They’re Out To Get You


Does someone hate you and mean to thwart you for no good reason?

This question can be solved by two other questions:

1- Are you human?

2- Do you live among other humans?

Note that the first is optional. If you live among humans, someone might be out to get you/thwart you even if you’re oh, a termite, a rat, or even a cat.  Euclid cat is very upset I thwart his hobby of finding ever new and interesting places to pee and poop, for instance.

BUT if you answered yes to both those questions, yeah, there is someone who is out to get you.

The insanity is not in thinking that someone is out to get you. Insanity consists in becoming obsessed by it, thinking you are doomed and THINKING THERE IS SOMEONE WHO ISN’T. Particularly that last one.

Part of the insanity of the people who believe in white privilege is thinking that some people in the world — white people — aren’t discriminated against.

Sure, some people are more discriminated against than others, in some fields and circumstances.  It is provable with numbers, for instance, that right wingers (for this purpose anyone to the right of Lenin, really) are discriminated against in creative, communications and artistic fields.  It is provable because most people in those fields are aggressively leftist and because — no matter how much the left keeps insisting that’s the cause — such talents were never restricted to one political side of the divide. (As indie is proving for writers, btw.) And some people are more discriminated against in certain areas/places.

Look, it’s not even racial, but it is tribal. Because human beings are  tribal. By evolution and inclination, humans associate most with people they’re used to, and they feel safe amid a small number of people they know well.

The insanity of all the “your baby is racist” studies is thinking that babies prefer people who look like THEM. This is not the case. They prefer people who look like those they identify as parents.  Take a Chinese baby, at birth, and have him raised by Maori and they’ll react badly to people who look Chinese.  Think of it in terms of the band of human (or pre-humans.)  If a baby found himself amid a group that didn’t look like its caretakers chances were it was dead and/or lunch. Sending up a distress signal in the form of wailing is its only hope its caretakers will come and rescue it. (It because i’m including pre-humans. This applies — with bells on — to baby chimps, btw, who are just human-adjacent.)

Same signals and instincts persist in adult humans.  Except of course, we have many many more ways to distinguish tribe other than skin color and general resemblance.

Until my politics are known, I fit in perfectly well in places where college professors/vaguely artsy types lodge.  My grooming, attire, body language and general interests (up to and including the fact I often forget there’s an outside to the house for months on end) make me, on site a “member of the tribe” and no one finds me strange.

I never felt so out of place, and I’m fairly sure there was a gossip circle entirely devoted to me as when we briefly lodged in a suburb filled with self-employed small business people in the trades.  For whatever reason (and I didn’t even know that was a thing in the US) their wives behaved much like village housewives. As in, they didn’t go outside the house without full makeup and business attire (my mom was shocked I went to the store with no lipstick on, when she visited, let alone in my paint-spattered clothes, when I ran to home depot halfway through a job.)  My rare appearances from indoors, usually with headphones and wearing jeans and ratty t-shirt occasioned disapproving looks, and also groups to congregate and talk.  Eh.  Even though I probably had a ton more in common with them, my appearance and habits identified me as “not of us.”

Note none of this had anything to do with race. Both suburbs referenced were primarily white/blond. But the reasons I fit or didn’t fit were… more peculiar.

The solution is to move out of the field, area, etc. and find one more congenial.  This is more difficult with people inclined/trained to work in fields dominated by their political enemies.  Most people still take it, mind, which accounts for fields becoming mono-political. (usually skewed left. Mostly because the right has principles that don’t allow hiring/promoting for political reasons.  Or it did. This might be changing in self-defense.)

What if you can’t?  Well, you have my sympathy. I can’t, and I’ve paid the price.


So, stop obsessing that people are out to get you. Knowing they are is beneficial if you can thwart them. Or be aware of their bias and countervene it. Or whatever.

But if there’s nothing you can do about it, becoming locked in the certainty they’re out to get you will only destroy you.

Sure they’re out to get you, but when people are out to get you at that level, they’re out to get a lot of people.  Find ways around them and cheerfully ignore them.

In the end, people who absolutely discriminate for no good reason other than politics, race, appearance, sex or whatever — note for no good reason. There is reason for instance for churches to discriminate against those who believe otherwise; for sex-restricted sports clubs to discriminate by sex; age restricted groups to discriminate, etc — are only destroying themselves.

As we’ve had ample evidence with traditional publishing, stupid hiring or firing on politics, not competency, leads to an ascendance of the less than competent and in the next round of the frankly incompetent, until you have people who could rival the monarchs of Europe for cheer dysfunctionality.

It’s not that people on the other side aren’t competent. It’s just that if you’re picking for reasons other than competence enough of those less than competent get in, who then feel out of place/threatened and hire those less competent than themselves.  Give it a few iterations and the entire field are roaming around in the wilderness, without a clue of where the real world is.  Which goes a long way to explain much of our publishing, news, academic and other establishments.

The good news is that they’re stunningly ineffective. It’s not that they’re not malicious, it’s that they are so incompetent at it they mostly fail, just in the same mode as most dictatorships fail. I.e. inability to do anything coherent or sane.

The other good news is that most of these fields are on the slate to be beaten hard with the tech stick. I.e. alternate markets already exist, or are about to exist, so if you’re shut out of them you have access to the public anyway.

Yes, it sucks to see incompetents get lauded and advanced.  Meh. They have their own challenges. For instance, most of them, in their heart of hearts know they suck.

What if you’re discriminated against for other reasons: Appearance, race, sex, etc?

Same applies.  Do not delude yourself into thinking that other humans don’t.  Sure, if you’re a minority woman you might think that straight white males have no challenges.  But the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. (Just like most people think I’m an optimist — ah! — a lot of people think husband and I live golden lives with no challenges — ahah! — because mostly they aren’t inside our heads/lives.) Straight white males aren’t an uniform group and I’ve never met one without some severe challenge, be it of background, birth, education, health or other issues.

If you’re human, you struggle. It’s what you do.

There is a reason envy and despair are both mortal sins.  Stop worrying about how tough you have it, and how easy others (you think) have it.

Worry instead about how you can optimize your situation and go forward.  Nothing else works to keep you human and sane.

Shut up and do. Everything else is a distraction.




240 thoughts on “They’re Out To Get You

  1. Mostly because the right has principles that don’t allow hiring/promoting for political reasons. Or it did. This might be changing in self-defense

    If not we need to be given this.

    It’s like the left wants all the right to join the alt-right, because the alt-right’s arguments, in part, are of self-defense in the “if you are the only ones not playing the identity game you will lose.”

    It also is the next, and probably last, big step to civil conflict. By forcing the right into ghettos, figurative and literal as this spreads to housing (don’t kid yourself, if not stopped it’ll be rentals soon), then the right has not cost born in destroying liberal institutions. Also, removing the ability of people to feed their families is a way to tell them they have no stakes in a society and believe it.

    Sure, if you’re a minority woman you might think that straight white males have no challenges.

    The biggest challenge facing WHAM (White Heterosexual Able-bodied cisMales) is also their single biggest privilege.

    We alone in our culture are expected to think for ourselves, instead of having the proper POC, gay, disabled, female/gender non-conforming opinion provided to us by our progressive betters.

    I wouldn’t want it any other way.

    1. Re the link – I swear they’re trying to make conservatives go Rubicon.

      How freaking stupid *are* these people?

      1. Well, relating to the manage money comment, they don’t seem to realize the disclaimer every investment has: “Past Performance Is No Guarantee of Future Results”.

