Between Lizards

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I think it was during my exchange student year that I first heard the American joke about how you had to vote for one of the lizards, because otherwise the other lizard would win.

I believe the joke originates in either a book or a science fiction story, in which a human finds himself in a country where all the humans are governed by lizards. Every so often there’s an election, and humans will vote for a faction of lizards, even though the lizards are horrible (and eat them or something.) When asked why they vote for a faction the answer is “otherwise the other faction will win!”

This joke both charmed me and horrified me, and in a way encompassed everything I then — remember for all my love of America and Americans I was still mostly European — loved and dreaded about America.

What charmed me was the irreverence towards politicians. To understand why, you’d have to understand Europe as I’d guess few of you do. I mean, really understand it, bone deep.

In Europe the revolutions against the aristocracy ended up being skin deep. Yes, I know what happened in France, but what they really wanted was the ability for the bourgeois to more easily penetrate the noble ranks. I’m not sure it was even that deep in Portugal. My father informs me that one of my ancestresses was a devout constitutional-monarchist, which honestly I think — sorry guys from Portugal who read this — is where the Portuguese soul still is. Being mostly a country of oppositional defiant loons (I actually say this with love) Portuguese mostly ignore authority unless there is reason to believe these people deserve some kind of respect.  And the truth is, none of them is ever fully convinced birth isn’t as good a reason as any to to respect people. Possibly a better reason, as all other achievements can be cut down to size with sarcasm, irony and sheer defiance.

The convulsion of the Republican revolution, while violent was brief. And the crazy idealists (probably Marxists, or at least proto-Marxists.  I have no idea. Portuguese history is notoriously hard to study INSIDE Portugal. When I lived there, works of history were rare and mostly one collected what one could from the memories of living people, inference from contemporary sources and that was about it. In the US I’ve found actual works of Portuguese history, but most of it is notoriously unreliable and full of errors even I can spot) who took over rapidly proved themselves worse than the nobility.

What they have now is well… “rule by good families” which aren’t so different than noble families. Oh, and the bluer the blood the redder the politics.

Conversations with friends all over Europe have led me to believe the same. All the sons and daughters of “good families” are very very leftist, intuiting in their heart of hearts this is the only way they’ll have their feudal rule back. It is definitely, due to the positional good that leftism has become (partly due to the propaganda efforts of the erstwhile Soviet Union and perhaps the present Russians) the way to power and wealth, both of which those with long blood lines of power want and desperately need, really. It is their family culture.

Anyway, the point is you don’t make jokes about the elite, those who know the corridors of power and how to get their way.  That Americans do is one of my greatest inducements for having fallen in love with America.

What horrified me, and to an extent still does, was that Americans born and bred — you’ll forgive me, my friends? — have absolutely not a blathering clue about world politics, or how much power governments not fettered by the constitution have, or the havoc they can wreak on a peaceable nation.

Recall when I first heard this it was during the cold war.  Having heard Jimmy Carter talk and pontificate I was very well aware of how the Soviet Union viewed him, and how he’d roll before them.  What was at stake was in fact whether the world at large would become a farm for the Soviets to harvest to disguise the fact their vaunted empire couldn’t even support itself, and a future reminiscent of 1984.

Also, whatever else one said, and honestly he was a man, like others — and we shall not see his like again — Ronald Reagan LOVED America.  Meanwhile Jimmy Carter could barely tolerate our stench on him, as he toured European capitals.  (Yes, he didn’t despise us as openly as Obama, but it was there.)

It seemed to me only a fool would continue putting himself in the power of one who hated him, when one who loved him was available.

Lizards, yes, surely, but not equivalent. One lizard is more likely to kill you than the other.

Well, we know how that went.

We know how I went too. And as one of you I must say, I don’t like politicians. I don’t trust them. I know even the best of them are not only human, but likely to make the sort of compromise I wouldn’t make, or to have quaint notions that the other side can be negotiated with. And even those notions I agree with are likely to founder on a morass of dealing and deal-breaking.

Bah. They’re all lizards.

I was struck yesterday by the fact that some of you are so attached to this that — more on Facebook than here — you must protest one should not under any circumstances defend Trump. That he was whateverist or merely — who knows? — crazy or stupid, and that Tom spoke with forked tongue when he defended him.

I’ll be honest with you and say that I don’t even know who Tom voted for. He’s never volunteered the information. We were both very skeptical of both lizards, and honestly, I don’t know if he ever chose.

I eventually chose the lizard who didn’t hate America and who, for all his many many faults was the least likely to shoot me in the back of the head given the totality of who I am and what I believe.

Was he defending Trump? I don’t know. What I got from both his post and his rambling phone call was “I don’t like that lizard. But he’s saying something that needs to be said.”

Which honestly is what I believe too.

Did he say it in the best way possible? I don’t know. Maybe his calling everyone immigrants was his way of directing the discussion to the horrors of mass immigrants who form enclaves.

I’ll be honest: Trump is not Reagan. Trump is honestly a democrat. (In fact in one of my last conversations with Tom before the election in 2016 his comment on Trump was “I can’t vote for him. I don’t vote for democrats.”) But he’s a democrat his party has left behind.

Which brings us to the lizards again. See above, where I said in Europe the choice is between socialists? Given that I often voted for the socialists who at least seemed to love their country. Because they were less likely to deliver me and mine bound and gagged to our foes.

And it brings us to a choice of lizards.

Trump is… odd at best. For all his oddness, he’s not served us badly. He’s failed to stanch the invasion down south (Immigration without assimilation is an invasion- Jerry Pournelle) and he’s failed to clean up our voter roles, through which our representative government is bleeding.  But honestly, given where we are and what we are, I don’t know if anyone could have done THAT.

There are other problems, yes, but I’ll tell you the honest truth, as opposed to tariffs as I am, I’m not doctrinaire, and we are at a unique techno-historical moment. If we don’t have some sort of cushion to bolster us while the rest of the world comes up to us in standards and cost of living (or close enough) we’ll go the way of Portugal shortly after the discoveries, where nothing is made in country, and the people sink into a culture of indolence and pride. Which you could say is already happening and already destroying us. And I don’t know the answer to bringing back manufacturing, jobs and preserving the American spirit. And neither do you.  I’d like the answer to be my ideologically favored one, of course. I just don’t know if it is.

And I’m starting to suspect the internationalism of the 20th century was not just a very bad idea, but poison too, at least to any culture worth its name. Open the borders, or send out a casting call for the most afflicted in the world and what you’ll get in is the most dysfunctional cultural elements. All of them. Which in turn will undermine and destroy your culture.

We don’t need to make this experiment. The Scandinavian countries, Germany and France stand as awful examples.

But beyond that, international leaders don’t give a flying fig for how the population in their countries live. Go ask the Yellow Jackets.

It seems to me if you’re electing lizards, it’s a good idea to elect the ones who don’t hate you. It’s not enough but it’s a good start.

Which brings me to both what Trump said — and we all know exactly what he meant, which was that if people came here to complain about the country, they should go back (Californians taking over Colorado, I’m looking at you too) and show us how it was done. Note that he said they could come back afterwards — however badly expressed, and what the other side says.

We won’t even go into the sad spectacle of the Queen Bee Squad being unable to say that Al Qaeda are bad actors. I mean Ilhan Omar seemed to think that a request to separate herself from the enemies of America was a trick question.

And we’ll leave aside Lizard Occasional Cortex’s grasping ambition which is inversely proportional to her IQ.

Let’s look at the clown car of Democrat candidates:

All of whom embrace open borders, seemingly incapable of realizing that the land will eventually belong to those who defend them, and that those people might not be willing to be ruled by THEM.

All of whom view Emma Lazarus’ blather on the statue of Liberty as the writ of law and completely ignoring “Yearning to breathe free” think America is a sort of charity, which SHOULD by rights turn all its wealth and generational capital over to the wretched of the Earth. (Most of them think America stole it from the wretched of the Earth, because never having run anything not even a lemonade stand, they think wealth is closed pie.)

All of whom want to control the economy, and beyond that the thoughts, feelings and everyday interactions of normal Americans in their lawful pursuits. And I mean, control. These are all totalitarian larvae.

And then look at those who follow them. Yesterday I was treated to a farrago of nonsense on my Facebook page. This included being called a “monster” whose words (yes, that post here yesterday) made one’s “blood run cold.” I was also called racist and accused of white privilege. Oh, and a host of other equally daft attacks that boiled down to “if you hate socialism you must be a white supremacist.”

The last is the truly depressing thing, because you can’t fail to realize that these poor indoctrinated bunnies, while possibly incapable of expressing it (because they’re incapable of expressing most things) have been indoctrinated to believe that all races but whites are naturally socialist, and therefore to oppose socialism is to be racist.

They’ve also been indoctrinated to believe America OWES the world. Which means that you get blather about “children in cages.” And yeah, they refuse to believe those photos are from under Obama, but let’s leave that aside for a moment: NEVER in my entire life have I seen so much malignant altruism deployed on behalf of people coming into a country with neither invitation nor a desire to belong.

These people, who have no clue how other countries operate, have been made ashamed that America HAS borders, and feel vaguely embarrassed by those of us who approve of borders, in the same way a nobleman feels embarrassed by commoners farting in the king’s court.

We are at a very perilous moment. I’ll tell you right now — I’ve told you before — that I don’t think it will pass without serious civil unrest.

If we’re lucky, we’ll escape without the sort of serious civil unrest that persists for generations and destroys the land and the people.  I believe there is just a chance we’ll get lucky.

But the thing is unless these misguided notions of the followers of the lunatic open-borders socialist lizards are countered, and hit hard on the face with rebar (the notions, not the followers or the lizards) repeatedly, while they can’t win, we’ll also lose.

To the generation raised on racial nonsense and accused at every turn of being “white supremacist” white supremacy will become the norm. They are as innocent of cultural differences as a cow is of a palace. All they’ll see is the superficial difference. And what they’ll do is turn the idiocy they’ve been taught on its head.

The result will be much what the European right wing is. It will also be, if not impossible, very uncomfortable for myself and my descendants.

And it will not be America.

Which is why I put Tom’s post up. And why I think we need to stop quibbling over “If only Trump were perfect.”

Great idea. Let’s arrange for a perfect politician who never misspeaks as soon as possible. Hell, I’d settle for human and not a lizard.

However, since the other lizards are for destroying us through a combination of open borders and complete control economy… How about we, for now, stop declaring the sky is falling because the lizard we have misspoke, maybe? Or maybe created a cunning trap for the other lizards?

Yeah, sure. They’re all lizards. But if one set of lizards wants to annihilate you no less absolutely than during the years of the soviet union, and the other lizard is MERELY an embarrassment to those of us who love words, and frankly not to be trusted further than I can throw him, I know which side I’m on.

Let me add I don’t think the left CAN create Venezuelization here. I think none of them even understands how diverse, varied and resourceful Americans are, much less the vastness of the land.

But I do know if they get hold of the levers of power, even once, in the next ten years, or until their love affair with communism and internationalism is purged, and a new generation raised, they will so far corrupt the voting that they will never be dislodged.  And when the worm does turn — and it will — another totalitarian regime will take the place of theirs.

So. It is important to change the culture. It is important to debate things like “immigration to what end?” and “If the purpose is welfare why not assist them in their own lands?” and “Shouldn’t Americans love their own country?” (Note this is not the same as not wishing to change anything about it. But if you want to change EVERYTHING about it, including the principles on which it was founded, why not leave? There are bound to be countries you like better, no?) and “what do we actually owe the wretched of the world?” and “What does culture contribute to prosperity and/or wretchedness?” And also “How does one change culture?” (Because en masse we don’t actually know how. Yes, Japan, kind of but what actually has resulted is the disease of conquered people, who fail to reproduce.)

We must debate these questions, or they will be “decided” by the indoctrinated who have been taught not to think at all.

Lizards? Sure. They’re lizards.  But one set of lizards hates America, the west, and in fact all humans.

Do you want to deliver yourselves into their power?

 

 

 

 

 

278 responses to “Between Lizards

  1. I’ve seen this “otherwise the wrong lizard will win” argument used by my Libertarian friends. Usually coupled by, some version of “nobody thinks X will win because people are voting for Y, but everyone votes for Y because they don’t think X will win.”

