Those Who Demand Obedience


The weird thing about the left side of this country is that they think not only that they can but that they should regulate our speech, our beliefs and our thoughts.

I mean, I know we joke about the fact that they read 1984 and took it for an instruction manual, but it’s actually worse than that: they read 1984 and viewed that place as a desirable world.  They thought it was working, and that it maximized human wealth and happiness.  Or at least they thought someone — like perhaps the people who were in charge — were happy.

I mean look, let’s be absolutely clear: 1984 wouldn’t work, not the way it’s presented in the book. Sure, the book could work the way that it’s presented, but it’s a myopic and narrow view of things.  You know d*mn well that if we were to actually live there, sure, there would be some people who stray over into opposition and are crushed, but you also know that there would be not just pockets of resistance managing just fine, but that vast sectors of the society would be working by free-market rules (known in authoritarian societies as the black market) and vast pockets of resistance and mockery of the dogma among the elites.  In fact, the most likely thing, judging by the dictatorships of the twentieth century, is that the majority of the society would be in non-compliance or outright rebellion, and the part we saw was sort of the Potemkin village of Big Brother, the parts bureaucrats see that make them happy.

In fact, throughout history, it’s pretty much always that way with any kind of ruler who gets into the nitty gritty details of every day living, let alone what’s inside human heads. Because when it comes down to it, humans are really, really, really bad at obeying. Famous for it, really.

So why does the left think they can compel not just our actions — those are semi-possible to be regulated, but results are mixed. Look, almost every human society has forbidden murder and I don’t think a single one has been free from it — but our speech and our thoughts? And not even just “you can’t say this” but “you must say this.”  As in, these days you are supposed to signal your belief in various leftist shibboleths, or you’re thrown off the liberal island.

As someone pointed out who witnessed an argument on facebook that started with someone demanding that someone write more books with women and gay characters ‘Even in supporting roles’ and was shocked when people laughed at her, a lot of the leftist complaints and answers are ritualized.

I.e. if I say “There isn’t enough diversity in science fiction” you’re supposed to agree and tell me that yep, all the main characters are white males, and only white males get prizes, no matter how ridiculous this contention has been for the last, oh, 40? 50? years (And it wasn’t ever ONLY white males, nor — no really — were the women in the closet. The women used pen names — for the same reasons a lot of men did — mostly because writing sf/f wasn’t respectable. Still isn’t some places. Which is why Margaret Atwood keeps insisting she doesn’t write it. (It’s sort of true. She doesn’t write contemporary SF/F. She writes truly bizarre fetish porn with pulp trappings.))  But it doesn’t matter how ridiculous the statement is, that’s what you’re supposed to say if you want to stay in the good graces of the left.

That’s of course before the pronoun mess that Jordan Peterson properly identified as “compelled speech.” And about a dozen other things, some of them completely ridiculous. For instance, does anyone understand why “Asian” is the right word and “Oriental” isn’t?  Or why “Native American” is the right designation for Ameridians, when you know, we know for an absolute fact they came from elsewhere, and did not evolve on this continent?  No? Why is people of color good but colored people bad? what is the semantic difference, precisely?  Why must we call black people “African American” (even if they’re not in fact American, and/or their ancestors haven’t seen Africa for eight generations but white people are white? Even when they’re really not, but really dark tan? Is “black” something to be ashamed of?  No? then why is it bad?

Look, I understand when this bullshit is in the name of an ideological point, no matter how brain-dead, but the above isn’t really. The above is in the name of making people jump when you say frog. There is no other reason, no other point, no other purpose to it, than to prove to themselves that they can make people do exactly as they want, on threat of social ostracism if they don’t.

And then there’s the agenda-points, the point at which they intend to change the language, because that will make it impossible for you to think bad thoughts.

This is how we get the erasure of gendered language.

Look authoress was always an abomination, because who cares what a writer even looks like.  But actor vs. actress?  You bet your toes that is different. They use their bodies as part of their work.  You don’t express emotions the same way.

How about why is fireman a bad thing? Note I’m perfectly happy for there to be a firewoman too.  Sure, firefighter fits both, but why does it need to? For how many years was it fireman?  And policeman?  And don’t say “that’s because there were only men.”  It hasn’t been true in my entire life, but we used to say “police woman.”  And if you think there is no difference in gender performance for both of those, you’re off your rocker. And you shouldn’t talk while the adults are talking. Because police women have both advantages and disadvantages over men. And frankly it takes more effort and bravery for a woman to perform that kind of work. So why do you think it advances her cause to erase her ans subsume her under “police officer” or “fire fighter?”  She puts in more effort than the males. She deserves more recognition. She at least deserves recognition she exists.

But the left is convinced if they reeee enough to make us stop using gendered nouns the very concept of gender will vanish.

