Killing Us Softly



A friend of mine who might or might have been reading college program application essays felt a need to vent, particularly in the wake of Marshall’s essay yesterday.  Call this “the other side.”

Now keep in mind he works for a prestigious humanities program, which means he attracts a certain type of person, but all the same the essays are worrying him.  He says the problem is how “nice” these kids have been taught to be.  And how the “worrisome thing is when they try to be tolerant.”

I.e. the essay that worried him the most was the one that said we shouldn’t all pile on on people who give offense or hurt others.  It’s when they persist in using hurtful terms or saying things that they know will hurt people that they need to be — kindly — reeducated.

Talking to him, I felt these were the GOOD kids.  In any society there’s always the good kids, the ones who conform and go with the flow.  We’re used to thinking of the leftists as the bad boys, an image they’ve carefully cultivated, but since they’ve been in charge of the culture — well over my age, so sixty or maybe seventy years — it takes a load of rum-gumption and contrariness to not be a default liberal.  The people vaguely repulsed, at some level, by then are often soft liberals who say they don’t care about politics, but still buy all the basic assumptions of what they were taught. I have a lot of friends like that.

But the really good and smart kids, the ones who want the best, and want to fit in at the highest levels, the ones who read the social ethos like a book and want to be thought “smart and caring” go the whole hog and parrot the whole enchilada.  The really good — defined as obedient and wanting to do well — ones believe it too, even if they have to lie to themselves everyday.  They invented a term for it, even “mindkill.”

Yes, Marshall is right that this default leftism becomes harder the more open the left is.  And the crazier it is, openly. More importantly, this becomes harder the more we speak up and it becomes obvious to them that there is an argument, that it’s not all the left’s way and, more importantly, that it can hurt them in the future to go the whole leftist hog (“Good” kids are often ambitious.)

But there is some vast number of them who are or try to be good, but are not calculating or… well, aware of what’s being the words.  People who have a passion, say for math or physics or literature, but who don’t see the politics pounded at them, and just take them for granted.  So and so was a nice teacher, and she told them that liberals were the good people, so she must be right. He or she got a good grade for a paper in which he or she explained how dangerous the republicans were, and therefore, he or she was right, his or her opinions confirmed.

Recently a friend erupted on a facebook thread where someone was saying all the complaints about political correctness were because people wanted to use the f word or the n word and not be called on it.  When she pointed out, no, it was because expressing a “wrong” political opinion got you called racist and sexist and homophobic and smeared in the press, even when the fight — say, apropos nothing, over a plastic rocket — had bloody nothing to do with any of that, the poster deleted the post.  But probably didn’t change her mind.

Here’s the thing: the guy who writes the declination blog coined the term “Weaponized empathy.”  The left uses things like pictures of dead babies (staged, pallywood style) or children in cages, or the photogenic poor women in the caravans to make us react with empathy and not think through the consequences of letting streams of unassimilated unassimilable and often hostile people into the country.

But it goes well beyond that.  It starts with weaponized politeness.

Marshall said and he’s right that we taught him to be nice to everyone, no mater race or creed or sexual (or political) orientation.  Usually the people I muttered darkly about boiling in oil, people like Rosseau or Marx had been dead for decades/centuries (the cowards.)  Slurs were not tolerated.  Actually until they were late teens (when they went a little weird) swearing was not tolerated.  Not because of taboos, but because swearing and slurs are short cuts to emotion without thinking. I hate it when some story or song just pounds the F word.  Sometimes it works. Been known to use it myself in certain situations to heighten tension. But if it’s just that over and over again, to show your character is a strong woman or liberated or something, you’re just covering your inadequacies with what you hope will either shock or titillate the audience (and in the case of the f word, or sex in writing, it often no longer does either.)  (This is a particular trap for beginning writers and I often advise they remove the sex or the swearing, or whatever the big “transgressive” thing is and see if the plot/story still holds together.  If it still does, figure out how to be more subtle about the transgressive element, or whatever. I mean, they might still put it back full blown, but the story should stand WITHOUT it, if it’s a decent story.)

Beyond that, as Marshall put it, we taught them not to give UNINTENTIONAL offense.  That qualifier is important.

You see my friend said that over and over in these essays he got the feeling that people feel as though offense, or hurt at words are an automatic thing.  You know, like if you see something headed for your eye, you flinch? Like that. The young people act like you can’t help getting hurt at words.  And not just slurs, but any words who disagree with you, or prove you wrong, or make you feel sad or glad or perhaps a little mad.

Hence all the trigger warnings. Because, if say, you once read a book about someone crammed in a tiny hole and were scared, you’ll relive it all over again when the book mentions tiny holes. (No, really.) So people need to be warned, so they don’t feel all this awful stuff again.

Or you know, if you believed the world was flat and someone insisted it was round it’s just pointless cruelty, because it’s going to hurt, and you’re entitled to “your truth.”

It is this type of Weaponized Politeness that is actually killing society.

Look, sure, being shown you’re wrong, or having an unpleasant experience HURTS. Of course it does. You’re human. But in a scale of pains it’s almost inconsequential. And sometimes it’s needed.

Being called pointless and vile slurs isn’t needed. But I grew up in a time and place where the line “when a madman follows you and calls you names in the street” was included in an “I’ll be there” type song, because it was so common.  The number of times this happened would probably give the good kids a meltdown.  And no, there was no point to the names they called me. Being called a whore when you’re a shy 14 yo in oversized sweaters and baggy jeans doesn’t even compute.  These people were abusive in public because it was tolerated.

I’m not for tolerating that, of course. I’m not for tolerating any form of harassment. No sane person is. We don’t like t against ourselves, so we don’t like it against others.

But that impulse is being used to extend it to a ridiculous point: “you can’t say socialism doesn’t work. It’s my truth.” Or “you can’t tell me I’m not a wingless dragon and an ornate building. That hurts.”

Humans are built for strife. Just because things hurt it doesn’t mean they’re bad for you. Or as my dad would say when using iodine on my cuts “the hurt heals.”  And very often it does. If nothing else, it grows. It convinces kids that they have control over their emotions. On the good ones — truly good, not just “good” kids —  it makes them start analyzing “why did I get hurt? Why am I so defensive about that” and leads them to either stronger, better reasoned opinions, or to changing their mind. But even the not so good ones learn they have control over their emotions.

Because here is the problem, if people have no control over what they feel, and if pain or offense must be avoided at all costs, they’re making each of us responsible for what’s in EVERYONE’s head.

As a writer I risk that. Yes, the last Shifters has rape (weird rape, but rape) and if the series ever reverts and I continue it, the shakes from it will reflect for a good five books.  I know some of you were upset at me because they thought I wrote it “too easy” and it was a cop out. (It wasn’t, but part of a series plan.) Because I can’t be responsible for all the other writers who’ve done it, often badly or in an androphobic way. I knew some people would be upset, but I trusted they’d get over it and see what I was trying to say.  Which is what sane readers do (yes, I also have insane ones. Nothing to do about that, though.)

The people who decided that Heinlein was misogynistic for depicting a rape scene in which a TRAINED SECRET AGENT is manipulating the people raping her for instance, are more the type of person that weaponized politeness is trying to get society to appease.

So we get hemmed in “No, you can’t say that, because it will hurt zyr.” “No, you can’t talk about that, because it will trigger xer.” till the most mundane statements are forbidden.

At the end of this, because people still need to communicate and work, is a central authority that determines what is offensive, and what you’re not allowed to say, or if you persist you’ll go to “reeducation camp.”