    Here’s the problem, going back to the last election. If everyone who really thought that Gary Johnson would have made a better president than Trump had voted for Gary Johnson then Gary Johnson would still have lost.

    The problem isn’t the “lizards” running. The problem is that so many people actually prefer the lizards to alternatives. The old Milton Friedman bit. “People think that the way you change things is by electing the right people. It’s nice to elect the right people but that’s not the way you change things. No, the way you change things is by creating a climate of opinion such that it’s politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right things.”

    At election time I tend to go with “best I have a realistic chance of getting” and then spend time between elections trying, in my small way, to create that “climate of opinion” for the wrong people to find it to their advantage politically to do the right things.

    • c4c

    • If everyone who really thought that Gary Johnson would have made a better president than Trump had voted for Gary Johnson then Gary Johnson would still have lost.

      Admittedly, Gary Johnson was about the worst candidate the Libertarians could have come up with for what might have been their best possible election chance. He was so determined to show he wasn’t one of those icky Christian conservatives that he ended up being against any freedom except the freedom to smoke pot.

      If he’d been willing to reach out to Christians (“I don’t agree with your beliefs, but I do agree that you shouldn’t have to violate them to stay in business”) and blacks (“Do you want to get rid of those regulations your ‘allies’ keep proposing that you need 40 hours training in order to do f@!#! hair braiding?”) and others skeptical of government power, he might have won people uninterested in either of the two New York Democrats.

      • There was also the minor detail that his Vice-Presidential running mate was a gun grabber.

        That’d turn off quite a few folks who might otherwise be inclined to at least consider voting Libertarian.

        • Yep. Had him in mind for protest vote if needed, but between the positive position on gun bans and the ‘you may worship at home or church, behind closed doors, but don’t even think about living it if it makes someone sad’ I gave that up early.

          And that was before the Invite the world mindset.

    • In my opinion, your 3rd paragraph contains the most important lesson.

    • “If everyone who really thought that Gary Johnson would have made a better president than Trump had voted for Gary Johnson then Gary Johnson would still have lost.”

      Further, Hillary would have won. We’re very fortunate that Johnson shot himself in the foot.

      Do the math: 3rd party candidates more or less on the side of the guy that (forced to choose) we’d prefer, invariably do nothing but split the vote and ensure a win by the worst candidate. This is precisely why Montana is still stuck with Senator Tester, who otherwise probably would have lost. (And some fairly obvious cheating could have been dragged into the light by way of what, absent the libertarian candidate, would have been a very close count.)

      • I’m sitting here right now in a deep red precinct with an ignorant Des Moines Dim as my rep because a Libertarian entered the race and split the vote. I’d bet a thousand of my own dollars he was a Dim plant.

        • The commenters over at Ace’s blog have mentioned more than one “Libertarian” candidate over the last few years that was in reality almost certainly a Democratic plant to split the potential Republican vote.

      • Fortunately, Anderson in 1980 managed to buck the trend (as in, he didn’t do enough to disrupt Reagan’s chances to win).

      • Second Clinton delivered via vote split.

  2. It’s another variant of “Don’t vote – a politician will get in” which showed up every year in Oz elections while I was growing up.

    The problem of course being that a politician gets in no matter what you do (particularly so in Australia with that oddity called compulsory voting), so you might as well do your best towards getting a half-decent one.

    I think with the moaning morons it might be better to start small. “Do you love your family?” (likely to get a “yes”). “Are they perfect?” (almost certainly a no). “Why not” (they’re people). “So isn’t something that’s made of people going to be just as imperfect?” etc… If nothing else the agonizingly slow build of logical conclusions that pretty much force someone to answer the way you want or make themselves look really bad will either blow fuses, blow the public image, or (we can hope) cause some convenient aneurysms.

    Them what’s got time can always go and show the evidence faster than the darlings can kill it, too. (I haven’t got time. I don’t know what enough time means these days).

    For Trump, when it comes to a choice between a businessman who loves the country and at least has a reasonable idea about not running at a gigantic loss and a being of indeterminate everything that hates itself, its country, and appears to have a desire to be Putin’s sex toy, well, I’ll take the businessman every time. Liking him isn’t an issue. Liking all his policies isn’t an issue. I might have to hold my nose while I press the button, but I’ll pick the best option I’ve got and walk away with a clear conscience.

    • Having had that conversation a few times with some other people, there is this unreasonable requirement that the people in (uniform/office/insert position or job here) be BETTER than the person doing the electing. By literal orders of magnitude. They need to be inhuman saints. ‘Or else why bother?!’ and cue screeching nihilism and reasons why socialism needs to happen.

      There is no reasoning with people who want a God to fix their problems for them, but they don’t have a God, having claimed to be atheist, but in truth they do have a religious belief in Socialism/Communism, and the disconnect that all people are fallible and flawed but automagically better in those belief systems never happens. They actively blow up the train line before the thought gets close to the pass.

      • There are very few successful politician saints. Those we know about have tended to be extremely practical about human nature, (often) warlike, and intensely hated by their opponents. And a lot of “good people” on their own sides still were not happy with them, of course, although they sometimes discovered their virtues after they were safely dead.

  3. I’m a Constitutional Mikearchist. I should be sovereign. Autocrat. Aristotle did say that a wise king was the most efficient form of government.

    But he also pointed out that in the long run, a limited republic worked out best. Which the Founders knew perfectly well…and had practical experience in running. People forget that the colonies had been handling their internal affairs for over a century before the British legislature stuck their oar in and triggered a war.

    And Heinlein had it right. You may not see anyone to vote for, but you damned well have someone to vote AGAINST. Which I did, in 2016. And will cast my vote in 2020 with even greater satisfaction. Trump may not govern as wisely as I would, but he has a rare talent for shining the light of truth into the shadows of the Old Regime. And sunlight is an excellent disinfectant.

    FWIW, I think Dr. Pournelle had a good point. The real key to tyranny is delegation of power. One man, alone, cannot be a tyrant, regardless of his theoretical power. It takes an NKVD to run the Gulags, an SS to run the concentration camps. Don’t let power be delegated. Even in a Mikearchy. 🙂

    • Ken Mitchell

      “I’m a Constitutional Mikearchist. ”

      I am _SO_ stealing that concept. Thanks!

    • This is why the administrative state, which is a constitutional abomination, is such a great danger to liberty; because it is the ultimately the mechanism by which tyranny can be achieved, precisely because if its effectively unfettered power and lack of checks and balances. Indeed, it has gotten to the point that the bureaucracy can tyrannize against the wishes and policies of the President who is supposed to be in charge of carrying out laws under the Constitution.

    • The main problem with that wise king is that they so seldom pass that wisdom down to their successors, certainly not for more than a couple of generations if that.

  4. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    I’ll be honest. I’m a white supremacist (by the standards of the Left).

    I don’t believe that “To Be White Means Being Racist”.

    I don’t believe in White Privilege.

    I expect the same sort of behavior (including honesty) from “minorities” as I expect from whites.

    Thus by Lefty Standards, I’m a white supremacist.

    And guess what? I’m not ashamed of being that. 😈

    • by the standards of the left my cats are white supremacists, since they don’t believe all white people should be killed. PFUI.

    • So am I … I expect the same standards and conduct from fellow citizens, never mind their color or origin. And that makes me a ‘white racist” by Leftoid standards.
      OK, then/

    • Look at the definition of “white privilege.” Take it to another country with a different racial majority, it becomes Chinese privilege and African privilege and Indian privilege.

      IOW, it is nothing more than “majority privilege.”

      • In most cases it’s even more significant. Here white privilege that exists is mostly subconscious. Other places it’s active and obvious

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          white privilege that exists is mostly subconscious

          IMO “subconscious white privilege” is complete nonsense used by Lefties to slam whites who don’t buy into their nonsense. 😡

          • I’m referring solely to the standard ingroup/outgroup behavior. A few thousand years of civilization won’t rewrite software going back to meteorite impacts of ‘looks different, be aware’. It’s on the level of ‘I don’t think you will be a good fit’ in job interviews, something that is there but is tertiary and separate from the main decision factors. But this is all stuff out on the margins, and items that are attempted to be addressed by culture. Stuff like credit scores, standardized testing, published codes, etc are all part of what is done to minimize harm from subjective judgement.

            Sadly we’ve been tearing those walls down and are using it as a bludgeon such as disparate impact and downgrading qualifications if the right mix doesn’t get in.

      • Yeah. I like those folk who tell me, “But you don’t know what it feels like to be a second-class person on account of your race.” Having been an infidel Kaffir in Saudi Arabia I can tell them that they’re full of, uh, beans, but I usually just treat them to a gale of derisive laughter and leave them sputtering in my wake.

        But apparently that’s different . . .

  5. The book is one of the Hitchhiker’s Guide Books, probably the fourth one.

    • Then the joke would be different as I don’t think that was out in 1980. But in that case, the joke overlaid whatever they told me in 1980 in my memory.
      I hate the fallibility of human memory.

      • Heh. I recently wrote a short story, fiction but based heavily on my memories of how, when, and where my grandfather died when I was about six. Nowadays, of course, I can pull up the actual obituary from 1970. And it turns out my memory of how he died is completely wrong; where he died is completely wrong; and when he died is completely wrong. I have these vivid memories of snow, and frost on the window, whereas he died in June. This changes everything, because it wasn’t just after my sister was born; it wasn’t while school was in session; it wasn’t walking across the street, in sight of my grandmother, to talk to a neighbor.

        • Sadly, we are now ruled by an intellectual class that can seriously argue that your memory of your grandfather’s death, no matter how it varies from contemporaneously recorded fact, is correct, that your subjective truth is the reality.

          Well, their subjective truth is the reality; your subjective truth is the white supremacist.

          • > contemporaneously recorded fact

            Yeah. What makes you think they were any more accurate and truthful then than they are now?

          • TheOtherSean

            Your statement can be shortened to “Sadly, we are now ruled by an intellectual class” without losing much. Sigh. I keep thinking back to that Buckley quote about the phone book vs. Harvard.

        • Some years back, we buried an uncle in the same graveyard that his parents were buried in. Hmm — you mean it didn’t have a train track next to it? I remember that from the funeral. Also dandelions, but those are harder to rebut.

        • We’ve had snow on the fourth of July up here, so it could happen.

      • I recognized the joke too, and I first saw it in So Long, and Thanks For All The Fish as well. It’s entirely possible Adams didn’t think of the joke himself, although I suspect the “lizard” imagery is his.

        • That “trilogy” is still among my favorite books. I recently replaced two of the paperbacks because they were nearly unreadably beat up. The changes (the ones I’ve read about, anyway) between the American and English versions are also fascinating.

          • I used to love it a lot more than I do. My liking for it faded more than a bit when I realized how much the humour rested on cynicism about human nature, but there was a time when I had practically the entire first book memorized.

            • I don’t like it, precisely because of that. He hated humanity, in the end. Or perhaps despised it. I prefer Pratchett’s humor.

              • Honestly, he lost me about the time of the gleeful “earth is destroyed and that’s like totally nothing.”

                Hadn’t hooked me before, booted me at that point. meh.

      • The joke came from the HHGTTG radio show, which aired in 1978. The books came later, after the success of the Hitchhiker’s shows.

    • “It comes from a very ancient democracy, you see… ”

      “You mean, it comes from a world of lizards?”

      “No,” said Ford, who by this time was a little more rational and coherent than he had been, having finally had the coffee forced down him, “nothing so simple. Nothing anything like so straightforward. On its world, the people are people. The leaders are lizards. The people hate the lizards and the lizards rule the people.”

      “Odd,” said Arthur, “I thought you said it was a democracy.”

      “I did,” said Ford. “It is.”

      “So,” said Arthur, hoping he wasn’t sounding ridiculously obtuse, “why don’t people get rid of the lizards?”

      “It honestly doesn’t occur to them,” said Ford. “They’ve all got the vote, so they all pretty much assume that the government they’ve voted in more or less approximates to the government they want.”

      “You mean they actually vote for the lizards?”

      “Oh yes,” said Ford with a shrug, “of course.”

      “But,” said Arthur, going for the big one again, “why?”

      “Because if they didn’t vote for a lizard,” said Ford, “the wrong lizard might get in. Got any gin?”

      (Douglas Adams, So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish)

      Of course, he could have taken it from someone else.

