Messages and Beliefs

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It is one of the distressing things of our time that we have a semi-functional (when not engaging in happy fun circular firing squads. Also, still unable to do anything about massive voter fraud in any coherent fashion. Also still wanting to be loved by the dying press) political party and one that has lost its frigging mind.

Okay, to believe Heinlein the Democrats lost their frigging minds on or about the second world war, by being infiltrated by communist agitators.  But this kind of alien taking over (and wearing an Edgar suit) takes time. Anyone who listened to them and had lived abroad had a pretty good idea what was going on from the late 70s or so, and heck, at the very least we knew — because of the fashionable left entertainment creators in the media and literature, not to mention the news which were part of the same complex — that they’d decided the Soviet Union was gong to win, and all they could do was lose slower.

This didn’t make those people particularly different from the Republicans, who also thought that Communism would win out, and maybe had some kind of upper moral hand — at least as punishment for our sins, I guess — except that on the left side of the isle they seemed more willing to actively collaborate with it, perhaps for a dascha on the Ptomac.

The fall of communism shattered that.  Even though the truth didn’t come out (I can’t do enough to recommend you buy and read Judgement in Moscow) and in fact the wholly-owned left refused to let the people know just how horrible life behind the iron curtain was (which has allowed them to engage in tu quoque and attack the minds of our school children with the idea that our free economy is “just as horrible” because it’s not paradise.) the shock still propagated through the system.

Before 91 I’d say there might have been some true-believing communists, some young, indoctrinated and thoroughly naive people who thought communism would bring about paradise on Earth.  Heck, some of them were my friends in college. They were too young to comprehend the disillusionment that Stalin caused in another group of true believers (leaving behind only the cynical and the opportunistic) and like today’s young people, in much of Europe and the “best” schools of the US had been kept in the dark and fed fertilizer.

Are there still young and naive true-believing communists?  Kind of.  It requires a level of stupidity or at least unthinking that makes us all make fun of Occasional Cortex. But even she is not so stupid that she buys into communism — oh, oops, sorry, “democratic socialism.” Gulags with a smile — without extra incentive.  The extra incentive is that tu quoque. I.e. the educational establishment has doubled down on the idea that the US is no good, very bad, practically a horror show, uniquely awful among nations.  In Europe they add that Europe is not much better.

So when you bring up people standing on bread lines as in the Soviet Union, or rummaging trashcans in happy democrat socialist Venezuela, that old horror, Bernie, afraid of dying before he gets his dascha on the Potomac comes back with nonsense about how at least they get a minimum, while in the US — a country in which our poor have obesity problems — they starve in silence.  (The only people close to starving are drug addicted homeless, and we wish they’d be a little quieter on the streets of our major cities, but no one can accuse them of being silent. Also, you know, our poverty and starvation is why Central America is trying to immigrate en masse.  No, he’s not that stupid, but he thinks we are.)  And always there is the “Capitalism is ruining the environment” with a date line no more than ten years off, because, you know, that’s scary and will stampede the sheep into socialism/communism even though the results — even from socialist-lite Europe — are always horrific.

In the name of making communism — that no longer can be held up as a perfect system — more appealing, the left has taught people to hate their own countries, their own cultures, and ultimately their own species.  We deserve to go extinct, or live like bands of foraging apes, for the “environment.”  As though the “environment” had some sort of sentience.  And their scares, btw, are always nonsense.  When global cooling, global warming, ozone and the heartbreak of alar all have as a solution “more state control” even though communist countries have some of the worst environmental records in the history of man, you know you’re dealing with something that has nothing to do with pristine rivers and green forests.

I think this is what has caused the latest attack of stupidity, the bizarre, sideways upside down nonsense they’re engaged in.

You see, man does not live of bread alone. Or of fear and disdain alone.  To motivate their troops they need a narrative.  Hell, to stop them thinking and straying off the reservation, they need a narrative.

What makes me giggle is that in this as in so many other things, the boomer who are older than I (I never considered myself a boomer, since boomer used to stop in 55 or 56 when I was young. And they called us stuff like they call the millenials now) the ones who had their hey-day in 68 refuse to believe the world has moved on or that their nostalgia isn’t our nostalgia.

We’ve seen this over the years in movies where the parents are still that generation, even though that generation no longer has kids in high school.  Or in which everyone still looks in awe at their “activism.” Or whatever.

Now they’re trying to bring nostalgia as a motivator into the political realm.  They’re trying to make Trump into “Literally Nixon.”  By bringing in John Dean to… I don’t know. Say Trump is worse than Nixon? With hilarious results. Also, note that every Republican president since Nixon has been “worse than Nixon” according to this fraudulent jailbird.

What do they expect from this?  Well, what happened in their youth. They expect people to fold and just believe them.

They’re missing several things:

1- They no longer have control of all the media, and their gabs at the tech companies are just going to get them treated as publishers and monopolies.  Some of what they’re doing borders on RICO.

2- People know they’re not the only ones who aren’t leftist. This is not going back in the bottle. It just isn’t. At best they can piss us off, but they can’t squeeze us back into that place of dark loneliness.

3- The democrats have for real gone completely insane.  (I almost typed inane and that applies too.)  Their electoral promises now amount to “we’ll destroy you faster.”

4- the people who remember sixty eight and were actually protesters, have a tendency to be in mobility scooters and tote oxygen tanks.  (Remember the peace demonstrations under Bush?)

5- They still have the press, but the press doesn’t have the power to amplify their nonsense into “really important” and “the wave of the future.”  The women’s marches for nothing much look and feel like the women’s marches for nothing much.

The thing that amplified the unrest in the sixties was that all the best minds were convinced each successive generation would be larger, and so the “youth” would be a massive and undeniable voting block. The kind you couldn’t ignore.  And the media gave the impression that everyone in that generation was ultra-left.

Neither of those applies. No one is afraid of nursing home protesters.  Heck, we’re not even particularly afraid of antifas who melt and cry when they meet with anyone fighting back.  And who can only have any type of foothold where the police connives with them.

What we must remember is this: People need something to believe in and something to fight for.  What the left is offering is “Lets all kill ourselves because we’re the worst ever, or destroy ourselves with socialism in expiation of our sins.”

That’s not — ultimately — a good motivator.  People who are chronically depressed and miserable destroy things, but they can’t build.

If we go around convinced that “in the end they’ll win” we’re just cooperating with them.  We’re also as wrong as people were in the sixties and the seventies.

In the long run nihilist cults never win. Are you going to let them destroy Western civilization in their self-immolation pyre?

No?

Then keep in mind that though things are going to get worse — much much worse — because the other side is dying and will fight back with everything: in the end we are on the side of reality.

In the end all they can do is LARP their big victories while preaching nihilism, punishment and death.

We don’t win tomorrow. And it’s going to get worse. As I said, they have corroded our body politic, our education, our press.  But note they’re not acting like they’re winning. Because they know they can’t.  At some deep level, they know they’re just trying to keep the illusion long enough to move stage (ah) left. But the worm is already turning.

Build and preach life.  The future is so exciting and limitless and all we have to do is open our eyes and work for it.  Build, learn, create.  The universe waits human colonies. (All species colonize. The ones that don’t die.) There’s amazing knowledge to gain.  The stars are calling us.  And in the stars there’s freedom.

In the end we win, they lose. Be not afraid.

 

 

153 responses to “Messages and Beliefs

  1. And don’t forget to attack the Democrats’ policy positions where they’re weakest, with effective weapons that can change people’s minds. For example, this meme that was shared last night on Instapundit’s open thread:

    • Good one. I’ve seen the neocommies start saying that that argument ignores nuance, which is what they use to make what should be unacceptable acceptable. The fact is, by stripping away the nuance to show the truth of what they’re advocating is monstrous.