Europe and Canada are already on the way to that.

Hold on to the first amendment, my peeps, and stay frosty.

Offense is the problem of the person taking offense, particularly if you meant none. And amateur psychologists finding reasons why you’re evil should be shown to the right about.  If you give unintentional offense a “Sorry. That’s not what I meant.” is appropriate.  But if the fool persists, pointing and laughing is indicated.  Heck, if no other human being would take offense (say, mistaking a state department acronym for a racial slur, which btw, doesn’t even apply to one’s race, and taking offense on behalf of the great and important race of communists) then you START with pointing a finger and laughing. (GIFs are optional.)

Because we can’t be held hostage of other people’s feelings, reasonable or unreasonable.  And because there’s no such thing as “my truth” and “your truth.”  Reality is reality and that which bites you in the ass when you’re not looking.

Civilization depends on people not being mollycoddled infants. And for people to stop being mollycoddled infants we need to stop treating them as such.

Because the other option is a giant baby stepping on your face, forever.


268 thoughts on “Killing Us Softly

  1. I always told my kids that they can’t be responsible for what other people do and feel, only for what they do and feel.

    And always always, yes, ask yourself honestly if you have make a mistake or accidentally delivered an insult… but it’s still up to YOU and not up to the person who claims that you upset them. If you’re not sure you can tell because interpersonal stuff is hard for you, get a second or third opinion.

    Because an “excess of sensibility” doesn’t make a person better than you OR right about anything whatsoever.

    1. Sometimes there is a problem on my end.

      Sometimes I am upset or offended because I’ve done a bad job of managing my emotional state or expectations.

    2. If you’re not sure you can tell because interpersonal stuff is hard for you, get a second or third opinion.

      Someone like my husband is a bad idea, though.
      “What? They said they were upset by THAT? Move. I’ll go show that idiot what REAL insult is like, you’re too nice.”

          1. “Trust me, if i start aggressing you, you won’t need to explain to everyone within earshot that I am aggressing you, they will know.”

            1. K, true story.

              Middle of winter, in the middle of some ocean. I can’t remember beyond “freaking cold.”

              I walk across the hanger bay, wearing a coverall made of very thin khaki cloth, and a decent utility coat, but I was carrying something so my hands were KILLING me.

              Go up the also freezing stairwell.

              Get into AIMD main center, set stuff down, talk to the guy who is on duty there about the papers he was SUPPOSED to send to us…. he accuses me (all 5’3, 135lbs) of threatening HIM (5’10, needed too be taped every time) because I was cracking my knuckles. Thankfully, I had no idea his supervisor was in the next room over with the door open, and I responded honestly by saying
              “Oh, quit being ridiculous. It’s cold. My knuckles hurt. I’m popping them because rubbing them like that makes it hurt less. Have you finished the paperwork you were supposed to submit last week yet?”

              He not only shut up but never hassled me again.

          1. I forget – did Megaagression fight Godzilla or did they team up to fight off the alien invaders?

    3. Get a second opinion, sure. If you have to go for a 3rd opinion or more, the then case was too complex for you to assume any wrong in it. If it’s more complex than rocket science, then YOU should be the one who’s pissed off for anyone trying to put you in such a situation.

    4. Yes. My husband I both say that “One can’t /give/ offense, one can only /take/ it. And that goes for people who intend to hurt or upset you with what they say. Bullies use this tactic all the time and they usually win at it. But if you don’t let the words hurt or upset you, they lose. The old adage of “sticks and stones will break my bones but names (words) will never hurt me” is true. The words only have power if *you* let them have power.

      I got a bully in high school to stop by being extra super sugary nice to her despite her bullying. She couldn’t keep it up.

      1. Not entirely sure what Bob meant, but Muntz is a school bully from “The Simpsons”, probably best known (in memetic form, anyway) for his pointing and laughing at other peoples’ misfortunes.

        1. That I found out from DuckDuckGo. Just wasn’t sure what it exactly meant here. Are we all to be bullies, members of NPC lynch mobs?

      2. Nelson Muntz has a signature laugh. The SJWs are misfortunate in that they are so very stupid. Pointing and delivering Nelson Muntz’s laugh is an appropriate response.

        The other element is a reference to a notable bit of fluff text for Warhammer 40,000. I will quote an appropriate selection off of a wiki.

        To be a man in such times is to be one amongst untold billions. It is to live in the cruelest and most bloody regime imaginable. These are the tales of those times. Forget the power of technology and science, for so much has been forgotten, never to be relearned. Forget the promise of progress and understanding, for in the grim dark future there is only war. There is no peace amongst the stars, only an eternity of carnage and slaughter, and the laughter of thirsting gods.

      3. There is a wargame about a very dark future, Warhammer 40K, whose tag line is “In the grim darkness of the future, there is only war.”

        I think it is a play on that.

    1. HAA-haa!!! (points finger)

      I’ve totally stolen that from the Simpsons, and use it to great effect. Whenever anyone is being dumb, or melodramatic (without sufficient cause… Melodrama has it’s place), they get the pointed finger and the HAA_haa!!! It works like a charm.

      I’ve often said the only proper answer to Prgressive BS is pointing and laughing.

      1. It’s been a while then. Stan retired and was replaced by whoever was his assistant. Trevor Quachri or something, as I recall. At any rate, the mag’s hardly worth reading anymore.

  2. What you’ve described is yet another aspect of the infantilization of so many of today’s populace, whether forced on them by the public indoctrination centers (schools) and leftist culture or eagerly embraced by those with Peter Pan Syndrome. It brings to mind my favorite T-shirt from Bad Ideas:

    I’m sorry I hurt your feelings when I called you stupid. I really thought you already knew.

  3. It’s not the giant baby stepping on my face that bothers me. It’s the fact that the idiots who supposedly care for the baby didn’t bother to put its giant diapers on and it’s doing a bit more than stepping.

    Because these are people who don’t think stomping on wrongthink is enough.

  4. One of the guys I work with uses the Weaponized Truth tactic – but it’s only one way.

    So he can make the most outlandish and absolute claim, of the “Trump supporters are Nazis” school, but you aren’t allowed to make any counter-argument because he’s “entitled to his opinion.”

    And then he acts like he won the argument.

    1. “Absolutely – everybody is entitled to their own opinions, no matter how factually challenged and moronic it might be. I’m just glad you acknowledge yours is an opinion, even though I wish you’d keep it to yourself, as it tends to stink up the room.”

    2. I feel your pain… The gut response is to beat them senseless… but you need to keep your job. Even calling them “Stupid” might be considered inappropriate in the workspace. Perhaps pointing and laughing?

      1. Can’t even do that where I work. Even rolling your eyes is considered a rude aggression. However, I just grin and wear my MAGA hat in and out of the building.

    3. I have taken to telling anyone who tells me “Trump supporters/Republicans/etc are Nazis” to “be careful what you wish for”.

      1. Indeed.
        They really don’t seem to realize that, if Trump was actually a Nazi, they would all be in jail or dead.
        They aren’t.
        He isn’t.

        1. I am more concerned that a big part of the success of the Alt-Right is the “if I’m going to be treated like a Nazi I might as well act like one to the people saying that”.

          Of course, it won’t stop with the people saying that.

