Scylla and Charabydis


I’ve been feeling a bit pessimistic for the last 48 hours or so.

The thing is, I feel pessimistic in a way that no one else seems to be, or not really.

Here’s the thing: as amusing as the Dem debates and the antics of the congress critters are, they’ve been terrifying me.

It’s not even that we have people who openly advocate an ideology that killed over 100 million in the 20th  century. No. That’s horrible, but it’s also understandable as both the result of spectacularly biased education, and the fact that Soviet agit prop lives on in our self-proclaimed elite.

The problem is more subtle.  It’s not just that these people love socialism. Technically, socialism is survivable. The hard kind you tend to have to shoot your way out of, the soft kind… Well, a lot of Europe is starting to wake up and back off.

The problem is that these people HATE America. Not just feel embarrassed for being American, like most idiots have since the country was founded.  No. They hate us and want to make us disappear, from our much-maligned constitution to our flag, to our very idea of ourselves as a nation.

Now, I’ve known this for a long time of the lefties in my circles. The times after 9/11 were very hard on them, because flags to them are like a cross to a vampire. And no, I can’t explain it, but they flinch from flags in the exact same way, immediately and irrationally.  And they had their own, bizarre version of history in which the US was the worst ever country.

But I didn’t know it was that widespread and everywhere, and now they’re not even afraid to proclaim it, as though they think it is perfectly normal to want to destroy the country that gave you everything and made you everything you are. As though they think something perfect will automagically emerge once they tear the country to pieces.

This is terrifying me, because a party in that state, with most of its people as declared enemies of the land they seek to govern, cannot be allowed anywhere near power.

Meanwhile, apparently, a lot of republicans in the house and senate are retiring, which means a lot of opportunities for the left to seize seats, particularly given unlimited opportunities for fraud.

I guess that’s the other thing that’s scaring me: the amount of fraud in the mid terms surpassed anything seen before in this great land. From counting the votes till you get the results you want, to keeping polls open for days after the election, till the leftist wins.

We can’t afford this.

And it’s not that I expect the leftists to take over and start setting up death camps. It might happen, of course. Not putting it past them.

But I think in the US they’re still a minority, perhaps even a small minority (hence their need for all the fraud) and if they try that, they’re defeatable.

What I’m afraid of is their “Tax everyone to death and open the borders while introducing crazy legislation that stops the economy cold” plans.

What I am afraid of is California, in fact.

Look, there are still sane people in California. Perhaps even a majority of them. But we’ll never know, between illegals voting, and fraud, massive, spectacular amounts of fraud.  The people who remain sane have no voice. But things aren’t quite bad enough for them to revolt. Not yet. And by the time they are, people will have forgotten or been told it was all different, and not realize the cause of their problems.

I think that’s why the left makes war on history so much.

They say how California goes, so goes America, and I pray very hard that this time that’s wrong.

So… about war abroad.

Oh, yeah, I do agree that if we’re going to fight abroad we should fight short wars with maximum firepower, enough to be left alone and otherwise leave it.

I’ve read too much history to think the Middle East CAN be rebuilt. And our nation rebuilding efforts seem to have given us a bunch of frenemies in Europe.  And what it did to Japan is give it “conquered culture syndrome” in which they just stopped reproducing.  Now, the rape of Nanking and all that, maybe that is the best option in an imprefect and horrible word.  BUT the point remains that cultures are not as easy to rebuild, to make anew as we thought in the 20th century.  Our thinking they were was to be fair part of the same idiocy the communists suffered from, where they thought that humanity itself could be rebuilt.

I do agree that it’s dangerous to ignore a culture/movement that is at war with us. If we want more 9/11s, we’ll get more 9/11s.

However in the scale of things, is it more important to police the external threats or in the internal ones?

For almost a hundred years, we’ve been the world’s policeman, or perhaps the world’s daddy, swatting bottoms and wiping noses and feeding the hungry.

There’s nothing wrong with this, intrinsically, except maybe for loss of treasure at home, which could have better been employed in going to space.  Then again, space should not be a government venture, and as for our “War on poverty”, we shouldn’t throw more money at it. Because the more money we throw at it, the more poverty and helplessness win.  Speaking of cultures.  (It’s time to take charity out of government hands, too.)

What is wrong is that while defending ourselves from threats or potential threats abroad, we allowed the crazy, vilely anti-American left to propagate at home, to take over our schools, to install itself in our universities, to become a positional good so that our millionaires and billionaires all talk about what a terrible place America is (So terrible that most of the world is trying to come in. And these idiots support the world’s right to invade us.)

The president, such as he is, not the president we wanted but perhaps the one we needed, is making decisions on who to fight and how.

Thing is, I can’t see a way to fight both the culture war and the external war at the same time. I can’t see a way to ignore one without the other being critical.

Which one is most important?

On my gut, I’d say the inner one. You cannot win anything — or even survive — when at least a quarter (very well positioned) and maybe (but unlikely. They wouldn’t need that much fraud) half of your population is working towards the active destruction of the country.

But supposing we manage not to let the crazy people take more leadership positions than they already have — despite amazing amounts of fraud, which they’re sure to engage in — for another four or even eight years, will the external enemies leave us alone that long?  And if they do, how big the butcher’s bill when they manage to get to us again?

I don’t know. Neither do you. Honestly, I doubt the president knows, though he has more information than we do.  But he does have more information than we do. And maybe a gut feeling. Which might even play out.

What I know is that up ahead there is a narrow, tight passage and that we’ll need not just all our work, all our devotion, but also a lot of luck to make it through without either a major war, a civil war, a change in the nature of who we are, or losing what America is altogether.

Of course the odds have always been against us, and yet we trundle on. We are a high-improbability country.

Doesn’t mean it will be easy.  Or that we know how things should be done to get us through.

I used to want to make all kinds of decisions, when I was young. At 56, I know the normal decisions of normal, everyday life are hard enough. And I know how often I fail.

I don’t know anyone who has “just” been a child and “just” been a parent who doesn’t have a list of regrets and things one could have should have would have done better at.

Imagine having to choose for a country, and a country such as ours.

I’m glad it’s not my decision.

I look ahead and see storm clouds, and yes, I fear the outcome.  The passage is narrow, the seas stormy.

Fortunately it’s a million to one chance we survive and do well. So, at least in fiction land, it’s a sure thing.

Sure. I laugh.  What else can I do.

Despair is a sin.

I get very pessimistic sometimes.  And then I put my shoulder back to the wheel and go back to work.  There’s no other choice.  Yes, if we try we might fail. But if we don’t try, we will fail.

Sometimes all you can do is what you can do.

And pray it’s enough.


260 thoughts on “Scylla and Charabydis

  1. Shoot that Black Dog called Despair! 😉

    On the other hand, I vaguely remember the Pilgrim (in Pilgrim’s Progress) getting caught in Castle of Despair (another term was used instead of Castle).

    IIRC That’s was the one place that Pilgrim need divine help.

    I think we all need to remember that.

      1. We’uns heah in the South are familiar with sloughs, when the red clay cakes up around your boots and makes every step take the energy of ten. Still, ain’t nothing for it but to trudge on through.

                1. If the gator was out of bounds and it puts the ball inbounds, yes. Gator out and ball ends out, only if the ball lands in a gator nest can you play it. Gator inbounds and ball lands out of bounds, you are allowed to set the ball on the gator and play it from there.
                  Good Luck

                  1. In that latter case I think I’ll just take my one stroke penalty and put it back inbounds thank you. I’m such a sorry golfer one stroke isn’t going to affect my game but the loss of a limb probably would…

    1. Does it count as despair if I say I don’t expect to live through the upcoming unpleasantness and am perfectly okay with that so long as I get to take some enemies of the American Founding Ideals (however short practices may have fallen short of those ideals) with me?

        1. You die standin’ up!

          I want to go sipping an 80-proof beverage, reclining on a mound of enemy dead, sent ahead to be my servants in the Folkvangr.

          1. Good on ya. And while I’d love to be reclining next to you sipping a cold hard cider (stuff measured in proof tends not to agree with my stomach, stupid reflux), I just don’t see myself living that long if the balloon goes up (after-effects of Lyme as a kid mean that I’m very slow and rather inflexible and un-maneuverable).

            1. Be the guy who knows how to teach the making of useful stuff, fix useful stuff, etc.
              Don’t sell yourself short or cheap.

  2. Damned if we do, damned if we don’t. We’re already in the Valley of Death, so we might as well ride hard and take a lot of the bastards with us.

    Remember your definition of “hero” from the other day? Being unable to win is no excuse for not fighting.

    1. Sometimes the only thing you can do is yell, “Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!”

      1. Or even less so
        “Play the man, Master Ridley; we shall this day light such a candle, by God’s grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out.” Although I prefer Admiral Farragut’s technique to Bishop Latimer’s if i get a choice.

      1. I was thinking of something from the WWII: The Battle Off Samar or as Drachinifel put it, “Odds, what are those?”

        And I was already thinking of 2 Chronicles 20:3.

        1. For a really good book about the Battle Off Samar, try “Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors”.

          Absolutely gripping.

          What those handful of “tin cans” did was nothing less than miraculous. Destroyers and smaller Destroyer Escorts ran headlong into the guns of Cruisers and Battleships. Supported by land-attack-armed aircraft from the fleeing escort carriers, it was -utterly- hopeless.