      • Lacks nuance, they say? That means they can still see the forest despite the trees.

      • They may say that the argument lacks nuance, but I can’t help but notice that, when pro-choice people talk about babies that would otherwise be born deformed, or born unwanted, or be born into poverty and a life of crime. I cannot help but notice that these arguments closely resemble the Nazi argument that we should get rid of undesirables — the only difference is whether they are “euthanized” before or after they were born (and some “ethicists” make the case that we should reserve the right to “abort” someone up until the age of 2 — the pro-choice camp cannot give a clear line, using their own rationalizations, as to why we shouldn’t).

        At this point, the only argument that can persuade me to be pro-choice, is that I need to be intellectually consistent: if I, as a so-called anarcho-capitalist, think murder should be legal, then I should be ok with abortion as well. But then, this doesn’t really make abortion ok, so much as it just shifts the matter to become a civil, rather than a criminal, violation. It also means that so long as we consider murder to be a criminal matter (and as an absolute government minimalist, I’m not going to lose any sleep if we never get around to decriminalizing murder — let’s work on education, taxes, social programs, and a whole slew of other questionable government exercises of power first), so long as murder is illegal, so to should be abortion.

        • not just ‘ethicists’- my #$@#$@#$ governor thinks its okay to stand around and discuss the viability and life quality of a child *after it is born* even of doing so presents a threat to the life of that child. And has now called a special session to try and pass emergency legislation to prevent government employees who pass thorough background checks from buying suppressors and shooting up their workplaces.

        • A bit of a bounce off the ethicists part of your comment, because I feel those people who did the study are unfairly villified (if we’re talking about the study that compared pro-life and pro-abortion arguments and applied them beyond gestation and to the rest of the human lifespan). Mind, this is my opinion and POV, so feel free to disregard it.

          From my understanding, the study was conducted to analyze the positions and arguments involved. So they took the various pro-life arguments, and (oversimplifying) went “does this argument apply and choose life, y/n?” and went from the moment of conception to the moment of birth. Then they did the same with pro-abortion arguments. They found the pro-life arguments remained pro-life throughout all of the gestational period, and the abortion arguments called for abortion at any time (as one of the criteria on the pro-abortion positions was ‘can it survive by itself’).

          Then they went past birth, until the average human life expectancy. The ethical study found that the criteria for abortion held not only past birth, but well into toddlerhood (as a toddler technically cannot survive by itself, unassisted, without the mother/adult intervention), stopped applying at a point in childhood, then resumed being applicable at old age.

          That’s where the world basically went apeshit. I will admit that I myself at first saw red when I heard about the study (it was being framed as ‘medical ethicists argue that it is okay to abort even toddlers’) and went hang on, no. I’m going to look at the study, and found that they were being unfairly villified for a neutral analytical result that didn’t argue for or against abortion, but only wanted to study the applicability of the criteria of the two sides.

          The fact is, it exposed the pro-abortion side as a monstrous one when taken to the full logical conclusions.

          I find that the people who argue that in order to be intellectually consistent, ‘if you’re pro-death penalty, you have to be pro-abortion’ are using a logical fallacy of false equivalence by blurring the lines of morals and crime. The death penalty these days is usually applied as a penalty for crimes considered to be so heinous, for the safety of the community, as well as for punishment, the criminal is put to death. For logical consistency really, as abortion takes innocent life that has done no crime, those people that choose abortion and perform abortion are, in fact, murdering a complete innocent and someone completely helpless and vulnerable – descriptors which, if you remove the description ‘unborn’, would render the victim as tragic and someone who should be given justice.

          Yet, abortionists and parents who choose death for the helpless unborn and newborn are excused because of a societal fig-leaf of ‘choice’ – a choice made with someone else bearing all the consequences including death by poisoning, dismemberment, and relegated to dehumanization by the same people who scream that slavery is evil.

          Their own logical inconsistency is on display, as they themselves are perfectly fine with the ending of innocent human life, whereas pro-death penalty supporters find the acceptability of ending a life of a person who has committed crimes against society and humanity that are severe enough to withdraw the ‘right for that person to continue living.’ Yet, in modern day death penalty in civilized countries, the death is often far more humane than the deaths or torment the criminal has inflicted on their victims – and in the case of the linked article, the murderer was let go after only serving a part of one of his life sentences.

          • A similar shifting happens between the death penalty and shooting the guy who is actively committing a violent crime against you.
            “We don’t have a death penalty for armed robbery!”

            ….ignoring we don’t have it for being the victim of crime, either.

            **********

            Thank you for the information on the study– I’ll store it away for future reference, because that’s the kind of equivocation that some folks really like to use, no WONDER it drove folks nuts — Peter Singer has been making the argument they examined flat-out since at least the 70s.

            • Yeah, as I mentioned – my initial reaction was to be sickened and enraged… then noticed that the pro-aborts AND the pro-life were both angry about it. As in, the pro-aborts were saying that it was unfairly portraying them AND making the pro-lifers sound like they were ‘better people’; the pro-life side was upset that it ‘recommended post-birth abortion.’ (More or less.) BOTH sides were saying how dangerous it was, and how the people who conducted the study should be sacked, if not driven from the field entirely.

              That didn’t sound right.

              So I looked it up. Mind, my summary is my understanding of it, which seems to be the correct one as one of the department heads (it was conducted at more than one venue/university/hospital) defended the study as neutral and purely analytical, without advocating for either side, as well as noting it was but part of what they do – analyze, observe, understand, etc, before making recommendations. They were at the analysis part (they literally had only presented the findings of their experiment), and the media flew off the handle based off of a few, out of context quotes.

          • You seem to be saying that the Mainstream media seriously over-simplified a well-nuanced ethical analysis of a complex moral issue.

            I am sorry, I find that very hard to believe.

            • “media flew off the handle based off of a few, out of context quotes.”

              From Res: “You seem to be saying that the Mainstream media seriously over-simplified a well-nuanced ethical analysis of a complex moral issue.

              I am sorry, I find that very hard to believe.”

              I know? What’s with that? I mean mainstream media has a high believably rate (something around 10%, I think, maybe), surely they didn’t get that wrong?

              (Ow, Ow, Ow … hurt my eyes, rolling them, while I typed this.)

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            There’s some other fun arguments. a) Hypotheticals like could the lives of junkies be practically preserved if you were talking something like a large fraction of the population berserker level impaired from PCP or the like. b) Folks often suggest that we could have simply not killed the indians until the survivors were capable of living at peace with us. They do not persuade me that this was actually an option in historical periods in question. c) I’m both a weabboo anime fan, and pretty hardcore on the question of the waging of the Pacific War.

            • Elf and I are also big fans of Japan– both modern and ancient, to the point of having gotten stationed there– and not only think the Bombing was needed, but that there’s nothing else that WOULD have stopped them while the country functionally existed.

        • My bird keeps trying to eat the flashy light on my mouse and I was shaking him off and hit send by mistake. ~_~ I was going to add this in the ethicists part of the discussion:

          If there are ethicists now who are wrongly using the analysis that was done to argue for the murder of children past birth, then they should be removed from that job, as what they argue for is no longer within even the dictionary definition of the word. The pro-abortion camp cannot give any rationalizations because as the analysis found, their various criteria showed that if they were consistent their criterias for abortion remained consistent until the child was roughly 5-6 years old and resumed in old age.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          You know, I will be inclined to protest if people are in favor of decriminalizing the production and use of certain classes of recreational drugs, and not also decriminalizing murder. When you can reasonably gain information about the effects of the drug that makes the acts more or less equivalent, you could argue that making the distinction is bankrupt.