    4. No. He’s not entitled to his opinion. Not if he’s ignorant, stupid, or evil. Or any combination thereof.

      I have found that weaponized rudenesss is an effective counter to weaponized politeness. People are accustomed to blut cussing, and can use it to undermine you, but say ‘Oh, balderdash!” and they frequently screech to a halt. Ask them what they actually KNOW about a subject, and when they come out with the usual drivel, say “Well, then you aren’t actually entitled to an opinion, because you don’t actually know anything.” and their tiny brains freeze.

      Tell the ninny saying Trump is literally Hitler that if Trump were Hitler hae would be hiding under his bed, wetting himself, and their eyes get that delicious ‘deer in the headlighs’ glaze.

      Tell the moron accusing you of racism “Very well, but can you actually refute any of my points?”. The shock is wonderful. Better yet, every so often one of the Protected Class will accuse you (racism, sexism, homophobia, what-have-you) and you get to say “Oh, it’s nothing IMpersonal. It’s YOU I don’t like.”

      1. Gonna disagree here. If the First Amendment means anything it means he is entitled to his opinion. What he is not entitled to is having his opinion accorded any respect.

        1. Semantics, I guess. I’m willing to grant that he has a right to be stupid, and to make his stupidity plain to the world. What he does NOT have a right to – an entitlement to – is to have his opinion unopposed, to have his qualificatiins as a village idiot unremarked upon.

          Little Miss AOC has a right to be a publicly declared Socialist, but she must cope with being asked how she explains the miserable track record of Socialism and all the deaths it has caused. And if she has a hissy fit about being asked, then she must deal with being mocked.

          The Truthers have a right to assert that Bush had the Towers destroyed for some sinister reason. But they must deal with being mocked for their derangement, their ignorance of fires and explosions, and their inability to explain their opinions in any manner consistent with reality.

          Anyone who asserts that Tump is Hitler come again must be told, explicitly, that they may have that opinion, but the opinion is ridiculous and they do NOT have a right to their own facts.

          1. “Anyone who asserts that Tump is Hitler come again must be told, explicitly, that they may have that opinion, but the opinion is ridiculous and they do NOT have a right to their own facts.”

            Really???? Then why are you NOT in a concentration camp? We can FIX that, you know… (Evil laugh here.)

            1. What is your basis for comparing Trump to Hitler? Is it that you think both are racist? President Wilson was racist, as were FDR, Lyndon Johnson, and plenty more presidents. Is it that you think Trump has arbitrarily abused executive authority? He’s done less of that than Obama did, and has yet t wiretap any reporters, much less jail them as Obama did.

              You’ve a right to your opinion, but only a blowhard spouts opinions without facts to support them.

            2. The proper response seems to be to paraphrase Nick Fury from Avengers “You may have an opinion, but given its a stupid ass opinion I’ve elected to ignore it.”

        2. To borrow a phrase: The First Amendment gives every man the right to show the world what an idiot he is. The Fifth Amendment gives him the right to keep it a secret.

  5. When you send your kids off to public school or university 99% of the time they are being taught to be polite and accepting of what their school teacher and administrator demand they accept as truth. Even if it is utter hogwash. I went to public schools – NONE of them invite you to THINK. They TELL you what to believe as authorities. By sending them there day after day you have show them YOU also accept the narrative or at least will accept it to avoid paying for private schooling or undertaking the job yourself. This tells them their relative importance in the grand scheme of things. Is it any wonder they decide not to have children seeing no alternative to the way they were raised?

    1. I was a pretty good kid but once I got past being too shy to speak up I wouldn’t shut up. Being well behaved and being compliant aren’t the same thing.

      And my mom had the “do not conform unto the world” passage taped to the kitchen wall when I was little and told me, perhaps even only once, that no authority was to be accepted except for scripture, and that included the preacher telling you what the scripture meant, and it certainly included all the teachers and text books at school.

      I had enough lower elementary teachers who insisted upon things that weren’t true that it would have been difficult for me to view them as automatically right about anything. (“There are no purple potatoes…” so I brought one to school the next day. I react *badly* to be called a liar.)

      Oh, and of course, obey your parents… doesn’t mean that they’re right either, just that you have to obey them.

      1. I just realized the obvious way that the NPC’s would interpret what I wrote, that nothing was to be accepted as an authority… no, Mom did not and never would tell me that the text books and teachers were WRONG, only that they might be and it was necessary to pay attention and *think*.

        1. Once upon a time in America this was not simply a common attitude …

          … it was a basis of popular song.

      2. Overheard at construction site, as guy’s girl friend’s call rings and rings and rings:
        “Ever notice how brief the time is between desperately wishing a girl will talk to you … and wondering if she’ll ever shut up?”

      3. I used to hear that Catholics were ridiculous for having their catechisms and rule books, when all a good Christian needed was the Bible itself. Back when I was a young’n in Catholic school though I was thrilled to get the Baltimore Catechism. I now had the rulebook, and was not subject to the arbitrary authority of the nuns and priests. I could cite the rulebook that proved them wrong, and they had to accept it since it came from higher authority than them. Similarly Americans have the Constitution. It’s simple and straightforward and lays out the rules. That’s why the tyrants and bullies hate it so. The acceptance of the rule of law is what drives the prosperity of our country and the few others that accept it.

        1. One BIG reason why the hierarchy was so eager to get rid of the Baltimore Catechism. They wanted to bring in ‘nuances’ to the faith, and the BC flatly said they were wrong.
          Exit the BC.

  6. … if the series ever reverts …

    Initial reaction: Bugger!

    Second reaction: Does some tradpub-oid need a long trip deep into the labyrinth.. and some alone-time to think things over?

    Third reaction: Hope it does – and soon.

    Fourth reaction: Those thinking of 7 stages can stop yesterday.

    1. I love how publishers won’t publish because it won’t make money but won’t revert because…well, not sure why.

      Either get it in print or revert it seems a smart PR policy if nothing else.

      At least tradpub is not like record companies. I never got how anyone agreed to record contracts.

      1. [flips through Excuse-O-Dex]

        Um… “maintaining corporate value by retention of intellectual property assets?”

        How about “because we’re jerks, neener-neener?”

        1. Simple fix: place a tax on retained copyright, similar to the tax on warehoused books. No liability for originator of intellectual property, but if you buy the rights to use such property you must exercise those rights, not bogart them.

          1. Add in an idea (from RAH) – a property tax on the value of the intellectual property. However, the value is set by the owner. One catch – whatever they set the value at, the originator can purchase it back at that value. Or the tradpub can hold onto the property by increasing the valuation, and paying triple back taxes on the new value.

          2. I think it would be simpler if rights revert to the originator if the owner doesn’t make the work available to the public after a certain number of years. If the originator owns the work and it isn’t available to the public for long enough, it enters the public domain.

            1. Those things have been tried. (except for the public domain stuff, I think) and the Publisher does little things like do a limited run that is technically available to the public, but isn’t really easy to find. (Hollywood is famous for such shenanigans.)

              1. Things like that would be harder to get away with in the Internet Age, and you could make the requirement something like available at least 80% of the time over a 5 year window.

                1. Define ‘available’. And Hollywood is pulling the ‘barely enough to keep it optioned’ thing RIGHT NOW. It’s known as ‘business as usual’. Kristen Kathryn Rusch was (maybe still is, don’t know) having issues getting one of her properties reverted because the publisher finds it cheaper to pay just enough to keep it ‘in print’ according to the contract. A flat window may still be gameable depending on how the ‘must be renegotiated’ part is worded. ‘harder’? Not close.