          They won.

    2. Nothing that says you have to charge straight up the Valley. Turn to one side, get up the slope, roll up the gun line allllllllllll the way around ’til you get to the other end or you run out of bodies.

  3. as amusing as the Dem debates and the antics of the congress critters are, they’ve been terrifying me.

    Sarah – you should have been here for the late Sixties.

    As disheartening as recent events may be, they are not anything new in American politics, although the interval between the last cycle and this one has been unusually long – which may be contributing to the present virulence.

    This is not to say there is nothing to worry about — no matter how many times Yellowstone’s caldera erupts, it remains unpleasant. For us native old-timers it is more like California ‘quakes: one will eventually get us but there’s no point worrying whether this is the one one.

    1. I have been listening to the audio of Ron Chernow’s Hamilton. Mess is nothing new. I am presently up to the second Washington administration. The French envoy, Citizen Genêt, has openly tried to bypass the government and been ordered sent back to France. Due to the deteriorating situation there he claims and receives asylum. Jefferson, who still has his head in the sand about the French Revolution, has gone home pretending is innocent of undercutting the government from inside the cabinet. This makes it easier for him to continue to lead the Republican* opposition.

      * Yes — Republican — go look it up.

      1. Yep. Republican, then Democratic Republican, then Democratic—the name changes waffled a bit, but the last is where it eventually stuck.

        1. An uncle claimed to be a Jeffersonian Democrat, but the FBI investigated the student groups he hung out with at North Texas because they were Communists. Uncle may never have recovered from shell shock in Germany.

      2. Note: the “Republican Party” of today was founded in the 1850s as an Abolition party. They have no lineage to the “Republican Democrats” that morphed into today’s Democrat Party. The real foundation of today’s “D” was the organization wrought by Andrew Jackson.

        In the late 1700s USA, “Democrat” was often an epithet.

        1. “Republican Party” of today was ffounded in the 1850s as an Abolition party

          Which makes the MSM’s continued fevered chants re race and the R party particularly irritating.

          “I reject your reality and substitute my own” is funny as a t-shirt, but as a political philosophy it leaves much to be desired.

    2. The difference between now nad the 60s is the speed with which mobs can be unleashed; the power of the internet and media to unleash mobs on the left’s targets makes them a much greater threat, especially since the left controls social media.,

      1. The power of the internet and media to unleash mobs on the left’s targets makes them a much greater threat — but it also increases the damage of blowback, of public reaction to mob violence endorsed by the Democrats.

        It is very difficult to predict how that plays out. Look at what happened with the Covington teens following the March for Life.

      2. It can also be used to fight back though: look at how Hong Kong is using the power of the internet to not just gather in mobs, but spread codes for needed supplies and train participants in how to fight tear gas and evacuate quickly to prevent trampling.
        Tech is a knife that can be wielded by everyone now, and the real resistance movements are pioneering techniques that even the most totalitarian government on the planet can’t stop.

        1. The samizdat which helped bring down the Soviet Union was largely spread by photocopier an a handful of low-baud fax machines.

        2. Prior attempt eaten by WP?

          The samizdat that helped bring down the Soviet Union was spread via photocopier and a handful of low-baud fax machines.


  4. Jeez, Sarah! I love your writing even when you scare me to death.

    Fortunately, in times of despondence, I’ve usually been able to tell myself that things will seem better after a good night’s sleep. Heck, it even happens, sometimes.

  5. Not gonna lie, when I was young (okay, younger) and dumb (okay, dumber), I used to salivate at the idea of Civil War 2.0.


    Now I feel like the Admiral from The Hunt For Red October. The movie, not the book. “This situation will get out of control. It will get out of control and we will be lucky to live through it.”

  6. At best, we can work to brighten our own little corners – our neighborhoods, our families, our communities. We can connect with our friends … and boycott the b*stards. And against our would-be rulers, we can practice Irish democracy – sullen and grudging minimal cooperation.

  7. The problem is that these people HATE America.

    Not precisely – they hate Americans. We’re the deplorable family members who spend Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner puncturing their balloons.

    Surveys have proven that they are “extremely proud” of America when they are in charge, it is just when we (whom they consider deplorable) have to come in and clean up their messes and bail them out that they are tormented by the cognitive dissonance of being forced to recognize that while they’re the ones who did well in school, we’re the ones who are doing well in life.

    It’s just a family quarrel, with us as the reason they can’t have nice things and get snubbed by those sexy European kids.

    1. ^^^ This. They’d happily round us all up and ship us all off to the Gulags… or worse.

      That right there is why I own a rifle. And need to get my carry permit (local Sheriff makes it a P.I.T.A. if you work a regular 9-5 job).

      1. Half my old homeschool group in El Paso is now figuring out how to pack. (Pretty sure several of them already did, but htey’r ebeing open about it now.)

        No idea if the news will cover it, but there were shots fired at several other Walmart, not just the 18-ish dead one.

        1. I don’t think the news has covered that aspect of it. Heck, they’re barely covering the main shooting as it is. It’s been, what? 9-10 hours? And we know zilch. Usually by now we know the shooter’s entire life story by now.

          1. Heavy had a run-down, supposedly the guy in custody is from Dallas, and may have put out an anti-Hispanic paper praising the New Zeland shooter….
            But if the guy hated Mexicans, he was at the wrong Walmart.

            That Walmart has some Mexicans, yeah, but just a few miles down the freeway is the Walmart where the folks talk to you in Spanish automatically, it’s built INTO a hill so there’s only two ways to get out of the parking lot even on foot, and even at 9pm at night it’s freaking PACKED. (only went there that late once– it’s a scary place, for someone small, female and obviously American)

            1. “…it’s a scary place…”

              Which probably explains why he picked the other one.

            2. Worth noting in the Lying MSM category:

              We ALL know that the El Paso shooter left a manifesto of anti-Hispanic vitriol — of course the Gaslight Media reported that.

              But Power Line’s Steven Hayward notes it also exposed a strong dose of “environmental Malthusianism”! Anyone inclined to hold your breath awaiting the Media’s reporting that?

                1. The New York Sun notes:

                  The El Paso Blame Game
                  The Democrats are making a mistake, in our view, in trying to blame the crimes at El Paso on President Trump. It’s not that we don’t see the temptation. “El Paso Shooting Suspect’s Manifesto Echoes Trump’s Language,” is the headline on the New York Times’ Website this morning about the screed being laid to the killer. No doubt about it, there is much at which supporters of Mr. Trump will cringe.

                  Then again, too, Mr. Trump’s is not the only language echoed in that demented document. Start with the title — “The Inconvenient Truth About Me.” Whose language is echoed there? We do not, even for a second, blame Al Gore or advocates of the Green New Deal. Yet the manifesto veers from complaining about a “Hispanic invasion” to railing about how our modern lifestyle is destroying the environment.

                  And about “corporations.” No sooner does the manifesto start complaining about the destruction of the environment, than its author turns to blaming “corporations.” He writes like a regular Elizabeth Warren. We don’t blame the senator from Massachusetts, any more than we blame Mr. Gore — or the late Dr. Seuss, whose children’s book on the environment, “The Lorax,” is extolled in the manifesto.

                  What we are suggesting is that there are a lot of voices rattling around in the head of whoever wrote that manifesto. None of it is rational. It’s enough to invite introspection across the entire spectrum of our national debate. It suggests that the kind of blame game that is erupting in the wake of El Paso and Dayton is a fool’s errand. The blame for these crimes attaches entirely to the killers.

                  [END EXCERPT]

              1. The Washington Examiner reports Dayton shooter reportedly supported gun control, Elizabeth Warren, and socialism.
                More information is being reported on Connor Betts, 24, the deceased gunman who shot and killed nine people and wounded 27 others in a mass shooting early Sunday morning.

                A Twitter account appearing to belong to Betts showed he supported socialist causes and was a supporter of presidential candidate Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, according to Heavy.

                The Twitter biography reads, “he/him / anime fan / metalhead / leftist / i’m going to hell and i’m not coming back.” Tweets include praising Satan and “F— John McCain” after late Arizona Sen. John McCain died.

                He also reportedly criticized American gun laws, tweeting in 2018, “This is America: Guns on every corner, guns in every house, no freedom but that to kill” and tweeted to Ohio Sen. Rob Portman on the day of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting, “@robportman hey rob. How much did they pay you to look the other way? 17 kids are dead. If not now, when?”

                Oops. Sorta mucks the narrative, but don’t worry: I doubt this will be among the headlines at the Washington Post or New York Times..

                Forty-Eight hour rule still applies – I am sure it will be determined that a) the Twitter account is not really his b) it was the fault of that hyper-violent anime c) all of the above

          2. This is like someone supposedly posting about how they hate international media and all it stands for, and then attacking Knoxville farm instead of Disneyland, but an even smaller distance.

          1. Yeah, that one seemed pretty self-explanatory.

            Earlier this summer, Walmarts and Sam’s Clubs had night shift eliminated and folded into morning and evening shifts, lots of folks had to quit, everybody left is overworked, tired people without much experience are driving forklifts, there’s an open company goal to automate everything, and the new HR and background check contractor is so far behind that nobody can hire somebody nrw, and some stores have resorted to temp companies. Morale is low and everyone is exhausted.

