Justice!

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The reason I was kicked out of kindergarten (stop laughing) was barracks lawyering. (Really stop laughing.)

What I normally don’t say is that the barracks lawyering wasn’t even on my behalf (REALLY stop laughing.)

Because I came from a relatively well known family, and frankly because my mom and grandmother were fearsome women, I was mostly left alone.  When, after that, I proved a willingness to not only talk back but think circles around the teacher, I was really left alone.

But there was this girl whom — for who knows what reason — the teacher couldn’t stand. Because of that, this girl could do no right. If she coughed she was being cheeky, and should be punished.

I was five, I wasn’t stupid. And I could see that what was happening to this girl was wrong. Really wrong.  So I started going to war on her behalf. (REALLY stop laughing.)

The teacher tried to appease me with candy, and eventually with a glow in the dark rosary (glow in the dark anything was THE hot thing in the village at the time.)

When those failed to work to distract me from her blatant injustice, which was getting my dander up, she took me by the hand and walked me back to grandma, who was told not to send me back ever.

Yes, I can see you guys laughing.  But the thing is, this is one way I’m broken. But it’s not uncommon. It’s just, I think, that other people have a greater tolerance/sense of self preservation/keep their mouths shut more.

And it’s not, btw, that I like confrontation. I hate it. Which is why I’ll swallow any number of issues that affect me.  But seeing blatant injustice to OTHERS, where I know they’re not culpable (with oneself, one is never sure) will get me moving faster than anything else.

I was thinking about this three weeks ago, while we were flying: We were standing in line to board near a little family: father and mother, chubby toddler-boy maybe just at the edge of speech, and cherubic maybe 3 year old girl.

The little boy was still at the crawling age.  When the parents weren’t noticing, the little girl would stomp on her brother’s hands.  And if he pulled them back, she’d go after him again.  After a while he started wailing.  The mother picked him up, but never noticed what her daughter was doing.  The daughter then took the opportunity (I presume under “fairness” to ask to be picked up by the father.

And I thought: That girl is going to grow up to be a piece of work.

We all know people like that. We all, our whole lives, have watched people like that get away with cr*p.

It’s a great part of our need to believe in justice greater than human. Because I’m sure even if I’d intervened and told the parents what the little cherub would have been up to they’d turn on me. (There was that look to the whole thing.) They wanted to believe that little girl was an angel. And she’s going to make them think badly of her brother by the time the poor thing can talk.

This is why even now, even though I’m more sophisticated, there is some satisfaction in reading that sort of book where the evil little girl grows up to be miserable, while the little boy gets rewarded.

I think it is that ‘thirst for justice’ that drives a lot of the crazy political movements. The problem being of course, that movements are easily infiltrated and controlled by the man and conniving little girls.

And who knows? Maybe they convince themselves they’re good somehow, because they’re compensating for their private and personal evil by their public and anonymous “good.”

Which is not good at all, most of the time, since they’re bending it to their aims.

My husband has lately added to “you can’t hug every cat” when I feel the need to save/help someone and we don’t have the resources, “You can’t fight every dragon.”

And he’s right.  As with that little horror in the airport, I’ll have to leave justice in other hands.

However, the incident was good for reminding me that there is true evil. Evil that is that way because it LIKES to be evil and can get away with.

This is not “I had a rough childhood” or “society caused me to be this way.”
There are any number of people (maybe even a majority, I have no idea) who simply enjoy hurting others, with a bonus of getting some benefit to themselves, if they can.

Knowing that, one cannot believe in “social justice.”  No two people are alike, and even the most technically “oppressed” group has elements in it that will exploit any attempts at redress. At the same time the crusaders, campaigning for justice will inevitably include a large number (if not a majority) of these evil people, who are in it, not to lift the oppressed group but to hurt those they want to hurt.

Make your justice small, direct, applied. Make your charity the same.  The bigger the group, the more chances it’s been perverted.

Oh, and raise your kids yourself, if you can. Institutions are notorious for giving the upper hand to sneaky evil.  Every one of us who has been in a school or group babysitting arrangement can attest to that.

And if you can’t raise them yourself, be sure whoever is raising them actually pays attention to them, as individuals.

You can’t bring justice to everything and everyone, but you can train kids out of some of the worst behavior early.  And maybe they — and society — are better off for that. They’re certainly not worse.

You can’t fight every dragon. But you can fight the baby one who is burning a hole under your sink. Before it gets to big.

And as for me, I can’t promise I won’t sometimes get the dander up and go give St. George a hand.  And even a glow in the dark rosary won’t distract me.

192 responses to “Justice!

  1. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    Of course, sometimes “cries for justice” are just call to “give me more stuff” when the crier hasn’t done anything to earn “more stuff”. 😦

    But some “cries for justice” are made when some asshole had gotten what he deserved. 😈

    • Yeah, the same old “it’s not fair” that assumes their desired outcome is perfect justice.
      Even when it’s in the form of “It’s not fair, Tommy hit me BACK!”

  2. I’m sitting here with a sore tooth* a bad night’s sleep and I assure you there ain’t no justice. Better to beg for mercy.

    *Broken molar three weeks back, replaced with new crown today.

    • Ooh. Best wishes for a fast and far less painful recovery with no complications.

      • Thanks – naproxen (Alleve), a couple of naps and careful selection of lunch seem to have given the soft tissue trauma opportunity to recover and all seems well for now.

  3. I’m not laughing

    More of a chortle.

  4. And who knows? Maybe they convince themselves they’re good somehow, because they’re compensating for their private and personal evil by their public and anonymous “good.”

    This is my working theory, kind of.

    If you read stories about working conditions at ACORN or The Nation or working for Michael Moore you are appauled. At least, I was. No company I know could get away with that.

    Which made me realize that’s where their stories about working conditions being so bad. What they do isn’t as bad as they complain about people driven by profit doing. Since they know they are the good people and they know how evil they are they can only assume we are worse.

    There are any number of people (maybe even a majority, I have no idea) who simply enjoy hurting others, with a bonus of getting some benefit to themselves, if they can.

    In defense of at least some of them, many spend all their life making sure they aren’t in places where they can hurt others or find socially acceptable outlets. In fact, the history of civilization may be to no small degree the history of finding outlets for sadism that are at least partially productive.

    And I read that and realize I might sound a tad leftist with that if spun right.

    And I wasn’t laughing at you; I was laughing with you.

    • The Mendacious Michigan Manatee did get his lard arse sued not long ago for shafting one of his contractors.

      • I think referring to the Fat Fabulist of Flint as a manatee is an affront to noble marine mammals.

        • My apologies to Wendall and his ilk.
          I blame Bill Whittle!

          • kenashimame

            I also try to avoid comparing him to Leni Riefenstahl; yes they both made leftist propaganda but Riefenstahl invented new ways of filmmaking in the process; whereas the Fat Fabulist of Flint can’t edit together footage without being obvious.

            • I watch her stuff and learn new things, and catch new things, every time. You can’t pay me enough to watch another of the F F of F’s “works” again.

              • I have not had to suffer through any of his film work. I did read an Automobile article when he came out with Roger And Me, and concluded then he was full of . . . it. That was well before learning just how much and how often he lied in it.

            • You mean ties don’t instantaneously change color?

            • I’ve referred to him as Lenin Riefenstahl, but without her talent, intelligence or relevance. Unfortunately most of his fans I’ve talked to are not educated enough to understand.