      2. I suspect that the reason that publishers won’t revert the rights to books that they say won’t make any money is that they’ll look really stupid if the author then proceeds to make money with it.

        1. That, and “How dare you try to reach a market without going through us!”

          If one author could do it, they’d all want to do it, and then where would the publishers be?

          1. … and then where would the publishers be?

            … and then who would protect the reading public?


            If there were no publishers to suffer the process of sorting the wheat from the chaff, to train authors in the techniques of storytelling, to spare delicate artists the tumult of the marketplace, how would readers know what was fit to read?

            Sure, the government could probably somewhat fill the void yawning chasm, but don’t we prefer to protect our free market in reading matter, every editor a fiefdom of her own rather than the monolith of government’s haevy* hand?

            What are you, some kind of communist?

            *Typo retained as subconscious mind’s salute to Lord Patrician Vetinari**

            **In DDGing for Lord Vetinari’s proper title, one prompt offered was for “Havelock Veterinary Hospital” — I am not sure it sounds a place I would take my pets.

    2. I seem to recall C.J. Cherryh has as part of her contracts that if any of her works are out of print for more than x-years all rights revert back to her?

      Personally, this or similar should be part of any kind of IP contract.

  7. In the United States of America, we have (or used to have) the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. There are a few other God-given rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights, but nowhere in there do I see a ‘right’ to not be offended.

    And if someone tells me, “I have a right to my opinion!” I just remind them that “So do I. So does everyone else. But you don’t have a right to tell me what to think.”

    1. “How dare you call me ‘he’ or ‘him’ when I am /WHATEVER/!!!”

      “Oh, so the Hitler-/WHATEVER/’s get to DICTATE *MY* speech? Don’t think so. Piss off, Nazi.”

      1. “Oh, ‘your’ pronouns are [whatever nonsense they chant]? Well, ‘my’ pronouns are “he,” “she,” and “it.” You choose which of those you want me to call you. And how dare you presume to dictate to me how I must speak! That’s not just a microaggression, it’s a macroaggression! Piss off, asshole!”

        1. That’s not microaggression, that’s not macroaggression, that’s out and out oppression. Demanding I speak only with the words you permit is tyrannical.

    2. Actually, they do have the right to “tell” you what to think. What they don’t have is the right to use force to change what you think.

  8. About that feelings part, in some ways it seems people for a while have taken the story of Pollyanna way too seriously. More perhaps the movie version at that. I just thought about that recently when reading some comments on a news story which basically kept talking about education and talking as a way to prevent rapes by the migrants. The general idea seems to be that all you need to make people act nice is to ask nicely and talk. Make them feel nice too. Every time. At least when dealing with people who come from a different culture. However even then those same people are quite adamant that there are people who can’t be changed by mere talk. If those are local. I guess the difference to them is that the first group are seen as the underdogs and victims. And victims can’t be actually evil. They are just misunderstood and reacting out of their ignorance and perhaps traumatic past experiences. Just talk with them and they most surely will change their ways.

    I used to think Pollyanna was a stupid story when I had to read it as a kid for a school assignment, mostly because there seemed to be nobody who didn’t have the right response to her optimism given enough time. They all turned nice in the end (as far as I remember, it’s been a very long time… and that was one of the very few books I didn’t manage to read completely through as a kid, I kind of kept skipping scenes). Even as a kid I thought that was unrealistic. Nevertheless I still ended up believing that in some way myself, it took dealing with more than a few people who just would not give a damn no matter how much I tried talking with them to finally cure me completely of that notion that talk is always enough if you just persist with it.

    So, the “good” people now are half Pollyanna – the idiotic version of that idea (there is of course good to it too, trying to stay optimistic no matter what is certainly better than giving up due to pessimism), the never lose faith in the goodness of perceived victims no matter what they do or how they respond – and half the jackbooted thugs willing to force everybody to become “nice” no matter what it takes.

    1. “The general idea seems to be that all you need to make people act nice is to ask nicely and talk. Make them feel nice too. Every time. ”

      This is the idea that is constantly pushed in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Every crisis is solved by talk and niceness. Not to say that it doesn’t work, but it doesn’t work 100% of the time.

      1. Sure, that always works when you’re trying to hold on to your lunch money.

        Even Al Capone recognized that fundamental truth of human interaction: “You can go a long way with a smile. You can go a lot farther with a smile and a gun.”

          1. I have long been bemused by the irony that a credible threat of violence often precludes the necessity of violence. Ronald Reagan understood that well, although by calling it a doctrine “Creative Ambiguity” he bestowed upon it a patina of intellectual respectability.

            Similarly, I don’t think we should torture prisoners for information, but I don’t think that we should tell the prisoners that. I want that jihadi believing Hannibal Lecter is doing his interrogation.

            1. I think we should take the position(s)

              If you are in uniform, and a part of the military of a country signatory to the Geneva Convention, then you will be treated as a,Prisoner of War under that Convention…provided that your country is adhering to said Convention.

              If you are not in uniform and/or part of the military of a country NOT signatory to the Geneva Convention, then it does not protect you. Period. Sucks to be you.

              If case B applies to you, and peeling you like a pear will get us the information we want, then maybe you should consider telling us everything you know before we get started….

              1. This is what economists and political scientists call “an incentive to be a legal combatant for a signatory to the Geneva Conventions, as opposed to an illegal combatant* operating for an illegitimate agent.”..ANY thing else undermines the Geneva Conventions.

                *the technical term is “war criminal”

                1. It would astonish me that the Progressive Left does not appear to understand that, if not for the fact that I consider them to be about as intelligent as so many mollusks.

              2. “If you are not in uniform and/or part of the military of a country NOT signatory to the Geneva Convention, then it does not protect you. Period. Sucks to be you.”

                Especially since the Conventions themselves say EXACTLY that.

            2. Peace through strength is a concept that has been articulated very aptly all the way back to Sun Tzu. Or as a more modern way of saying it is, if you want peace, prepare for war.

            3. Unfortunately, any threat remains credible only if it is at least occasionally carried out. For example, gun owners have been saying for years that any attempt to interfere with their rights would result in violence. It hasn’t, and therefore the Boulder Colorado City Council feels completely comfortable passing ordinances criminalizing every gun owner in the city.

          2. “If violence isn’t your last resort it’s because you failed to resort to enough of it.”

        1. Even My Little Nitwit has to use powerful magic as a weapon in some cases. They just don’t show bloodshed, only supposedly benign magical brainwashing.

          I like the MLP satire that shows up in the Webcomic ERMA; ‘Unicorn Warrior Princess’. It looks all cute and cuddly in the surface, but the show is actually something if a shick to adults who watch it with Erma.


  9. Dear Mr. University,

    I want to study in this program because I want to kill the foreign devils, all of them.

    Who are the foreign devils? There are populations outside of the United States with desires for the United States that are incompatible with the existence of the United States. Those that are willing and able to fight and die in an attempt to accomplish those desires are our adversaries, or devils.

    Why do I want to kill all of them? As an amateur historian, I have noticed the pattern that the generation of Americans that needs to handle a problem, does so, if regretfully. The generation after, faced with a solved problem, is more aware of the negatives of the solution, and less sympathetic with the necessity. Later generations may deem the solution completely evil and unnecessary.

    As a contrarian and a historian, I have embraced the past generations and their willingness to solve the problems they faced. Growing up with few strong real life male role models, I have instead embraced idealized historical figures with enthusiasm, and without any of the remorse they may have felt. Given that my cohort was raised to a historical perspective that is missing critical elements of context, I believe that my own extreme fanaticism adds an important balance to the conversation.

