Next Time The Story

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Image courtesy of Pixabay

As Odds we have been confronted with the accusation of being “insane” probably before we could toddle.

But we’re not really insane.  We’re not that out of it. We are aware of what reality is and its limitations. In some ways we might be hyper aware. Because we have to reality-check our positions more or less constantly, so as to avoid falling off the edge. We don’t have the herd to hem us in and tell us acceptable from unacceptable. Living outside the overton window means you have to figure out not only what’s real, but also what will cause the band to kill you in an awful way should you fail to rub blue mud on your belly button.

You know exactly what I mean. There’s gradations to these things.  Most of us, the Oddness not withstanding have managed to live pretty average lives, at least from the outside.  We have jobs and families and are generally — or were generally — productive members of society.  We just stand outside and look at things the herd is doing and go “uh, that’s… why? Why do they do that?” which makes us Odds.

It also means we can see when the band as a whole is tilting from weird to completely pants-on-head insane.

Look, in a way we live in the best times ever to be an Odd in any time in human history.  Because no matter how tiny a percentage of the population we are (and we are) we can find each other and talk, and form little bands of our own.  Not that we ever fully belong to any bands, of course, since our curse is to stand outside and watch.

And our glory too, if you think about it.

To the extent Odds have a value — besides our intrinsic value as human beings which we’re at least supposed to have in this society — it is that standing apart. That watching. That refusing to rub our belly with blue mud just because the rest of them do, or refusing to believe it matters, at the very least.

I bet this was really important in the times of isolated bands of hominids roaming the Savannah.  After all, if the entire tribe becomes convinced the only thing to do is eat a particularly poisonous berry and trip away the days, it is important someone is there to remind them they still need to eat and also that being stoned when the lion comes is not brilliant.

I suspect this led to most of our predecessors being stoned, in the not fun way. Which is why — or part of the reason why — we’re such a small component of the human race.  BUT there were probably those of us with cunning and finesse enough to at least peel some of the kids away from the suicidal band.  Or, all else failing, to at least save themselves.

The fact that the Bible and even older writings are full of situations in which the whole tribe/band/city/nation/world was doing something fricking crazy and then one man realized it was wrong (or got a message from the gods. Whatever.  Hey, I’m not sure we don’t periodically get strange calls from above.) and did something to save at least some of the population means there were instances like this.  Instances when the odd man out said “Oh, heck no.” And his actions were the salvation of the tribe.

Knowing us — Oh, my people! — there were probably a lot more occasions when the Odd Man Out, being isolated and without a reality check became convinced if he jumped off a cliff he could fly. Or that fire was his best friend and he must step into it. Or whatever. Those aren’t usually recorded because that’s just Odds going insane, which, as isolated social apes is kind of a normal occurrence.  Also they’re not much help to the species except in the sense of “Ogg did that and died. Don’t be Ogg.”

But we live in weird times, in which communities of Odds are not just possible, but happening all over, partly because — of course — we can.  Partly because we need people as much as anyone else.

And communities of Odds can go one of two ways.  Towards reality or away from it.

Because I am a depressive and very aware of what I put in my head, I try to steer us towards reality.  Because I’ve lost at least three communities in my life time, I no longer care if the direction of reality is not the approved one.

Which is valuable. And weird. And dangerous. And requiring continuous work.

Because we live in Odd times.  Note the capital O.

You see, the world has been invaded by story. We can’t go anywhere or do anything without a story being told, a narrative being wrapped around our existence; without being bombarded with stories of all kinds.

Which would be fine.  In some ways story is what makes us human, what allowed our species to live everywhere and “cover the surface of the Earth.”

Only the stories used to be: don’t go into the woods, they’re dangerous. If you give cookies to the guy who wants to kill you, he’ll eat the cookies and still kill you. It’s better to die defending your city than to live under the boot of those who hate you.

They were survival enhancing stories.

The problem is that story became prevalent at the same time that a narrative profoundly inimical to the west and — must be said — to civilization and even to humanity itself was being deployed in the service of Russian (The Soviet Union was always a Russian vehicle) hegemonic ambitions.  And that artists, like all Odds, are very prone to crazy narrative.  And that these people got to select those who followed them through the power of gatekeeping and mass media.

That power is winding down now. Maybe, perhaps, just barely in time to save us.

Because a narrative that wants all humanity to go back to the bronze age, if not to outright extinction to appease climate events that are AT BEST completely independent of humans, and at worst a function of narrative and manipulated statistics (aka non existent) is a very dangerous one.  And it needs all the work of the Odds to keep us from the abyss.

We used to be afraid the herd would run and jump off the cliff of nuclear destruction.  But it it turns out it’s much worse than that.  In the name of story, they’ll cripple and destroy the very thing that has allowed us to survive.

Are we enough? Enough to bring a maleducated, story-indoctrinated generation back from the abyss.

I don’t know.  I know we need to try.  Otherwise, what are we for?

We need to relearn and teach The Gods of The Copybook Headings.  By story and deed, by example, by laughter if needed.

Before it is too late.

 

362 responses to “Next Time The Story

  1. Accusation of being insane? Moi? That’s crazy talk!

  2. Also they’re not much help to the species except in the sense of “Ogg did that and died. Don’t be Ogg.”

    If only … We could (and often do) shout from the roof-tops that Russia, China, Cambodia, North Korea, Romania, Cuba and Venezuela have tried Socialism and see what happened / is happening … and do they listen?  No. 

    • “If all the other countries jumped off an economic cliff, would you jump too?”

      • Apparently RES for many of our politicians the answer is not just yes but “Hell Yes”. It’s a shame they can’t jump and leave the rest of us behind…

        • I am envisioning a cartoon depicting Pelosi and Occasional-Cortex as Thelma & Louise, driving the American economy over the cliff of socialism.

          But I cannot decide what kind of car should be used to represent our economy. An American muscle car? A SUV? Pickemup Truck? Minivan? A sixteen-wheeler with Amazon emblazoned on the side?

        • I am envisioning a cartoon depicting Pelosi and Occasional-Cortex as Themla & Louise, driving the American economy over a cliff labeled “Socialism.” Perhaps with a number of other vehicles, labeled “Russia,” “East Germany,” “Cuba,” “Venezuela” etc. on the rocks below.

          I cannot decide what car ought represent our economy, however. A muscle car? A SUV? Pickemup truck? Minivan? Perhaps a sixteen-wheeler with the Amazon smile emblazoned on its side?

        • I am envisioning a cartoon depicting Pelosi and Occasional-Cortex as Themla & Louise, driving the American economy over a cliff labeled “Socialism.” Perhaps with a number of other vehicles, labeled “Russia,” “East Germany,” “Cuba,” “Venezuela” etc. on the rocks below.

          I cannot decide what car ought represent our economy, however. A muscle car? A SUV? Pickemup truck? Minivan? Perhaps a sixteen-wheeler with the Amazon smile emblazoned on its side?

        • I am envisioning a cartoon depicting Pelosi and Occasional-Cortex as Themla & Louise, driving the American economy over a cliff labeled “Socialism.” Perhaps with a number of other vehicles, labeled “Russia,” “East Germany,” “Cuba,” “Venezuela” etc. on the rocks below.

          I cannot decide what car ought represent our economy, however. A muscle car? A SUV? Pickemup truck? Minivan? Perhaps a sixteen-wheeler with the Amazon smile emblazoned on its side?

        • I am envisioning a cartoon depicting Pelosi and Occasional-Cortex as Themla & Louise, driving the American economy over a cliff labeled “Socialism.” Perhaps with a number of other vehicles, labeled “Russia,” “East Germany,” “Cuba,” “Venezuela” etc. on the rocks below.

          I cannot decide what car ought represent our economy, however. A muscle car? A SUV? Pickemup truck? Minivan? Perhaps a sixteen-wheeler with the Amazon smile emblazoned on its side?

        • I am envisioning a cartoon depicting Pelosi and Occasional-Cortex as Themla & Louise, driving the American economy over a cliff labeled “Socialism.” Perhaps with a number of other vehicles, labeled “Russia,” “East Germany,” “Cuba,” “Venezuela” etc. on the rocks below.

          I cannot decide what car ought represent our economy, however. A muscle car? A SUV? Pickemup truck? Minivan? Perhaps a sixteen-wheeler with the Amazon smile emblazoned on its side?

        • I am envisioning a cartoon depicting Pelosi and Occasional-Cortex as Themla & Louise, driving the American economy over a cliff labeled “Socialism.” Perhaps with a number of other vehicles, labeled “Russia,” “East Germany,” “Cuba,” “Venezuela” etc. on the rocks below.

          I cannot decide what car ought represent our economy, however. A muscle car? A SUV? Pickemup truck? Minivan? Perhaps a sixteen-wheeler with the Amazon smile emblazoned on its side?

        • This is a test. Seven times now I have attempted to post a reply to this comment, and seven times WP has lost the reply.