              • Looking at pictures of her from her dancing and acting days, she was also more attractive. (Low Bar I know)

    • “Which made me realize that’s where their stories about working conditions being so bad. What they do isn’t as bad as they complain about people driven by profit doing. Since they know they are the good people and they know how evil they are they can only assume we are worse.”

      You can reasonably generalize this to just about everything the Leftarded complain about. “We do it this way, and it’s terrible, so obviously the way you terrible people do it must be worse.”

    • “Since they know they are the good people and they know how evil they are they can only assume we are worse.”
      and
      “In defense of at least some of them, many spend all their life making sure they aren’t in places where they can hurt others…”
      remind me of many gun control proponents. They are sure that they wouldn’t be able to avoid shooting someone if they had ready access to a gun, so they avoid them. BUT, because they also believe they are the pinnacle of humanity they are also sure that no other normal mortal could be trusted with a gun either.

  5. When the email notifying me of this post came I was just finishing up watching this:

    which touches to a huge degree on “Knowing that, one cannot believe in “social justice.” No two people are alike, and even the most technically “oppressed” group has elements in it that will exploit any attempts at redress. ” Well, I think the focus is more on viewing as groups is dehumanizing.

    I think it is worth a listen.

  6. I saw this in the morning’s websurfing. Now it makes sense why Snopes has been “factchecking” the Babylon Bee. All part of battlespace prep–Snopes is one of the outfits for Facebook’s censorship thugs.

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/satire-site-looking-into-legal-action-against-snopes-over-fact-checking

    (It’s over the article titled: (no link to avoid moderation) georgia-lawmaker-claims-chick-fil-a-employee-told-her-to-go-back-to-where-she-came-from-later-clarifies-he-actually-just-said-my-pleasure )

    At one time, I trusted Snopes. Not for a while, now.

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      “Fact-checking” satire sounds . . . like satire.

      • Well, it is clear the radical left is repeating the 80s religious right even down to the having no sense of humor.

        So I’d say it is closer to farce.

        • My experience and memory is that the picture of the 1980’s Religious Right as being humorless…comes from the 1980’s Political Left, which WAS humorless.

          Keep in mind; the hysterically funny, and VERY popular among the Christian Right of the ’80’s, ‘Mississippi Squirrel Revival’ was released in 1984. It pokes fun at ‘The First Self-Righteous Church’ in a southern town.

          • I’ve heard dozens of examples of “right-wing” and “conservative” humor, mocking itself.

            I’ve yet to see an example of any left-wing person or organization whose humor was self-directed; everything they laugh at is the “other”, and usually with a very strong hint of hatred.

            This, I suspect, is a very telling thing. You never heard Nazis or Communists laughing at themselves; they always took themselves as Serious People, and all their jokes mocked their enemies, not themselves. What humor you heard from those regimes which mocked them came from people who were not committed believers in either one.

            Which is how I’ve determined that you tell who you want to be involved with; grim and humorless? Yeah; that’s the other side, for my taste. I’ll be on the one laughing at itself inappropriately…

            Seriously, though… If you’re ever around people who suffer an indignity or minor disaster, and they get angry when you laugh at the situation? Those are people you don’t want to be around. Ever. For any reason. If you can’t laugh when you’re covered in shit from a failed manure wagon, you are not people I want to be hanging around with.

            • during GWB the Press Dinner jokes got many belly laughs out of Bush, watch those under 0bama and anything close to hitting him got a ton of dirty looks and you could tell he hated anyone making fun of him. Though, he loved insulting anyone else. We have that to thank for DJTrump as it was a Press Dinner where 0bama insulted him and supposedly he decided to get back at him (and Hillary) by undoing his “Legacy”.

              • Yeah, that’s going to go down in history as one of the most destructive bits of political mockery, ever.

                I suspect that it’s going to end with Mr. Obama in prison, with a lot of his co-conspirators. They just couldn’t help themselves, and they’re only now starting to realize how much they screwed up.

                • I would frankly be surprised if Obama or the Hillarybeast ended up in prison. Lots of their flunkies, maybe. Maybe.

                  • I dunno… I really don’t. At this point, I put nothing past Mr. Trump. I think he’s laid this trap the left is in for a long, long time, and that we’re only seeing the very first indicators that it might snap shut on them.

                    Epstein going down? LOL; in SDNY? ROTFLMAO, but that’s a warning shot, a harbinger. I’m actually surprised that Bill is still in-country, or that Hillary hasn’t stroked out, because with the track record Bill-boy has of getting on airplans sans Secret Service, and flying off with dear Mr. Epstein…? Yeah. That does NOT bode well.

                    The optics of keeping Acosta in the administration, and that he’s not been called out by Trump…? Something is going on in the deep background. You can see the movement at the top of the darkened water, but what’s beneath? Is it Kraken, or a school of herring? Don’t know, do you? And, neither do any of the formerly anointed ones, who I suspect are shedding their intestinal brickworks, right about now.

                    The next year is going to be… Interesting. I rule out nothing, as potential events. I never, ever thought that I’d see Epstein indicted, let alone in the SDNY. That’s the bailiwick of Trump’s enemies, and it’s obvious from them doing this that something significant has shifted. Comey’s daughter being one of the prosecutors going up against Epstein? LOL; I’ve got no idea what that signifies, but it’s not a mere coincidence. Also, Epstein surviving whatever he did, and the sheer mass of his cellmate? That cellmate saving his life, supposedly…?

                    I’m telling you, Andre Dumas would have found all this highly implausible. But, he’d have loved it…

                • I’ll not hold my breath on any prison terms, and just be happy for any undoing.

                  • Amidst multiple reports of IG recommending prosecution of Comey for leaking classified documents I saw one headline saying the DOJ does not intend to prosecute. A quick DDG search indicates multiple sources on this: NY Post, Fox News, Breitbart, Daily Caller.

                    Whatever the official reason my suspicion (and wallabies are very suspicious by nature — a byproduct of being so cute and cuddly-looking) is that they do not want to establish a precedent of holding high-ranked government officials accountable for irresponsible handling of classified information (or, for that matter, much of anything else.)

                    This does offer some insight into Comey’s conclusion that no reasonable prosecutor would bring Hillary’s carelessness to court. Counsel for the Defense: “Your Honor, the Defense would like to submit into evidence the following exhibits of other government officials lax handling of classified documents. Would your honor prefer these exhibits on a set of matched terabyte drives or shall we back the trucks to the loading dock?”

              • To be fair, it wasn’t much of a legacy. Mostly smoke and mirrors.

                • I disagree. The regulatory straightjacket he put us in, alone…?

                  Much like Mr. Obama himself wasn’t the problem, the real legacy was what he brought with him, in terms of appointments, policies, and all the rest of what “real governance” consists of.

                  Trump is unwinding all of that that he can get at. Look at the way 9th Circus has been influenced. Do you doubt but that he’s going to probably split off another circuit court, before long? And, I daresay that the leftoids will be begging him to… Which he’ll ju-jitsu into another epic goring of their ox team.

                  I did not expect good things of Mr. Trump. I thought “Well, he’s better than Hillary…”, and that’s why I voted for him. Now? I am actually growing to like the blow-hard, blow-dried bastard. He’s got some issues, but overall? I’m happy with his performance. I think he’s the first real American we’ve had as president since Reagan, TBH. The rest were a bunch of left-wing idjits or RINO globalists, and you could tell by how well the country was doing. Trump, for all his flaws, is at least an American first.