            This guy talked about his new knife and showed it off to a co-worker in some scary way. Co-worker reported it, as per corporate policy. But got suspended to get help. Guy showed up first thing in the morning and shot the store manager and his department manager.

            Not what happens every day, not something one condones, but not suspicious. That is what someone snapping looks like.

                  1. I assure you, the folks trying to guard those barb-wired boxcar are going to have a hard time replacing all the gone-missing guards.


            1. Okay, that explains some things.

              Part of me says that automating everything won’t end well. Part says that there are some interesting problems involved in trying.

            2. Worked at Sam’s Club for many years. Looks like I got out just in time.
              Wal-Mart ‘s back end systems are pretty good but every technology roll out to the stores & clubs over the last 30 years has been behind schedule and had unanticipated problems. They eventually get stuff working but it’s hard on the “associates” each time.
              The company became numbers driven instead of customer and employee driven as the Walton family influence declined after Mr. Sam died. Sounds like “associates” is now becoming a euphemism for “widgets”.

              1. I worked at Montgomery Ward (Data Processing) and was called an associate.

                When there was a Major Policy Statement that “Retail is a people’s business and our people are important”, the quiet “joke” was “we’re not people, we’re associates”. 😦

            3. Indeed – this is what “snapping” looks like. Unstable young men pushed to their limit, absorbing all kinds of bad influences from pop culture, and the more malignant streams from the internet, victimized by the voices in their own heads, and the insistence in the mainstream cultural voices that white men are the bane and cause of all that is wrong and unjust…
              Frankly, I’m surprised that they are not more young white guys who are not actually mental, cutting loose and going after perceived social enemies.

              The kid in Dayton, though – his sister and her boyfriend among the first casualties? That’s … umm. Interesting. Argues a personal family thing, if true.

              48 hour rule applies, as always.

            1. Couple thoughts. 1. The knowledge that national media are untrustworthy sons of bitches must make the border area more prone to rumor. 2. With Santa Fe, look what happened when ‘Nazi’ turned out to be symbolism grab bag. How much more if ‘hate filled right winger’ turned out to be cartel or ISIS adjacent?

              My impression is that spree killing is not a traditional terror attack for the cartels.

              We find the immigration situation concerning. Suppose the cartels think it is emboldening, have decided that it is time to start taking territory north of the border, and think this sort of terror attack will be more effective in America. They could have picked up a supply of disposables to use. With ISIS, I understand we saw white westerners volunteering because they had learned that a traditional place within their own culture was harmful. The cartels might be able to exploit the same thing. Of course, with the objectively pro cartel policies of the left, that does bring us back around to suspecting Democrat coordination/ties.

              1. 1a. Shame on you, insulting sons of bitches with such comparisons.

                1b. The MSM are not untrustworthy. They are reliably dishonest in consistent directions and manner.

                The possibility of this being a false flag operation cannot be dismissed. Nor can we dismiss the possibility it was a weaponized idiot, some racist schmuck deliberately riled up and set loose. Remember: there were credible* theories about McVeigh and Terry Lynn Nichols having been trained and indoctrinated at an Al Qaeda training camp posing as White Nationalist facility.

                For terrorist purposes it does not matter whether terrorists are pro-Islam, anti-Islam pro-immigration or anti-immigration, Black Nationalist or White Nationalist, or indifferent to any perceivable reason. What matters is that they a) radicalize others, for and against, and increase the general public sense that things are falling apart.

                *For certain values of credible; your credulity may vary

                1. Most common version of that I heard was that Iraqi intelligence was involved; seems that Saddam didn’t like losing and having the no-fly zone enforced.

              2. My impression is that spree killing is not a traditional terror attack for the cartels.

                Depends on how you define it, really– they do mass murder of innocents all the time.

                This would actually fit with, for an obvious hypothetical, the city mayor wasn’t paying the “safe area” bribe. Or a business owner.

                1. Well, some of this is me not being careful with the terminology I prefer. I tend to look at spree killers and serial killers as being similar but distinct types of crazy. Mass murderers are more murder conspirators with a lot of victims, and the ones who are acting from pure crazy either have political backing or tend to get caught quickly.

                  Political terror can be broken down into specific, random, and genocidal. The idea that random is useful is largely socialist theory, which spread to the islamists. Florida gay bar shooter fit the pattern of a spree killer, but he was an islamic terrorist engaging in random terror. There’ve been similar acts or attempts from islamic terrorist wannabes.

                  My impression is that the cartels are more sticking to specific and maybe genocidal terror. Preferring acts that hit local grapevine and maybe news, but not national news. Very much not spree killer pattern random terror attacks.

                  1. It’s not really your terms that need fixing, it’s that Mexico is strange.

                    Look, “15 killed at a party” is not odd in Mexico. It’s just Cartel.

                    From an American viewpoint, unless we KNOW the shooter was looking at– everything looks like spree.

                    We have no way of knowing if the McTarget family was shopping at that Walmart and everybody else was an acceptable casualty.

                    It doesn’t LOOK that way from the US because when we hear of a killing, they’ve got a guess at why it happened.

                    Even if it turns out to be total BS, like most of the Priest murders have been– “oh, he was photographed with targets!” (months pass) “…nevermind, not a target.”

                    The cartels can, and will, kill folks based on a RUMOR. |
                    Because rumor matters to them.
                    It’s face.
                    Gotta save face.

                    1. Point.

                      My initial thought of ‘possible behavior change’ was driven by my paranoid speculation that Dayton was the same pattern, or that there was coordinated attacks at Wal-Marts in the El Paso area.

                    2. or that there was coordinated attacks at Wal-Marts in the El Paso area.

                      Bare minimum, there was at least one attack on a walmart that I can’t find anywhere.

                      I LISTENED TO IT being reported on the local cop radio– and it’s not on the local crime report.

                      The ladies who are local and were much more obsessive said there were reports of at LEAST two others.


                    3. Two reports of the wrong Walmart are one hypothesis.

                      Manifesto adds a wrinkle to the cartel hypothesis. Such a cluster of positions could be natural for someone invested in what Meade calls the blue state model. And any Wal-Mart would be a target for such a psycho. But if the shooter is loyal to the cartels and playing a long game, relying of laxness of law enforcement, the manifesto could have been calculated for political effect. One fall guy to take credit, a couple other cartel shooters at other locations get away and over the border, rile people up and give the Democrats an excuse to push again. For the cartels, gun control in America or a gun grab sparked civil war would both be advantageous.

                      This apparent lawsuit by the Mexican government is also interesting. Perhaps cartel assets are trying to further destabilize the US?

            2. Foxfier, no one ever explained what was going on with Sol Pais, either, or how she died. It just vanished from the news.
              Everything about her pointed to her being exactly what she said she was when she bought her guns, and thinking she was coming to CO to hunt with people she’d met online.
              Then a big deal (and distortion) was made of her online postings, and suddenly she’d shot herself/been shot in the mountain where she’d gone to meet people.
              She’d NEVER GONE NEAR COLUMBINE as the narrative said she would. And then she was dead. And the whole thing stank higher than a two week old fish. And it disappeared.
              I’m starting to get very worried about all this shit.

              1. Some more grist for the mill:

                Month or two ago we had the first shooting where someone (allegedly) used a suppressor. (obligatory reeeeing was obligatory)

                Then both of the shootings in the last day had the perps wearing hearing protection. When have mass shooters ever done that?

                1. Yeah I noticed the guy was wearing hearing protection. Someone trying to commit suicide by cop (which seems to be a lot of these idiots) doesn’t care. Someone making a well planned strike (and expecting to fight and escape) does. Something is seriously odd here.

                  1. I gather other reports indicate shooters wearing body armor.

                    And the saddest fact is, none of us trust the reporting, at all.

                    Making society far more vulnerable to rumour mongering and conspiracy theories. If our MSM was deliberately trying to stoke anomie* they could do no better.

                    *For those who managed to avoid sociology classes:
                    n. Social instability caused by erosion of standards and values.
                    n. Alienation and purposelessness experienced by a person or a class as a result of a lack of standards, values, or ideals.
                    n. Alienation or social instability caused by erosion of standards and values.

                    1. The reports of body armor in these situations seem to be because folks doing this tend to use “tactical” clothing that is 1) black, 2) covered with pockets for assorted spare magazines etc. Our exalted MSM seems to be unable to tell the difference between black cotton duck and ballistic nylon/kevlar with ceramic plates… This is unsurprising as they are also unable to tell their bsckside from their elbow.

                    2. Just your typical average right-wing family; nothing to see report here, move along, move along …

                      Dayton shooter Connor Betts’ slain sister was a transgender man: report
                      The “sister” of the Dayton, Ohio, shooter who was killed during the attack identified as a transgender guy — although his family had no idea, according to a report and some of his own social media posts.

                      Connor Betts’ 22-year-old sibling was named by authorities as Megan Betts in the days after the mass shooting, with cops releasing a statement saying relatives had lost “a daughter.”

                      But he apparently went by the name Jordan Cofer, and identified as a male, although he was only “out” to a small circle of friends, according to Splinter News, which spoke to several of those pals anonymously. …

                  2. Well, the El Paso guy who wore hearing protection was “taken into custody without incident” so he obviously planned ahead to be able to hear his defense attorney’s arguments at trial.

