But Then That Must Mean

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Humans are addicted to story.  Now, it’s probably worse in our time, because there’s SO MUCH OF IT.

If you want to, between the news, songs,  books in various forms (for instance, I have a current audio book at all times, because that’s what I WALK to.), movies and TV series, you can spend your entire day with your head full of stories.

This is arguably even more so, if your job is to produce stories.  Often, while in the car going somewhere, I find myself going “So, his ultimate motivation for doing this, is what?” and trying to figure out how to fit all the pieces of the puzzle in my character’s story.

Part of this is just being human though.  The human mind MIGHT be the best instrument for creating logical narrative out of reality.

The problem is that reality isn’t logical. Also that our vision of it is limited/enhanced by what we see.

In fact, when you start getting one of those flashes of inspiration in which you see the whole of life, and it’s all connected and you go “Oh, but then, I must be/do–” you’re probably wrong. If you go with it, you’ve also probably lost your mind.

Look, when I started out as a writer my mentors told me above all I should avoid making up stories about my profession/life.

Took me a while to understand what they meant.  No, I mean, quite a while. Because it’s absolutely normal for humans to try to figure why people around them act the way they do.  And of course, the way most of publishing acts is HIGHLY irrational.  (No, seriously. They have all these shibboleths and go through trends, because they can’t figure out what sells.  (Partly ideological blinds, partly just… they screw with the numbers, then drink their own ink.)

But they were right, you can’t make up stories about why things are happening, because when you’re a newby you’ll a) be wrong b) sometimes get bit in the butt by your assumptions.

I’ve known people who assumed, say, they were never going to sell again, and therefore went out and sold to a tiny press, which in turn — such were the works of trad pub back when — gave them bad numbers on the computer, which in turn meant their big publisher never bought them again.

And I’ve lost count of the number of friends (well, I still consider them friends. How they view me is nothing to do with me. Or probably them. Just narrative in their heads.) who think I somehow told publishing houses to stop publishing them. (When, for the record, I was actually working really hard to try to get the houses to publish them. It’s just that, also for the record, I never had that kind of influence, one way or another.)

Makes perfect sense when at least their reported numbers were three times mine, and yet the house dumped them and continued publishing me.  And no, I have no explanation for it, either. ALL I KNOW is two things:

It wasn’t me.

Publishers make decisions that make no sense all the time.

But of course, that’s the problem when things make no sense. When you’re only being given part of the story, or a completely false one (All publishing houses treat writers like mushrooms. Which by itself is an incentive to indie.) and you know it, the tendency is to try to make up a logical explanation for things.

This is becoming more and more a problem as our news media is completely, blatantly and unreliable (to be fair they probably always were, but now we have other sources of information. RAH said he’d never been present at any event that was correctly reported in the media. My experience is the same. And sometime ask Dave Freer about “police in South Africa are sending attack dogs against protesters.” Because the story is a good example of things I’ve lived through and how they were reported in international media.) and we’ve also stopped trusting institutions like the FBI.

I’ll note in passing that for that sort of institution ONE slip up that’s found out will destroy everyone’s confidence in everything you’ve ever done and said. And it will take years to build up again. No, seriously. In a way it’s unfair, but then again it’s not. Because you’re either incorruptible, or you’re corrupt. Sure, everyone makes mistakes, but mistakes need to be admitted to and publicly cleaned up. Caesar’s wife and all that.

So this brings us back to what people are doing, since nobody knows anything and all information is corrupt, and that amounts to: making up Stories.  Some of them very convincing stories, unless you have information to the contrary or start to poke holes in them. I’m prone to them, now and then, until I pull back and get a reality check and make sure it doesn’t bounce.

What is the problem with making stories?

Well, one of them eventually wins and has nothing to do with reality.  Particularly in disturbed times — oh, hello 2019/2020! — it’s very easy for the most poisonous, the most emotionally satisfying “just so” story to take hold. One that makes you feel good and superior and not only absolves you of all guilt, but also gives you an extra pat on the back, either for being smart, or good, or simply being one of the “chosen” to follow the CORRECT path to the future.

We’re seeing a version of this on the left, which now equates anyone non-Marxist with white supremacist. (Literally. There was an idiot accusing me of that yesterday.) If you say you’re a patriot, they say you’re a white supremacist, because what you really MEAN is “white America, the way it used to be.” Which means they either don’t know history or think you don’t. And their story is so compelling, partly because it absolves them for allegiance to what they are increasingly realizing is a cray and destructive ideology (trust me, most of them do) because it’s the least of two evils. They don’t want to be white supremacists, after all. Because that’s literally Hitler.

And the more they convince themselves of this insanity, the more they say things like we should all be in camps.  And they do it with complete and absolute refusal to see they’ve become the Nazis who want full government control so they can put people in camps.

The problem is that people horrified by this might simply turn the narrative around. Not even that difficult, since there’s a lot of racism in leftist projection and white knighting. In a way the left is already creating white supremacists, because kids who don’t know any better know the left wants to kill them, and turns it around.

But it can and does get worse. We are in troubling, confusing times. It’s easier to blame someone than to fight to keep the constitutional republic.

The traditional scapegoat of cultures in crisis is the Jews.  We’re already seeing that on the left, whose ghost dance is turning more and more anti-semitic.

On the right the groping for a theory by and large is tending more to the “there is a lot going on we don’t hear about.” Which is absolutely true. But is also a narrative looking for a scapegoat.

By all means, hold the left to their acts and words. They’re damning enough. But don’t make up stories. And above all don’t buy their stories.

The stakes are very high, and if you create a narrative — like with socialism — it becomes remarkably hard to escape.

If you find yourself haunting websites for weird coincidences, remember reality is choc full of them (to the point sometimes one wonders if there’s really only 100 real people in the world and the rest are NPCs. Which is a story you should at all costs avoid believing in), life is full of them. Sometimes they’re only “coincidences” because of your peculiar pov.

For instance, there was a Sarah A. Hoyt in the springs, 28 years ago who looked so much like me people who knew us confused us. And her son, Robert, was a class before mine in school. Worse, she and her husband (Dan) moved ahead of us from North Carolina, staying at the same hotels, with their son and their cat. I never asked if the cat was Pete, because seriously, but I wouldn’t even be surprised if he were.

Does this mean anything? Probably not. I’d have to know the full statistical distribution of Sarahs, Dans, Roberts and how many people were moving from NC to Colorado at that time.

More importantly, one freakish factor — the hotels we stayed in — is mitigated by the fact that we chose the only hotels within a day-ish of driving that took pets. Which meant usually one hotel per location. So, since they were traveling with a cat…

If you find yourself perusing coincidences, I say, realize they happen all the time in reality. It’s in novels that they’re forbidden (and even then only if they HELP your character.)

If you find yourself reading the other person’s mind.  As in, thinking “I love American” means “white America” realize you’re not psychic. Those thoughts in your head? they’re yours. Examine why you want to believe this, and what purpose it’s serving FOR YOU. Because your mind is the only one you can read.

If you find yourself concocting a story where everything fits “just so” beware it’s a lie. In reality things never fit that well. Mostly because you’re going to find yourself in situations where you can’t READ why someone did something.  You can make inferences. And sometimes you’ll be right, but if it involves something complex, like financial or political chicanery, or traditional publishing, or even job politics, you’re probably wrong. You’re certainly wrong if it all makes perfect sense, because PEOPLE don’t.  For instance, they’re quite able to forego profit to gratify their personal grudge against someone who never actually meant them any harm. They will toss friendships because they “know” their friend (who has no such power) is “working against them.” Etc, etc, etc.
Reality isn’t RATIONAL. Only fiction is.
And reality is never ever ever SEAMLESS. The smartest people are dumb as rocks sometimes.  And dumb people have flashes of brilliance. Friendships break, and enemies sometimes work together.

And if you find yourself thinking of any large group working in concert over centuries — the Templars! The Illuminati! The brotherhood of Mong! or worse Jews! Men! White People! — it’s time to step away and get a reality check.

The left has managed to have people going sort-ish the same way for 100 years, mostly by making their philosophy “what any smart person believes.”  And even then their “distributed conspiracy” is all thumbs. Without the press covering up for them, it would have fallen apart long ago. (And the press is  a small and hierarchical community. All you need to capture is a few dozen who all know each other/are friends and the rest will ape them.)

In fact, it IS falling apart, which is part of the reason cracks in the facade are appearing, making people feel uncertain and create narratives.

Keep your sanity. Keep in touch with reality.

We’re going to need both, to get out of this mess with a Republic, if we can keep it.

 

 

287 responses to “But Then That Must Mean

  1. I recently read a study of who people trust in politics. The one thing that jumped out at me was that if you ever admit a mistake, people no longer trust you. This is exactly opposite of how I feel and strongly counter-intuitive. In fact, I suspect that if you phrased the question differently people would say they value the honesty of admitting an error. But some fool seems to have asked them in a format that resulted in the ugly truth being exposed.
    Now think about all the people you have worked with and your relatives. The worst flaming jackasses who claim to never have made an error are horrible people. They damage others, because even when there is physical evidence that there was an error – such as a wrecked car. They shift blame elsewhere. It was a crazy driver who ran them off the road, or a defect in the car, or the road itself was poorly designed and they are thus blameless. They will even sue the car maker or someone, anyone to prove their faultlessness.
    Yet these are the exact personality types that are elected over and over. And you wonder why they do such a horrible job?

    • Never trust any poll that won’t give you the original text of the questions.

      Of course, come to think of it, everything after the fourth word is superfluous.

    • “Now think about all the people you have worked with and your relatives. The worst flaming jackasses who claim to never have made an error are horrible people.”

      That is true. But there is also another category of people: They can admit that they have made errors in the past, but cannot comprehend the concept that any of their *current* ideas/actions/decisions may turn out to be wrong.

  2. In fairness, I have run into people who don’t love America as it is now, and would prefer to go back to America as it was in, say, the 1790s. Complete with slavery, state established churches, and a nearly exclusively Protestant Northern European white populace. The thing is, though, it wasn’t hard to get them to admit to that. They were, in fact, quite proud of being collectivist twerps.

    • > state established churches

      They seem to be working hard at establishing the Church of Crazy.

      Speak out against the Narrative, and they send the Inquisitors…

      • The thing is, the Left is absolutely CONVINCED that their system of deranged beliefs isn’t a religion. Because reasons.

        The thing about Christianity over Marxism is that Christianity has had a couple thousand years (more or less) to shake down.

        • SheSellsSeashells

          Of *course* it’s a religion. It has ritual, congregation, community, heresy (BOY does it have heresy) and even liturgy. If you doubt the liturgy, scan Twitter for the next endless all-caps repetition of “trans women are women”, “abortion is health care”, “no human is illegal” et nauseating cetera.

          • The only reason they eschew a doxology is their belief it would expose their identities.

            • Hell no. The reason they eschew a doxology is that they have no idea what one IS.

              • SheSellsSeashells

                Also, the doxology I know best includes “from Whom all blessings flow” and I’ve yet to see the SJW who acknowledges a blessing. Or even a positive.

          • Trans women are women – oh man, the whole Jonathan/Jessica Yaniv atrocity going on in Canada right now. That (actually racist) asshole went after waxing spas that served women only to sue them for refusing to wax his balls. (And if you’re able to do so, sit through the Blaire White vs Yaniv …debate.) Kiwifarms (yes, I know) has been documenting this predator’s actions for a while now, and wow, was there ever a validation of “There will be people taking advantage of identifying as trans to get into women’s and children’s locker rooms.”