        They assume since the right wingers haven’t gotten their guns yet they never will.

        1. The thing is, we on the right do pay attention both to the left’s words and to their actions. We learned from Clinton’s assault weapon ban based on mostly cosmetic features of common firearms. We definitely learned from several poorly executed attacks on our gun rights from the Obama administration. BHO has been acclaimed as the best gun salesman EVAH for good and sufficient reasons.
          So we’ve gotten our guns and quite literally billions of rounds of ammo. It’s just sitting there waiting for sufficient provocation to be put to good use in defense of everything we hold dear.
          And still the ignorant, pathetic, clueless bastiches keep pushing because bullying and intimidating citizens peacefully going about their business is just so empowering to their kind, proves their superiority in the bubble universe their heads live in.

        2. They forget that we are not New Zealand. It appears that firearms (and air-soft) confiscations in retaliation for social media posts have begun in New Zealand. Not certain if it is true, but I’m sure there are those up here who would applaud being able to do that. But we are not New Zealand.

          1. States like New York are starting to use social media posts as a basis for denying gun permits and will no doubt use them as the basis for “red flag” confiscations.

            1. I think it was Solzhenitsyn who speculated how the USSR had been different if the secret police in their night time raids had had to fear who waited in the dark hallways.

              I think American police do when they think about mass gun confiscation.

              Most gun grabbers think someone else will bell the cat. The people they expect to bell the cat know what they would be in for. If they didn’t, then the huge degree of non-compliance in NY and CT would have been pursued.

              1. “And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling in terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand? […] The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt!” —Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago

              2. Has been repeatedly, publicly stated.

                Hell, some of the folks against gun confiscation think the police would just walk through and pick up guns, based on people not taking up violent and public resistance yet.

                Nevermind that multiple states’ gun grabs have run into sheriffs PUBLICLY going “are you fing nuts? YOU go take them!”

                1. Yes, and yet the gun grabbers still think the police will do it when told.

                  I didn’t say they were right. I didn’t say they were smart.

                  I just said they believe the police will do it without thought and there will be no problems.

              3. The other thing is that half the cops in America are private gun owners, hunters, and recreational shooters too. They are NOT happy with restricting gun rights.

                1. Yes. AND we take our clue from law enforcers’ private life, public stance. What guns? Don’t flaunt what you have. Sure people know you got a deer. Either your finger was loaded, or you borrowed a rifle from what-ever-their-name was, or better yet, they got it with a bow … but bow broke so don’t have it now … or, you know, the deer was altruistic and came up and dropped dead at your feet; “it’s magic!”

                  Oregon at least isn’t going after guns (again.) But after limiting ammunition purchases. Haven’t managed to figure out the self loaders …

                  1. If Democrats like Eric Salwell get their way, they will use the military, as they know cops will be reluctant to carry out mass gun confiscations.

                    1. I’m not sure that will work out as well as they think. Despite work on the officer’s corps I’m not sure you’d be able to get more than half the force doing internal enforcement.

                      Also, once you do that you significantly increase the odds of a general here or there deciding he doesn’t need to be the middle man and try a coup.

                      I’m not saying they won’t try it, but I suspect they’d regret such an attempt within five years.

                    2. Given how the left considers the law a set of strategies to use when helpful and ignore when not I doubt they would care.

                      The question is would the officers and NCOs?

                    3. Mary, if Posse Comitatus meant a single solitary damn, the Eisenhower would have been impeached and prosecuted for sending the 101st to Little Rock.

            2. Which is why I’ve been saying that those laws ARE the “gun confiscations” the 3% have been preparing for.

            1. Don’t comply. And if presented with a situation where the cops will come in and confiscate, resist to the maximum. The first few resistors will probably end up dead; but the rest will get the message quickly and it will be game on on all fronts. Living a principled life requires defense of those principles; how far you go depends on how true to those principles you are, and how brave you are.

      2. They think they can “win.” So, very freakin’ stupid, in that way which only college English professors can manage.

          1. Long running argument in Washington State.

            Apparently, the fact that a lot of the huge farming groups have home offices in Seattle (which is a good idea for shipping, if nothing else) means that all the farming stuff they produce in the entire rest of the state still counts for Seattle’s “production.”

            The concept of “if you don’t build the roads to Seattle, those companies don’t make any profit” doesn’t change the “drain” from the dry side.

            1. This guy didn’t even have that excuse. Didn’t offer any argument at all. When I countered that we had all the farmland, got no response.

            1. See, I could make an argument that is largely based on defining “cities” to include the manufacturing– which would catch the rural side coming and going, as they don’t get supplies to make use of the farmland, and there’s no place to process the fruits of the farmland into useful material.

              Realistically, both halves are needed, although there is a goodly amount of waste to trim– but to have no argument at all!

              1. They don’t exactly let you put in new fuel refineries anywhere, but there are especially few in super dense urban areas. At the same time, those are not all spread out far away from towns of any size. They require a fair number of people specialized skills to run, and the people with those skills aren’t necessarily reliably hard right.

                It is not clear to me that one could easily convert all the necessary heavy agricultural equipment to alternate fuel sources.

                Add in that fuel logistics also requires spares, that the oil companies aren’t necessarily keeping stocks on hand to cover a civil war’s worth of unreliable production and sabotage… Not at all a desirable civil war. Plus, it the balloon goes up, the left may have access to the direct action forces to torch the refineries, and lack the judgement to realize the consequences.

                1. That’s the problem with useful idiots. They think that their avocado toast and the electricity for their IWhatever grows on trees and falls from the sky. With the country polarizing and the cities turning more and more leftist, you just KNOW that some moron would torch the eeeeevil power plant and the aaaaaalso eeeeeeevil petroleum plant, and three days later the big cities would be full of people eating each other.

                  Sadly, the suburbs are more of a mix, and they’d probably have just enough people in them to start roaming the urban areas as large terror groups, consuming everything they find and destroying the people who have the means of agricultural production and know how to manage those means.

                  That’s, of course, after internal purges in the suburbs left them pointed one way or the other, ideologically. One need only go re-watch “The Shelter” from The Twilight Zone to realize what happens to even remotely urbanized areas as soon as people are convinced they won’t be able to feed their kids. I doubt it would take two weeks for even a major US city to start looking like Syria once power and water were cut off.

    2. Eh, Leftists really are men of system. They really think that they do not intend to make people alt-right, it means they don’t.

      “The man of system, on the contrary, is apt to be very wise in his own conceit; and is often so enamoured with the supposed beauty of his own ideal plan of government, that he cannot suffer the smallest deviation from any part of it. He goes on to establish it completely and in all its parts, without any regard either to the great interests, or to the strong prejudices which may oppose it.

      He seems to imagine that he can arrange the different members of a great society with as much ease as the hand arranges the different pieces upon a chess-board. He does not consider that the pieces upon the chess-board have no other principle of motion besides that which the hand impresses upon them; but that, in the great chess-board of human society, every single piece has a principle of motion of its own, altogether different from that which the legislature might chuse to impress upon it. If those two principles coincide and act in the same direction, the game of human society will go on easily and harmoniously, and is very likely to be happy and successful. If they are opposite or different, the game will go on miserably, and the society must be at all times in the highest degree of disorder.”

      ― Adam Smith

  2. A while back, I was doing a writing exercise, trying to move beyond “hair color and eye color” in my descriptions of people. I sat in a busy area, looked at people, and tried to describe them in the order I noticed things about them. I found that the first thing I almost always noticed was clothes. The second was hair, though it was style as much as color. Other physical characteristics, such as build and skin color, fell further down the list. (I rarely noted eye color at all unless they were a particularly startling shade of blue or green).