                  • The regulations are already largely undone — but they were less of Obama than of the Administrative State (of which Obama was, admittedly, a supporter.) But a legacy has some lasting effect; Hillary would have been Obama’s legacy, Merrick Garland in Scalia’s stead would have been Obama’s legacy. On everything else (save Kagan and Sotomaier) Obama over-reached and his legacy is written in sand.

                    • tregonsee314

                      Yes, thankfully it seems that Obama starts with O like Ozymandias… If we’d gotten Clinton redux the republic would be well on the way to over.

                • Overpriced smoke and mirrors, at that.

            • Actually, way back before his ‘hiatus’ Garry Trudeau did some gentle mocking of common Liberal tropes. Then he began to take himself seriously, a syndrome one sees in comic artists and comedians who get a lot of ‘intellectual Left’ praise, and which I call Garry Trudeau Disease. Dave Sim seems to have come down with a bad case. The first fifty or so issues of CEREBUS are comic genius. The rest of the run? Meh.

              Some underground comix – like THE FABULOUS FURRY FREAK BROTHERS – make fun of selected Liberal sacred cows, too. Of course they mock the Left’s image of the Right a lot more….

              • I was thinking about some of the early ’70s Trudeau strips. I got a sense that it was mild mocking of liberal attitudes by someone to further left. Agreed, post-hiatus strips were noteworthy in not having any detectable humor. If memory serves, that was about the time that the San Jose Murky News moved it to the Op-ed page.

            • Christopher M. Chupik

              Wokescolds get their senses of humor surgically removed, I think.

            • Remaking humanity is a serious matter. No room for humor there at all.

              Those who just want (pretty much) to have humanity leave them alone can laugh at it.

            • “You all know what a volt is and an ampere, don’t you? Right. But do you know what a goebbels, a goering are? A goebbels is the amount of nonsense a man can speak in an hour and a goering is the amount of metal that can be
              pinned on a man’s breast.”

              – Adolf Hitler, at a party thrown by Frau Freidline Wagner, from “The Mind of Adolf Hitler”, by Walter S. Langer, 1972

              There was also the line about parliamentary deputies in “Mein Kampf”, though I still suspect it was something Hess threw in there…

          • In case someone’s been hiding under a rock for the last 35 years . . .

          • My experience and memory is that the picture of the 1980’s Religious Right as being humorless…comes from the 1980’s Political Left, which WAS humorless.

            *lightbulb*

            Oh, duh.

            That explains why I only ever saw that “Religious Right” humorless scold junk on TV, and from mildly religious but left of center relatives.

            I’m going to be over here facepalming.

            • No, no. No need to facepalm. Or at least, don’t do it very hard. To see the humor that the Christian Right has about itself, you have to be looking in some odd corners, and you often have to build up a tolerance for CR evangelism, which can get as tiresome as Progressive Left evangelism REAL fast.

              • Oh, I grew up with Religious Right humor all over the place– as a teen a gaming “friend” introduced me to Tom Lehrer’s “Vatican Rag” and I thought it was HILARIOUS. I’d grown up with the church bulletin having stuff like “Catholic Dictionary”– a spin on the Devil’s Dictionary– with ‘definitions’ like “Relics- people who have been going to church so long that they actually know when to stand up, sit down and kneel.

                Took me 20 years to figure out she was trying to scandalize me.

                I just kind of assumed that, counter to what I had actually seen and experienced, the vast ghostly threat of the “religious right” was actually THERE. Yeah, my folks did a great job of being selective about who we were around, but we did know folks that fit the “religious right” boogieman. They were just squishy generically “nice” liberal sorts, if they were political at all.

                • Well, there are a fair number of Protestants in America, and I can tell you that there are definitely Protestants who think Catholics should not be considered Christian. And all that syncratism with socialism* might possibly be undermining the consensus of the peaceful compromise between the denominations that the Catholic Church essentially became an additional party to.

                  Of course, that is the other side of events we can’t predict. As opposed to there being serious backing in the past or present. I’ve met individuals who might meet some of the criteria, but not any large organizations with serious pull.

                  *Yeah, I’m talking about all of the denominations here.

                  • I can tell you that there are definitely Protestants who think Catholics should not be considered Christian

                    *snickers* One of them made the mistake of sneering as much at my dear mother.

                    Half an hour of remedial history for rude dummies later…..

                    • My wife is Catholic, and our wedding was as well. My Mom came, of course. The next time we went to church with her, the church I grew up in (Southern Baptist) did the Sign of Peace. That was fun to wrap my head around.

                    • Heck, I’ve encountered Protestants who didn’t know they were Protestant. Had to gently explain that Baptist is Protestant, in case the parents wanted to slot the child into Protestant instead of “Not Catholic, Everything Else” religion classes.

                    • There is a myth in the Baptist church that they were the first church. I’ve had people “explain” that to me. Literate, educated people.
                      There’s no accounting.

                    • Oooh! I think I know that one! Catholic Answers actually did a really charitable summary and response to the idea, I can’t remember what they called it but basically “Jesus founded the church, and then it kind of withered away and then our denomination was like a green branch that shot out of the dead wood.”

                      Biggest issue was in pinning down where the Church supposedly died, although obviously they weren’t too sympathetic to the idea of ‘the gates of hell shall not prevail” meaning “except for at least a thousand years, give or take.”

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      I would prefer it be said “there’s a myth some Baptists hold that they were the first church”. 😉

                      I’ve never heard that idea growing up in my Baptist Church.

                      Now, some might say that Baptists are closer to the early Church than some that I might mention (if I was in a crazy mood). 😉

                    • Well, since John the Baptist baptized Jesus…….

                      That’s exactly where that nonsense comes from.

                    • Thing is, I can kind of understand the whole “we’re not Catholic, we’re Christian” thing, since it usually means something like “the bare minimum shared stuff, basically the Bible is the only authority, we’re going to be carefully silent about which version much less translation and even quieter about who is interpreting it” in popular culture.

                      Doesn’t keep me from working hard to be polite and not giggle.

                    • Ah. The “Trail of Blood.” Basically notices some of the same relationships between various heretical or occult religious movements as ones sees in Knox’s book Enthusiasm, but decides that every nut and flake in medieval Europe was a godfearing primitive Christian who would fit right into a Baptist congregation, and that all information otherwise was a smear by evil Catholics, or a misunderstanding by the ignorant. The blood part was the blood.of these supposed Baptist ancestors. (A lot of them were the opposite of Baptists, or were actually into the occult instead of Jesus.) And Wiccans have their own Trail of Blood theorists, who want to turn all the weird Christians of Europe into Wiccans. The sort of people.who.worship science and atheism tend to have a science Trail of Blood, featuring the same occultists and weirdies. It is a very contagious idea, mostly because it is not entirely incorrect about every movement; sometimes there were connections.

                      Anyway, the guy who came up with this did.It in 1931 in the US, so obviously it is not part of the Baptist patrimony universally.

                    • I was wondering that the heck that Bruno guy had that appealed to so many Scientism guys, when he really should be setting off their kook alarm.

                    • The ones I love are those who cite Tertullian about baptism — while carefully omitting that his reasoning was that certain sins could not be forgiven post-baptism, so deferring it was it, the exact opposite of their logic.

                    • Paul the dragonkind wrote: Now, some might say that Baptists are closer to the early Church than some that I might mention (if I was in a crazy mood).

                      True enough, some of them really are. Though they aren’t in America, and it’s true of nearly every church in places like Red China or darkest Islam. Survival mechanism.