Which is is completely and utterly insane. Because reality doesn’t obey language. Language grows to accommodate experience. And you can’t stop it, either.

This is why liberals became leftists became progressives, like a restaurant with a bad rep.  And let’s not start on things like “Janitor”.  For some reason “cleaning person” was bad.  I’m trying to remember what the latest word for it is.  it’s so bizarre you have to think to recognize it.  Or the various terms for deficient either physically or mentally.  No matter how much you change the name the reality remains, and the reality is that these aren’t things generally considered good by society.  So no matter how you change the name, people don’t think of it better, they just start considering the word bad.

So why do they think they can control our language, our speech, our thought?

Well, mostly because for decades we LET them. Because we understand that words don’t change reality but the other way around, we rolled our eyes and behaved in front of them.

We, in fact, erected a societal potemkin facade for the left, because then they would leave us alone.

Like a person married to someone who makes scenes in public over trivial stuff, we learned to avoid the scenes in public. Only to embolden the scene thrower and make him/her think it’s power.

But you cannot compel thought. You just can’t. You can twist it. You can make humans engage in double-think that taints their souls (and the scary thing is that this might be the aim of a lot of people doing this nonsense.) BUT you can’t actually control what other people think.

The only reason the left thinks they can — other than our enabling it for much too long.  and “our” here stands for the adults, because some of us weren’t even born when this started — is because their view of the world, their mental pictures of life, dictated by their ideology, requires them to believe theirs is the way of the future and “scientific” and therefore, once exposed to it everyone will convert.

Of course, the fact they have to run around threatening penalties for wrong think means their paradigm has already been broken.  And they’ve already lost.

But humans being what they are, this means they’re going to get louder and louder and more stompy-foot demanding and intransigent than ever.

Which I suppose means we should all make sure our eyes don’t roll all the way out.

Be not afraid.  This is not going to end well — for the left — and some places are going to get uncomfortable.

But they are not at war with us. They are at war with reality.

Reality always wins.



354 thoughts on “Those Who Demand Obedience

  1. “I’m trying to remember what the latest word for it [janitor] is.” I’ve heard “maintenance technician,” “custodial engineer,” “sanitary engineer,” “environmental protection organizer” (believe it or not), “concierge,” and “porter.” All these terms do for a normal person is to make them smile slightly in amusement at the silliness of it all.

    1. There is a NEW one. I saw a note about their…. ? …. Building sanitation executives? Something that ridiculous not being available Friday and had to think about it.
      You know, even in Portugal, where one of the girls in my gifted class was the daughter of the school cleaning lady, it never occurred to me to think that “cleaning person” was shameful.

      1. Talk about shameful, you my fine niece have somehow been inflicted with the twin fetishes of obsessive cleaning and writing. Not sure whether to cast blame on your mother, grandmother, or some other family member when you were young for the cleaning bit, but I suspect the whole family as regards your compulsion to write.
        And as Heinlein once wrote himself, best to do it in private and remember to wash your hands when you’re done.

      2. How about “Admin Assistant” for Secretary?

        Admin Assistant is a stupid change and invokes maybe a quarter of the responsibilities of secretary.

        I’m pretty sure janitor became considered demeaning.

          1. Or contorted the opposite direction, in which no education occurs.

            Heck, it even covers miseducation.

            Teachers reveal top high school’s secret to high pass rates: cheating
            At highly rated Maspeth High School in Queens, students know they can play hooky, skip course work, flunk tests — and still pass.

            They call it the “Maspeth Minimum,” meaning everyone gets at least the minimum grade or score needed to pass or graduate, no matter what.

            Whistleblowers call it fraud. The secret to the school’s 98% graduation and 90% Regents pass rate, they say, is simple: “Cheat!”

            Four teachers told The Post that the 2,100-student high school — awarded a prestigious National Blue Ribbon in 2018 by the federal secretary of education — has an unwritten but iron-clad “no-fail policy,” even for kids who repeatedly don’t do the work or even show up.

            “Teachers are not allowed to fail students,” a staffer said.


            The allegations threaten to shatter Maspeth HS’s top-notch reputation.

            US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos named Maspeth a 2018 National Blue Ribbon School, the highest honor the feds bestow upon schools.

            “It’s a facade,” a teacher said of the honor.

            Said another, “I had to stifle a laugh.”

            Then-state Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia in June named Maspeth one of 562 Recognition Schools in 2018-19 for “high academic achievement, student growth and graduation rate.”

            According to the latest state data available, 99% of all Maspeth students graduated in four years in 2018. The city’s overall average is now 76%.


            “We take any allegation of academic misconduct very seriously, and there are strict protocols in place to ensure complaints are reported, investigated and addressed. These allegations are currently under investigation,” said DOE spokeswoman Danielle Filson.