    Thinking about it, I realized it made sense, because clothing is one of the big ways we use to mark are tribe. We can’t choose what color we are or our basic body types, but we can choose how we dress. Thus, your clothes are how I classify you and how I’ll start my interaction with you. If you’re wearing a suit, I’ll put you in one category, if you’re wearing jeans and a flannel, I’ll put you in another. If you’re wearing a hoodie up over your face and sagging pants without a belt, I’m going to be really wary around you.

    1. Interesting.

      On a tangent, I started a blog post roughly called “What I Learned About Show, Don’t Tell Characterization from a Music Video”. It is a lot of the same kind of things, but less about tribe. I have over analyzed this video, at least the dance contest part, and showed who facial expressions, one foot movement, and a piece of jewelry tell me all about the woman in question.

      Now I need to think about using the same things, but adding clothing, in setting up characters and their natures in stories I’m working on. Maybe I should see what it says in the video.

      BTW, I blame this on John Ringo. This very catchy tune is on his playlist for Under A Graveyard Sky.

    2. Relatively reliably sourced rumor has it that the really good instant-assessment types zero in on shoes. Reportedly, one look at footwear can classify income/net worth levels effectively even out here where zillionaires can and do wander about in worn jeans and t-shirts (albeit expensive versions thereof).

      1. When I started going to Europe, I was cautioned never to wear sneakers, especially the white “walking shoe” sneakers. They stand out, especially on people over age 20 or so. And you can still spot people from Bulgaria/Romania/Russia by shoe very easily.

      2. I wonder how that would work on one of my friends. They don’t look rich and don’t stand out; indeed Machiavelli (as we like to sometimes call him) would look like a perpetual 15 year old except he’s finally starting to show some grey hairs (to his relief)… and most people don’t realize he owns their family/clan’s huge food industry-related company. He looks like an unassuming aide or businessman’s secretary when at work, or a trainee. The last time I saw him, he chuckled as he recounted how while waiting for everyone to go into a conference room, an impatient foreign businessman imperiously told him to go ‘find the owner of Company’, the meeting is about to start. Machiavelli went around the corner, came back, and introduced himself with almost vicious pleasantness, since the people in question were coming to see him to try broker a deal. “Then they made the mistake of underestimating me. As usual.”

        1. You would think that if you were flying to another country for an owner-level meeting on an important deal you’d have the brains to tell an underling to do some research and make you a facebook of the important players.

          1. Yeah, well, Machi looks and sounds… really young. Asian baby face doesn’t help, and he’s my age group. I’ve started thinking that his rather unassuming presence is something that one doesn’t really ‘get’ until you meet the guy. The sort that looks more mature in photos, so you don’t recognize him when you meet him.

            That and we kinda get looked down on a lot. *shrug* He uses it all to his advantage. Plays prejudices against other people’s expectations, etc.

      3. I’m not sure what my shoes say about me.

        I discovered my Almost Perfect Shoe several years ago, right about the time it got discontinued, and have been hoarding them ever since. I’ve had the soles go in a few pairs in various stages of wear quite recently, so I’m a bit concerned the materials are hitting an age limit. 😦

      4. I’ve started wearing Birkenstock’s Boston model again lately. I have odd-shaped feet, and it isn’t uncommon for me to go into a shoe store and not be able to find a single pair that fit right (literally, not “these fit but I don’t like them). Years ago when I moved to Florida, I got a pair of Birkenstock Arizona because Florida = Sandals! And they actually FIT. When I started to work a “real job” after college, there was a closed-toe shoe rule, so I got a pair of the Boston model at the Birkenstock outlet. They were comfortable from the first time I put them on (which NEVER happens for me). I wore them for years, even had them re-soled. By the time they were no longer salvageable, the Birkenstock outlet had closed, so I didn’t have a local source and moved on.

        Lately, I ordered another pair because I was tired of my feet hurting all the time. These new ones don’t fit AS well, but I’m hopeful that they will break-in to be as comfortable as I remember.

        Being that a guy wearing Clogs isn’t “normal” where I am*, I’ve often wondered if anyone notices, and if they do what they think. Not that I give a hooey, just curious. I stopped letting what people think dictate my life a long time ago.

        *Hmm… just thought… there was that “Crocks” craze a few years ago, perhaps it isn’t as non-normal as I think it is.

      5. Dad was checking up on some things in a refinery, when one of the welders asked him, “Why you always got your boots so shined up? Ain’t no one to impress down here in the mud.”

        Dad looked at the welder in question, and replied perfectly deadpan, “I like dry feet.”

        The young welder looked confused, and one of the older welders started cussing a blue streak. Water, you see, soaks through leather a lot faster than through wax… for years, the guys had assumed dad was putting on airs, instead of putting two and two together, taking good care and polishing up their boots themselves, and enjoying dry feet down in the mud.

  3. Response to “But you are rich!” Looks behind me. Because they can not be talking to me.

    Actual response “Uh? What?”

    Because we keep the house and yard, relatively, but not professionally, nice? Because when we decide our current rides are deemed should be replaced, we can, that after (average) 10 years of use we get top dollar either sold or trade in, because, I don’t know, we take care of them, eliminating the need for expensive repairs? That we don’t try to keep up with the neighbors? That we’ve saved for a rainy day or retirement, whichever came first, first?

    FWIW. This has come from acquaintances whom I had reason to have a good approximation of their combined household income, much higher than ours. Lets just say they hadn’t made the same choices.

    1. Lots of Americans confuse “manage money well” with “so rich they don’t have to manage money”.

      Having spent most of my adult life not doing the former and having gotten better at it I have found doing the former is now more appealing than instant riches.

      1. Those who manage better tend to buy things that last a while, and thus save money over time by not having to buy replacements.
        The poor tend to go for flashy & cheap, then don’t take care of it.

      2. “Manage money well”, to far too many people, means, “didn’t have to hit the payday loan place before the next check came in.”

        I know people in their fifties who are reasonably well-off professionals who have never kept a check register; they used the phone teller to find their balance occasionally in the old days, now they use an bank app on their phone. And they all got bit *hard* learning that a debit card is not a credit card…

        We don’t expect Congress to be able to balance a budget, why should we expect it of individuals?

        1. I once witnessed an online discussion where people wailed that there were people who would help with chronic debt problems and not with acute ones. It only left me with the impression that those participating were unaware that chronic debt IS a chronic debt problem, not just when it rises to problem levels.

    2. Reminds me of something my late Mother would tell me when I was young; “We are wealthy enough to have pretty much anything we want, but not everything we want.”

      In a very real sense, that desribes most of the American Middle Class. Want a private plane? If you have a good job you can probably buy one. Not a Learjet, maybe, and you’ll need to learn to fly. Want a private island? They don’t all cost umpteen million. But you have to make choices. My parents lived nice lives, my mother pursued a moderately expensive hobby (the study of architecture). OTOH, we drove the family car for ten years or more. We didn’t vacation in expensive places. Choices.

      1. Back in the day, I could have afforded a (small, used) aircraft. But that was just a minor part of the overhead. FAA inspection and maintenance, hangarage, licensing, and other expenses would have quickly exceeded the cost of the plane itself.