                    Didn’t hear anything about the nutjob at Gilroy using hearing protection.

                    I will note that in all cases the new “do something” laws I’ve seen floated immediately* sound very similar to the ones already on the books here in the Glorious Peoples Bear Flag Democratic Republic that failed to do anything at all to prevent the Gilroy attack.

                    * It is obvious pols maintain wish-list legislation and executive orders all written up and queued, waiting for the next nutjob, like the old newspapers kept updated obituaries on file on not-yet-dead public figures just in case they died suddenly.

                    1. Some nutjobs get rang time before going totally bat-guano.

                      Bangsticks hut the ears.

                      Some actually research the gear. The recent two were -not- snap/impulse. These were planned.

      2. Definitely “or worse”. The latest term the left uses to demand excommunication of people they don’t like is “to cancel them”; of course the ultimate cancellation is mass graves.

    2. I believe their line these days is “No border, no wall, no USA at all.”

      So as far as I can tell, one party has explicitly declared their intention to destroy the country, which seems like an unusual platform to run on.

      1. While otherwise occupied this afternoon I remembered that, about as far back as I can remember — late Sixties — the Left was talking about America wielding so much power in the world that it would only be fair to let “foreign” citizens vote in our elections.

        After all, if we were going to take the world over the brink of Armageddon, shouldn’t the world have a say? Shouldn’t the world have a voice in who led the nation so mighty that when it sneezed, the world caught cold?

  8. I didn’t know it was that widespread and everywhere, and now they’re not even afraid to proclaim it

    It isn’t — the internet and the MSM tend to amplify it. I forget the exact formula, but it was recently shown that something like 80% of Twitter comes from about 2% of the country. CNN, MSNBC, the NY Times and Washington Post have gone over the cliffs of insanity, but for all their influence they never have amounted to much. Cumulatively, not even one percent of Americans pay them any attention.

    Reagan was bolstered by the Moral Majority and Nixon by the Silent majority (and how the Left hated being denied “majority”) and at present more people are cognizant of what Kim Kardashian’s butt looks like than have any idea of what issues will decide their vote in 2020.

    As for vote fraud … that, too, is as old as the Republic. Watch Preston Sturges’ marvelous, cynical 1940 film The Great McGinty, I urge you. Or try John Barrymore’s The Great Man Votes.

    Relax, we’ve been through this before. Like a kidney stone, it will pass.

  9. What is scary to me is the one son who is a liberal posted a link to the Harpers Bazaar that is a screed calling conservatives Nazi’s and the usual slams against us. He posted above it, we are on the brink and we have to step back.. He is over 50 and has no idea he is pushing us more toward the Nazi’s than any conservative. He was reading encyclopedias at 6, HOW CAN HE BE SO DUMB??? This scares me. Thank God his brother and sister are smarter, maybe not as high an IQ, but much smarter. This is a good place to get that off my chest. Thanks.

    1. He was reading encyclopedias at 6, HOW CAN HE BE SO DUMB???

      Bright people have an easier time shoving their heads up their fundaments and a harder time extracting them, in part because they will persuade themselves the fit is safe and comfy and the smell is attractive.

      1. I keep thinking of Temperance Brennan in Bones when I think of the truly smart being dumb. Because she’s the way she is- logical, nearly emotionless, and puts thoughts into all her actions- she mistakenly believes that’s how everyone is- or could be or should be. But that’s not how the real world works.

        I also thing of the movie The Invention of Lying when I think of a completely logical truthful world. Just doesn’t work.

        1. I read a couple of the books, but the combination of paranoia and shrill anti-gun rhetoric put me off.

          1. I’ve never read the books- only seen the television show. From what you commented this must be one of those rare cases where the show is better than the book….

    2. He’s bound to be in charge when they win, and do it better than we do, because he’s so smart.

      1. In reality (another concept hostile to Progtards), he’d be against the wall as soon as he was no longer useful.

    3. “He was reading encyclopedias at 6, HOW CAN HE BE SO DUMB???”

      Book-smarts and high IQ don’t necessarily correlate to common sense and street smarts. When I was in Austria, one of the girls in our study abroad group was scary smart. Possibly MENSA-level IQ. Dumb as a bag of hammers when it came to real-world stuff. For example, when we’d go out for drinks, she couldn’t figure out why random guys would be buying her drinks (I should mention that she was also drop-dead gorgeous). Even when we explained it to her, she didn’t understand. Couldn’t plan a trip or figure out how to hire a taxi or navigate the rail network either (there was a travel component built into our semester).

      1. And it’s amazing how easily otherwise intelligent people can be fooled by Motte & Bailey explanations they get at school. Once internalized (hey, they had to parrot them to pass their courses) its nearly impossible to get them to see that they were lied to.
        Most of these people don’t hate their countrymen nor want to tear everything down. But they do vote for what they’ve been taught will make our country better.
        Trump is slowly peeling many of these away from the insane left with his cognitive dissonance attacks. When good people see that to maintain their ideology they have to defend the indefensible some of them will start to actually think again. I think it will end up being enough of them.
        I may be an optimist but I think the chances of threading that needle are reasonably good.
        I’m less sanguine about the eventual debt crisis.
        What may save us is that it looks like China will have theirs first.

  10. More than a hundred and thirty years ago, THE MIKADO, OR THE TOWN OF TITIPU premiered. So “The idiot who praises in enthusiastic tone, all centuries but this and every country but his own” has been a recognized plague upon society for a LONG time.

    I’m not saying we shouldn’t be concerned, mind. But it ain’t NEW.

    That said, I will reiterate my belief that ONE explanation of the prevalence of Far Left Wing loons in the Democrat party right now is that the High Panjandrums feel the need to consolidate their hold on power WITHIN the party, after their spectacular screwup in 2016. They ditched Bernie (a Far Left Loon, if ever there was one) in favor of Shrillary. So, this time, feeling that Trump is likely to win anyway, they are allowing the Young Turks run the ball…and (let’s hope) make spectacular fools of themselves.

    I don’t insist on it, mind. But it if Joe Biden loses the nomination, and the election is a friggin’ LANDSLIDE for Trump, I expect we’ll hear a lot less from the Four Horsewomen of Ringling Brothers’ Clown College in future.

    1. Aye – it took two terms of Reagan and one bush to convince the Dems to at least pretend to be moderate. I expect they’re so wound up in their present silliness that not even two terms of Trump will serve.

      Keep in mind that there are plenty of good conservative Republicans down on the farm (in state governments) and that those pendulums are not swinging that far the other direction — that is why they’ve gone on the attack against what had been their favorite weapon, the gerrymander.

      Retiring Republicans have replacements a’plenty and people have a much easier time mobilizing to kick the crazy bastards out than we used to. They lack the entrenching tools they used to have, and it requires massively dysfunctional polities (take California – please!) to left the Left go into full bloom.

      It isn’t as if California, New York and Illinois are winning the population redistribution.

      1. To believe that the High Panjandrums of the Democrat Party think that catering to the youth/counterculture vote is the way to win an election is to believe they’ve forgotten the disaster of ‘72’. Now, with these biffledinks any enormity of stupidity is POSSIBLE, but I don’t think it’s likely.

        I think that’s why they hated Hated HATED Nixon so much; they had a Grand Plan and he wiped them out like the Pittsburgh Steelers wiping out Beauregard Normal.

        Trump isn’t dumb enough to do Watergate II, and I don’t think any experienced Democrat power brokers think he is,so if we see a Far Left candidate, I really think it’s the Democrat power structure cleaning house.

    2. That makes an amazing amount of sense to me. They’re going to let the OMG! Squad immolate themselves in spectacular fashion, by (mixing metaphors here) giving them enough rope to hang themselves on.

    3. I mean, “the Squad” will all be up for re,election next year as well. Odds of their being one-term wonders? Fairly decent, I would say.

    4. “So, this time, feeling that Trump is likely to win anyway, they are allowing the Young Turks run the ball” Oh the irony and the ACCURACY of that statement…because several candidates..AOC being the most notable were, found, interviewed and then put forth by Cenk Uygur of the youtube channel..The Young Turks. he and his cronies are far left extremists.

      1. Yes, Chunk Ugly of the Young Turks – named after the Officers of the (very) late Ottoman Empire who organized the Armenian genocide. And doesn’t *that* make you feel all warm & fuzzy about what their eventual aims might be . . .

  11. Now, I’ve known this for a long time of the lefties in my circles. The times after 9/11 were very hard on them, because flags to them are like a cross to a vampire. And no, I can’t explain it, but they flinch from flags in the exact same way, immediately and irrationally. And they had their own, bizarre version of history in which the US was the worst ever country.

    I think I might be able to shine a ray of light on this.

    Due to circumstances which don’t matter for this discussion I grew up in an environment that was roughly rightish/evangelical (but not how you think)/dash of libertarian. A side effect of this is that I didn’t get indoctrinated with either sides myths about America. The example I like to use is the Founders: I have no particular need to demonize them as incarnations of Satan the way the left does (they did some good with what they had). I also have no need to near-Deify them the way some on the right do (*plenty* of mistakes; they were but men after all).