          • Okay, eighth try:

            I am envisioning a cartoon depicting Pelosi and Occasional-Cortex as Themla & Louise, driving the American economy over a cliff labeled “Socialism.” Perhaps with a number of other vehicles, labeled “Russia,” “East Germany,” “Cuba,” “Venezuela” etc. on the rocks below.

            I cannot decide what car ought represent our economy, however. A muscle car? A SUV? Pickemup truck? Minivan? Perhaps a sixteen-wheeler with the Amazon smile emblazoned on its side?

          • @#!%&!!! Eighth try failed. WP Delenda Est!

            I am envisioning a cartoon depicting Pelosi and Occasional-Cortex as Themla & Louise, driving the American economy over a cliff labeled “Socialism.” Perhaps with a number of other vehicles, labeled “Russia,” “East Germany,” “Cuba,” “Venezuela” etc. on the rocks below.

            • Now for the second half of that reply:

              I cannot decide what car ought represent our economy, however. A muscle car? A SUV? Pickemup truck? Minivan? Perhaps a sixteen-wheeler with the Amazon smile emblazoned on its side?

              Is ninth time the charm?

            • I cannot decide what car ought represent our economy, however. A muscle car? A SUV? Pickup truck? Minivan? Perhaps a sixteen-wheeler with the Amazon smile emblazoned on its side?

    • Oh they listen, at least until they decide to stick fingers in ears and go neener, neener, neener. But their new response seems to be “but all those unsuccessful attempts failed because they did it wrong. We are ever so much smarter, luckier, prettier, name some other excuse, than those people were. This time we will do it right!!!!!

      • And I guess someone should have told August Weissman that 60 generations were not enough, he shouldn’t have given up on sniping tails off of small mammals so soon.

      • After recently reading some novels dating from 1890-1910 I’ve decided to respond to all praise of Socialism with, “What a quaint, nineteenth-century view. Of course, writers of that period didn’t have the information about what happened to Russia, China, Cambodia, North Korea, Romania, Cuba and Venezuela. What’s your excuse?”

        To which I am sure the reply will be “Lalala can’t hear you!” But at least I’ll get a little fun out of it.

      • “This time we will do it right!!!!!”

        No. We tell them “You and your ilk had all of the 20th Century to come up with ONE iteration that ‘did it right’ and the attempt cost a mountain of corpses and untold damage to the planet. You are fresh out of benefit of the doubt. You want to go off, form a smaller subculture of volunteers, and do a proof of methodology? Go right ahead. But you don’t get to drag all of us with you.”

        “But it only works if it’s all encompassing!”

        “Then you blew it. You had a century, and you blew it. We’re trying other things this century.”

      • That’s not a new response. That’s their line ever since the USSR proved — less than optimal.

    • As I say over and over, many politicians are members in full standing of the Miltonian branch of Satanism. If you view their actions as efforts to fulfill the first commandment of that faith, everything makes sense.

    • Just like chicks that score high on the Hot/Crazy matrix never lacks for dates, Marx’s economic cargo cult never lacks for people willing to give it a go.

    • Quoting David Horowitz from memory here, so I might be a little off. “I’ve become convinced that a lie based in human desire is impossible to kill.”

      • Sorry, real quote from David Horowitz: “I am persuaded that a lie grounded in human desire is too powerful for reason to kill.”

      • Well, that is the type of lie that is the first one recorded in the Bible, deployed by the Father of Lies, so the genre has a lengthy track record.

  3. I have a modest proposal suggestion for a Constitutional Amendment: A requirement that all ALL candidates for public office be required to write a 1,000 word essay on the meaning of The Gods of The Copybook Headings and publish it when they announce their candidacy.

    • What that RACIST Kipling????? Why would any REASONABILE person read KIPLING!!!!!

      • They’d get an aide to write it. OTOH at least an adviser would thereby be aware of the existence of cliffs etc.

        • That had occurred to me, as had a simple work-around for the problem, but I decided to leave it as a problem for the Huns to address.

        • No. We give them a pen, and a pad of paper, and lock them in a room by themselves, with no communications, and they don’t get food or water until they’ve completed the assignment. They do get a bathroom break; so if they’re really thirsty, they can drink out of the toilet like real dogs do.

          • After the first few the rest will get their aides to write it well beforehand, then they will memorize it.

          • I was thinking of simply requiring them to read their essay aloud. Sure, most of those Ted Baxters can process a speech from eyes to mouth without it ever abrading their minds, but at least we’d have the recordings come reelection time.

        • The solution for that is the one an English teacher used after the students handed in their term papers: she had them take a sheet of paper and summarize the paper on half a page.

          One students, embarrassed how hers looked next to all the professional looking ones, got a better grade than she had expected.

  4. I’m kind of hoping that the Democrats not only passing laws allowing infanticide, but cheering the passage of said laws, was an “Oh HELL no!” moment for more than just we few. Normal Americans have to abhor this legalized murder of innocents. If they don’t, I’m all for tearing this country apart.

    • well…. at least the Americans that heard what it actually was. And weren’t immediately spun with “the law is entirely reasonable and that’s evil GOP propaganda.”

      • On “countering embarrassing true thoughts expressed publicly”, I note with interest that the actual AOC Green New Deal docs that were actually authored by AOC’s chief of staff and actually posted on AOC’s official congressional web site are being called “Republican fakes” because they are so stupid.

        And this excuse is apparently working.

        I refer the reader to H.L. Mencken:

        “No one in this world, so far as I know — and I have searched the records for years, and employed agents to help me — has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby.”

    • The tearing apart of the country is very more than likely.
      I’d like to say: “It will happen” but I lost my glasses of prophecy.

      • The acronym TWANLOC is more and more accurate, day by day.

        • According to some they are already TWANLOC. This is what I love about Sarah’s, the finding of like minds. I was the only ODD in my family. I met my soulmate very far from my family. He’s an Odd in his family too.

    • I simply wish to note that this comment is one of the five of fourteen thus par posted which WP has failed to email to me. Admittedly, three of those five were my own comments, which routinely do not get sent, which suggests that WP is sometimes confused about just who I actually am.

      Welcome to my club, WP; you’re still wanting your destruction.

    • I’m hoping they make use of the laws they passed and statistics seem to bear out they do more than conservatives.

      The future belongs to those who show up. The aborted won’t be among them.

      • The ONLY good thing about abortion (at any stage) that I can think of — and I am totally and utterly against abortion for any reason, since I don’t believe that the sins of one or both parents are sufficient justification for murdering babies — is that HOPEFULLY it leads to fewer lefties reproducing than conservatives/libertarians reproducing. I’m not counting on that, mind, since they are the ultimate hypocrites.

        • … they are the ultimate hypocrites.

          Lees hypocrites, in this case, than cuckoos: they propagate their ideas by planting them in other people’s nests.

        • They do tend not to reproduce, because ‘omg overpopulation!11’ and then they take over everything else child-related and take control of other people’s children, so the children they’re leading to the cliff aren’t theirs, and they can sit on the pedestal of being ‘better’ than those ‘mere parents’ with the label of ‘child expert.’

  5. Just think at SOME time Ogg thought Fire Ogg’s friend, Ogg walk on coals, Ogg not burned, see Fire is Ogg’s Friend.

    You to can walk on coals, they have classes for that NOW.

    • I think it should be a requirement for a physics degree along with explaining how it works.

    • I recall a media type in San (don’t call it Frisco) Francisco who did a story on it. The burns on her feet were impressive. Oops.

      • I’m going to call it San Fran, is that okay? Wait, don’t answer, I’m going to do it anyway whether it’s okay or not.

        • Frisco is fine by me. When I moved to San Jose, I subscribed to one of the SF papers, and the mantra was “Please don’t call it Frisco”. Their preference was to call it “The City” which I found just a bit over the top pretentious.

          TL;DR: You can call it anything you want. It was over-rated in 1974 and has dropped several orders of magnitude for desirability in my book.

          FWIW, the comment weirdness that I saw was at my end. Backups for the win! Still, to be fair, WordPress Delenda Est,

          • “We’re in the tri-state area.”

            I’ve seen this a time or three and I always have to ask: Which one?
            I’m fairly sure it’s not the SD-MN-IA tri-state area, as I’ve been there (there’s a little metal marker easy to no see in the road) and there’s whole lot of not much in that area.

          • Oh yeah, and “the city” is presumptious… who did they think they were, Manhattan?

          • I once took a programming class in SF. SAP ABAP. I got one or the major paper. One part told me all I needed to know. They had a section covering Porn Films, actors, etc. Decided that I didn’t want to come back. I have not been back.

          • It might just be my inner five year old, but know how much “Frisco” (which is really a town in East Texas) bothers them I’m inclined to use it exclusively.

          • The whole place is urban all the way out to Hayward. But when we lived in Milpitas and then San Pablo we called San Francisco “The City”.

            But that only makes sense if you’re THERE. It doesn’t make sense for anyone not in the greater San Fran urban sprawl to say that you’re going to The City. Not a bit.