        1. Well, yes. And if you have the flying bug badly enough, you’d have scrimped to pay it all. Most of the people I know who own classic cars aren’t RICH rich, but they’ve decided that owning a really nice old car is how they want to spend their disposable income. And they’ve learned how to do most of the maintenance and even (in many cases) how to machine the hard-to-get parts.

          How much does the average white collar shmoo in New Yawk spend on eating out? And if he didn’t give a fat damn about living in the City That Never Sleeps (aka Town of the Walking Dead) and eating in trendy restaurants to show off, how much could he afford to spend on something else in someplace less trendy, less pricey, and while less high salary also less expensive?

        2. Uh. Kind of like horses. Or cats. The cats were free. Their maintenance ain’t.

          Even before we were married, I made choices that came under “nope that is dog food money.”

          We never fell into the trap of putting everything on the CC then spending the money in the bank. Oh, everything goes on CC (no fee, interest free unless don’t pay off), but the money in the bank is to pay the CC, in full, and on time. I am constantly amazed that CC love us. They get jack in fees or charges out of us (won’t say “ever”, but rarely … vendors OTOH …). I won’t, as a rule, use the CC on anything that wants to charge me for the privilege (hint – IRS, state filing, EWEB, natural gas, etc.) I hate to pay a fee to use a debit card, and rarely will. Yet we tip well. It is just who is entitled to our extra bit of change (and it ain’t the bank.) We save our change (amazing how much that adds up to) used to be the kid’s allowance …

          1. They still get the credit card fee from the vendor, but don’t get screwed from you building up 50k in debt and then declaring bankruptcy.

            1. Actually, I’m feeling “bummed”. We got our credit ratings last week (for reasons) and it has “dropped”. Exactly the same for once . But it is down to 805 (yes, this is bragging, if not clear, worked darn hard for it.) Something about having “too much credit available” based on income. Not my fault the CC’s that said they were canceling us for non-usage, won’t. I swear! They don’t go away. Even tried canceling a lot of them about 15 years ago when we were robbed … they still came back!!!

              Technically we have 4, that we actually want, but only use two. One is the one attached to my ebook accounts (hell, yes, 5% off every ebook purchase, off the top? PLUS $25 free money to spend on eBooks when I opened it. I mean, really?, come on, hell yes.) The other is the Costco Visa, which is used for everything. Between the 3 we pull almost $1000 in rebates, on stuff, that is going to get bought anyway. The other two, well there are logical reasons for having them, even if we don’t use. The others are legit, just we stopped using for reasons, or were “recent” (last few years) one time use (0% interest if paid on terms/time). Side note. You know, you’d think that after 30 – 40 years, things would just keep working and not start failing one after another, I mean, really!!! 🙂

              Technically the credit bureau is correct. Our income is 1/3 of our combined gross when we were both working, but current net income is 100% of our net income of when we were working. BUT, and this is key: The credit bureaus don’t get to track what we pull from our own retirement savings 🙂 Nor do they get to track how our retirement savings are doing.

              1. Ugh, I’m sorry.
                We’re going through that with our credit rating being dinged because we’re looking for a second mortgage….due to moving. At least Navy Fed is working with us and made the sensible offer of a good rate that can’t be closed until the old house is under contract, but ouch.

                1. Now (my, didn’t look up hubby’s, s/b about the same) the CC FICO score is 864 of 900. Different scale but other than that it’s not like anything is different. We usually just go on “They really like you!!!” (Mattress replaced finally then Kitchen Stove replaced, because it broke …). Honestly, from what I hear, anyone with rating above 750, gets a “that’s great”, anything above 790 gets what we get … When the credit rating was pulled this time, I deliberately left off the amounts being pulled from retirement. That varies now that we are both on SS from nothing, to what we need to cover. Neither of us are required to take distribution (yet.) I presume the score would change should it be declared that there is more monthly income coming in. Anything that requires our filed income taxes (house loan) would show that. But this time wasn’t needed, so came under, NOTB. FYI. Given current interest rates, not refinancing house anytime soon. Current rate is right at 3%(ish), fixed.

              2. Hmmm. I once got a service canceled by declaring I had been told I could cancel it, and if they didn’t stop pestering me about why instead of canceling it, I was going to hang up to call the authorities and report I’d been a victim of telephonic fraud.

                I don’t know if there’s an equivalent crime for refusing to cancel a card. But it might work if there is.

                1. Part of the problem is a couple of accounts are so old we don’t remember who the primary is, and they won’t tell us. The primary has to cancel it … One of these days we’re just going to have sit down with the list together, call in and then they have both authorizations, regardless of who is primary … They can then hear the growl that comes out of the other half because he has to deal with it.

                    1. In theory if you don’t know, you can’t be the account holder. Only the account holder can authorize changes. I mean I get it. Get burned by an ex canceling accounts without knowledge of the account holder, and guess what happens.

                      Bit of hilarity ensued when dad passed away, at least well after it all went down. Called on power, gas, CC, etc., to make sure accounts were in mom’s name (they weren’t). They pulled the same thing. Mom’s frustrated response was “I don’t know. That was 55 years ago!” as she started crying, which prompted me to get on the phone with “Thanks a whole lot, now she’s bawling again. Daddy just died, can you tell us what she needs to do to get accounts into her name?” NOW they stumble all over (legal or not) to get us the correct information what needs to be done, what they needed.) No. Was not funny at the time. But was funny later (much, much, later) when repeating it. Plus after the first call we then knew what to do to get them to comply. Mom called, cue the water works, oldest daughter took over; it got done.

                      In a lot of ways online access has helped. Online chats does not know who is on the other side typing. Not exactly legal. But when account holder says “you deal with it” …

                      Cue the warning. Know what accounts are in whose name as primary …

                    2. Of course, it’s really nice when you’re the one paying the utilities on-line.

                      IE I was paying the utilities for my parents’ home on-line so I could “make” the change over when Dad died.

                    3. I read the story online by a widow who wanted to sell her dead husband’s car. For that, she needed to pay the fine on his license, and for that, her husband had to show up in person.

                      Bringing the urn full of ashes to the DMV inspired them to accept it.

                    4. When Em and I made our wills a few years ago, we included login names and passwords for all our accounts as a codicil and filed them with the lawyers. Basically in a sealed envelope with authorizations for each other (or our executor in the event of both of us dying) to open it and use that info to access the accounts when needed..

                    5. I have a password protected file. When we go out of town, it gets printed for kid, critical “do first” items highlighted, and then put with dad’s shortcut stuff, in the safe (did mention that we were robbed once. Guess what we bought instead or replacing the not replaceable jewelry?) I know where hubby’s are. He “knows” where mine is and how to get into it … whether he’ll remember however … really need to put that information into his …

                      I know where mom’s critical files are too.

          2. The maintenance on my cats is free. Mostly because I wouldn’t own one (I’m allergic), so I don’t actually OWN any. However, there is a HUGE feral cat problem in my neighborhood, and the crazy lady next door FEEDS them, so I have absolutely no lack of kitties to watch running around. They are feral, so I can’t pet them, but allergic, so don’t want to.

            My daughters didn’t like this situation one bit when they were little. They wanted to pet the kitties. So, I sucked it up (took some benedryl) and showed them how to make friends with feral kitties. It’s surprisingly easy, and (usually) only takes a bit of time each day for a couple days to get them used to you.

            NOPE! they didn’t have the patience, and eventually gave up chasing the kitties trying to pet them. LOL!