            The proper response to No Human Is Illegal is Illegals are Criminals, breaking the Law, and people who support that support crime.

            The overarching rule for the Left is: Rules for thee, NEVER for me.

            • Kiwifarms? Not really a bad lot. They have a few idiots in residence who think they are smarter than they are, the quality of humor is somewhat shaky, and there’s a reason they warn people never to reveal anything about themselves over there, or to taunt the Farms anywhere. Thick skins and rolling eyes are advised.

              But honestly, it reminds me a lot of the old Net. Very libertarian, but comfortingly intolerant of true creepiness and criminality, and often providing a public service by doing research and analysis of publically available materials, as well as archiving evidence. Having a very dark sense of humor is not a crime against humanity. Someone who does good doesn’t have to have good taste.

            • He apparently targeted immigrants with poor English, at least from the stories I read. The ones most likely to pay up to avoid trouble.

              He’s lucky he didn’t run into a Filipina. He would have gotten a wax job he would *never* forget…

              [visualizes a woman with a foot on each of his thighs, intent on yanking off a pie-sized slab of wax covering his entire genital area…]

              • Dude, predator.

                He would no more have pushed it on someone who didn’t have a chink in her wall than a wolf would attack a healthy bison, rather than a weak one.

                Any feminine waxer whose attitude suggested “sure, I’ll “Brazilian wax” you to the point you actually look like a chick” would be INSTANTLY dropped by the predator.

              • Apparently, from chatter passed on to me, the women waxing salons in Thailand will give a transgender with male genitals a female waxing if asked.

                And yes, there’s damage. They wanted a *female* style waxing, after all. *rrrrrrrrrriiiipp!*

                • From my experience with predators (basically, the folks who targeted folks like my sister) the serious ones won’t go to anybody who will actually DO anything.

                  It’s like looking at bullies and expecting them to pursue action against targets who will punch them in the nose.

            • BLAIRE WHITE doesn’t think Yaniv’s a trans woman, though she does afford Yaniv the courtesy of “Jessica.” Blaire pointed out among other things that gender dysphoric people are UNCOMFORTABLE with their genitalia, and hence don’t like unnecessarily showing them to strangers.

              Of course, Blaire might simply be over-generalizing from her own example.

              • Hey, Jordan, long time no see!

                No, I would agree actually with Blaire, simply from people who don’t like physical features they possess – they minimize calling attention to those things, they don’t flaunt them. So Blaire’s point has basis in examples from other people that aren’t transgender. It’s a simple human reaction.

    • Yep. And there aren’t many of them. The ones who are, too, how much of it is a reaction to the left by people with no intellectual chops to think of any other opposition.

  3. Steve Kreitler

    I often listen to The Press Pool on Sirius/XM (channel 124, 3:00 eastern), which consists of a DC reporter interviewing (mostly) other DC reporters. It’s a real education. I encourage everyone to listen to it. The Host, Julie Mason is actually pretty good as a radio host. It amuses me that she claims to be nothing but a neutral journalist, while completely supporting the current perceived wisdom in the mainstream media.

    • she claims to be nothing but a neutral journalist, while completely supporting the current perceived wisdom in the mainstream media.

      “Neutral” can mean she merely flows with the current.

      • And in her media-employed DC bubble, she probably is actually roughly centered.

        The fact that this places her waaaaay over to one side of the distribution of actual ‘mercuns is outside her ken.

  4. This is not at all apropos of today’s topic, but I am compelled to share it:

    Sarah, have fun trying to believe this, but last night I dreamed about the release of Monster Hunter: Guardian, that I was invited to a big all-day celebration you and Larry Correia and families hosted somewhere in the great Western mountains … except that you and Larry were also Owen and Julie, and MHI was of course real … and during the karaoke party, someone put on possibly my all-time favorite Utterly Obscure Non-Hit Song, “Ship of Fools” by John Cale (from the album “Fear”), and I was finally inspired to sing in front of the whole gang. I have absolutely not the slightest clue as to what any of this might mean, but I include the song here just for the heck of it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGPC-ZKrrtY

      • Dear (Time) Lord, NO! DON’T BLINK!

        Don’t ever blink! That’s how the Weeping Angels get … oh. OH! NOW I See!

        • Don’t look it in the eyes either! That’s how they get into your head! Literally!

          • I’ e often wondered, considering their resemblance to mediocre sculptures, what would happen in one took a sledgehammer to one.

            Has that been cover in Canon? I’m only a casual Who watcher…

            • Honestly, no idea. Little Brother was the dedicate Whovian. I enjoyed it, but never really got into it like he did. And both of us kinda lost interest when Peter Capaldi became The Doctor.

              • I liked the previous two more, I admit, but Capaldi did turn in some good shows. As for the new one, I have to admit I’m of divided mind. On the one hand, in this day and age the casting of a female in a role with a long history of being male is suspicious. OTOH, given the extent of the changes that happen under regeneration, it’s a twist I’m kinda surprised hasn’t been done before.

                Haven’t seen any of the first season of her, so can’t judge how well it’s worked. All the arguments I’ve seen from both sides strike me as boiling down to “we need diversity!” and “The Doctor has always been!”, neither of which deals with the crucial matter of story.

                • The non-dumbass feedback I’ve heard on the news Doctor is that she’s great actress, but the majority of the season’s scripts have ranged from bad to downright terrible.

                • Joanna Lumley was *already* “the female Doctor” in “The Curse of the Fatal Death” in 1999. There’s argument over whether it should be considered canon, but it was written by Steve Moffatt and made by the Beeb, so that’s official enough for me…

                • The female Doctor thing was done pretty well by the Seattle fanvids. What they learned was that, as long as they kept the story good and Whovian, and had the Doctor do doctorish things, nobody in fandom really cared. (Especially since they had a really good actress, who took her role reasonably seriously.) The first episode, where they kept going “Look at the female Doctor doing girly things!” was the least successful.

                  Unfortunately, the BBC was not smart enough to take lessons from Joanne Lumley or the Seattle lot.

                • Amsel, Matthew

                  The writing has been awful

            • GAH! “dedicated Whovian! Why can I not spell anymore?!

      • You are now truly famous. Starring in people’s nightmares

    • No, I totally believe you. I get weirdass super realistic vivid dreams like that too.

      In serial format.

      I hate my brain sometimes.

      • I am SO GLAD that the serial nighmares quit, though.

        • For now, anyway. I have a weird serial dream where I’m a roughly 40 year old detective (Sort of resemble Robert Stack, but with a heavy Brooklyn accent) investigating a serial killer in a small town. The last ‘episode’ I have is my visiting an abandoned house where this local homeless guy is known to be. (This guy is well known and nice, per the townsfolk – he helps maintain several abandoned homes in exchange for being allowed to stay in them and telling someone in the local government where he is; and the townsfolk give him food and such in exchange; and he was also helping clean out a hoarder’s home during the time of three of the murders, so he isn’t a suspect). It’s a full moon, the house is in a wooded area, and it’s late autumn because the trees are bare, my partner offers to get the food a local diner asked us to pass on from the back of the car as I get out. (The car is a 1976 Dodge Challenger, which I knew in the dream but RL I don’t know much about cars. o.O) I walk up the porch steps, knock on the door and it swings open; the house is dark (expected; there’s no electricity, apparently) call out the guy’s name and step inside. I get jumped just as I walk past the stairs and into the hallway. Then I wake up.

  5. > The traditional scapegoat of cultures in crisis is the Jews. We’re already seeing that on the left, whose ghost dance is turning more and more anti-semitic.

    The Far Right raves about the Great Jewish Conspiracy as a matter of policy. Which was why I was so surprised to see the Far Left take up the banner as well.

    I don’t know what it is about it that sets the crazies to howling. Maybe it’s just traditional…

    • Its because the Left and the Right are two sides of the same State Control manure pile, that’s why. Its a model that requires a whipping boy, because The State can’t admit it when they fuck up. Blaming the Jooooos!!! is really easy, because of the long history of other assholes blaming them in the past.

      It is really nice of these clowns to self-identify like this though, I must say. Makes it easier to boycott the hell out of them. None of them get my money or my vote, that’s for sure.

      • “Political tags — such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth — are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.” Robert Heinlein (I believe it’s a Lazarus Long quote, but it’s been a while since I read whatever book it’s from)

        • I think I may have figured out why that quote bugs me so much– it totally bypasses the problem that a lot of people want the results of controlling people.

          You know, like “not being murdered because that guy over there liked my stuff” and “going around while small and female but not being assaulted.”

          And I’ve got a heck of a twitch about folks putting those who cross a desire, no matter how unjust that desire is, being put in the “want to control people” group.

          When it would be more consistent to view control as a means to an end vs an end in itself. (Kind of like how I don’t want to shoot anybody, but I will.)

    • A-hem. Could you please describe the methodology by which you determined that these believers in the Great Jewish Conspiracy were, you know… Actually “Far Right”? Because, oddly enough, the people who I’ve run into that were supposedly “right wing and anti-semite” are almost always the same people who’re espousing for things that are normally identified as “left-wing”, like socialism (for whites, only, of course…) and all the rest?

      I honestly have not ever run into anyone who I’d define as “Far Right” who was anti-semitic, except that they were against most of the popular desired policies of the left, which is mostly Jewish in a lot of places, so that got them labeled as “anti-semitic”.

      I think that if you actually examine a lot of the details of the things these people believe, you’ll find that defining them as “Far Right” is inaccurate as hell; they’re actually only somewhat further to the right than the nuttier left-wingers, and their idea of statist control and economic management is quite of a piece with the ideals of the left. You look at the the KKK, for example, and they’re basically left-wing populist socialists whose sole claim to “right-wing” anything is that supposedly right-wing idea about “racial exclusion”, which is another damn thing that’s more left-wing than right…

      The folks who call themselves something are often either lying or delusional. You go dig into their ideas, their policies, their intended programs, and what you’ll find is that the majority of them are not what they say they are, and often aren’t even what they think of themselves as.

      I got into it, once, with a guy who said he was a “true conservative”. Thing was, he was advocating for a level of government control and intrusion that would have made Mao or Pol Pot blush, and while he said “I’m no left-wing socialist POS…”, the reality was that most of what he wanted, like subsidies for farmers and specific industries, were purely socialistic.

      So… Were these people raving about the “Great Jewish Conspiracy” really “Far Right”, or did they just say they were?

      The other thing about this is that the Left has done such a great job of propagandizing over the race issue that everyone automatically assumes “anti-semite=right wing”, when it’s spread out everywhere pretty much regardless of political bent. The nastiest ones I’ve run into, lately, have all been on the left. The right’s anti-semites are pretty much “live-and-let-live, but disapprove…”, while the left would love to march with the Palestinians as they drive the Jews into the sea.

      • This is, I think, largely another artifact of the difference between US conservatism and the European throne-and-altar model of conservatism. Conservatism in these United States has generally been what used to be called “liberalism,” well summed up in the pithy slogan “Free minds and free markets,” while the Euro version valorized feudal arrangements, and the good ol’ days when blood would out and every man knew his permanent and rightful place in the Great Chain of Being. There was very little place in that arrangement for Jews, for many “reasons” (not to mention Gypsies and, interestingly, actors; I’m sure you could think of a few more).