            • In ’74, San Jose had pretty much the same population as SF. OTOH, Frisco had the TV stations and most of the radio stations. San Jose only had one daily paper vs two up north. I think it’s one each now.

              I lived in Sunnyvale and then San Jose (AKA San-o-zay). The furthest north I worked was Palo Alto (mid peninsula), and trips to San Francisco dropped to yearly or longer. I’m not sure if or when the usage changed, but by the ’90s, I can’t recall “The City” in use to refer to San Fran.

          • Come on now. Everyone in the USA knows that when you refer to “the city you mean THE CITY! New York City. All the rest need an actual name of nickname.

          • That bridge is impressive. And the area seems nice – not the city so much, but where it is.

      • Now picturing ‘dancers’ slip-slidding all over…

        Is it a risco in Frisco to Crisco a disco?

        What? See, that ‘Odd’ thing… has side-effects.

      • I’m gonna call it Frisco. It’s too weird to be anything else.

  6.  Because a narrative that wants all humanity to go back to the bronze age, if not to outright extinction to appease climate events that are AT BEST completely independent of humans, and at worst a function of narrative and manipulated statistics (aka non existent) is a very dangerous one.

    I have a dear friend, a reader of science fiction, who has fully embraced the myth that all the problems which man faces can be solved.  She heard solar panels and electric cars will lead to the elimination of dependence on fossil fuels.  So she is all for it.  She doesn’t think that it will bring us back to the bronze age, no, she see it as a shining future of hope for all.  

    I asked her if she had thought about the problems involved in using such tech.  She refused at first to accept that any existed, then insisted that it must be ‘oil company research.’  I shared an article with her written by a pro-alternative energy scientist addressing various problems with the panels in use and the necessity of preparing to deal with solar panels at the end of their life span, citing industry concerns.  It shook her a bit.  In the end her answer was to ask, “What about coal slag heaps with their heavy metal components?’  (Something that has, admittedly, been a problem in our area of our state.)  She is desperate that there be an answer NOW. 

    • She heard incorrectly. Anyone with even a modicum of understanding of physical science and engineering can quickly see that the energy density of wind and solar power is too low to replace fossil fuel and/or nuclear power. In addition, the sources of wind and solar can’t be moved conveniently, and are not located near the primary users of power, necessitating long transmission lines with the resulting loss of power during the transmission.

      There is an answer now. But she won’t like it. It’s nukes. There are numerous small-scale reactor designs that are inherently safe, much more so than the elderly designs in existence today.

      Ask her if she thinks the current power grid is up to the major increases in energy being put across it if her dream came true. (Spoiler: it’s not.)

      • I agree. Nukes are the answer to AOC, and the rest of her socialist ilk throughout the world. Nuke ’em till they glow!

        • Please do not assume that everyone who supports alternative energy is a socialists, my friend is certainly not. But the socialists are fully willing to use them for their socialist causes, they even have a technical term for them, useful idiots. My friend is certainly not an idiot, but socialists have contempt for anyone who disagrees with them, and many that do.

        • Please do not assume that all who support the green agenda are socialists.  My friend certainly is not.  But the socialists are quiet happy to use her to further their agenda.  They even have a name for her type, useful idiots.  But my friend is not an idiot.  Still, to the socialists anyone who disagrees with them is held in contempt, as are many of those that do agree.

          • As I’ve observed elsewhere and elsewhen, individualists encounter an idiot and ask themselves how can they help said idiot to become less idiotic. Collectivists encounter an idiot and ask themselves how can they best make use of his idiocy.

        • I am growing tired of fighting Word Press today. Word press delenda est … big time. Anyway I’ll try this one more time because I am stubborn.

          Please do not assume that everyone who supports the green agenda are socialists.  My friend certainly is not.  The socialists are quiet happy to use her to further their agenda.  They even have a name for her type, useful idiots.  But my friend is not an idiot.  Still, to the socialists anyone who disagrees with them is held in contempt, as are many of those that do agree.

      • I may know that, you may know that, sadly she is not yet ready to accept the cold hard truth.

      • Wind and solar could possibly replace all other forms. But it’d destroy the environment to do so. The amount of land needed and extra for a safe margin would blot birds from the sky, and cause pollution to get the needed metals, rare earths, etc, and take massive amounts of time to build (I think I read 30 to 50 years of extra capacity building) of getting the needed goods was even possible

        • That is the thing I always laugh about.

          Weather is an energy system. Wind and solar are energy extraction methods.

          You start pulling enough energy out of the wind and stop it from entering the weather systems by solar and you are going to f*ck up climate bigly.

          • I believe there have been concerns raised about microclimate changes caused by wind power, though I’m too lazy to dig up relevant articles at the moment. 😛

            • Aerial (strip-)mining? }:o)

              • They’ve proven to be an effective way of eliminating birds.

                Arggh, spoke too soon; default fields went away. Something is trying to convince me to sign up for Gravatar or WordPress.

            • The really bollix weather radar, as I know from personal experience. The good news is that if someone tells ATC where the turbine fields are, they can take that into account, If they remember. Otherwise they occasionally tell you that “that’s just a turbine field” when it really is a Level 3-4 thunderstorm. Which is why you don’t trust their weather radar.

              • We have to deal with weather that’s beyond the mountains and below the line of sight. It’s not a problem for big storms, but it makes life interesting.

              • Dang I worked on radar software for 6 years and hadn’t thought of turbines bollixing up modern Doppler radar. But with the right angle you’ll get motion toward and away which is also what you get from big downdrafts or tornadoes…false positive (mistaking a wind farm for a weather pattern) would be bad but survivable. A false negative (saying that a doppler feature is a wind farm when it isn’t) could ruin your whole day…

                • I got used to the false positives because I knew the region very, very well. The false negatives… Let’s just say I trusted on-board radar and my flight crew’s 2 X Mark 40 eyeballs better. And you never trust on-board radar completely.

          • you are going to f*ck up climate bigly.

            And we already now what their solution will be, don’t we? Double-down on teh stupid.

          • A fair bit of Environmental Science is figuring out how to fix the past’s Environmental Science.

            • Nuclear is good. Coal was good (or at least liable) so is Oil. Why can’t use what works?

              • There you, using that logic stuff…
                Evidently the key to ‘green’ energy is to hide any environmental costs rather than deal with them directly.

              • Nuclear still seems to be in the hysterical reaction category. After the tsunami clobbered the Fukushima power plants, Germany decided to shut down all of its plants. The North and Baltic Seas must have some amazing super-secret earthquake/tsunami potential to threaten all of their plants.

                • And they seldom mention that a reactor Very Similar to Fukushima survived unscathed – because one engineer put his foot down and insisted that a barrier be made to handle a “500 year” tsunami event. It got made, it worked, reactor was unaffected. Whaddayanow, maybe them there engineer types might just know something?

                  • I had to do something like that with the electrician for my well. 20A circuit, and he said “code only requires #10 wire”. OTOH, it was a 330′ run and resistance losses would have been severe, with risk of a burned out pump motor.

                    #4 wire is expensive. Replacing a pump 80′ down is very expensive. I don’t know if the inspector would have caught it and forced a fix, but EE training can be handy.

          • There has apparently already been some litigation in Germany about wind farm A cutting off the wind for wind farm B. Precedents were found in some centuries-old litigation about waterpower rights.

      • Not to mention that wind and solar are what is commonly known as ephemeral energy resources. They are are totally dependent on the weather of the moment, and energy they produce has to be used immediately or it’s lost. Same for traditional power plants of course, but those can be turned on or off as needed, driven by demand.
        Now wind and solar as secondary power sources makes a good bit of sense, for augmenting your AC on hot sunny days for example, or commercial grade solar stills built to extract minerals from sea water with fresh potable water as a side product.
        But our shiny new energy policy seems apparently to be written by spoiled children who want what they want and they want it now, no excuses permitted. And the burning question is how much damage will they manage to do before reality gives them the spanking they have coming.

        • If they could be used to generate fuel, that would store the energy to be used where and when it is needed. Howsoumever, the technology to take that approach isn’t well developed. There would certainly be losses. Whether it would be efficient to do it that way and how those compare with existing methods is just out of my ability to compute.

          • Using them to charge fuel cells seems so blatantly obvious that there must be some overlooked flaw in the idea. Such as insufficient opportunities for graft and extending control over our lives.

            • IIRC, batteries are simply not very effective.

              • Energy density in batteries is a lot poorer than fossil fuels. (Li-Po batteries run better than others, but the fire risk is more than I’m willing to take in most cases.)

                Fuel cells look promising, but there’s a lot of technical hurdles. I get the impression that it’s stuck on “10 years to viability”, especially when you bring in the issue of water-hydrogen regeneration. I didn’t see any mentions of fuel cells with methane regeneration.

            • The flaw is it doesn’t provide the control they want.

              Making methane from air with electricity is proven if not industrialized. Bob Rubin and company built the prototype as a proof of concept for Mars Direct in the early 90s.