        1. I would point out that current admin assistants hold *far* less responsibility than the classic secretary.

          1. And some of the really good secretaries look after you. REALLY look after you.

            I once heard the story related to me of a female CEO who, hospitalized and on rest orders because she was risking the loss of her firstborn baby due to medical complications of some sort had her male secretary take her laptop away from her on the guise of ‘having it maintained’ …and came back with the laptop stripped of work access stuff and instead filled with movies, series, and other entertainment, because she wasn’t following doctor’s orders.

            The person I heard the story from said she was grumbling (because workaholic) and muttered about not being sure about whether to fire the man, or give him a raise.

            He got the raise, after she got over being annoyed; and she later had a bouncing baby boy.

            1. My scale:

              Receptionist: trusted to answer the phones
              Admin Assistant: can prepare documents
              Executive Assistant: can be deputy for the boss in meetings
              Secretary: “Dammit, I need another me!”

            2. I’m reminded of a comment that G. Gordon Liddy made. When he came to Washington, he was advised to get himself a secretary. Not some cute perky thing, but a woman at least 50 years old.

              Because the older secretaries knew how to get things done. Quietly, unobtrusively, and efficiently. And they eliminated any adverse speculation.

              Liddy claimed it was the best advice he ever got.

            3. When I started grad school, one of the best pieces of advice my cohort got was: There are two people you never, ever [tick] off. Your archivist, and the departmental secretary. They can bury you.

              Ya know, that prof was 1000% correct.

      3. I think this has to do with the left’s effort to make blue collar work considered shameful and demeaning, because they cannot imagine that anyone would pass up the life of the ivory tower. This is a big reason why Trump did so well among blue collar voters (as did Reagan). The Democrats (and establishment Republicans) loathe people who work with their hands for a living or ply a trade.

        This is why Democrats propose bills (such as in the People’s Republic of New Jersey) that would MANDATE high school students as a graduation requirement to apply for financial aid for college; regardless of whether they need such aid or intend to go to college.

        Of course given that they have turned colleges into leftist indoctrination centers, is it any wonder they want to force everyone who graduates high school to go .

        1. This is why Democrats propose bills (such as in the People’s Republic of New Jersey) that would MANDATE high school students as a graduation requirement to apply for financial aid for college

          Jersey’s Dems could certainly use some education …

          ‘Jew her down’: New Jersey council members face calls to resign for anti-Semitic slur
          Three Trenton, New Jersey, city council members are facing calls to resign after one of them used an anti-Semitic slur and the others defended it.

          Trenton City Council President Kathy McBride said that a city attorney negotiating on a woman’s personal injury lawsuit was “able to wait her out and Jew down for $22,000 worth of pins in her knee that can never, ever be repaired.” Referring to the fact that the city was able to settle for a lower amount, McBride made the comment in a closed-door meeting on Sept. 5, according to the New Jersey Globe.

          Council members Robin Vaughn and George Muschal defended McBride’s comments.

          “We really need to get a more acute meaning and understanding of ‘anti-Semitic’. I believe her comment ‘jew down’ was more in reference to negotiating not ‘I hate jews,’” Ms. Vaughn wrote on Facebook. “Inappropriate in today’s PC culture absolutely, but to Jew someone down is a verb and is not anti-anything or indicative of hating Jewish people.”

          Muscal claimed it was “just a statement of speech,” and provided an example of how it could be used: “You know, it’s like a car dealer, they wanted $5,000, you Jew ‘em down to $4,000.”

          At-large councilman Jerell Blakeley called on all of them to resign, saying they are “an embarrassment to the city of Trenton.”

          McBride and Muschal have apologized privately, according to Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora, though none of them have done so publicly.

          1. That is kind of a sad one, because I gather it is common in the East Coast to the point of turning into the eggcorns “jaw them down” and “chew them down”, and a lot of East Coast people seem to think it is just a nonsense “ju” sound, not an ethnic slur.

            I doubt it even exists in most of the Midwest as an expression. I first saw it given as an example in an American Dialects class, and was puzzled to know what it even meant.

            1. I can honestly say I have never heard the phrase “Jew them down” in my life (having lived up in the Midwest/South (not Deep South)/Rocky Mountains my entire life.)

              Dude says it was just a ‘statement of speech’ but if someone popped out with that in front of me, my reaction would be the same dropped jaw and “Excuse me?!?” as it would if they’d let slip one of the better known ethnic slurs.

            2. I’ve heard the phrase turned in the Mid-Atlantic South, but I’ve no idea of the regional origin of the users.

              I strongly suspect it is in common use in certain ethnic/racial communities although the reasons for such suspicions are largely forgotten. I suspect it may be because only Jews would have been so greedy as to pursue the custom of such folk … ouch! Bit my tongue!

              1. It occurs to me that its lingering in certain “neighborhoods” is likely because of the prevalence of pawn shops in “economically disadvantaged” neighborhoods and the association of such shops with Jews. A standard usage might be, “I wanted to pawn my winter coat for $50 but he jewed me down to $20.”