        David Nirenberg has made an irrefutable case for the Jews being the perfect “Other” for the entire sweep of Western culture (and Islam) since at least the Hellenistic period, with very little need for attention to any actual Jewish cultural content; e.g., for both the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation, Jews were condemned for materialism/atheism, while for the Enlightenment thinkers Jews were a handy synecdoche for theocracy/superstition. https://www.amazon.com/Anti-Judaism-Western-Tradition-David-Nirenberg-ebook/dp/B0083JCC24/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1A4D1NN21CWPE&keywords=anti-judaism+the+western+tradition&qid=1565197208&s=books&sprefix=anti-j%2Caps%2C154&sr=1-1
        Here it is for free: https://www.worldcat.org/title/anti-judaism-the-western-tradition/oclc/875001766&referer=brief_results

      • I just spent 25 minutes composing a response to this, and WordPress enjoyed it as a light snack. Oh, for the Love of Life Orchestra. I’ll try again while I’m still on lunchtime:

        This has to do largely with (IMO) the confusion as to what is meant by “conservatism” or “the right wing.” American conservatism is generally what used to be called “liberalism,” summed up pithily in the slogan “Free minds and free markets.” Euro conservatism is of the throne-and-altar school, involving nostalgia for feudal arrangements, the good ol’ days when blood would out, and every man knew his rightful, permanent place in the Great Chain of Being. Those social arrangements had little place for, and indeed were threatened by, groups that didn’t slot in neatly: the Jews, Gypsies, and even actors (you probably could think of more). “Right-wing,” of course, covers anything opposed to the project of totalitarian Leftist collectivism.
        David Nirenberg’s book Anti-Judaism: The Western Tradition (available at Amazon, Better World Books, and your local public library consortium) makes an irrefutable case that since at least the Hellenistic period, “The Joooos” have served as a handy synecdoche for anything any cultural movement or moment feared or opposed, regardless of obvious contradictions; e.g., while the Enlightenment thinkers despised the Jews for their religiosity/superstition, the Counter-Reformation did the same for the Jews’ materialism/atheism. As the song goes, you can’t win, you can’t break even, and you can’t get out of the game ….

        • Which just reinforces the point that I’m making, which is that the “conservative anti-semite” is a straw man that really isn’t a conservative, but more a class-based creature of the establishment.

          I’ve met both varieties, and I don’t think that the people who get ascribed to “conservatism” and who are anti-semites are generally really what should be thought of as “conservatives”. They’re all big-government establishment types, who are really only a notch away from their big-government leftist peers–It’s just a question of who they want the government to benefit, by class. The left sees themselves as being selflessly “looking out for the little guy” by building all these vast structures that happen to be staffed by leftists, who get paid big money by the state, and the establishment types who are seen as conservative are wanting the same thing, just for themselves in the establishment and those who are the “right sort”.

          The actual small-government “far right” conservative, though? The guy who’s a self-made man, and who just wants to be left the hell alone? I don’t think I’ve ever run into one of those who espouses anti-semitic BS, at all. They’re mostly curious about Jews and their beliefs, and vaguely supportive, because they see the self-made Jew as a compatriot. They are generally against the usual left-wing activist Jew, but that’s usually more a function of ideology than anti-semitism.

          So, I’m very suspicious of this construct of “Far Right Anti-Semitism”. I think that when it’s examined, what will be found is that it’s “Establishment Anti-Semitism”, because most of the people who’re espousing the anti-semitic line are not actually “of the right”, when you go and look at their beliefs and policies. It’s mostly all self-interest, and outright “socialism for the upper-class establishment”.

          Of course, not being someone who’s lived among the upper-class Eastern “Conservatives”, maybe I just haven’t encountered it. The Western US is a different cultural matrix than what the people saying this have experienced.

          • > mostly curious about Jews

            Like the T-shirt says:

            JUDAISM!
            good enough for
            JESUS!
            good enough for
            YOU!

            • Gimme that old time religion . . .

              • analytical-engine-mechanic

                Okay, now, in addition to highly amusing this is all getting downright eerie…

                In a story I’m working on there is a rabbi who was raised in a culturally Jewish but firmly atheist family, had to reject that in favor of Christianity, then went on to convert (back??) to Judaism and study intensively in its oral traditions, after a significant (let’s just say) experience at the Western Wall. (And I really would have to guess, from what I know now, that such a life story *is* religiously and institutionally possible. If maybe only barely.)

                The words of his mentor at the (Southern Baptist!) seminary were *very* much like these: “Maybe I shouldn’t say this, David, and I’ll probably deny it if anyone ever asks; but I truly think you ought to go whole hog and get back to the real old-time religion. And I mean by that the one Our Lord was raised in as a carpenter’s son somewhere around Nazareth…”

                (Raw, pure coincidence? Blame it on the zeitgiest..?)

                Rabbi Schwartz also had some interesting things to say about his parents’ secular religion, a.k.a. NYC-trendy-leftism. “If you add up the body count of the Prophet Marx and his apostles Stalin, Lenin, Mao, Pol Pot, Castro, Mugabe, and so forth, you get something like 100 million. If you could somehow stack them end to end, let’s say 1000 to the mile for round numbers, then the trail of Marxist dead would reach almost halfway to the Moon. By contrast, Adolf Hitler’s pile of dead, 6000 miles for 6 million Jews, etc., wouldn’t even cross the Van Allen belts, much less make it to geosynchronous orbit.

                Hitler was a monster, sure. But by Marx’s standards he was also a piker.”

                • Bear in mind that Temple Judaism was not the same as post-Temple Judaism. The Talmud apparently spends a lot of time on some rabbi who insisted that it would be better to go back to pre-Temple Judaism than to totally remake everything on nothing but what he saw as rabbinical ideas/feelings and not copying the Christian offshoot guys, and on the other opposition, the Jews outside Israel who had all kinds of “normal stuff to do when you can’t get to the Temple for years and years.” The one rabbi guy got shunned and basically excommunicated for having an argument irrefutable enough that he wouldn’t go along with everybody else. And there are other untidy corners.

                  Anyhoo… the thing that is pretty popular right now, with Catholic folks like Brant Pitre and Steven C. Smith, and various folks in the Protestant and Jewish worlds, is looking at what Jewish stuff Jesus’ apostles and disciples would have understood or expected, and that was then forgotten or swept under the rug in post-Temple times. There are a lot of “obvious” references sitting out in plain sight, in the NT, that we tend to look right past or not get. Often, getting explicit references to this stuff in materials outside the Bible is very helpful for understanding why St. Bob was so insistent about X verse being about Y, even though he didn’t explain his reasoning.

                  Of course, there are also a lot of wacked out people researching this stuff, so handle with care.

                  • I’m not saying there’s discontinuity between Temple and post-Temple Judaism, mind you, or that those involved were acting in bad faith. I’m saying that there’s as much argument for saying that Judaism is an offshoot of “what Jewish guys were doing back then” as Christianity is.

                    • BobtheRegisterredFool

                      So, ‘modern Judaism as heresy of Judaism from a certain historical period’, akin to ‘Christianity as heresy of Judaism’, ‘Islam as heresy of Christianity’, and ‘Socialism as heresy of Christianity’?

                    • Everything is *someone’s* heresy.

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            Two things.

            One, a lot of the theorists of conservative ideology, especially of the saner flavors, are married and middle aged or older. Wives influence husbands, and can do so for the worst. See folks like Torvalds, who seems to have been professionally destroyed, because of choice of spouse, and how the children were raised. The theorists may thus shy away from doing the thinking that would provide sensible answers to the problems of angry unmarried young men. Leaving a vacuum to be filled by whatever nonsense is floating around.

            Secondly, tolerance of Jews is probably dependent on the broader compromise of mutual tolerance that underpins American culture. That compromise may be breaking down. If it fails entirely, we would expect to see quite a lot of ugliness towards just about everyone from everywhere.

            • Torvalds? Destroyed? You mean they TRIED to, and failed horribly.

              • BobtheRegisterredFool

                Hasn’t he withdrawn from administering patches to the Linux kernal? Has something new come up in the half-quarter year I haven’t been following Armed and Dangerous?

                • He’s back, but I’m still leery.

                  There are a lot of eyes on the kernel; IBM makes it available across much of its product line, and the governments of several countries use it for their bureaucratic and military systems, including Germany, China, and Russia.

                  FreeBSD and Illumos both run on my hardware, and I considered making the jump, but the codebases don’t have as many people with skin in the game keeping a suspicious eye on them. For the moment, I’m staying with Linux.

                  The real vulnerabilities are in the external code, some of it going all the way back to Berkeley BSD, that forms the non-kernel parts of the operating system. The GNU bits and other “standard utilities” are a much larger attack face, plus the web browsers, KDE, Gnome, and the other desktops. Firefox is bigger than a full install of Windows 95; 40Mb vs. 35Mb, and it’s a steaming pile of spaghetti code all the way back to Mosaic. Nobody knows what’s going on in there…

                  And, considering 99% of all processors made in the last ten years are backdoored in hardware, plus the machines with backdoored chipsets and BIOS, a kernel exploit isn’t all that valuable any more. At least until the new Russian and Chinese CPUs and chipsets get into production.

                  Yeah, those will probably be backdoored too, which will increase the attack face even more…

                  I’m paranoid enough I keep an older machine in working order, one that doesn’t have any (publicly known) hardware vulnerabilities (at least through the network interface), but I wouldn’t need networking anyway, since most of the hardware backbone of the internet is running on backdoored processors…

                  All it’ll take is one script kiddy getting the password for the “management engine” for Intel, AMD, or one of the ARM CPUs, and they’ll brick everything vulnerable, just because they’re shitweasel vandals.

                  “People think the government makes it its business to closely monitor the lives of its citizens. In actuality, the government just does it as a hobby.”

                  • “I’m paranoid enough I keep an older machine in working order, one that doesn’t have any (publicly known) hardware vulnerabilities (at least through the network interface),”

                    That’s not paranoia, that’s common sense. I keep two or three in case the first one breaks.

                    Intel could easily break everything in the world by accident. That’s more likely than enemy action, IMHO.

          • They are generally against the usual left-wing activist Jew, but that’s usually more a function of ideology than anti-semitism.

            Can’t remember where I stole this …
            “What’s the difference between a left-wing Jew and Donald Trump?”
            “Donald Trump has Jewish grandchildren.”

        • The canary in the mine.

        • I will warn that the other side says that “Right Wing” means people who want to keep the established class and privilege structure vs. “Left Wing” who wants a more equitable society. A lot of dictionaries define “Left Wing” as pro-socialist while “Right Wing” is merely anyone opposed to the Left Wing, making everyone from Libertatians to Monarchists to Theocrats to Anarchists all as Right Wing. Allowing someone to ascribe ANY belief other than Socialism as a Right Wing belief, even some nut job working for a return of the Pharaohs from their mummified slumber to rule us from their harmonically levitated flying pyramids.

      • As I understand it, ‘Right wing’ and ‘Left wing’ trace their origins to the seating arrangements in the French Senate and National Assembly, circa the French Revolution. Their applicability to any other political body – or even to French politics too far removed in time – is questionable at best.

        It is tempting to suggest that the confusion attendant upon the terminology being applied to American politics is a deep conspiracy laid by the Progressives to disguise the fact that, like the Confederate Democrats and Copperheads that came before them, they are deeply racist, contemptuous of the working class, arrogant about their intellect (with scant reason), and fundamentally against human rights for anyone but their wonderful selves.

        But the plain fact is that it is MUCH more likely a product of flabby thinking.

      • Thus we find our Fascist ‘Anti-Fa’ and our socialist ‘Anarchists’. Though of course in the latter case the State will wither away, eventually . . .