    As part of this, because of my natural fanaticism and bloodthirst, I cultivate a level of bloody mindedness that our forecohorts took a great deal of provocation to escalate to. I believe in being ready at the drop of a hat to resort to the means that they spent years or decades exhausting alternatives before deciding were necessary.

    As a response to condemnation of cultural imperialism, I have found inspiration in many different cultures for my policy preferences. As a response to charges of racism, I have come to understand why each and every foreign population, studied on its own, might choose to become our adversary. A bloody mindedness that would kill six billion people, regardless of color or creed, if they are foreign devils cannot be racist. Additionally, American culture is willing to destroy foreign populations at little cost. Cultural influence from cultures such as the militarism of Japan may be necessary for the level of resolve to carrying through at any cost.

    Why this program? Problems of killing can be divided into the heart, the spear, and the shield. I have prepared my heart to the best of my ability, which may yet be inadequate, and I can do nothing for the hearts of others. Problems of the spear are already well enough solved, not obvious to me, or not ones I can well address. I have found a problem of the shield that I can help address and that may be of significance. It would not be of significance if every American had my level of resolve, but that is not the case.

    This program will help me learn more of what I need to help address that problem.

    1. Wouldst thou consider expanding and expounding upon this, theoretically theoretical, and perhaps somewhat heretical, missive and consider submitting it as a possible guest post? I recommend at least the consideration of the idea. Thank you. Moo.

      1. I might do it for the philosophy angle. Right now is very much a making no promises time.

        Writing out what I did will help me figure out how to explain the important parts of my philosophical orientation in ways that might not alienate my audience.

        I’m not sure that the detailed expansion would help me find any answers I am searching for at the moment.

    2. Oh, the gorgeous, glorious screeching this would incite at the admissions office. *falls into a happy daydream of horrified university officials*

      I imagine that they would blacklist you and anyone related to you from ever entering the university… unless you paid full out-of-state tuition, out-of-pocket, in cash.

      1. That wouldn’t be enough. “You can’t admit that insane goosestepping Trump voter!! REE!!”

        1. For all their SJW talk, you’d be surprised what the universities will admit if you show up with a check in hand for the full tuition.

          1. Entry essay for a BS, probably wouldn’t work. But if you use the problem specifics as an elevator pitch, take it directly to a subject matter expert, and handwave the philosophy as ‘interest in defense issues’, I think it would at least be good for some pointers. If you are looking at a university with the right subject matter experts, used to working in defense.

            1. Didn’t vote for him in 2016. Thought he was gonna lose, and that supporting third party was the only way to beat Clinton.

              1. I thought he was going to lose too… but I have the joy of waking up every day in a timeline where Hillary is not President…

    3. Dear potential student,
      Based on your request we think you’re qualified for our graduate class,
      “Nuke them until they glow, then shoot them in the dark.”
      Prerequisites are Fundamentals of Nuclear Weapons, and a score of 85% or higher in our basic sniper course.

        1. Many years ago some friends and I used to wargame with the middies occasionally. Unless things have changed radically, you really don’t want them in charge of nukes (I was a nuclear missile crewman in the army). Their hearts were in the right places, but let’s be frank, they were there for their instructors to lick into officer shape. They routinely lost wargames to us, vets and just life-experienced players.

          1. When I looked at the description of some of the Navy’s graduate school programs, I thought they sounded neat.

            1. Ed Gruberman: “Intro to Ammo”? “Advanced Wounding”? “Creative Bazookas”?! Ooh, ooh! I’ll take all these!

            1. What, btw, happened to that one cadet – it was Annapolis, wasn’t it? – who declared he was a communist in a graduation or something photo by having it written inside his hat or something? Anybody know?

              1. He was a West Point grad (US Army’s Academy, Annapolis is for Navy). Got himself an other-than-honorable discharge back in June after being reprimanded for “conduct unbecoming an officer”.

        2. AF has 450 Minuteman IIIs, though I recall reading there was talk of only having 400 in the launch facilities. And, IIRC, only one warhead each; used to be 3, back 30 years ago.

          1. I’d heard that a number of launch facilities had been closed. How many personnel are usually at each facility?

            1. And just as important; how many of those missiles or warheads actually still work? Our maintained has been lousy for years and was completely neglected under Obama who would have been happy for our entire nuclear force to become incapable of use.

                1. I don’t think that is true anymore. The Russians have been engaged in an ongoing modernization program of the nuclear forces since the early Obama years. China also.

    4. Dear Bob,

      I would take it as a kindness if you would stay the hell out of my head.

      Many thanks,

  10. Civilization depends on people not being mollycoddled infants. And for people to stop being mollycoddled infants we need to stop treating them as such.

    A key theme in Conan and many of his literary progeny, including Elric who is meant to be the anti-Conan, is civilization makes you soft and eventually the hard barbarians will overthrow and rule you.

    Camile Paglia argues the transgender mania is a sign of this that repeats through history.

    As I work on “Riders South” I see this theme is showing up which is not surprising given its strongest inspiration, the Horseclans novel, has huge swaths of the idea as well.

    There seems to be a balance where enough of the warlike barbarian hardness remains, but the civilized reasonableness has channeled it into the most useful parts of life, that is near impossible to maintain. We probably peaked on that point in the 1940s and are already at the point of giving in to barbarians. Both the Alt-Right and Radical Islam are gaining in the west by various degrees as it a return to Pre-Christian Paganism. The first temple to Thor and Odin in a millennium is about to open in Iceland where it is a product of the fastest growing faith. Of these three new faiths (yes, Alt-Right is a faith IMHO) two would roll back much of the tempering brought by Christianity. The third, at this point, would not but I suspect the mushy feel good Christianityism that infects modern paganism will not last.

    1. The first temple to Thor and Odin in a millennium is about to open in Iceland where it is a product of the fastest growing faith.

      They going to revive the old sacrificial practices too?

      If not, what good are they?

      1. You laugh, but that is my concern.

        People undervalue Christianity’s affects and think they are all so well ingrained that they will survive without the faith.

        That is a bet I am glad I am not forcing children to make.

        1. *waggles hand* It’s only half a laugh, really.

          I actually do want to see what the governments and the people around them (who didn’t realize that they revival of the old gods necessitates the recurrence of human sacrifice) will do to them.

          If they try them for murder, and outlaw the religion, then things are still okay.

          If they do anything else, their civilization is lost.

          1. Wait until they found out that misreading the names at Ikea can result in summoning Great Old Ones 🙂

            1. About a quarter. And a quarter of cartoon characters, dead people, illegal immigrants and wholly made up people.
              Look, if the fraud weren’t necessary to them they wouldn’t be forever ramping it up.

              1. As part of a settlement, CA has to clear 1.5 million people from their voter rolls. The vast majority of those are in Los Angeles County.

        2. I have been reading recently about Himmler and his attempts at creating a neo-pagan Germania cult. It is kind of disturbing, and I can totally see the appeal of it for a certain kind of person.

    2. In one of the books, High Lord Milo commented that when he found the ancestors of the Horseclansmen, they didn’t know how to go to the bathroom without access to toilet paper. That might well be a good working definition of a soft man (or woman).

    3. One can hope that maybe this time we’d get back just enough of the hardness but not go all the way back. I don’t know, maybe something like a bit more militant versions of Christianity becoming popular might help… in some ways it seems like that religion going all soft has been part of the problem. The preaching now usually seems to be that using violence, any violence ever, even in self-defense, is bad. And especially war.