  6. Ken Mitchell

    In the 2016 presidential election, none of the candidates were what they claimed to be. There was Hillary Clinton, a socialist pretending to be a Democrat. There was Donald Trump, a centrist-Democrat running as a Republican. And there TWO squishy-RINO Republicans running on the Libertarian ticket.

    I didn’t vote for Trump; I live in California, so it didn’t MATTER who I voted for, so I voted for the Republican-in-ill-fitting-Libertarian clothing. But in 2020, I will PROUDLY vote for Donald Trump, even though I’ll (probably) still be in California.

    • Do. Since our vote is now tied in to CA crazy.

      • Ken Mitchell

        Don’t bet on it, Sarah – because Trump’s tweets yesterday were brilliantly designed to split the moderate Democrat voters away from the extreme lefty politicians in the “Squad” – or as Althouse put it, the “circular firing squad”. If Trump manages to do that, then there could easily be a “preference cascade” on election day.

        Pelosi’s hope is that she as a “pretend moderate” can hold onto the ACTUAL moderate Democrat voters. Trump’s hope is to lash Pelosi to the AOC/Omar anchor, and have her moderate voters flee in fear – or stay home.

        • One of the most amazing things to me has been the arrogance of pundits and politicians presuming to read Trump’s mind. None of them have sound arguments supporting their claims — nobody can point to anything Trump has done and seriously assert anything stronger than “he used an argument that racists use!”

          Well ,golly gee — I would expect racists to use arguments people will find credible, but that does not mean all who make credible arguments are racist. Hitler was kind to dogs and wanted a sound fisc, Mussolini wanted the trains to run on time — that does not mean everybody who loves dogs, a sound dollar and trains to be on time is a fascist. Name-calling is not an argument no matter how loudly it is done.

          I defer reaching any conclusion about Trump’s tweet or his tariffs because I do not now what his endgame is, and none of the people denouncing Trump seem able or willing to call that endgame, either. Whatever my view of tariffs as long term economic policy, there is no denying they are the lash which the Chinese will feel. Rarely in life are we granted the tools we would like; often we must employ the tools at hand. Does Trump like tariffs, does he really want to “Buy American”?* Only time will tell whether these are tactics or strategy, and I see few news commentators even acknowledging the underlying question.

          The most basic rule of combat is to hold fire until you’ve identified your target, and the people shooting at anything Trump are persuasive in convincing me they don’t care what they kill so long as they wing Trump.

          *In certain instances the Buy American policy makes sense — you do not want to depend on friends for critical components, much less depend on enemies. I don’t give a [dang] how much we can save by buying the technology from the Chinese, I don’t think we should turn to them for our air-to-air targeting modules.

          • > Only time will tell whether these are tactics or strategy,

            Tactics. He can only plan for a five-year window.

            Even if the next administration is Republican… the likes of Kasich, Cruz, and Rubio no longer even pretend not to be RINOs.

            • Even if the next administration is Republican… the likes of Kasich, Cruz, and Rubio no longer even pretend not to be RINOs.

              twitch twitch

              Your terminology is wrong. What you call a “republican in name only” is what a true republican is. The hypothetical candidates you want to vote for are RINOs.

              • What you call a “republican in name only” is what a true republican is.

                Oh buzz off.

                Your declaration of what the One True right philosophy is or was was false, and your idea of what a republican is, is likewise flawed.

              • You know what you sound like? Someone who’s given up and is looking for an excuse for having given up. “Those grapes were sour anyway.”

                If you give up, you’re guaranteed to be less successful than the person who kept fighting — because even if it takes ten years for them to get one victory, that’s one more than the guy who gave up will get. Don’t like any of the Republican choices available to you in your state? Get involved in the primary challenge to one of them. Find a guy who’ll be at least a little better than the current incumbent, and volunteer for his campaign in the primary. And if he loses, try again next election. But whatever you do, don’t you dare throw up your hands and quit: you’ll never get any wins if you do that.

                • You know what you sound like? Someone who’s given up and is looking for an excuse for having given up. “Those grapes were sour anyway.”

                  Almost the exact opposite: that mask has been ripped off for all to see. The Tea Party failed…. it was the first attempt of this era, and people were more trusting. As he does with the left Trump is forcing many of the weasels to show themselves.

              • Seems you need to look beyond Kasich, Cruz, and Rubio’s rhetoric and into their voting records and personal behavior. Kasich is a closet leftist; Cruz is a backstabbing weasel; and Rubio showed his true colors after Trump was elected.

                • That is what is being said. That they are more interested in status quo and corporatism and reelection as opposed to pushing anything that grassroots push, whether OCare, invasion or debt. And since the majority of caucus is similar, if not actually opposed to dirty grassroots peasants, they are the actual Republicans. The insurgents are the grassroots activists, populists, and similar.

                  • The Big Tell here is how they introduce bills.

                    Pick any topic you care to name; Abortion, Obamacare, Immigration, 2nd Amendment…

                    When the Rs are in power there is nary a peep, and if pressed they mutter about it not being the right time for this or that reason.

                    When the Rs are not in power they are full of fire and brimstone, introducing every bill imaginable.

                    Ain’t that a funny thing?

                  • To para a phrase: you go to the polls with the party you have. In a nation of 330 million, in a party of 55 million registered members in 50 states and various territories, there will be no perfect candidates nor representatives. Hell, even Reagan got attacked from the Right multiple times.

                    The time to argue over who are the “real” Republicans is after we’ve defeated the Democrats. As in the Continental Congress debating the resolution to declare our independence from King George, the enemy is out there, to our Left.

                    There will be plenty of time for cutting our own throats and stabbing ourselves in our backs after we’ve denied those lunatics the helm and steered our ship of state out of the reefs and shoals.

                    It isn’t as if the GOP calls itself the conservative party, after all. This is a party which gave the nation Gov. nelson Rockefeller and Senators Lincoln Chafee and Arlen Specter. The only vote you can be sure of from your elected representative is the vote to organize the House or Senate — and that is a very, very, VERY important vote. Fight as hard as you want in the primaries but never forget what the general elections are about. The worst Republican remains less harmful to the cause of conservative principles than the best Democrat.

                    • Hell, even Reagan got attacked from the Right multiple times.

                      Regan was Trump 1.0. But he didn’t have the personal power or the technology to blow through the way Trump did. So the Party was able to stick their guy next to him.

                      The time to argue over who are the “real” Republicans is after we’ve defeated the Democrats. As in the Continental Congress debating the resolution to declare our independence from King George, the enemy is out there, to our Left.

                      This is true but misses some important detail.

                      We couldn’t get into a position to destroy the left until someone blew up the plans of the Party. Lest anyone forget: Jeb! was the anointed one who was to take the primary and lose gracefully to Empress Hillary, even as McCain was the chosen diplomat to concede to Obama.

                      Now a few years later we are in a situation where the left is destroying themselves so fast that we may be able to start The Great Cleanup in 2024.

                      Some segments are already in the process of imploding by themselves…

                    • Geeze, Ian – I can’t recall ever seeing any evidence of your bona fides as a Republican or a conservative.

                      All I’ve seen from you has been criticism that nobody on the Right is as pure as you.

                      You keep going on about hating your allies as much or more as your enemies; frankly, I can’t actually say I believe you to be an ally I need.

                    • Don’t forget that he’s also, repeatedly, informed us that he just happens to hate the right a bit less than the left.

                      Not exactly a great qualification for who gets to do the purity tests.

                    • Geeze, Ian – I can’t recall ever seeing any evidence of your bona fides as a Republican or a conservative.

                      Um, dumb kid with too much cynicism who has been watching from the sidelines for a number of years?

                      I watched the candidates that the Tea Party elected. They screwed over the Tea Party at least as much as the media did. They claimed that they would storm D.C. and repeal Obamacare. And for as long as they didn’t have the votes to pass it they kept the repeal bills coming.

                      Of course when they did have the votes, well, there wasn’t quite the urgency anymore was there?

                      I watched how as soon as the slightest excuse was available the HPA was withdrawn and we had crickets. Right up until the Democrats won the house again and there was no chance of it passing. Then it was reintroduced.

                      This is why I keep using the NRA as an example (besides familiarity). Because whatever their other faults and virtues conservatives cannot seem to wrap their heads around the idea that it doesn’t matter if you have a Big Important Organization who has your back, if the reason it has your back is so it can easily stick the knife in.

                      All I’ve seen from you has been criticism that nobody on the Right is as pure as you.

                      I don’t know where you are getting the claim either that I am particularly pure, or that I was critiquing purity.

                      Even my tantrum post wasn’t flaming about purity, but about various groups preaching endlessly about something, and then always doing the exact opposite. Purity would be “I’m pissed because the NRA isn’t marching on Washington to demand private nukes!”, what I was tantruming about was “The NRA actively supports gun control”, and that that level of failure is the norm across conservatism.

                      If that kind of error counts as a purity spiral then the concept has ceased to have any meaning.

                      And I didn’t exactly develop this in a vacuum. I knew there were serious problems for a long time. But then started noticing other people mentioning that “the conservatives were f***ing useless at stopping the long march”, or out host’s frequent comments that the conservatives had guzzled the marxist flavor-aid just like everyone else. And then the NRA scandal exploded. All of this just confirmed what I had suspected.

                      On the other hand…. demanding more purity than can be reasonably expected is a standard conservative failing, so there are the bona fides you wanted. /s

                      I can’t tell if you picked a random post of mine to respond to (which would make sense given your comment) or what. But it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the one you did reply to.

                      Geeze, Ian – I can’t recall ever seeing any evidence of your bona fides as a Republican or a conservative.

                      There is an interesting story about this kind of thing, though not related to this particular argument. One of the funniest incidents I’ve ever seen in the gun culture was in the ar15.com NRA corruption megathread.

                      Some guy carrying water for the NRA mentioned with incredible pride how the NRA funded a dozen (don’t remember the exact number) lobbyists in Washington. Shortly after that he made the usual snide remarks to someone who critiqued the NRA, demanding to know how much they had contributed to the cause, on pain of sitting down and shutting up.

                      That person proceeded to bitchslap the guy up one side of the thread and down the other, pointing out that her anti-gun-control campaigning had put her in a Time photo spread. And that this is why she couldn’t stand talking with righties about politics because they had zero clue of how utterly pathetic a dozen lobbyists was.

                      It turned out that “she” was actually an m2f trans, so it was even more embarrassing for the idiot, though I doubt he had the cognitive ability to recognize that he had been trounced.

                      It was a rare peek behind the curtain to see what the different sides take for granted. And a very illuminating one at that.

                    • Of course when they did have the votes, well, there wasn’t quite the urgency anymore was there?

                      Except they didn’t have the votes, because immediately they started arguing about how exactly to do it– destroy the whole thing (and the folks who were unwillingly thrown into it) or try defusing the damned thing, which made the purists freak out.

                    • We pause in denunciatory diatribes for this brief informative message:


                      Type “John McCain gives” into your search engine and there is just one suggested completion.

                    • Keeping it brief as we’re up against the right-hand wall.

                      Ian, the critique was over the tediousness of your adolescent whinging about politicians being yech politicians. You’ve been posting comments here for a while and I cannot recall any comment that was informative or even entertaining. You’ve amply aired your dissatisfaction with everybody in America and offered nothing constructive in the tirades. Hell, even the Socialists offer something better, even if only candy-coated poison.

                      You’ve become a bore.

                    • Which is why instead of running away after realizing how badly I screwed up I have tried to produce more useful comments.

                    • Good choice. The Gorsuch/Kavanaugh observation was well put — if I used the “Like” function in WP I would have used it there.

                      Young and cynical is a sign you are paying attention. I’ve gotten old but don’t know the meaning of cynical (I once googled it but all I found was a picture of me.)

                    • Exactly what difference does this lobbyist being trans have to do with their ability to perform their job? I really think you’re barking up the wrong tree there, Ian, Several of us here have been at least casually acquainted with Erin Palette for years.

                      The fact is, NRA lobbyists have been doing far more than other second amendment organizations as far as actual lobbying goes, for years. Yes, they are not perfect, and the leadership seems to be getting shady… but they (or the state orgs they sponsor) do a lot more than some of the other ‘better’ ‘pure’ second amendment advocacy groups do by standing around and shouting ‘no compromise’ and complaining about how horrible paid lobbyists are, 24 hours a day.