      • *nod*

        I’ve met one guy who was right-wing in any way– mostly in a ‘leave me alone’ form– who believed in the Great Jewish Conspiracy, and he had no issue with anybody who was JEWISH, because if you’re in the Navy then clearly you’re not involved in The Conspiracy.

        (So it was more like he believed in some kind of conspiracy-of-some-Jewish-guys, which sounds more like a variation on the Masons. Who did do conspiracies sometimes, including part of the planning for our country’s formation….)

    • Because most of the people who claim to be far right are in fact so far left they wrapped around.

  6. I’m constantly frustrated by the refusal of people to THINK about things. Currently, this week, the big noise is mass-shootings and gun control.

    I happen to know a little bit about that. I read ALL the gun control “science” in the medical literature and most of the criminology lit as well. My take is supported by no less than the National Academy of Science meta-analysis of the literature, which found that “more research was needed.”

    Because its all balderdash printed to support a political faction. It is obviously balderdash as well. Like nose-on-your-face obvious.

    But then I keep seeing the equally idiotic claim from some Righties that black people are to blame for it all. And really, they’re not.

    Because when you LOOK at what is happening and where, in a reasonable fashion, you discover that half the violent crime is concentrated in very small parts of major US cities.

    Availability of firearms does not explain this distribution. Racial demographics equally does not explain the distribution.

    But no one cares that those theories are hilariously wrong, they just keep pushing them harder and harder. Because public safety is not a thing most people care about, apparently, and neither is racial equality. Both are pawns in a factional chess game.

    So really, the important take-home from the gun/race debate is that pretty much everything you see on television from -both- sides is horse shit, and you are being used as a pawn in someone else’s game. You’re not playing the game, you are a game piece.

    So if you want your freedom and you’re tired of being shoved from one place to another, maybe try examining some of those dearly held beliefs and see if they conform to Reality ™ or if its just a fucking fairy tale somebody thought up to keep you working and paying your taxes.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      Mass murder of blacks is a rational response to the critique that the existing criminal justice system is not scientific. Rational, but not sane. The reasoning goes that punishing individuals for specific instances of a crime is inherently impossible to test by replication, hence impossible to be considered scientific. However, if you completely restructure how you think of crimes and punishments, you could apply the methods of Stroop and Treblinka to these high crime areas. Potentially replicable. Possibly scientific, but anyone with an ounce of common sense can work out that it would fail in several purposes of a code of laws. Given the ratio of murders caused to prevented, utterly insane.

      • Somehow, all attempts to apply so-called scientific thinking to human interactions strike me as highly likely to trample human rights as a rhinoceros tramples grass. That specifically applies to Urban Planning, which is based on the conceit that the planners will know what the public will want decades in the future. The history of Urban Planning strongly suggests that the very brightest of the Planners have difficulties divining what the Public will want this afternoon, much less nest month.

        The fondness of the Progressives for Urban Planning is, to my mind, one of the clearest indications that the majority of them are aggressively clueless. The remainder are swine.

    • > I’m constantly frustrated by the refusal of people to THINK about things.

      I spent 11-1/2 years incarcerated in a place where they TOLD you what to think, and anything else was badthink, and ridiculed or punished. And that was 1960s-1970s; I expect it’s a lot worse now.

      Now “authority figures” are telling them what to think, which is exactly how they were programmed through their entire childhood. It’s not surprising many of them follow along.

      • You and I escaped; but even we carry those scars…

      • They told you what to believe (or at least parrot back). I suspect actual thinking was discouraged.

        “The problem isn’t that Johnny can’t read, or even that Johnny can’t think. The problem is that Johnny doesn’t know what thinking is and confuses it with feeling.” Thomas Sowell (paraphrased from memory)

        • They’re actually trained not to “bad think” which means they have routines (like being “triggered”) to avoid thinking. The distress that leads them to think dissenting opinions are assault or even lethal is the traps put in by the indoctrinators to stop them ever considering their beliefs in the light of reason.

          • The problem is, once you start thinking, actually thinking, there’s no way to be sure it won’t go in directions of “badthink”. The only “solution”, then is to avoid thinking and just mindlessly repeat the Political Truth (“Pravda” is a great term for that, although too many of the younger folk will not get its significance).

            That’s also why in cases of disagreement the left immediately goes for attacking the motive (“ist” and “phobic” featuring prominently here) rather than the factual basis–a fact based argument might go against you but one based on motive, where merely making the accusation is all the evidence you need? That’s a whole other ballgame.

            • Ox head hurt again.

              • Ox needs to stop butting head against immovable objects, such as Leftish Group Think (which is to actual thought as Social Justice is to true Justice.)

            • “He gazed up at the enormous face. Forty years it had taken him to learn what kind of smile was hidden beneath the dark moustache. O cruel, needless misunderstanding! O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving breast! Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of his nose. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.”

              • The thing is, I don’t believe in a State that can maintain the level of oppression described in 1984 for forty years without a vigorous and vitally necessary Black Market underworld strong enough that the Security Police (or whatever Orwell called them) take on rarely and with great caution. The only people in the USSR who didn’t KNOW that there was a secondary structure keeping the State afloat were too dump to pour piss out of a jackboot.

                Orwell was scared of the Totalitarian State he saw growing. He didn’t realize that it was borderline too incompetent to grow wheat or make shoed.

                • He didn’t realize that it was borderline too incompetent to grow wheat or make shoe[s].

                  Orwell was at a disadvantage: his only experience was with Communism in its early stages, before the cumulative incompetence had truly set in. Early stage Communism typically occurs in societies so disrupted that any central plan produces improvement simply by elimination of infighting, existing corruption and maldistribution of resources. Redistribution of wealth also produces a temporary balm for the body politic. There is also the control of propaganda organs and the benefits of stealing technology (which also benefits non-communist states*). We see in Venezuela how the early phases of Communism produce apparent growth, like steroids in a weightlifter, before the withered testicles of party incompetence and corruption are detected.

                  *When Japan Inc. was growing much faster than America’s industries it was in part because they could adopt techniques and strategies already developed in America, with the bugs worked out — it is at the cutting edge of productivity growth, where false starts and tapped out veins are found, that increasing productivity growth is a serious challenge.

                • Orwell still believed that Socialism meant prosperity and plenty. The war was to use up all the products.

                • The Black Market would exist but the State would run it. There is nothing incompatible with this. The State knowing that such a structure will always form, takes it over and provides the needed services BUT with CONTROL. They can SEE the trouble makers sooner and co-opt or eliminate them. The BIG BROTHER government would do this.

                  • No, the state wouldn’t.
                    You’re grossly OVERESTIMATING the competency of these people.
                    When people are hired ONLY for compliance/parroting of the cause, competency falls through the floor. Look at Hollywood for a sample.
                    The idea that the State would be competent enough to do this, and actually pay attention to what people need, etc. Is mind boggling.
                    Note this never happened in ANY communist state.

      • I spent 18 years on such a place. It was called Los Angeles County.

    • “that half the violent crime is concentrated in very small parts of major US cities.”

      That’s because that’s were the demons make their lairs. From their secure positions, they send out their malevolent mental influence, whispering into the minds of those most susceptible to corruption. Feeding on the fears and angers generated by their usually unsuspecting minions.

      Sounds like an intro to a horror story. Oh wait, it IS the intro into a horror story, and we’re living it.

      • That is a fricking cool idea, Mike. I’m going to work with that a little. Currently WIP is about to mangle some drug cartel a-holes, there’s already some demons and a certain evil magic book involved.

        Cartel goons vs. Gruesome Mary. Hotrod-flamed, fusion powered robot scorpion. She’s a Fury, infantry support for a Valkyrie. Who’s lurking nearby. You can probably guess how that’s going to go.

        • Hmmmmmm … what if, the way drugs work is that they “open people up” — make them susceptible to demonic possession, or at least manipulation?

          Look, I’m not particularly proud of it but in my (insufficiently) mis-spent youth I did LSD, peyote, ‘shrooms and cannot deny they increase gullibility by a factor of several decimal places. If you don’t think those drugs incite people to believing the improbable, explain why so many people were fans of the Grateful Dead.

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            Yeah, I’ve long considered this a go to world building option. Lots of fun adjacent ideas.

            Like what if chemical intervention changes capabilities for magical power. Like, perhaps smoking tobacco is good for combat mages. Suppose that a mixture of two compounds was necessary to make many of the necromancy or demonology rituals of the ancient world work. And that one vegetable source was lost from the New World, and the other from the Old World. (IIRC, this was inspired by an article about finding traces of Coca or active ingredient in an object from Ancient Egypt.)

            • Smoking tobacco repels mosquitoes (who were a far more likely cause of death in our pre-antibiotic days than was cancer) so it is possible that smoking cigarettes could keep certain demons away. it would tie into the use of incense when spell-casting, summoning demons or invoking powers.

              Yes, there are indeed possibilities there. back when I was studying cultural anthropology I was fascinated to learn that “Anglo” visitors to South American tribes experienced identical hallucinatory visions following ingesting of local powders, suggesting the imagery was not culture induced. I figured the psychoactive drugs affected the visual range in some way, such as shifting into infrared, making air currents visible, but what if …

            • I use that in the Familiars books. Magic users are much, much more sensitive to any chemical that bends how you understand reality – pot, LSD, K2, meth – with even less predictable results.

          • The (entirely made-up) cosmology I’m working from has demons, but they can’t get here from there. A demon can’t posses a live human, the demon will burn on contact like a vampire in the sun. They need a human to open a gate from this side, and give them a body to use as well.

            Historically there were two exceptions where the bastards managed to crawl in on their own. The first was 8000 years ago in the Gobi desert. Files are unclear on what happened to that one, although radioactive traces suggest orbital particle beam weapons may have played a role. The second was around 2000 some-odd years ago by the Mediterranean, that one was seen off by a young carpenter on the side of the road.

            Two demons in only 8000 years is viewed as a serious matter by the people who look after things like that. Because if one gets in, it can let more in after it.

            If there were something that made people susceptible, then it makes it about the demons. I’m more about making the -human- choose. So the demons can only whisper, and only under special Unobtanium conditions. Humans have to do the work to let them in, and its very close to impossible. Otherwise there’d be one every week.

          • I like the fairy tale; I’m not so familiar with the band

    • Sadly, too often when people do think things through they start with crazy assumptions, such as “all misbehaviour is evenly distributed across race/ethnic/religious groups. Which leads to such nonsense “schools are racist for not disciplining all groups in perfect proportion to their distribution in classrooms.” Or “Police are racist.” People! Your “disparate impact” calculations are doo-doo, they’re ca-ca, worthless drechlichkeit! They are based on a false presumption, that all people exhibit the same behaviours — which is directly contradictory to your “Diversity is Strength” narrative. Holding two mutually opposed concepts at the same time rots your brain, folks. STOP it!

      Why ‘policing is racist’ is such a poisonous lie
      By Heather Mac Donald
      The Democratic candidates have revived the anti-police rhetoric of the Obama years. Joe Biden’s criminal-justice plan promises that black parents will no longer have to fear when their children walk the streets — the threat allegedly coming from cops, not gangbangers. Pete Buttigieg has said police shootings of black men won’t be solved “until we move policing out from the shadow of systemic racism.” Beto O’Rourke claims that police shoot blacks “solely based on the color of their skin.”