    Nowadays I can see it more clearly, and separate some of the lies, truths, and misunderstandings of each side. But when I was younger most of it just pegged the Virtue Signalling meter, though the term didn’t exist yet. A party or something with flags everywhere, patriotic music, the works?

    “*HORK* It’s a hive mind!”

    I doubt the left has the same surface reasons, but it is no doubt the same mechanisms.

    On my gut, I’d say the inner one. You cannot win anything — or even survive — when at least a quarter (very well positioned) and maybe (but unlikely. They wouldn’t need that much fraud) half of your population is working towards the active destruction of the country.

    This is why I don’t agree with the people who insist that Trump is worse than Obama on 2A: Obama’s every action did not force the left to dash themselves into a brick wall (a big beautiful wall!). We will take damage from Trump, but our enemies are taking so much more damage that it will give us room to maneuver.

    1. Must Issue and Constitutional Carry (you’re a citizen? You can carry) are chugging along. So is a quieter movement to do away with some of the sillier knife laws. Hell, New York City is getting dragged through court on its silly “if a police officer can make it flick open after trying all day, it’s a ‘flick knife’ and illegal” law, and last I read about it it looked like they were losing.

      It was happening under Obamaramadingdong, and it’s happening under Trump.


      1. Oh don’t get me wrong: I am absolutely not one of the doomsayers.

        Also you are behind on your NY knowledge: go look at the recent activity on the NYSRPA case.

        1. I AM behind the times. Evidently New York has removed ‘gravity knives’ (which in practice included any knife the police could cause to open with centrifugal force, a widely abused definition) from the list of ‘deadly weapons’ , thus allowing workers with lock blade knives they need as tools to carry same without being arrsted.

          Not before time.

          I shall be interested to see what happens with the case you mention, also.

          1. Because if you carry a knife you can open up with one hand you obviously must be a hardened criminal and up to no good. The concept that a tool you don’t need both hands to make ready is apparently entirely foreign to officials in New York.

            1. Because none of these people have ever had to hold tension on a rope lashed around a stable point while cutting away the excess so it can be tied off.

              That kind of thing is for proles.

            2. They ban the things that are perceived as “Brown”.

              The original term was N#####town Saturday Night Special.

              Oopsie. That was supposed to be down the Memory Hole.

              And, it wasn’t originally “flick” knife.

            3. Nah, it was a stretch of an existing law that the Police used to hassle brown people…and that aspect of it got a little too blatant. It suspect that the Authorities decided to ashcan that aspect of the law in the hopes of derailing a court case that might throw the whole thing out the window.

    2. That makes sense– a culture based on signalling, which takes open enthusiasm as a sign of being fake?

      That also explains the viciousness against geeks, or frankly any passion for…well, anything they are not also passionate about.

      It’s not that they’re actually neutral, it’s that they BELIEVE they are, and thus anything that violates their standards is activist– and there are no genuine enthusiasms.

  12. Buck up, we’ve got the bastards right where we want them.

    The reason why the Democrat primary field is so crazy (and so crowded) is that all of the reasonable people have left the party. Biden’s the closest thing they’ve got to sane and he can only manage to get the approval of 1/3 of Democrats. The rest of America isn’t going to vote for him, and they’re certainly not going to vote for anyone else on that stage. They’re so crazy bats are looking for pest removal services.

    We absolutely can fight the wars here and abroad at the same time. They currently require different organizations. Trump seems to be doing a pretty good job of passing off the execution of the GWOT to the generals and admirals while taking the fight at home to the Democrats. His current attack against Rep. Cummings is absolutely brilliant. He’s got the Democrats defending inner city slums. Just today I saw a post on Facebook calling Trump’s tweet gloating over Cummings’ house being broken into unchristian, but it’s spreading the word about the break-in, which reinforces the truth of Trump’s comments on Baltimore. And if Democrats are going to condemn facts like that as racist, maybe some of the other things they’ve called racist are also true.

    Trump is a master at peeling people out of the Democrat coalition. He won the election the first time by cracking the white working class out (and using Hillary!’s GOTV efforts, which relied on unions, for his own purposes). This time it looks like he’s making a major play for inner-city blacks. He doesn’t have to win over many of them to utterly destroy the Democrat Party. I’d really like to see the GOP run a “Give us 5” campaign in the inner cities. Ask the residents to vote a straight Republican ticket for 10 years, 5 election cycles, and see how things change. Because it’s obvious that 4 generations of voting for Democrats hasn’t done them any good, and Trump is calling attention to that fact. It would also be hilarious if Democrat fraudsters bused voters from precinct to precinct just to have them vote for Trump each time.

    The Progressives are in retreat worldwide, and they know it. That’s why they’re panicking. That’s the source of the “We have 14 months to save the world” headline, when they lose this upcoming election there won’t be any way for them to stop the collapse of the institutions they control.

    1. It would also be hilarious if Democrat fraudsters bused voters from precinct to precinct just to have them vote for Trump each time.

      *mops soda off keyboard*


      Now there’s a daydream. Investigation removes a bunch of false votes (showing that Republicans come down on people “helping” them illegitimately), leaving a wide margin of real victory, and reveals unmistakably that it was Democrats running it.

  13. The problem is that these people HATE America.
    The real problem is not just that these folks hate America, as it is that so much of America doesn’t even understand what it is they are losing. They don’t grasp the ideals of our founding, the concepts of our freedom or economics, or our actual history.

    And, of course, the ones who really hate America are counting on that.

    1. It’s true that many people don’t understand what they are fixin’ to lose, but making the ‘we have to go back to the ideal of the Founders’ argument is too broad. Much more effective is “look what these idiots think they can do!”. There are FATAL flaws in ‘100% Renewables’, ‘ban cars’, ‘ban air travel’. And those are just three off the top of my head. We should be asking seniors ‘you have problems with Medicare now; what do you think adding everybody else is gonna do?’. We should be asking Blacks ‘why do you think the Democrats are so hot on reparations for Slavery, an institution they went to war to preserve? Think maybe they don’t want to discuss the mess they’ve made of your schools?’

      1. Part of the argument, yes.
        But we MUST be able to point to the ideals, the right things. If we just say “We can’t do that!” then we maintain being the “Party of ‘no’.”

        We have to drive/point/lead them to the right solutions, away from gov’t, and to all the things that we believe made America great in the first place. This is the fight.

        1. We have a couple of good examples of how private industry is doing better than NASA. We need to build on those.

      2. But we also have to fight the “we’ll run the elections until we get the results we want” fraud. 105% voter turn out and they all vote the same way. Counting ballots until the “correct” result is achieved. Soros and co. starting yet another SuperPac to push money the “proper” direction. That’s what spooks the heck out of me.

              1. I always wanted a computer named “Hal”. (Wouldn’t let it run the door locks, though.)

                Typed from “Dora”.

              2. Arggh. Too easy to mistype on the belly-top.

                I always wanted a computer named “Hal”, but it wouldn’t get door lock ability.

                Typed from “Dora”.

                1. Mine is “The PC of Theseus.” It still has a 3.5″ floppy drive and two DVD-ROM drives.

                  1. I have a Y2K vintage Sony out in the shop. If memory serves, it’s still named “Jethro” for the NCIS character (I’ll go in themes; used to be characters from Sluggy Freelance. Now it’s famous computers, both fictional and real life. (Mid stretch with “Dora”, but “Illiac” is solid.

                    It uses a Pentium 4, 1 DVD drive (that doesn’t want to open when it’s cold–ie, 99% of the time in winter) and a CD RW drive along with the no-longer used floppy drive. And yeah, USB 1.0 ports installed in such a way to make it impossible to stick a thumb drive in the front sockets.

                    I have the MP3s from the CD collection, and I’ll take pdf copies of things useful for the shop to it. Hmm, with the balky DVD drive, it might deserve the “HAL” name.
                    “Open the DVD drive, please HAL.”
                    “Sorry Dave, it’s stuck again.”
                    “Who’s Dave?”

        1. Hillary significantly outspent Trump in 2016 and still managed to lose. So maybe money is not the decisive factor the Left claims it to be. I think the function of money in campaigns is the way it enables Republican candidates to be heard above the MSM’s background noise. Trump manages that because they amplify him while demonstrating their own inanity. By tying the whole of the Democrat Party to the Albatross Squad he may (may) swing more than just the presidential race.

          You don’t think there are Democrats across the nation trying to figure out how to run in Bernie’s, Warren’s or Kamala’s wake?

          1. it helped she spent a LOT of her bucks getting out the vote in Chicago and NYC just to show Bill he was wrong about her need to work in the deplorable purple states like Wisconsin and Michigan

            1. Even with the passel of dingbats running for the Democrat nomination this time, it’s difficult to see how any of them could run a campaign as BADLY as Her Shrillness did. If they lose, it seems likely that they will lose because their platform is idiotic.

              Of course, they might be even dumber than I think.

                1. “It was easier for you, as civilized men, to act as barbarians than it was for them, as barbarians, to act as civilized men.” Spock in the episode Mirror Mirror.

                2. Heck they don’t even need need to act “not crazy”. They need to act (pardon my french) “Not batsh*t crazy” So far none of them is managing that.