                    • The relevancy of the trans part is just the irony of the situation. Like seeing a 90lb kale eater wearing tie-dye and peace symbols punch out a robber.

                    • And i see no irony ion the situation. I see you expecting that a trans person is automatically going to be a leftie and unable to appreciate when someone dares step off the democrat plantation.

                      That kind of toxic crap is why i avoid all of the non-technical sections of arfcom.

                    • Amsel, Matthew

                      I just had an image of Erin in tie-dye and peace symbols. Amusement…

                • Cruz? Seriously? I’ll remind you that Cruz was more hated by actual RINOs like Bob Dole than Trump was because they had the perception (correct, actually) that Trump would make deals while Cruz wouldn’t.

                • ” Cruz is a backstabbing weasel ” <– A) Prove it. B) Then prove he stabbed the wrong ones.

            • Cruz? Seriously? I’ll remind you that Cruz was more hated by actual RINOs like Bob Dole than Trump was because they had the perception (correct, actually) that Trump would make deals while Cruz wouldn’t.

          • *In certain instances the Buy American policy makes sense — you do not want to depend on friends for critical components, much less depend on enemies. I don’t give a [dang] how much we can save by buying the technology from the Chinese, I don’t think we should turn to them for our air-to-air targeting modules.

            In cases like that the person doing the buying needs to have a clear idea of what product they are interested in. And they need to understand that security is a product; one which cannot be purchased from the Chinese.

            To be fair it probably can’t be purchased from US companies either, unless you have the blessing of the right Agency….

          • Trump made a statement regarding tariffs in connection with European trade that may reflect his real view/goal, in that he told them that the US would gladly remove all tariffs if the EU agreed to the same. The EU of course rejected his offer.

            • Donald Campbell

              At least the EU is smart enough to subsidize French farmers so they can feed themselves. With China, first there is state subsidized steel. Build up China’s steel capacity while destroying ours. Then there are rare earth metals refining. California sut theirs down, because it is environmentally toxic and NIMBY. Think China can keep the environment cleaner than California? Me neither. Then there is stealing Intellectual property. Of course China is cheaper, they steal our R&D and pay no price.

              • Yep. And companies are gleefully cutting their own throats in furtherance thereof. Think that as soon as COMAC has a airliner the internal airways of all Chinese carriers won’t be closed to Boeing or Airbus, negating the factories they built there. Same thing with cellular signals, AI, manufacturing and pharmaceuticals

              • I do wonder how much the stealing works and how backfires. I recall there being one military aircraft that “The best thing about it was the Soviets wasted time and effort trying to make copies of it work.”

        • If Pelosi does not honor the appropriate lefty trope with sufficient loud revolutionary vigor, an SF resident with a higher victim score will primary her caucasian self. She cannot be too reasonable or moderate, lest she meet the Tom Foley fate.

    • Yeah, I was “fond” of saying that “the Republican nominee is a Democrat, the Democrat nominee is a brutal and corrupt cronyist, the Libertarian nominee is in favor of big government. I fully expect the Green Party’s Dr. Stein to come out in favor of burning baby whales for winter heat before the election season is over.”

      Very happy to have been at least partly wrong about Trump. I do occasionally wonder/worry that part of his stalwartness is because Democrats don’t understand that he’s telling the truth about being open to discussion and negotiating.

      • They treat his attempts to negotiate as “moving the goal posts.” One ass quipped ‘who knows what his position will be next week.’ O’course, their idea of negotiating is ‘give me everything I demand on a platinum platter and grovel that we did you the favor of speaking to you.’

  7. Well said.

    Can’t think of anything constructive to add.

  8. “Sarah’s cats are white supremacist, oh shock, horror, and handwringing”.

    Time for someone who has never owned cats to step up and give the life-long-conservative-Republican speech denouncing her.

    More seriously, this column is racist because, as is commonly known, Hillary Clinton is a man eating lizard. In 2020, we should vote for Hillary Clinton in order to repair the Republican Party.

    https://www.nationalreview.com/author/bob-the-registerred-fool/
    https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/07/if-Trump-was-really-Republican-we-would-be-securing-the-border-with-an-actual-Holocaust/

    🙂

  9. “I’ll tell you right now — I’ve told you before — that I don’t think it will pass without serious civil unrest.”

    I ask more out of curiosity than a desire to pin people down to predictions (which, being about the future, are always hard), but why do you think this? What would set this unrest off, given that the modern Left, unlike their Bolshevik predecessors, seems (as far as I can tell) totally uninterested in taking up firearms and risking getting shot on their own hook? (Antifa’s total lack of interest in rioting anywhere the cops haven’t already been told to stand down being my key data point here.) Where do you see the unrest occurring, and how serious in scope do you speculate it will be? And what do you think those in power at the time would have to do to either (a) prevent it or (b) get useful change out of it?

    • Well there was the dumbass in Tacoma the other day….

      • I did hear about that, but to be honest I think that individual was closer to James Hodgkinson than old Vlad Ilyich: an outlier driven by unique personal aberrant factors. Given the man’s age (sixty-nine years old), I would not be at all surprised if it was driven by news of a terminal medical diagnosis. And his example does not appear to have inspired others yet, thank God.

        Civil wars require people willing to form armies, or at the very least militia, and requires people willing to take orders and risk getting shot. Even civil unrest requires people angry or desperate enough not to care about getting clubbed and arrested. Much of today’s Left strikes me as far more interested in alleviating their boredom rather than their outrage.

        • Did I say civil war? I think we’re too emulsified for armies, and land taken.
          I said SERIOUS CIVIL UNREST.
          The only way to a civil war is if the left takes control. And even then it will be localized.

          • ProTip: don’t think armies, or even company sized groups. Think D.C. snipers, with small squads at the high end.

            • I think people and things will organize much faster than you are thinking. Squads will organize quickly, as ‘Citizen’s Comittees’ form, and then cluster into platoons. Conversely, the AntiFa kiddies have company-level organization and are likely to go out just to be able to smash things.

          • “I said serious civil unrest.

            I have to admit that when I hear this phrase I tend to think of scenes like what one sees in movies, ranging from Les Miserables to Predator 2: week-long riots, armed and defended no-go zones, public lynchings of politicians or the visibly wealthy, and the like — basically, more people dead or hurt by violence than happens in the typical Chicago weekend, and in geographical/economic sectors not normally prone to that sort of thing. Hence my skepticism that the modern Left is really capable of deliberately inducing such a state of affairs, directly at any rate — it really seems to me too many of them (and us) are too used to working cellphones and safe public transit.

            On the other hand, if what you mean is that that sort of thing is likely to be an inevitable byproduct of their preferred policies, that makes much more (depressing) sense. Alternately, perhaps you mean something rather less cinematic but more subtle and widespread.

        • Antifa. They don’t even have to be particularly combat effective, they merely have to preoccupy our forces while their real agents slit throats.

          I also would not put money on the proposition that MS13 and the Nation Of Islam aren’t prepared for a little action. Say, seizing effective control of a few major cities. Ringo even depicted such a thing in several of his novels.

          The goal is a breakdown of civic order to enable them to declare a national emergency and impose order. This is part of why they do not recognize differences of opinion but insists any opposition is evil Eeeeeeevil.

          • I also would not put money on the proposition that MS13 and the Nation Of Islam aren’t prepared for a little action.

            I actually pray for that, because honestly MS13 are such anti-american morons that they will be like a starter quest into “folks I have to kill to live.”

          • “I also would not put money on the proposition that MS13 and the Nation Of Islam aren’t prepared for a little action. Say, seizing effective control of a few major cities.”

            The Nation of Islam, maybe; I don’t know how far they’ve come from “band of thugs” to “organized bureaucracy”.

            MS-13? I have to admit I find that doubtful. If there’s one thing most street-gang crooks have in common it’s a distaste for boring administrative work. What could they get from a formal assumption of power that they don’t already have?

    • A feeling at the back of my skull? The fact that hierarchy is NEVER upended without unrest? The fact that these people are in fact violent and hte unrest has already started: or what do you think Antifa is? The fact they’re trying to bring in violent and entitled-feeling felons? the fact that posts by the left have gone from “you’re deplorable” to “you should all be dead.”?
      Fill in the blanks.
      I don’t think they’ll win, but I think we’re in for very uncomfortable times. If Trump wins, because they’ll try to fight it. If they cheat enough to win, with government sanction.
      Be not afraid, but be not stupid.

      • the fact that posts by the left have gone from “you’re deplorable” to “you should all be dead.”?

        *Ahem*

        Assuming she is telling the truth and not just virtue signalling, that woman is deliberately trying to get people killed.

        And if she is just virtue signalling it means that this is something people can get virtue points from, which is not an improvement.

        • ??? The GOP in Virginia have traded away our safety for the sake of their jobs”???

          Just what do you imagine their jobs to be, sweetie? They are elected to act as agents of their constituents, to represent the views of the people who put them in office. Clearly plenty of your fellow Virginians believe people like you, bent on imposing unrealistic, impractical and feckless limitations on their second amendment rights are a greater threat than some rando.

          And they’re right: you are the greater threat.

        • Donald Campbell

          There is a group organizarion in Virginia for open carry. They often go as a group to a specific location, and unlike this LeDoux creature, they make sure that local police are aware they are congregating in a legal matter.
          My understanding, from my brother [a member] is that Richmond is pretty cooperative and Norfolk very grudgingly so. I doubt they try Northern Virginia, the people up there are insane.

        • Not the first time I’ve seen anti-gunners filing false police reports on legal carry. The oh-so-pacifistic Brady bunch are in the forefront of attempting homicide via sociopath-with-a-badge.

          • The police will roll on the first call, and the second, and maybe the third. And after that the 911 operators will be instructed to put her in the “crazy: ignore” file, or they’ll slap her with a fine for making false reports.

            There’s no PD in America that has so many officers and so much budget that they can respond to this sort of thing very often.

            Get copies of the 911 calls; if you’re in a shithole state where they’re secret, file a harassment suit against Jane Doe and subpoena them.

            Remember, the police, even if uninformed and hostile, aren’t your enemies here. You don’t have to be groveling and servile, but don’t be a jerk either. Maintain a pleasant demeanor and cooperate with “standard procedure”; their written reports will be part of your lawsuit

            Remember, almost all public places have at least one camera going, and you can buy your own (look for “spy cam” instead of “body cam”, they’re much smaller and more convenient to carry), and there are phone apps that will record audio. There’s no law against asking nicely for copies for surveillance videos, and you can always subpoena them if you have to. But do it ASAP before they get recorded over.

            Is it all a hassle? Well, yes. Standing up for your rights involves more than sending money to some organization so their hierarchy can treat themselves to 4-star hotels and comped wardrobes.

            • “And after that the 911 operators will be instructed to put her in the “crazy: ignore” file, or they’ll slap her with a fine for making false reports.”

              Unless the city cops are like the ones in Portland, or Houston, or any other blue heavens, especially if there isn’t a state government to complain to. And don’t forget “process is punishment”.

            • The police will roll on the first call, and the second, and maybe the third. And after that the 911 operators will be instructed to put her in the “crazy: ignore” file, or they’ll slap her with a fine for making false reports.

              I’m not so sure about that. Some years back my lawyer in an incident I was dealing with told me about a former client of his (after proper sanitization so that no confidentiality was broken). Guy spent every summer in jail because his crazy ex would call the police claiming domestic violence. He would be arrested. And then the ex wouldn’t show up for the hearing leading to charges being dropped. And she did this every year. Made it next to impossible for the guy to hold down a job (which meant, among other things, he couldn’t keep making bail so he had to sit out the wait for the hearing in jail).

              I asked him if the police and courts wouldn’t eventually wise up to what she was doing and he explained that they don’t see “long history of false accusations” but rather “long history of arrests.”

              Not exactly a parallel to the issue at hand, so stipulated, but speaks to attitudes such that I think that thinking that the police would wise up to the string of false accusations is, perhaps, naive.

              • Apples and oranges. “Domestic violence” gets a whole different process than “man with a gun.”

                • That’s a nice theory but I’m not so sure. We’ve already got people dead from just such false reporting without so much as an “oops” from the police.