      A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences demolishes the Democratic narrative regarding race and police shootings. It turns out that white officers are no more likely than black or Hispanic officers to shoot black civilians. It is a racial group’s rate of violent crime that determines police shootings, not the race of the officer. The more frequently officers encounter violent suspects from any given racial group, the greater the chance that members of that racial group will be shot by a police officer.

      In fact, if there is a bias in police shootings after crime rates are taken into account, it is against white civilians, the study found. …

    • It’s hard not to look at all these things, which are now adding up to the state of the world we live in, and wonder if there has not been something or someone lurking in the background, quietly encouraging folly to some end.

      You look at it, and there are just too many seemingly convenient and unfortunate “coincidences” that have worked together to create social chaos. You don’t want to say “Conspiracy”, but… Jeez. There’s a lot of things arguing for something that looks a lot like “conspiracy”, because there’s too much in the way of interlocking events, trends, and convenient “happenstance” that’s worked out to create an entirely inimical set of results.

      Once is misfortune, twice is coincidence, and three times? That’s likely enemy action. Go back to the 1950s, and run forward through society’s changes: Have any of them truly been beneficial? Have more than a few worked to any overall positive changes in things?

      Particularly when you look at the mental health, legal, and social systems in the cities. See any real improvement, anywhere? Especially where the Democrats run things? How is it that every single city they’ve had under their control for the last hundred years has turned to sh*t? There’s not a single exception to that rule; everywhere that there is a Democrat, there is misrule. And, nobody ever points that out, or calls out the politicians for doing what they did.

      Yeah, I don’t know who would be behind it, or where it meets, but you tell me it’s a conspiracy, and I’m going to at least listen. There’s too much out there in the way of “coincidence” for anyone to be able to deny that there isn’t at least an outline of such a thing in the event trail.

      • *cough*
        Screwtape
        *cough*

        • I was going to suggest Old Scratch, but yes. That is one ‘centuries old conspiracy’ that doesn’t rely on the difficulty of humans keeping a secret.

      • This guy aggregates a lot of news stories in support of that basic idea: https://www.anonymousconservative.com/blog/

        I don’t agree with everything he asserts, but he makes a very strong case for some of it.

        “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.”

        • That is a site that I think should probably be read by Huns, for the r/K theory if nothing else.

          And THIS is a post that readers of that site should definitely read.

      • “Conspiracy” implicitly entails a directing agent or agency. There is a tide in the affairs of men …

        I find weltanschauung more aptly offers an understanding of how the forces interplay; there are viruses of thought that drive us like lemmings into the abyss.

        If it were merely “conspiracy” there would be a cabal we could eliminate.

    • “that half the violent crime is concentrated in very small parts of major US cities.”

      A significant proportion of the violent crime is ALWAYS concentrated in small sections of whatever major cities there are, no? I mean, during a period when guns were sufficiently expensive that ONE New York gang was notorious because they had one (The Dead Rabbits) a single block of Hell’s Kitchen averaged a murder a night for a whole year (Ok, I got that from a Time-Life book of history, but I think I’ve seen it referenced elsewhere).

      It doesn’t seem to matter whether the ‘bad’ sections are full of Blacks, Hispanics, of Irish. Most violent crime happens in slums.

      • Oh, and I’m not making the ‘if we just lifted these poor souls out of poverty, they would be angels’ argument. A lot of the violent criminals are poor because that kind of crime is usually a bad way to make money. It’s inconsistent, it attracts attention that makes it hard to pull off regularly, it makes enemies.

        *shrug*

        • You’re saying that crime and poverty are products of dysfunctional cultures and people’s irresponsibility?

          That’s raaaaacisssss.

          • I’m saying that most career criminals could live better by becoming CPAs, and that the violent ones are dumb enough to be stuck in whatever rotting neighborhood hasn’t yet attracted gentrification. Nobody makes a good living as a rough-off artist. OK, brown losers probably stick with brown losers, and White Trash with White Trash.

            The racial aspect kicks in when the power structure has a vested interest in keeping a population from rising, as the Democrats have with the Blacks. I’m sure most Democrats – even most Democrat politicians – don’t think of it that way, but they have a deep seated drive to push people around, and somehow their benevolent Planning always involves a lot of petty regulation. Make it difficult to earn your way out of the slum, and the threshold of smarts needed to get out rises, as does the gumption. Democrat cities are cess pools of violent crime because to make it WITHOUT being a criminal is a higher bar. And the absariin of not making it wears people down to the ‘fuck it, I’m gonna stab somebody so I can get high’ stage.

            Kill most occupational licensing, and people with simple, if un-certificated, skills will climb. But no. If there isn’t a regulation for everything, people might get up to all KINDS of un-taxable naughtiness. And that would be Truly Awful.

            I’m so glad to see some of that being challenged.

        • That’s one of the reasons why I have troubles with a thieves guild operating out of any municipality in a fantasy/semi-hystorical setting. Most towns and cities were so small, everyone knew everybody and it just wasn’t possible to disappear into a crowd or fence your ill-gotten gains. Highwaymen and other bandit varieties on the other hand, didn’t operate inside cities

          • The ones that make more sense– though still not much–are the ones wehre you sell to the guild, and it gets moved out of town so nobody catches you.

          • Most fantasies with thieves’ guilds have veneer of medieval over a modern world. As witness that it’s obvious that the vast majority of women aren’t spending their entire child-bearing years pregnant one year and nursing the next — also known as “replacement rate.”

            • In fairness, the ones with magic, that at least sort of makes sense. More than the “there’s magic, and other than some people throwing fireballs, nothing else has changed.”

              • One of my pet peeves. Magic, to the extent that it is real, reliable (something always happens if you do ritual X), and predictable (it’s the same something), is GOING to simulate the effects of tech advances.

                • It’s going to parallel them, but should not do it exactly.

                  For instance, I read a discussion once about the effects of plentiful “create food” spells in a D&D world. To which my first thought was “tick off the goddess of agriculture, who will make the spells first produce bland food, and then bitter, and finally will stop sending the food.”

                  Then I started to ponder what adventurers could do to atone to use spells instead of the ordinary means, and one was “make a special bag of holding that can only hold food, but amazing amounts, so it can be brought from places/times of plenty to famine-stricken areas.” That would make food transportation against famine A LOT easier.

                  • Simple: she’s not the only one giving spells. The goddess of mercy doesn’t care where the food comes from so long as the hungry are fed.

                    If IBM won’t provide, ask Apple…..

                    “And there was war in Heaven among the angels, the followers of the Apple of Knowledge and the Ibemmeraphim….”

                    The General series, David Drake and S.M. Stirling.

                    • Not her sphere. She can implore the goddess of agriculture for mercy, she can mercifully prove the mortals with means to placate the goddess of agriculture, she can not override her.

                      Even the king of the gods had to give Demeter what she wanted when she put her foot down, because none of them could stop the famine.

                    • This means, of course, that if you think it through, the gods have to have some kind of deal a la Order of the Stick for the clerics of the goddess of mercy to cast create food.

                      Though personally I find the “any cleric can cast just about any spell” to be one of the biggest sacrifices of realism to keeping the players happy with power. My Gamelit world is monotheistic, but clerics have to dedicate themselves to their domains and at least not contradict them (the cleric of liberation can’t cast hold person). And every cleric and beneficiary of clerical magic has to refrain from scorning ordinary means to demand extraordinary, magical means. (The cleric of liberation knows how to pick locks.)

                    • Amsel, Matthew

                      In a D&D type setting, the number of people who can cast even 1st level spells is quite low (it’s just that the stories focus on them, so they seem more plentiful), and they are strictly limited re spells per day. Going up in level means fewer and fewer people (something like 1% of all adventurers hit 6th level).

                    • They do have clerics in every town, though– figure an adventurer is one in a hundred, and one in a hundred makes it to level 6, that’s one in every thousand.

                      It wouldn’t be ubiquitous, but it’s enough to change SOME things.

                      And holy cow…. cantrips. Nuff said.

              • Except that the non-medieval stuff is just the stuff where they aren’t thinking.

                A major — perhaps the major — reason for the decrease in child mortality is nourishment, and the magic worlds go on making transport, except in rare cases that are not statistically significant, by sail, foot, and horse. That’s not going to work in times of famine. You need to get news of famine out, and food in, faster than that.

                • Of course it’s because they aren’t thinking– that doesn’t change if it’s more accurate or not.

                  Really depends on the setting– they’ll have bags of holding, and the only time it touches on how the carts work it’s usually because the guy actually KNOWS a little about it and they now have magically enhanced springs or something similar.

                  Cure disease means that pests don’t hit farms, blessings from clerics mean stuff doesn’t rot as fast, etc.

                  Note, for example, that beef stew is STANDARD as an offering. That…is not historically probable if ag hasn’t been changed.

                  • No, because it’s so spotty that the accuracy in some places only underscores how horrible it is in others.

                    • That depends entirely on what assumptions your making– such as the one you previously stated, that the goddess covering the harvest would be Greek-style offended by casting “create food.”

                    • No, because they make all sorts of basic errors that no amount of assumptions can save.

                    • They disagree with your assumptions.

                      Again, that is not proof of something being wrong.

                      It’s that it doesn’t fit your assumptions.

                      Seriously, you want to insist that in a standard D&D world they’re going to have child mortality on par with our Middle Ages? Even if there’s only one person with Cure Wounds and Cure disease in several villages, that is nuts.

                      Since they clearly want to make a game instead of re-write history from the stone ages up, figuring out at which point each aspect of magic and religious spells came about, and how that would change the world (all while dealing with the wide range of psychology and generally multiple different races), having a short-cut of “looks sort of like the middle ages, but they’ve used that magic to get a lot of the basic nice stuff like not dying frequently and horribly” is not that bad, definitely not as silly as assuming that magic would not change that.

                      Especially since so many of the storylines involve “go use your magic and super fighting powers to avoid the various possible downsides of magic being available, including magical plagues targeting the harvest.”

                    • No, it’s the way they get things wrong that makes they are wrong. Their occasionally correct things only underscore this.

                      They put in social structures that require the same people both to have and to NOT have rapid communications over long distances, for instance.

                    • *dryly* You mean like how I can instantly call my parents halfway across the country– or around the world– but it’s maybe a one in three that they’ll pick up the phone or even get the message?

                      You’ll have to be more precise in your complaint, there.

                    • You need to be more precise about how exactly you managed to read that into what I wrote, because your complaint makes no sense at it stands.

                    • I did not read it in, I gave an example of communications right now that fit your complaint, because the complaint was so vague it made no sense.

                      What social structures? What communication? Did you even try to think of a reason it might be, or as one would guess from your complaints so far, it wasn’t as you would do it so it must be wrong?

                    • Or social structures that assume limited or sporadic communications over long distances….. but that’s very similar to communications technologies from the past or even in the future.

                      Weber’s Bahzellverse is a good example: yes there is the ability to communicate quickly over long distances, whether through magic, psionics, or even faster than normal horses (coursers)…. but the availability / reliability of such communications is iffy, so the social structures are set up with the delegation of authority and responsibility those limited communications make necessary.

                      And these are things that every world builder should consider….. and not nearly enough do.

          • Two exceptions:
            1. Any of the truly large medieval cities, like Constantinople, Alexandria, Paris, etc.

            2. Any place with a large transient population, like busy ports, the sites of trade fairs, major religious centers, and seats of large government entities.

            Usually 1 was a function of 2. Also note that multiple types of 2 would reinforce each other.

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              Nod.