          Plus, there are assumptions hidden in murder statutes. a) the cultural or religious assumption that all humans are people. b) Such statutes do not recognize states of war as existing within a society. Which is all well and good for a society that has domestic peace. But if you have a situation where some parties are unilaterally failing to meet some of the necessary conditions for peace, you have grounds to argue that murder statutes are inappropriately or unfairly applied.

      • “It’s not assault, Nazi’s aren’t people”*

        *Where Nazi or fascist defines those right of Bernie

  2. Roderick Kinnison

    Just what was it that Nixon did that was so heinous? As I recall, he spied on his political opposition and threatened to (but didn’t succeed in) using the IRS to go after his political opponents. So now that a more recent administration actually brazenly admitted successfully using the IRS as political weapon and now that they have been exposed as spying on their political opposition, is it time to reevaluate Nixon? Or should we have a new ‘worse than’ benchmark and be talking about ‘worse than Obama’?

    • What he did was what almost all lefty presidents have done since ever. Never mind.

    • Which is why they are shifting to “actually Hitler” – the Nixon thing has lost currency, and not much traction.

      I would expect “literally Satan” next, but that would be far too Christiany for that side.

      • I would expect ‘literally Satan’ next

        Literally Cthulhu? Might explain the “hair”.

      • I think “actually Hitler” is failing at this point.

        I take no accusation of “Hitler”, “Nazi” or “fascist” without asking them what parts of The Doctrine of Fascism are being fulfilled.

        I have yet to find anyone using the accusations who have read it.

        I’m waiting for “actually Reagan” or “actually Jefferson”.

        • Here’s hoping. Been going more generic although homo or transphobic are getting traction.

        • Reagan won’t get used. His name is typically invoked by lefties as short-hand for “well-meaning but clueless or senile”. If you want to accuse someone of being the spawn of satan, that’s not the way to go.

          • Voldemort

            • I think they already tried that one … or maybe that was back when Romney was the Republican nominee.

              • They did, it got countered by an awesome meme with Trump as Guildhart (sp?) and Hillary as the pink witch.

                • I think it was Gilderoy Lockhart.

                  I really think Rowling missed a golden (heh) opportunity when he got his memory wiped. He should have read all his books to find out “who he was” — and believing them, become that hero.

                  Of course, as she’s rolling in dough and I’m … not, I guess she managed well enough without my advice. Simply amazing, but there it is.

                  • YES! Thank you, I knew what I was rememering is a mashup with a much better character from Fairy Tail, but blanked.

                    I agree on the redemption.

                    • … And I now want to see Vathara write that fanfic. I’d kind of like to give it a try myself, but I’m much better at writing code than fiction, and it would probably come out an amateur effort that only my closest friends should read.

                    • That would be awesome, although I don’t know if she’s gotten sucked into Fairy Tail yet.

                      Biggest problem is that neither world works on real-world logic, and the logic doesn’t quite fit.

                      For those not familiar, this is the character whose name I mangled in:

                      His introduction involves the town where this mage guild is stationed physically moving entire blocks of the city, because otherwise he kind of tends to get distracted and walk through walls. In the high damage sense.

                    • I was thinking more of the “Lockhart believes his own books and becomes a real hero” story idea, but the Harry Potter / Fairy Tail mashup would be fun too.

                    • BobtheRegisterredFool

                      Robin, everyone starts somewhere.

                      Seriously, if I push this current mess to completion, I suspect I will not ever want to hear people refusing creative writing projects because they haven’t the skills to do them well.

                      (First real fanfic story. A replacement for two volumes of light novel. Mid outlining. Ever so slowly getting organized, solving problems, and making progress. Not at all sure what it will be. Might be an epic trilogy, which would be stupidly ambitious of me.)

                      I’m tempted to press gang you for a beta reader, just for suggesting that your skill level is a reason to say no. On the other hand, successful completion seems to require a certain amount of excitement for the idea, and that I have no right to judge. Gripping, I have a very poor track record, and perhaps should not be judging in general.

                  • I hadn’t thought about that; it would have been very funny to see that, too!

                    Along the same lines, I think Rowling missed another opportunity of redemption by not having his cousin Dudly at the platform with Ron and Hermione, Harry and Ginny sending off their children, with Dudly worried about how his daughter was going to do at Hogwarts, too.

                    It would have been nice to see that, despite the initial unpleasantness, that Dudly and Harry had become friends.

                    • The initial unpleasantness was very unpleasant and rather extended, but then Dudders stood up for Harry when it counted and appeared to have learned a valuable lesson. Your scenario would have been a nice recognition that childhood “disagreements” do not have to last forever, and that we can bond over the strangest shared histories.

                      Heck, Dudders could simply have played the role of loving (not funny, McGee!) uncle, a muggle relative with whom Harry & Ginny’s kids can spend some portion of summer vacation and build knowledge and sympathy with alternate lifestyles. Perhaps Dudders has become a PE teacher and can teach the young Potters the basics of Muggle self-defense, an art potentially very useful against dark wizards who are accustomed to eschewing (shudder) physical activity.

                    • Apparently Rowling considered it, then decided no one of Vernon Dursely’s blood could ever possibly be a wizard.

                      So much for that whole, “it’s your choices not your ancestry that matter.”

                    • A story to be truly cruel to Petunia: two letters arrived, one for Harry and one for Dudley.

                      For a good story, Dudley would have had to be less of a comic stereotype, but the basic structure is something I’ve poked around. (It needs latter structure, of course.)

                    • Naw. Add to it. Dudley ends up in Huffelpuff or Slitheren.

                    • HUFFLEPUFF!

                      Because, seriously, that level of jerk almost requires a basic “this is what good is” foundation.

                    • He’s not a defined enough character.

                    • Once he got into upper school and took those boxing classes he became much better defined.

                      Had he been given a few more pages, such as in attending Hufflepuff I am sure his definition would have improved.

                    • BobtheRegisterredFool

                      I’ve always liked that Vernon worked for a company that made drills, and regretted that he wasn’t a more sympathetic character that could show how that experience changed him.

                      Thinking about it, I think I may be depressed, ill, or jaded right now. Because thinking about how that drill factory struck me back in the day contrasts with how I would feel today if you offered me the opportunity to tour the plant. Seriously, when did that stuff stop just being flat out cool? I’m looking forward to an upcoming medical visit.

                    • I had an aunt who worked at a drill factory in Nevada. Or so I was told — they never granted my requests to visit Aunt Bunny.

                  • Of course, that’s a tale that could work with the serial numbers filed off. (And re-engraved, of course.)

      • Also, it’s more fun.

    • He got caught. Then lied about it.
      Got caught so badly much of his own party (Many now never-trumpers) would have voted to impeach.

      • Well, you know, that’s not exactly how it happened.

        His minions got caught. Then he protected them rather than throw them to the wolves (a mistake that LBJ would have never made.)

        There is ample evidence that the Watergate burglary was a rogue operation initiated by Dean, using the campaign for cover.

        All of the other stuff — wanting to use the IRS for political effect (perhaps denying 501C status to “opposition” groups), taping Oval Office conversations for his own records — was standard presidential practice.

        • heh, today they get in trouble for NOT recording Office conversations . . .unless they’re a dem, then it is vital for national security (the only time the left is concerned with national security is when is has nothing to do with actual National Security)

        • I’d argue that the death of FBI-Director-for-Life J. Edgar Hoover was the actual cause of Nixon’s downfall: If Hoover had lived but 1 or 2 more years, he would have just sucked up the Nixon events for his blackmail files, and to protect that power he would have used the other stuff in his files to quash any investigation or even any publicity.

