, and they wander and do damage. But the virtues are let loose also; and the virtues wander more wildly, and the virtues do more terrible damage. The modern world is full of the old Christian virtues gone mad. The virtues have gone mad because they have been isolated from each other and are wandering alone. Thus some scientists care for truth; and their truth is pitiless. Thus some humanitarians only care for pity; and their pity (I am sorry to say) is often untruthful. For example, Mr. Blatchford attacks Christianity because he is mad on one Christian virtue: the merely mystical and almost irrational virtue of charity. He has a strange idea that he will make it easier to forgive sins by saying that there are no sins to forgive. Mr. Blatchford is not only an early Christian, he is the only early Christian who ought really to have been eaten by lions. For in his case the pagan accusation is really true: his mercy would mean mere anarchy. He really is the enemy of the human race– because he is so human. As the other extreme, we may take the acrid realist, who has deliberately killed in himself all human pleasure in happy tales or in the healing of the heart. Torquemada tortured people physically for the sake of moral truth. Zola tortured people morally for the sake of physical truth. But in Torquemada’s time there was at least a system that could to some extent make righteousness and peace kiss each other. Now they do not even bow.”

    1. I find C.S. Lewis to be easier to read than Chesterton. I could only handle half a chapter of Chesterton a day, and then sleep on it.

        1. Chesterton goes down like butter. It’s just that he brings up so much stuff so cleverly that it turns into a butter firehose. Also, he loves to make an argument cover a lot of ground within a few paragraphs, which makes even his short chapters full of thoughts and images.

          Lewis has his own stuff, but on some topics he is just a simplified, updated version of Chesterton. Cracked me up when I realized.

          1. Simplified is good. Most people would not recommend starting a five year old on integral calculus.

  7. Perhaps part of it is that we’re a less religious society, so some people have never been warned of the dangers of keeping the form but forgetting the purpose.

    Irony alert:
    This very warning is about 90% of the storylines that involve a traditional religious character.
    But it’s usually set up in such a way as to convey “organized religion is stupid!” rather than:
    Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body [a]to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

  8. The Progressive stooges who have turned the prettiest city in the U.S. into an open cess pit should be beaten to death with hammers.

    That would be San Francisco, for those of you whomhave never seen it, or never seen it absent a thick coating of poo.

    1. I saw San Francisco maybe twenty five or thirty years ago.

      I have fonder memories of Tulsa and College Station.

      1. Yes, but you can see that it was once beautiful. Time Jump Holidays, Ltd., could make money offering vacations to 1950 San Francisco.

        1. 1950s California in general might be a nice place to visit. I think there was probably a lot to be said for it in the immediate postwar era.

          1. I remember 1950s and early 1960s California very well, since I was born and grew up there. Yes, it was lovely … but it was already beginning to turn sour by the time I was in junior high – when they began ripping out all the citrus orchards and putting in acre and acre of developments.

            1. My father was born in Long Beach, graduated from Alameda High School. He would not willingly visit either, said the changes were too great. (He did say that “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” captured 1948 Los Angeles perfectly)

              1. There were still a lot of 1920s and 1930s buildings around – that I remember. And drive-up hamburger stands with carhop waitresses on roller skates – our fav was a place out in the San Fernando Valley called “Crazy Dogs” – they had fantastic hot pastrami sandwiches. Then there was the donut place with the gargantuan concrete donut on the roof. Gas stations with attendants. And driving out to my paternal grandparents in Camarillo, and going past all those acres and acres of citrus orchards, surrounded by windbreaks of tall eucalyptus trees; I always thought they looked like enormous ceiling-less rooms. Going through Thousand Oaks – we’d pass by the top end of Jungle-land. A sort of zoo and amusement park, rather low-key but nice. The Grands took us there, once. The orchards and Jungle-land are long gone, of course.

                1. The Bradbury Building in LA is boasts one of the most beautiful interiors ever built. That’s it in BLADE RUNNER and in the Heart video for ‘Nothing At All’.

                  It’s on the Historic Register, so it’s probably still there. Hate to think what the neighborhood around it looks like, though.

                  1. Just a note: The National Register of Historic Places and the National Historic Landmark programs impose no federal requirements to preserve a structure, though they do provide eligibility for applying for certain grants and tax credits. However, state and local laws may (and often do) impose requirements upon the owner of designated structures.

        2. Choice of destination for time travel should depend in part on *how reliable* the time machine is. Your choices if you’re absolutely sure you can get back may be pretty different from those if you know the visit may turn permanent.

        3. Anthony Boucher’s mystery stories provide a great time machine to 1930’s Berkeley. I brought one along when I visited the university, years back, which made it sadder. But International House was still pretty, and much as Boucher described it.

    1. I never knew about spitting on the sidewalk spreading TB. Is spitting on the grass okay?

    2. People spitting on the sidewalk isn’t the problem. People who are carrying TB spitting on the sidewalk are the problem. Apparently the public drinking cup and shared towels were much more likely to transmit the disease; but since TB can survive up to 24 hours in spit, even dried, young kids, not being real great on hand washing, would pick it up on their feet, hands and knees, and invariably put their hands in their mouths or rub their eyes or nose and catch the disease that way. So you either remove the spit, or you remove the kids.

  9. Like it is assumed that people will assume that all specimens of Homo sapiens are people. We historically and prehistorically literate know that the latter assumption isn’t universal. We have people taking shameless advantage of the latter assumption complaining that “OMG, those ignorant tyrannical Christians think all specimens of Homo sapiens are people. Theocracy!” We have people making the former assumption, scare mongering over their belief that Christians do not consider all specimens of Homo sapiens to be people.

    1. “A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it. Everything they’ve ever known has been proven to be wrong. A thousand years ago everybody knew as a fact, that the earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, everybody knew that the Earth was flat, and fifteen minutes ago, you knew that humans were alone on it. Imagine what you’ll know tomorrow.”

      Agent K, “Men in Black”

      1. That one always annoyed the hell out of me, because either the script writer was an idiot or he was too clever by half; the first one is wrong in its implication– the implication of “center of the universe” in modern language is radically different than what they believed, which would be closer to “earth is lower than a snake’s belly”; the earth is flat thing is flatly false (they knew it was round, and thought it was big enough that Columbus couldn’t reach India, he just got lucky about there being a continent in the way), so the third one is… what?

        What is the step beyond wrong by implication, then wrong as a point of fact?

        Are the aliens elves or something?

        1. Well, to be perfectly honest, in my own mind (like I’m anywhere else?) I’m the center of the Universe. Why? Because everything else is all around me.

          1. Side-(d?)effect of Relativity – any observation point is as valid as any other. Geometrically speaking, that is. It’s co-ordinate transforms all the way down, you see.

          2. No idea if it is just me, but I’m not the center in my world view, just a known point– like a moving landmark. You can give directions relative to me, but it just means I am handy.

            1. Ooooookay. I’m going to stick my foot in it.

              Landmarks are supposed to be exceptionally large and overly obvious, regardless of whether they are moving or not. I can’t see it being a very healthy thing to ever insinuate a lady is a landmark; even if she’s a 7-foot tall, super muscled amazon. 😉

              1. even if she’s a 7-foot tall, super muscled amazon

                I’d say especially if she’s a 7-foot tall, super muscled amazon. 👿

              2. *laughs* Or it’s something strange. 😉

                My family has landmarks like “where the old barn use to be.”

                We may be odd…

                1. No, Southern. ‘Turn left at the place by the road where the Falmouth barn burned down, then go to the second big stump. That’s the Jones place, but the mailbox says Smith. Don’t worry none…”

                  The barn burnt down 35 years or so ago, but “you can’t miss it.”

                    1. Heck, I’ve encountered it in upstate New York, and not that far upstate, either! My late aunt’s original set of directions to her new home in the middle of nowhere were much like that.

                    2. Deserts of Arizona, too. Actually, I don’t know many people who give directions only in streets. It’s a matter of picking your landmarks, though – how permanent and distinctive are they? (Around Speedway and Kolb hereabouts, for instance, I reference “the upside-down pyramid on the northeast corner.”)

                  1. I have come to the conclusion/realization that “you can’t miss it” is code. It does NOT mean “you can’t miss it.” It really means, “You will go right past it at least three times.”

                    1. Elf and I instantly say “JINXED IT!” when someone uses that phrase.

                      He’s…uh… extremely road focused, so he misses a lot of that kind of stuff, but half of it I miss after that phrase is used.

                      (How road focused? There’s an old warehouse that has been repainted in neon green, barn red and has flashing neon letters saying something like “PARTY HALL” on the front that’s on the way to one of his gaming groups. I saw it the first time. He is STILL not sure where it is. And if we go anywhere together, I’m the one driving….)

                  2. Incidentally, the “something strange” was the landmark– there’s a fire hydrant painted like German beer lady up in Tacoma somewhere, for example. (It’s a pokemon stop.)
                    Or the small telephone box painted like an Aztec (ish?) princess of some sort.

                    Both smaller than I am, but attention getting because they don’t fit it.

                  3. I was having a chat with a young woman who was describing how she, her mother and some family were visiting kin in Iraq, and their uncle’s directions were ‘We live the second mountain from the river with the very old tree…’ The mother was getting very agitated, because ‘how in the WORLD are you supposed to find anything with these directions?!’ The taxi driver, however, upon hearing those instructions, asked them if they were visiting (name, family) and when told yes, he said “Oh them! I know where they live. Everyone knows everyone here!”

                  4. Not southern either. We run into the same situation up here in New England. I’d say it’s more of a rural tendency.

                2. In semi-rural northern Illinois, the directions to my Dad’s parent’s home included a turn where the dead cow was. I thought he was joking, but…

                  1. Minneapolis proper(?!?) has some.. interesting.. street layout in places. The directions to $SISTAUR’s residence read (changing names to protect those who might get turned into toads should they harass $SISTAUR) “Go up This-A-Away Avenue. Continue PAST That-A-Way Street (it’ll be on the right). Go another couple blocks, *now* turn RIGHT onto That-A-Way Street.” Allegedly, St. Paul is worse. Even above ground – and supposedly out in the open – we find labyrinths, we do.

                    1. Our county has a fair number of roads that form loops with a bigger road. Makes life interesting.

                      Our specific location is bonkers. Depending on the map/address program, the street may or may not be in the database (50% chance it’s not), and due to old post office setups, a development a couple miles from us is identified as belonging to a town 20 miles away. Some of the mapping programs know our street, but lump us into that wrong town. Service calls can be entertaining. 🙂

                      We give very explicit directions if a delivery has to occur at the house. Most of the time, we’ll use a mail drop in the city. Much less painful.

                3. Like the new room at my parents’ house. I have a cousin who claims to have picked it up, never having been there before it was there. This is NOT true, we have photographic evidence!

                  Then she has two children older than she was at the time.

        2. I always kida felt that the MIB films were, to an extent, satires of the X-Files mentality. As in ‘look how much you would have to hide for this to be true’.

      2. You could too easily write the MIB as villains. In fact, it takes the power of plot not to have them as villains. It’s an organization dedicated to lying to people and ensuring that they *don’t have the opportunity* to react to their world with full information and maturity.

        No organization with that premise in real life is the friend of either you or mankind.