                3. The Democrats have such a lock of the election process on the West Coast that I don’t imagine we’ll see it, but I have to wonder what the ‘don’t stop the Antifa Crazys from blocking traffic’ policies will do to the loyalty of the average Democrat voter who has his/her commute disrupted.

                  At least, we won’t see the effects in 2020. There might be some local repercussions. It will be interesting to watch.

          2. Money isn’t the decisive factor in politics, at least once you get enough to actually run a campaign. They’ve done studies of elections and the bigger spender only wins something like 60% of the time. By far the best predictor of winning an election is incumbency, those guys win 9 times out of 10.

  14. As much as I worry about the tinfoil hat brigade, you almost start to wonder some times… The (D) have a lousy week and there’s another mass shooting (and not just a weekend in Chicago).

    Granted, there are times when the (D) have a lousy week and nothing happens, but this is starting to push “correlation is not causation” a little too hard.

    1. No need to propose organized malice.

      It could simply be media underreporting of the extent to which these psychos have exacerbated their condition with pot, and additionally the extent to which they, paying too much mind to the nostrums of leftist policy, tend to be triggered by reverses.

      If you have a hundred or a thousand of these nutjobs working up to it at any given time, and most of them, being damaged, rely on the left for part of their identity, you might get such a correlation.

      1. Just got around to tracking down sources.

        This morning, and already certain it is both hate filled and right wing?

        Smells like a prepared talking point, or jumping to conclusions that may not be borne out by the evidence.

        Is El Paso really so devoid of high immigrant concentration targets that Wal-Mart is the best bet? That said, my model of a sane decision making process is not expected to predict spree killer nutjobs.

        1. THAT Walmart is a horrible target.

          When news first came out, I assumed it was a relatively near Walmart that is built into the hillside that is about 90% folks-straight-from-Mexico.

          It isn’t.

          It’s the WalMart where you park when you’re going to walk over to the No Guns Enforced By Law mall.

        2. As gateway pundit noted, his mylife profile posthumously changed from Democrat to Republican, and 2 minutes later to “Qanon member”. Apparently, mylife lets others crowdsource profiles.

  15. It’s not even that we have people who openly advocate an ideology that killed over 100 million in the 20th century. No. That’s horrible, but it’s also understandable as both the result of spectacularly biased education, and the fact that Soviet agit prop lives on in our self-proclaimed elite.


    Evidence in support:
    I’m tired enough that I expected that to go into an attack on Christianity.

    It’s always either Christianity, or “religion.”

    ‘cus guys actively violating their direct orders is the same as folks following orders causing the same effect, or something.

      1. I would argue that most of the Far Lefties are Communists the way that most Unitarians are Christians. They follow some of the forms, but they tend to drift.

        Modern Unitarians, that is. Priestly’s original Unitarianism was a lot more Hellfire and Brimstone. The Unitarian Church in Ames found out that my late Father was an expert of Priestly when he was teaching at Iowa State and asked him to give them a talk. He channeled his (Minister) Father and gave them a Priestly sermon. He told me you could hear the eyeballs bounding on the floor.

        1. Insufficient Spoons Error!
          Wait for spoons to refill before continuing.
          Abort, Retry, Fail?

  16. “And what it did to Japan is give it “conquered culture syndrome” in which they just stopped reproducing. ”

    Japan is a poor example; what happened to it was a confluence of several unique factors, unlikely to be repeated anywhere else with the possible exception of radical Muslim countries (where a Japan-like population collapse would be a net plus). Before WW2, Japan had a ferociously xenophobic, aggressive, racist, sexist culture where hard work was valued and the self generally wasn’t. After WW2, the racism was gone and the aggressiveness was redirected into industry, but the xenophobia and the sexism stayed. I recall reading a couple of “why aren’t the Japanese having kids” articles several years ago, which talked to young Japanese men and women and found that their heavily work-oriented culture left them without the emotional energy for personal activities like dating. And some of the women specifically talked about the weird dual expectations they faced: at work a Japanese woman was expected to be the equal of any man, but at home she was expected to be quiet, meek, and totally subservient to her husband. I’m not surprised that many of them washed their hands of the whole idea of marriage and family.

    1. If you think the racism has gone in Japan, you haven’t been following how they treat the Ainu, resident descendants of Korean slave labor, or the descendants of Barakumin.

      Maybe they aren’t as open about it, but it’s there.

    2. Note however that the Japanese fertility rate has not been above replacement rate since 1973, and has been on a downhill run for 75 years. Any explanation has to explain why, aside from a level off from 1958 to 1973 at just barely replacement rate, it’s been downhill for Japan ever since the occupation.

      1. I think it has to do with the culture not having any “give” to it.

        Christian cultures have an area for failure, though we praise keeping on anyways.

        Japanese culture is almost the same…but you can’t fail.

        American culture is that the failure only “counts” if you stop.

      2. I suspect it might make things clearer if we change the frame of reference slightly: it’s been downhill ever since the war. I think that Japan suffered a postwar cultural shift just as the USA did. Except where ours involved lots of young men trying to recreate some parts of the life they had in the Armed Forces (I will never believe that the resemblance between 1940s-era Army/Navy officer base housing and levittowns is coincidental), theirs involved lots of young men trying to adjust to the fact that they, the greatest warrior culture on the planet, lost the war. And lost badly. To gaijin. They had to rebuild large parts of their culture from scratch, and they did a very poor job of it.

        It couldn’t have helped that Japan lost some 4% of its total population during the war — most of them young men of military age. Probably cut down a lot on the pool of marriageable men available for the next ten years or so.

        1. I was trying to think of anything other than “the culture got broken” to explain how wartime impacts could apply for multiple generations, with no luck. I would guess the “lost the war” effects could explain the ongoing decline from 1945 to 1958, then something else from 1973 to today, with that intervening stretch during the 1960s, when the Japanese economy was going gangbusters, being a head-fake at a turnaround. But I don’t know what in the early 1970s could have signaled the decline resuming, albeit dropping at a slower rate.

          Japan Fertility Rate chart found at – the population-maintenance (i.e. replacement) fertility rate is something around 2.1 ish, depending on things like childhood mortality.

  17. Oh, yeah, I do agree that if we’re going to fight abroad we should fight short wars with maximum firepower, enough to be left alone and otherwise leave it.

    I’m largely of the opinion that we should make clear “don’t start none, won’t be none.” But if they do “start one” we should use a proportionate response–just so long as you remember 1000:1 is a proportion. The reaction you’re looking for should never be “gee, that wasn’t too bad.” but rather “My God (or the deity of their choice)! I don’t want that to happen again.”

    It actually keeps the body count down, long term. Somebody decides to get frisky later and everyone around him jumps on him with a “don’t you dare!” because they do not want to poke the bear.

    On a related note is there any way in which US membership in various international organizations such as NATO and the UN (especially the UN) actually benefits the US? How, if at all, are we better off from membership in these organizations?

    Of course, I’m not saying it has to be zero sum–our benefit has to be at somebody else’s expense. In theory membership in such organizations can be beneficial to everyone in them and, indeed, that’s generally a more stable method of operation. Now, I’m not an expert on geopolitics and I can easily be missing stuff, but I’m just not seeing how our membership in a number of these organizations works out to our benefit.

    1. NATO membership is fairly easy to justify–it lets us have bases in Europe, which means we can move quicker if the balloon goes up–and it lessens the chance that the Euros will suddenly decide to have another war that we’ll end up getting dragged into.

      UN membership, OTOH–honestly, the only justification is that, as a P5 nation on the Security Council, we can veto some of the loonier resolutions the assorted gimcrack tinpot dictators come up with in the General Assembly, thereby denying them legitimacy.

      1. NATO membership meant a lot more when the European members of the alliance had functional armed forces. Most of them don’t anymore; decades of socialist propaganda have drained them of the desire to defend themselves against any invader.

        The UN, like the League of Nations before it, was a noble idea that never had any chance of succeeding. Today it’s primarily a tool for anti-Americanism, anti-Semitism, and covering up islamist aggression. I think the US should a) withdraw and b) throw the smug bastards out. Let them find somewhere else to meet.

        1. Sort of. It’s worth noting that the countries Russia might actually invade–Estonia, Poland–have relatively functional armed forces, as do the UK and France, who have former colonies to get involved with
          It’s the ones who are insulated from the bear and don’t have former colonies to get involved in thathave flushed their militaries down the tubes.

          1. Poland has been busy.

            They probably could take Germany in a stand-up fight, right now.

            If they keep going, they will be calling Russia soon. And their economy is capable of sustaining it.

            This could get … popcorn-worthy.

            1. I remember reading that after the USSR broke up, most of the captive countries noodled around waiting for paradise to appear (and getting into civil wars, some of them). The young men of POLAND, OTOH, got into trucks and went all over Europe looking for work, and then taking money and consumer goods back home.

              I’m not surprised that Poland is doing well.

            2. Poland is doing pretty well, but they’re not in position to take Russia by themselves, and probably never will be–the warmaking capacity ratios are too much against them.

              There’s also the birthrate issue. Poland’s fertility rate is 1.32, which is better than it was in the early 2000s when it was at 1.2, but still well below replacement rate, and is one of the lowest in the world. So something’s not quite right over there.