                  But let’s say it does work out that way. How many such calls from a particular individual before that individual gets flagged as a “do not respond”? How many law abiding gun owners get at minimum harassed all the way up to outright killed (as has already happened) because somebody lied about what they were doing when they were lawfully carrying before said flagging? Now multiply that by the number of people who could start doing this if it turns out to be a successful strategy for even a few times per person.

                  And then, what happens the first time someone who was flagged reports a real crime in progress, gets dismissed because they were flagged for such reports, and then the police get sued for not responding.

                  SWATing needs to be treated very seriously. It needs to be at least the equivalent of of aggravated battery–I’d go with attempted murder but it can be hard to prove to a legal standard that getting their target killed rather than harassed and roughed up was their specific goal. I don’t doubt that it is, but proving it…

                  And trusting that the police will start dismissing such reports still strikes me as naive bordering on fatuous.

                  • David? Consult your local lawbooks, but in several states cops are legally required to arrest, no discretion possible, on domestic violence aka “she said”. Such laws also have the common feature of forbidding “retaliation” against the reporting party.

                    • In the case as an example of how relying on the police to “catch on” to repeated false reports the “non-discretionary” portion required actual physical evidence (i.e. marks on the putative victim) and did not come into play.

                      I mean, 911 gets a call that a man is threatening others with a gun or a robbery is in progress and they’re going to check the caller, look up whether that caller has a long list of previous calls that turned into nothing (or did they? If they rolled in and ended up shooting somebody who was armed, they’ve got a strong incentive not to admit that they were fooled and they killed an innocent man because they were just a bit too hasty), and decide on seeing that that they aren’t going to bother on this one? Maybe some departments with some departmental cultures but in general? Something to rely on?

                      Yeah, naive is the kindest word for that.

                      And even if they do, how many times will it take before they do flag a particular individual as “do not respond”? How many John Crawford IIIs? How many Daniel Shavers? How many Andrew Finches?

        • Open carry makes Open-Idiots self-reveal?
          So there IS use for open-carry after all.
          (I like the idea that it is allowed if only so that if a conceal is ‘made’ it’s not automatically an illegal act. A failure of previous TX legal code.)

          • That’s my thinking, too. Discretion is always called for…but you don’t want the laws worded in such a way that an inadvertent reveal of a holstered sidearm gets you tossed into jail.

    • I’m not Sarah, but because of Monkey Dance.

      I honestly don’t know how many guys notice it, but before a-holes attack they usually do the monkey dance.

      Been around an idiot dog? SAme thing.

      Dance in, dance out. Dance in, dance out. Then go for you.

      If you indicate “I will kick your teeth behind your brain,” the refrain, sometimes.

      • And yes, they’re doing the Monkey dance.

      • Granted, but it seems to me that the Monkey Dance is mostly done by people who just want to have a fight right there and then, for its own sake. People who are using violence to get something from you or remove you as an obstacle — who have a premeditated goal beyond the fight itself, in other words — don’t do that. They just strike.

        Hence, one of the things I’ll be really worried about if/when we see it is an increase of incidents of politicized violence without a whole bunch of virtue-signalling displays first. Because then it will indicate people have started meaning business.

        • It’s also to psych yourself up for a fight.

          The effective use of violence will be much scarier, at least to me. But you’re just as dead, and the monkey dance can also recruit bystanders to mob the target.

        • actually, I question your assumption they’re trying to get something from us.
          They just want us dead. They say that in every kind of clash, even SP3.

  10. What exactly is Trump?

    I don’t know.

    And I can tell you this much: the people who insist that they do know don’t either.

    To take one facet that I am familiar with enough to make the point: Trump is accused by 2A supporters of being “just another grabber”. And they have evidence, good evidence I might add. Trump is absolutely not a Constitutionalist when it comes to weapons. And anyone who thought he would be a staunch supporter of 2A issues clearly wasn’t paying any attention during the campaign.

    But grabbers don’t give “shoot back” as a solution to a mass shooting. EVER

    What is Trump on 2A? Well the closest I can get is that he knows a little bit, but doesn’t know the lessons that we spent decades painfully learning. And he is a deal-maker. And his primary sources of advice on the matter have been: 1. his son who has NFA gear (good), 2. his woke daughter (bad), 3. the traitors at the NRA (very bad).

    So we take damage. In fact we take more damage because too many people think that an R after a person’s name means they can go to sleep for 4 years.

    This is one example, but it replicates over everything he does. We take damage because he is center-left and not a doctrinaire libertarian or min-gov conservative.

    Which brings us around to the question of what value he brings. And focusing on the question “what is his value?” instead of “what is he?” simplifies everything. Because his value comes somewhat from the policies he pushes, and primarily the fact that he constantly pokes the Insane Ones in ways that force them to expose themselves.

    Far from being an embarrassing feature that he should rein in, his twitter trolling is by far the most important thing he does. Every second he is in office The Insane crash themselves against him: even if they win the occasional policy battle they are torching their credibility. And in doing so they lose their greatest weapon. Which means that it will be easier to fix the damage he does down the road.

    • I totally agree with your last paragraph. Trump’s Twitter trolling has been insanely effective in getting the left to out itself in plain English. He forces them to defend the indefensible in broad daylight. I think the moderate middle of the Democratic party will either stay home on election day or actually vote for Trump.

      I do think Sarah is right with the idea that there will be civil unrest. We’ve already seen that happening. I hope that it stays isolated to those cities where the cops have been told ahead of time to stand down (as somebody noted above). The possibility of civil unrest is one of the reasons we’re looking to get out of Philadelphia before the 2020 election.

    • The tweeting serves another purpose.

      While it goes on as normal, we have some confidence that the the left has not used their information warfare strengths to conceal an organized start to a civil war. Because there are some features that might be difficult to conceal from Trump, and we can be pretty sure that Trump would try to capitalize on the early stages.

      That confidence that the left has not truly pulled the trigger gives us some ability when it comes to delaying our decisions on starting a civil war. We wouldn’t have that with Pence or French. Okay, President Chris French might not be too bad, but…

    • Timothy E. Harris

      Another important part of his value is the Judges he appoints who McConnell then gets confirmed.
      Doesn’t matter to me that his personal takes on various individual litigation matters have been … somewhat … erratic. He’s mostly appointing Judges that look to the text of the laws & Constitution instead of what is (subjectively) good policy. That means a great deal in the long run. Even if his opponent hadn’t been a criminal with horrific foreign policy “accomplishments” it would have been worth electing Trump for the judges.

      • That too, I was forgetting it.

        There have been questions about whether the judicial picks would be worth it. After reading some of Gorsuch’s opinions that question is settled. With a vengeance.

      • Both Gorsuch and Kavanaugh have sided with leftists on rulings against the Constitution.

        • Go read Gorsuch’s dissent on Kisor v. Wilkie.

          He was worth it.

          As for other things… Kavanaugh was expected to be terrible on the 4th, both from his own history and from everybody being terrible on the 4th.

          There is also the question of how wedded are they to Things As They Are No Matter How Bad, because of precedent uber alles. Kavanaugh may have that problem (doubt that it is as bad as Roberts, which isn’t a high bar to clear), Gorsuch absolutely does not.

        • Timothy E. Harris

          Got links? I haven’t seen any rulings violating the Constitution.
          I have seen rulings upholding decisions enforcing badly written laws – rulings that weren’t just, but forced by what the Legislative branch wrote – not Constitutionally deficient laws, just bad laws.

          The contested arguments in SCOTUS have largely shifted from “is that good policy?” to “is that what the law says?”. That’s a big improvement.

          Judges are fallible biased people just like the rest of us. I can live with that if they are trying to rule on what the law says instead of trying to implement policy.

          • Sadly, the SCOTUS has become more political than just “the Court reads the election returns.” It has been noted that sometimes a justice will side with a majority in order to rein in the nuttiness — the lefties will refrain from reaching for the moon in favor of getting a 6-3 vote.

            While we might like to imagine it a bastion of pure high-minded legal reasoning, it never was and will never again come even as close as once it did.

            • TheOtherSean

              One has only to look at the Supreme Court in the latter half of the 19th century to see that politics and ideology, rather than “pure high-minded legal reasoning,” was often behind the decisions of the court. The most blatant examples dealt with race, but there were quite a few other areas with decisions that seem little-related to the Constitution and law.

    • Trump is accused by 2A supporters of being “just another grabber”.

      Oh, golly, that is persuasive.

      Since everybody that isn’t a fucking stazi is for the second amendment….

      • well, so far his track record is kinda down the middle

      • I’m actually having trouble parsing your comment. There are a few different ways it could be taken and I can’t quite figure out which.

        • I read it as “Everyone who isn’t a naked, blazingly obvious statist says they are ‘pro 2nd Amendment.’ Then they follow it up with, “But…” So in 2006 Biden was OK with a shotgun for home defense, but not with concealed carry, certain makes and models of firearms, certain kinds of ammunition, firearms that don’t have biometric locks…

          • Yep.

            Same dance as the “supporters of homeschooling” who are always pushing to basically regulate it out of existence.

          • Biden was OK with a shotgun for home defense, but only if the homeowner first emptied it into the air, demonstrating any potential invader had an opportunity if he moved quickly.

  11. To the generation raised on racial nonsense and accused at every turn of being “white supremacist” white supremacy will become the norm.

    This is an important point. At some point, accusations of “White Supremacist” and “Racist” will be so over-done*, that they will become meaningless. Then when the real thing shows up (and most young people today probably haven’t seen REAL racism), cries of racism will go unanswered. Nobody will care.

    If only there was an allegory that fit… perhaps something pastoral with a shepherd boy…

    * That is if we haven’t already passed the breaking point on this.

    • Some of the kids at Day Job use “that’s so racist” to mean “so blindingly dumb,” like “that’s so gay.” So yes, the word has lost all real punch in some places.

      • It started to lose power with the Tea Party. I’m recalling a picture of a TPartier with a sign: “No matter what this sign says, you’ll call it racist.”

        I have only one objection: According to the World’s Best Authority*, you need 5 ‘a’s, so it’s raaaaacist!

        (*) Robert Stacey McCain.

        • Didn’t some cartoon have a character that used “That’s racist!”? That, right there, was if not The End, a great marker of the beginning of the end.

          • Never saw it in print, and I stopped watching TV cartoons when LBJ was president, but yeah, getting used as a cliche in a cartoon should be the start of the death of “racism as social death penalty”

      • As a funny counterpoint. Even though the LGBTEIEIO movement gets all stupid butt-hurt over the phrase “that’s so gay” (and others like it), those phrases, said over and over and over about practically EVERYTHING, probably helped normalize the idea of “gay”, easing a lot of people into acceptance.

  12. In Europe the revolutions against the aristocracy ended up being skin deep.

    All such rejections are — even in America (except here we find a different way of identifying the aristocracy.)

    I am minded of a line from (the first, IIRC) the Sharpe’s movies, in which Sgt. Harper explains to Lt. Sharpe that the want “a proper officer,” one born to it, not someone just like them jumped up from the ranks. We all know our own sort, how fallible we are, how easily we err, how clueless we can be. The idea of a ruler born to the role, anointed by blood, is a talisman against peril. The lizard brain wants that, needs that.

    In the back of most heads lie the memories of childhood, when Daddy was amazingly competent and protective. We never quite get over that, and want aristocrats for our daddies even when we’ve grown. Americans have a strong tradition of growing up, of learning competency and of accepting our parent’s limitations, so we’re less inclined than most cultures to fawn over aristocrats (even though we do — what are celebrities if not our own aristocrats?) So even as we denounce the role we bend the knee to it. It is why candidates all present their origins as humble, as middle-class strivers who have made good (for certain values of good.)

    We like our aristocrats plenty good, but we’ve a peculiar way of anointing them.

    • RES, there’s something… Off, with this idea of yours about people “naturally” wanting an “aristocracy” to look up to.

      First off, that whole deal with Sergeant Harper talking to Lieutenant Sharpe is twofold FUBAR. That’s coming out of the mouth of Bernard Cornwell, for one, and it is hazardous indeed to take as gospel truth the pronouncements on things like that from the mouths and minds of novelists. As well, he’s speaking to the opinions of Napoleonic War-era British troops, who’re pretty much the poster-children for “loyal monarchists”, and are going to be exactly the sort of people you’d stereotype as thinking like this.