          1. While MCB started out a straight up bad guys (at least as we, the readers, saw them) later we see that they’re quite a bit more complicated than that. If their “first reason” is correct–that more belief in the Great Old Ones and anything related to them makes it easier for the GOO to interact with our reality and eventually cross over, then the extreme measures to suppress any such belief make a horrible kind of sense.

            1. *How would they know?!* 😛 But yeah, okay. An enemy that appears the moment it’s anticipated is a bit of an eye-poke.

              Better question: How do you keep from losing if you’re not even allowed to think about the enemy?

              I thought that was good bit of background motivation, given who they were shown to be in the novels.

  10. Sarah, I think you left out one thing. Government welfare is theft – not of money, but of credit for charity. The wealthy man who builds a library with his own money can put his name on it, and the community thinks well of him for his charity and civic-mindedness. A politician does not build a library with HIS money…he has the tax collector seize it from the rich man. But now it’s the politician whose name goes on the building, the politician who claims the credit.

    And that’s theft any way you want to slice it.

    1. My take is that it isn’t that all specimens of Homo Sap aren’t human (there are a few that are soulless, but they are friggin’ rare) but that an unfortunate proportion of humans are swine.

    2. Klansman Byrd is one of the biggest thieves of all time. Not only did he use tax money, he had his slimy name plastered all over the results.

    3. Not just theft of societal credit either. Many/most world religions enjoin their followers to be charitable. Outsourcing your charity to government is NOT in line with these requirements no matter how many memes pretend to show that it is.

  11. I recently noticed a young man sitting on the sidewalk along my route home from work. He was there many days, always holding a sign begging for food with the erstwhile slogan of “F#ck Trump” on the reverse side. I presume the side he showed depended on his attitude at the time. I’ve seen both sides.

    The thing is, he’s a healthy-looking man in his early to mid 20s. I’ve always disliked the “Get a job ya deadbeat” knee-jerk reaction, but in this idiots case, every time I see him I want to yell “Trump is fixing the economy so that you can GET A JOB YOU DEADBEAT!” F-Trump indeed…

    1. He makes too much begging.
      When he leaves he gets into his car to go to his house.
      WHY should he work? The Government gives him much and kind people give him MORE.

      1. Was at the store the other day and one of the pan handlers came through the parking lot towards our vehicle. He kind of hung around in the distance until I drove off. I could see him in the rear view mirror heading towards the nicer, newer vehicle next to our spot. I saw him climb in just as we pulled out of the parking lot.

        1. one in New Orleans kept a ragged pair of pants in the base of the light pole he stood by and I saw him several times walk out of the McD’s on that corner, walk to the pole, yank them out and pull them over his cleaner pants or shorts, pull out his sign and go back to collecting. Apparently he could have made even more, but was worried he’d get robbed so he often left to drop cash somewhere as well. It was a few years I saw him there.

          1. This is so old a situation that Sherlock Holmes had a case that turned on it. Begger in London during the week & country lord on the weekends.

            1. This guy worked (I thought) Tulane and Carrollton. If so it shows a BK there now. may have been a different intersection. I had a buddy working out of a shop, not far from the spot. I’d see him depending on what route I took.

      2. In Cali(spit)fornia, I encountered a few panhandlers who were dressed considerably better than I was.

        I’ve heard (not seen, so grain of salt is useful) that Westside, there are organized groups of beggers; one will get dropped off at a given location, and will be picked up at the end of their shift.

        Locally, we have a much smaller homeless population. Tent cities don’t work well when the temps go well below freezing, and the main (only one I know of in town) homeless shelter is small. (It also has a work or leave policy, as well as a 30 day limit.)

        West of the Cascades, the problem is endemic, and it’s Shadenfreudelicious to see the Elite-er than thou residents of Ashland complaining about the homeless that they welcomed in. They they got what they asked for. Good and hard.

        1. “West of the Cascades, the problem is endemic”

          Tell me about it. I live in Lane County (greater growth area boundary for Eugene*) Haven’t been down town or on campus in forever, but I’ve heard rumors … They all move out to Veneta for the “fair” late July/early-August.

          *55 years of trying & Eugene City Council still hasn’t managed to get us incorporated into the city; That I know of … *spit*

          1. Bear Creek from Ashland through Medford is pretty much a “There be Dragons” area now. Looks like it was pretty, once.

      1. My wife likes to read a site called Not Always Right, where they post stories of stupid things that customers do. (And the “flipside” of that site is called Not Always Working, where it’s the employee doing something stupid.) Sometimes the stories aren’t of someone being inherently stupid, just someone having a brainfart / slip-of-the-tongue moment. Including the story I’m about to relate (from memory, so some details may be wrong).

        Two co-workers (both female) were discussing a purse they were each considering buying with their employee’s discount. Coworker A said, “Hmm, I don’t think my husband would like it, though”. Coworker B said, “Well, screw your husband!” Coworker A gave her a serious look and said, completely straight-faced, “Oh, I do. Believe me, I do.” Pause, then both burst out laughing.

        1. Reminds me of a story paragraph where two women are discussing gay relationships & one of them says: “Can you imagine the drama of dating a woman?” The one guy in the trio replies: “Yes. Every minute of Everyday.”

  12. The church I belong to is currently running a self-reliance education program with classes on Personal Finances, Education for Better Work, Finding a Better Job, and Starting and growing a Business.

    The model is based on the recognition that God has given everyone a unique combination of abilities, gifts, talents, and resources.

    True charity includes helping people discover what those are and how to put them to good use. It does not mean giving them handouts, killing their incentive to improve themselves, and making them dependent.

  13. I find modern welfare state to be quite cynical, middle classes use Christian rhetoric to help the needy but all they do is create well paid jobs for themselves as bureaucrats. Homeless issue makes me crazy, we could build basic housing for them or build hospitals for mentally unwell but instead we get numerous help homeless programs that manage the problem but never try to solve issue.

    I live in Ontario, Canada and in this province the government provides a lot of welfare programs through local churches. Religious people are more than willing to volunteer their time and socialist middle class bureaucrats in Toronto never have to go near the people they are supposedly worried about while collecting their enormous salaries and benefits.

    Megan McArdle wrote a terrific article about Utah and how they run their welfare programs a year or two ago and I wish all States or Provinces would copy the Utah model.

    1. Heh. The point of the Mormon model being “we help you out when you’re in a tight spot, but this isn’t meant to be permanent”

      Which a lot of the leftist “do gooder” types don’t actually want to happen…

      1. LBJ was rather explicit that the point of his “great society” programs were to keep people so dependent on government that they would vote for Democrats in perpetuity. His party still perpetuates and implements that policy goal .

        1. Which shows that any ‘aid’ organization that does not have as its FIRST objective bringing on its own obsolescence it corrupt from the get-go. Not corruptible, already corrupt.

          1. The word “sustainable” has been widely abused by leftists, but the first place I encountered it was in the vocabulary of aid groups that were doing the right thing. There, the word meant “Once we’re no longer working in this country, the local people can keep this thing going without outside help.” Achieving that goal involved: 1) making sure that the local people actually wanted whatever the project was, and 2) that the project didn’t involve technology not locally available (e.g., make sure that if there are moving parts, the local mechanic is able to repair those parts. If they have to be shipped off to the capital to be fixed, realistically they’ll just never be fixed at all). Oh, and part of point 1 is making sure that if the project involves a machine that needs maintenance, the local people have a plan to actually maintain that machine. Lots of development projects fail when the fancy machine rusts in place because nobody actually wanted the thing in the first place, but they were too polite to say “no thanks” to the foreigners’ faces. Or, less often but still too often, because nobody local has the know-how to maintain the machine, but the development people didn’t find that out because they never asked the right questions.

            TL;DR: There are indeed some aid organizations that are trying to make themselves obsolete. And “sustainable” isn’t always leftist-speak.

            1. I’ve no doubt that there are some that are genuinely hoping to solve rather than “manage” problems. I suspect precisely zero of them are governmental.

    2. The Mormon model is anathema to the Left because they insist that you work and TRY to better yourself and live a good life. If you don’t they cut you off. They have the ability to say “NO”.
      The Left REQUIRES that ALL are given, no matter what.

  14. Thanks. Charity is best when it’s as close to home as you can get,for a few reasons. Unfortunately, global communication has made most people think that charity is best when it addresses the worst situation you can find, no matter where that is.

    Charity, like sacrifice, is personal. It’s neither charity nor sacrifice if it wasn’t yours to start with.

    1. And as we well know, organized charities know that, and use it to their advantage shamelessly. “Terrible tragedy in BFE! Thousands left hungry, naked, homeless! Log on to to make a donation.”
      And of course those donations go into their general fund which in far too many cases is mainly spent on more fundraising and the rather obscene salaries of their senior officials.
      One clue amongst many, real charities will gladly accept donations of food and clothing. All the scam artists ever want is cold hard cash.

      1. In Cali, we donated a bunch to the local Salvation Army. They had a good program and helped a bunch of people. I gave them my old pickup, and it became a local handyman’s work truck. (Better than seeing it with a machinegun mounted in the bed in Somalia.) That was then.

        We gave a donation after Hurricane Harvey. Unfortunately not anonymous; we’re getting begging letters every week or so since. They’ll have blown the donation’s value in a few years if they continue. We’ve decided that any charitable donations are local, and to programs that actually help people. They also leave us alone when we have to break anonymity. (The local Gospel Mission got an old, but absurdly low mileage pickup when we replaced it. We got a thank you letter, and that was it. I’ll probably give them the other pickup when I’m ready to replace it next year. Not sure how they dispose of the vehicles; maybe through one of the auction sites.)

        1. Someone told me once that charities have funds that they aren’t allowed to use for anything other than mailings. I have no idea if this is true or not. I open mail for work and we get a constant stream of begging letters. Some have money in them! Nickles and once or twice a whole dollar! And it’s the season to start getting calendars. I got one that was all pictures of Ron and Nancy Reagan riding horses at their ranch. I may nab that one for myself because I find it amusing, but I suspect that my coworkers may think I’m in earnest. 😉

  15. Funny. This AM as I was walking, I was thinking about discipline, rules, and the importance of private charity in various religious denominations, and why those denominations that have a strong core of “this is what we believe, this is why, this is what you do, what you Don’t Do, and we’re not changing” seem to be doing well. They have that core to draw on and give from (like private charity done well). The fuzzy, fluffy “G-d loves everyone see all the good works we do come visit on Sunday!” groups are dying off.

    1. That’s why people turn to various “funamentalist” religions. They’ve lived “do what thou wilt” until they realized there’s no there, there; now they’re looking for… maybe not the best word for it, structure. Something where they can know the rules and where they stand, how to behave, and expect others (even if only their compatriots) to behave in turn.

      1. Boundaries?

        I’m reminded of a wizard character. In that setting, human magic users had some extremely specific limitations. Explanation provided was that humans psychologically could not accept power for free, so they had to tie in a ritual limitation to get magic to work.

        This would seem to describe a lot of real life spell casting, if we assume it is all superstition. If we are not assuming that it is pure superstition, why wouldn’t there at times be spells that are hassle free?

        If we understand religion as group magical thinking, we might expect something similar. That a sect that offers whatever rewards to everyone for free will be outcompeted by a sect that requires a funny hat or underwear or jewelry or some sort of shrine.