      But you can’t prevail against something like militant Islam by turning the other cheek. They don’t care. Except maybe by rejoicing because you made it so easy, and it making them see us as weak and ripe to be conquered by them.

      Sell your cloak and buy a sword?

  11. Heinlein was misogynistic for depicting a rape scene in which a TRAINED SECRET AGENT is manipulating the people raping her for instance

    I don’t care if AOC quoted the line, I don’t care that Alan Moore is a bonkers Brit-Leftist, that doesn’t render it treif:

    “I’m not locked in here with you, you’re locked in here with me!”

    1. I think we can agree that AOC hasn’t a clue about who Rorschach was, or even the personal use of violence in pursuit of a goal. She’d probably go nuts if she was being mugged and some Marine stepped in and took her attackers apart, and start blaming the Marine.

      1. It comes to mind that it would be fun to wear Rorschach cosplay and protest her. ‘No’ would make a good sign.

      2. Occasional Cortex wasn’t born until 2 years after Watchmen finished publication. I suspect her knowledge of it comes wholly through the movie (which at least got that scene mostly right). However, I suspect Rorshach/Kovacs is far more sane and intelligent than AOC would ever hope to be.

  12. A big part of it is “How Life Resembles A TSA Screening Point.”

    You’ve got a flight to catch, a life to live, and you’ve got to get through this screening (diploma mill) and get your ticket and get on with things. You can argue with the process but all it will do, at best, is slow you down and waste time in pointless argument. So you shut up, put up with the nonsense without pointing out what nonsense it is, and move on to your destination.

    It doesn’t matter what the right answer is — nobody gets good grades for giving the right answer, they get good grades for giving the expected answer. Sensible people realize that the grades are a means to an end and don’t get bogged down over trivialities like “What is the right answer?”

    People are polite because they want to avoid hassle, and will remain polite so long as it is less hassle than being true.

    1. I donno… In college I had a required class in something that I had done professionally for years. Each time we took a test, the prof. wanted to go through it afterwards so that people who got wrong answers could learn the correct answers.

      On nearly every test, there were at least one or two questions (sometimes more) where I argued that my answer was correct, and the expected answer was incorrect and won the argument every time. Whenever that happened, the prof would just declare that question a gimme and everyone got credit for it, regardless of answer. (I got a lot of thank-yous because that helped some people pass).

      We later found out that the (so called) prof. wasn’t actually qualified to teach the class, which explains why he got so much stuff wrong,

        1. No. He spent the entire semester trying to figure out how to either fail me, or get me removed from his class. He tried marking ALL of my answers wrong on one test, and saying “we don’t have time to go over this one”, but there were too many complaints from the other students so he just said everyone gets 100% on that one and we moved on (funny aside, I checked my test against my buddy’s test. Him being a nice non-drunk, non-confrontational person, also working in the industry for many years. We had ALL the same answers, and none of his were marked wrong.)

          Frankly, I’m amazed that he never succeeded in having me removed. A few classes into the semester, I had stopped dreaming of actually learning anything useful and made good and sure I was at very least 3/4 drunk when I walked into each class. The Prof’s name was Cornfeld, so I of course called him Mr. Cornfield… loudly… “Mr. Cornfield! Mr. Cornfield!!! I think you got something wrong again!!!!”

          To put it simply. I was an ass. Incompetence and ineptitude, especially in someone who puts themselves forward as an expert in the field and acts like a know-it-all while clearly making it up as they go along, smushes my buttons REAL HARD. So all these years later I still can’t conjure up the simple human decency to be embarrassed by my actions.

              1. LOL! I wish. I’ve spent most of my life trying to figure out how to “act like a normal human being” so that people might like me. As it is, best I’ve managed is most people don’t automatically respond with open hostility anymore. Which I suppose might meet the bar of “good at being a human being”, but I sure was hoping I could push that bar a little higher.

                I have friends who are AMAZING… they meet people and [bing] they are friends with them. Invited to hang out. Parties, events etc.

      1. I don’t mind being an instructor for a class that I’m not a subject matter expert in, IF you have good source materials. And I don’t have a problem with telling the students that up front. It’s in cases like that that I enjoy challenging the students to know more about the subject than I do by the end of the course.

        1. I remember one class where the instructor (quite good in most of the material) started his lecture one day with “I really have very little experience in this area”. Happened to be an area I was hip deep in every day. Raised my hand and said as much. He waved me up to the front, sat down, and said “please enlighten us.” Which I proceeded to do. College and colleague do come from the same root, after all.

          1. Along these lines, I had to take several courses for stuff that I did every day. Most of those classes (being a programming track) had a lot of in class hands-on time. I spent more time in class as a teacher’s assistant than doing my own work. There were several cases, as well, where the instructor knew he was going to miss class that he’d call and ask me to cover him. Without access to his lesson plans or slides. The other students didn’t notice anything amiss other than the lack of slides. 🙂

        2. I went through an aviation electronics school in the Marines (It was a Navy school) right when the Navy/Marines switched from using “electron flow” to “hole flow” for electronics instruction. We had a LOT of long time instructors say “Well… I’m having trouble understanding all this myself, so we’ll just have to work it out together.”

          It didn’t take me long to understand “hole flow”. It seemed to me like an odd way of looking at things, but when talking about looking at things in an odd way I am FAR from the right person to be throwing stones. Some people, including some of the instructors, really had a hard time with it.

      2. I went back to grad school for a mid-career Ph.D. My first graduate class was in the area I’d just worked at for 15 years.

        On the first homework assignment, I gave good answers to each question… and the TA marked them all wrong. One brief discussion with the Prof later, I had a perfect paper on the assignment. And the Professor commented in class about how nice it was to have a student who know far more about the topic than he did. He was a true class act.

  13. I think it is both true that civilization depends on people not being mollycoddled infants *and* that hurt at words is an automatic thing. That’s why pre-civilization is so barbaric. Taking offense is natural. Civilization must be learned. That’s part of what assimilation is: people who have never experienced concentrated civilization learning what it means to tolerate free speech, free association, free religion.

    1. Civilization is, to a large extent, learning balance — between using “no gain without pain” to toughen yourself up to handle unintentional and some intended slights, and learning enough courtesy to lubricate social intercourse.

    1. Obviously he learned how to fly in the USMC. He’s probably a graduate of Twenty-nine Palms.

  14. I’m reasonably sure that Mary 3-Names was deliberately misconstruing what Red China meant. There’s no way in H-E-double-hockey-sticks that her brother did all that work and research over there and didn’t know that it refers to the political description of the country.

    1. Nah. I’m sure she jumped on it, because she KNOWS I’m racist and therefore sooner or later I’ll slip up.
      Her brother was only dragged across the trail as an excuse AFTER. But I think initially she thought the word sounded bad, so it MUST be a slur. All the crap after was trying to cover he bottomless stupidity.
      Yeah, she’s malicious (and how) but she’s also not the brightest bulb on the string. She might be a potato.

        1. Y’all wanna take back them insults to good vegetables? Shred your potater or turnip or rutabaga and fry ’em in oil an’ you gots some mighty fine eatin’!

          Y’all could even try it with parsnips.

      1. No, she thought ‘chicom’ was a racial slur rather than a “Chinese communist as differentiated from Russian communist” (My fingeres tried to type ‘comunits’ not sure why.)