                  • who think Catholics should not be considered Christian

                    They might be right — but my reading of the Text informs my view that it is NOT our call to make, and that He will know His own … and that we are each best advised to ignore the mote in our neighbor’s eye, keeping our focus a little bit closer than that. In this regard, “Not my job, not my call” is a good motto.

                    Not that I presume to decide who He likes best, anyway.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      Not wanting to get into a theological battle here, but I do believe He’s given some information on “Who Is His Own”.

                      Of course, we also know that He’ll reject some who imagined that they were “His Own”.

                      Oh, I suspect that everybody who is “His Own” will laugh at the things we thought were Valid Theology. 😆

                  • (Chuckle) At a breakfast fundraiser for our community/Friends church (now disbanded) a Catholic from a neighboring town (25 miles away–we are in the boonies) left flyers telling all who read it that The Only True Church is Roman Catholic and anybody dissenting was going to hell.

                    IIRC, it was around 1964 that the RCC finally allowed that being Lutheran didn’t automatically send one to hell. Somebody didn’t agree.

                    • we’ve had people leave comments here telling us we were all going to hell, even the Catholics, because we were living after 1962 and there was no salvation.
                      I consider this the equivalent of “burn it all down politics.”
                      a) even if it were true, it’s an evil creed.
                      b)if taken seriously, the results would be either despair, license or (justifiable) anger that will lead to violence.
                      c)If you assume it’s true, it WOULD be true.
                      Bah. I never understood people who proclaim this stuff and seem to take great delight in it.

                    • Around the mid-80s or so, I read a note in the back end of the local paper about how assorted bigwigs from Rome met with the various bigwigs from the LCMS and they agreed that yes, there is NO salvation from works, yea, not even works that involve giving lots of money up front to the churchly powers that be. And they also agreed that a Faith without any good works (charity, mercy, truth, fidelty) was clearly deader than a parrot pining for the fiords.

                      I remember getting up and dancing a jig: It’s about time!

                      So at least from the LCMS perspective, Catholics and Lutherans are fellow Christians. We just can’t share communion because of a disagreement I frankly fail to understand at all. (Real Presence is Real Presence. No? Above my paygrade).

                    • When Dan went through RCIA in the late eighties they told him we DO have co-communion. If you can’t find the Catholic church or whatever, it’s fine to attend the Lutheran service and it counts.

                    • Well, when I couldn’t find a Lutheran church or I had to work Sundays, I went to the Catholic Church. So I’m glad it goes both ways.

                    • Yeah, that’s what co-communion means.

            • Official Left “Comedy” has not been actually funny except by accident since back before SNL was making fun of Gerald Ford.

              For the accidental part, see the 1986 SNL sketch where RR is a happy dufus in public, and then as soon as the cameras leave he shifts to his alternate form as a mastermind rip-roaring super effective chief executive with deep grasp of detail.

              The sketch got huge laughs from the NYC leftist audience because it was so implausibly farcical – everyone knew! – but per many, many first hand accounts, it was was actually very close to truth: President Ronald Reagan used his acting chops to project the public persona, but in private he was always fully on top of the details and had a clear vision of what he wanted to happen.

              But “Ha-Ha-Reagan is an idiot” is “funny” they tell us, over and over again. And they have been stuck on the shampoo bottle instructions ever since.

          • The Christian Right differs from the Political Left in that their creed encourages (requires) self-reflection. Self-knowledge engenders a sense of either Humour or Shame.

            • Not that that stops some of them from avoiding it anyway. Some of my brethren are…well, let’s just say I wouldn’t last long if they were in charge.

              • Yeah, well: just because a person wears sackcloth and ashes does not mean they are believing Christians. There is no Faith so perfect that it doesn’t attract some fugheads (to paraphrase Niven.)

                Nor is there any creed so evil it will not draw into its orbit at least a few useful idiots innocents.

                • “Just because a person wears sackcloth and ashes does not mean they are believing Christians”

                  In the post enlightenment world, I would consider it a strong indication that they AREN’T. Especially since the most fervid wearers (metaphorically speaking) are Progressive Lefties.

    • Yep, and it’ll be used to justify blocking shares of the Babylon Bee.

    • At this point, the satire sites joke-checking ‘facts’ are more trustworthy.
      Even ox figure out that!

  7. “There are any number of people (maybe even a majority, I have no idea) who simply enjoy hurting others, with a bonus of getting some benefit to themselves, if they can.”

    I don’t think it is a majority, but it is a nontrivial % of the population. And the hurting of others is especially pleasant to such people if those others are designated targets, such that social approval will follow the attacks. I’ve noticed certain people who post a lot on social media about Love, Kindness, etc, are also extremely vehement in their attacks against political (non-leftist) enemies. Think “Ministry of Love” in 1984.

    Gretchen’s words (self-awareness too late) in Goethe’s Faust:

    Never found sharp enough words like pins To stick in other people’s sins…Would cross myself, exclaim and preen”

    …seem apt.

    • Antifa has a training poster out which unironically includes a figure wearing a peace symbol shirt throwing a Molotov cocktail.

      • Nuclear Disarmament is not a synonym for peace.

      • Recently saw a neat little post about secretary birds and how hard they come down on snakes when hunting… to which someone had added a secretary bird drawn over a particular snake and the phrase “Tread on them really hard.”

      • Dan Hamilton

        You can be sure that ANTIFA DID NOT make the Molotov correctly!

        • Can we?

          I suspect there is a competent cadre making the weapons for the useful idiots to deploy.

          • The track record of one William Ayres would argue “not”, but YMMV…

            • What was the Weather Underground’s ratio. They got several off.

              Regardless, smarter to assume they work than not.

              • Application of appropriate kinetic energy at the moment when they begin to throw is a most effective method for finding out if they were made correctly.

              • The members of WU after *that* bomb wisely stepped back, took stock of things, and realized that they didn’t have a clue when it came to building bombs. So they educated themselves on the topic.

                They were a lot smarter about bombs and more successful afterwards.

        • Do not make the mistake of underestimating an enemy. Just because such gets other things wrong or is foolish, doesn’t mean that they get everything foolishly wrong.

          For example, though not merely foolish, consider the propaganda of WWII and what the various animated cartoons in the USA said of Japan[1] – NOT counting Pvt. Snafu cartoons, of course. Now count how many “Purple” crypto machines were captured, total, including post-war.

          [1] These are often hard to find and I can’t say it’s entirely a bad thing. They really are/were quite genuinely racist/ethnist/what-ever. I do not believe they should be destroyed, but they should be recognized as carrying a poisonous payload and treated with care, lest such poisons pollute the mind.

          • The contrast between the anti-Japanese and anti-German ones were fascinating.

            • I wonder if it was from living memory of excesses of anti-German sentiment from WWI, or that the Nazi’s were readily identifiable and deserving targets.. or rather, how much of which?

              • The answer is probably complex, but one element is surely that we distinguished between the Nazis and the Germans, while in the East it was simply the Japanese. It has been quite a while since I paid particular attention to any period films, but I recall them differentiating — although Ernst Lubitsch’s To Be or Not To Be was perhaps unusually sympathetic to the ordinary German soldier, given Lubitsch grew up and got his start in film in Berlin — and as a secular Jew he was undoubtedly aware of the Nazi’s persecution.

                The fact that many Hollywood directors and actors were German refugees — Lubtsch, Lang, Veidt, Lamarr, Lorre and Wilder among them — probably inclined them toward that perspective.