        1. People don’t value what they don’t work for.

          Of course salvation is supposed to be completely free without strings, but people keep trying to add them. And of course there’s the cart and horse issue where one’s works prove that salvation happened, but it gets turned around to all the things that you need to do or are required of you so that you feel like you earned it.

    2. Yes, I’ve seen the failure first hand with a couple of the Lutheran synods (formerly ALC and LCA, now merged and dying). The Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends (part of that long story) is getting torn to pieces over SJW induced fighting. NWYM used to be one of the more conservative groups, but being on the fringe side of mainstream religion, it was susceptible to damage.

      1. I don’t see that being on the fringe makes it any more susceptible that being mainline. The Mormons may be the only mainline religion that I know of that may not have been corrupted by the socialists.

        1. I saw it as two issues. First, there was an idea that Friends should be friendly to SJW ideas to begin with. One congregation (near Portland, naturally) decided to go with gay “marriage” and started a schism when they wouldn’t go with established teaching. Looks like, as of now, 8 of the 67 churches in that synod have split to go for a gay-friendly version.

          The key issue (IMHO) is that as a “fringy” denomination, you can get really small congregations. I can’t find numbers readily, but I’ve seen successful Friends churches with about 60 members, while the one we went to (more of a community church with Quaker backing) had a couple dozen at best, and was down to 7 or so by the time we left. I’m pretty sure a “big” church has 200 members. With small congregations, it’s not hard for a couple of people to have an inordinate impact on directions. At that point, bowing to the whim of the world, rather than to the Word can happen. Sigh.

        2. Part of the Problem is “What Do You Mean By Mainline Religion”.

          Sometime prior to the 1920s (not sure of the dates), Many American Protestant Denominations got exposed to a theological movement (sometimes called Liberal Theology) that discounted the importance of understanding what the Bible actually said. This Liberal Theology (on its extremes) often considered the Bible as “just written by men without the Inspiration of God”.

          By the way, this was the start of the Fundamentalist movement as a protest against the Liberal Theology.

          Coming up to the present day, “mainstream religion” is mainly the religion approved by the Liberal News Media.

          Very often these Mainstream Churches are the ones that accept without question the latest Secular Liberal Beliefs.

          Thus a Conservative Church that still associates with some of the more Religiously/Politically Liberal Mainstream Churches is more likely to get infected (IMO).

          I’m now getting off the Theological Soapbox.

          1. Conquest’s second law of politics: If you are not explicitly right-wing, you’ll get shifted left.

            Two Lutheran synods (Missouri and Wisconsin, both German based) are (AFAIK) quite conservative. The ELCA (merged from Danish and Swedish churches) started off moderate to liberal, and went further left.

            The Yearly Meeting I’ve mentioned was relatively conservative by Quaker standards, but by starting from a moderate stance and with the small congregation sizes, was prone to corruption. In this case, it started with a rebel congregation and infected others.

        3. We Mormons do *have* socialists/SJWs/fuzzy types, but they’re usually limited to the local levels in terms of noise-level. And yeah, they can cause damage in terms of ill feeling in congregations…but by and large they’re very unlikely to ever be called to higher leadership positions, and since we do everything by quorum (and you can’t ‘pick’ your church job, you can only turn them down when they are offered to you), even in the event a few are, they’re not likely to be in a position to have a major impact on church policy.

          Corruption happens, of course, because it happens everywhere…but it does seem to be a bit harder for it to set roots when you can’t choose “LDS church relief society president/bishop/stake president/seventy/apostle/president of the Church” as an actual career and make it your goal. (You can’t even choose “nursery leader” as a goal and get it just because you want it. Though in that instance, probably if you went to your local bishop/branch president and said “I am willing to be one of the adults in charge of nursery” nine times out of ten they’ll probably fall on their knees thanking you, because NO ONE wants to wrangle the toddlers for two hours…)

          (As a note, though, we do have our very own variation of religious community communism–known as the United Order–that was attempted early on in our church’s history. It…went as well as you might expect, which is to say it all ended in tears and the leadership went “Yeah, clearly this isn’t going to work with people being people. So it’s a good idea in theory, but in practice…” And so they stopped doing that and refocused on things like surviving the mobs.)

        4. Speaking of the Church as a whole, you are correct. Speaking of individual members, some of them are just as trendy-socialist as the rest of society.

  16. Ah yes, the “Jesus was a socialist” crew. Any ignoramus who spouts such nonsense knows as little about Jesus as he does socialism.

  17. When considering governments and organized religions it’s interesting how many aspects of each are held in common. Both can well serve as vehicles to perform great good, yet in historical fact they are far more commonly used to excuse or even justify great evil.
    And of course they all operate on the assumption that people must be controlled, provided structure and rules under which to live, as obviously wiser heads know better what’s good for you than you possibly can yourselves.
    And of course both tend to attract the sort of people who exhibit a strong desire to boss others around, force them to do things for “the common good” which sounds much better than “because I said so.”
    Two quotes from the works of Robert Heinlein seem appropriate:
    1. In a mature society, “civil servant” is semantically equal to “civil master.”
    2. The profession of shaman has many advantages. It offers high status with a safe livelihood free of work in the dreary, sweaty sense. In most societies it offers legal privileges and immunities not granted to other men. But it is hard to see how a man who has been given a mandate from on High to spread tidings of joy to all mankind can be seriously interested in taking up a collection to pay his salary; it causes on to suspect that the shaman is on the moral level of any other con man.
    But it’s lovely work if you can stomach it.

    1. It is not a good gig unless you are stealing, or your congregation is very generous. Most clergy of most denominations are not employees, so they have to pay independent contractor tax and Social Security. There are also some other weird provisions, but it all looked pretty nightmarish when I looked into it.

      Of course, if your clergy are employees of a non-profit, the tax situation is more favorable, but the administration and religious freedom aspects get sticky.

    2. So, you should not eat while spreading tidings of joy, or you should put it on hold for hours a day?

  18. The local homeless shelter for men has a year-long life recovery program available which enrolls each week. If they join, they move to a different facility, have to attend classes, and be drug and alcohol checked whenever they leave the facility and come back. There is a nightly curfew and bed check.

    The men are assigned tasks to perform and receive a weekly stipend. Minor violations have small amounts held out of what they would get. Major violations, such as fighting or abusing drugs and alcohol are reasons to be kicked out.

    After 9 months, they are supposed to look for full-time employment as a graduation requirement. If 10 join the program, 2 may graduate.

    The biggest issue is kicking addictions. The next are those fed up with “not being treated as a man.” Theses don’t like rules and believe those don’t respect them. They just want to do what they want whenever they want. They don’t like responsibilities.

    Those that leave, voluntarily or not, mainly go back to the streets. If they decide to go back, they can reenter the program. One man has been in it four times and always left on his own.

    But most will never try to get into the program as they don’t want to give up their own way of living.

    1. A fellow in my tiny home town died last winter. Walked out into the snow outside of his trailer, passed out, and froze. Until that happened he got on well enough. And he liked to help people. When he’d been fishing or hunting he always brought my folks fish or meat to share. But he hated being told what to do. He’d get along relatively well so long as no one told him what to do, or tried to tell him what to do. If someone tried he’d get belligerent and even violent. So generally his minor infractions were ignored and everyone was happy.

      Thing is, he wasn’t *well* and I think that his psych problems were due to fetal alcohol issues and there was no possible way to “fix” him. But he was in a relatively tolerant place and could manage to live in a trailer on his own and go hunting and fishing and it was okay.

      1. If he’s self sufficient, doesn’t interfere with other people minding their own business (and therefore not a threat to anyone), then his psych condition isn’t a problem. Sounds like his “psych condition” wasn’t a problem until certain other busybodies didn’t mind their own business in respect to him.
        Sounds very similar to my foster-step-adopted brother whose mother was a serious drug and alcohol abuser. He works part time as a mechanic’s helper, but that’s about the extent of his abilities. I’m still amazed that my Dad and step mother got him through a high school diploma even under current conditions.

        1. Having been on the recieving end of “don’t tell me what to do” fits, it is often triggered by things like saying “no.”

          Because if you won’t help them get what they want, you are controlling them.

          1. I think that’s a different version than these guys but certainly fits really well with the “if you don’t let me control you, then you’re a fascist” crap.

  19. One of the good memories of my childhood was FINALLY getting out of school, and being allowed to walk around barefoot. Except for church on Sundays, I didn’t put my feet back into shoes until Labor Day.
    Today, they’d probably call Childrens Services on my parents.

  20. I watched some small thing about San Francisco and it broke my heart. Sure, I felt for the shop keepers and I felt for the people having to step around needles and human poop on the sidewalks, but the report also showed footage of a number of people, clearly on very bad “trips” or simply insane, living in filth. Yelling at the sky and walls or defecating on the side walk or just… falling over. And all of what the city government did was designed to KEEP THEM THAT WAY. Longer. Before they died on the street anyway.

    There was no compassion in it. There was no “help” offered. No one feeling proud of themselves for how much they cared was doing anything at all to do anything at all but keep those people just the way they were in just the situation they were in.


    1. That’s because you hate poor people. People who are really motivated by Christian love will release everyone from prisons, poorhouses, and state hospitals, perhaps citing costs. They will complain when the police, who cannot be psychiatric nurses, handle people roughly. They will demand that people who have overcome enough to their difficulties to hold down a job be stolen from in order to pretend to be meeting the medical needs of junkies who will turn down any supervision that would get in a way of a fix.

      It is loving to so undermine the foundations of rule of law that there seems less and less a reason to support rule of law in lieu of just killing people.

      1. Iirc, correctly, the gist of it all was that they wouldn’t arrest people for drugs or anything else they did. I tend toward legalized drugs because “libertarian” but in that case I just had to think that it would have provided a good excuse to intervene and do a psych eval and that what *had* to be going on was that no one wanted to be “mean”, but for the funds they put into a program to give people free needles and a safe place to shoot up, they could have done something that actually helped people instead of helping them die more slowly.

        A whole lot of these people qualify for various assistance they don’t get because they can’t have it delivered to them in an alleyway. A whole lot of them have family, some of whom haven’t yet had to disown them out of emotional self-defense. So pick them up, find out who they *are*, get a doctor exam and a psych exam.

        Or stop pretending to care and just let them die *quickly*.

    2. > I felt for the shop keepers and I felt for the people having to step
      > around needles and human poop on the sidewalks

      I don’t.

      They’re the ones that keep voting against the people who want to fix the problems.

        1. Except that when finally completely fed up with the crime and the filth they vote with their feet. Walking away from a business that you built from scratch is one of the hardest things you can do, but remaining and watching its value depreciate to zero is even worse.
          Of course the lack of businesses in certain parts of a great many of our cities must be due to the sexist, racist, homophobic prejudices of the former business owners. That and fearing for their lives i suppose.

  21. I have used the analogy of the Penny in the Fusebox. (Fuse: an archaic electrical device that was used–and is sometimes still used–to perform circuit-protection functions similar to those now performed by circuit breakers, except that fuses can’t be reset–when they blow, you have to put in a new one.) There were always idiots who would respond to a blown fuse by simply putting a penny in the fusebox. The penny wouldn’t melt, and you might get the lights back on or the toaster toasting again–but meanwhile, your house might well burn down. Because the penny in the fusebox defeated the whole purpose of the circuit-protection system, which was and is to isolate problems before they could do great damage.