      In short, while it may have been true in circa-1800 Britain, that does not mean it’s true everywhere and everywhen. You try telling guys in my era that the new LT was worth listening to and following ‘cos “gentleman”, and you’re going to get gape-jaw stares of utter befuddlement, and that “gentleman LT” who then goes on to demonstrate technical and tactical incompetence…? He’s gonna get fragged. The inclination for an “aristo” is an artifact of a specific culture and time; the current American soldier is looking for competence and superior performance. Some idiot whose daddy was a member of the nobility ain’t going to be anyone’s choice.

      The other factor, about “daddy”…? Oh, my… Gawd. Just… No. No with a heaping helping of “No ‘effing way…”. My earliest memories are of paternal incompetence and general assholishness of a truly transcendant nature. You show me a leader that behaves like him, and the poor bastard isn’t going to get either my vote or my respect. He might, in fact, get himself a bullet.

      People do not all think the same way, nor were their influences the same. I instinctively react negatively to anything that smacks of either unearned aristocracy, or paternal anything. You want me to follow you, you’d better demonstrate competence and superiority, or else I’m doing my own damn thing on my own. And, that’s a more American trait than that whole “Sergeant Harper” thing, which, ohbytheway, is not at all normal for an Irish Sergeant of that era. Most of them only followed the Sassenach officers begrudgingly, and the Irish/Scots idea of a war leader was far more pragmatic than the average English goit. Perform, or we’re following someone else.

      That entire ideation of Cornwell’s is typical English upper-class projection. The “lower classes” don’t want some dipshit wanker aristo running things; they want someone competent. The whole idea he’s putting out right there is part of the reason I quit reading his stuff, because he’s basically demonstrating the number-one sin of the historical fiction author, which is projecting their own values and mores onto the past.

      Good grief, why on Earth do you think so many of us Scots-Irish went to the continent to fight for the French or Germans, and abandoned the British Isles for the New World? Believe you me, it wasn’t because we were following the “natural leadership” of the aristocracy… More to get away from the rat bastards, and I can about guarantee you that our own homegrown version of that benighted class is going to learn the hard way just how cranky and irritable we Scots-Irish bastards get when some jackass tells us to do something “because…”. We’re natural assholes, like that.

      • Oh, for goodness sake, Kirk, get the feather outta your ass, it’s tickling you the wrong way. The Sharpe’s example was <I<meant</I as example of a particular perspective and certainly not intended to imply that, say, US troops in Vietnam with a reputation of fragging officers who accidentally shot themselves three times in the back, shared that preference. As you note: Cornwell was depicting a particular slightly unique opinion.

        Silly me, I thought all here could recognize it as an illustration rather than a universal prescription.

        As for your daddy issues, they are well reported here over the years and represent an exception rather than the normal experience — a normal experience which more nearly, if social science merits any credibility, reflects that which I described.

        As always, with broad statistical brush strokes, your mileage may vary. Lighten up.

        • What I’m getting at is that there isn’t some natural yearning for some aristo to play daddy-figure for everyone. That’s an entirely cultural construct, and an artifact of the cultures that produce such excresences. There is no “lizard-brain” that somehow naturally influences us to want such a thing, which is the basic premise of your post.

          All that stuff is learned behavior, and a lot of it is entirely existent only in the minds of the upper-class twits who believe that they’re “nature’s noblemen”. The deference they demand and get is usually tempered by a rather large amount of rebellion and disrespect, a good deal of which they’re unable to comprehend–Which is where we get the terms “silent insolence”.

          I don’t think there’s any more “natural desire for someone to defer and kowtow” towards than there is a “natural servility”. What there is is a recognition of raw power in relationships, much of which is based on inherited position, not merit or actual skill. Which is why you get the forms of deference, and a decided lack of real respect and deference to the “elite” personage in question.

          There may be behavioral quirks stemming from legacy structures and genes in our makeup, but I seriously doubt that this is one of them. Real physical dominance and earned respect from prowess at survival-oriented tasks may be something we’re wired to recognize and defer to, but the whole artificiality of inherited authority structures like aristocracy produces? Nope; that’s purely cultural. “My dad’s so-and-so…” doesn’t match up very well with “Damn, that guy’s huge…”, especially when it comes to asserting raw dominance.

          Although, I suppose that if the aristocracy is actually superior, then there may be a bit of an effect. Early 19th Century Europe, however? Pretty damn questionable. Back when it the nobility was actually bigger and healthier, plus had actual superior skill-at-arms, perhaps. That was centuries out of date in England by Wellington’s time, though.

          • You’ve done a fine job of pounding the table, Kirk, but you’ve offered no facts to support your rebuttal.

            You’re under no requirement to accept my thesis, but a simple, “Gee, RES, I don’t think so” would save everybody a lot of pointless reading.

            • It was never about “gentlemen” in either the UK army or navy. It was about preferring to serve under men of independent fortune who could pay for guns, ammo, and food if supplies did not materialize, and who had learned the math and other professional officer skills.

              Most of those guys were gentry, not noblemen, or they were merchant class. Their dads were squires or lawyers or doctors or military. If they had noble blood, they were usually younger sons of cousins.

              One of Wellington’s generals who.was popular with the troops was reckless, stern, and bad-tempered. But he was good at wangling food, so as the Portuguese allied troops said, “Hurray for the general who fills our bellies!”

              • “He’s a sonuvabitch.. but he’s OUR sonuvabitch!”

              • Acknowledged — I was forgetting the fact that the typical British naval recruit was recruited “at gun point” (if awake to be impressed) and prized his officers primarily for their ability to take prizes.

            • Your basic “thesis” is based on BS. Mostly the self-justificatory

              Cornwell’s a decent writer, horrible historian (go look up the actual details–If there’s a compromise to be made in terms of accuracy vs. entertainment value, he’ll write “entertainment” every time), and a stereotypical attitude that was always very one-sided–The average Brit aristo of that era did think that way, but… Yeah. On the other side of that line, the great unwashed wasn’t at all as enamored of nature’s noblemen, regarding them as mostly jumped-up jackasses. Although, they did love the ones who proved competent, like Wellington. That was mostly pure pragmatism, however.

              You read a lot of this sort of thing in the literature and popular culture, but it’s not something that I think really existed, based on my readings from the era. Rifleman Dodd, for example, in his autobiography–There’s “feck all” for that sort of thing: His main desire from an officer was competence, and the “up-from-the-ranks” sort who didn’t purchase his commission with daddy’s ill-gotten inherited lucre was to be sought out, assuming he knew what he was doing. Same-same with regards to the purchased commission–If the guy knew his stuff, and performed, that’s the guy to follow. Had nothing to do with where or to whom he was born.

              Then, as now, soldiers are purely pragmatic animals in the field. You may have an inclination to defer to the West Pointer as being a more committed, professional officer than the OCS guy, if you’re of a certain cast of mind, but the reality is that you’re really going to be looking at performance and whether or not that officer is worth following. Commissioning source is, at best, a tertiary concern.

  13. And here I thought I was a xenosaurian. For the past three years, lizards have been tearing off their human masks at a rate I haven’t seen since I was watching Doctor Who. I am truly amazed at the people of rank and influence who have spouted nonsense that makes me wonder, “are you really that stupid, or do you think I am?”

  14. Trump is honestly a democrat.

    Meh. So was Reagan, remember? He “never left the Democrat Party, the Democrat Party left me.” The Democrat Party has also left Trump, kicked him out the door and called him bad names.

    Except he’s seen inside their parties and knows what they are really like. He didn’t learn that “if you’re a big enough star you can grab ’em by the [short hairs} and they’ll like it” from any Republicans — that was Bill “It Depends On The Meaning Of Is” Clinton’s practice, and LBJ’s and JFK’s and FDR’s.

    The Democrat Party is predicated on the idea that some are born saddled and bridled and some are born to ride them. Trump simply didn’t think he was going to be ridden, and when they tried he bucked. And when they set their spurs to him he bucked harder and is now determined to pay them back in the only coin they understand: freeing their slaves.

  15. One of my grandmothers used to knock us back down to size with the line, “There was only one perfect person and you remember what happened to Him.” Her meaning was that no, we were not the greatest thing since indoor plumbing, and we needed to quit bragging or acting bigger than we were (“gettin’ the big head” as they say farther south and east).

    Trump’s not perfect. So? According to the Good Book, “No man knoweth the day nor the hour” when the perfect man is going to return, so we’d best make do with the lesser evil. And at this point, Pres. Trump is so lesser that I’d happily put a sign in my yard for him as well as vote for him.

    • Yes. #metoo For all that it will likely do any good. (Oregon) Might be enough people PO in Portland/Salem/Eugene to throw off the “woke”, but won’t hold my breath.

      • There might not be enough, but there’s no rule saying you have to go peacefully, to pretend its a fair cop when they won’t even bother slapping a second coat of paint on the frame.

        • Oh, I’m not voting for anyone the Demorats finally weed out, nor any spoiler coming along. Only this time not going for the equivalent “didn’t vote for HER” option. This time, even if President Trump drops dead, voting RNC. Even Pence is better (ouch, ow, ow).

          • I skip the TV news (my blood pressure thinks it’s a great idea), but $SPOUSE mentioned that the Deplorables are starting a recall petition against dear beloved Kate. Sorry, didn’t mean to drip sarcasm on the carpet.

            Apparently, Those Better Than Us are appalled. VBEG, with chainsaw.

            • Seriously? Really? Do not watch local news or take the paper. So, wow, if someone or you are not being sarcastic … um, wow.

              Hell, I’m still not happy about $119 (.5%) for the new rig. Damn backdoor sales tax; I’m sorry “fee”.

            • “Even a RINO beats a $DONKEY.”

              • The good news is that the OR GOP has received spinal implants and is dropping the idea of “we have to run a candidate, but we’re not going to try to win”.

                Despicable Kate has done wonders for the state GOP. 2020 state elections might be fun!

                • I hope so. Lil Kate has written the Ads for the GOP …

                  Here’s hoping Senate and House gets some more non-democratic, socialist, potiental injections too.

                • The GOP county office (sideline for the business’s day job) has both the KB recall petitions, as well as one to put the gross receipts not-a-sales-tax-if-we-say-so-but-it-is tax on the ballot for referendum. Did that yesterday; they were going to the monthly street market in K-Falls last night. Hope they did well; it’s a good venue. County fair is coming up, too.

                  • Haven’t seen them locally.

                    Second one. Does that mean we’ll get paid back? (Stop laughing, it’s not intended to be funny.) Also, tag fees are now $112, no that is not new plates, just the bi-annual tags, registration.

  16. Handy rule of thumb:

    You calling something “racist” does not prove it is racist.

    You calling something “sexist” does not prove it is sexist.

    You calling something “white supremacist” does not prove it is white supremacist.

    It might merely mean you are an idiot. Or possibly a hysterical idiot, the jury is still out on that.

    • Heh. Spotted at National Review:

      Trump and the ‘Racist Tweets’
      There’s a difference between racist and just stupid.
      By Andrew C. McCarthy

      Even a blind pig can find the occasional acorn.

    • Nor are they inherently wicked. White supremacy is inherently asinine. Racism is inherently anti-social (in America. It seems to work fine for the Japanese) and sexism, eight goes out of ten is a perfectly natural response to the human condition.

      Argh. Just writing “Japan” got the earworm started again.
      “zooooto keemi wah mitei-i-ta!”

      • My current earworm, thanks to the Litttle Adorable Thing, is in Chinese.

        • I’m honestly afraid to follow the link.

          • It’s PSY, working with the girl group SNH48, doing a mashup of Little Apple and Gentleman (the latter translated to Chinese). Fun to watch. Also the oldest dancer (the lady with the short hair and second to sing) was 51 at the time of the video’s making. She’s STILL performing (52 now I think.)

            Jaenelle loves it, and even though she’s unable to crawl yet, she tries to turn herself to mimic the dancers turning away as they dance in a circle, but never gets past ‘turned 180 degrees away from the screen.’ It’s good physiotherapy because she actively tries to coordinate her limbs to mimic the arm movements, which can be difficult given her hypotonia.

            • I am glad Jaenelle is getting such enjoyable physiotherapy and am confident it will stand her in good stead should she ever develop interest in a career dancing in men’s laps.