              They relied primarily on Victorian/Edwardian tech and knowledge.

          • Stephen William Houghton

            You could use some of it to pump water up hill then release it through a turbine when you need it, but that is easier said than done.

            • Out when I was living in West Virginia, I heard of a company that had proposed doing just that. The way I heard it, the environmentalists killed the idea.

              • In our case, it’s an artificial lake in a secluded dead-end valley not too far from town.

                The local opposition to the pumped storage project was the “Power line EMF causes [cancer|acne|ingrown toenails|bad feelz], but mostly cancer. (I’ve read that some of the vegetation suppression compounds below the lines might have caused some problems. No idea what they’re using now.)

                Curiously, I don’t see the people whinging about this being willing to live off-grid that much. And, it’d have to be DC only. That gonna be good!

            • Pumped energy storage has been around a while, and is used for peak usage times. They were building one in Michigan in the early ’70s (Ludington), and there’s a project underway near us.

            • Amsel, Matthew

              There are places that do it, but you lose a tone of energy on each step.

              • It loses a ton of energy, yes — but energy is like PriceLine hotel rooms: excess capacity at point A does not translate into excess capacity at point B, so it is worth taking a much lower “profit” to use it when it is available.

                Of course, unlike a Florida hotel room in August versus one in February, water pumped uphill when demand is low can be “pumped” back down to increase available power when demand is high.

            • Raccoon Mountain pump storage facility just outside Chattanooga was built for precisely that reason. TVA dug a lake at the top of a small mountain. During off peak grid time they pump the lake full. During high draw demand the flow reverses and generates additional power equal to one of the TVA nuclear reactors. Efficiency is somewhere around 40%.
              TVA got away with it because it was rural Tennessee. Several other proposed facilities have been stopped dead by environmentalists claiming that the resulting landscape is somehow “unnatural.”

              • scott2harrison

                What many people do not get is that this is a twofer. It both supplies energy during peak times and it allows you to run your nuke at a higher output at all times. Current nukes are so slow to change outputs that they can only be used for base load, not peak loads. This effectively raises the base load which effectively reduces the difference between base and peak loads for the win.
                Personally, I would like to see California build nukes seaside and use the extra energy during off-peak times to de-salt seawater for drinking. That would allow the nuke to provide all the electricity during peak load times eliminating the need for the gas turbine generators. It would also give them a source of drinking water that did not come from a couple of states over.

                • California is going in the opposite direction and forcing still-viable nuke plants to shut down early.

                • WordPress Delenda Est: ate my comment, or delayed it. Sigh.

                  Cali is going in the opposite direction and forcing still-viable plants to shut down early. Besides, they expect states near them to continue providing water, whether or not there’s water to spare.

                  • “whether or not there’s water to spare.”

                    Or limits the users & charges through the nose for what they get.

                    Last job I programmed at had a Utility package that more than one CA county used to bill county residents for water districts. We had live data to work with.

                    Every time I made a programming change & ran tests I saw the result & figured I must have messed up the calculations, even if the changes I was making didn’t involve the calculations. The charges for water were that high. I mean, here in Eugene, my EWEB bill, which is power, water, & sewer, when it runs high is less than $400 (this time of the year, not much less, but less). The CA utility bills on the test runs were $300 to $600 per month for Just Water.

          • Another reason I don’t take the Greens seriously.

            In theory, you could build a closed cycle carbon based fuel system. The ingredients for hydrocarbons are in the air: water vapor and CO2 (in fact, a clean hydrocarbon burn gives only them). The problem is the tech. I mean, the Earth has it already, but not on human timescales.

            Yes, condensing down the gases, separating them, and cracking them will introduce large loses, but it addresses the big wind and solar concerns: reliability and location. Burning the resulting fuel is 100% carbon neutral, you took it out of the air to begin with.

            If you combine research into that with nuclear you have an honest to gosh path to a no fossil fuels, carbon neutral, modern industrial energy system.

            So why no research. They barely do the pipe dream that is hydrogen.

            Because it isn’t about the environment.

      • Spouse had a discussion a few years ago with one of the SJWs at church over energy (said persons views on electric cars long predated Occasional Cortex). When asked where the power for this came from, the SJW insisted that the main power for the grid came from wind and solar. When informed the contribution was 5%, she left in a huff. (When she and SJW left town, there wasn’t a wet eye in sight.)

        Hmm, don’t know what I did, but now WP says I have to enter email and handle for every post. Arggh.

        • Heh.

          ELECTRIC VEHICLES? DON’T GET ‘EM COLD!
          Are electric vehicles the wave of the future, or expensive toys? This shocking news story–shocking if you live in the North, anyway–suggests the latter.

          Cold temperatures can sap electric car batteries, temporarily reducing their range by more than 40 percent when interior heaters are used, a new study found.
          ***
          Many owners discovered the range limitations last week when much of the country was in the grips of a polar vortex. Owners of vehicles made by manufacturers including Tesla, the top-selling electric vehicle company in the U.S., complained on social media about reduced range and frozen door handles during the cold snap.

          Frozen door handles are an annoyance not unique to electric cars, but reduced range can be life-threatening.

          At 20 degrees, the average driving range fell by 12 percent when the car’s cabin heater was not used. When the heater was turned on, the range dropped by 41 percent, AAA said.

          Of course, at 20 degrees you pretty much have to turn the heater on. That is a remarkable loss of functionality.

          Also, AAA tested the vehicles at 20 degrees above zero, a balmy temperature that we haven’t seen for a while here in the Twin Cities. What happens at 20 below, a temperature we have seen several times in the last week or two? Or eleven below, which it is at this moment where I live? A car whose range is severely compromised at such temperatures could be a death trap.

          Advocates of “green” energy say that giant batteries will overcome the intractable problem of the intermittency–i.e., unreliability–of wind and solar energy. Of course, while batteries can power my laptop for six or eight hours, or a vehicle for a relatively short distance, no batteries exist that can power a city for six months, nor is any such technology on the horizon. But I wonder whether green energy advocates who toss around the word “batteries” much as they might say “magic” have considered the impact of cold weather.

          • They also don’t like to discuss the materials that go into such batteries, and the environmental damage obtaining them causes…or the problems associated with disposing of them when they go dead. And they won’t talk about where they propose to get the electricity that would go into charging an all-battery powered National car fleet, either.

            • they also don’t want to talk about the difficulty of getting your organically grown kale in December delivered by electrically-powered tractor trailers after being shipped on an electrically powered container ship…

              • My favorite unanticipated consequence of replacing air travel with high-speed rail is its endorsement from Hawaii’s Sen. Hirono, who apparently thinks she walks on water.

                • That should be fun, the next time she has to go to the mainland, and drive all the way.

                  • I saw that she did object to eliminating air travel, but can’t turn up the comments. She’s vile, but I don’t believe she’s quite that stupid.

                    A fair number of Dem senators claim that they endorse “the spirit, not the details” of the Green Newage Deal. Yeah, right.

                    • they’re saying that now because they endorsed it without actually looking at it and are now being held accountable for supporting its contents.

                    • They endorse the spirit that government bureaucrats get to decide every least aspect of our lives except what we screw and what we marry — including which marriages we are not allowed to not attend?

                    • The spirit of which is basically wholesale Great Leap Forward Communism.

                    • With respect to gay marriage, one wonders how long it would take to go from “you must support it” to making it mandatory. (ie, banning cis-het marriage) I’d put a smiley in here, but I’ve lived in Cali and Oregon too long to be sure.

                    • Oregon at least still does not recognize Common Law Marriage, even from other locals, so roommates can’t suddenly find themselves “married” regardless of gender combinations. Yes, it takes more than a roommate status to have common law marriage, but, the way things are going, I wouldn’t want to risk that.

                      Oregon has already gone far enough left that any establishment of a relationship with a child without a legal basis can force the continued contact with the child; or at least it can be tried, & the courts won’t dismiss it out of hand.

                      FWIW the case I know of regarded ex-step grandparents. Tried for extensive visitation under the Grandparents relationship law in Oregon. Hey, I’m sympathetic to biological or legally adopted grandparents who risk losing contact due to divorce or death of their connection to the grandchild. STEP-grandparents … nope; tough luck, sucks to be you.

                    • They are already attacking the notion of consent by declaring that refusal is homophobia — less commonly than transphobia, but still.

                • There was, in some ecomentalist journal somewhere, the suggestion that one could take an ocean liner, and put in the kind of seating found in most commercial airliners, and travel across the oceans that way.
                  Idiots!

          • “But I wonder whether green energy advocates who toss around the word “batteries” much as they might say “magic” have considered the impact of cold weather.”
            Yes, they consider technology to be basically magic. That they don’t understand, and honestly have zero interest in understanding. Because math is hard, and is a tool of patriarchal oppression.

            • Back to my thoughts on how subjective based they are.