    Similarly, the policies of “progressives” often mean that behavior problems are ignored when they are still fixable. This has now reached the level where (to continue the analogy) they are not just sticking pennies in fuseboxes and burning down houses, but wiring closed the circuit breakers on high-voltage transmission lines, putting the entire grid in jeopardy.

    1. Example. That big Florida shooting earlier this year. Parkland. Cops and teachers colluded to keep the guy from having any criminal system intervention. So between the stability issues and the bullying, off he goes.

      Then there is the subsequent gun control push. Which isn’t going to happen, between the communists making very clear what they will do, and the Democrats having shown us with Segregation what they are willing to do.

    2. How to find a short: Replace fuse with penny, nail, bolt, or appropriate size wrench. Energize. Your short is where the fire breaks out.

  22. Jesus couldn’t have been a socialist – He actually provided His people with food.
    Feed My sheep.

  23. “These people can usually be recognized by saying quite the most stupid things about who Jesus was or what he believed…

    I was listening to a podcast just the other week. It’s about various true crime/creepy/paranormal things. It happened to be the first episode of this particular series I’d ever listened to, and it was about a semi-well known exorcism that took place in the middle of the U.S. in the 1920s or 30s.

    To prevent this from getting into too long a rant about folks who can’t be bothered to spend fifteen minutes Googling (Hey, UK podcasters, guess what? People who spoke languages OTHER THAN ENGLISH settled large chunks of the U.S. throughout its history. So someone in Iowa knowing German in the 1910s and 20s does not require them ‘taking classes.’ They probably grew up speaking it at home), but then there was the sheer ignorance about anything remotely related to Christianity that was just…rather depressing. I mean, look, I’m not saying they have to be Christian or be experts. But these people, I have little doubt, would claim to be progressive and inclusive and all those ‘ives’, and they couldn’t be bothered to learn a few basics before they opened their mouths and sounded like idiots? (And this was after one of them seriously claimed to be ‘really into Christian mythology.’ Excuse me, my eyes just rolled out of my head.)

    Like, maybe, perhaps, that Jesus was not in fact an Arab and no, he would not have freaking spoken Arabic in the Judea of that era. (Aramaic and Hebrew, you silly podcast ignoramuses!! AND ALSO I AM MORMON AND EVEN I KNEW THAT THE CATHOLIC CHURCH CONDUCTED MASS IN LATIN UNTIL THE MIDDLE OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY.)

    ::coughs:: So yeah. An astonishing number of folks out there saying the most incredibly stupid things, when even five minutes spent on Wikipedia might have prevented it. I suppose they were worried about cooties.

    (I did give them one more chance after I turned off that particular episode, wherein they were discussing a creepy archaeological find a bit closer to home for them. I’ve decided that while they are not a total loss in the brains department, probably, their format is terrible.)

    Sorry. A little detour from the overall topic, but it’s that same general willful ignorance about such things that leads these same types of folks to make stupid declarations like Jesus was socialist/illegal immigrant/whatever their chosen stick-to-beat-your-money-out-of-you is.

    1. No, they are probably willfully and knowing being super racist against Americans of German ancestry. Given Wilson, they are worse than Hitler, and we must extradite them from the UK to stand trial for crimes against humanity.

      1. ::chuckles::

        In all truth, I suppose, I find it a bit comforting (in a weird, tear my hair out sort of way) that the ‘ignorant foreigner’ stereotype is alive and well and NOT limited to Americans (however much the rest of the world tries to claim it’s all on us Americans).

    2. Christian Mythology – what was popular belief at some point that the Church tolerated for various reasons, and has since passed from favor. Like some of the stories in the collection of the Golden Legends and Saints Lives. They make for wonderful art, but there’s a reason that, oh, say, the version of the life of St. George about him being killed three times and coming back twice really didn’t make it into the official canon. Among some of the odder stories (St. Unemcumber is a personal favorite, from England.)

      1. I’m fairly certain that was not what the podcaster meant, lol. From her complete and utter ignorance on anything and everything to do with not only Jesus’ origins, and also Catholicism, I suspect it amounted to “I read a wiki entry about angelogy once.”

        But yes, I would love to track down some of those nifty, and very strange, old saints’ tales that are as much to do with their pagan roots as Christianity, and the strangeness that came of blending the two. 😀

        1. *snicker*
          For purposes of plot in my latest book, I have made up a really, really obscure saint -St. Gigobertus of Bethany, said to be the patron saint of innkeepers and post-riders. A fabulously rich reliquary containing his relics (or more precisely, a tooth of his favorite horse, which carried the Madonna and child into Egypt) is featured in a questionable da Vinci painting.
          I had fun with this – seeing so many church treasuries in Spain and Italy – splendid jewel-encrusted reliquaries for little bits of dubious bones really put me in touch with my flamingly Lutheran and Calvinist side.

    3. Passed a Church up in Stephenson, and it had a sign out front advertising they had Latin Mass (either last year, or year before).
      Not much I like about the Catholic Church (was raised in it) and I pretty much been an atheist since about foregoing Santa and the Easter Bunny etc, but a well done Latin Mass is very meditative.

    4. Most of the Amish (and some Mennonites) around here speak a variation of Plattdeutsch. And they are many generations removed from their country of origin. They all also speak perfectly good English and don’t require ballots in Plattdeutsch.

      Didn’t notice it in the comments, but the general rule for assimilation is- first generation speaks the mother language even as they learn English. 2nd generation understands the spoken language but doesn’t speak it. 3rd generation knows the swear words. 4th generation knows their ancestors came from somewhere else.

      1. It was faster on my mother’s side. Grandpa Pete was born in Denmark and immigrated at about age 20. He married an Iowa girl (English descent, with some Breton for flavoring), so my mother and her sisters didn’t pick up much Danish. I don’t even know any Danish swear words. 🙂

    1. I completely agree with the “too big to fail” mentality. That was used at the start of the latest big banking collapse, and it was a mistake. NOTHING is too big to (allow) to fail. Smaller banks would have bought the assets of the failed ones, and the market would have corrected much more quickly and efficiently. The pain of the failed banks would have been a lesson to not make the same mistakes again, now in the early stages.

        1. To quote a character (I think Jerald Knave), “Don’t just do something! Stand there!!!”.

          1. When a tanker truck of fuel is dripping fuel from a slightly loose fitting, hitting it with a sledge hammer and lighting it on fire is “doing something”. Don’t mean it’s the smart thing to do. (to paraphrase me during GWB’s first term)

      1. I can buy “too big to fail” in terms of “this failing all at once is too great a shock.” But that means we save it long enough to sell the pieces. Too big to fail is too big to allow.

      2. That was because you misunderstood what “too big to fail” meant. What it meant was “they give too big of a campaign contribution to let fail.”

  24. Well said, thank you.
    For those of us that are Christians, the bastardization of our beliefs in the pursuit of power or money is reprehensible, and I find it sickening.
    But I guess this gets back to self appointed “Morality Police” and the useful idiots that follow them.

    1. If marriage has to be consummated, and if Joseph did not have sex with Mary, then there is an argument for unwed mother. I understand that there is support for both of these in Catholicism.

      1. Oooh, that is a shiny idea….

        *runs off to look*

        OK, TECHNICALLY you don’t have to consummate a marriage for it to be valid; you have to be ABLE to do so.

        I was under the same impression, but failure to consummate can be evidence of invalidity because it’s a one-sided withholding of self, in contrast with a mutual sacrifice and dedication. (I’d be shocked if unilateral temporary or permanent sterilization might also be considered during annulment proceedings. That’s the more common withholding-of-self.)

    2. Since two links in a single post end up in moderation- here’s another discussion of their marriage: The widespread consensus is- Joseph and Mary were married under Jewish law at the time of her conception of Jesus.

      Now where there is some real disagreement- was Jesus an only child? Catholic theologians say yes. Not all biblical scholars agree. I’m married to a good Catholic and it’s a subject we don’t discuss. That and Schrödinger’s Cat….

      1. Minor quibble, some Catholic theologians figure Saint Joe may have been a widower with adult children.

        When taken with the theory that Mary had a vow dedicating herself (not unknown, but not as popularly known as our nuns), and that he died before Jesus started teaching, that makes him even more heroic than when he was simply willing to quietly divorce her. The scandal of it would’ve been…ouch.

        1. I’ve read that theory and have also heard that the “brothers & sisters” of Jesus may have been cousins. Apparently the terms translated as brothers/sisters could also be translated as cousins.

          1. “Kinsmen,” which was a much bigger thing back then and there. 😀
            (In a couple of places, some guys identified with the same word are specifically mentioned as having at least one different parent. Apparently Himself figured that we would just have to cope with many times repeated names. :D)

            What I want to know is if the entire House of David would use the same word.

            1. The place where I find the official Catholic teaching to be a stretch is in the part where people come to Jesus and say “Your mother and brothers are here to see you” (and he turns that into a little parable). If these were kinsmen (cousins, etc.) then it’s less plausible that they would be coming to speak with Jesus along with Mary, whereas if they were Jesus’ brothers in the English meaning of the word, that incident feels more plausible to me.

              But the “Joseph was a widower with children from a previous marriage” theory feels just as plausible for that incident (it would be reasonable for those children, if still unmarried, to live with their stepmother after their father’s death). And that theory also helps explain why Jesus instructed John, not one of His brothers, to take care of Mary when He was on the cross: if His brothers were step-brothers, they may not feel the obligation to take care of Mary, and He wanted to make sure she was cared for properly. (The Protestant explanation for that is that His brothers’ not believing in Him probably caused something of a rift in the family, and thus He wanted to make sure she was cared for by one of those who did believe in Him.)

              This comes a little close to arguing about theology, so I’m trying to be careful to keep this at the level of discussion of the opinion differences, rather than arguing for my preferred viewpoint. If anyone thinks this discussion needs to go to email, though, I’m perfectly happy to take it there.

              1. I’m pretty sure we’re still in the “this is fun” zone.

                Although I’d forgotten until this morning that one of Mary’s “sisters” was…also Mary, mother of James and Joseph.

                And I thought my dad’s family was bad about reusing names.

                1. The language issue was a difference in kinship categories between Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. In a Jewish village, and among many Middle Eastern cultures with in-group marriage patterns, all your close male kin were your brothers and all your close female.kin were your sisters. Anything more exact, and you had to specify about “my sister X’s son. ”

                  You see this all the way back in the OT, where Lot is once described as Abraham’s brother, and it pops up elsewhere in the OT and NT.

                  Eusebius and Jerome both go into the complicated family relationships, and Eusebius seems to have a lot more info on the House of David and what happened to whom.

          2. Doesn’t really matter if Jesus was an only child, or if he had younger brothers and sisters, or if he had older step brothers and sisters. He was Him; and brought a new, and arguably better, way to God. All Christians are supposedly brothers and sisters in Christ. And we know some of the worst fights in history were between family members.

            1. Which is why I don’t like theological battles.

              They are normally on the side-issues not the Heart of Christianity.

      2. General Mormon view–though we don’t discuss it much–is that Jesus probably had siblings, and was also likely married himself.