          1. Fair. My background is such the only time it came up was in discussions of communism and relevant practitioners, and was used to differentiate flavors there of. Rather than separate communist/noncommunist.

            1. I only knew it in that context too so that’s why I mentioned that in my post, but friends who worked for the state dept back when tell me it was also used to distinguish mainland China and Hong Kong quickly.

              1. Just remember that a lot of the same people making these absurd claims or racism have no problem with Louis Farrakhan calling Jews “termites” and proclaiming Hitler “a great man”.

  15. A generation or more have been brought up with no coping skills because of this. We are in a dystopian future where the education establishment has tried to eliminate pain and suffering with one of the first tools an abuser uses – speech control.

    It’s full-on gaslighting.

  16. “Offense is the problem of the person taking offense, particularly if you meant none.”

    A friend of mine has said for years that we choose to create being offended – backs up what you said. Offense is a choice, and not the problem of another person.

  17. “Weaponized politeness” indeed. I like to point out that people can die from embarrassment. If you think you’ll look foolish ducking out of the way of an oncoming car about to run up on the sidewalk because you might have misconstrued their intention to swerve back. My wife extends this to appropriate rudeness, as when a grim, hulking male of a protected class says, “What, are you afraid (racist, etc.) to get on an elevator alone with me?

    1. as when a grim, hulking male of a protected class says, “What, are you afraid (racist, etc.) to get on an elevator alone with me?

      “Well, I wasn’t, until you said something about it.”

    2. “Yes, because being alone in an elevator with anyone is triggering. My rule is either one or three or more. I’m offended that you don’t recognize my status as a victim! REEEEEE!!!”

  18. One Jesus of Nazareth was once asked if he knew that some of his critics were offended by one of his comments, He replied, in essence, “Too bad. Ignore them: they are the blind leading the blind.” In a world where people are out spoiling to fight over microagressions, it’s an example worth considering. (Matthew 15:10-20 for the whole story)

  19. Heck, if no other human being would take offense (say, mistaking a state department acronym for a racial slur, which btw, doesn’t even apply to one’s race, and taking offense on behalf of the great and important race of communists)

    Apparently I missed something.The closest thing I can think of here is the incident a few years ago where someone got offended by the phrase “chinks in our armor,” apparently believing that it referred to Chinese people cosplaying LoTR.

      1. I somewhat miss that era of flame hours, but I haven’t the time and energy for it these days, and by far I wasn’t having the worst of the poo thrown at me.

      2. Pfft. Sounds to me that Mary doesn’t understand that using a descriptive word accurately in context does not automatically mean it’s a racial slur. It just means you’re better at communication than she is.

        1. Just think of the what the left is doing as Mao’s Cultural Revolution Redux and it all makes sense. It is their road map because they think that “this time it will work”

    1. After SP3, I think it was, Sarah pointed out that the idiot CHORFs likely rallied behind 3 body problem because they thought the author to be a ChiCom.

      1. Even though he obviously wasn’t.
        Mary three names went into action and people started disavowing me as racist, etc.
        You know the size of their talent when they pull stunts like this. You also know how much even a midlister like me scares them.

        1. Oh no, Sarah, they have a truly outsize talent. It just isn’t for writing, and the ass of the horse will always be bigger….

        1. “And here, ladies and gentle beings, we can see a herd of Americanus Progressivus fauxraging for sustenance in their natural environment. We’re fine here as they are terribly nearsighted and not very smart; but if you get too close they can stampede and cause injury. Please watch your step as you don’t want to get any of their droppings on your shoes.”

  20. “”F” word”, eh? Like “Fascist”? (I wasn’t even trying for humor, not even sarcasm honest guv it was in all innocence!

  21. Earlier this month, we were at a convention and there was a manifestly unsafe situation (a fire exit chained shut in a room that was in use). My husband brought it to the staff’s attention, and their attitude was pretty nonchalant — basically, they weren’t going to worry about it because it was Sunday and the con was almost over. My husband took a firmer stance, that this was a fire code violation and it needed to be corrected immediately, not whenever.

    Suddenly the dealers’ room director came flying in there to bawl him out about being “abusive” to her staff, and how this would not be tolerated, but as a special favor to him, she would unlock the padlock and unchain the door. It was so out of proportion that I figured she was just mad at having to get up when she was still sleeping in after partying all night (she was in a fancy dress that looked a little wilted). I’d heard my husband speaking, and while he may have been a bit gruff, he was not abusive.

    I assumed that would be the end of it and everything would blow over — until that Monday evening, when I got an e-mail from the con chair, telling me that there had been a number of incidents from our booths at past cons in which we were “rude” and staff members’ feelings were hurt, and we were no longer welcome at any of his conventions. And with it, a refund of the booth money for the February convention.

    At the time I made some snarky comments to my husband about staffers with such incredibly tender feelings needing to find a different line of work. But now I’m thinking that what we experienced is part of the much larger pattern you’ve described. Most of them are twenty-somethings who would’ve grown up with this sort of “hurt feelings must be avoided at all costs” attitude, to the point that they may honestly believe that feeling hurt is proof the other person was abusive.

    1. They were probably pissed that someone objected to chaining the door shut– I know every paying event I’ve been at, the fire doors that aren’t alarmed had to be guarded by a volunteer.

    2. And of course they didn’t appreciate the fact that you saved them from what could have been a rather hefty fine had someone done a snap inspection.

      1. Me. They refuse to unchain the door, I simply pull out my cell phone, call the local LEO and call them in so they can cite them for violating fire safety laws.

        1. That sounds like the most sensible way to go about it. That way it’s far more likely it will not be done again. If somebody in the con complains about it to the staff and gets that treatment the Kimmels got it’s more likely they will keep on doing it in the future as they basically got away with it.

          Sounds like we are rather way past being considerate and polite and helpful in that kind of situations.

          1. Like I said below, don’t waste time with the con staff, just let the hotel know… in addition to the fire marshal.

    3. Typical jerkass behavior: punish the person who pointed out the problem rather than solving it.

    4. So next time, don’t complain. Just take a picture of it and file a complaint with the fire marshal with a copy to the hotel management.

  22. We kept dismissing these people, these “easily offended” people. It’s like the old joke about fighting a pig in the mud-you’re both going to get dirty, but the pig likes it.

    But, they’re loud. They’re vocal. And, while the rest of us were trying to get serious things done like jobs, families, or creating things, they went into college. Or the media. And started to spread their disease-and that we look at them like they’re the insane people short of Hadol that they are is enough to make them hate us.

    Life is too short for stupid offenses. Sadly, I can’t demand satisfaction at dawn, as most of them have all the integrity as a Swiss cheese condom.

  23. and want to be thought “smart and caring”

    Rudimentary virtue signalling, yes. Was a problem for at least two millennia — the Pharisee. Interesting musings in “The Merchandising of Virtue” by Taleb, too.

    this default leftism becomes harder the more open the left is.

    The Overton Window moves, not shrinks. Are they “more open” about the same, or gleefully skiing down the slippery slope?

    to make us react with empathy and not think through the consequences […] But it goes well beyond that. It starts with weaponized politeness.