              I remember in the 70s people convinced the oil companies had killed the 200 mpg carburetor despite the fact that there is not that much energy in a liter of gasoline short of nuclear energy releases.

              Modern greens are those people turned up to 11. I’m surprised the New Green Deal doesn’t call for the widespread deployment of perpetual motion machines.

              • You actually *can* get 200mpg – and more – out of a gallon of gas. The problem is it takes a whole vehicle design, not just a carburetor. And the car you’d wind up with wouldn’t be legal to operate on any US public highway, and it would suck to drive.

                • You would be riding basically a glorified trike, with no comforts, no safety features, and very little to no power.

            • 20% of the problems in the U.S. could be cured virtually overnight if we gave permission for everyone to shoot anyone who used the term, “patriarchal oppression.”

          • I’m doing a solar system that will take care of my well for outages; we get too many of uneven lengths. This isn’t a huge system; less than 4 kW, but the resources needed to do it are absurd compared to a 4 kW gasoline generator and 5 gallons of fuel. OTOH, with Those Better Than Us wanting to go the California energy in-stability solution route, having some spare power in our own possession seems a good idea. Besides, I can plug the gas generator to charge the batteries if necessary. 🙂

            • I’m doing a solar system with ProFantasy and NBOS software and GURPS,,,Oh. Different kind of system.

      • Ask her what happens on an overcast day with no wind

        (in SoCal, its called they panic and have to spool up the gas turbines…)

        • My understanding in Germany is that they have to have coal-fired plants on-line (or really close to it) to account for fluctuations in wind and insolation. They’re now doing a natural gas pipeline from Russia; the irony is highly entertaining.

          • Yes, and the coal is strip mined soft coal, with all the environmental havoc that can entail. (One of the saddest things I saw in the Old East was a baptismal font that was all that remained of a village. The little sign said, “From a brown-coal victim.” The font was used in a church in a village that had been spared. The Communists would give people at most a few weeks to pack, then the drag lines stripped the overburden off the coal, village, houses, churches, cemeteries and all.)

            • Sad, but the Voices wonder how long it would have taken before some random fire pit ignited the coal layer and they had their very own Centralia…

        • Overcast days with no wind? Depends on where you rank.
          If you are one of the flyover peons, you just have to go without power.
          If you are one of the elite, you’re still hooked into a working fossil fuel generator. Because they, and they work they do is essential.

    • She doesn’t think that it will bring us back to the bronze age, no, she see it as a shining future of hope for all.

      Given the qualities of burnished bronze, she should embrace the power of ‘and’.

      What amazes me is the number of people who actually know what it means, but think they will be the “city dwellers” versus the peons. That is raw ignorance.

      Of course, that was a common trope of 50s through 70s sci-fi (I think I know some 80s examples, but not much later) and those societies are never portrayed as stable. Usually the city types suicide out of ennui (see the greatest bad movie ever made for an example) or are killed by the ignorant masses who don’t care that they’ve turned the clock back to 2000 BC because the city types had already forced them there.

    • Herbn noted the issues with weather and wind farms, but I remember a scientist in the 70’s who rhapsodized about turning all of Arizona into a solar collector. (He actually could do math even if he was optimistic.) Suppose solar collectors actually converted 20% of sunlight energy of Arizona’s 114,000 square miles into electricity (They’re not that effective.). That would mean a 20% decrease in atmospheric heat over Arizona. Of course the resulting permanent Hurricane could also be farmed for wind energy I suppose.

      • I’v long fancied the idea of an array of solar collectors inside the orbit of Mercury, beaming their electricity back to Earth-girding satelites which, in turn, beam the microwaves down to collectors in such places as Death Valley.

        The tendency of this proposal to make Progressive heads explode is a pleasant bonus.

      • turning all of Arizona into a solar collector.

        Way back when* I speculated about putting solar panels inside Mercury’s orbit, beaming their energy back to Earth orbiting satellites (or possibly a collector on Luna) and thence down to an Earth-based collector in Death Valley or the like. Then I contemplated the Gaea worshipers reaction to the beamed energy and decided it wasn’t likely to happen.

        Although I did smile at the idea of their heads exploding in response to microwaved transmission.

        *It is highly likely I had read Ringworld by this time and thus was aware of the Dyson sphere concept.

        • I think one of Asimov’s Robot Stories from I Robot turns on robots keeping a power delivery antenna pointed at earth that was transferring power from mercury orbit via Microwave/MASER, so definitely thats been thought of. the fear was they ‘d let the power transmision wander and toast assorted folks earthside.

        • “Sunshine is just another weapon”–Schlock Mercenary

      • I don’t think I would need to conduct an opinion poll to say with confidence that most of my fellow Arizona residents would rather strenuously oppose such a transformation of our state.

        I must admit, though, that the adverse effects such a move would likely have on westbound traffic on I-10 through Arizona to California might be a worthwhile tradeoff….

      • That is exactly the question I have been asking about solar (and to some extent, wind) for decades; the Enviroweenies are proposing to take a hell of a lot of energy out of a dynamic system where it is presumably already doing something. What happens when that something STOPS?

        I don’t know, but I suspect we don’t want to find out.

  7. I was talking to someone on Friday about needing to be around people minimally to have a reality check. It is so easy to walk off that cliff mentally especially on some of my meds (immuno-suppressants). The person I was talking to– just didn’t understand what I was saying. I finally told her that talking to someone once or twice a week was good… no contact was bad. She seemed to understand that one.

    I’ve been told that I think too much. I wouldn’t want to be any other way. It still can be scary though when you see an entire group drinking the cool aid and then want to give it to you.

  8. I was raised on a story in which at least two civilizations descended from high civilization into brutal, savage, bloodsoaked barbarity, along with a detailed historical analysis of how and why it happened and a sober warning that yes, it can happen here. I’ve been watching a disturbingly similar pattern and a counter to it both unfold for the past 50 years. I retain a hope that this time, the bloodthirsty barbarians won’t prevail, but I am expecting twitter mobs to turn into real ones any time now.

    • I’m expecting that the Islamist will take Europe in a generation or two.
      The big tipping point will be when the European nations start actively recruiting them into their military and police forces.

      • The Atlantic is narrow. It’s not that far from Europe.
        Any Ozzies here? Do you have any concerns about Asia?

        • *shrug* China’s been regularly pushing on it’s expansion and succeeding to a degree, and has been for longer than I’ve been alive. They’re getting better at the expanding part.

          • They’ve are also lending lots and lots of “string free” money to various South Pacific nations, while encouraging the politicians to be as free to skim as much as they want into their own pockets.
            And this will continue until they basically own that country. Then the niceness will stop, and the harsh, unreasonable demands will begin.

            • Doing the same thing in Africa. And buying up land.

            • My mum was telling me how the Chinese basically did that to some areas up Northern end of the Philippines, acquiring ‘mining rights’ for something. The thing they wanted was some kind of black sand and they stripped the coastal beaches of several villages and small towns, causing erosion and other problems; and if anyone protested, the people were ignored or threatened with armed force.

              But since pretty much the rest of the world is afraid to confront them out of not wanting to ignite World War III, lose their cheap manufacture and Asia is pretty much NIMBY… I rather expect that China will get away with it. Russia is probably the only thing they are cautious about, and thus their expansion to get stronger.

          • Sounds scary. Or is it comparable to Russia in Western Europe?

            • It’s its own thing. It kind of helps that many of the Pacific Islands are super corrupt, and every little bit skimmed into a pocket, and not spent on roads, medicines, pay for government employees, and so on is that much more the country will be borrowing again later.
              They’ve also quietly encouraged higher tariffs on imports, which has the effect of making quality goods harder for normal people to afford, while the Chinese merchants smuggle and bribe the lower cost and quality Chinese goods into the country.

            • China’s expansion is far more established than Russia’s from what I can tell. They’ve been making looooooooooots of little ‘fishermen’s rest stations/military bases’ on every tiny atoll, island, and outcropping they can get. Spratleys Islands and Mischief Reef are the most well known ones of these, and there are plenty of stories of even local fishermen getting fired upon if they get too close. I also vaguely remember something about anti-aircraft installations, but my memory is hazy on that one.

              And as much as people bitch about Duterte not doing anything about that, I can actually understand why. Thanks to the Philippines’ extremely left-wing anti-military stance of the last half century, we haven’t even vaguely the semblance of a viable military if China decides to just annex the whole upper to central archepelago.

              Africa is also been getting Chinese coming in, enough that supposedly some of the locals say they wish they were a colony of some Western nation again, because there was at least some care, compared to the Chinese, who come simply to financially exploit.

              Frankly, all the Leftists whinging about Western colonization have no idea how bad it would be to have China take over.

      • I’m not sure how it’s going to play out. I saw a report on the more recent Yellow Vest protests in France, and while the fire-hoses came out, they were directed at the police, not the protesters. People are getting ticked, and it’s going to be interesting.

        “When the Saxon Learned to Hate”, or in this case, the Norman(?).