          But J. Edgar died on May 2nd, 1972, and all his extensive incriminating files on everyone in any position of power in Washington vanished, so when the second break-in went south on the night of June 16th/17th 1972 there was no Hoover standing there to manipulate events in return for another decade in the Director’s chair.

        • Thing is, he didn’t get in trouble because he taped the conversations. It was the conversation he didn’t tape that caused the issue.

    • Won without being a Democrat when they believed they were entitled to win.

      So, really, Trump has committed the same “crime”.

    • > so heinous?

      Nixon was the first to fight back. When the media accused him of fraud in handling campaign funds during his 1952 Senate campaign, he went on live TV and made them look like fools.

      As information has become available, it looks like the accusations were revenge for his exposing of Alger Hiss as a Communist agent. A *lot* of people, many of them very highly placed in the Fed, media, and academia, had publicly spoken in support of Hiss, and were left holding the bag when he was convicted in 1950. The Narrative was that Nixon had rigged the investigation due to some personal feud with Hiss.

      While most people know Hiss was a spy, they don’t usually know how important he was. As in, he was Roosevelt’s Russian translator during his meetings with Stalin during WWII…

      • Hiss was also, IIRC, FDR’s man negotiating the establishment of the UN. So yeah, sorta important.

        But I think the animus toward Nixon really began when he ran against Helen Gahagan Douglas (wife of actor Melvyn Douglas and, reportedly, inspiration for the Wicked Witch in Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.)

        Her defeat as a candidate for the United States Senate in 1950 by Republican Richard Nixon, against whom she campaigned in his later presidential bids, became symbolic of modern political vitriol, with Nixon referring to her as “pink” down to her undergarments.
        Wiki

        Endorsed by the sitting Democrat senator Douglas had bested in the primaries, Nixon won with 59% of the vote. It was Douglas who christened Nixon “Tricky Dick.”

        As you might expect, Slate puts it all in slightly stronger terms:

        Actress, Opera Star, Congresswoman
        Helen Gahagan Douglas fought for liberty—and watched Richard Nixon end her political career.
        If you lived in the Los Angeles area in the mid-to-late 1940s, depending on which district your home fell into, you may have been represented by one of two members of Congress: future president Richard Nixon or former actress and opera singer Helen Gahagan Douglas, who was also one-half of a Hollywood power couple with her husband, actor Melvyn Douglas. Nixon and Douglas, who were elected to the House of Representatives in 1946 and 1944 respectively, were on opposite ends of the political spectrum at the tail end of a time when there was an actual spectrum—when there were liberal Republicans and conservative Democrats and politicians occasionally broke from party ranks and collaborated with rivals. Our current state of political polarization is the result of processes that began around this time, and the flattening down of political possibility into two equally compromised parties would get worse over the 1950s, as candidates began managing their platforms for television.
        [SNIP]

        Her defeat to Nixon marked the end of Douglas’ time in public office, thus ending one of the most promising political careers of any woman of the era, not to mention the first nationally prominent political career of any man or woman from Hollywood. And though there were many factors that went into Nixon’s win—including, as we’ll see, dirty tricks and endemic corruption—the major issue of the campaign was communism. Nixon had been a key member of the House Un-American Activities Committee during the 1947 Hollywood hearings; while he and Douglas were on the campaign trail in the summer of 1950, the Hollywood Ten finally exhausted their appeals and started going to prison. In this climate, Nixon was able to brand himself as a successful hunter and prosecutor of reds and paint Douglas, who had vocally opposed HUAC and its activities, as not just soft on communism, but herself a Hollywood pinko.

        [SNIP]

        Helen Gahagan Douglas’ six years in the House of Representatives seem to have been a mixed bag, although it’s a bit hard to tell from the press coverage she got at the time, which was apparently almost entirely focused on her looks. It should be noted that she didn’t manage to pass a single piece of legislation. But she made an impact, largely through protest. She was one of just a handful of representatives to vote against funding HUAC permanently. And as a supporter of the United Nations, Helen believed that the U.S. should share nuclear information with other countries, including the USSR, in order to avoid an arms race.
        [SNIP]

        With no desire to protect herself by playing the game, Helen became a committed thorn in the side of HUAC and its leader, the vile racist John Rankin. [N.B. – typically, Slate eschews putting a “D” after his name.] … She was popular enough in her district that she could have kept her own job in Congress for a long while. But she saw that the more the Senate shifted to the right, the harder it would become for her to get anything done. It seems like she ran for the Senate in an effort to protect one seat from the rising tide of insanity.

        Nixon’s campaign passed out half a million “pink sheets,” leaflets printed on pink paper, printed with vague but ominous suggestions that Helen Douglas had secret communist ties. In the days before robocalls, human Nixon campaign staffers would call voters at home and ask if they knew that Helen Douglas “was married to a Jew” and suggest that she was just another “movie Jew” trying to take the country away from “real” Americans. And white communities were mail-bombed with postcards in support of Helen, signed by the Communist League of Negro Women—a completely made-up organization whose name alone was crafted to strike fear in the hearts of white homeowners.

        [MORE]

        Slate also gives her credit for Reagan’s conversion to the GOP, so of course Nixon’s defeat of her rankled the Left. BTW: do not look to the Slate article for any description of any possibly underhanded campaign tactics Douglas might have employed. This is a hagiography, not an obit.

        • My apologies for the preceding Wall O’ Text.

        • Completely off topic, her name is mentioned in Tom Lehrer’s “George Murphy”, touching on Hollywood and Politics. (Circa 1965).

          “Hollywood’s often mixed
          Show business and politics,
          From Helen Gahagan
          To Ronald Reagan?

          (Murphy was a song-and-dance man who was a Republican senator in the ’60s)

          I never looked her up before.

          And no, I never protested in Chicago in 1968. Spent the time of the convention/riots cutting lawns and staying away from trouble. I think I knew Niven’s first and second Laws of Protest by instinct. ‘Sides, if the Chicago PD didn’t put dents in my backside, my father would have–he hated it when I did stupid things…

        • However – in Take Back Your Government, Robert Heinlein gives an example of how far a volunteer can go, with mere honesty and hard work. The example is a woman who rose from walk-in volunteer to successful Congressional candidate in only a few years. He doesn’t give her real name, but… I did some research – and the only person he could be talking about is Helen Douglas. Bear in mind that RAH was a middle-level California Democrat activist at the time.

      • Meanwhile a Fibbie Washington man was out spoonfeeding to reporters cuz new director wasn’t bureau and he’d been passed over

        • Said fibbie guy’s name pops up a few times in the book Days of Rage, which is about the domestic terrorists in the 60s-80s. Apparently he was one of the ones who decided to “creatively interpret” the President’s instructions on how to combat the domestic bombing groups… and then had those tactics backfire badly in ways that the press was able to reveal.

          Given that, hardly a surprise that he didn’t get the top spot.

          • I am actually not surprised. Failing up into bureaucracy to get an idiot out of field happens. Although I was growing up during whole Whitey Bulger area just outside of Boston so knew already a shady group.

    • Had an R after his name.

    • The evidence was that he didn’t know about the spying. He tried to cover for the “plumbers” after the fact, and *that* is what he got nailed on.

      (Shrug) If there’s one thing the last 24+ years have taught us, it’s that virtually everyone with political “pull” cheats on their taxes. With that in mind, asking the IRS to investigate how public servants parlayed their entrusted power into personal wealth seems eminently reasonable. Due diligence, even.

  3. Wow. I am in awe. One of Sarah’s best. Occasionally I go insane and think about sharing this blog with some of my liberal/leftist/progressive friends, but who am I kidding. They would never read it. They accuse of being locked into “Faux News” only, but as usual, it’s projection from them. None of them would ever stray from the NYT, WP, HuffPo, etc.