              In a busy port city, there may not be a “thieves guilty” but there will be organized smugglers. 😀

              • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                Grumble Brumble

                That should be “thieves guild” not “thieves guilty”. [Embarrassed Grin]

              • It also depends on how smart the thieves are: the smart ones realize that they are parasites who need to avoid either killing the host or letting the host realize there’s a problem and get rid of it.

    • What was that famous line, folks think that they’re thinking when they’re just re-arranging their biases?

    • But then I keep seeing the equally idiotic claim from some Righties that black people are to blame for it all. And really, they’re not.

      This one, I have to wiggle my hand on.

      Because I think it’s got waaaaay too many variables.

      Yes, folks who identify as black* are disproportionately responsible for gun violence/deaths.

      A better predictor is the person being in a single-parent household in an area where most of the rest of the population they regularly interact with is also single-parent.

      I’ve only seen a few folks, online, who short-cut that to “black.” They are mostly freaking morons who freaking flip out when you introduce concepts like illegal aliens/the cartels and THEIR effect on crime. (Hint: it’s kinda significant, especially if they get expansion-minded and start shooting random black people as possible threats. And yes, that happens, mostly in California that I know of.)

      A more useful breakdown, which we don’t currently have, would be something like “crime related deaths, personal life related deaths, suicides, we have no freaking clue, and oh we’re not sure these are even homicides but they might be.”

      *I’ve mentioned before that we had siblings at my school, whose long-gone father was from the Caribbean; one sibling worked her rump off and did well, she identified as “other” or “mixed”; one was a willfully stupid (breaking into a place that had been closed 4 years to loot the cash register) thug, and identified as “black.”

      • “Yes, folks who identify as black* are disproportionately responsible for gun violence/deaths.”

        Yes, but not when you subtract those “free-fire” zones in large cities like Chicago, Atlanta, LA etc. If you do that then black crime rates are no longer wildly disproportionate. They’re higher than white crime rates, but not amazingly higher. The same as white crime rates are higher than Asian, but not amazingly higher.

        See, the thing that we have been told all these years is that the law is applied equally to all people in all places. The cops say they will arrest a shooter on one street just as fast as another street. If that’s true, then the people in one small section of large cities behave FUNDAMENTALLY DIFFERENTLY from the people who live literally across the street in some cases. And they change when they enter or leave that geographic location, too. Therefore we find one faction blaming race, another blaming guns, and lately there have been the Intersectional idiots blaming toxic masculinity.

        How likely is that?

        That race, or guns, or possession of a Y chromosome will make any random individual five times more likely than normal to commit murder, but only if they enter the free-fire zone? Are there special radioactive spiders on those zones? Lead in the water? PCP dust in the air?

        Is it not much more likely that the law is applied differently in those locations than it is everywhere else? That the government squeebs made a special deal with the gang bangers, and the cops look the other way when there’s a shooting at the corner of Spruce and Bruce, but not at Hollywood and Vine?

        Minions of the government LYING like a bunch of horrible shit-weasels is the most likely scenario, if you ask me.

        • Is it not much more likely that the law is applied differently in those locations than it is everywhere else?

          Or perhaps that police are viewed differently– and for a shock, the intersectional ninnies are the closest of the three idiots you mention, because police can be classified as both a male authority and a cultural threat/opposed culture.

          It’s not that the law is applied differently, it’s that the situation and how people respond to the police attempting to enforce the law will be different.

          You can see the same thing with Seattle’s “homeless” problem, because the police can’t know until AFTER everything is done, if they will be fired for enforcing the law. It depends on how much it upsets the city leadership.

          • “Or perhaps that police are viewed differently– and for a shock, the intersectional ninnies are the closest of the three idiots you mention, because police can be classified as both a male authority and a cultural threat/opposed culture.”

            Possibly, but again that effect would be city-wide, not confined to a tightly bordered ten block zone.

            The truth about the “homeless” thing in Seattle and other warm weather cities is that the cops don’t enforce the law on them at all. Its the same phenomenon. A homeless encampment springs up, and police stop answering calls. So do city inspectors. Local businesses take advantage of the encampment to dump their garbage cheaply.

            All the “culture” rhetoric is a smokescreen to cover for the failure of the city and state government to do their jobs. The reasons for not doing it vary, the fact that there’s a problem because they didn’t do it remains the same.

            • Possibly, but again that effect would be city-wide, not confined to a tightly bordered ten block zone

              ONLY if all examples were all restricted to 1) city officials and 2) the officials aren’t raging racists.

              Both of which, sadly, Seattle fails.

              *******

              . Local businesses take advantage of the encampment to dump their garbage cheaply.

              Not that I’ve seen. Closest is folks not emptying cans they previously did because it is suddenly full in 5 minutes, not 2 days.

  7. Anti-Semitism in the US, over the past 2-3 decades at least, has been largely a matter of the Left, which too many people have refused to see. I now observe it arising in certain portions of what calls itself the Right, as well. I say “calls itself”, because a number of their positions are quite close to the extreme Left: total hostility toward banking & finance (as opposed to rational concern about this industry, for which there is plenty of room), a belief that the US has been on balance an evil force in the world, etc.

    Generally, people with college degrees tend to be more attracted toward the Left, those without, more toward the segment of the self-identified Right I am describing.

    • It’s always been there in certain portions of the right.
      I’ve seen it most often, thought it’s still rare, among tradcons, because they link Jews to capitalism, banking, and the Industrial Revolution that destroyed the Natural Hierarchy of the Feudal Order, and paleocons, because the Jews are the reason we’re involved in the Middle East, because Israel.
      No, it makes little sense to me, either.

      • Traditional Jew-hating, at least on the Right, goes back long before Israel was a nation.

        I suspect (perhaps a small part of it) is that for the people who want to blame their problems on someone else, “the Jews” are still a safe target. Baud forbid you cross today’s lines of “racist”, “anti-immigrant”, “sexist”, or “homophobic” with an insult.

        Since they don’t all have names ending in “-stein” or “-berg” or “look Dru^H^H^H Jewish”, I guess it gives that extra *frisson* of paranoia… Jews could be… anybody, like Leonard Nimoy, or Sammy Davis, Jr…

      • OK, here we go again with this… Please examine these “right wing anti-semites”, and then tell me if they’re actually, y’know… Right wing. Because, from my experience, the majority of the time, the deeply conservative are usually NOT anti-semitic. The people I think you are thinking of when you say this are generally not “conservative” in any way, shape, or form–They’re usually reactionary members of the upper classes, and the anti-semitism they have is more class-based than ideological.

        People who say this need to pause and consider precisely what they’re calling “right wing conservative”. A far-right conservative in my definition is not a member of the Ivy League, is not someone who inherited wealth dating back to the 1600s, and is usually a small-town Kiwanis or Rotary club leader with definite ideas about the proper role of government. Those guys you’re lumping in with “far right wing” are actually more upper-class folks who think that welfare ought to go exclusively to their companies and family firms, and that the government is there for their sole use and utility.

        The guys I’d consider “far right” are generally not anti-semites. The majority of the supposed “right-wing” anti-semites are actually “upper class anti-semites” who’ve been identified as being conservative merely because they’re “of the establishment”. Most of them are actually about as conservative as the left–It’s just that they’ve defined things a little differently, and they’re only different in rhetoric and beneficiaries.

        • > actually… deeply…

          [shrug] They “identify” as right? From where I stand, the “far right” is imperceptibly different from outright Marxists.

          • Roger Ritter

            The far right has been close (in ideas) to the far left for decades. I remember back during Reagan’s administration when he took some official action regarding Israel. Both “Worker’s World” (Socialist Worker’s Party) and “The Spotlight” (John Birch Society) had essentially identical headlines condemning it.

        • Yeah, this. “Right-wing” is not conservative, although they will, a la Buchanan, occasionally align with conservatives on some issues — not least in opposition to socialists. But not every enemy of my enemies is a friend.

          In all families there are some topics best left untouched.

          Pro tip for distinguishing” “Jews” refers to a category of people; conservatives tend to discuss people as individuals, not groups.

          Stupid Proglodytes practicing group-think tend to force us into discussing them as a group. Very annoying. Herd minds left or right are anti-individual.

        • There are a few. Not as many real right, as left, but there are some.
          In right circles it isn’t as acceptable to spout it, nor are some “right-wing” antisemites all that bright, often more a flavor of “not socialist” over actual “conservative” but none the less stupidity knows no boundaries

        • I think Right-wing and Anti-Semitism in America are linked because most of the Right were staunch Christians and American Christians were heavily influenced by the very old tradition of blaming the Jews for the death of Jesus. Consider that most Jews at that time didn’t have anything to do with the death of Jesus. Instead, it was the ” chief priests, scribes, and elders of the people”. Now doesn’t that sound a lot like the group that has the most Leftists in it today? And why did they have him killed? Because according to them, he was preaching sedition. Which he kind of was, as his preaching was a threat to their power.

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            I’m not aware of any major Christian Group in the US that “blames Jews for the Death of Christ”.

            Currently, Conservative Christians are “damned” by the Left for (among other things) supporting Israel.

            Of course, some of the Left have really crazy explanations on “why Conservative Christians support Israel”.

            • I’ve run into it for the very old, European angle strains.

              Basically you gotta select against the ones who go “we are all guilty of the sins which put Christ on the Cross” to find it.

            • “I’m not aware of any major Christian Group in the US that “blames Jews for the Death of Christ”.”
              Currently? No. Pre-Vatican II for Catholics, apparently quite a bit from what I’ve read, and apparently among other Christian denominations too. Wasn’t a whole lot of Jews to persecute for most of American history. And apparently it got a good shot in the arm with the KKK for some odd reason; although I don’t know if that was in their original “charter” or if that was a development when they revived. Funny, but didn’t the KKK have problems with Catholics too? Talk about a hate group!

            • That particular trope goes back to this scene Matthew 27:24-26
              “When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but that instead a riot was breaking out, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “You bear the responsibility.” 25 All the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!” 26 So Pilate released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged and handed Him over to be crucified.…”

              Where I usually encountered it was among certain sects of Biblical literalists. I haven’t encountered it as anything beyond an excuse for envy anywhere.

    • Depends on the college degree and, anymore, on ability to “not take it.”
      Those with college degrees have to PRETEND left more. Particularly in the arts, or they’ll never get in.

  8. Life is full of coincidences. I can’t remember where I’ve seen this – maybe novels, perhaps tv – but if you ever examine a lot of data and don’t see any correlations, you can be sure the data has been manipulated. With 7B people on this planet, statistics would indicate it’s likely to find weird coincidences.

    • That’s the Big Data Problem in a nutshell. The more data you have, the easier it is to draw wrong conclusions from it.

      At some point the dataset grows too large to be scanned by eye, so someone has to devise a search algorithm. And that’s where you can miss the forest for the lawn clippings…

      • Too many have lost sight of the principles that correlation is not causation and post hoc does not always mean propter hoc.

        False premises yield invalid results no matter how valid the logic.

        • Lies
          Damned Lies
          Statistics

          • Statistics is a power tool. And just like a circular saw, it can mess you up if you don’t know what you’re doing with it.

            [snip]
            “In the space of one hundred and seventy-six years the Lower Mississippi has shortened itself two hundred and forty-two miles. That is an average of a trifle over one mile and a third per year.

            “Therefore, any calm person, who is not blind or idiotic, can see that in the Old Oolitic Silurian Period, just a million years ago, next November, the Lower Mississippi River was upward of one million three hundred miles long, and stuck out over the Gulf of Mexico like a fishing-rod.