              2. I heard it used by Jewish cousins, among themselves, and by my maternal grandfather (joking with one of his Jewish bosses). They were fourth generation Louisiana natives, and a little touched, so YMMV.

          2. Reminds me of a HS English teacher who was trying to trick us into using “Gypped” to mean robbed. I ended up taking pity on him and telling him that we knew what he was doing, and were deliberately avoiding the word.

            1. I had no idea of the etymology of that one for… a while.

              I am proud of your class for thwarting his weird efforts.

        2. “This is why Democrats propose bills (such as in the People’s Republic of New Jersey) that would MANDATE high school students as a graduation requirement to apply for financial aid for college; regardless of whether they need such aid or intend to go to college.”

          Enslave them with debt early, and you can always string them along with the promise of a bailout.

        3. I actually think it’s more the other way around. They spent so much time trying to boost the self-esteem of people not doing “educated” work, because they were pushing for everyone to be lifted up into their rarefied strata.

          It’s at least partly another case of progressive projection.

      4. I refuse to use anything but a cleaning lady/person. I am somewhat more fond of cleaning lady when describing myself and what my other job is. 😀

        I am also more fond of spinster than something like “single”. I’m too old to consider it a passing phase, now it’s just what I am. A spinster. Why would that be shameful? Sh*t happens, or sometimes it doesn’t happen. That’s just life.

    2. When I was a child, in the 1970s, my mother started at the hospital as a “housekeeper” before moving on to other departments. At the same time they were renaming the janitor at my school to custodian. By the time I graduated he was a “custodial engineer”. I think the last one I heard was “environmental support services technician”

      1. My official title at my last corporate job was “System Programmer,” which was old-school for “sysadmin.” Not long after I was hired, we all got new name badges with just our first names and “SUPPORT.” Everybody that wasn’t some kind of management was “SUPPORT”, which led to network engineers getting calls to empty overflowing wastebaskets… and chewed out if they didn’t drop everything and run to do it.

          1. Previous job title was, practially if not officially, dammit. As in,

            “Dammit Dan! Come unf*** this thing the machine operators messed up before the Lead Engineer gets back!”

            Management operated under the opinion that the fewer the leads, the better/faster/more efficient the work. Which translated to, if you were in any position of authority, doing the entire job at the run, constantly behind. I don’t think we ever had an HR department. Worked several days going before daylight til after dark. Sometimes till daylight again, if things were really busy.

            Made dang good money, though.

            1. Some two year degrees are useful aids to a productive job. A degree in plumbing or carpentry etc. More useful than a degree in Gender studies for sure. True the academics might be sketchy.

              1. Well said. If more of my trainees had that kind of background… Well, I might be out of a job soon, but I’m sure it’d be a good thing all around. *grin*

    3. I remember when the garbage men in _The Honeymooners_ got laughs for insisting that they were not garbage men but “sanitation engineers.” Now you get fussed at for making the joke.

      1. I remember when the garbage men had to actually handle the garbage; now they sit in air-conditioned cabs and maneuver mechanical armatures to pick up and dump the bins.

        1. For the big dumpsters, yes. For individual trash? Not so much, though that may just be an artifact of my not living or regularly traveling in big cities. There’s still a guy who rolls the garbage cans around to the lift to dump the trash into the truck, for all of the three (I think) local trash pickup services.

          1. In my part of Denver (trash pickup is weird here), the city issues individual (for houses) “cans”; they are plastic bins with weird shapes for the gripper things. I’m on the wrong side of the alley, so I need to move mine to the other side on garbage day. A few years ago when people actually touched the things, one could have whatever sort of “can” one wanted and “in the alley”, not a particular side of it, was sufficient. For some reason, the garbage people didn’t like me and my metal can was continually dented to bits; I went through three or four of them.

          2. Yes, individuals, too. We have both trash and recyclables in city-issued cans that the truck grabs and lifts and dumps, without (normally) any human intervention other than pushing the button.

    4. Having worked at a supermarket that used the term “porter” for someone whose job description mostly involved cleaning up messes, the term does have useful functions:

      1. It’s much shorter than the other terms mentioned when used over the PA system.

      2. It’s much less likely to attract lawsuit seekers to an aisle that has just been the site of a wet spill.

      “Porter to Aisle 8, full cart” means something to the folks who work at the store. It means much less to casual shoppers. On the other hand, “wet cleanup on Aisle 8” is an announcement that is
      practically chumming the waters for those who are looking for an opportunity to sue the store.

      Not attracting opportunitc lawsuits is a thing…

  2. “How about why is fireman a bad thing? Note I’m perfectly happy for there to be a firewoman too.”

    Its firelady. ~:D They go completely crazy when you add “lady” to anything.