                • It didn’t hurt that during WW1 Allied propaganda ran Fake News about the German Army roasting nuns in ovens.

                  I need to find that book I read years ago: loads of primary source documents on how governement propaganda prevented anyone believing that the death camps were real until it was far, far too late.

      • Hopefully the intersection about center of chest.

    • I’m actually chewing it over still.

      I know that most people, in the civilized world, will not harm folks just for the giggles.

      …I also know that violence-against-a-legitimate-target is something that is incredibly common, and if properly trained is even a good thing. (Mostly a matter of target choice [actually needs violence] and goal [stopping the bad thing, not the damage you get to do])

      I also know that outside of the civilized world, you should assume that if you’re outside of someone’s recognized group they will harm you without hesitation, because they have enough populations that will do so.

      I’m not sure how you’d figure percents, though, exactly because of the judgements involved.

      • The ability to reign it in, and the choice to do so are probably part of the necessary conditions for civilization.

        OC in WIP takes the motto ‘man is a wolf to his fellow man’ entirely too seriously for good and for ill. Wolves cooperate to take down prey, and raise their young to do likewise. Wolves can also form functioning family groups.

        Humans are pursuit hunters, and need that killer instinct. We are also strongly K selected. We need training in expressing our instincts in strategically optimal ways. Trained usefully, sheepdogs and wolfhounds. Trained destructively, bullies and worse. Hierarchical instincts and sexual drives likewise.

        I’m not persuaded that my self restraint is strictly sufficient. I certainly spend a fair amount of time trying to persuade myself that more significant action is appropriate and necessary. Maybe that means that I have myself better surveyed than many. I definitely do not speak here with the restraint that someone should have if they were speaking with, say, the authority of a king. I figure you all see me in proper perspective, and will listen to my arguments critically. If my arguments fail y’alls battery of tests, they deserve to fail.

    • People have found it is socially acceptable, even rewarded to bully others, provided the other is the proper color or mindset. From being a last resort, excommunication has come to forefront and is an extremely powerful tool of harm. Lasting damage and safety of the mob

  8. My husband has lately added to “you can’t hug every cat” when I feel the need to save/help someone and we don’t have the resources, “You can’t fight every dragon.”

    Shillond smiled at him and said, “Don’t mind me. We have this argument quite often. Last weak it was an injured sparrow; the week before, an orphaned fawn. Kaila has difficulty realizing that she cannot save the entire world from hurt and harm.” He cast a sidelong glance at his daughter.
    “And if I cannot defend all the weak and helpless of the world,” Kaila said, “Is that not all the more reason to defend and aid those who do come under my hand.”

  9. This is going to seem funny, and maybe offensive to Sarah, but I can’t quite gin up the animus against that little girl–Even though I spent most of my childhood as that little boy.

    I would temper my opinion of that little girl for this reason: Maybe she is pure evil incarnate, starting out young. On the other hand…? You’re seeing a snapshot, a moment in time. You don’t know what has gone before, in her life, or what is going on in it.

    There’s a four-year gap between my older sister and I; from the day she was born, until the day I was, she was the shiny apple of my father’s eye, the beloved wunderkind. I came along? She was less than dirt, in his eye; she was suddenly irrelevant. Overnight, she went from “best beloved” to “less than afterthought”.

    Care to guess what my childhood looked like, with a four-year disadvantage in size and maturity? The stories I could tell… Stamping on my hands would have been a delicious reduction in things, let me tell you. She used to arrange little “accidents” involving my walker and the basement stairs, then when I hit bottom, go tell Mom that I’d gotten the door open, and fallen. I could go on for a couple of hours, with all that, but… Water under bridge.

    What was worse about the whole thing was that I had a pretty good idea, even as a toddler, that what he’d pulled with her was the proximate cause for my misery, not her. I really couldn’t be mad at her; I saw all the little things he did, which my mother did not, but that we kids went through. I quite considered my sister to be mostly innocent, because I had the idea that my dad was doing that stuff deliberately, in order to goad her into what she did for his own amusement… I mean, surely… He’s an adult; he has to know what he was doing, right? Right…?

    Looking back, I simply see an oblivious ass playing favorites with his boy-child, and discounting the daughter who worshipped him. Ironically, I have never liked the sonuvabitch, mostly because of how he treated her and how that recoiled onto me. I also really loathed the way that conditioned me to behave, as a child, even when I really knew that I was doing wrong when I did it. I really do not like playing the organ-grinder’s monkey for someone, and you try to manipulate me now, and I’ll happily slit your throat and bathe in the blood streaming out while the light fades from your eyes.

    Yes, I would say that that kind of parenting is contra-indicated, and in general, a Very Bad Idea(tm).

    So… It’s not necessarily a good idea to see a snapshot of a person’s life, and form judgment based on what they do in that moment you share with them. That little girl may or may not be evil incarnate in child-form. My sister certainly presented as such, to the outside observer who might have seen her tormenting me on the occasions she did, but the reality…? She was a bewildered and emotionally abused little girl, reacting to her beloved father’s rejection and continued ongoing emotional absence with her. Even as the tormented kid brother, I had a good feel that it wasn’t “me”, but what I saw as the unearned favoritism from our father. Which, I might point out to fathers everywhere, I grew to hate him for.

    Even as I occasionally took advantage of it. Don’t play favorites with your kids, if you still want to be talking to them in your declining years. The memories of what you do when they’re toddlers are going to inform the relationships you have with them for the rest of your life.

    • Is it too much to hope that you managed to make friends with your sister, later?

      And my favorite advice to parents has always been “Play nice with your kids. You never know which of them will be picking out your retirement home.”

      • Oh, we get along fairly well, now. I think the last time we engaged with firearms was when she was in high school… 🙂

        Actually, adulthood closed the loop, and it shifted to the two of us mostly allied against our father; I finally stopped putting up with him and his manipulative BS back in the nineties, with one short interregnum where we were talking. Which he promptly screwed up by calling me a Nazi. She only gave up on him about seven years ago, or so, after he started accusing her of “…deliberately keeping me from my son…”.

        Which was well after I’d told her I’d happily take her to court and sue her into oblivion if she ever gave him my contact info, for any reason.

        It’s an interesting thing, watching someone poison their family relations. After a bit, you realize that they’re doing it deliberately, even if not consciously, because they prefer being able to call themselves victims rather than have any kind of relationship with their kids. I find myself hoping the ass can keep himself warm at night with that fine feeling of victimhood.

        • People act like it’s normal for the toddler or small child to resent the new baby.

          Kids have their own personalities, of course, but I always thought that if the older sibling resented the baby that the parents screwed up by the numbers.

          Particularly with a toddler and a newborn… the toddler actually needs you more. There are a few situations where the newborn needs attention immediately, but the majority of the time the baby can fuss a bit while the toddler is seen to first.

          The only hint of trouble we had was when the older one, Gabby, thought that people who called the baby “Baby” were saying “Gabby” and that the baby had stolen her name. That one was an easy fix once the problem was figured out.

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            One child I knew had a problem with the new baby.

            She said that the baby was no fun at all. It only wanted to do was eat & sleep. 😉

            In another situation, a couple with all girls adopted a baby boy and it was commented that the girls wanted to “mother” him. 😀

          • Depends on the level of resentment– the Chief is a little resentful he doesn’t get first dibs on mommy’s lap, and will push the Contessa….but the Contessa will also resent big brother Chief being in mommy’s lap, come over and yell at us, and get REALLY pissed when I pick her up, put her next to Chief, and when she tries to push him off, she goes back to the floor.