            1. I did the basics on the feral cats here, though with the help of a window– they’re not EXACTLY feral, the lady down the road has a lot of outdoor cats.
              Issue being when she leaves for a few weeks, whoever takes care of her huge dog doesn’t do anything for the cats; in some cases they just take the dog and leave the cats. (There’s enough nasty around that I fear both pests on the cats, and cats that have been abused biting the kids.)

              But they got the idea.

              So when my dad started to teach them to sit still so the cottontails would come right up and take food from their hands (careful not to get bitten), the older two managed it.

              I am so proud I could just burst, the Duchess and the Baron of Beef are both very impatient and wiggly examples of kids, but they DID IT!

      2. Yes. This. We’ve never skimped. But we don’t splurge either. We research to death any purchase. We buy quality, but not expensive. In fact now that we’re retired, and have the ability to do “what we want”, (within reason) we find it difficult to spend money, just to spend money, because we can.

      3. I’m not sure I want a Lear. They’re not bad, but it’s just transportation. If I buy an airplane, it’s going to be a fun machine. A Pitts Special, perhaps.

        1. Somebody we know has a sport kitplane. He can’t afford a car that actually runs properly, but that plane keeps going. SMH.

        2. I’m with Mike M, why a boring old Lear Jet. If you have to fly it something fun, WWII warbird being top of the list. My personal favorite was the P-47 Thunderbolt, good luck finding one of those now, in the late 50’s those (and P51 and f6f/f8f/ f4u etc) were a couple hundred bucks a piece off a boneyard. Of course there was the guy that pieced together an mach 2+ F104 Starfighter though it finally failed and ended up a scrap pile.

    3. It got really strange when we moved here. In Silly Valley, we were in a good neighborhood, but by no means wealthy compared to (most of) our neighbors. (A couple of rare exceptions, but the neighborhood turned into a convenient bedroom for local tech companies, especially one that was really hot in 2003.)

      Up here, we were considered rich. (Anybody who can buy their own food in $TINY_TOWN is suspected to be rich. The food bank outlet is a busy place on distribution day.) We also bought a house on a bit of land and cleaned things up. Buying a bottom end new Subaru Forester was Unheard Of, according to those at church–including the SJW minister and one of the elders. (That was an add-on so $SPOUSE could have a winter vehicle she felt comfortable driving. The Chevy truck was a POS and user-hostile.)

      It didn’t help that the town gossip thought we spent 3X the amount that we bought our utility tractor for. Said person never let reality interfere with her tales. She and $SPOUSE were friends for a while, until we saw the game. We’re a bit slow that way.

      We left the church before it went under and have little to do with day-to-day stuff in town. We replaced the older vehicles (15 and 18 years old), and got a fair amount higher in the trim level. OTOH, neither one of us owns a smart phone, and the only reason to go into jewelry stores is to replace watch batteries (and because one is the box-office for the smaller community theater in the city–$13 tickets for good seats is a bargain, IMHO.).

      Our late neighbor wanted to be the bigshot cattle baron/hunting guide. He was neither, but he spent money like he was. It didn’t help that he had a personality somewhat rougher than “abrasive”. When he passed away, his widow sold off the cattle implements and his toys. Yikes, his toys! I never knew he even had a boat until it got sold off. The ranch seems to have sold, about 2 years on the market. We’re hoping the new neighbors will be better.

      1. Ham I once knew was asked by his neighbor how he could buy a “Thousand dollar radio” (new, at the time, TS-440). He pointed into the neighbor’s yard and replied, “I don’t have a boat.”

        1. Don’t have a Ham radio, and our boat is decidedly modest; 14′ Jon boat, with 5HP motor. If it gets warm enough to use before weeds clog the side channel of The Mighty* Wood River, we’ll use it. It’s been a few years.

          (*) Irony intended.

          Obligatory quote: “A boat is a hole in the water into which you pour money.” Especially true for a wooden boat. Ours is aluminum. 🙂

          1. “Ours is aluminum. 🙂”

            So is our boat (not that she who gets sick on the dock goes out on it.) We also didn’t spend north of $20k for the TT. When we go to sell either, we will get darn near what we paid for them (inflation has it’s uses.) Trailer for no other reason that you can actually walk into it (try that with most used RV’s, gotten better in the last 30 years, but not that much) without wanting to gut it; plus anything of similar, new, will cost north of $30k easily.

    4. Yeah, people thought we were rich because our fridge was always full and we had lots of books, and at the time I maintained (personally) a garden that I filled with flowers (the roses kept dying though) and had a number of koi ponds. They never thought about the fact that I would get bulk discounts on plants and haggle the hell out of prices if I bought out a tank full of (small, feeder-size) koi; and my raising them to large amounted to ‘drop them into the now oxygenated pond and see which ones survive.’ Some of them grew surprisingly large in a relatively short time.

      They didn’t see that there were things we didn’t buy, like brand-new designer clothes; they didn’t realize the fashionable outfits were rummage treasure finds, and that bargain hunting was one of our favorite pastimes and I tended to DIY a lot of things, and we didn’t buy massive flat screen TVs or gaming consoles…

      1. When I was in high school, a friend of mine used to tell me about a local pond that he loved to SCUBA dive in (their family went on vacations to SCUBA… Not many places to go in central Illinois), because a little old lady that lived there would grow Koi and Goldfish in tanks and small koi ponds in her garden, then would release them in the big pond whenever they got too big.

        He said it was hilarious diving deep and seeing how absolutely HUGE some of those Koi and goldfish eventually got.

        1. My in-laws like to tell me about a goldfish that they had (I’m a little vague on who actually owned the thing) that eventually got too big for their fishbowl, and ended up in the pond, where it proceeded to grow so big that even whenever it got pulled out of the pond by kookaburas or herons, it would get dropped because it was so round, fat and heavy, and lie right next to the pond and wriggle back into the water, or lie there patiently until someone nudged it back in. Sometimes the bird that had pulled it out would try to pick it up again, and fail.

          I admit that I have a hard time imagining this, because I’ve seen kookabura beaks, but when I saw a large goldfish kept in an ornate jar in a Chinese restaurant once, my father in law told me the one they had was bigger. The goldfish in the jar was bigger than a softball.

          So, I’d like to be able to keep goldfish and koi for years, just to see how big they’d grow.

            1. Huge invasive problem in Lake Tahoe. Abandoned Gold Fish, which then breed. They aren’t small.

          1. Goldfish are pretty much just carp that have been through something like a thousand years of selective breeding. Just like carp, they never stop growing, and they can live for 20 years. So “bigger than a softball” really isn’t all that surprising. My friend talked about some that were around two feet long. Those were the “plain” goldfish and the koi. He also said that once they get that big, the goldfish lose a lot of the orange color and start just looking more like regular carp. The old lady was supposed to have put fancy goldfish in the pond too, but not many of those lived long. They just don’t have the ability to survive in the wild anymore.

            1. I horrify a lot of the other Japan-fanboys by calling koi “Japanese goldfish.”

              *stubborn expression* Well, they are…..

              1. I usually creep people out by singing: “It’s the snack that smiles back, until you bite their heads off”

                Mostly because people don’t remember the Goldfish Cracker jingle… or maybe they get a mental image… or maybe just the idea of me randomly singing is off-putting… donno, doncare…

                PS. How long till calling something “Japanese” is considered racist? My guess is it will be a while. The Left doesn’t seem to like Asians as much.

  4. A long time ago I got bored with answering “How are you?” with “Fine.” and started saying things like “It could be worse. I could take it personally.”