      • I’m not so worried about the Islamists. I do have some notion of why they hate the west in general and America in particular. On the one hand, their notions of Judaism and Christianity are filtered through the Q’ran, which is not a reliable source. On the other, their notions of America come through the entertainment media. And, since that media has been pumping out increasingly toxic sleaze while censoring and stifling artists with politically conservative or religious views for decades now…I live in a different country that the one they think they hate.

        • General rule of thumb is that if your group/class/whatever won’t keep and bear arms, it won’t long keep power. That will go to whoever you turn to for defense. If Europe starts turning to Islamist to man their military and police forces, the Islamist will eventually be running things.

          • Forex the Roman Empire. Or the western half, anyway.

            • Eastern too, once the various factions started using those Oh So Helpful Turkish tribes against each other.

          • Amsel, Matthew

            If they do, Russia may decide to jump them (hell, the Poles, Czechs, and Hungarians may even help). I like the odds of a military primarily composed of Slavs vs one composed of people who are culturally still basically North African od Middle Eastern.

            • The French seem to have figured out how to overcome a lot of those issues, though–their North African colonial troops were remarkably effective during WWI and WWII.

              • Amsel, Matthew

                They were trained and officered by Frenchmen, and there was no nonsense about “it’s their culture”.

                If the Muslims theoretically being recruited were essentially Frenchmen, there would be no problem.

                • “If the Muslims theoretically being recruited were essentially Frenchmen, there would be no problem.”
                  That’s … true….

                • If you think that isn’t how it would be if the war you’re talking about is within the near future, dream on. The French have demonstrated themselves to be remarkably effective at maintaining control while making it appear otherwise–they still effectively own half of West Africa.

                  • It was explained in “Dogs of War” that during post colonial elections, the French would make sure their guy won the first vote. He would then officially request French military aid to stay in power.

              • Then again, the colonial troops tended to also be effective against the French post WWII- Algeria and Vietnam come to mind.

                • Hey, I didn’t say the French wouldn’t face a revolt once the war was over. I was just pointing out that the war might not be as easily won in the Slavs’ favor as believed.

        • [Western] media has been pumping out increasingly toxic sleaze while censoring and stifling artists with politically conservative or religious views

          That there is one major reason why I wanted to throttle some folk when, after 9-11, they were bleating, “Why do they hate us?”

          They hate us you for the same reason West Virginians hate coal companies run by New York bankers, for the same reason Welsh miners hated the English mine owners, for the same reason everybody downstream of the Gold King Mine hates the EPA.

      • You are more optimistic than I am.

        I expect to live to see it (I’m 52 with multiple chronic conditions for reference).

      • The French are- or were. I think I read something about them learning the lesson….

    • Anonymous Coward

      The major totalitarian forces (let’s call them N-ism, C-ism, S-ism, and I-ism) often remind me of a quote from John Fowles “The Magus” :

      “One of the great fallacies of our time is that the Nazis rose to power because they imposed order on chaos. Precisely the opposite is true – they were successful because they imposed chaos on order. They tore up the commandments, they denied the super-ego, what you will. They said, “You may persecute the minority, you may kill, you may torture, you may couple and breed without love.” They offered humanity all its great temptations. Nothing is true, everything is permitted.”

      • Pretty much this – all the great temptations were allowed, and encouraged.
        Kind of like Islam, I surmise. Which is why there may be so damn many prison converts to Islam. It give sanction to the criminally-inclined to do as their impulses direct, without apology.

      • That is absolutely true/happening in modern Communist China. All the old ways of doing things, including Confucianist social order things, have been thrown out, and the Party won’t allow any other methods to be used–and the Party ideology is insufficient to create a culture.

    • I really hope things don’t get as bad as that particular story though.

  9. Are we enough? Enough to bring a maleducated, story-indoctrinated generation back from the abyss.

    I don’t know. I know we need to try. Otherwise, what are we for?

    I think one thing that may stop us is the ability to form communities of odds.

    When I was much younger I developed a strong contempt of the non-Odd which I suspect is fairly normal. I still have it some degree although as I’ve aged it has mellowed into general misanthropy.

    If I had been born three decades earlier, in 1936 instead of of 1966, I would have had to swallow that a lot to survive. One of the first modern Odd communities, Sci-Fi fandom, was only starting (and of course, progtard normies are working hard to kill it and I think they will) so while I might have had a few fellows most would have only been by mail. Contempt or not, I would have had to integrate myself with the normies to survive mentally if not physically (and probably both).

    Fifteen years earlier might have been worse, although as a STEMP Odd 1957 would have ushered in a time to flourish.

    Even born in 1966 and raised in a fairly rural area I wasn’t in the most Odd friendly of times. I suspect there is a line from that to my romantic failures and attached failures of parenthood.

    Today, with the Internet I can pair all my social interactions to other Odds and tell the normies to GDIFAFP. My contempt can be exercised in the “well, I’ll protect me and mine who are now mostly Odds” and let the rest of the tribe eat the poisoned berries while I say myself (which might be an Odd illusion, but one the current environment sustains).

    Hell, half the time I want to encourage them to eat the poisonous fruits labelled socialism, racial primacy, and feminism, just to watch them suffer from it. Part of it is, beyond killing me, I wonder what they have left to do to me.

    tl;dr; Odd communities may let the odds decide to let the non-Odd perish, hoping to create an Odd friendly world. It probably isn’t the best idea, but it is a risk.

  10. To my mind, step one is hammering home the point, wherever possible, that Socialism, as a basis for a Society, has a record of ostentatious failure a century long. The Progrssives and out-and-out Socialists had the 20th century during which they got to try to ‘make it work’ multiple times, under varied circumstances, and the result was more corpses than any other political or social movement in history managed to pile up in a comparable amount of time.

    Now, my personal position is not ideological. It’s more a matter of “It’s been tried extensively, amd the failures have been horrific. Can we try something else witha better record, please?”. Not that I have no opinions about why Socialism CANNOT work, beyond a certain size of volunteer associations, but my approach makes it harder for the True Believers to sidetrack the discussion into airy theory.

    • Given the number of deaths caused by socialism I am coming around to the belief that committed socialists are a form of rabid dog.

      Once you accept that the solution is obvious.

      • I don’t put bumper stickers on my vehicles, but if I did I would put on one reading: Friends Don’t Let Friends Go Socialist

    • I’ve got to imagine that you have to deal with a lot of “But Scandinavia!”

      As a side note, does anyone know why WP is suddenly not saving my name and email in the comments field? I’m having to retype it every time I make a comment. Which, as far as major problems go, isn’t one, but it’s still a bit odd.

      • Actually, I take great glee in pointing out that the Scandanavian countries that went Socialist have been backing off from it….or sinking.

        • Scandinavian countries, you mean those countries now insisting on going Muslim?
          It is strange that Feminist Socialists are working as hard as they can to turn their countries Muslim. Where they, if they are lucky, will have to wear Burkas and have no rights.

          • I am coming to the conclusion, gradually, that a lot of modern ‘Third Wave’ feminists have a deeply perverse rape-and-haram fantasy bubbling just beneath the surface…and wouldn’t they be absolutely livid if they were confronted on it.

            But how else can you explain their blindness about Islam and their fascination with THE HANDMAIDEN’S TALE?

            It becomes very tempting to hand them a copy of THE STORY OF ‘O’ and tell them to jill off and get back to us when they can think straight.

          • scott2harrison

            Freedom and self responsibility are scary. I suspect that Feminists are finally getting that what they have been asking for for generations requires them to be responsible for themselves and that men are finally giving it to them good and hard (the marriage strike, mgtow). Islam is an obvious cure for self responsibility for a woman and does not require them to say “Sorry. I was wrong. Please take me back.”

      • There’s also the fact that one of the biggest spending items on a national budget (defense) is covered by a third party (the USA).
        Should the US pull out of NATO, and should the EU and Scandinavia have to actually put a proper military together, all those benefits would go bye-bye.

        • Financial support of NATO makes no sense any more. The EU keeps claiming their GDP is now higher than ours. They have their own EU government and everything. They should, then, pay for their own defense.

          • I heard radio news headline over the weekend that German budget constraints might mean they are unable to meet their NATO obligation for military spending this year.

            0 – And theirs is Europe’s “healthy” economy!

            0 – Nice to be able to shrug off such little problems

            0 – Gee, you mean all those “refugees” aren’t provoking the anticipated economic growth?

            0 – Drat! If only that basterd Trump was shattering NATO!

            0 – Joint defense works fine, as Mrs. Thatcher might point out, until you run out of other peoples money.

        • “actually put a proper military together” Where are they going to get the Men? Muslims? That will work out well.

      • Britain went the evolutionary Fabian route toward partial socialism, and the results have not been been wildly impressive. I get the impression that socialism is to an economy as sludge is to an engine; the more of it you have,the worse it runs.

      • The WP issue happened to me. I restored my settings from last night, and it took the details for the first post, but now I have to do it manually for each post.