          • There’s normal sibling rivalry, and then there’s what my sister and I had going on–Which was driven mostly by the utterly inhuman way my dad started behaving towards her after I came along. It was unnatural enough that I picked up on it as a toddler, and informs my earliest memories of childhood. Which, in turn, I find myself resenting the hell out of, looking back: It would have been very nice to have a normal sibling relationship with a protective, nurturing older sister. Given the way she is with animals, I think she’d have been very much that way, absent his lousy treatment of her.

            What I got, thanks to him? Living hell. When my parents got divorced, first question I asked was “When is he leaving?” and the first thing I thought was “Now, maybe Sissy won’t hate me, anymore…”.

            To this day, I see someone playing favorites with their kids, it sets me off. Hard. When I was in Kuwait, and having to sit around at shops and stores waiting for orders we were sending north, I got to watch a bunch of Arab families. From that, seeing how the little boys were all treated like little stampy-feet gods, and their sisters like crappy afterthoughts, I developed a deep and lasting disdain for Arab “culture”. Just general impressions, mind you, but enough to set a marker to “prejudice” deep in my soul. Not fair, not morally “correct”, but it makes it very easy to understand why so many Arab males are fundamentally lousy human beings. The ones that overcome all that, to become decent humans? Gotta be saints, I’m telling you…

            • FYI what I detected in that family, even as the boy was PERFUNCTORILY picked up to stop him crying, was both parents concentrating on/patting the girl, being very proud/immensely fascinated by HER.
              Did I mention she was very pretty?

              • By no means did I want to question what you picked up on… It’s just that my instincts did the same thing yours did with your kindergarten almost-friend, and I flashed back to my own childhood, remembering the “why” of that situation between siblings…

                It’s funny I still want to defend her, isn’t it? That’s my first impulse, at least–I will generally pause to observe the realities, when and if there’s a call or place for me to stick my nose into things.

                But, still… It’s the experiences you go through yourself that prejudice you.

            • My sister was dad’s favorite, and my brother was The Boy (and the only grandson in my dad’s family for 500 miles), but I never doubted that they loved me, and even liked me. My siblings were just more “fun,” for lack of a better word.

              What you and your sister had sounds like hell.

              • And, yet… It wasn’t actually physically abusive, just… Emotional. Which was even more damaging, in some ways. The physical sort of stuff goes away, bruises fade, etc.

                The emotional weight never really comes off, even decades later. I still catch myself reacting to things irrationally, anger coming out of nowhere, and it’ll take awhile for me to work back to the why of it. Which is usually something from those years. It’s hard to trace back, sometimes–I found myself really enraged, one time, when someone was doing the “OMG, you’ve got to tell that story to so-and-so, here…”, and for whatever reason that tripped a trigger, and I was there playing the dancing monkey for my dad again, redoing some humiliating thing he’d found funny when I was little. I did manage to maintain some couth in the story situation, because I recognized that I was reacting irrationally, but… There ya go: Childhood emotional damage, fifty years later. Took me about a week to figure out where the rage had come from, but I realized that it was the tone of voice and the guy’s voice that did it, reminding me.

                Seems petty, when you talk about it, but… Boy, it does not feel petty. There’s a part of me that is still rage-filled at the whole thing, which I have to keep a careful eye on, or I’m prone to doing things I’ll regret. Well, a part of me, sometimes… A lot of the time, the rage-filled bit just wants to dance in someone’s entrails, preferably while they watch.

                On the whole, I’m rather grateful I’ve managed some self-control, over the years. There is, however, still a part that longs for filmy-red mindlessness and inchaote vengeance on the world at large. Which is irrational as hell, because it wasn’t the world at large which did this, but… That’s how it goes.

                Couple of times, I’ve wanted to slap people who discounted child abuse that didn’t involve physical or sexual abuse, who said “It was only emotional abuse…”. Yeah.

                Abuse is abuse, and even if you don’t leave bruises on the body, the ones you leave on the psyche are just as destructive–The only difference is that when it’s finally expressed, you’re not the one doing the hitting. The kid you abused that way will be doing that for themselves, either on others or self-harming. Or, they’ll be getting themselves into destructive situations. If you do it right, you can drive someone to suicide and never have to take responsibility for anything, ‘cos “…no bruises…”.

                Yet, you beat them to death with your tongue and your actions, just as much.

                • The problem I have with almost all child abuse that ISN’T physical/sexual is the tendency to want to get the government involved. It’s always bad, but how is getting the ham-handed stooges of the government going to IMPROVE things?

                  In general, I strongly suspect that CPS damages more families than it saves children. The whole ‘raise your child MY way or we take it from you’ impulse is just chock-full of horrible potential.

                  Yes, absent CPS children will be abused, and some will die, and other will be warped for life. That’s tragic. But WITH CPS the same kind of thing happens, and since I’m a sovereign citizen, it happens IN MY NAME.

                  *growl*

                  • Yeah, I’m not a fan of the idea that government can do any better.

                    Root problem has to be addressed at the individual level, by the involved parents. About the only role I see for government is maybe, just maybe, some education. Even that might not be a good idea.

                    I don’t know how you fix parenting like my dad’s. He was a victim, himself, but… I think that about the time you have your own kids, you become responsible for what you do, and who you are as a parent, so I’m unwilling to excuse his actions and conduct. Even if he was “unaware” of what he was doing, he still did it.

                    Short of a time machine to go back and fix the issues in his life created by his mother, there’s not a lot anyone could do. Still sucks, being at the cracking end of that whip, three generations on.

                    It will be the last, though, thanks to him. So, there is that, I suppose.

                    • Do not know the specifics but hubby and his siblings credit their mom for stopping the cycle of physical child abuse cold on his dad’s side. Not that they had it easy by today’s standards. There were punishments, but they always were appropriate to the deed and the age of the child. Yes. It included swats or two.

                    • I have long believed the root problem is that once the industrial revolution made it financially practical for newlyweds to move out of grandma’s house, they promptly did so, and then when their kids came along there was no one more-experienced handy to tell young parents when they’d screwed up, and to comfort the kids who got wronged.

                      So now we’ve had a dozen generations of parenting no longer based on generations of experience, but rather on fads and guesswork, yet we marvel at the predictably bad results. And this gets worse when there’s no male parent, as is commonly the case today (turns out roughhousing with their fathers is how kids learn risk management).

                      I think this also created — not leftism itself, but the widespread susceptibility to its charms, a convenient revenge for the unfairness of their childhoods.

                    • Quibble; there’s a hell of a lot of telling, there’s nobody to do anything. Pick up the older kid when baby absolutely must have mom’s full attention (and lap). Diffuse a frustration before both parent and child can get really wound up.

                      Someone with the authority to just grab mom/dad by the shoulder and give them a push to the door, suggest a five minute chore, and it’s not obviously insulting and presumptuous.

                    • Reziac: That’s a likely-seeming thing. And I do wonder how much I benefited from having one set of grandparent living next door for the first few years of my life. And how much my sister & I both benefited from having both sets of grandparents close enough by that we could spend an afternoon or weekend with such without any great issue.

                  • CPS, like all things governmental, should be used rarely, and in minute amounts.

                • Non-physical abuse is just harder to prove.

                  Discount it entirely, and it becomes THE route for predators…who will do every narrower and narrower definitions of what is not physical abuse, while insisting anything that leaves no obvious physical trace is not harm at all.
                  (Wasn’t that one of Deep Space NIne’s scarier episodes, staring O’Brian?)