    • I’ve shared MGC a bunch with friends and fellow dilettantes like me. But not ATH. After seeing this weeks nuttery among em, nope. Even the humor over their heads.

  4. “What we must remember is this: People need something to believe in and something to fight for.”

    Which is one of the Left’s fatal self-contradictions: they’re trying to get people to believe in, and fight for, not just a society where nobody has to believe in or fight for anything, but a society where it’s not possible to believe in or fight for anything (q.v. “Imagine”), without understanding or admitting the basic cognitive dissonance of that stance.

    The sort of person who can be like the Operator in Serenity — the man who can wholeheartedly commit to creating a future he sincerely thinks is better, while knowing he’ll have no place in if it ever arrives in his lifetime — just isn’t that common. To paraphrase P.T. Barnum, a lot of folks can fool themselves some of the time, but ain’t many can fool themselves enough of the time to pull that off.

    • Which is one of the Left’s fatal self-contradictions: they’re trying to get people to believe in, and fight for, not just a society where nobody has to believe in or fight for anything, but a society where it’s not possible to believe in or fight for anything

      And yet the great successes of their beloved USSR: The Great Patriotic War, the cleanup after Chernobyl, early successes in space, were built on belief in something and not, contrary to what they say, “the great advancement of socialism”.

      Men, and the above were mostly men, do not die for the great socialist future, but for “Mother Russia” and “revenge on the Nazis” (who really screwed up in the Ukraine and other non-Russian Republics), their wives and children and the wives and children of their friends, and the search for what is over the next hill, respectively.

      • In fact, I’ll commit a big sin here, Communism specifically fails relative to Fascism because the later does inculcate belief in something, the nation (which is not the same as “the people”), and that something is one of the oldest loyalties of mankind. The nation is all the clans and tribes descended from the same founder (who may or may not be real) and thus pulls on the same strings as family, clan, and tribe.

        The USSR rallied with “Mother Russia” for a reason, because to defeat national socialism, international socialism had to appeal to nationalism.

      • “Men, and the above were mostly men, do not die for the great socialist future, but for ‘Mother Russia’ and ‘revenge on the Nazis’ . . . .”

        Good point. It is possible to trick people into forgetting that they don’t agree on what they’re fighting for for a surprisingly long time, as long as they’re all agreed on who or what they’re fighting against.

  5. unable to do anything about massive voter fraud

    Unable, unwilling, who knows, is there even a difference. It seems a corrupt media (But I Repeat myself) and judiciary exacerbate the problem. They’ve done to our voter rolls what they’ve done to our fisc, and for much the same reason.

    • As I understand it, insofar as there’s an understandable reason for refraining from tackling that issue, the perception is largely that the discourse has been sufficiently poisoned that whatever votes are saved via reducing fraud won’t be nearly enough to make up for the votes lost to the public backlash against the appearance of voter disenfranchisement. (There’s not much integrity to that position, but I can understand the argument that implementing the solution may cost more than enduring the problem.)

      I would be interested to hear from people on the ground in key communities just how true this turns out to be in practice.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        The Republican Party is under a court order, apparently premised on the theory that the Republican Party was responsible for Segregation, restricting them from protesting crooked elections.

        • Not court order, consent degree.

          The GOP is doing it willingly. They didn’t even fight enough for the court to have to impose it.

        • I believe that court order (or was it a consent decree?) has recently expired but am insufficiently interested to [searchengine] the matter.

          It may have originated in accusations Republican poll watchers in Southern precincts were intimidating African-American voters. That was a popular canard accusation here n NC in the Seventies, at any rate. Standing around outside the polling places garbed in fatigue jackets, brandishing cudgels and shouting at people apparently was intimidating … oh no, my mistake: we were told by the Holder Justus Department that there was nothing to see and we should just move along.

          • It has expired. There are some plans afoot to actually start monitoring ballot fraud. Likely to be condemned by all the proper thinking RINOs.

            • I believe True the Vote and Project Veritas have done some work on it.

              Also, there have been a fair number of prosecutions for voter fraud around the country. Curiously, the MSM has not found this to be newsworthy at all because Orange Man Bad.

          • The origins of the consent decree were from a lawsuit arising from Republican ballot security initiatives in New Jersey in the 80’s. Republican operatives were actively investigating before the election to have some baseline data on who lives where, with which they were challenging potentially-fraudulent voter registrations or voting in wrong precinct. It must have had at least the potential to be effective, otherwise the Dems would not have erupted in fury and labelled it voter suppression.

    • Danny Hamilton

      Best solution. At every poling place setup and video the people going in and out. How many people went in? How many votes were reported?

      Compare videos, were the same people going into multiple places?

      Needs organization but not difficult.

  6. Christopher M. Chupik

    We’ve had ten years left for all forty years of my life. After a while, you just stop buying it.

    • And future shock, global freezing, nuclear winter, Y2K … the whole panic-du-jour.

      • Christopher M. Chupik

        The Population Bomb, which bombed . . .

      • Actually, I’d argue future shock is not only real, but affected them the most because believing they had perfect knowledge of the inevitable future based on the arrow of history they were not prepared for the future that arrived.

        And I’m not just talking the fall of the USSR and, more devastating in a lot of ways, the GDR.

        The greatest blow to communism, even bigger than its failure to produce prosperity was its failure to arrive in any industrial nation. While that provided an excuse for its failure, it started beyond, the GDR was the exception. I remember lots of talk in the late 70s and early 80s about how they were the truest and most dedicated communists who would bring the real new Soviet man.

        For it to fall and be among the first was the strongest repudiation of Marx possible.

  7. You see, man does not live of bread alone. Or of fear and disdain alone.

    Nor reproduce, apparently: Wherever the edumacation establishment has implemented the “[This country/this continent/all humans] suck(s) and must be destroyed – tremble in abject despair, and remember the test is Friday right after the rally for inclusive exclusion” standardized curriculum, there’s a curious and totally completely unrelated drop in reproduction. Somehow those who have asked for seconds of the despair koolaid don’t want to have babies.

    Which is curiously and also totally unrelated to exactly the same phenomenon in the late stage Soviet Union, where in the end they had to do vast public advertisement campaigns to ask people not to abort all their babies for the sake of the motherland.

    Somehow people who have hope for a better future, and pride in their community and country, want to raise children. Whodathunkit?

    • This, right here, is why the illegal immigration debate has the dimensions that it does. The future belongs to those who show up. Liberal urban enclaves are not where people are having kids. If they don’t import a new electorate, then there will be population decline — but what would be, from their point of view, far worse, the next generation might be USAian….

    • Problem is recruitment just as much or more than making their own kids. Govt tells you they must be in nice cages all day long and indoctrinated. Some parents can break the programming, some kids sneak out still willing to look behind curtains, but many if not most fall into the mob behind the screechers.

      • You know, you can donate to HSLDA even if you haven’t got children.

        I expect we’re going to see a lot more “evil home schoolers” stories coming up. We need to be prepared to defend.

        • Oh, yeah – I see these stories starting up here in CA.

          They seem to be instigated by the teacher’s unions, accusing home schoolers of selfishly withholding their child-desk-occupancy-units from the public schools with the single purpose of causing the public schools to receive lower total per-diem attendance payments from the state.

          Here’s the last one I remember:

          https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2019/05/22/assembly-bill-local-school-districts-power-deny-funds-home-schooling/

          Basically the charter school and home school themes converged, and provided a perfect place for the local news to dredge up a retired unionized public school teacher for a quote, basically that it’s not fair that charter schools, and in this case by extension home schoolers, get away without union contracts among other onerous requirements that apparently require “a level playing field”.