        It’s a controversial subject, though, so it’s not something we make a big deal over in general meetings.

        (Although the idea that Christ was married–and possibly even had children–is hardly unique to the LDS faith. After all, it was the basis for the entire Merovingian ‘divine right to rule’ claims…)

        1. Not just Merovingian. But really, it had nothing to do with his being married. EVERY DAMN KING IN EUROPE WANTED TO CLAIM TO BE DESCENDED FROM G-D, that’s all. They’d probably have killed you for saying Jesus was married and come back with some improbable miracle. (Shrug.)

          1. Descent from G-d… because being made in His image yet descended from Julius Caesar, or Brutus of Troy, or Alexander the Great, just wasn’t swanky enough. (Or the offspring of the sons of a pagan steppe/ Hun princess impregnated by an eagle [Magyars].)

          2. Argh argh argh no. The Merovingians, back when there were Merovingians, had absolutely no connection with Jesus ancestry or St. Mary Magdalene. The Merovingians were up north. All the early Martha and Mary and Lazarus shrines are in Provence down south.

            The pagan Merovingian Franks seem to have worshipped, and claimed descent for their king from, a five-horned bull of the sea or river. (The chronicler Fredegar calls him a “Quinotaur.”) They were also big believers in putting their king on a wagon and progressing him around to be worshipped. But we do not know much about that, because most of the Franks converted when King Clovis converted. He was more interested in acting Roman than in claiming weird descent.

            1. Good Lord. None of them were really related to anyone from Jesus’ time. But every single line was claiming it at least in some branch by the 17th century. They’re all insane. This i why I want to beat Dan Brown to death with an history book.
              Though given his proven allergy to facts, just slipping an history book into his bedroom might kill him.

          3. Huh. I’d always heard that the big ancestry thing for European nobility was to get genealogies ‘proving’ they were descended from David, since he was the start of the True-King-anointed-by-God’s-prophet lineage. (Saul having been disinherited as it were.)

            1. maybe, but the ones I stumbled across just in reading they were ALL descended from Himself.
              I had access to a library with a ton of original documents and time on my hands (for explanation.)

        2. It’s actually quite clear that He had siblings.
          “Mark 6:2-3 says: “And when the Sabbath had come, He began to teach in the synagogue. And many hearing Him were astonished, saying, “Where did this Man get these things? And what wisdom is this which is given to Him, that such mighty works are performed by His hands! “Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?” “

          1. Some commentators believe that the brothers & sisters were step-brothers & step-sisters from an earlier marriage of Joseph.

            Others claim that the terms translated as brothers & sisters may have been broader kinship terms. IE Cousins.

            While I personally believe that Mary & Joseph could have had sexual relations after the birth of Jesus and thus having children together, I acknowledge other positions on this issue.

          2. That’s in Matthew 13:55, too– almost word for word.

            Ah, but in Mattew 27:56, the Mary-not-Jesus’-mom-or-of-Magdalene is identified as the mother of James and Joseph/Joses! (For extra fun, there’s another James involved– son of Zebedee.)

            The relative one is AKA James the Apostle and James the Lesser, bishop of Jerusalem until the 60s. (Note the lack of the apostrophe before that number…no, I couldn’t resist.)

            Finally ran into the word folks suggest as a more accurate translation! “Brethren.”

            No, I can’t figure out why I couldn’t remember it in the first place.

              1. BTW those three Maries? The reason there’s a Portuguese folk thing. For your first night married, three maries have to make your bed.
                Since Maria was my middle name, I sometimes got recruited.

              2. *glee* You reminded me to look up which Gospel writer was which winged animal– thank you!

                (For those going “what?” this: St. Matthew, a divine man; St. Mark, a winged lion; St. Luke, a winged ox; and St. John, a rising eagle. Divine man looks like an angel, usually; a lot of times they drop the wings for the lion and ox.)

                  1. Heh, I was never even introduced to the symbolism until I hit the Navy, and I’m pretty sure the nice gentleman that explained them to me did a good job– but my memory is a sieve. I can remember Mark is a lion, but– whoosh! for the rest.

            1. Given the re-use of names, though (besides the ones we’ve already mentioned, Jesus had two different apostles named Judas), the James and Joses/Joseph mentioned in Matthew 27:56 could be the same people mentioned in Mark 6:3, or they could be two different Jameses and Josephs.

              And it just occurred to me that if the Mary in Matthew 27:56 is being identified as the mother of two of Jesus’ “brethren” from Mark 6:3, that hurts the “Joseph was a widower” theory, because this Mary is still alive, so if James and Joseph were Joseph’s* children from a previous marriage then he’d have been committing bigamy to marry Mary**, which is clearly false because then God wouldn’t have picked him to be Jesus’ adoptive father.

              * I think this sentence is clear without too many qualifications of which name belongs to whom.
              ** Ditto.

                1. Right. Didn’t mention that because I didn’t want to make the comment too long, but it’s relevant so I probably should have mentioned it. If the “brethren” in Mark 6:3 are a mix of what we would call brothers & cousins, then we can still go with the “children from a previous marriage” theory. But I believe the most obvious reading of Mark 6:3 is that they did mean brothers in the modern English sense, because that makes it a coherent argument: “How can this guy be doing such miracles? We grew up with him, we know his family. There’s his mother — and don’t think we’ve forgotten the timing of his birth, six months after the wedding! — and his younger brothers and sisters, and none of them are particularly special or notable. So how come this Jesus guy is different, huh?” (Joseph is not mentioned, which lends credence to the theory that he had passed away by that point, because otherwise they would certainly have mentioned him in the litany of Jesus’ relatives that they knew). I.e., they are mentioning people from one kinship category: the closest. If they are mentioning a mix of cousins and brothers (really stepbrothers), then the argument they’re making is a bit looser and less coherent (though certainly not incoherent). And then you have to account for the fact that only four male relatives are mentioned, when given how rarely people moved from place to place in those days, Jesus probably had dozens of cousins in Nazareth.

                  1. Which runs into the issue that half of the males named are definitely not his siblings, since their mother is alive, so they’re obviously using something that doesn’t make sense to us here and now.

                    Moving from place to place… thing is, we know that they did move at least some; Mary went to visit her cousin so unborn-John-the-baptist could leap, after all.

                    What are the marriage laws in the Jewish faith like? I know that Christians tended to move a bit more because you’re not supposed to marry inside of X or Y level of relation– if they’ve got a no-first-cousins rule, that makes a third option.

                    1. Though the “half are definitely not his siblings” issue circles right back around to the “reuse of names” point. I don’t think it’s a safe assumption that the James of Mark 6:3 and the James of Matthew 27:56 are the same person. (Same goes for Joses/Joseph). We’ve already seen name re-use for Joseph (Jesus’ earthly father and this relative) and for Judas (two of Jesus’ disciples), and indeed for James (the son of Zebedee and the James of Matthew 27:56 are not the same person). So your first paragraph rests on an unjustifiable (IMHO) assumption.

                      Moving from town to town to visit, yes. But moving elsewhere permanently, I believe, is quite rare in pre-automobile societies. Sarah, if you’re reading this discussion: how often did people move to another village/town in Portugal when you were growing up? I have a vague feeling that you said it was very rare for people to move, and (if my memory is correct) that’s in a society that did have access to automobiles and trains. When your only modes of transportation were animal-powered, moving from town to town was rare, from what I understand.

                      I don’t know the marriage laws in the Jewish faith outside of what’s listed in Leviticus 18: I presume that the list of relatives you weren’t allowed to have sex with also served as a list of those you weren’t allowed to marry. So father, mother, stepmother, sister or stepsister (even if brought up in another home), granddaughter, aunt, aunt-by-marriage, sister-in-law, daughter-in-law, were all forbidden for a man to have sex with and therefore he would be forbidden to marry them as well, I presume. Nothing there about cousins, even first cousins. A man was forbidden to sleep with his father’s sister, but his father’s sister’s daughter is not on the list. So I presume that marrying one’s first cousin was permissible. However, I also know that the Jewish faith took the Law of Moses and built a fence around it, so the Talmud may have forbidden cousin marriage even though Leviticus didn’t; I’d have to ask for an expert opinion on that one.

                    2. For how we know it wasn’t yet another James I’ve got to just link to this, because holy cow it makes my head hurt. (How many bleeping spellings do you NEED for a name?)

                      Mary visiting her cousin wasn’t the point I was looking at– it was that her kinswoman was living in a different place at all, which means there HAD to be moving around. Possibly related to her whatever-in-law’s job? (priest)

                    3. The one exception to the moving around thing, that I thought of mentioning and didn’t (I really should mention these things when talking to you, because you think of them) is marriage. In just about every culture, either the husband moves to where the wife lives or the wife moves to where the husband lives; in most patriarchal societies it’s the latter, and that seems to have been the case in Israel. (Part of the wedding ceremony was when the husband would come to fetch his wife and bring her to his home, which Jesus used in the parable of the ten virgins and the lamps). So my assumption was that Elizabeth moved to Zechariah’s home town when she married him, and that’s why Mary had to travel to visit her. (And of course, moving for the job was part of a priest’s job requirements, unusual in those days. There’s something in the Law of Moses about duty rosters, and dividing priests into groups who would come to the temple to serve for a while before returning to their farms.)

                    4. *nod* I only know about the duty cycle thing because he was on duty when he…uh… showed a different attitude in response to being told God will do it. *grin*

                    5. When I was growing up, I listened to a wonderful series of Bible stories told by Mrs. G (short for Mrs. Griffiths). She’s passed away now, but you can still find the stories on They have CDs and MP3s; I believe the MP3s cost $2 each. But I don’t actually know the cost, because they make the MP3s available for free if you’re outside North America & Europe, presumably so that missionaries can get them for free. (Which I’m very grateful for). She does an excellent job of weaving the background into the story, teaching you about the cultures and customs of the time. And as far as I’ve been able to determine, she did her research: I’ve never yet learned a fact that contradicted something she’s said about the culture. She’s where I learned most of my background knowledge of the Bible from. I highly, HIGHLY recommend her stories!

                      (She does take a Protestant position on some things; for example, she holds that Joseph and Mary had other children and those were Jesus’ brothers and sisters. So if you use her stories to teach your children, you may want to mention where you think she’s wrong. But even so, I think you won’t find too many points of disagreement, and you’ll probably find her stories VERY useful for bringing up your kids with a deep knowledge of the Bible. I know it worked for me!)

                    6. John the Baptist’s father was a priest in the Temple in Jerusalem. Think being posted to the Vatican.

                    7. People didn’t move much. It wasn’t the car or train, it was the time it took.
                      Now people move a ton more, because there’s been a highway since the nineties.

          3. Steve, I’m a translator.
            I can tell you it’s clear as mud.
            Depending on the culture Brothers could be Cousins, half-brothers, step brothers, even uncles. Depending on the language too.
            The English of Shakespeare, even 2000 years ago had no word for granddaughter. Shakespeare called his a “niece” in his will. That’s plain in OUR ENGLISH but in his meant something completely different.
            In the case of the new testament you’re talking about Greek writing on Aramaic (likely) reports from the apostles.
            brothers and sisters could even mean distant cousins of the same tribe.