            “And by the same token any person can see that seven hundred and forty-two years from now the Lower Mississippi will be only a mile and three-quarters long, and Cairo and New Orleans will have joined their streets together, and be plodding comfortably along under a single mayor and a mutual board of aldermen.

            “There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.”
            – Mark Twain
            [/snip]

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          Back in the day, when I was CS adjacent, I heard GIGO a lot.

          Haven’t heard that so much with regard to Big Data. I have heard of Big Data work being heavily janitorial. I couldn’t tell you if my local online big data degree gives a proper emphasis on GIGO using different words.

          • “Garbage In” is pretty much a given with Big Data. I’ve done my time cleaning up and normalizing databases by hand; it’s not a problem that’s easily handled with software. The BD people hope that if you through *enough* data into the pot they can self-correct errors, but IMHO that’s mostly wishful thinking.

            Even simple things like addresses can be a problem. The USPS started scanning and OCRing addresses on envelopes for automatic sorting more than 30 years ago, and they *still* have people who try to decipher what the sender meant, even when the scribbles are readable.

  9. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    Grumble Grumble

    Just heard another idiotic “that must mean” thing on Yahoo News.

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/trump-plan-raise-flags-date-094223669.html

    Basically, some “former FBI official” thinks that the end of the “Flags At Half-Staff” (for the recent shooting) on Aug 8th will “send a message to neo-Nazis”.

    Apparently neo-Nazis use the 8/8 as a “code word” for Heil Hitler. (H being the 8th letter in the alphabet.)

    So the idiot thinks that Trump “should have” chosen another date for the ending of the “Flags At Half-Staff”.

    Having no known contact with neo-Nazis, I have no knowledge if “8/8” really means “Heil Hitler” to them but I’d bet that they’d enjoy the idea that Trump should “change the Flags At Half-Staff end date” because of them. 😡

    Those idiots make the neo-Nazis “more important” than they deserve. 😡

    • I’ve run into some online. They do.

      But that idiot FBI official–if he even exists–needs to have his head examined.

      • The FBI pays the SPLC for its advice. And they’re almost certainly not the only group of haters and nutters the FBI considers reliable. That 8/8 bilge could have come from anywhere.

        And not only is the pool of Nazis probably in the medium hundreds, not all of those idolize Uncle Adolf. He *lost*, and then gave up, the wimp! Of course, now you’re down to maybe dozens of Nazis… I’m tellin’ ya, someone is going to have to subsidize the movements Real Soon Now, because we’re damned near *out* of Nazis.

        • Oh, the undercover agents and the CIs will get the numbers back up.

        • Which is just another reason to disestablish the FBI. The SPLC has been a denunciation-for-hire racket for decades.

    • Oh yes. That was so far out that Twitchy almost didn’t cover it, because of the seething pool of cess in the responses. I am sooooo tired of Adolf Schicklegruber Hitler living rent free in these people’s heads.

    • This is on a par with this snippet from “Riotous Assembly” by Tom Sharpe: “I checked the library. It’s full of Communist literature. They’ve got The *Red* Badge of Courage, *Black Beauty*,…”
      ““In the week following, the Kommandant had sought to rebut the accusation by a series of lightning raids on likely Communist groups. A playreading of Shaw’s Arms and the Man at the Piemburg Amateur Dramatic Society had been interrupted by the entrance of the Kommandant and his men who confiscated all copies of the play and took the names of all present. Black Beauty had been removed from the shelves of the Public Library on the Kommandant’s orders. The showing of the film The African Queen had been banned at the local cinema, as had an article on weather forecasting in the Piemburg News entitled “Red Sky at Night”.”

      Except that Tom Sharpe’s book was a biting satire of Apartheid-era South Africa, and this Derposaurus Rex FBI official apparently dead serious.

    • I rather liked Jim Geraghty’s sarcastic response that maybe we should just rearrange the calendar so that there isn’t an August 8th any more; we can make the whole world like one of those Las Vegas hotels that don’t have a Floor 13.

    • This message is brought to you by the letters “M”, “S”, “N”, “B” and “C”:


      The distressing thing is NOT that a former FBI official said such things. The disturbing thing is that a professional News Host did not immediately say, “Excuse me, we have to cut to a commercial before bringing on our next guest.”

    • Yep. It’s fucking insane.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        I decided to write this comment on noting that there were 88 comments.

        Obviously a deliberate political statement on your part, because otherwise you would have gotten the wordpress plugin (which I shall pretend exists, and in usable form) that ensure that 88, 666, 42, 731, and the like never show up.

        Furthermore, the stoners are all deliberately referencing Hitler, and stating policy intent. We are in an existential war, exactly the same as WWII, and the Libertarians knowingly and maliciously wish us to lose, and for us to die in Bergen-Belsons.

    • Well, if he had closed it on the 9th, he’d thereby be glorifying the bombing of Nagasaki in 1944*. Trump Derangement Syndrome; is there anything POTUS does that isn’t evil by their standards?

      (*) And he started it on the 6th!!!111eleventy!!! Hiroshima!!!!. Do I need a /sarc tag here?

    • Timothy E. Harris

      And 88 in Morse Code means “Love & Kisses”.
      It’s seems to me more plausible that the accidental ham radio related numeric meaning is the reason August 8th was chosen rather than the equally accidental National Socialist 8/8 one.

      • Well, I think it’s A-8, which is obviously short for the Focke-Wulf 190 A-8, introduced in 1944 by THE NAZIS. So there you go. Clear and present. Obvious to even the most casual observer.

        So where do I put in my FBI application now?

      • Do we dare tell them of the 807?

    • Does that mean raising flags on 8/1 is in support of the Hells Angels. because 8-H and 1=A and everyone knows that supports of the Hells Angels show support by “supporting 81.

    • They also normalize them. If a mild Neo-con like Bush is ‘literally Hitler’ then Hitler is literally a mild Neo-con. Which makes you wonder what the fuss is about.

      The despicable Austrian is similar to SOME public figures. Stalin. Mao. Pol Pot. Che.

      But of course the Progressives admire most of those…

  10. Reality isn’t RATIONAL.

    Why would Sarah say that? What coded message is she trying to convey? What hidden purpose could possibly underlie such an irrational assertion?

    OMG! That isn’t our Sarah posting!!! It’s a fake, probably a Russian ‘bot! It would EXPLAIN so Much!! All that recent illness which has blocked her writing? That’s a BlinD, so much squid iNk spewed to obscure the Fact that OUR Sarah has been abducted!

    Don’t worry, Real Sarah, wherever you aRe! WE will search out your abductors, FinD where thEy are KEEping you and RESCUE you.

    As for Real Sarah’s abductors: Listen to me and listen very very carefully. We don’t know who you are. We don’t know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you we don’t have money. But what we do have are a very particular set of skills; skills we have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make us a nightmare for people like you. If you let our Sarah go now, that’ll be the end of it. We will not look for you, We will not pursue you. But if you don’t, we will look for you, we will find you, and we will slay you.

    • RES with a sword. *Ho hum.*
      RES with a gun. *Yawn*
      RES with a pen. “OMG! Run for your lives!”

      Come to think of it, that applies to most of the people here.

      • *files claws* Smile when you type that.

      • “What’s the big deal? Not like he could anything, right?”

        “Not paying attention, were you? That ox? Has a telegraph key… sloppy fist, er, hoof, but still sending.”

        “Ox. Telegraph key. Either you are insane… or-“

      • K-falls had a homicide the other night (not political, as far as anybody knows) that involved a sword. WTF? What ever happened to good, old fashioned murder tools, like baseball bats or cheap .38s?

      • Hey! Back before they removed half the ligaments from my “thrusting” knee I was fair with a foil.

        But a pen? I’ve terrible paw-writing. meh – wallaby, y’know? Even with a keyboard I’m none too accurate.

        • “The pen is mightier than the sword.”

          Class always gets a kick out of my buddy’s the demonstration of a parry against the foible’ versus the forte’ using a pencil against a foil. Leverage is everything.

  11. The traditional scapegoat of cultures in crisis is the Jews.

    Listening to Thomas Sowell’s “Black Rednecks and White Liberals” which has a section titled “Are Jews Generic” which compares Jews with other people who functioned as middle-man minorities historically: Armenians in Anatolia and elsewhere, Lebanese in various places in Africa, ethnic Chinese in Malaysia and Southeast Asia, and so on.

    There were many similarities, including the hatred that the surrounding people often had for them because they “exploited” the surrounding population. After all, they got money without “producing anything”. What set the Jews apart from the other middle men minorities was the application of the techniques of industrial mass production to slaughter, combined with basically better post-slaughter press.

    • The natural human tendency when you buy anything is to imagine you were over-charged. The natural human tendency when you sell anything is to imagine you were under-paid. That is why “middle-men” don’t have any friends.

    • *half thought being snagged at before it can escape*

      Folks who can produce CAN BE LOOTED.

      So, the folks who you can’t raid?

      They are not “producing.”

      The Jewish populations tended towards jobs that are portable– ie, you can’t pull a North Africa, swing in, kill the men, take the women, take the grain.

      Exactly BECAUSE they are outsiders, who don’t have the security.

      So of course that pisses off the raiders.

    • Koreans in LA during post-Rodney King festivities . . .

  12. On “coincidence”. If there are a billion “things” happening on any given day (number just made up to illustrate–depending on how one defines “things happening” I’m sure the number is multiple orders of magnitude too small) then by sheer chance a thousand of them will be “one in a million” events.

    And, by the nature of human interest and communication it’s these “one in a million” things rather than the many more mundane things that get spread around and, so, we get people saying “look how unlikely that was…it can’t be just chance.”

    Only it not only can, but it would be the most extraordinary quirk of fate for it such things not to happen.

  13. Christopher M. Chupik

    One of the great ironies of our modern age is how the side who constantly rail against xenophobia and conspiracy theories have simultaneously convinced themselves that every single thing they hate is the result of a meddling by foreign powers.

    • AND are the most provincial people alive…

      • Yet they presume themselves the most sophisticated. Modern Proglodytes do the White Queen shame; they are capable of imaging twelve impossible things before breakfast, and an infinite number of mutually contradictory things throughout the day.

        Where there is no effort to reconcile ideas there is no coherent thought. Where there is no effort to test premises against reality, there is no intelligent thought.

        • Funny how most of them have never left their home towns, much less the country. And those who have, rarely seem to have spent any time around ordinary people in other countries. Resort hotels and 1st class flights are NOT experiencing the cultures of other countries.

          • Many of those who have left their home towns are those who fled “Middle America” with its stultifying expectations of conformity for careers in “the Big City” (e.g., NY, LA, SF, Seattle and even Austin) where they “could let their freak flag fly.” Thus they hold a deep antipathy toward those areas they’ve left.

            These are not happy people.

            • Freak flag my happy a$$.

              Last night I was talking to another refuge from the S&M “community” (note, community is a word people use when they want to set themselves up as moral authorities, at least in the here and how). I pointed out something I noticed.

              The typical denizen of the S&M world is as narrow and tied to conventions as any normie. The difference is not in how experimental they are. The difference is in what conventions they subscribe to. Just because your idea of sex is “flogging on a St. Andrews cross before Empuje Atrás with the front partner still bound” instead of “making out like fumbling teenagers before missionary position” doesn’t make you any more adventurous. It just makes you different in habit.

              While some are “letting their freak flag fly” most traded one set of conventions for another, admittedly more appealing to them, set of conventions.

              They just keep telling themselves they’re daring and unconventional. Whic I guess circles back to believing your own story.

              • Eh eh eh. Tied. (Sorry.)