          I am always surprised that the solution to the onerous union teachers contracts is never “Then de-unionize the teachers!” but instead killing off all the competition to unionized public schools.

          OK, I lied – I’m actually not surprised at all.

          Forget it, Jake; It’s California.

          • I’m surprised they haven’t gone to Michigan Rules and declared the home schooling families employees of the state and assessed them union dues.

  8. They no longer have control of all the media, and their gabs at the tech companies are just going to get them treated as publishers and monopolies….People know they’re not the only ones who aren’t leftist. This is not going back in the bottle. It just isn’t. At best they can piss us off, but they can’t squeeze us back into that place of dark loneliness.

    Big Tech’s campaign to marginalize, vilify, and silence us is the current effort to persuade us that we are “the only ones.” Yes, it was easier before the Internet. However, note the steady consolidation of the major “social media” services, which are the dominant means of communication and community-formation today. Their complete colonization and control by the Left is the linchpin of the new approach.

    Yes, alternatives exist, and more will probably exist in the future…but the assumption that “everyone is on XXX,” where XXX is already Left-controlled, can greatly reduce our ability to rally the like-minded and reassure them that they’re not alone. A powerful countermeasure is required. Just now, none is in sight — and concerning RICO and other potential legal countermeasures, I wouldn’t be too confident that our Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnibenevolent State will choose to act against Facebook, Twitter, et alii rather than attempt to exploit them for its own purposes.

    • As multiple lawsuits (e.g., Prager University, Jamie Damore) proceed to discovery it is highly probable that internal communications will be exposed highly injurious to corporate claims of fairness. Given the lack of tangible basis for their valuation (i.e., hard assets) the resulting hit to corporate stock value might, might affect their behaviour.

      Right now I would put the over/under on that as on par with monkeys flying out of my butt.

    • > attempt to exploit them for its own purposes.

      Such are the powers the Fed has awarded itself, it’s likely they’re doing it already.

  9. bringing in John Dean to… I don’t know. Say Trump is worse than Nixon?


    cough

  10. John Patterson

    You remind me that as Lenin was taking over Russia, “Progressive” had already started making inroads in the US. And passing the 16th and 17th amendments that seriously wounded the Constitution. And the 18th, which was verkakt. What a shame that the founders were so roundly repudiated by those bipartisan progressives.
    (typing this with a plate of tapas in my lap, and getting nauseated by the mischaracterization of atavist regressives.)

  11. [The Democrats] electoral promises now amount to ‘we’ll destroy you faster.’

    That’s unfair! Their leading candidate, Joey Biden, promises he will “cure cancer.”

    Which brings to mind Huck Finn’s brief companions, The Duke and the Dauphin, who sold a concoction guaranteed to remove plaque from teeth.

    • Hard to blame Joey for not understanding why that isn’t possible. After all, his wife is the doctor*, not him.

      * = Yeah, I know, “doctor of education.” At least I know now. However, the press was so scrupulous about referring to her as “Dr. Jill Biden” that I assumed for a long time she had to be a medical doctor.

      • “doctor of education.”

        Education is one of those fields where each additional degree makes one less intelligent.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          Is it possible that there is merely a sorting effect?

          That a disproportionate share of scarily intelligent people looking at spending time on a masters, and then looking at spending time on a doctorate, will elect to branch out rather than spending more time studying research in education?

          If you have any interest in teaching, and are getting a masters or doctorate in any other subject, you will get teaching time in. Classrooms are easy to get access to, you can follow the education literature, and apply that theory experimentally in your educational practice to your heart’s content anywhere. You only get a bachelors, masters, and then doctorate in education because you are seriously interested in the theory of education, are satisfied with the tools it provides, and really think expanding on that theory is worth your time.

          Education is one of the fields that would be challenged if measuring humans was an inherently difficult thing to do accurately and rigorously.

          If this is so, given the focus education has on experimental work with large groups, a person of intelligence would notice eventually that difficulties conclusively validating theory exist. At that point, an intelligent person might wonder if maybe psychology, sociology, or history have tools that could be applied to that problem.

          If we would expect intelligent, capable people to be looking outside education for solutions to the problems within education, what would that imply about those who become professors of education via a doctorate in education?

          If professors of education, who I have had no personal contact with, are dull, unimaginative, nearsighted, and delusional, what kind of person would study under them? Several generations of such could produce such as we have anecdotal evidence of.

          • Probably 98% of education degrees are granted because that is what is effectively required to teach, or to advance. In some states, an education degree is a prerequisite for a teaching certificate at some or all grade levels. Schools are often contractually obligated to grant an automatic raise to teachers earning a graduate degree in education. And a doctorate in education is practically a requirement to be a principal in many places.

            • Plus the number of Ed.D. degrees awarded honorarily for feelz, Does anyone think that, say, Bill Cosby put in the scutwork necessary to qualify for said degree? Still used the cred eg, in the closing credits of the Cosby Show.

              • In Cosby’s case, recalling when he got the degree, yes, I’d guess he earned it. He went to Temple back when it was still a respectable university (okay, back when universities were still respectable and Temple was considered one of the better ones.)

                Of course, in light of later information his degree may have been more “hands-on” than theoretical.

                • OK, I stand (well, sit at keyboard) corrected. A little research (via Wiki-bloody-pedia, no less) shows that Dr. Cosby earned his MA & Ph.D. in Ed from UMass, with dissertations & everything. My apologies for selling him short. In that aspect, at any rate. It should be noted that Temple subsequently awarded him a BA for ‘life experience’, since he’d left to pursue his comedy career before completing his course work there.

                  • It does not change your fundamental point, of course, that many “Advanced Degrees” are awarded without any underlying demonstration of academic achievement.

                    At a guess, I would expect Groucho Marx to have received several honorary doctorates despite never finishing sixth grade.

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      Maybe Brother Joe can invite people on stage and lay his hands on them.

      I mean, at this point, why not?

    • Well, if the tissue is getting no nutrients it’ll stop dividing. That no cells are getting nutrients is irrelevant

  12. Much of what disdainfully is called “Fly-over country” is where growing and producing happens. We know how to build and preach and create.
    May this be why those that want to have power but are losing hate us. We know what they push us to isn’t going to even be worth using for fertilizer

    • They seem to have this idea that they can just make an app and automate it, or toss the invasion force they recruited south of border to do it. Or that there will be enough JBTs willing to force farmers to work or just that work ethic/fear of unknown will be enough to prevent a rebellion. Historically the midwest has been relatively content to remain as it was, not needing the glitz, glamour, and cost of the coastal megalopolis, so the question is where will the pain threshold be, and will it be resistance or more of the current deaths of despair.

  13. They still have the press, but the press doesn’t have the power to amplify their nonsense into “really important” and “the wave of the future.”

    I have long thought having the press as they do had a downside, two actually:

    1. It atrophied their skills at convincing people to join them. Looking at
    Bill in winning two elections and Hill in losing two, bigly the second time,
    you see that in action to a degree. “The press will make sure only I am
    heard” means in the times another voice gets through you’re unprepared.

    2. It created blind spots, the infamous “bubble” keep talking about.

    I have not always believed these were fatal, primarily because I didn’t
    realize #2 was a real thing until the past 3-4 years. I knew #1 was a
    problem, but wasn’t sure it alone was dibilating (still not sure it is).

    However, I’m not convinced there is a third issue even worse than the buble,
    although related to it and the atrophied skills.

    3. If all your ability to project your message is tied to the press, if the
    press’s credibility falls so does yours. Given how blatant the press has
    become in their lies that means attempts to use them flop. More than that,
    any contridiction of them, even untrue ones, now have more credibility than
    the press itself.