      3. I’m Protestant and I’m not going to touch the subject of “was Jesus an only child” here. 😀

    3. I don’t do the language side of it, but that appears to be quite accurate; I believe it’s Father Mitch on EWTN who explained that English doesn’t have a word for the state of “married but not living in the same house” so folks kind of made-do.

    4. IIRC I was taught that Mary’s status with Joseph was stronger than the English term “engaged” would establish.

      1. My understanding is that was just a thing about the betrothal customs in that time and place. Joseph calling off their betrothal could have been a huge scandal, even if Mary hadn’t been pregnant at the time. A couple getting betrothed meant that the wedding was going to take place unless something particularly troubling was learned about one of the individuals involved.

        Though it’s also worth noting that something on the level of Mary’s pregnancy was about the only sort of thing that could have ended the betrothal.

        1. I seem to remember that during the “betrothal” Joseph had every right to “have sex” with Mary but he was supposed to wait for a while.

          He could have had Mary killed for adultery but by going through with the marriage, he was admitting that “it was his child and he wasn’t able to wait until the proper time” which was socially embarrassing for him.

          Of course, my memory could be playing tricks on me. 😉

          1. With a slight quibble of him claiming the child as his own (which is mostly only important for rather obscure examples…once in ever is kinda obscure enough to apply though, no?) your memory lines up with mine.

            The embarrassment in the Catholic theory is that he was supposed to be the protector of a sworn virgin on top of the not controlling himself thing. Idea would’ve been that she takes care of the old man, and when he dies his kids take care of her. (Rather similar to the “youngest son” tradition of my dad’s family, where the youngest son took care of the parents, didn’t marry, and when he couldn’t manage the farm/ranch another sibling came in with their kids to manage the ranch and take care of him. It wasn’t very formalized, but dad’s mom was pissed he got married anyways.)

            1. Ah, so it was not unlike the whole “the middle/youngest daughter stays single and cares for the parents” tradition. (Or the “oldest inherits, second son goes into the church, third goes into military” one, heh.)

          2. If I remember my Bible correctly, wasn’t it a requirement that if a man “knew” an unmarried woman, he was required to take her to be his wife then?

            1. That’s correct, though her father had veto power. If he refused to give his consent, then there could be no marriage. This was, I assume, to prevent forcible-marriage-by-rape: if she ran to her father in tears immediately after the event and told him she’d been raped, he would NOT give his consent when the man showed up the next day asking for his daughter’s hand. (And if there was a situation like Wickham running off with Lydia WITH her consent, but her father knew that his daughter was a silly girl and that man would make a terrible husband, he could also save her from the consequences of her bad choices. Though in that case it would be a harder sell to persuade anyone else to marry her afterwards, because the fact that she was no longer a virgin would have to be disclosed to any prospective suitors, who might find that a deal-breaker. There was another law that said that if a man thought he was marrying a virgin, but on their wedding night he found that she was not a virgin after all, the marriage could be annuled for fraud, and the woman could be executed. So she’d have the strongest incentive to disclose her status, even though it would probably cost her some suitors).

  25. In nearby Orange County, California, the authorities recently (early this year, iirc) took down a very large homeless encampment that was located in a riverbed. The problem with the location is pretty obvious. If a heavy and sustained rainstorm came through, then the encampment risked being swept away, and would likely have killed a lot of people.

    Except the county’s actions ended up meaning that the homeless people staying there now didn’t have anywhere to stay. And local judges have ruled that the local governments *MUST* take steps to help get these people into shelter. The county’s solution was straightforward enough. Many of the cities in the county would be required to take on a certain number of homeless, and provide shelters for them.

    The last I’d heard, a number of the cities were still coming up with reasons why they couldn’t build shelters for any of those people. The people living in those cities don’t particularly want a large number of homeless people suddenly showing up in their neighborhoods.

    Imagine that.

    1. So where are they until this shelter that the Judges have said that they have a “right” to gets built?

    2. Eugene has homeless camps setup for those not living in parked RV’s. These camps are larger right-of-ways, or empty lots. Varying from tents to small shelters that look like covered wagons.

      RV’s can parked where ever business & churches will allow.

      Both situations provide a portable chemical toilet.

      The former are heavily bunched in the Whiteakar, Blair, W 6th. That area complains they have more than their fair share. Guess where all the services are?

      Note, that does not mean that there aren’t those with tents hidden in blackberry bushes in major right-of-ways, you can see them if you are looking for them. Because the other situations come with … uhhh … “rules”.

      But they don’t disallow animals, which most the actual building shelters don’t allow.

  26. I had something I was going to post, but got interrupted, left work, worked on the house, and completely forgot what it was.
    Insert some wit and/or wisdom here:

  27. I’m interested to find out what Saint Unemcumbered was unemcumbered with (or would it be without?) I’m also puzzled by her being the patron (I thought ‘patron’ was a masculine term) saint of rabies. How did that come about?

    1. A husband. She refused a marriage to a Muslim and when her father tried to force her, she asked to be made repulsive. Then she grew a large beard and her father crucified her.
      Rabies: she held back rabid does with the power of her saintly voice.

  28. That is because all virtues must be in proper order to be virtuous. The cardinal virtues particularly lacking are prudence — ” an intellectual habit enabling us to see in any given juncture of human affairs what is virtuous and what is not, and how to come at the one and avoid the other.” (not just in general but in particular cases) — and justice — ” a moral quality or habit which perfects the will and inclines it to render to each and to all what belongs to them.”

    1. Norwegian and Danish jokes* about Swedes aside, I’m wondering just how soon the Berserkers will resurface in force. I’m guessing not long.

      (*) As Grandpa Pete said: “Ten thousand Swedes ran trough the weeds
      chased by one Norwegian.”

  29. I came here because I read Ms. Hoyt’s article about the NEA over at PJ Media. Referred to me by a friend

    I’m 65. Raised by two abusive parents, whom had no clue as to what to do with a rebellious kid. I was rebellious by the time I was 3 because I was hit pretty hard. I hated them and that hate was fixed in fire, mind you. It was too hard for a toddler to comprehend their corporal punishment as presumably for my own good. The rod they used on me made me hate them for the entirety of my life. I honored them anyways later in life, as any right minded dutiful son should. They rarely showed me love. They showed me gifts spawned by their guilt, as love. For love I had my grandma and the companionship of strangers. That’s what got me through childhood and adolescence.

    By the time I was 10, I was being taken out of normal classroom activites because my parents thought it was wise to take me to a child psychologist. They were trying to figure out why, if I was as smart as I appeared to be was I only getting average grades.

    My parents didn’t know what was going through my mind. I wasn’t going to tell them either. My predominant thought was: “Theyre not going to break me.” Later my calculus became, Let’s see, I am going to ask them if I can do this or that and they’re going to say no. So if I do it anyway and I get caught, how much fun will I have for the moment versus how much trouble will I be in after they find out I didn’t listen? Then I’d weigh the consequences for my actions. If the fun outweighed the trouble, I did it.

    In hindsight, inadvertently, much to my parents chagrin as to why I was, the way I was, I was learning critical thought in my own way. Call it a self preservation instinct.

    I suffered other things later as a result of my own guidance but there again, critical thought led me to areas of learning and endeavor, I would not have seen had I listened to my parents in my much earlier years.

    You could say, I’m a nonconformist. I don’t fit the molds. Not the molds the schools were trying to form me into and not the molds my parents were trying to see, as to which one I fit.

    I’m not going to wax too philosophical here. Forgive me if in some ways I have to resort to that for a proper and logical thought process.

    I have read almost all the comments in this thread after I happened to read this particular composition.

    You might find this interesting. I’m from the Chicago branch of the Goldwater family on my mother’s side. The late famous senator from Arizona is a cousin. I did not know the man or his descendants directly. As of the 2010 census, there’s only 447 people in this country with that last name. Somehow, they’re ALL related to one another. That would include me, though I’m more directly related to Barry than most.

    Now, the reason I related my childhood experience is to tell you that later, I wound up in an institution as a result of being a bit strung out on pot and LSD. That was in my 20th year. Later it was cocaine. I left that institution and when I walked out the door, I threw my suitcase into the air as high as I could, and said; I am never going back there again! Whilst in that institution, I had to look in the mirror and forgive myself and tell myself THAT I LOVED ME, even if no one else did and regardless as to whether or not my parents couldn’t constructively show me their love, even if it was a twisted mangled mess of love conflicted by other things, not of my doing.

    I can tell you, at around the age of 12 or 13 that I had to lie to my parents about selling newspapers on the corner, when they told me I couldn’t do it. I did it anyway and snuck out of the house at 4 in the morning so I could go to work. I made my money, came home to “suffer the consequences for my actions” and learned from that episode, my parents couldn’t fault me for wanting to make a buck on my own. They relented at that point and I continued to sell newspapers.

    They didn’t teach me how to work. I taught myself how to work. It wasn’t the school system that taught me how to work, it was the Andy Griffith Show. TV was my only escape whilst in the house under my mother’s scornful eye. I was always glued to the TV set and between Andy Griffith and Leave It To Beaver, I learned a basic values structure, which at the time was presumably, a Christian values structure. The Mickey Mouse Club was another one, along with slapstick cartoons.

    If I didn’t have those shows to escape and make believe, somewhere, that someone loved me. I’m not sure I’d be sane in the present time.

    I don’t want to get into religion here. I’ve learned many things subsequent to earlier experiences in my life regarding THAT subject.

    Here’s the point.

    Rugged self reliance is an acknowledgement that one is responsible for one’s own best enlightened self interest.

    This is a country where private proprty is supposed to be held as sovereign to any government model. That includes the schools.

    If sloth is rewarded, then laziness becomes its own rewards system. This is self evident. If you think, what’s being done ISN’T by design, you’d be wrong. The system all of you are being subjected to is known by its proper name, economic fascism. Socialism for you, crypto-monopolism with government as partner for them. Oh sure, they’ll throttle the market in such a way as to give you the appearance there is free enterprise afoot. It’s a facade, thinly veiled. Try to get into heavy equipment manufacturing (or other such high capital endeavor) without a huge loan from a bank, that may in fact strangle your capital resources while building the business.

    There is conspiracy at work here. The conspiracy finds its root in the banking system. There’s two salient points to be mindful of. 1) The income tax curve. 2) The inflation curve. The monetary system is designed to keep those in real power hidden behind government facades, so that no one could ever challenge their supremacy, while the population struggles to keep ahead of the two monetary curves just mentioned.

    America has been laid low by designing folks in several layers of hereditary trust structures which have been here a very long time that stretch all the way back to Europe and beyond. Trusts, run the world. Theo most onerous trusts are the banking trusts. followed by industrial and mining trusts, pahrm, and now technology. Trusts.

    This is about labor force and where it’s to be had at the best price.

    Now, lots of distortions are created by virtue of government interventions. The antitrust division in this country is a bought and paid for entity. It’s suppose to protect the market from becoming lopsided. The tendency to use a highly monetized position for more position, fairly or unfairly is well seen throughout history. Private property is supposed to be sacrosanct, except when that property impinges upon another’s whilst in open competition, in a criminal manner, like say, corporate espionage. Capitalism is war. Anyone can join the fight, if they dare. However, without capitalism, not enough of the labor force can be employed AND NOTHING WOULD GET DONE.