    “In fact, the most likely thing, judging by the dictatorships of the twentieth century, is that the majority of the society would be in non-compliance…”

    Corruption is the thing that rots something like Oceania. Everybody goes along with the gag as long as there’s a supervisor present. Then the supervisors get bribed to go back to the break room. If you get a particularly evil supervisor, he has a tragic industrial accident.

    Result, nobody is working. They’re all very busy stealing the material needs of daily life from their surroundings because Big Brother is not getting the milk production going. Bob down the street, he’s got fricking milk production. You pay him in nuts and bolts from your factory job. Those bolts were holding up the break room ceiling? Tragic industrial accident!

    This is how Cuba works. Eventually the system is so completely f-ed that Fearless Leader gives an order, and the whole thing falls apart. That was Russia in 1991.

    I’m sure there is math to support this somewhere. Likely games theory has banged all this out ages ago. In a business, if all orders only come from the corner office and they don’t listen to the janitor-lady who does the work, they will go OUT of business. Countries are no different, just bigger and with more places to hide the garbage. They go out of business too. It just takes longer.

    Case in point, Ontario Canada:

    The government of Ontario lost $42 MILLION dollars trying to sell dope last year. They spent $106 million on a web site and a warehouse.

    I have actually made a web site and a warehouse. It did not cost a hundred million bucks. It cost well under $100,000, and it worked. Little old non-special me could have made a titanic, unbelievable profit on that deal.

    Why did it cost the Ontario government over $100 mill? Corruption.

    1. There may well be math to describe it. That is one of my interests. I do not know the degree the math has been discovered and synthesized.

      I got the corrupted/lost information formulation from the information science programmer types.

      1. There has to be something going on with lost/ignored information in a system, and the cost of mistakes and lost opportunity vs. the reward of increased efficiency of execution.

        My favorite go-to example is traffic lights. There was a study done where they put the lights on a network so they could talk to each other. They let each light “decide” when to turn green, based on how many cars were waiting there and at surrounding lights. Compared to a central timing system, by letting each light decide they increased car throughput by a big margin and reduced traffic jams.

        Because the central timing system is one-size-fits-all, and the local control is custom tailoring. Much more efficient.

        The Japanese car companies discovered that listening to the workers on the factory floor is tremendously more efficient than the American system where engineers impose solutions. Workers come up with solutions that the engineers will never think of, because the problem is right in their face all day.

        The Japanese discovered it because of a cultural reason. Respect is a two-way street in Japan. The Daimio commands respect only so long as the traditional rights of his people are respected in turn. Disrespecting the people who work for you by not listening to them is the kiss of death for a Japanese company.

        1. > Compared to a central timing system, by letting each light decide they increased car throughput by a big margin and reduced traffic jams.

          In the USA we have the DOT, which has been known to issue orders to local authorities (they take Federal money, they dance to the Federal tune) to CAUSE congestion and slow traffic, because they’re trying to force people to take “public transit.” This has been ordered in cities that don’t even *have* public transit, other than an occasional bus. Which means they’re probably intending for their actions to influence local elections to force cities to adopt public transit systems.

          If you’re in a town where the traffic lights seem to be working against the smooth flow of traffic… chances are, it’s not incompetence, it’s the government screwing with the locals.

          1. I’ve also seen the theory proposed that some small towns have installed traffic lights to a) feel more like a bigger city, and b) slow tourists passing through in hopes that they would stop and spend money in the local shops.

            1. One of the funniest things a troll said here, funnier even than that we were all uneducated Southern Rednecks who’d never traveled out of our state, was that Colorado Springs was a one-traffic light town.
              I mean when we first moved to town in the early nineties it had ONLY 200k inhabitants (now a million, I THINK?) But well more than one traffic light.

              1. Let’s see. I have lived in–not just visited but lived in–at least eight states (Washington, Oregon, Virginia, Ohio, Arizona, Texas, Maryland, and Indiana–possibility of additional when I was very young). I have lived in England for two years. I have visited Germany, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, and Canada. In Japan I didn’t just do “tourist stuff” but dealt with Japanese businesses (working with a distributor of a software product we sell) and also stayed with my ex’s family so I saw “real Japan”, not just the tourist spots.

                I’d say that gives me a more cosmopolitan background than most SJW’s could ever dream of.

                  1. Lived in California, Utah, Texas – short visits to Indiana and New Mexico. Lived in Greenland, Greece and Spain, visits (on the self-directed el-cheapo tours) to the British Isles, France, Germany and Italy. Oh, and Austria, Denmark, Norway and Sweden.
                    Yes, I got around, back in the day.

              2. Not too far off. Current estimated city population about 460K, estimated metro population about 710K. Per the census, the city had a population of about 215K in 1980 and 280K in 1990.