    “It could be worse, I could take it seriously” gets laughs. The first one catches people by surprise, somehow. But it is, as our gracious hostess suggests, the key to saving a bundle on ulcer medication. Yes, the Universe is out to get you. Entropy and mortality prove that beyone the shadow of a doubt. But it isn’t personal. Similarly, the SJWs loathe the ground I walk on. I’m a wealthy (most of it goes to medical treatmens for my wife, but still…..) caucasian heterosexual male who thinks they’re a bunch of idiots…and the smarter ones suspect I might be right. How could they NOT loathe me? Especially since most of their problems stem from listening to people they consider Authorities, who are scary and thus not good objects of animosity. And if they admit they’rremwrong, they have to own the results of their wrongness…and most of them would shatter.

    1. “I ain’t killed nobody” works too. People who know me get a laugh. People who annoy me get a warning.

        1. “I haven’t killed anyone; someone has to provide me with an insanity defense….”

      1. *snarl* I used to make jokes like those. Now I can’t. Humor is one of my few outlets for stress, or when around Normal People. It really doesn’t help that the neighbors we do have are the bored, gossipy, drink-and-drug using drama-seeking sorts of idiots.

              1. In my experience, that would only encourage them to come over.

                People who love and create drama tend to think their drama is so special you will want to hear it.

                I like to use rules an acquaintance used to send out with party invites.

                1. Do not create drama.
                2. If you create drama you will be removed from the party for the duration of the drama.
                3. Judges will be impaneled and your drama will be graded for costuming, acting, and originality.

        1. Well, WE get it. You can growl an implied threat to end me for bothering you if it makes you feel better. 😛

            1. Hey, if you want to vent your genocidal urges on coffee rather than me I’m not going to complain. Carry on.

      2. “I haven’t killed anyone…but the day is still a few hours left in the day”

    2. “Fair to partly cloudy” gets either chuckles of me being left alone. Either works well. “Fair to middlin’ ” no longer works, since fewer and fewer people know cotton grading any more.

      1. I get understanding nods for “Coping, coping. You know how that works.”

        Every once in a while somebody asks me “How’s life treating you?” and I get to say “Like a chew-toy.”

      2. I like to put two fingers on my left wrist, pause a couple of seconds, then say cheerfully “I still have a pulse!” with a smile. It usually gets a laugh. 😉 Alternate response: “Still vertical!” gets the same.

        A long-ago friend used to answer in an politely earnest voice, “Able to sit up and take nourishment, thank you! And yourself?”

      3. I still occasionally use “fair to middlin”. Picked that phrase up from my father. Since it has references back to cotton grading, is it considered racist for a white guy to use it? On the other hand, if you use the phrase, and yet are never called on it by people who call you racist for other things, does that prove they don’t know what they’re talking about?

        1. Actually, if it is part of the new “can’t use, it’s racist” list I might replace “Ain’t killed nobody” with it.

          Just like I’m really getting back into using “free, white, and 21”.

      4. Two of my mainstays were “Fair to middlin'” and “I’m not dead yet” (in a stupid “Monty Python” accent).

        Neither of them work anymore. People just don’t understand, and I have enough trouble with people reacting badly to the odd-ness that I can’t help, no need to add to that with things I can.

    3. “Living dream, but nightmares are dreams too….” has been my go to favorite for some years. Gets chuckles and sidelong looks in equal proportions.

      1. I’ve been using “Living the dream, looking forward to the part where I wake up screaming.” for a while now.

          1. I thought it was the ones who say it CAN’T get any worse that were taunting Murphy? I think you mean “Don’t give Murphy ideas.”

      1. For me, for now, things are too good to pull any of the chew toy responses, but that’s one to consider.

    4. > I could take it personally.”

      There as always Marcus Cole’s comment about the general hostility of the univers in B5…

    5. My choice for an answer is “Joyful”.

      It is amazing people’s response. At a bank I go to, a teller would call “Mr. Joyful is here”. Imagine walking into a bank, and someone thinks of Joy.

      I am able to explain why joy is NOT happiness, and make many people think. My oddness expressing itself, in paradoxic ways (602 paradoxes and counting).

      I drive my wife crazy when we go out. For some reason she is sure I will meet a total stranger. and end up in an hour long conversation down a very deep rabbit hole. It doesn’t happen every time… but that is why I wait to go to the frozen food section.

      1. My “sister” (my brother and I always wanted a sister, so we adopted one) was one of those people who just got along with people. I used to joke that we couldn’t take her anywhere without her bumping into someone she knew. Usually quite literally. Chicago, St. Louis, LA, Florida. Literally walking through a crowd and we hear her say “Hey, haven’t seen you in ages!” to someone she accidentally bumped into, and sure enough they were old friends.

        Not exactly the same thing, but similar enough… I know how your wife feels. LOL!!

    6. If someone asks my father ‘How are you?’ he will respond ‘Terrible’. Which usually causes them to pause and often ask something along the lines of ‘What’s wrong’, to which he responds ‘I like being terrible…if you want to know how I feel, I feel fine.’

    7. See, I just respond, “Life is good!” Because then the asker has two options: they can either ignore it completely and plow into the reason the conversation was initiated, or they get thrown slightly off track, and have to contemplate the fact that life is, indeed, good.

      What they make of that statement says a lot about them. 🙂

  5. “…enough of those less than competent get in, who then feel out of place/threatened and hire those less competent than themselves. ”

    The great C. Northcote Parkinson identified this syndrome many years ago. He named it “injelitance” (incompetence and jealousy). It wsa his opinion that once an organization had become injelitant, there was no remedy – it had to be burned to the ground and replaced by an entirely new agency. Entirely new – including any part of the old organization for the sake of experience or continuity risked transferring the infection.

    There was one other possible answer: a competent person might infiltrate the organization by posing as incompetent, until reaching the top position and then cleaning house. I don’t recall whether he identified any case of this actually happening.

    1. Interest.

      That sounds a lot like a theory we had in the Navy: bogosity, the measure of how bogus something was.

      Bogosity is:

      1. Conserved.
      2. Concentrates, that is flows from low concentration to high.

      So eventually something can become so bogus it cannot push its bogosity onto something else as nothing is more bogus that it is. At that point it fails and you need something new to do that function.

    2. One could argue that the other possible answer’s example is Trump: who expected a NY Democrat reality TV show host to be startlingly competent? Other than those who know him…

      1. My boss at work for one. When Trump was chewing his way through the prospective Republican field, I was lamenting “but what if Trump really does succeed?!?” My boss replied with a couple anecdotes about times when Trump took over stuff that was headed towards being way over budget and never getting done, and then completed them under budget, and on time.

        Not a big fan of the man himself, he’s got a brashness that grates on my sensibilities. BUT… He is doing a good job so far, and I don’t have to LIKE him to vote for him in 2020.

        1. Wouldn’t have him over for dinner, but his job isn’t to be buddy, his job is to be Pres

              1. 🙂 Too bad dad is gone. And BIL former wife doesn’t hang around. It would be interesting. On ordering a steak:

                Dad – “Put it on the grill, slide it over, turn it over, slide it back. It is done.”

                Former SIL – “Shake the steak at the fire to scare it, put it on the plate.” Occasionally the story comes out “Take the cow to the fire and scare it to death, carve me off a piece.”

                Personally, don’t like it dry, but don’t care for running blood either. Medium/Well, thank you very much. I can add sauce to add moisture if I must.

                1. My mother likes her steak still mooing.
                  (Really need to make Carpaccio one of these weekends with her. Made tartare once and it was different, she loved it.)