              • yes, and many times any particular fet imagines themselves as different from all others even tho you can literally sort them by type… i find the ‘we think different’ but universally leftist uniformly conformist thing in the community irritating as well

                (keep in mind i’m mostly the goth side of the community and my time in it was in L.A.)

                • I spent a lot of time on the goth side before crossing over. It is worse on that side than the goth side, although my time on the goth side actively was Boston which wasn’t so uniformly leftist (although this was early aughts, so who knows now).

                  There does also seem to be an inverse relationship between how much someone exclaims “I’m a free wheeling sexual adventurer” and how much they are. The free wheeling rope bunnies, for example, are too busy being rope bunnies and trying new things (admittedly related to rope more often than not) to be yelling about how much they let their freak fly.

                  Then again, I’m coming to the same conclusion about new writer (or maybe any writer) scene…the ones who do the most talk the least because they are too busy doing.

                  Probably a good rule of thumb in general.

                  • …the ones who do the most talk the least because they are too busy doing.

                    Probably a good rule of thumb in general.

                    I’ve seen that generalized elsewhere. Possibly by Heinlein, but I’m not certain.

                    • Then again, relating to “letting the freak flag fly” (or not so much), I love the quote by Christopher Stasheff: “You can’t be a nonconformist without the proper uniform”.

                  • mixing of the venues both here and in L.A. causes a lot of crossing over.

      • Christopher M. Chupik

        The Left never takes its own advice, but insist the rest of us do.

  14. “The traditional scapegoat of cultures in crisis is the Jews. We’re already seeing that on the left, whose ghost dance is turning more and more anti-semitic.”

    So f-ing true. Makes me nuts when I consider that most of my coreligionists are not only happy with entrusting their security to the gov’t which may end up being run by these types, but actively denigrating any hard countermeasures.

    There’s a reason why I routinely tell gun grabbers that they are enabling genocide…

    • Dan Hamilton

      It makes you think that these people are too stupid to even KNOW what “Never Again” means. When it happens they will REALLY BELIEVE that they are being transported to settle another area. And yes the letter they got from their sister who went before was wonderful even if it didn’t really read like her.

  15. Story seems to be what made us human. It tries to make sense of things. Imagine a world without story. Did Neanderthals have story? Do the autistic have story? Is the only reason for our conscious minds, to be able to understand story? When did the creation of story make us human?

    Just read Herman Wouk’s book “The language God talks”. In it are talks with Richard Feynman. A detail that relates to story: Feynman had no knowledge of fiction. He told Wouk “Novels did not interest him”, “because made-up stories could not compare to the ever-exciting surprises of nature”, (pg 87). So here you have one very smart man claiming no need of story. Yet Feynman himself seemed full of story. The O-ring in ice water, a perfect story.

    Fiction can tell truths that facts cannot say. Jesus parables (stories) hint at deep truth in the complex story. Is the “story” of the prodigal about the prodigal? His father? His brother? Them? Us? Forgiveness? Love? Hate? We can enter into a story in a way that can teach us deep truths as we become the prodigal’s brother. But the strange part of story is that the writer must make the make believe real.

  16. Why is it so important to get the right explanation? I personally would rather get the wrong explanation and win, than get the right explanation and be sent to a death camp.

    You correctly state that the Left are insanely delusional; yet you ignore the fact that THEY ARE HELPED BY THEIR DELUSIONS. Their delusions drive them to violence, thus intimidating most people to the right of Lenin and virtually ensuring that the future will be them stamping on the human face forever.

    Perhaps if we spent less time trying to find a Euclidean proof for the conservative/libertarian view, and more time trying to win the (currently) lukewarm civil war, we wouldn’t be getting pushed around so much.

    I frankly consider it a matter of shame that my side is allowing itself to be bullied by traitors.

    • a) The left is sometimes hurt by their delusions. They use propaganda that hurts them more than helps them, or overlook necessary intermediate steps.
      b) You are not on my side, and I am not on your side.
      c) Possibly there are common interests, grounds to support a common cause. Possibly not.
      d) I think you’ve called the dynamics of the violence, if comes down to violence, incorrectly. It looks like the capability the left has collected is not that impressive. I suspect that there are much more dangerous people in the United States, who are undecided as far as I can tell, and not easily intimidated. I calculate that I can alienate them from my cause if I am an idiot. Also that if I stay cool, the left will alienate them with idiocy instead. If my estimates are correct, you sound like someone whose thinking means I should avoid you as if I were allergic.
      e) Civil Wars suck. Ideally, you have a winning coalition together before one starts. A winning coalition may necessarily include people who understand civil wars enough to want to avoid them. You tick those people off when you don’t take reasonable precautions to avoid escalating to a civil war. Yeah, you can play the political violence game, maybe even win some tokens, without escalating to civil war. It is a seriously dangerous and costly game.

      • Everyone on the Right who aren’t well versed in their history should probably read the history of the Revolutionary and Civil Wars again, preferably not published within the past 20 to 40 years. As well as reviewing The Art of War by Sun Tsu.

        • Eh. Even the stuff published before then had its own biases and blind spots. It’s not that hard to figure out which of the new scholarship to avoid like the plague and which is actually rediscovering overlooked stories.

    • I don’t see a “my side” in play. Just one group that has announced itself to be my enemy, and one that hasn’t made it official yet.

    • Dan Hamilton

      The ONLY reason that violence helps the Left is the old the Left sees violence as a dial that can be turned up or down. The Right sees violence as a switch. I don’t believe the Left’s way is going to succeed.

      • Amsel, Matthew

        Well, they see it that way because the level needed to flip the switch has not yet happened.

  17. Its not just a small group of radical leftists who express desire to murder their political opponents, it is now “mainstream” Hollywood big studio fare as noted in this piece from Powerline about a new movie “with rich liberals capturing “deplorables” from red states to hunt down and murder”

    https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2019/08/civil-war-as-entertainment.php

  18. In fact, it IS falling apart, which is part of the reason cracks in the facade are appearing, making people feel uncertain and create narratives.

    It isn’t my narratives I’m afraid of (which might be mistake one). I’ve intentionally created conspiracy theories so long, mostly to entangle PCs in them, that I catch myself grading more buying.

    What I am worried about is other people’s narratives, specifically ones about me.

    At what point does “they are saying I am by definition worse than Hitler and need to be in a camp” cross over from “a stupid narrative they believe” to a “clear and present danger to me and mine I must actively respond to. ” I’m already passively preparing, but at some point I have to choose, and choose wisely, to move to active interference.

    That is what worries me. Both the need to make that call and making it wrong.

  19. When the proximity alarm goes off in the middle of the night and you roll over to see a bunch of people in black carrying weapons and a ram for your door; don’t bother asking for a copy of a warrant, Shoot to kill, and make them pay dearly for your life.

    By the way, that should be the reaction of every American to a no-knock police assault. If I were an organized criminal gang, I’d pretend to be the police too.

    • Somewhat related:
      if ANYBODY asks “can I come in?” then you say NO.

      This is STRAIGHT from the FBI training center. My husband had a course there.

      They ALL say that you NEVER agree.

      IF it makes you feel better, say “I can’t afford to pay for any damage you search causes.”

      Because if you say “yes,” then you’re on the hook.

      If you say “no,” then THEY are on the hook for damages.

      • Oh God yes. NEVER allow a cop to enter your home or search your car or wagon or tricycle without a warrant. And it’s a good idea to have a lawyer on speed dial to review that warrant, because a lot of times it’s not filled out properly (i.e. it’s not a legal document.) There are so many obscure laws on the books that every one of us has evidence of felony crimes and sundry violations laying all over the house. If you say, “yes you can come in”, you may as well hold your hands out for the cuffs right then.

        If you have cops for friends, most of the time they’ll ignore those minor infractions, and some may even give you a reminder that you might want to get rid of such and such. But they can’t un-see what they’ve seen in your place. Sad, but that’s the way it is.

  20. rt of this is just being human though. The human mind MIGHT be the best instrument for creating logical narrative out of reality.

    Huh. Even if you prefer the TENS just-so idea, you get “animals evolve based on environmental pressure”. So what environmental pressure “selects for” a
    storytelling species?

    Ocean’s razor: We’re living in a story. “Written” by an Author.

    Taking it one step further: The more our sub-creations diverge from the Great Story, the less satisfying they are. Which has some amusing implications for why fantastical stuff goes like gangbusters, and Grey Goo sits on the shelf gathering dust and Hugo Awards.

    The best part of waking up is coffee and something interesting to think about.

  21. Because your mind is the only one you can read.

    This, so so soooooo much.

    I have folks who will accuse me of mind-reading (because I go by the objective definitions of the words they used) and folks who will likewise go “hey, you said red and blue, so YOU MEAN ORANGE!!!” and get upset when you point out that purple would fit, but orange does not.

    (Yes, late….)

  22. And if you find yourself thinking of any large group working in concert over centuries — the Templars! The Illuminati! The brotherhood of Mong! or worse Jews! Men! White People! — it’s time to step away and get a reality check.

    We HAVE an example of a large group working in concert over centuries.

    It’s called the Catholic Church.

    Even requires a single earthly leader.

    It’s so incredibly effective that it’s a very, very old joke that it must be divinely inspired because there’s no way in **** that you can explain it SURIVIVING otherwise, much less having any sort of effect for spreading Christianity!

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

      Well… I think I have something to “top that” (which I’m not arguing against it).

      Every body has heard about the “mystery” of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel.

      IMO The “Real Mystery” is how the People of Israel (the Jews) survived. 😀

    • What I meant was exactly that. Look how effective it is…. actually not very. The last 100 years or so it’s been stumbling into walls and is doing everything possible to drive away the faithful. Yes, it’s a miracle it survives.

  23. I’m troubled by your description of walking whilst listening to audiobooks. Situational awareness is for more than averting crime, could be a careening bicyclist or a rampaging poodle.

    • I’m troubled by your description of walking whilst listening to audiobooks. Situational awareness is for more than averting crime, could be a careening bicyclist or a rampaging poodle.

      …dude, if someone is so freaking out of control that they are going to hit a walker on the sidewalk, there is NO LEVEL of awareness by ye olde average non-teen who will be able to notice and dodge it. There is a pile of FATALITIE hit and runs in Seattle to demonstrate that,

      Similarly… actual poodle, not toy? Kiss your ass goodbye. They are half my weight and have teeth. Also, no restrictions….

      I HAVE BEEN someone with no distractions facing a rampaging poodle. Unless I had a simi-auto rifle, I was screwed. (The owner wasn’t a complete moron.)

      Shockingly, some folks are able to listen to narrative without totally locking out awareness.

      If you can’t, that’s your issue. Not theirs.

      • I was actually thinking of a standard poodle. I wasn’t going to defame Rotties, Dobies or Pits as I think they’re all great dogs.

        Also, I walk and ride on non-sidewalk paths (Rails to Trails) and it’s a necessity to hear the “On your left” calls.

        • ..and also, I can easily lock out awareness of the world /without/ the use of headphones, I know I have issues.

    • I leave one ear uncovered.

    • I have a standard poodle. He’s six months old. If he goes on a rampage, he’s going to take your fingers. I shudder to think what he’s going to be capable of at 2 years.

      Luckily, his rampages are restricted to roaring up and down the back yard chasing the ball. That poor ball…

      • My apologies to your defamed poodle. I don’t believe the old “there’s no bad dogs” trope, as they’re on a curve like people But the owners damned sure have the responsibility to curb their access to the public.