            3. Heck I think a well armed group of Cub Scouts could take Germany right now. Last I heard operational rates on their fighters were basically a squadron flyable without major effort. All their vaunted super quiet fuel cell subs were very quiet as they were docked. What there is of the Kriegsmarine was non operational except for a Frigate or two, and even those had serious limitations due to staffing. 50+ years of letting Uncle Sam spend its Blood and treasure has left them essentially useless.

              1. The West German Bundeswehr was actually pretty effective as long as they had the Warsaw Pact right over the border.
                Once they had Poland between them and the Russians, though, they decided it wasn’t necessary. (That, and they decided they needed to upgrade East Germany’s infrastructure. The money had to come from *somewhere*)
                So it’s really only been about thirty years.

              2. That’s just silly! Germany’s a bug country and those cub scouts can’t drive yet, so they’d need their mums to drive them. And you know those mums won’t let them stay up late to finish the invasion, nor miss school to occupy the Rhineland.

                1. OK granted the Cub scouts will need transport, so add two or three moms with minivans and Germany is toast.
                  And as for when this decline started 60Guilders is correct all heck starts to break loose in about 1989 as the USSR starts to fall apart and the Warsaw Pact folds like a cheap lawn chair.

                  1. Fair warning … Don’t mess with Cub Scouts with Den Mom’s standing behind them … Yep. Germany is toast …

                    (Sorry couldn’t resist even this late date.)

      2. Whoopty. The EU brags that it’s bigger and richer than the USA; they can provide for their own defense then.

        If the Russians decide to roll into Europe again… well, I find it hard to work up any rational reason to get involved. They’re more or less evenly matched, and they’re on a wholly different continent, and frankly, I don’t see the Russians making a point of turning up their nose and wagging their fingers in censure every time the US does something they don’t like, which is pretty much all the time.

        1. Poland is not exactly going to get rolled over again.

          Those folks have forgotten nothing, ad given less.

        2. All the same geopolitical imperatives that got us into WWI and WWII, and kept us in Europe after the latter, are still there. We cannot afford to have one country dominate all of Europe and much of Asia.
          Even though telling the Germans “you shouldn’t have bought all your natural gas from an unfriendly power” would be quite satisfying.

          1. Russia is not the USSR – if Putin wanted to roll across Europe he’d have to buy a couple more armies the size of the current Red Army.

            Putin could possibly take the entire Ukraine by invading openly (maybe), but given the problems revealed when the Russians occupied just a small chunk of Georgia, and the standstill in eastern Ukraine they acheived operating under their current transparent deniability veil, they could make a huge mess of that part of the world, but could not run armored divisions through the Fulda gap in a run to the port of Brest.

            1. And if Russia was foolish enough to go west into Ukraine and Poland in a big way I think you might see China heading up into the Siberian area as they’d really like all that nice oil and gas.

    2. NATO, we’ve got shared interests and it makes it easier to fight together to support them. (even if we still do most of the heavy lifting)

      Think of it like training so WWII doesn’t start up again, at least not without someone being worried that we DO already know how to fight together.

      For the UN, F if I know.

      1. and it makes it easier to fight together

        Again, how does that benefit us. Why are we “fighting together”? What are we fighting? An argument could have been made, I think, that during the days of Soviet expansionism, stopping that expansion (or at least slowing it) overseas was in the American interest because we might not have been able to go it alone were we eventually left alone with the rest of the world Soviet Red, but now? If, for instance, Putin were able to take Europe (absent US involvement) and did so how that hurts us.

        It’s taken as an article of faith that we have to defend Europe or other nations but do we? Do we really? How do we benefit from doing so?

        1. Again, how does that benefit us. Why are we “fighting together”? What are we fighting?

          The next idiot– because there’s always a next idiot– who decides he can get ahead by taking out his neighbors, one at a time.

          Given the last two world wars, I think we’re best suited avoiding the “three times is enemy action” test.

        2. If, for instance, Putin were able to take Europe (absent US involvement) and did so how that hurts us.

          Now that’s just silly. Has it EVER worked out that “we just stand over here, minding our own business, and they leave us alone”?
          Or do they always find a reason that we’re not doing enough ‘leaving them alone,’ even if that consists of nothing more than having something they want?

          1. So…what? We engage in military adventurism on the premise that they might not leave us alone in the future? Even if we’re certain that someone will come after us in the future, and see them as a likely candidate, I don’t see how that follows. That’s the international “deplomacy” version of the police railroading someone because “he’s guilty of something” (even if not this particular thing).

            So long as they are leaving us alone, right now, then why not just stand over here? Did I say anything about not having a strong military? Have I ever said anything even close to that? Did I say anything about not slapping them down hard if they choose to not leave us alone “pour encourager les autres”?

            Personally, I don’t think Jefferson went far enough in slapping down the Barbary pirates. Razing Tripoli to the ground and completely eradicating their rulership would have been about right.

            Even Khaddafi was able to learn. Back in the lead up to Gulf War II (post 9/11) Saddam Hussein in one of his rants tried to include Libya in the fight against the “Great Satan.” Khaddafi’s response was basically, “Leave me out of it, man. You don’t speak for me.” Then Obama and Clinton had to screw that up and Libya is now in play again as a threat. Which would seem to suggest that “slap them down hard when they present a current threat and act on it” then leave. them. alone. worked better than sticking our oar in simply because they’re nominally on “the other side”.

            But going around the world saying not just “leave us alone” but “leave this guy over here (when most of these “guy over there” would never do the same in return) alone”?

            1. We engage in military adventurism on the premise that they might not leave us alone in the future?

              Based off of evidence, the reckless route is to assume that they have no interest in attacking us.

              Not making it clear that you really can’t eat just one.

              1. So, go forth conquering and to conquer? Worldwide American Empire? “The White Man’s Burden”? Because short of that we’re left with half measures that are neither here nor there. Neither hot nor cold but lukewarm and fit only to be spewed from the mouth.

                Available history suggests this “middle road” doesn’t give us the best of both approaches. It gives us the worst.

                Our military adventures don’t stop people attacking our interests. They don’t stop attacks against us and ours. And when they do, what do our “allies” do? They complain, obstruct, and expound that it was all really our own fault because of American Imperialism. (Great Britain may have been an exception to that more often than not, but that, seems to be changing.)

                All we do is end up spending blood and treasure defending people who hate us so they can, in turn, use the resources they save not having to defend themselves (since we’re doing it for them–we spend more on defense than the rest of NATO combined) to attack and undermine us in other ways. Our being involved in things like NATO isn’t stopping that. We’re playing “frog” to their “scorpion”.

                1. So, go forth conquering and to conquer?

                  If anything other than “sit at home, ignoring the sounds right outside the door and the neighbor screaming for help” is “conquering” to you, then yes.

                  1. If anything other than

                    How is that different from the Left’s constant refrains of “do something” without considering whether the something actually helps? The world is full of horrible things happening–including right here in the US. Where does our responsibility to expend ourselves to “do something” about those horrible things end? How much of our blood and treasure do we need to expend to address problems that have no end.

                    Because we’ve been spending blood and treasure “defending” people who hate us. We’ve been doing the “intervention” to “help” without taking the time to take over and rebuild those nations in a more…positive direction. The last time we even made any serious attempt at that latter was at the end of WWII and, well, “mixed results” is the kindest way to put it.

                    We’ve been doing it that way and it has not been working.

                    But this is a diversion from the original question: where is the US interest? How does the US benefit from membership in NATO? One may get warm fuzzies from telling themselves that we’re helping but I kind of want more than warm fuzzies as a basis for spending blood and treasure “defending” people who hate us, and have historically demonstrated that they will continue to hate us no matter how much “defending” we do.

                    Oh, sure, when they want something from us they’ll be our best ever friend (sometimes not even that. Sometimes they’ll continue being open about how much they hate us while demanding our aid–and historically there’s no reason for them not to do so because that’s been nearly as successful at getting our help as pretending to love us has). But as soon as the immeidate “crisis” is over? It’s right back to:

                    It’s Yankee this and Yankee that, and Yankee you’re a bore.
                    But it’s “please to come and save us” when the guns begin to roar.
                    (With apologies to Rudyard Kipling).

                    So I think it’s a fair question to ask how we benefit from this.

                    1. How is that different from the Left’s constant refrains of “do something” without considering whether the something actually helps?

                      Because it’s contrasted to your idea of “don’t do anything, it never helps.”

                      Being something besides nothing is not the same as turning it to 11.

                2. Yeah, being the responsible adult sucks mass hard. You go around, cleaning up the messes while the idiot spoiled brats go on partying.
                  That doesn’t mean that sitting in filth and dealing with the sickness and pests that DOES bring is better, it just means it SUCKS.

                  And no, it doesn’t completely stop attacks.

                  A lock only stops an honest thief, as my grandfather put it– you cannot expect a solution to be perfect. You can choose from really bad and less bad.

                    1. Well, until someone manages to offer an argument that doesn’t boil down to “don’t start nothin’ won’t be no nothin’,” which is a great aspiration but a terrible planning metric.

                  1. We are NOT “adult” to the rest of the world’s “children”. Sorry, but NO. We are not their parents, we are not their cops, we are NOT their overseers. We are at most their mentors.

                    Military adventurism is NOT a solution *at all* unless the problem you’re solving is “we’re just not bleeding enough for no discernible reason.”