                2. Actual order from a friend: “Wipe its’ ass, saw off its’ horns, and trot it past the grill.”
                  Waitress: “D-d-do you mean rare?”

                  Pre cell phone, unfortunately; double-takes that good are even rarer than the steak he wanted.

                3. I used to be like that and eat steak really rare. One time while I was in the Marines our unit had a big steak cookout. Somebody important retired or something. So, when I was asked “How do you like it?” (referring to my steak) I, of course said “Rare as the day it was born”. The Marine manning the grill REFUSED. Flat out REFUSED.

                  So there I am, line bunching up behind me. And farging Grill Dude (not in uniform, didn’t know him, no idea what rank he was) was giving me a ration of crap about my choice in steak temperature. Not “Here, medium is better”, a lecture on why I was wrong to eat steak rare. So I did what I do. I bare-handedly snagged a steak that looked about right, right off the grill (singed the hair off my arm, but oh well) and walked away.

                  Farging Grill Dude FOLLOWED ME. “Do you know who I am?!?”

                  “Uh.. Nope.”

                  He didn’t say. He just kept giving me more crap about how I can’t just do whatever I want. And how disgusting it was that I wanted to eat a rare steak, and how my attitude sucked. and and and bla bla bla…

                  So I did the only thing I could. I picked up my steak. Held it over my head, and twisted so that the juice would – quite visibly – drip into my mouth, and exclaimed “OH YEA! That’s the stuff baby!”

                  I think three Marines puked…. including Fargin Grill Dude… So as far as I’m concerned, I WON!

                  I found out later that Grill Dude really did out-rank me… by a LOT. Who knew officers could look so baby faced? Lucky for me, there were others there who outranked him who told him to quit being an ass-hat so I didn’t get busted.

                  Yea, I have a real issue with people telling me what to do. Not really an issue with “Authority”, I follow commands. My issue is with punks throwing their weight around for no reason, or when they have no place to.

              2. I prefer well done with ketchup.

                Miracle whip to mayo.

                And like hamburgers and hotdogs better than less processed meats.

              3. Oh man. Telling a surviving POW that he “prefers people who don’t get caught” I can overlook… Liking his steak well done… I don’t know, bridge too far, bridge too far…

  6. Years ago, I was talking to a black co-worker/friend about about another young female co-worker who had committed suicide a few years previously, and the friend was astonished to hear that the young woman was black. She said that black people don’t commit suicide, only white people do, because white people don’t know about suffering “like we do.” I said something like “Everyone suffers” and left it at that. We were both pretty astonished at each other.

    1. I’ve got a theory about that, and self-destructive behavior.

      Boiled down, it’s that most of the “black” (which always turns out to mean inner-city, generally single mother household) folks who would’ve been at risk for suicide end up in situations where someone else does the shooting.

      It’s based off of watching the other folks that shared characteristics other than race and home location (since I haven’t lived inner city) indulge in ever more self-destructive behaviors until someone else kills them. Some can go the gang route, but that usually requires an existing structure.

      It’s not the only reason folks get into crime, or take really dangerous jobs, but don’t most people know someone who died and the main response anybody had was roughly “oh, of course he died like that.”


      Most “crime related violence” deaths are young men between 14-30– the prime demographic for suicide.
      So if some of that is self-destruction…..

        1. Chicago is looking to be an interesting test case soon. They’ve pretty much ignored the second amendment for half a century, and now the Second Amendment movement is dragging them into the New Age, where they can’t keep non-ferals from owning guns (they never managed to keep the ferals from getting them). So, what excuse will the gun grabbers come up with if violent crime in Chicago DROPS?

          1. They would act like it doesn’t exist just like they did every other time that crime dropped because the government was no longer denying people the means to defend themselves.

            Remember: “Criminals prefer unarmed victims… and so does the government.”

      1. In this case, I think it was something different – my friend came from a solid middle class black family, one that had been so for generations, and there’s an attitude there of “we have to be better than the white people.” Thus, the most courtly polite elegant gentlemen in the South were often older black men.

  7. “Insanity consists in…THINKING THERE IS SOMEONE WHO ISN’T.” (out to get you)

    ITYM “thinking there is NO ONE WHO IS (out to get you)…”

    If it is insane to think that there is “someone” (even one person) who is not an enemy, then sanity = paranoia.

    1. I parsed that as “Thinking you are doomed and thinking there is someone who isn’t doomed” myself. Her point being (I believe) that if you think that someone or group of someones out there is free of problems, that way lies insanity.

  8. “What if you’re discriminated against for other reasons: Appearance, race, sex, etc?”

    Oh, oh, I know this one! You mean like when they discriminate against you because you’re a bit weird?

    Practice being menacing in the mirror, do something where you’re self employed, and reduce your social contact to places where weirdos hang out and beer is served. Success!

    1. > Practice being menacing in the mirror

      Suuure. And then they say something like, “it’s down the hall and to the right.”

  9. Sometimes your worst enemies are those of your own tribe or family. If you’re sufficiently Odd, and your people habitually reach for the hammer to Make You Fit, even strangers can be kinder.

    1. Or if you are on the Left. The suddenness (and frequency) with which they eat their own is scary.

      It is enough reason to be on the right all its own.

      1. To a certain extent, their own are the only ones they can eat anymore. It was pointed out with the most recent YA spats that the victims were all those who worshipped at the Altar of “Diverse Own Voices” or whatever they call it. If someone told me that I couldn’t publish a book including slavery because only American blacks had ever experienced slavery, I’d offer them a chance to inspect the digit to the left of my wedding ring and move on. They needed to catch a member of their own cult in order to succeed at the shaming.

    2. “… even strangers can be kinder.” Oh please. Strangers are -always- kinder. Because they know if they said the same shit to you that family does, you’d slay them on the spot.

      1. They again, some of them will say stuff your family/tribe has learned not to say…

            1. Yeah, but I’m little and often scatterbrained in social situations. Takes three seconds of silence for me to start realizing that I said something wrong.

              1. Me too. I’m socially awkward enough that although I can say something wrong, at which THAT becomes the topic of conversation (thank you very much), but more often the conversation will veer off so what I’ve carefully wanted to state is now irrelevant to the current conversation. If I do try to veer back … see the loop where it is now wrong because the conversation has moved on. It doesn’t help that mispronunciation occurs. It has taken 60+ years. But have learned just to keep my mouth shut when a conversation involves more than 2 people.

                1. *grin* I think you probably say more outrageous ‘you can’t say that!’ stuff; I tend to find folks’ soft spot and step right on it. For an example, our realtor is a newly divorced dad of two who is living in a full sized house, alone, and feels like a loser.

        1. Strangers always get a free one, because they don’t know where the buttons are. Second one, full price. 😡

  10. A young woman at U-Delaware was being subjected to mandatory diversity training. One of the questions on the form she had to fill out was: “When was a time you felt oppressed? Who was oppressing you?”

    Her response was:

    “I am oppressed everyday on basis of my undying and devout feelings for the opera”

    The Designated Indoctrinator was not happy.

      1. There is also of course, I was once oppressed when a man claiming to be King of the Britons came to our collective 🙂

        1. Well, a watery tart handing out swords really is no basis for a system of gov’t

      2. My gut reaction to “diversity training” is to figure they are warning us not to notice the AA hires are incompetent and assume anyone who isn’t a WHAM is an AA hire and thus incompetent.