        I suspect that WordPress is gently trying to get us to sign up for one of the services to store ID.

        • I checked with downdetector dot com, and it appears that WordPress (probably) has problems with a database. The dozens of repeated messages from WP-UK are not encouraging.

          “#smallbusiness do you have problems updating your wordpress website? contact @wpcourseuk ”

          I’m sure they have their top men working on it. Top. Men.

      • does anyone know why WP is …

        Yes, but it involves words I prefer not to employ, much less post in this noble* venue amongst these respected* participants.

        Suffice to say that the only permissible words are the initial two: WP is [EXPURGATED]

        *For certain values of noble
        **For certain values of respected

      • Raises hand.

        And it appears to have eaten a couple of attempts at posts. On some of which eventually turn up and on other occasions do not. Grrrrrrr.

      • Scandinavia isn’t socialism. They’re capitalist countries with high taxes and strong welfare states. And they are backing off the high tax and welfare programs.

        Plus, they’re small countries with homogeneous populations and a culture of hardwork and thrift. To the extent that those are not longer true, the social compact that allows for high taxes and generous welfare is breaking down.

        • Yes, after importing lots of Muslims with no work ethic, no understanding of how anything works, and a DEEP HATRID of everything in Western Civilization, I can’t imagine why they should be having problems.

          They are developing a small gun problem but they have a larger GRENNADE problem. WTF! Besides the knife and acid.

          Of Course the MEDIA says that the Muslims are NOT the cause of these NEW, before they came totally unknown problems.

      • Scandinavian countries aren’t socialist. They’re capitalist economies with high taxes generous social welfare benefits. They are also low-population, ethnically homogeneous countries with high social trust and a culture of hard work and thrift. To the extent that those are no longer true, they are backing off the generous benefits bits.

    • The American ones, having the shallow and affected cosmopolitanism of the provincial, will often point to Scandinavia (Sweden in particular) as the model for how Socialism works.
      Which is funny, as that is one of the few times one can honestly say “that’s not real Socialism”.

    • I have come to suspect that for most committed ‘socialists,’ the piles of bodies are not a bug, they are a feature.

  11. I’ve long had the feeling of watching this Reality thing from the outside, or least from an edge. It’s rather disconcerting, it is.

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      The casting is absurd, the acting over the top and the writing is frequently unbelievable. I don’t know how some people can take it seriously.

      • Indeed. Bebe Rebozo seemed a strange name for a characater, but then to have that particular imagery scandal with a fellow named Wiener? Come on, how… and now the Virginia Democrats (is that band, or soon to be? Will they cover the old tune Mandy*?) and when that’s not enough, the Green New Deal followed by Sen. Ohmy, er, Omar. There is no Peak Silly. But belief’s suspenders are at full stretch, I suspect.

  12. Also: Sorry about that Ilhan Omar character, but considering the state also managed to put Franken in office, well, that’s an awful lot of bloody stupid to overcome and… well, can only do so much.

    I do not subscribe to the theory she was paid off by Virginia Democrats to provide a distraction. She can put her foot in her mouth without such encouragement.

    I recommend poppetycorn.

  13. From over at Instapundit’s comment section:

    Special Guest Star • 14 hours ago
    Thank you for providing entertaining links for us to talk about all night Sarah.

    She won’t see this but I also can’t get in touch with her anywhere else.
    https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/321402/#comment-4331849661

    I told him I’d pass it along. ^.^

  14. Maybe, in order to be taken seriously, politicians should have to demonstrate a little *actual knowledge or experience* in whatever their signature issue might be. For example:

    –Alexandra Occasio-Cortez, since she is so interested in energy, would have to get a degree in either electrical or mechanical engineering.

    –“Lunch Bucket Joe” should have to prove his bona fides, would have to spend a year working at a serious blue-collar job.

    –Elizabeth Warren, given her preferred identification, would need to learn and demonstrate the skills required of a traditional Cherokee woman. (or, if she prefers, a traditional Cherokee man.) Pass/fail exam to be administered by a council of tribal elders.

    • She doesn’t need a degree in Electrical or Mechanical engineering (and I deeply doubt she’d make it through the first quarter/semester at an engineering school). What she needs is enough basic math/algebra and simple willingness to find information to do the simple calculations and realize there’s a huge energy shortfall with Wind/Solar. But she has no interest in that. She has this ecological Gotterdammerung in her head and has created a ludicrous eschatological construct based on that. Someone noted that these socialist types would rather Reign in Hell than serve in Heaven and that’s true. But having forgone the actual Savior they have decided they are the savior(s) of the world and start doing stupid stuff to prove it. They’re effectively insane, like the guy that thinks he’s Napoleon in the nut house.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        There are people with influence over engineering schools who might try to pass that sort of student for diversity reasons. Maybe that sort of influence can’t entirely run the school without killing the accreditation, but even a well run school graduates people it really shouldn’t have.

        Secondly, it is possible to earn a mechanical or electrical degree without being able to draw sensible conclusions about the flaws of alternative energy. a) you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink. b) Getting a degree is investing in a credential. Some folks get a degree because their ego values the status of academia. That can mean a tendency to accept group think and suck up to the accepted wisdom of their social circles. c) Going from the basics of mechanical or electrical engineering to an understanding of the true context of alternative energy involves habits of analytical thought. If those don’t exist before starting the degree, you aren’t going to start doing them after getting the degree if you don’t work in engineering. A coloring between the lines sort of analytical thinking can suffice /while/ earning a bachelors. And with graduate school, it seems possible to learn a very specialized sort of analytical skill that does not generalize well enough outside of a narrow field.

        • According to the prior administration* an insufficient number of [Women/Blacks/Hispanics/Homosexuals/Transsexuals/YourMascotHere] graduating from your engineering school could ONLY be due to Institutionalized Bias, WhiteMalePrivilege or other form of as yet unidentified discrimination. That could result in pulling of certifications, denial of scholarships, Title VII, IX, Whatever investigations, audits, and general harassment including but not limited to barring faculty and administrators from conferences and denial of publication in professional journals.

          The Federal proctologist government has its colonoscope ready and they don’t bother with lubricants.

          • *And the next Progressive administration won’t be so restrained.

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            According to the prior administration, a) terrorism is caused by poverty b) the correct response to security concerns is to remove access to firearms by people the administration does not trust sufficiently. That the administration did not understand the case this made about restricting access to engineering, secondary, or even primary education by the poor or historically poor is not my fault.

  15. BobtheRegisterredFool

    Over a Larry’s, someone is posting using the handle Lefty Throckmorton. Is my vague recollection that this is Clamps correct? Is he using Larry’s tour to avoid the ban-hammer?

    • He’s be outed on the same thread as “Tallheron”, so it could be a dodge.

    • I don’t have that one, but it’s probable.

    • I kind of doubt it: writing style is too different. And Lefty just claimed to be black (or in his own words, “Afro-North American”, whatever that means) and therefore pre-emptively offended by the sympathetic slave-owning character that Celia Hayes was going to put in her book. Classic leftist/SJW thought pattern, yes… but has Clamps ever claimed to be black?

    • Not Clamps. Lefty shows up now and again, and unlike Clamps, is able to write semicoherent paragraphs as opposed to spitting out random word beads strung together in a semblance of a sentence.

      Clamps doesn’t claim to be black; he does claim on occasion to be either half or 1/4 Laotian, as well as occasionally tries to pass himself off as a young female online (because back in the day, being identified by others as female online in the more civilized areas of the Internet meant being treated a bit more politely.)

  16. My pet theory is that the more insulated people are from the consequences of their actions, the more we see the harmful crazy behavior* rewarded.
    Which, leads to the classic “soft men make bad times” we see over and over again.

    *as opposed to the harmless, or even beneficial Odd behavior. Gorg, obsessed with collecting pretty rocks, might be able to figure out that hitting the one rock against the other makes sparks.

  17. Stopping by briefly to say glad you’re well enough to write (and a good one). Back to Snow Day!!!

  18. Sarah, you said something interesting that I finally have an example for.

    “You see, the world has been invaded by story. We can’t go anywhere or do anything without a story being told, a narrative being wrapped around our existence; without being bombarded with stories of all kinds.”

    Here’s the example: https://quillette.com/2019/02/10/public-educations-dirty-secret/

    Skipping ahead, the dirty secret is that all the black students resist the free education they’re being given as hard as they can, and make life miserable for their teachers.

    ” It is not poor teaching or a lack of money that is failing our most vulnerable populations. The real problem is an ethos of rejection that has never been openly admitted by those in authority.”

    “Why should millions of perfectly normal adolescents, not all of them ghettoized, resist being educated? The reason is that they know deep down that due to the color of their skin, less is expected of them. This they deeply resent. How could they not resent being seen as less capable? It makes perfect psychological sense. Being very young, however, they cannot articulate their resentment, or understand the reasons for it, especially since the adults in charge hide the truth. So they take out their rage on the only ones they can: themselves and their teachers.”