                    I don’t mind bases around the world so we can respond more rapidly and effectively to threats to our interests. But not if that means we’re going to play Big Menace in the world.

                    You want a metric? “American interest”. And you’d best not distort that to “playing do-gooder in the world.” If it isn’t a threat to our direct interest, then it’s not something we should be involved in. If you want “defeating great evil” being “in the American interest” I can go along – but only if you let me defeat it entirely, utterly. Because only then can we go back to not being implicated.

                    As to the “someone screaming outside your door”, that analogy fails utterly, as in that case I’m making a decision to risk myself to do good, not commandeering someone else’s blood and treasure to do so.

                    You want a standard? You canNOT go to war unless Congress actually declares war.
                    With the spineless hacks we have in Congress, that should solve our adventurism forever. Oh, wait……..

                    1. We are NOT “adult” to the rest of the world’s “children”. Sorry, but NO. We are not their parents, we are not their cops, we are NOT their overseers. We are at most their mentors.

                      Have you looked at Europe?

                      It’s not a matter of being actual adults, it’s a matter of FREAKING ADULTING.

                      And most of Europe has been taking a pass for decades.

                      We’re stuck on the same planet as folks who think basic disease and pest control is Someone Else’s Problem– and your solution is “gosh, let’s join them”?


                      IT DOES NOT WORK.

                    2. My solution is exactly the opposite of “joining them”. It’s letting them go their own way.

                      If you want to go change them as a missionary of some sort, more power to ya. I might even join you. Or you could generate your own little army and go conquer them in the name of whatever good you want to do – at least then the people whose blood will be spilled will have signed up for your foray of their own free will.

                      But, it is NOT our nation’s job to save the world. Just to keep our portion of it clean, safe, and defended from the rest of the nastyness out there. (Mind you, it’s also not our nation’s job to save our very own people from themselves right here at home. That’s the job, perhaps of their neighbors and loved ones, but certainly not of the gov’t or any bunch of busybodies.)

                      BTW, I’m not against alliances (which benefit us). I *am* against entanglements.

                    3. Just to keep our portion of it clean, safe, and defended from the rest of the nastyness out there

                      Which requires that we act like grown-ups and taking out the trash, doing basic maintenance, and yes actually being organized with the neighbors for a basic neighborhood watch after it has REPEATEDLY been shown that not doing so results in little thugs getting big.

            2. Which is better? To have no country in the world with the capacity to invade you, or for there to be a country with the capacity to invade you?

              The unfortunate fact is that, in the long run, just letting the rest of the world do its own thing costs us more than getting involved does. (Though we do need to measure our involvement a bit more)

  18. California Leftism is a problem that’s getting ready to solve itself, IMHO. Gated enclaves of rich nerds surrounded by PLAGUE INFESTED masses of the poor, that’s not a situation that’s very stable.

    There’s nothing like a nice plague to really focus people’s attention on what’s important, know what I mean?

    1. Be of good cheer! I hear that California is in the process of banning rat poison as environmentally harmful.

      What could possibly go wrong?

      1. Second time around, actually: Retail sales of anticoagulant rat bait have been in place for a couple years, replaced on the shelves by a neurotoxin. That’s what the watermelon lobby is going after now.

  19. I’m not despairing (even if, at times, I wonder what these people use for brains…).

    I remember, relatively soon after 9/11 and for a few years later, people in the SF Bay Area being willing to admit that Bush was a better person to handle what happened than Gore. Then…then, the hive mind snapped back hard.

    I think we’re seeing the flailing as the Left in the US has taken a major body blow. Hillary! was supposed to win, and Trump was supposed to be the buffoon that she used to “show” how America was full of bitter white men clinging to their guns. That Trump keeps driving them mad is obvious as well.

    The press doesn’t want to admit it, because they have become the priesthood for the modern political Left and it’d be like a Catholic priest denying Jesus. They can’t admit to it without destroying their own identity. Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep the pressure on them-we should. Can’t stop taking shots at them, and keep going after them.

    My only issue is the final butcher’s bill when it’s all said and done.

    1. My issue is that if it does come down to that there’s a reasonable chance that I’m going to get shot no matter who wins.

      Fanatics don’t like it when you point out their inconsistencies, and if you think we don’t have some you’re kidding yourself.

    1. If that’s typical of the next generation, then the gene pool needs some chlorine.

      1. I’m of a mind that a great many of our societal woes would have up and vanished (or at least been greatly diminished) if we hadn’t gone all overboard in warning people against eating Tide Pods.

        Make The Gene Pool Self-Cleaning Again!

    2. Well, *I’M* certainly quaking in my boots.

      Pack it in, folks, we can’t win against such hardened warriors as these.

      1. Remember: When the shooting starts, the first thing we do is demand they use our proper pronouns!

    3. No way…that’s gotta be a joke where the audience voices are dubbed over. It’s just got to be.

    4. Since I really don’t need to make my blood pressure spike this morning (and I loathe Twitter with the burning hatred of a thousand angry suns), what happened in the video?

          1. Please, no

            Because CW2 is going to be Dayton and El Paso, repeatedly.

            The bat-guano-crazy unleashed.

            No thanks.

      1. That was part of the Democratic Socialists of America’s … summit, I suppose. The clip shows the poor MC’s attempt to try call the next speaker, and getting constantly interrupted by “POINT OF PRIVILEGE” and insert complaints about use of gendered pronouns, and one of the speakers constantly railing at the audience for talking amongst themselves, saying it was ‘triggering’ him.

        The short clip won’t raise your blood pressure, I promise.

    5. I note the twinkles (both hands up, wiggle fingers) used by the comrade audience members instead of patriarchal capitalist applause. Well done, comrades; well done.

      I am concerned, however, that “comrade” might actually be gendered.

  20. One other thing we can do is educate our children. Not just rely on the schools. The truth… Give them the documents, not the sound bites. And yes, put the shoulder back to the wheel. There is a large silent majority in this country that crosses racial divides, age groups, and financial groups. They have not been heard from for a good reason. These are the people who don’t play on social media, protest, or anything overt. Think of the rooftop Koreans during the LA riots. Just handled business and quietly went back to the shadows. Very little has ever been said about them by the left, because people are afraid that will happen again/become more common and they don’t want that.

  21. Okay, things are definitely weird.

    Shooting, Dayton, Ohio.

    Shooter is down, and so situation is probably contained.

    Banshee, any interesting things about the local PD’s information control habits?

    1. Interesting note is that they are saying PD returned fire in less than a minute, which is near the same story as in Gilroy – near immediate run-to-the-sound-of-the-guns response. The El Paso one seems to have dragged on for a few minutes more, but no siege.

      Effective area for improvement in all of these looks like the mental health side of the equation, but of course that will not be what gets done in Ohio or here. I still have hope for Texas.

      1. Mental health is only a solution if the problem isn’t criminal, culture, or ideology. It is probably too early to have solid conclusions about which is from the pattern here.

        1. The “nutjob legally buys gun” part is what i’m talking about, though I am well aware of the potential for abuse: That a gawd-help-us-all-Schlichteresque-future AOC administration could by executive order place everyone on their political enemies list (helpfully supplied by Google!) on a “mental health flag” list, thus depriving vast swaths of citizens of their “inalienable rights” (scare quotes courtesy of the Central Organizing Committee for Public Safety) is a real and serious concern with staarting down that road.

          1. The question is not “how much privilege is safe to allow” but “how do we herd-mmunize against mass murder”.

            And the answer is ” more freedom” not “less privilege”

            Carry your sidearm. Shoot the crazy bastard before he kills anyone else.

            1. Yeah. Otherwise we would be considering common sense education control.

              An illiterate that additionally does not have great comprehension of the spoken word is going to be much less effective at planning spree killings.

          2. The fly in the ointment is substance abusers.

            That pattern of degrading stability is precisely what any security intervention into mental health would have to target.

            Have not done an exhaustive scientific study, but there is anecdotal evidence (from a small sample) suggesting that ‘legal’ weed retailers may be marketing to young black males. If there winds up being any great correlation, either disparate impact kills the program, or the program has enough political force behind it that it will be quite blunt and out of control.

            Might be better to simply eat the cost of the spree killings.

  22. When I was a teen, Bush was president. Bush senior. (Boy, I feel old.) He didn’t like flag burning and stated so openly. The Left, showing the dignity and good taste it’s always been so well known for COMPLETELY FLIPPED its collective lid. Overnight, Flag Burning and chanting about how much one hates America and wants to see the flag burn became The Most Important Expression of the First Amendment.

    And within a couple of years, none of the various SF and fantasy anthologies the High School library was complete without the story about the Dystopian near future U.S. Where Flag Burning Was Banned Therefore Everything Was Evil and the Token Aged Hippe is Sentenced to Death by Their Traitorous White Straight Christian Nephew/Niece.

    They’ve been like this for decades. I didn’t understand it then, I understand it better now. Symbols. Rituals. Shared experiences. They’re all important. And acknowledging the flag and what it represents was one of the earliest shared experiences I ever had.

    They hate that. They want to eliminate it. Replacing it, of course, with whatever cockamamie, kooky ritual they currently deem “Sufficiently Woke”.

    1. It’s amazing the reactions you can get by pointing out that burning books is as much free speech as burning a flag.

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