              3. Back when I worked at a summer camp, I got to see them put the first stoplight in Amador County. In the 25 years since then, they’ve re-routed the highway (it involved bridges, which is why it wasn’t done originally), the one-lane crossing that got the stoplight is a full interchange, and there are stoplights (and people) all over.

                Just under 40,000 people for the whole county—but only a gain of 6-7000 in those 25 years. But it’s pretty nice driving now.

              4. Wouldn’t being only a one-traffic light town signify absence of over-bearing government? I recall a few years ago reading about towns experimenting with eliminating traffic lights altogether and discovering it enhanced road safety. Establishing clearly-marked “Yield Right-of-Way” guidelines makes liabilities clear and encourages people to adhere to due-diligence procedures rather than rely on unthinking mechanical devices or the kindness alertness of strangers.

                Traffic lights are clearly a fascistic tool of the Patriarchy, rife with opportunites for graft and corruption.

                1. Establishing clearly-marked “Yield Right-of-Way” guidelines makes liabilities clear and encourages people to adhere to due-diligence procedures rather than rely on unthinking mechanical devices or the kindness alertness of strangers.

                  Going off of my most recent driving experiences, the improvement is from most people realizing the morons will totally ignore the “yield” sign.

                  Same reason that it takes 10 seconds to move after the light goes red. Too many people just blowing through.

                  Now, cops that actually enforce the rules of the road other than speeding? THAT I can see having a huge effect on traffic safety.

                  1. Literally the weirdest thing about moving to Connecticut from North Carolina was all the people running traffic lights. And actually stopping on a yellow seemed unheard of.

                2. I’ve seen several stories that have shown the yellow light duration gets considerably shorter for traffic lights that have red-light cameras.

                  K-Falls had a population of 20,000 as of the 2010 census. I don’t have older numbers, but lots of lumber operations disappeared since the 1970s. As a result, there are probably more traffic lights than would be common in a city with stable population numbers.

                  Of course, we’re now a magnet for escaping Californians, (largely middle class retirees; those with more money go west of the Cascades into the blue counties) and as an ex-Cali driver, I’m not ashamed to admit that 95% of the California drivers make the other 5% look bad. (Not completely joking here… I noticed since moving *to* California that using turn signals were considered giving up vital information to the enemy.)

                3. My parents often had us vacation in an Adirondack town where there was one traffic light. This was because there were two streets (forming a T) that had enough houses on them that you see several in either direction from a house.

              5. Dang, I knew trolls (Internet and Tolkien) were stupid but that’s impressive. Looking locally Boston is about 800K, largest in New England, Second largest is Worcester at about 180K. Colorado Springs looks to be 420K or so as of the 2010 census (which is the other two numbers). So about 2X the second largest city in New England. Trust me there are considerably more than 1 Lights in Worcester even given their insane penchant for rotaries (Roundabouts). Heck, my current residence of Middleton (rural ~8K) has 4-6 lights (depending on whether you count ones that blink 90% + of the time)

              6. I get the distinct impression that many progressives (especially those along the coasts) think that us rubes in fly over country never get out of our own counties, let alone to other states/countries. I mean, why else wouldn’t all of us unwashed masses immediately head for the blissful urban centers as soon as we could toddle away from our ignorant parents?

                What they don’t seem to realize is that most of us have traveled, often fairly extensively, and made the informed choice to live where we do for specific reasons. And those reasons are influenced by the things we’ve seen/experienced on our travels.

                But, ignorant hicks obviously can’t be counted on to make the correct choice for our best interests. That’s why our “betters” are here to look over us.

                1. Yeah. Some proggie foodie made a splash here in Minneapolis about a year ago that he was going to open a restaurant here to ‘introduce the Twin Cities to Authentic Chinese Cuisine. Because, apparently, no one in Minnesota has ever, you know, actually *been* to China. (spit)

                  It seems the restaurant and tiki bar is tanking because the food is, uh, not conducive to midwestern tastes and I guess we rubes do not have an appreciation for how Authentically Chinese a tiki bar is . . .

                  1. Well, under the special appendix to the Key West agreement, the Air Force is not allowed to raise cavalry units. Apparently someone in Soviet intelligence misinterpreted the restriction on ‘Mustangs’ as referring to fast cars, that contaminated the talking points distributed through their influence networks, and to this day many leftists think that fighter pilots do not drive sports cars.


                    Yeah, pretty a much fabrication on my part.

          2. Indianapolis has now added wide “bike lanes” on several of the downtown streets. They even have lights so that, if you’re in a car, you have to sit and wait for the “bike light” to turn red and the left turn arrow to turn green before you can make the left turn onto the highway ramp. There’s about enough time on the light for three cars to go through if all of them respond immediately to the change.

            Haven’t seen a bike using those lanes yet.