                  • It’s also far more destructive. I wonder how many serial killers and deranged lunatics got the way they were via the good offices of their “loving” parents…?

                    Beat a kid, and you maybe just beat that one kid–Not every abused child becomes an abuser.

                    Emotionally scar someone for life…? That crap reverberates down the years, off of each and every person that individual ever meets or interacts with.

                    To my mind, I think it’s a pity that we have no way of determining these things and holding people accountable for what they do. Your kid suffers abuse, and goes on to abuse others…? By rights, you ought to be in the docks next to them, being as you created and nurtured that monster.

                    And, if you believe in biologic determinism, maybe we ought to be culling the damaged lineage all the way back to rootstock…

                    • Only goes on if it scars them, though. That’s what physical abuse does, too– goes on if it scars them.

                      My mom’s mom was… she had issues. It’s a family joke to say “so you didn’t like the ___ one?” when you give someone two gifts they can’t use at the same time and they use one.

                      Because one Christmas she gave her favorite son two shirts, one red, one blue. Came out wearing the red one the next morning. “You didn’t like the blue one?”

                      There’s some folks who are just a-holes, too.

                    • Oh, sweet babbling Baby Jesus… That’s exactly what my dad would have done, only he would have managed to say it so that it left you questioning your very worth as a human being, as well as your place in the universe.

                      I forget when exactly it was, but it was like the first or second year I was in the Army (a decision that scandalized him no end, BTW–Even though he was in no position to reciprocate the college funding my maternal grandparents gave him (never to be repaid–It was a considerable chunk of their retirement money)).

                      In any event, I was home on leave, and he came up with this “I’d really love to see you…” BS, and like a chump, I took him up on it. Had to call in favors from my sainted mother, and have her drive me down to Baker in Oregon to connect with him–Money was a little tight, couldn’t afford the bus ticket.

                      I haven’t seen this assh*le of a human being in like three-plus years, at that point. I’ve driven most of the day with my Mom and two younger (half-) brothers, and I’m wearing jeans and a t-shirt.

                      What, do you suppose, is the first thing I hear out of his pursed mouth? Not “Good to see you”, or something, but “Is that all you have to wear?”. He thought I should be dressed up, not wearing presentable casual clothes. Did I mention I was 19-20, at this point? Or, that he had the balls to go bitching to my poor mother about the clothes I was wearing, like I was a toddler? In front of me? Did I mention he did this in public, in front of about ten-fifteen strangers?

                      Bastard didn’t have the decency to even thank her for driving 600 miles to make that reunion happen.

                      At that point in my life, I was so used to things like that that I just ignored the whole situation, and actually felt bad that I’d dressed “badly”. Couple of years later, and I’d have probably punched him in the mouth, and gone back home with my Mom. By that time, I’d figured out that what he was doing was not “normal”, nor to be tolerated.

                      The man was mental–I swear to God as my witness, he was married 9 times that we know of, each ending with the wife throwing him to the curb and occasionally taking out a restraining order. By the time I was 30, I think I had seen about every possible way to screw up a relationship, some of which I think he invented for himself. It took me awhile, but I finally realized that he had to be doing it deliberately–It was too consistent to be anything else. And, having gone through the whole “spousal abuse” training the Army offered leaders, I could identify the hallmarks: Honeymoon/Courting Phase, Tension-building, Explosive Event. I sat there with Wife #9, ticking off the markers on the worksheet from that training, and I’m like going through this epiphany: “This assh*le is an abuser! WTF? How did I not see this…?”.

                      The really bizarre thing about that poor woman was that she had known exactly what she was getting into, and it was partially me suggesting that perhaps, just perhaps, she deserved better, before she ended it. She’d been this strong professional woman before the marriage, and by the time he got done with her, she was a stressed-out wreck. Nothing like she was when I first met her as one of his co-workers.

                      Some people just go through life wrecking other people, y’know? That was his talent, and I’d be hard-pressed to describe how he did it. All I could do, were I to have to go to a court and prove such a thing was take anyone in his life “before Dad”, and then compare them to “after Dad”. Not a one of any of us ever came away enhanced or improved in any way, shape, or form. Everyone left that man’s company diminished and damaged to one degree or another. And, all of it was done with the flaying edge of his tongue, and the way he behaved.

                    • My MIL not only maintained my kids weren’t her grandkids (ridiculous if you ever see my sons with Dan) on the basis of their being tall (so is my family) but referred to my SIL’s kids as “my grandchildren” in front of my kids, who were apparently not.
                      AND after not seeing Robert in five years, first words out of her mouth “You’re fat.”
                      (MIL at the time was 400 lbs, at just short of 5 feet, so…)

                  • “Non-physical abuse is just harder to prove.”

                    Or disprove. Or lie strictly in the eye of the Leftist goon from CPS. Which is why you’ve had conservatism and traditional religious values defined as “abuse” and kids confiscated.

                    • Misuse does not invalidate proper use.

                      What next, you’ll be defending stabbing folks in the gut because I’ve been WILLINGLY stabbed in the gut six times?

                      (C-sections.)

                      Dude, seriously, “it is hard to figure out how to measure it” does not mean “so we should throw our damned hands in the air and decide that there’s nothing to measure.”

                    • Foxfier, we have managed to totally screw up our legal system and our culture by moving from a “physical evidence of actual harm required” standard for proof to a “I feelz damaged / offended” standard.

                      Oh well, at least I can use it in the jury box — for now.

                    • Foxfier, we have managed to totally screw up our legal system and our culture by moving from a “physical evidence of actual harm required” standard for proof to a “I feelz damaged / offended” standard.

                      We did not have a requirement of “physical evidence of actual harm required.”

                      Even I, with my horrible history education, know that we have been strange by having a slander/libel law that requires showing harm.

                      That’s not going to be “physical” and “actual” by the your-fist-hitting-my-nose metric.

                      This, we cannot have screwed up our system by moving away from requiring physical evidence of actual harm.

                      (Reading “actual” as being physical, since the, heh, actual definition just means ‘exists’ or ‘existing,’ and is thus nonsense in this context.)

          • If the newborn is fussing, well it’s all good. If the toddler is quiet go find them before get in more trouble.

    • I have to agree with you on “can’t be sure from a snapshot”. The stories I could tell of screwed-up parenting….

      And yes. Don’t play favorites with your kids. Don’t play one kid against the others. Especially don’t try to play your kids against your spouse.

      The memories and scars (mental and physical) are never, EVER forgotten.

  10. No two people are alike, and even the most technically “oppressed” group has elements in it that will exploit any attempts at redress.

    Indeed. The late Isaac Asimov, in one of the volumes of his autobiography, related an anecdote where he was explaining that there is nothing about being oppressed that confers virtue. And the oppressed will, if given the chance, become the oppressor.

    A woman asked him about the Jews and weren’t they a counterexample. (Asimov himself was Jewish.)

    Asimov responded with a time in history where they were–the Maccabbees maybe? I don’t really know Jewish History and it’s been a while since I read this.

    The woman replied “that was the only time.”

    And Asimov came back with “That was their only chance.”

    • This is one of the things I see from many of the alphabet warriors. There is more than a little ‘shooting the wounded’ or revenge that gets performed. Starting to become obvious in other interactions such as race (white=bad/subhuman) or the colonization of the West by third world.