    That’s the negative power of a false narrative. Black kids know everybody thinks they’re stupid, they’re worthless and Whitey is better at everything than them. This is the story they tell -each other.-

    Recall how many “Black Beauty” stories we’ve been subjected to over the years, where the hard-done-by underdogs battle through against the Rich Kids for the Big Win! Blackboard Jungle, To Sir With Love, both from the 1950s, and on and on it goes.

    Kids think that stuff because ALL the stories they read or have been told tell them that’s how it is. White kids have Harry Potter, who do Black kids have? Bunch of SJWs telling them their lives suck because somebody else making it that way. You consistently tell a population that the world is against them, you get the New York City school system.

    Therefore, the practical thing to do is TELL A NEW STORY. So that’s what I’m trying to do. It ain’t Harry Potter, but nearing the end of Book 5 already, nobody died yet. That’s not bad, I think. Stories where the Good Guys win by doing the right thing. What a concept.

    • The reason that is a “dirty secret is” that if they didn’t keep kicking sand over it they would have to do something about the problem, and none of the things they can do will fix it and none of they things that can fix it will they do.

      So they pretend the problem is other than what it is in order to keep attacking their favorite targets (e.g., “American racism”) and demanding higher school funding even though they could increase annual per pupil spending to $100,000 without ameliorating a damned thing (other than the unions’ shortage of funds to contribute to congressional campaigns.)

      • All that is true, Res. The problem with socialized schools is the same problem with socialized medicine: Centrally planned and controlled factory model. One size fits all. Plug child into institution, process, spit out finished product. AKA socialism.

        Trouble is, this model does not work. The more generic the education, the fewer kids fit into it. One size does not fit all, and no amount of money or force applied will make it fit.

        The kids know this. That’s why they’re being dicks. They’re not fitting in the round hole any more than I did as a high schooler. I was surly and hostile too, and I went to an expensive-ass private school. Red-haired Aspergers teen Phantom was a freakin’ handful. (Although I did learn Latin and the Classics, so that was pretty good.)

        The question of the hour is: given that, now what?

        The answer, or one answer anyway, is New Stories. Like how about a new story about a new kind of learning where the kids are having a laugh and enjoying life while they build a space ship? The “dumb” kids do the welding and go on to make tons of money in their lives. Like Ringo’s “Troy Rising” books, where the hero saves the world with maple syrup and private enterprise.

        That’s a place to start. Write a story where the main character doesn’t suck, the world he/she is living in doesn’t suck, and the other people in it don’t suck. That will be the edgiest, most radical thing you can do right now.

    • Even though the security guards carefully screened the students at the metal detectors posted at every entrance, occasionally arms crept in. Girls sometimes managed to get razors in, the weapon of choice against rivals for boys’ attention.

      Not surprised in the least.

      • Metal detectors are an admission of defeat. When you see the metal detector at the school, that means the people running it have given up and they’re abdicating their responsibility to the cops.

        Metal detectors only catch the stupid ones. The smart ones think for five minutes and figure out a dodge. Like sharpening an oak or bamboo stick and using it for a hair pin. Even a high school kid can defeat a metal detector.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          Any highschooler who really wanted to and could not figure out how to manufacture and smuggle in explosive devices probably is not really college material.

        • *chuckle* A few years ago, Housemate asked why I was growing my hair out so damn long, “so you can strangle someone with it?”

          My prompt response was ‘yes’.

          Housemate: *distracted* “Oh, okay.” *pause* “Wait, what?”

          A friend back in the day told me of someone he knew who grew hair to knees, and braided what were apparently fish weights to the end of a thick rope of her own hair, to use as an impromptu flail.

          • Eh, that requires the genes to have it grow out that long

            • Weighted.
              Hair.
              Extensions.

            • That was real reason why I wanted to grow my hair out. I wanted to see if I had the genes. I had a memory of a story of my mom’s elder female relatives talking about how long they had hair back then.

              I managed to grow my hair out to mid-calf.

              • I last grew mine to the knees accidentally at 40 something.
                I cut it because the damn thing was getting difficult when I got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. Because it’s very straight and soft, it won’t keep braids and binds when it’s that long.

                • I sympathize! It would have been difficult for me to manage if I couldn’t braid my hair and bun it and such. (I rarely let my hair down back then, once it got to a certain length, and only did so at home. Rhys took great pleasure in combing and brushing, and it made for pleasant and relaxed couple-time.)

                  The first time I cut it was when we were going to cremate Damien. I wanted to give him a piece of me to ‘take’ with him. The second time, for the same reason for Brandon. By this point my hair was hips length, and oddly that’s when it became difficult to manage, which I found somewhat annoying to my surprise. You’d think that it’d be harder to keep calf-length hair than shorter hair…

                  I cut my hair while I was still pregnant in anticipation of needing it to be more manageable after I gave birth to Jaenelle. I’ve been miserably neglecting my hair (I comb it out, and tie it up and that’s it) so it’s not so nice lately though it’s long enough to be annoying (which seems to be the point where I want to cut it again or want to grow it longer…)

              • Mid calf … wow. Mine will only go mid lower/back. My mom just does not realize how angry I still am for her forcing me to get my hair cut at age 8 (FWIW 54 years ago …); AND keep it short through HS. It is a topic that even now when she brings up how “nice” my hair would look short, my comment is “Not a topic for discussion. Period.” Occasionally she tries to bring in the “your husband won’t let you cut it.” Last time she tried that my sisters intervened with a “Oh, hell no. Trust us. Don’t go there.” Not true regardless, but really!!!

                Currently it is just pass my shoulders. It was just getting to ragged on the ends, even though it has been getting trimmed every 8 to 10 weeks or so. Who knew you had to cut hair to grow it? Bit shorter than I really wanted it. Oh well. It’ll grow.

                • Yeah, I’m coming up on a need to trim, but I’m reluctant to go to a salon because it’s 1) expensive and 2) I’m leery of going in and getting more than just a trim. It’s hard to find a hairdresser you can trust!

                  *snort* “Your husband won’t let you cut your hair” – bahahahahahahahahaha~~!!!

                  Not in this group of women would something like that ever fly!

                  Some gentle scalp massage seems to help in encouraging hair growth. Good luck!

              • /sigh

                Dang it, and I struggle to baby it down to just below my shoulders.

                Probably just as well, it’s too thin and poofy to do most of the cool long-hair stuff with anyways!

                • Interesting thing is, when I reply I wanted to find out if I had the genes, I keep getting told that ‘no such genes exist.’

                  • *snort*

                    Which just means “we don’t know what causes this.”

                    I suppose that you could say they’re right, in that there isn’t a single “long hair” gene, and that it’s a complex thing– but anybody who looks at a population that includes both “I grow my hair to the floor” and “I have to baby my hair to make it not snap off in an abbreviated afro” and says that is being silly.

              • Mine I haven’t cut since 1989, and it’s not grown out since 1995 or so — just short enough so I don’t sit on it.

          • Rough neighborhood? 0.o

    • This is shown by the words “Acting White”.
      This has been the case since at least the 60’s.
      With intact homes some got around it but NOW?
      And it is much more tribal then what you are talking about.
      Enforcing the rules of the TRIBE. YOU WILL CONFORM!!!!
      Really hard for teenagers to fight and they get NO HELP from the schools or Progressives.

      • “Really hard for teenagers to fight and they get NO HELP from the schools or Progressives.”

        Yep. Life is hard. Harder when you’re stupid.

        The -smart- black kid will get “acting white” lessons from the white kids, so he can figure out how they do all that White stuff. Like having a job, and not getting shot while SOCMOB. That one life skill of learning how to not get shot, that’s a big one.

  19. Remember that wonderful Larson cartoon of the lemmings lining up to go off the cliff. In the middle of the line is one lemming with life preserver around his middle. That’s Odds. I may have to go off the cliff but I’ll do my best to survive the drop. Plus, I am a REALLY good swimmer.

  20. Christopher Chantrill

    On my blog I say the Left represents a Great Reaction. Socialism is neo-slavery; the welfare state is neo-feudalism; identity politics is neo-tribalism.

  21. It’s never been easy to be an Odd. But, the last decade or so, it seems to be much, much harder. Popular culture and “odd” culture are very, very inclusive-as long as you’re willing to believe and do all the same things. It’s scary for me as an Odd-where in the hell do I go these days? I’m having all the pain of being the literal incarnation of the devil (straight, white, heterosexual, male, conservative, and introverted), without any of the joys.

    I can’t go to some conventions around here, because if I do something stupid, getting kicked out is the luckiest thing that could happen to me. At least one con isn’t around anymore, which makes me feel better.

    It’s tiring and I want to go back to somewhere that I felt good.

    • “I’m having all the pain of being the literal incarnation of the devil (straight, white, heterosexual, male, conservative, and introverted), without any of the joys.”

      Dude, you didn’t get your White Privilege check this month? I’ll call head office right away!