        Race conscious policies are the best argument for white supremacy I hear, yet are supposedly made by the anti-racists.

      1. When? Until Vivaldi revived some of the things dropped by recent versions Opera was my go to browser. As I said, Vivaldi is Opera wound back a bit and continued in the original direction and it is why I’m using now.

        Anything but the official Google Spyware or The SJW Internet Filter.

        1. Sorry, you’re probably right. My experience with Opera was years ago, and it was nearly unusable at the time so I never went back and tried it again.

          (and mostly my comment was meant to be a riff off of “undying and devout feelings for the opera”. The Opera… Opera… ah geeze… nobody understands my humor.)

          1. I figured. I used Opera on and off since the early aughts, but really it became my go to after the Eich defenestration and I realized Google was defining evil as “nothing we do”.

  11. In 1974 during a performance review I was informed that I was well liked, did my job extremely well, and had absolutely no chance of promotion. You see, the corporation I was working for had numerous government contracts that were being threatened by the ratio of white males in middle and senior management, so an internal directive had gone out instructing that all promotions must be awarded to minority candidates.
    I left for a different job shortly thereafter.

    1. Yeah, the number of “woman run” tech contracting companies hit an amazing spike when Congress established the “8A set aside” program for them. One woman CEO and a horde of male workers.

        1. My experience is that the female CEO had to be just enough into it to be willing to show up at meetings and cluefull enough to defer all the actual questions to staff. The occasions when it didn’t hold up were awesome and not in a good way.

      1. As a side task to my real work, manned experiment operations in earth orbit, I was often tapped to serve on contract compliance review teams.
        Funny how when examined carefully so many 8A contractors wound up as effectively management organizations where they skimmed a percentage of the contract total while one or more subcontractors did the bulk of the work.
        Two advantages to such arrangements. First, this allowed the partnership to access the 8A set asides, and second, the subs doing the actual work were generally somewhat insulated from the performance measurement system reporting requirements demanded of the prime contractor.
        Of course the advantage to the government was being able to claim that the full cost of the contract was going to the minority 8A business. How that contract value got distributed to the subs was behind a solid curtain of sensitive and proprietary business practices. Until of course the subs failed to deliver on their promises and the whole program had to admit to a funding problem. That was usually the point where my team got called in to sort things out. Sat in several meetings where prime contractors were terminated based on the report of our findings to the contracting officials. And a few occasions where the contracting officials got suddenly “reassigned” based on their failure to catch such funny business until it had become impossible to cover up.

  12. Satan is out to get me. Of course, he’s out to get *everyone* so I have plenty of company there.

  13. “cheer dysfunctionality”
    Yes, I have noticed this about those you’re discussing. 🙂

  14. Do not delude yourself into thinking that other humans don’t. Sure, if you’re a minority woman you might think that straight white males have no challenges.

    A taller friend (it’s not hard!) liked this metaphor:
    when I wish I wasn’t so short, I never think about having to duck.

  15. While I identify as six and a half feet tall, other people’s realities render me as substantially less.

    When I built my workshop I made large horizontally-hinged doors, like old-time hangars. They go up high enough for me to walk under with room to spare.

    A not-notably-tall friend from out of town was visiting today, and attempted to walk out one of the doors. Oops…

    1. I used to warn students not to mimic me when I walked under airplanes without bending over (Cessna 152 and larger). Two failed to heed the warning and became object lessons. The “thunk” of a forehead meeting trailing edge can be heard alllll over the airport.

      1. Ah, the Cessna Diamond!

        Very confusing to student pilots, as they say, “Um, isn’t the Diamond made by Cirrus?”

        After the first time they walk into the trailing edge of a Cessna wing and get a diamond-shaped indent on their noggin, they suddenly understand. The unlucky ones get a Cessna Diamond-shaped scar to remember their first plane by…

  16. There’s something to white privilege. White Males don’t worry about being victims of discrimination based on race or sex, even when they are. As a result, they aren’t consumed by the idea that they’re being discriminated against, so they’re happier and more pleasant to be around, increasing their social capital. They’re also more likely to correctly identify the problems and obstacles they face, since they’re not attributing them to something that may not exist, so they have a better chance of solving or working around those problems and obstacles

    Note that none of those benefits have anything to do with sex or skin color.

          1. And the trans population is sooo jealous.
            And so angry that you’re not at the forefront of their movement.
            Seriously. Humans make some of the worst witnesses.

      1. They discriminate against *everyone*, Sarah. Well, technically not among their core clique, though given the strictness of the pecking order it might not make any difference.

        You could a bunch of the diversity boxes, but not the *correct* diversity boxes. Since you’re not of-the-body, you must obviously be obstructed if possible. QED.

    1. White males who are losers do, some.

      When you’ve never made a success in life, are still trying, but are insecure because of the fragility of what one is attempting to put together this time, you get pretty nervous about possible downturns in the institutions that one’s plans are sadly dependent on.

      But the ones who never look inside for problems are the ones who will never grow out of being marginal into relative security.

  17. They hate us and want us dead.

    “We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves longer.

    Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament.

    Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne. In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope.

    If we wish to be free — if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending — if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained, we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of Hosts is all that is left us!”

    Patrick Henry

  18. You can tell a lot about a person by who their enemies are.
    There’s nothing like someone trying to kill you to let you know you’re actually still alive.
    Long live the Odds, and a pox upon our would-be masters!

  19. … my mom was shocked I went to the store with no lipstick on, …

    My mama would have been right there beside her, cheering her. 

    Mama often went off in expiration on what-is-the-world-coming-to when women, young and old, were appearing on city streets in ‘dungarees!‘.  She believed that a proper young lady would never go out other than freshly clean, nicely dressed and with anything less than mascara, blush and lip gloss on her face.  When fully adult the requirements rose. 

    Mama would have been very unhappy with the present state of things.

    1. I have a horrible desire to throw my grandmothers at your mother… Grandma was always very well dressed outside of the house, but makeup? Lipstick and then use the blotting-paper on your cheek bones– and if you can tell someone is wearing it, you’re doing it wrong and look like a hussy!
      (Short version of them: reading the witches books by Pratchett makes me homesick; maternal was more Nanny, paternal more Granny, but both had traits of both.)

      That said, it took years for me to be able to wear jeans with visible wear on them, or a shirt with a rip, and not feel horribly guilty. Don’t start me on unpolished boots.

      1. “jeans with visible wear on them, or a shirt with a rip, ”
        ..And now you can get the set for only $400 new!
        My grandad was a cowhand most of his life, and, poor as they were, he would throw away the clothes that got in that condition.
        Granny wore a dress everyday, in or outside the house.
        Grandma did too, with hat and gloves for Sunday, until the year we came for summer vacation and she was wearing slacks!
        Took me a while to get over that.

  20. This is the actual reason for male circumcision. It teaches males early on that throughout their lives, powerful, anonymous strangers will inflict intense personal pain on them for no discernable reason.

    1. *mother of small boys grumble*
      Oh, believe me, not being circumcised teaches them that women they love will inflict pain on them, routinely, for no reason they can understand.

  21. Quoting those last lines of Hoyt’s post..I really needed that reminder this week. It is wise and prudent, and the only real way forward

    “If you’re human, you struggle. It’s what you do.
    There is a reason envy and despair are both mortal sins. Stop worrying about how tough you have it, and how easy others (you think) have it.
    Worry instead about how you can optimize your situation and go forward. Nothing else works to keep you human and sane.
    Shut up and do. Everything else is a distraction.”

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