  11. “…I was kicked out of kindergarten (stop laughing)”

    If I’m laughing, rest assured that it would be laughing WITH you rather than AT you. You see… I had to repeat PRE-SCHOOL. I’m not even kidding. I didn’t get kicked out… I just had to take pre-school again before they would let me into Kindergarten.

    On the Little girl stomping on little brother’s fingers… Many (many many) years ago, I had a friend who had two children. A pixie-ish little four year old girl, and a two year old SUMO (boy). Sumo isn’t that much of an exaggeration. The boy didn’t walk, and never seemed interested because he could get wherever he wanted to go much faster and easier by crawling. I swear, I saw him reach a meaty little paw out one day and move a Lay-z-boy recliner out of his way. Picking him up, he seemed to weigh at least three times the amount you expected from looking at him.

    As happens with siblings, the little girl delighted in torturing her brother by sneaking up (wearing pointy toed cowboy boots) and kicking him, then springing away and climbing up somewhere he couldn’t reach her. She, of course was always scolded, and my friend always ended the scolding with “And besides, one day he’s going to catch you, and then were will you be?”

    Then it happened one day. She bounced up and KICK! Only this time, instead of bawling while she made her escape, the little Sumo who could, managed to get his hand out and snag her by the ankle. Down she went, and soon he was on top of her screaming his baby sumo head off while pummeling her silly.

    The mom tried to intervene, but my friend stopped her flat. “I’ve given her fair warning that this day would come. Time for her to learn a lesson.” And sure enough, he watched carefully to make sure the boy wasn’t REALLY hurting her (the boy was strong, but his attacks lacked focus.) It took a few more times getting caught before the little girl got the hint, but eventually she stopped.

  12. Is the image yours?

    That’s a fairly cute justice.

  13. As with that little horror in the airport, I’ll have to leave justice in other hands.

    Hmmmmmm … you could have walked up and asked whether she had a Twitter account?

    “As an oppressed female victim of the patriarchy it just does me sooooo much good to observe how your daughter has been teaching your son his proper place, continually stomping his hands as she was, and I want to follow the development of such a fierce warrior against male oppression.”

  14. Arlan Andrews, Sr.

    I was a kindergarten dropout myself (lasted only one day), but not for such a benevolent reason as yours, Sarah — I refused to take a nap and would not wear “girl’s shoes”, little glittery silver things, for a play.

    • I’m not even sure they were benevolent. I mean, maybe the teacher knew something about the other little girl that I didn’t?
      I’ll say though, we both appear to have had problems with authority.

  15. “Make your justice small, direct, applied. Make your charity the same. The bigger the group, the more chances it’s been perverted.”

    Which is my objection to all charity programs by the government.

  16. I saw this in my granddaughters. The young could do not wrong, yet I saw her get her older sister in trouble time after time. They are both SJW’s now. I wonder if that has something to do with that? They are also best friends, so all is not lost.

  17. I’ll take a hard-boiled egg.

  18. I don’t think you’re ‘broken’. I think you’re bent in the direction that leans toward civilization, and without a critical mass of us leaning that way, we don’t GET civilization.

    “I think it is that ‘thirst for justice’ that drives a lot of the crazy political movements.”

    I disagree. I think the crazy movements are based on the selfish impulse that most of the younger generation have never learned to control — so they seek that which makes them feel good (and “being on the right side of whatever” is the ultimate feelgood). That the crazies =label= their movements ‘justice’ — well, that’s because there are still enough people for whom this is a real concept, so the word still floats through their heads.

    • A selfish impulse that thinks if they can’t see it, then no one else is affected. Like all the urban kids who are all for depopulating other parts of the world “to save the planet for Nature.”

      • Urban Kids?! You just described the leftist governing people of Oregon!

        • Your point being?

          Surey none here will argue that the leftist governing people of Oregon are (mentally/emotionally) adults? Sadly, these days adolescents come in all ages and sizes.

  19. Current work-in-progress involves the petty crimes and massive damage on society wreaked by town/city level officials. Kali the Destroyer and lippy robot spiders vs. the drug cartels in the Southwest. They were the worst, most irredeemable assholes I could think of.

  20. *suddenly finds something to do on his smartphone, then shows the parents a video of their little angel*

  21. Perfect is the enemy of good. Remember that.

    We’ll never get perfect justice. Define “perfect” and define “justice.” And if you were to get perfect justice, would you accept it? Worst yet, if you did get perfect justice, that means that you can’t blame anything on anyone but yourself.

    We can do better, mind you.

  22. That scene as described sounds like half of the “encounter with narcissists/entitled” stories I’ve been going through in Reddit. I always thought that a good chunk of these were exercises in “creative writing”, since they all had the same tropes running through them. But it has to start with some grains of truth.

  23. Uncle Screwtape had something to say about encouraging vice towards the heart and relegating virtue to the outmost periphery. Chapter 6, if I recall.

    One can tell how much this has succeeded on the Left by observing what they consider ‘normal’ people to be like, as seen in shows like Glee or Modern Family.

    -Albert

  24. Rich Rostrom

    I see three classes of evil.

    The first is selfish indifference to the interests of others (time, health, property, life). The actor doesn’t intend any harm to others, but he risks or causes damage to others out of greed or laziness.

    The second level is deliberately inflicting harm on others for personal gain. The actor does the harm intentionally, but only because of the gain.

    The third level is causing deliberate injury to others for the sake of the harm: malice and cruelty.

    Actions can operate on more than one level: an extortionist or blackmailer may enjoy the feeling of power over his victims as much as the money he gets.

    IMO: the worst crimes are committed at the third level, but the most aggregate harm is done at the second level. Outright sadism is less common than greed.

    • Agree – different levels.

    • Greed is not bad, if you use it in the service of making things better, so… bah.
      Also, your first level of “evil” is called being human. None of us are mind-readers or capable of working hte nth consequences of our actions. Nor are government employees, btw. And we’re ALL lazy and greedy. That’s the default “being human.”
      So, when I say evil, I MEAN evil. I.e. intentional.

      • Altruism is wonderful, when it happens. It happens a lot more than many people believe, but it isn’t a reliable motivation. You can’t base a social structure on it. This is where theoretical Marxism falls down (practical Marxism fails because it puts so much power 8n the hands of the State that the State inevitably attracts Stalin). So, since altruism is unreliable, most States fall back on fear. Fear is reliable.

        Capitalism depends on greed, and has room for altruism.

        This is why I say Capitalism is the theory that a society based on greed is superior to one based on fear.

      • So, when I say evil, I MEAN evil. I.e. intentional.

        I would consider actions taken with utter disregard to how others are affected, while not intentionally evil, can rise to the level of evil all the same. Many proponents of Socialism fall into this category, as do people who, during fire season, leave campfires unattended in the forest.

        People who imagine that ordinary rules of behaviour do not apply to them also rise into that category of evil, even though unintentionally. They, of course, are guilty of dividing humanity into two general classes* — those who matter and those who do not.

        *we could debate endlessly over the sub-categories, such as “people who do not matter but can nonetheless disrupt your plans” (for example: Lieutenant Columbo) but the general division is what is important.

  25. 11B-Mailclerk

    This has been a most educational thread. Thanks for it, even if I omit the “why”.

  26. Loved this post! Keep slaying those baby dragons!

  27. Not laughing. Smiling with approval.

  28. Justice: You’re spelling it wrong.

    An insurance defense lawyer I once knew had this on the vanity plates of his 500 series Benz:

    JUST TIS

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