              The days when the Waltz — or even Elvis’s gyrations — were shocking seem soooooo long ago.

              • Heh.

                Florida city using continuous loop of children songs in attempt to drive out homeless
                Officials in West Palm Beach, Florida, are trying out a new musical strategy to keep homeless people from sleeping in a city park.

                The city has begun playing continuous loops of two children’s songs at night on the patio of the city’s Lake Pavilion, the Palm Beach Post reports. The songs, Baby Shark and It’s Raining Tacos, are short, repetitive, and annoying.

                The pavilion overlooks the waterfront and is a venue popular with weddings, bar mitzvahs, graduation parties, and birthdays. The city expects to bring in $240,000 from events like those this fiscal year, and according to Parks and Recreation director Leah Rockwell, guests and staffers shouldn’t have to worry about stepping over sleeping homeless people when they come to set up early in the morning or close down late at night.

                “People are paying a lot of money to use the facility,” Rockwell said. “Thousands of dollars. We want to make sure people paying this money had a facility that was clean and open and continue to use it in the future.”

                One homeless man in the area said that the decision to begin the nighttime music was “wrong,” but said it wouldn’t dissuade him from sleeping there.

                “It don’t bother me,” he said. “I still lay down in there. But it’s on and on, the same songs.”

              • *peers at RES over her glasses, eyebrow raised* Dancing. Rather cutely, I should note. Not twerking. Miley Cyrus is not someone we listen to here in the household.

            • Maybe Jaenelle needs a mirror at the 180 degree mark?

              • Heh, can’t. She usually is on a bed (to prevent her hitting her head if she loses her balance and ends up on her side or back) when we play a couple of rounds of the video. Maybe when older.

                Interestingly enough, the mirror (in the bathroom) did not interest her, nor did her reflection garner much attention. It’s almost as if she realized at some point ‘oh, that’s just me’ and shrugged it off. She’s more interested in interacting with other people.

            • Sounds irresistible.

  17. European politics produce some truly weird sideshows.

    I was in Italy some time in the ‘80’s. At that time Ilona Staller had been elected to the Italian Parliament. Now, Ilona Staller was better known as Cicciolina, and had had a fairly extensive career in porn. In the US this was being reported, but in such euphemistic terms that it was difficult to tell if she has done a nudie spread in a few magazines or (as was the case) acted in dozens of hard core films.

    On the bus from the Milan train station to the airport, I happened to be sitting next to a very respectable looking Italian gentleman, who struck up a conversation with the American Tourist. And after a few exchanges I felt comfortable enough to ask him, what the deal was with Staller. Did she have a degree in Political Science and a background that the American Media didn’t tell me about? How did she get elected?

    He told me (more or less) “Oh, that’s just how we feel about our Parliament and our politicians. If they aren’t going to do anything useful, they might as well be entertaining!”

    • There’s a quote that bubbles up every now and then, usually attributed to the J.R. Ewing character on “Dallas.” Something along the line of,

      “The voters don’t expect honesty, but they do expect entertainment!”

      • I know of at least one fellow who says he voted Trump not because he expected Trump to be as good/not-bad as he turned out, but because, “If we’re gonna go down, we can at least go down laughing.”

        • The one thing I expected from Trump — besides not being Clinton — was that he would make leftists go bonkers in amusing ways.

          Despite the vast higher numbers going bonkers in singularly unamusing ways, gotta give him that.

  18. I understand just enough about world politics and the power of a government unconstrained by a constitution that European governments concern me and that i realize that most European governments are still monarchies in all but name.

    I also pity my English brethren that when they forced the king to sign a document guaranteeing their rights, they let the lizards presenting it to him put ‘subject to the power of parliament’ on every single right.

    • I doubt it matters. We have a perfectly good Constitution, which all three branches of the government feel free to “interpret” or simply ignore when inconvenient.

  19. For me the story ending with “that Sumbitch ain’t been born ” best sums the proper attitude towards any aristocracy, formal or wannabe.

  20. Also, whatever else one said, and honestly he was a man, like others — and we shall not see his like again — Ronald Reagan LOVED America. Meanwhile Jimmy Carter could barely tolerate our stench on him, as he toured European capitals. (Yes, he didn’t despise us as openly as Obama, but it was there.)

    I wasn’t even a twinkle in daddy’s eye until the early 80s, but my impression of Carter is that he has manners.

    I…greatly disagree… with him, but if we were in the same room he’d be DECENT to me.

    Obama would be an ass, and pat himself on the back for it.

    That doesn’t mean they disagree, just means Carter would be polite.

    • I don’t know. Carter shot cats, so…

      • As opposed to saying my kids should be euthanized for being too late in the birth order?

        We’re lookin’ at a crazy low bar, here.

      • At first Jimmuh was a decent ex-president, but after Bush the Second had the nerve to win, he started to remove the people mask. By the time Trump won, it was full Triceratops.

        I voted for him twice. After a little bit, i realized that a) the country was doing better with Reagan, and b) so was I. Changed parties about the time it was clear the Dems wanted people like me to pay more, while denying me the ability to protect myself.

        Now I despise the creature.

      • Donald Campbell

        LBJ picked his Beagles up by their ears. Repeated torture.

        • Carrington Dixon

          C.S.Lewis reported that his dog seemed to like being picked up by the ears; although, [paraphrase] I can’t imagine liking it if I were a dog.

    • That’s my read on Carter…or it used to be. He bled character like a stuck pig once Bush the Younger got into office.

      Still, you could trust him to mind the dog. Obama could be relied on to eat the dog…out of sheer spite.

    • 70s Carter, perhaps. But certainly not 2000 and beyond Carter. I’m not even sure about 80s Carter; the man seemed downright furious with the American people for daring to vote him out.

      The quotes I’ve heard of him and his wife yucking it up with Arafat and crew suggest that even if he wouldn’t be an ass while you were in the same room, being in the hallway would probably be enough to get him to drop the mask.

      • Remember also that during the ’90s, Carter was the guy who decided to go talk to Kim in North Korea without the approval of the sitting president. That was Clinton, btw.

        I’ve heard that Clinton was pretty upset about that. Sure, Carter was a private citizen at the time. But the fact that he was a former US president meant that in the eyes of most of the world, he still had a lot of prestige. And he was using that prestige to bolster one of the most repressive regimes on the planet.

        • Well, give him credit, at least he was trying to accomplish something positive. Unlike Barack Hussein’s “Hate America Tour 2019.”

          • Not really. The reason Clinton was ticked off was because Carter’s stunt undercut the negotiations that the Clinton administration was trying to conduct at the time through Madeline Albright.

    • My dad knew Mr. Carter. He was was, according to him, a petty weasel. The kind of guy who never let an opportunity to do you a bad turn, however minor, get away.

      • Slime with a mask. If one is going to be an inhuman monster, at least the honesty and decency to *own* it. And yes, that could be self-description. There difference? I might be non-human, but I am not in-humane. A subtle, but critical thing, that.

    • I live in Michigan, and have often said that the only good thing to come from the Carter presidency was that the local grocery stores realized that there was a year round market for roasted peanuts in the shell. Prior to his election, we could only get them seasonally.

  21. I live in California. How much longer is debatable. But, even thought it was as useless as farting in the direction of a shit storm, I voted for Trump.

    Why? Trump, for all of his sins, seemed to think that Americans that weren’t “woke,” college-educated, holding the “correct opinion” people actually mattered. How much of this is true is debatable, but Hillary! always seemed to me as the woman that hates everyone that doesn’t immediately fall down at her feet. And she is more than willing to share her feelings about you if you fail to show proper deference.

    (Her marriage to Bill? Grew up in the era when most women realized that any power they would exercise would be through their husbands. And, Hillary! knew that she was not going to be one of the outliers.)

    • Trump, for all of his sins, seemed to think that Americans that weren’t “woke,” college-educated, holding the “correct opinion” people actually mattered.

      Trump was in the building trades; how much do you want to bet he saw plenty of “bright college grads” come up with utterly impractical proposals while “up from the shop floor” workers offered one proposal after another to improve production, efficiency and profit?

      • One of the things my husband liked about Trump was a story he heard during the campaign. I forget most of the details. Apparently Trump disagreed with how the campaign was going to be run in one of the states, but one of the people managing it, a pretty minor fish at that, explained in great detail why it WOULD work here, and why Trump’s idea wouldn’t.

        Trump nodded, and had them go with with what the local campaign was going to do. He won that state.

        • Trump has said before, and I have heard a lot of stories from people he encountered, that he got a lot of his best business intelligence from just talking to people who lived in the area. A cabbie, a tenant, a neighbor, some lady walking her dog. Once he got them to realize that he was really interested in true experiential information, they could tell him all sorts of stuff and give him good advice. And if he looked into it and it was good advice or info, he would follow it. (And often he would make sure he paid them back.)

          I think Trump is a creative and intuitive type of guy, but also the kind of guy who needs constant input, people contact that he can invite or avoid like turning on a faucet, and outside information, all to turn into useful ideas and actions. (Hence all the hot and cold running women, too, I bet.)

        • Consultant: Highly-paid party that tells the $BIG_BOSS what the those on the factory floor have been telling him for ages.

        • Was a similar one from one of the managers of his properties. He tended to come with prebuilt assumptions but he listened and if you had thought it thru it was not uncommon to have him take “the help” into account and shift tactics on their suggestions. You had to be right but wasn’t a my way or highway in most cases

          • Seeing hints of this with the current scandal, Epstein, that dems tried (are trying still?) to tar President Trump with because of positive comments made in 2002. It appears that has been shutdown because years latter (2007 ish) something happened on one of the Trump properties that was REPORTED UP to the top. No details. But incident caused a permanent rift of President Trump and Epstein. Plus it sounds like a permanent ban from Trump properties, or as much as was legal.

            • I heard that it was first brought up by the lady who ran the spa. Epstein “hassled” one of the towel girls, it was reported up, and apparently the girl actually filed a police report. Trump went and was “extremely supportive” and helpful to the police.

              No wonder it kinda sunk.

              • Interestingly, the primary source I’ve seen on this has been James Patterson, the same man who recently “co-authored” a thriller with Billy Clinton. So, probably not a hate-filled right-wing reactionary.

                Saw a report earlier that NBS has resorted to “lip-reading” of old videos of Epstein and Trump.

                NBC lip syncs for its life with old Epstein and Trump video
                The desperate attempt to link President Trump with anything rapey has the news media experimenting in all kinds of art forms, such as method acting when pretending to take E. Jean Carroll seriously, and now, lip reading.

                NBC News on Wednesday re-publicized vintage video footage of Trump courting alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

                “The footage shows two wealthy men laughing and pointing as they appear to discuss young and beautiful women dancing at a party,” NBC’s online version of the story began.

                On MSNBC, Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski describes the conversation between Trump and Epstein as “difficult to understand.” But why should that stop her from trying?!

                Brzezinski says that Trump “appears to say to Epstein, ‘Look at her back there. She’s hot.’”

                There is no audio of the conversation, presumably either because Trump’s mic was off or he didn’t have one on in the first place. But so long as NBC can say what he “appears” to be saying, everything is okay!

                If I were to watch an episode of Morning Joe on mute and transcribed what it “appears” Joe Scarborough says to Brzezinski as they sit next to each other, I wonder what I could come up with.

                Without being able to lean heavily on the word “appears,” the story would probably have gone like this: NBC was on site at Mar-a-Lago to glorify Trump’s rich, playboy lifestyle. Here he is, showing off for the cameras, surrounded by professional cheerleaders, clearly brought in for the program. And there Trump is making chit-chat with Epstein, 16 years before he would plead guilty to soliciting sex from an underage girl.

                It’s not as though Trump and Epstein were caught in an undercover sting while plotting an orgy. The cameras were invited there by Trump. He points to them, smiles for them and, most overlooked, dances so, so badly for them.

                The exchange between Epstein and Trump means nothing, particularly when you consider that Epstein was banned from Mar-a-Lago after his guilty plea. But the idea of Trump as a wild rapist is forever ingrained in the minds of the media.

                Lip synching is just the latest trick they use to keep the myth alive.

              • You have more information than I do.

                I also suspect that “sunk” were not only because of the details from this incident, (that didn’t come from President Trump, because his comments have been “not going into it”, so someone dug up, or leaked, the official legal record) but because of certain dems celebrities are implicated up over their head (Clinton …).