    That’s rugged self reliance writ large. If the market is regulated by a virtuous government. The problem is the government IS NOT virtuous.

    So we have distortions of all manner of things.

    I don’t want to get too far afield. Our subject here is poverty, its causes and how it’s fostered by so called “well meaning” individuals through extra-political means, whom are basically economic and civic morons. They’re useful idiots.

    Here’s what I’ll say to conclude this. You folks, are not the sovereigns in this country. The sovereigns are in control of the currency supply, which is used to create distortions which you cannot control. Those representatives in Washington DC aren’t your representatives. They belong to the highly monetized positions of power throughout the world, and here on our own soil. You do not authorize the printing of that currency, which is what’s supposed to happen, being that we the people are suppose to be The Sovereigns.

    You are led to believe that currency, using bankers semantics, is only valid if it’s backed by something, like gold or silver, or in our present case, debt. None of this is true of course. The only thing that’s necessary for a currency system to operate correctly is for it’s supply to be HONESTLY published and for its supply to be authorized by The People whom use it for commerce. All it’s supposed to do is measure work, be it labor or capital gain. If the supply gets out of hand it needs to be taxed out of the system. That’s simple. No muss, no fuss.

    When you have economic morons teaching your children, what do you expect? It’s an outcomes based system. Those that can be absorbed by the labor market, will be absorbed. Those that cannot, by virtue of whatever distortion made them that way are used as a throttle to keep the system and your participation in it, imbalanced and using cultural-political distractions to keep you occupied, turning your eyes away from the ball “in play”.

    Economic fascism, folks. Don’t be confused. You’re playing a game and they’re the board-masters that have game theoried this well into the future and you can’t escape it because they are throttling the market by use of government with political franchises whom have no virtue.

    Now, this electorate cannot govern this way. It’s a perfected system of control by various means, including population demographics that impinge upon your good natures along with everything else that can impinge upon your natural rights.

    The market is controlled by crypto-monopolists. The beggars are systematically planned-upon sloth creatures whom are used to keep you in your place, whilst arguing about how to fix it.

    Your children are being subjected to a very clever system of what can only be termed, child abuse by design of your own government, which you cannot control.

    Here’s the punchline.

    People bring children into the world without the actual resources necessary to raise that child into a structure of a monetized trust. Highly monetized trusts run this world. Don’t be fooled into thinking that’s not so. Every man for himself is something I call, The Diaspora Mindset. It’s a malady common to most if not all families, not only in this nation but across the globe.

    Christian traditional structures are good, inasmuch as they do teach what the stoic’s of Greece and Rome, had taught. There’s a certain application for altruism in its truest forms. There’s also certain application for rugged self reliance and enlightened self interest. There’s a balance to be had there.

    The problem of governance is one of controlling currency supply by sovereign authorization and the throttling of undue, unfair influence.

    So, we find ourselves in quagmires of banking design. A hidden technocracy so insidious, it’s most always overlooked. The teachers haven’t a farthing’s clue as to what the heck that is. So they as usefull idiots distract you because your children are being educated by them, whom have no clue as to civics or economics. That’s a very sad state of affairs.

    Ultimately, your politics, self evident in this discourse, is what’s keeping you from governing this nation effectively because you have no way of getting virtuous representatives into positions of power.

    It cannot be done through the use of usurious political franchise systems and the systems they’ve put in place by “color of law” and unelected, not agreed upon by the populace, regulations, with which they most certainly agree to. They, being Democrats and Republicans. A perfect system of control. Hegelian dialectic.

    Look in the mirror. If you use bad habits to elect unscrupulous individuals in the first place by using political franchise, you must reap what you sow.

    I would point to George Washington’s final address to the nation, written in part by James Madison. He warned everyone to refrain from factions. He should have said, banking factions.

    No one listened.

    At the age of sixteen, I knew that until I had enough money saved before I brought children into this world, I wasn’t going to mate and get married. No way was I going to subject my blood to the mess just described, for the sake of my own arrogance and my enjoyment for rasing a couple of “little me’s”. There’s plenty of unwanted children in the world. My worldview has me thinking adoptive parents are the real heroine’s. Even if they don’t have the money to do it.

    Your ultimate complaints here, reflect choices you made by being under-capitalized and under-informed.

    Be that as it may, you have no effective means to address the distortions you help to create by being such.

    Were you tever turn from your mistakes. Never, ever, ever, elect anyone whom belongs to a political franchise ever again. Teach your children the same thing.

    Maybe in 40 years, then, the tides of fortune would turn back to moral conduct by government.

    However, that would also require proper education in civics and economics and the value of a buck and hard work, which should be required coursework from 1st grade to college graduation.

    The population whom control the tursts, do it. Why not you?

    Now the rag’s off the bush. Do something about it.

    My parents harshness inadvertently, made me self reliant and a creative. It was a blessing disguise. A little love would have gone a long way with me, regarding them. I was so eager to please.

    I hold the all time record for diving on the swim team at my high school, now defunct. Niles East, Skokie, Illinois.

    You can see that high school in the film, Risky Business starring Tom Cruise.

    I miss those days. Ah, well. There it is.

    1. I was thinking of mentioning this in the earlier discussion about paddles, but I’ll mention it here since your first few paragraphs are highly relevant to what I’m about to say.

      When I was a kid, my parents (whom I love and highly respect) spanked me, but only EVER with a bare hand. When I was a bit older, my father once explained that to me. He said that with a paddle, a rod, a switch, a belt, or any other object, it’s quite possible to hurt the kid too much and not realize it. (Which apparently happened to you). With a bare hand, though, your hand stings about the same amount as the child’s bottom is stinging, so you know exactly how much pain you’re inflicting and can calibrate the punishment to stay appropriate to the level of disobedience. It also helped that my father NEVER spanked me while he was angry. Sometimes he’d tell me, “You’re going to get a spanking for that,” but the spanking wouldn’t arrive until thirty minutes later. That one he never explained, but I figured out for myself later on that he was giving himself time to cool down, so that he would have a clear head when he was deciding how many swats on the bottom this particular incident deserved.

      I mention this because there have been discussions of corporeal punishment before in the comments section of Sarah’s blog, and the general consensus was in favor. I’m also in favor in principle, but your experience shows the dangers. If anyone is going to spank their child, they MUST make sure they’re not doing so in anger but with a clear head, and I think it’s also VERY wise to make sure to use a bare hand rather than an object, so the parent can’t accidentally hurt the child too much (like what happened to you).

      I wish that hadn’t happened, and that you had had better and wiser parents. But wishing doesn’t change the past, as you know. Still, what happened to you was wrong and shouldn’t have happened, and although some kind words from a stranger don’t mean much, it’s all I can offer at this point, and hopefully it’s a little better than nothing.

      The rest of your comment would take far too long to address right now, and I have to get off the computer really soon, so I’ll have to leave the rest of your comment about economics for someone else to address (if anyone does; Sara just posted a new post, and the comments section of the previous post usually dries up when that happens).

      1. Very kind of you. Appreciate the sentiment.

        On that heading, you don’t hit a kid when they’re a toddler. Period.

        What concept of right or wrong can a toddler have? What, they’re born that way? Right?

        The problem was, it became habitual for my old man. He had absolutely no concept of how to deal with me. Then one day, when he came at me, I stopped him. I held his wrists so tightly he couldn’t break my grasp. Told him to calm down or I’m not letting “you” go. That was when I was around 19.

        I forgave my parents though, because it was the healthy thing to do. Didn’t mean I had to like or love them. I felt no loss at their passing. Only relief.

        I wasn’t the only one of my generation to have this particular situation. There were plenty others.

        I miss my Grandma and her sister, my Aunt Mary.

        To them, I could do no wrong.

        Again, thanks for your sentiments.

        You take care.

        1. I can’t even imagine the abuse you went through.

          Even tho, yes normally bare hand spankings, but wooden spoon, in anger at least a couple of times that I can remember. Not regular. Never feared or hated my parents.

          What was regular was the need to have the house absolutely perfect. The rages when personal space (bedrooms) were not clean & picked up. Anything not in it’s rightful place was thrown at you, did not matter what it was or it’s ability to break it or you.

          Counter reaction to both.

          None (8 grand kids – one of which is mine) were ever spanked, ever. Disciplined, consequences, yes. Spanked. Nope. Out of the 8 only one took a temporary (emphasis on temporary) side track.

          Clean fetish. Not one of us suffers from that. Granted none of us have fallen too far, but we didn’t take the poison. Kid’s room cluttered – shut the door; issue reminders, but shut the darn door. Look we got it. We helped mom clean out her folks house after they died. OMG get out the gas masks (I’ve written about it on Sarah’s posts before). Made all of us go home & do through cleaning, with each of our kids gladly helping (they got to help clean up Great Grandparents house too, they were teens). I can’t watch the hoarder shows because of it, & it wasn’t T H A T bad. Just bad.

          1. My Dear Ladies,

            “D” “Robin Munn” & “CeliaHayes”,

            I want to be considerate of all of you for taking the time to share your empathies. You didn’t have to do that and being I’m a bit of an old fashioned romantic type, I bend my knee in thanks.

            That said; I hope you’re not lost on the salient point and conclusion of, as to why we are, where we are in this country.

            I am sure Ms. Hoyt, is as fine a woman as all of you most certainly seem to be.

            So I am going to invest a little bit more time in this thread because I deem it to be, that you’re all worth it, along with Ms, Hoyt.

            I’ll try to be gentle as I can with your sensibilities and emotional bearings but there’s a stark reality, not a perception of reality, mind you, A REALITY, that’s afoot in this country, along with the world for that matter, and is THE REASON we find ourselves in the predicament that Ms. Hoyt’s article makes note of as part of the civil war of words we’re immersed in, and her musings about it. She’s published by PJ O’Roarke’s opinion site. She receives PR in that regard and though on the surface, it’s superificial political invectives that find a great deal of profitable audience to garner as audience. It’s a falacial and rhetorical road to nowhere.

            Here’s my condescension and/or viewpoint from 10 miles in the air and looking over upon what I know is happening.

            The population of folks whom control what is happening on the surface of the planet, control the currency systems, all of them. Thus, they also control the governmental mechanisms. All of them.

            They understand things from a very different perspective than folks whom are just trying to be good people, like say for instance, yourselves, here in the United States.

            I won’t get into HOW I know what’s going on other than to say, I sit at the head of a vast network of private investigators, of all manner of forensic disciplines, along with informants and intelligence experts in tow, that we estimate to be in the number of about 5,000 souls, whom are all united to do one thing, expose the truth of this world’s power structures and their involvement with a corruption of human endeavor so terrible that good folks like yourselves are being hammered into submission by virtue of macro-economic environmental conditions.

            I can also tell you that what we’ve found, is that “the truth” is a very bad business model. People don’t want to hear the truth because in so knowing, it requires a soul of good intention – to not just sit there and take it – but to do something about it. Unfortunately, that’s where good people stop. They may know – but do? – they seem not to have the time and that’s because they can barely get ahead of the inflation and tax curves so noted in my earlier discourse. It’s too much for them to think about, let alone do something that actually is constructive towards ending corruption and injustice. They can’t be bothered with it.