            Down the middle of the main north-south thorougfare there is now a “bus only” lane (with stands in the middle of the road) essentially taking up what used to be two lanes for traffic.

            This does not motivate me to either bicycle or use public transit. It motivates me to avoid downtown as much as possible. Taking my daughter to and from school requires passing through the fringes of it and there’s another appointment issue that I can’t avoid that requires me to deal with the increased traffic congestion but actually going downtown to do business? I think not.

            1. As a cyclist, I think it’s because most folk on bikes know they’d be taking their lives in their hands if they were to use those lanes. Riding on major roads is a scary thing—but the bike trails have lots of users in my area.

              1. Use bike trails around here, you might be beaten to death by homeless robbers, as nearly happened to my sons’ friend. Cops said, “It’s not our job to police the homeless.”

                1. So. You must be in Eugene too? 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 Especially the bike paths along the Willamette. The city has gone through and cleared some of the black berries and other hiding brush from along the bike path. At least you can see them coming, in theory. Haven’t been on a bike path, alone, since I was in HS, over 45 years ago.

                2. Dang. I think the reason that doesn’t happen around here is that the trails system is well-used and often goes through the heart of urban territory, if along creeks and other similar wild-space. There’s a 30-mile trail that follows the river from the downtown confluence to a major lake, usually referred to as “the bike trail.” 30 miles of park space is not insignificant, and you’d think that the local tourist board would realize that maybe it’s something they should be promoting…

              2. I used to bike commute in California, and was one of the few who actually stopped at four-way stop signs. There was a lot of animosity between cyclists and motorists; unfortunately both sides had valid points (see above comments on 95% of Cali drivers. Almost as bad with bikes.

                (See stories about NYC bicycle vs pedestrian casualties. Scary!)

                1. Yeah. Since taking up the bike again I get some strange looks from drivers when I actually stop at STOP signs.

            2. > left turn arrow to turn green

              Those showed up in Arkansas a few years back. Nearly got me involved in a collision a few times.

              By the AR Motor Vehicle Code, “arrow” means “GO THIS WAY NOW.” The Code doesn’t have any mention of “red” or “green” arrows (not that 15-20% of the male population could tell the difference), and still doesn’t… the law still says “turn on arrow.”

              They’ve also added some new freeway on-ramps. In Arkansas, traffic entering or leaving a “controlled-access highway” (i.e., the freeway) has right-of-way, which means every freeway ramp involves playing chicken with cars suddenly turning without signaling, sometimes coming up from behind at more than twice your speed… stupid, but it’s the law.

              Now they’ve built a bunch of new on-ramps, bending the access road way out to one side, then making the ramp start with a right-angle turn off the highway… and “everyone knows” you’re supposed to stop, signal, and wait for oncoming traffic for those, which caused more than one near miss… those aren’t mentioned in the Code either. Meanwhile, you still play chicken at the off-ramps…

              1. OK, you reminded me to look it up. Oregon statutes; red arrow, don’t enter the intersection to go where the arrow points. This caught several people when the city introduced it at the worst intersection in town (best improved with a D-10 Caterpillar and buying out the gas station on the corner).

                1. Washington it’s no right on red when there’s a red arrow, and it’s always no right on red except for on the inside lane. (The red arrow is always positioned where a normal red light would be, specifically to avoid the “Uh, what color is the arrow?” problem.)

                  Ditto every other state I’ve looked it up in, although I can’t list them off ATM– it’s usually for immediate use. And yes, I always get someone laying on their horn because I won’t take the illegal right.

                  A lot of cities gave up and started just posting the freaking law right there next to the @#$@# light.

                  1. The OR statute words it strangely, you can have a red arrow going straight, or left. You just can’t go where the red arrow points.

                    1. Oregon complicates the left green arrow turn. It is never red. Newer versions have a yellow blinking arrow, for proceed left, green for protected turn. But the older ones are Green Arrow for protected turn, no arrow but standard green light is left turn allowed but proceed with caution yield to on coming traffic. They latter has been in place, what 10 or 15 years, and PEOPLE still get it WRONG. No matter what red arrow, if there, means you can’t go that direction. Otherwise, just plain standard red, green, and amber lights still have standard meanings, unless explicit signage or arrows modifying.

                      What amazes me is we had a patrol officer tell us it was not legal to turn left from either a one-way or two way to a one way on a red light (from the correct lane). Beat the ticket too. Actual traffic law is “turn is allowed as long as not crossing traffic lane that has the current right of way.” We have right hand turns in town that are actually illegal to make the turn because you have to cross the traffic lane that has the light on a red. People do it anyway. Word is you won’t get a ticket. But oh boy if you cause an accident not following the rules …

                    2. I had one memorable day when I was taking a semi-busy street to get into the big strip mall. People were leaving the mall and turning left onto the really busy street. When their green arrow ended, *nobody* in that long line of traffic yielded; I tried using the horn to get somebody to notice they didn’t have the right of way, but no luck. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the really dirty Chevy pickup, and the Forester is ignorable… Arggh.