    Heck, we’re not even particularly afraid of antifas who melt and cry when
    they meet with anyone fighting back.

    I wish I was as sanguine about Antifi. Right now I suspect they are making
    sure the useless idiots are out in front as psiloi to separate the men from
    the boys. When the push comes they’ll be used for propoganda films and to tie
    down our people while the real fighters attack key points in the street.

    While I’m all for quality weapons for rioters I’d advise the right in the
    streets when the time comes to have lots of pepper spray (you can make better
    stuff at home cheaper) and use it to clear the psiloi and save the knives,
    bats, pistols for the core of Antifi.

    That’s not — ultimately — a good motivator. People who are chronically
    depressed and miserable destroy things, but they can’t build.

    Here we’re back to my biggest disagreement with you on eventual outcome in the
    near to middle term.

    They cannot win for the reason you give. However, if we don’t react correctly
    we can lose for the same reason.

    If it all burns down no one wins (and that is my big fear when the violence
    comes…at some point settling scores becomes more important than stopping
    destruction. Even I have a list).

    • Re: Billy-Jeff winning two elections for Prez (note he won lots more than that on the way up) vs. The Dowager Empress of Chappaqua winning exactly two election carpetbagging for the NY Senate seat in her entire life, for Pat Moynahan’s safe D seat:

      I will contend that we were inflicted with Billy-Jeff and the attempted-Clinton-dynasty purely through the efforts of Ross Perot. If Perot had not run in 1992, even with Bush-41’s poor campaigning skills and disastrous backsliding on the “no new taxes” thing, Bush-41 would have won a second term and the Governor of Arkansas would have descended into well-deserved obscurity.

      But Perot pulled just enough votes in just enough districts nationwide to tip the totals over to Billy-Jeff, and the rest is history.

      Now the Dowager Empress of Chappaqua and Abbess of the Church of Boxed Chardonnay really only had things given to her politically in her Senate victories, which is why she expected the same thing in 2008 and 2016 – and by 2016 it was really her turn, dammit! Open another box, Huma – this one’s empty!

  14. > The future is so exciting and limitless

    *Our* future is exciting and limitless. Theirs is Soviet-style apartment blocks, environmental collapse, and Big Brother. And they’re so eaten up with that narrative, they fight *for* it…

    • It is envy. They know they can’t build an exciting and limitless future so they damn well don’t want us doing better than their Soviet-style apartment blocks.

      I used to be sad, because the people stopping most of them from building an exciting and limitless future is themselves and their allies. Their enemies often would be happy to scoot over and let them in at the worktable of that future.

      Now I just want them to shut up and leave me the hell alone. As it gets worse I find myself watching more and more “build an off grid cabin somewhere with snow videos. I even will try and convince whichever cat is in my lap how much better it will be with more mice and such so they’ll come with me.

      • Bu … but … FREE STUFF!!!!!! More pay for less work!!! A unicorn in every garage!! (And howcum nobody has built an automobile branded “Unicorn” yet? Or its SUV cousin, the Rhinoceros?)

        • Yes, everyone can have free stuff.

          Like the “free” iodine tablets in Kiev in mid-1986 that no one had so they had to buy iodine medical sanitize to drink and poison themselves.

          Like the free bread which took a longer wait in line to get than it would take to make if you only had flour.

          That said, there is a threshold where I’ll stop working and enjoy the free stuff because working isn’t worth it.

          I figure it’ll be a nice three week vacation before it all collapses.

        • Not wanting to look like that episode of Bewitched?

      • Re the glorious inevitable arrow future generated by the sacrifices for the Motherland by the almost-fully-evolved New Soviet Man:

        I note with interest the upcoming streaming series from Apple TV+ “For All Mankind” wherein the USSR manages to land a Cosmonaut on the moon ahead of the Apollo program, which results in the full-on space-race-level U.S. space program not being cut back and effectively ending with the Apollo Soyuz Test Project flight in July 1975.

        It’s an interesting premise – that by winning the race to the moon NASA ended up losing – and it does provide the chance for the Hollywood true believers to include the scene of the TV image of the cosmonaut standing on the lunar surface in front of the Soviet flag. Nevertheless I have high hopes – Ron Moore’s stuff has been well done, and the clips in the trailer look interesting.

        For All Mankind trailer:

  15. There’s a thing to be seen throughout most of Western civilization right now, and you can observe it across most of the whole mess.

    The people who run things really do not know how it all works. They think they do, but they don’t–And, since they’ve been pulling at the levers of power, using the model they have for how it does, now that they’re getting results that are not in alignment with their intent, they’re horribly confused, dismayed, and are throwing a tantrum.

    Think about like this: The existing idea of how things work, to these people, is that they dictate, and everything responds to what they say.

    This is why they’re so damn confused by the phenomenon of Trump–They think, in their shiny little hearts-of-hearts, that because they say something about Trump, that it’s true, and the rest of the world should respond to that. They’re pulling on a lever that’s no longer connected to anything, because they broke it.

    Think of this in terms of operant conditioning, which can be interpreted to think of behavior as stemming from a conversation between the environment and the behavioral subject. The root of the problem, here, is that the people currently running things think that what they say is the sole component of that conversation… And, it isn’t.

    Think of it in terms of “message”, “signal”, and “noise”. Message is what you tell someone whose behavior you want to modify; signal would be the actual effective cues in the holistic environment around the subject, and noise is everything extraneous that’s going on around them and not providing an actual useful cue.

    Message is when I tell my dog “Leave the kitty alone…”, and issue a correction through the leash, to stop her from going after a strange cat beneath the porch. Signal is when that cat delivers a sharp behavioral correction of her own, via the agency of claws to the nose.

    Which signal actually creates more of an impression? Which actually more effectively modifies the behavior?

    Now, it’s all signal, when you get down to it: Environmental cues, if you will. The thing is, message is what we say, and that’s only one cue of many. If the overall environment is communicating things that are in opposition to message, then that message is going to get lumped in with the rest of the signal noise as being extraneous and irrelevant.

    So: Message. Signal. Noise.

    Much of the current elite nervous breakdown can be interpreted as their fundamental inability to comprehend the results of what they’ve spent generations doing, which is to turn their messaging into noise, in the grand scheme of environmental signalling.

    No matter what you want to admit to yourself about it all, we’re all in the business of behavioral modification, and you’d best understand what makes that work. The elites have forgotten–They’re so wrapped up in their messaging that they’ve forgotten to examine what the other signals are in the environment they’ve created are actually saying, and what the behaviors are that are really being rewarded and reinforced.

    Life in can be analyzed as a never-ending succession of Skinner boxes, acting to modify behavior. You can either make yourself mindful of that, and make it work for you, or you can operate in a haze of confusion stemming from your inability to elicit the behavior you want from others around you, not to mention yourself. The elites are going nuts because they’re pulling on the levers to no discernible avail, and that drives them nuts.

    When you stop and think about it, a lot of what the elites have been doing are the equivalent of me telling my dog “Go ahead, play with the nice kitty… She loves that!!” in an approving tone of voice, knowing full well that the cat is going to claw the ever-loving crap out of her face when she’s close enough.

    Enough of that, and how much of my message is going to be lumped in with noise?

    A lot of this makes quite clear why the elites are going nuts: Their entire paradigm is based on diktat, the reality they think they create with their words. They’ve completely lost track of the fact that once they lose credibility with those words, the only thing left is the reality of what they do, and the effects of their actions.