    Pieter Hintjens (“The Psychopath Code”) offered a good view: it’s simply about security and evolution. Both “hardware” and “software” of human brain follow the function, but are not very secure. The attacker can exploit weak spots for benefits. Hence co-evolution of new “software” (memes, behaviour stereotypes, communication protocols) plugging the worst vulnerabilities, and new attackers (trying to crack unpatched or newly opened vulnerabilities).

    and he’s right that we taught him to be nice to everyone, no mater

    Universal politeness is a solution that was good, but lost the sight of problems it used to solve (q.v. “Et Dona Ferentes” by Kipling or “How To Legally Own Another Person” by Taleb).
    The same can be said of many things, to think of it.
    (references to texts worth reading added just for a challenge)

  24. “Being called pointless and vile slurs isn’t needed.”

    This gets to that canard: “Correctness isn’t political, its just good manners.”

    Where we are right now is that one faction of politics has managed an amazing feat of propaganda. They’ve defined their opposition completely. Being a Conservative is bad manners.

    The mere expression of any Conservative value, for a random example loyalty in marriage, is an affront to decent, well mannered people. “How dare you speak of such a thing! What about all the divorcees out there? How do you think they feel, when they hear you talking like that?!”

    Something Conservative leaning people, or really ALL people everywhere should look upon with dismay, is how completely the Left won that battle. They DEFINE what is acceptable in polite society. Completely! To the point that even entertaining any other ideas makes you an instant outcast. This is a fine-grained effect, reaching all the way down to trivial things like plastic rocket awards for books.

    They won that. Hands down. We got beat. We got beat so bad, we don’t even understand the magnitude of the defeat.

    We got beat so bad that Donald Trump, who is a New York City limousine Liberal, who in reality is a living embodiment of the Liberal 1960s Playboy Philosophy (work hard, play harder, if it feels good do it, have as big a harem as you want, etc.) is Literally Hitler. That’s how bad Conservatives got beat. You can’t even say the words “illegal immigrant” in a sentence anymore.

    But, as Marshal Hoyt noted yesterday, their very success is their undoing. Because the Overton Window of what is socially acceptable, it MOVES. And while the Left has succeeded in moving it over to where they want it, it will not stop there. It will keep moving. And because these kinds of things have momentum, it will keep going farther Left.

    The Left reached Peak Power during the Carter administration, historically speaking. They got every single goddamn thing they wanted, with a bow on it. Every policy, every tax, every regulation. All socialism, all the time. That was their high-water policy mark.

    And it didn’t work.

    It was an horrific failure. The economy tanked, crime -exploded-, wars with pitiful little Middle Eastern states were -lost-. America was crashing and burning.

    But the Overton Window moved. When Ronald Regan became president, he proposed obvious, sensible policies. Things which would have been completely unremarkable ten years before. But the Window had moved on, so obvious and sensible were now anathema! We can’t even talk about that! The pressure kept moving the conversation farther and farther away from cultural normal, farther away from basic functionality. More failure.

    So now, the failure is -expected-. Any new proposal from the Left, we already know its not going to work. It isn’t supposed to work. Its supposed to beat us up and take our lunch money. The Overton Window moved so far that government isn’t about protecting the citizens, its about punishing them for not measuring up.

    Like the Carbon Tax. That’s a tax designed to punish people for living a normal Western lifestyle. You drive a car, you have central heating, you have electric lights, that’s BAD. You must be made to PAY for your sins!

    But really, people aren’t going to go for that. Even the Commies didn’t try that, they knew it wouldn’t work. That’s why there’s rioting in France. The government’s actions at imposing Leftist morality have become so oppressive that the people stopped letting them do it anymore.

    But the Overton Window has moved on already. Not only are you not allowed to use fuel or have a car or a house, now even defending yourself from death is -immoral-.

    Some lady in Chicago killed a mugger who was attacking her. A mugger armed with a gun. In broad daylight. She’s a black lady. Where’s that Overton Window right now?

    “The punishment for armed robbery is not death, though. Of course I don’t think he should have had a gun either, but if she had let him rob her, even at gunpoint, both likely would have survived. It’s the praise for her gun ownership that bothers me.”

    And this bit too,

    “Conservatives a thrilled a woman with a concealed-carry permit shot and killed a 19 year-old would-be mugger. That’s not how justice works. The penalty for theft is not death, nor do we want it to be.”

    Yes, the Virtuous have decreed that even a Holy Minority woman, a veritable QUILTBAG member, should “let him rob her, even at gunpoint.”

    Which is clearly insane.

    But that’s where we are now. Banana-pants whacko land. If you’re talking currently acceptable morality in Polite Society, you’re talking crazy talk.

    The Left passed functional in 1979 and entered Crazy Town. Thirty years later, Crazy Town is in the rear-view mirror and we can -see- the desolation ahead. We can SEE that it is literally suicide to keep going that direction, we will fucking well starve to death if the pestilences don’t get us first.

    Which makes it much easier to become an outcast. Anybody with half a brain and an ounce of guts is running up the Jolly Roger these days. To the point where being called a racist/bigot/homophobe is becoming a resume builder. If you haven’t been denounced on Twitter at least once in the last five years, you’re probably an idiot.

    1. Well, there are those of us who refused to join Twitter in the first place, believing that anything that could be said completely in 140 characters wasn’t worth saying at all. But otherwise, anyone who is still bothered by the screeching of the leftists is giving them way too much control over his life. They can call me whatever they like, I’ll just laugh at them. Their approbation is not only meaningless to me, it’s also a sign that I’m probably doing something wrong. As Mal Reynolds said, “A year from now, ten, they’ll swing back to the belief that they can make people… better. And I do not hold to that. So no more running; I aim to misbehave.”

      1. I view Leftists as I view Canadian Geese: an invasive species prone to making noise far out of proportion to their number, intrusive, obstructive, risky when en masse, but of no real significance in the overall scheme of things, provided they are denied any ability to prosper.

        1. Running around in perturbing packs, making lots of annoying noise while well-meaning people feed them, and leaving pile of stinky, uh, droppings wherever they’ve been. Yeah – SJWs are silly geese.

    2. even a Holy Minority woman, a veritable QUILTBAG member, should ‘let him rob her, even at gunpoint.’ Which is clearly insane.

      No, it is perfectly logical. Property is theft. As she has property she is already beneficiary of theft and has no preferential title to that property than the nineteen-year-old assailant liberator.

      Let all who “own” property heed the implications.

      1. I just put it down to the Lefties lying about everything. They lie about supporting women, they lie about supporting minorities, they lie about guns, they lie about lying.

    3. I was going to comment on that on your blog, but it requires commenters to create a “Google Account” and log in with that before it will accept comments.

      1. Yes, that little provision is to keep spammers and flopping camels from infesting the comments section. My Iron Finger of Deletion was getting fat from snacking on so many trolls a few years back, I had to put it on a diet.

        Right now its chained up in the back, waiting for clamps to comment again at the Soapbox. It hungers…

        Sad that we have to resort to stupid accounts and such. Griefers wreck everything.

    4. For those familiar with Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the series), the left has gone way past Glorificus level of insanity. Yes, they make an insane hell-goddess look rational.

      1. Oh yes. He deleted his tweets and “re-contextualized his position” within a couple of hours.

        Live by the Shirtstorm, die by the Shirtstorm. >:D

  25. Tolerance is not an absolute, it has a range. Ask any machinist. Some things should not be tolerated. Some people are seriously of of spec. and won’t work.

    1. The problem is that they aren’t tolerant– they’re only OK with stuff that they actually support, rather than being OK with some things they oppose.

      1. Oh, they’re generally tolerant, in a “Be reasonable, see it my way” sort of way. Their screeching is just their way of encouraging wisdom.

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