            Politics, is the latest of spectator sports. It makes money too. Too bad, it’s a waste of money and is just as corrupt as the structures which are in place that flex the muscles of “the body politic”. Ms. Hoyt is currently in the practice of being a cog in “that machine”. Partially, it’s narcissistic.

            Now…if you’re going to raise a family, why? Because you can, or you want to, or whatever desires you may have to see fulfilled as being a virtue in and of itself? Why? Once in place, and your DNA stands before you, loving you, obeying you and such, what is its purpose? The perpetuation of human flesh? To what end? Survival of “the species”? What? G-d’s will?

            These are pretty “heady” or “weighty” subjects. In other words, why create family? To not be alone? To be loved? I’d submit to you, these are plebian notions and part of the sublimation and or self induced opiate of the masses of the “body politic”.

            The men of this country, by and large, for its entire existence (this country) have beem mostly emasculated by an aimless matriarchal sentiment. It feels good – so do it. Look, see?, everyone else does it, so, me too!

            Women, want their own children. Nothing wrong with wanting children, per se. What are these children existing for? To make you feel good about yourselves and that you DID something with your lives?

            I wanted children. I didn’t want them just for myself or my wife, had I married a woman to bear children for her and myself. I wanted children to build a family structure. A structure that stood for something other than its own existence. I had a strategy in place as to why said family WOULD exist. Not just to breed.

            There are forces for good in this world. There are forces whom stand in opposition to that “good”. The forces for good, by and large, have no central planners. It’s an ad hoc circumstance of natural events as a result of religious exgis or other reasons for existence in that regard.

            The forces for “evil” in this world, which stand in opposition to the “good” – do have central planners.

            Who is going to take them on? Who? G-d? Jesus? Buddha? Allah? Shiva? Bodhisattva? Who? Or is it going to be YOU?

            If you were to assume that position, how would YOU go about it?

            Ladies, people like yourselves, whom are all well meaning folks, don’t want that burden of responsibility. There’s something self evident in all the questions I raise. Mild forms of narcissism.

            Children as reflections of yourselves and “your” good intentions for having born them. Fine. To what end? See the problem in that? Now, your children are being subjected to an economic meat grinder, that you can scarcely do anything about?! Why did you do this to them? You are responsible for it. So are your husbands.

            Whose exeges? Whose intent? And for what?

            I failed in two epochal periods of my life, wherein I was trying to create a financial windfall. I didn’t want to create that windfall for myself. I wanted to create it for my family, so that I could right “our ship of state” whom lost its last remaining, only half functioning patriarch. My Grandfather, Louis Goldwater. Son of Elchoanan “Elkin” Goldwater – former Chief Rabbi of London in the late 19th century. “Elkin” father to 13 children by 4 different wives.

            Why did I want to do this? I wanted to because it was there to do, as well as other reasons. After my Grandfather, there were no men in my family on either side of my lineage, whom understood, or had any clue whatsoever that it was in fact, a correct notion and needed to be done. Silently, without expressing those intentions to anyone in my family, on either side of it, I went about to try and create such industry requisite to the task at hand. Rescue, the family from its own vicissitudes and lack of founding structure. There would be purpose.

            Now some onlookers, might or would pass judgement and say, who are you to have such thoughts, and who are you to judge others for their want of family for their own enjoyment? – and just leave it at that.

            I would have some very stern answers for that and would express them in a somewhat forceful manner, as well.

            My intent here is to convey to you that common American families, as well as, families all over the globe, outside the power structure are aimless. Aimless matriarchies, more to the point. They exist for existence, alone. This isn’t a good reason for existence.

            Why not adopt children whom have been discarded, orphaned and are in pain? Why not them? Not their fault, they’re here?!

            A righteous family, not an aimless one, is a good reason to create one. An aimless family is not a good reason to create one. Diaspora mindset, (every man/person for himself/themself) is an exercise in mild narcissism and futile function in the name of nothing other than “pleasure” for having done such a thing.

            Pleasure. Why? Because it’s an opiate for those involved for having indulged in it. That’s why.

            Pleasure is a worthless endeavor. Might as well go off and do some drugs as do something like raise a family to be put into an economic meat grinder, as a result of your pleasure instincts.

            This world along with billions of families, is in sore need for families that will stand in opposition “directly” with those families whom have perverted the good of existence in the name of their own appetites for affluence and pleasure at the expenses of subjecting your families to war, pestilence, bloodshed, and other such terrible things. Period.

            Whose family is going to stand up?!

            Do you expect G-d to do this?

            Which family is going to fight for the good? Will it be yours? Or are you going to just leave it to chance or some kind of hoped for “providence” that something remotely good will come from you creating flesh to inhabit the surface of the earth? If the latter is so, it’s foolhardy and aimless. In the form of mild narcissism?, selfish to a fault.

            You didn’t think about the future as to what your offspring was going to have to face in order to survive. You didn’t think about what their names would be while you were in the initial act of creating them from mammle impulses to procreate. You thought about yourselves and your enjoyment first. It was after they were born that you sacrificed, what you should have to sacrifice in order to help them thrive.

            Thrive about what? For what purpose? Yours? Their own? Why? Because you can? Whom would show them, what is correctly placed and regarded purpose? A school? Some old wise man in a cave somewhere? Your husbands?

            so, we have people, too many people, whom would shrug their shoulders and move along because all of this forethought is too much to think about. Pleasure is all they want.

            Well pleasure, in the face of a known tyranny looking dead at you in your face, is negligence and isn’t a worthwhile endeavor. That’s aimless matriarchy.

            You’re not going to fight these families whom have terrible men and women leading them. They’re here to consume your labor and your flesh for their gain.

            Nothing’s changed since the beginning of written history. The monarchies of times past have merely changed the appearance of their monarchies. Now they’re called trusts.

            Who is going to take their perversions from them and release those ill-gotten gains and resources back into humanity?

            Might is not right. Might FOR right. Who shall say what is RIGHT? A righteous Sovereign, that’s who.

            Expect G-d to be that Sovereign? That’s another subject for another time. Things are NOT as they seem.

            You are an Immortal Spiritual Being. You never die. You are responsible for having thought yourself into existence in this universe. You became light from absence of light.

            That’s on you.

            This is not belief. It’s fact. I’m not here to tell you how KNOW that.

            In light of all this, you can shrug and say, Holy G-ds!, that’s just too much to think about.

            Ladies, that’s what men like myself do.There’s not a lot of us but we’re here. There’s an old saying:

            We the unwilling, have been doing for the unknowing, with so little, for so damn long, we’re now qualified to do anything with nothing. – Ladies, we’ve been doing something with nothing for a very long time. How do you think the American Revolution was fought? It was fought with righteousness and good ole backwoods gumption, with a few bullets and bayonets at close range to help.

            It’s not proper to ask ladies to do this work. It never has been and it never will be. That ugliness is born by and to men.

            If not for men of this caliper from times past, like say, the founders of this nation and the framers of The Constitution…where would we be today? Somewhere else without even a shred of hope that some things can be set a’right.

            I’m not saying it’s easy. I’m saying it’s hard and it needs to be done, regardless of the work involved.

            That work is a very ugly business, I can assure you of that fact.

            If you think this is too much to ponder and is for someone else to do, not you or your families. Well, ENJOY yourselves. Do the best you can to stay away from the bullets that fly.

            I can assure you, someone has to be there to shoot those bullets for you and yours.

            Quite likely, your fathers and grandfathers fought in their wars of corporate design and they were lied to about why they were fighting them but…there’s another war afoot and it’s not going to be pretty.

            Someone has to stand in the way of those bullets to keep YOU from their paths.

            Good luck and whatever G-d you go by, G-d’s speed to you. Were he to be there as you would presume to be so, without proof.

            I’ll take my leave now, Good Ladies, and I won’t return…but we’re out here. Be rest assured of that.

      2. That was my parents’ attitude as well: bare parental hand, on bare bottom, NEVER in spur-of-the-moment anger, and ONLY for clear and knowing violation of a well-established rule. Anything else was not discipline, it was verging on child abuse.

  30. Recently I was in a “discussion” where the other party went off on “helping the poor”. I cited Benjamin Franklin (from memory) “I am for doing good to the poor, but…I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. I observed…that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.”

    The response was, “yes, some people will better themselves when forced, but what about those who won’t?”

    Um, I should worry about those who won’t why exactly?

    “Because compassion!”

    Headdesk moment. That thing Sowell is always on about in Basic Economics: “The allocation of scarce resources with alternative uses”? is “helping” someone who won’t help himself even when required to do so really the best of the alternative uses to which thoe scarce resources could be applied? Every bit used to “help” that individual is something not available to help someone else.

    That’s even leaving aside that using force to require me to give up resources to “help” someone else is to that very extent to enslave me for the production of those resources. That enslavement wipes away any “compassion” for which the resources are used. There may be reasons justifying that use of force, but “compassion” cannot be one of them.

    1. Most certainly but the core of the problem still lies in the distortions of the market and the lack of talent, which presumes sloth to be the better alternative because they’ve not the nature of invention, industry, or any motivation beyond that of “the grasshopper”.

      We are awash in “grasshoppers”.

      Breads and circuses for distractions.

      No virtuous representation and a subversion of powerful private industry, held by trusts, bent against the public weal.

      Their equivocation? They supply the industry, so they’ll dish us what their labor market can absorb by their industry, and the scraps on the table of cultural approbation is something for us to argue about as a smokescreen to provide the idea of self governance. In fact, they could care less as to what cultural issues problem our steps. They’re far removed from it behind gated communities.

      The lessons are never learned by the electorate, and now for the last 60 years we’ve been inundated with third world imports, whom neither are, will, nor ever be American. They haven’t the faintest clues as to what THAT means, nor will they ever but once naturalized, they do vote, yes?

      There’s your dilemma in point.

      They have learned how to vote themselves alms from the coffer. They will surely continue.

      So we are left with, what? Election habits practiced by an uninformed, under capitalized populace, which arguably are bad electorate habits. To and fro we go, right? It’s laughable, if it wasn’t as tragic as it has become.

      The system can’t be governed with economic fascism at large in the halls of power. Without virtuous representation, and a United States Treasury printing and authorizing the supply of currency, debt free, nothing can change. You can be assured, this populace will never be informed enough to begin different election habits, capitalize themselves properly and begin to wield power. That’s how the system is designed for use by the populace.

      If antitrust is not administered correctly and without reservation, nothing can be done to reign the economic fascism in. If we do not control the currency, you can best well bet, that political distortions will keep the population distracted for as long as the PR machines, otherwise known as the journalism corps (another population of civic and economic morons) can keep the cultural issues afloat AS THE ISSUES, rather than what creates the issues in the first place.

      It’s Kabuki Theater.

      We have seen the enemy. We are all the losers for it by virtue of bad habits.

      Simple as that.

      Want to change it? Look in the mirror and then go talk to your neighbor and try to explain your epiphany. Good luck with that. Your conversation will end within 5 minutes.

  31. the loans and grants things could be weird… i applied for a needs-and-performance-based grant when i was in college in CA and the board that awards the grant decided to not give it to me….

    …because both of my parents had attended college.

    This was a year after my father had died, and 11 years after my mother died. My father had been on disability since 1981. Not like either of them could help me….

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