    Which is why nobody pays attention to the nice words they say; the idjits running Seattle and King County all mouth the right words about kindness to the homeless, and providing for them, but the reality they’ve actually created is quite at odds with that. They’re the only ones who are still delusional enough to believe what they say, and the rest of us unanointed and unwashed are rapidly losing patience with the things they’re actually doing.

    Remember that phrasing: Message. Signal. Noise. Which of those three are you seeing on Twitter, on FaceBook, or on your Google searches? What’s going to happen when the majority of their behavioral modification subjects start classing all that as “noise”?

    • I’m reminded of the NZ gun “buyback” which the majority of gun owners are ignoring. The politicians and talking heads have no use for guns outside the hands of their security guards; therefore, they cannot consider why a sheep farmer or a family miles from law enforcement centers view them as necessary.

      • The message has been sent; the signals are still unclear. If they don’t actually commit to enforcing the buyback, the signal will be taken as “They’re not really serious…”, and from there… The government has essentially rendered its diktat irrelevant and meaningless. In much the same way that the American government has rendered its message of drug use meaningless, or did the same with Prohibition.

        The subject of behavioral modification can also reverse things back on the supposed trainer: If they don’t respond, or give the “wrong” response, then the trainer has failed to convey the right signal, and are themselves being signaled that they need to change something about their approach. The subject can also modify the behavior of the trainer, in other words. If they are paying attention to them, that is.

        In the case of New Zealand, I suspect that a part of all this virtue-signalling has to do with the growing Chinese influence. They certainly don’t want to face an armed populace, should they ever decide to do to New Zealand what they want to do to Hong Kong and Taiwan, so… I suspect they’re looking at things long-term, and working to ease their way into doing just that.

  16. Illustrative case in point — Fidellio has been re-worked for our modern era:

    Beethoven Recast For the Time Of Trump
    The prospect of a modern composer attempting to put his own stamp on the story that inspired Beethoven’s only opera “Fidelio” should have been an opportunity. And David Lang’s new opera, “Prisoner of the State,” which had its world premiere in a staged version last week at the New York Philharmonic, provided some moments of musical insight. The main impression, though, was a commentary on the cynicism and political cant of the arts world in the time of Trump.

    [SNIP]

    Beethoven’s faith in the triumph of Enlightenment philosophy was hopelessly optimistic in light of the next two centuries in Europe. But the subversive nature of his faith — and the majestic music he composed to embody it — continues to inspire. Lang’s heartless and hopeless alternative is not only less noble but neither inspires nor entertains.

    Whereas Beethoven’s theme was inherently revolutionary in an age of tyrants, Lang can do no better but to echo the sort of dull and complacent belief that the system is rigged and there’s nothing well-meaning and right-thinking people — like those who attend the Philharmonic’s concerts — can do about it other than to virtue signal their disgust with their ideological opponents.

    What a sad coda to Mr. van Zweeden’s first season. The orchestra demonstrated that it is the better for his leadership. But as part of a week of performances dubbed “Music of Conscience,” the applause “Prisoner of the State” generated on its first night tells us more about the audience’s dismal view of contemporary politics than whether the battle for freedom is failing more in our time than it was in that of Beethoven.

    • But, does it have a baritone aria titled “Orange Man Bad”? If not, how could they miss out on proper virtue signaling?

  17. “3- The democrats have for real gone completely insane. (I almost typed inane and that applies too.) Their electoral promises now amount to “we’ll destroy you faster.””

    You were talking about the Boomers earlier, and how the DemocRat Party was taken over by lizard people in 1968.

    I was alive in 1968. You know what the difference is? In 1968 we all knew we were going to DIE. The Americans could push The Button, or the Soviets could push The Button, and we were all fucking well dead. Either vaporized on contact, or as one of the unlucky ones who would die later of burns, exposure and radiation poisoning.

    The DemocRats got taken over by people certain they were going to die, and desperate to feed the crocodile so they would die last.

    The Republicans were the people who were going to die with their boots on and a big pile of bodies at their feet.

    We didn’t talk about it. It was just there. Always waiting. I didn’t even try to have a career until I was 30. There was no point trying to build something if we were all going to die.

    That bone-deep certainty of immanent death did not relent until the Berlin Wall fell in 1989. Some of us didn’t relax until Boris Yeltsin shelled the Russian Parliament in 1993.

    • Many of the Dems were less concerned about the order of the crocodile feeding than they were resigned to dining on the lotus, partying until he lights went out. “Make Love, Not War!” was their non-battle cry and when death is inevitable “Everybody must get stoned.”

    • Heinlein said they got taken over during WWII.
      Phantom, I was a live during 1968 too. I was a bright, curious child with a largely leftist almost 10 years older brother. I can’t say for sure that I was aware of the bomb then, but if not it wasn’t many years after.
      I just refused to believe it would happen, because it’s always better to work in the expectation there WILL be a future.
      Stop me when it sounds familiar.

    • The Republicans were the people who were going to die with their boots on and a big pile of bodies at their feet.

      We could do worse than to aspire to go out like Aang’s teacher Gyasho.

      That’s a disconcerting number of skeletons of (probably) comet-boosted firebenders, and… his kid lived.

      But I still hope not to have to.

  18. So…

    There’s an upcoming video game called ‘Cyberpunk 2077’ that you might have heard about. It’s based off of the old pencil and paper RPG Cyberpunk by R. Talsorian Games. It’s getting quite a lot of good press due to the presentation made for it during E3 (it’s the one with Keanu Reeves), and most everyone is looking forward to it.

    Note that word most…

    Some sharp-eyed individuals apparently spotted an ad that sexualizes an individual with breasts up top, and apparent (thinly covered, from what I’ve read) man-bits down below. And certain individuals (including the usual suspects at sites like Rock, Paper, Shotgun) have reportedly gone ballistic at this “insensitivity”.

    /facepalm

    • Ok, so all that was basically all that was driving that bs, that bisexed individuals sexualized in ads in a cyberpunk dystopia?. To quote lawdog, “Blink.” You mean they’re treated just like everyone else?…

      On the plus note, this is CDPR who pushed back on the multiculti middle age poland (mostly) nonsense, so there is hope.

      • Yup.

        There’s a poster with an ad for a product that has a quick “mixing is good” tagline (I don’t remember the exact tagline, other than it starts with the word ‘mixing’). And featured prominently in the ad along with the product that the ad is trying to sell is a person who is a mix of lady parts and man parts.

        Cue howling mob.

        • You say you want to be treated normal. Like everyone else. That means sex sells just like for everyone else, so there will be ads and even sales of sex. Means you can be the butt of jokes. You can be insulted. You will meet people that don’t like or agree with you.

          But no. You don’t want normal. You want superior.

  19. I found myself thinking of the “nothing ever ends” line from Watchmen – even as the Soviet Union fell, other players rose to replace it on the global scene, in some ways much more insidious. I suspect a similar development ensuing after the political crash of the modern left, though I wouldn’t dare prophesying with any further detail.

    That said, some things *have* changed, and for the better – particularly the above-mentioned loss of control over the media and more importantly, the public awareness. The knowledge of there being other like-minded individuals is something not to be taken lightly. The main source of power fueling leftist media was precisely the notion that it had a monopoly on values and views; that one could argue for or against them, but never exist *outside* of them; outside the narrow framework of recognized opinions.

    Consequently, while the leftist media is now still dangerous as a wounded tiger, able to ruin lives individually if not en masse, they’re still ultimately *dying*. And the notion that they were mortal to begin with will no doubt affect any wannabe successor in turn. To me, that’s the greatest reward to be had – not just the fact that the tiger is dead, but the knowledge that such tigers can be outlived altogether.

  20. “…perhaps for a dascha on the Ptomac.”

    Interesting typo. They would also expect a dacha in which to enjoy their Dascha.

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