    • Someone from Arkansas put it to me thus: the reason Hillary married Bill was because she was determined to be Mrs. President. Source also opined that the reason Arkansas voted for Clinton was to get them out of Arkansas.

      • I’ve said the second since 1991. But as to the first… while he was presented as “The Next JFK”, I doubt Dollar Billy was being groomed for the Presidency that far back. My take, then and now, was that the Dems picked him because they had to reach that far down to find someone who wasn’t saddled with so much baggage as to be un-electable, if not actually under indictment. The early ’90s were a bad time for the Democrats.

        By contrast to his Party seniors, Clinton was speaky-clean, even though his use of the Arkansas State Police as his personal pimp wagons was widely known. If it had ever come up as an election issue they would have spun it as “charmingly eccentric”, as they did when the rest of the country found out later.

        • Also remember that, at the time the campaign had to start, George h W Bush was still riding high on the bow wave of the success of the Desert Storm campaign. None of the party big shots imagined their Gaslight Media sliming of the economy would work

  22. Too many topics to go for, all of them very good. I’ll take “America OWES the world” for $100, Sarah.

    Let’s start with Canada. What’s Canada done for me? Anything? Nope. Okay, what have I taken from Canada, rightly or wrongly? Anything? Nope.
    How about Mexico? What’s Mexico done for me? Nothing again. What have I stolen from Mexico? Anything? Nope.

    Okay, what about Somalia? No resources I ever wanted. Nothing in my home was made there. I don’t have any kidnapped Somalian children in my basement working 20 hours a day sewing t-shirts and shorts. So nothing there either.

    China! Ah, let’s try that. We get cheap stuff from China. We must be cheating them. But wait a minute. They’re happy to sell to us at that price. So how can I be cheating them if they’re happy with those prices? But the Chinese laborers are working in sweatshops to make those jeans; and they’re polluting their environment to make those iPhones. Okay, but what’s their choice of not working in the sweat shop? Farming 2.3 hectares of swampland for rice and fish? And they’d still rather work in the sweatshop. So how do I own the Chinese anything?

    The same can be said about every nation on this planet. Unless I, or our country, has descended upon them and raped, pillaged, and plundered them, we don’t owe them squat.

    But America invaded Iraq! America invaded Afghanistan! Uh huh. And what has America taken from Iraq? Their oil goes to Europe. Their other mineral wealth doesn’t seem to be making it here. How about Afghanistan? Same deal. Nothing they have is coming to America, except maybe some National Geographics pictures. Intellectual property? They have none we want. But we blow up their stuff and kill their people! Uh huh. AFTER they’d aided and abetted the folks who decided flying airliners into buildings was the fun way to travel to Paradise.

    Nope. I sure as heck don’t owe the world squat. And neither does America. Too bad the four, non-white broads in the House of Representatives don’t understand that. But then greed apparently causes loss of brain cells.

    • We get cheap stuff from China. We must be cheating them. But wait a minute. They’re happy to sell to us at that price. So how can I be cheating them if they’re happy with those prices? But the Chinese laborers are working in sweatshops to make those jeans; and they’re polluting their environment to make those iPhones. Okay, but what’s their choice of not working in the sweat shop? Farming 2.3 hectares of swampland for rice and fish? And they’d still rather work in the sweatshop. So how do I own the Chinese anything?

      Socialists don’t understand basic relative income and exchange rates, or relative hardship, most of them being middle-class, well off and generally in safe, peaceful areas of the world (where nothing exciting happens, thus their vast discontent.) Their relativism has nothing to do with understanding the way other people see things or live, or, well, understanding.

      My father had a contemporary, a female journalist who he was also great friends with (she was quite the bold, brassy woman, the sort that back in the day would have been an adventuress traveling the world – and she did so) who wrote a collection of essays and recollections of her days of investigative journalism. One of the sections she wrote about was about sex work; and one of the stories she recalls was when she joined a police operation cracking down on a poor people’s brothel. She rode in the paddy wagon with the prostitutes and interviewed them.

      That night I tossed and turned in bed, wondering if we were really helping those women. And, being needy, were they really exploited? They were not young women, all of them had either married or lived with a man, and each had at least two children. They all gave poverty as their reason for prostitution, and claimed they couldn’t find any other job because they had very little education or none at all.

      But one of them, a former laundrywoman, told me: (translated) “I prefer this work because it’s easy. Laundering clothes? I’d be hunchbacked with cracked, callused hands from scrubbing all day long, and I’d only get thirty pesos a month in earnings! Here, I only have to spread my legs and I get P2.50.”

      She later observed that many of the answers of the poor people she interviewed boiled down to ‘Why should we pity ourselves? We enjoy being poor; we have it so easy because other people do things for us!’ She also observed that this sentiment is echoed in many other parts of the world where the poor abound.

      Mind, she was describing circumstances from probably the 70s or early 80s, but while the amounts changed, the attitude really doesn’t. I got to see it firsthand; a beggar was not happy to get food, they were upset that I didn’t have money, despite their claim that they wanted to have the money FOR food. The dirty street kids wheeling their big wooden push cart laden down with plastic bottles, bundles of cardboard and news papers, bottles, and scrap metal made twice or thrice the amount of money I did working in a call center. Why would they want to pursue an education with that kind of profit from a day’s work, or wish to better themselves? A pair of parents with a set of half a dozen children working on the streets, while themselves working, with their rent-less hovel and get-by shabby surroundings, were content and ‘had less to worry about’ than the people having to pay taxes, village association fees, and so on.

    • So many do NOT understand that John Q. American doesn’t WANT to rule the world or run an empire. He wants to be home, letting others mind their own business – and would do so if others just WOULD mind their OWN damn business.

      Even the “just nuke them all” is a sign of this. That’s NOT conquest and empire. That’s “DAMNIT, SOLVE the problem so it STAYS SOLVED.” And some fools figure they need to be ever-bigger problems. I do not envy them should they get their wish fulfilled and… well, John Q. might “hate himself in the morning” but he’ll still be around to do so.

    • What have I stolen from Mexico? Anything? Nope.
      Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Do you not know about Texas? And California? And Arizona and New Mexico?

      Yes, yes, wars and all that. But, still, it belonged to Santa Anna once, and it should belong to him again!

      French, you say? What? No, Spanish. Native Americans? Pfft, we don’t know nothin’ ’bout no Aztecs. No, no, those places were STOLEN from Mexico, and they want them back!

      Oh, and don’t forget we’ve stolen their dignity, too.

  23. Captain Comic

    I have to explain to people:

    I don’t SUPPORT Trump. He’s an ass. (I voted Daryl Castle, the s***-show made me go down to the Constitution party).

    I do DEFEND Trump. He says things honestly, truthfully, and without a lot of the self editing that makes so many pols make the term “milquetoast” seem like a high ideal.

    I agree that Trump is a democrat whose party left him behind. Which is something Reagan famously said. Imagine the quarter century of madness that has led the DNC to Overton window themselves away from what the ’70s and ’80s were…

  24. Donald Campbell

    I don’t understand this animosity toward the lizard people. I understand they have a weighty tome they follow exclusively. You know, “To Serve Man”.

  25. If you really want a downer, check out the degree to which both parties and the bureaucracy are made men, funded by the mob.

    What a world.

  26. I do not think it fair to call Trump a Democrat in any way. True, he might have begun life as a Democrat, but he has done so many things that a Reagan would do that it is fairer to call him a Reaganite, be it a crusty Reaganite who looks at new situations with new solutions because he must to get anything decent done. With the good people he has selected, from cabinet to administrators to judiciary, the beneficial effects and programs he has started are far too numerous to list. And to top it all off, he has help sharpen the debate of capitalism versus socialism and has exposed the swamp low-life and imperial corporatism as the scum they are. I predict both many new initiatives and publicizing of old ones will become readily apparent by the end of 2024.

  27. The noble name of Jerry Pournelle should always be suffixed with “pbuh.”

    • Actually for me it’s silently hyphenated with “Damn, it I miss my friend.”
      I really do. I keep expecting just one more email in my inbox. But I guess heaven isn’t on the net. Yet.

      • That would void the requirement for Faith, would it not?

        Besides, the time-stamp issue would confound all our systems.

        • There is that. I am allowed to still wish for it. I MISS him. I’m sure he’s very busy, and it will be a blink till he sees me again and goes “oh, hi Sarah.”BUT…

          • I didn’t know him nearly so well as you did, but I am confident he would want you t have faith.

  28. All the above seem to agree to some degree that voting doesn’t work now. Whether it did in the past doesn’t matter if people thought it worked.
    This is a really dangerous situation where large masses of people feel disenfranchised. And the fact that most of the rest feel empowered to seize control by the vote not working is absolutely no stabilizing factor.

  29. Madame Hostess I have a bone to pick with you. You said
    “And we’ll leave aside Lizard Occasional Cortex’s grasping ambition which is inversely proportional to her IQ.”
    If LAOC’s ambition were inversely proportional to her IQ then she would be making Ming the Merciless look like a piker. I suspect another factor in there somewhere…

  30. “And I don’t know the answer to bringing back manufacturing”

    Manufacturing never left the US. The US is still the world leader in manufacturing and manufactures more than twice what it did in the US.

    “jobs”

    Jobs never left. There are more jobs in the US now than at any other time in history and they are better paying, safer, with more benefits.

    “And neither do you.”

    The “problems” you say exist don’t. However, much of the answer to our problems lies in the destruction of our welfare and nanny state. The entirety of welfare, including social security, Medicare, and medicaid, needs to be eliminated. The nannyism of labor markets and economic regulation needs to be entirely eliminated. Property rights need to be strengthened.

    These will not solve all that ails us, as nothing ever will. Great wealth and freedom means a LOT of resources will be available to support the rot among us.

    “I’m starting to suspect the internationalism of the 20th century was not just a very bad idea, but poison too”

    Of course. Americans should worry about Americans and let others worry about themselves. Both WWI and WWII were fought because of internationalism, with one country promising to back the beligerance of another. Americans should have stood apart and let the world destroy itself, rather than waste American blood and wealth on the idiocy of foreigners who simply want to kill each other. And we should close all over seas bases. We’ve occupied Europe and Japan since 1945. It’s time to stop sending American treasure to these ungrateful foreigners.

    “To the generation raised on racial nonsense and accused at every turn of being “white supremacist” white supremacy will become the norm.”

    White Supremacy is a GOOD thing. The greatest countries in the world that people actually fight and die to simply live in were built by Christian White Supremacists. This isn’t some weird coincidence.

    • White supremacy is not a good thing. Particularly since no one knows what “White is”
      Show me the problems don’t exist. Also, ps- you’re so full of shit your eyes are brown. No, seriously. Go to the midwest and tell me manufacturing never left. Look at the parts of anything and tell me manufacturing never left.
      PFUI. I should believe it because you say so?
      As for your white supremacy if you’re an example, I ain’t impressed.
      European culture for various reasons transcended tribalism. That made it the world culture.
      Skin color? Go away, child. You’re an idiot.

    • the world leader in manufacturing what, exactly, Ken? the best we can say is we’re the world leader in final assembly….

    • were built by Christian White Supremacists
      Baloney.
      They were built by those working from the base of a Christian Western Civilization. But “white” and “supremacy” were not things that actually contributed to the greatness. (Though “supremacy” helped to spread its advantages far and wide.)

  31. Yeah, I’m late to the party, but I gotta say: One of your best, Sarah.
    I’ve been making the point a lot lately that you can’t expect salvation from a President. You can only produce “salvation” by winning enough hearts and minds over (and spread far enough over the landscape) to the idea of liberty and law and sovereignty and property rights and morals and all the other things embodied in our founding, that they will zealously and jealously defend all of that.

  32. What can I say? They all suck, obviously. I vote for those that suck the least. I would have voted Webb 2016 had the Dems been sensible enough to nominate him. Would have been the first time I’d ever voted Democrat, Alas, he wasn’t crazy enough for the commie whores, so Trump, who I loathe and despise, was my only choice, and I expect to vote for him again in ’20. I’d have voted Castle, but let’s be real here. CP is a non-starter.

    Oh well. Got the vindictive bitch of a county clerk out of office anyway.