                      That mall is a bit less busy now; until the three shops that will replace the Safeway are finished. (We had a Hagen’s there until it went bankrupt–smaller chain tripling its size doesn’t always end well.) With one of the new places a Planet Fitness, I’m not sure. A fitness gym that promotes a pizza night might get some really clueless customers.

                  2. It is right-on-red in Virginia. But some people….
                    Some of the places with red light cameras have them specifically placed to nab right-turners who don’t do the “stop-and-yield” portion of “stop-and-yield-and-go”. Well, those spots also have “Stop on red HERE” signs with an arrow pointing to the stop line.

                    So, one fine morning, already frustrated due to the idiot drivers here, a woman comes to a stop at the line on red. Fine. Then she doesn’t go. And doesn’t go. And doesn’t go!

                    When I honked at her, she pointed to the sign. *facepalm*
                    She finally turned when the light turned green.

              2. That’s a little peculiar to me. (traffic engineer, probably now retired)
                The standard rules for traffic signals in the United States are described in the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). States have the option of creating their own additions to the MUTCD, usually called a supplement.

                In the MUTCD, the red arrow prohibits the indicated movement, the green arrow indicates a protected turn movement (no conflicting traffic). Recently, the yellow arrow meaning was changed: a solid yellow arrow is paired with the green arrow to tell you which movement is going off protected status, while a flashing yellow arrow (this is the new part) means you are permitted to make the indicated left turn but must yield to oncoming traffic.

                In light of that the AR code seems awkwardly worded, at the very least.

                1. Yes, the change in rules concerning the arrows has confused a lot of people that haven’t gone through driver’s ed within the last few years. There was no announcement beforehand, they just changed the lights, leaving everyone scratching their heads, “WTF does that flashing mean?” Now the big thing is roundabouts. They keep sticking them into residential neighborhoods, then get upset when the people living there drive over the top because their campers/boats won’t go through. Heck, the school buses can’t hardly get through without running up on the curb in my neighborhood.

                  1. Those ‘micro-circles’ are designed so large vehicles can roll over them. They are also meant to slow traffic in the name of safety, but by complicating movement they may create more risk. So they waste gas, waste minutes of human life, increase wear on vehicles, and don’t increase safety. Moreover, when they are used on busy roads, they cause backups where there were none before.

                    1. They got tired of seeing the tire tracks over the middle of the roundabout in my neighborhood, so they filled it in with big rocks. Anyone going over the top of it now is gonna rip out the tranny and suspension now.

                      There’s another, smaller one, a couple blocks away that started out as just a painted circle on the pavement. Now it has a slight crown on it, just enough to make you lose control of your vehicle if you don’t slow down for it. It’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen here. It beats out the traffic light by the college that is on the wrong side of the intersection, so you have to sit half way down the block to see the light.

            3. Cyclists here have a very bad reputation – often for breaking road rules and INSISTING on riding on the same street as cars, even if there are bicycle lanes. Road rules have to treat them the same as other vehicles on the road, but people have to give them more consideration… because fragile human being on a bike. Cyclists have run over pedestrians and caused accidents.

              When I took the bicycle license test in East Germany (which was more ‘teach the kids safe behaviour, traffic rules and some bicycle maintenance’) we were supposed to make way for the larger vehicles if there wasn’t enough room.

              The bicycles we rode had to also have rear-view mirrors and bells, which are… apparently NOT required these days. Which makes absolutely no sense to me. I LIKE KNOWING WHAT’S COMING UP BEHIND ME.

              1. Bike lanes can be OK. One tendency in California was to put it just to the left of the parking spots, where a clueless and/or malicious person can open their car door in front of the cyclist.

                I have mixed feelings about separate bike/pedestrian paths, along with a crown on a front tooth where the original went through my upper lip. Two pedestrians walking side by side, in the middle, fancy synthetic boarding on the bridge, and sprinklers for the grass just above the bridge. Touched the brakes when I saw the pedestrians, and the rest was up to Sir Isaac Newton and the ER doc. He didn’t get all the pieces, so I was getting little surprises for a couple of months.

                One previous close call, and I figured that I was safer on California streets. I did *not* like the trend…

                1. I think all of Oregon. But Eugene, Lane County, pedestrians and bicycles have the right of way no matter what. Even if they HIT YOU from the wrong direction off the sidewalk … In the case of pedestrians they step off in front of you, or alongside and into you, even tho Sir Isaac Newton’s laws dictate that you aren’t stopping for nothing. Whether visible or not.

                  Makes you wonder why anyone would want to drive … uh, um, wait a minute ….

                  1. > right of way

                    Seems to be that way in most of the country. Used to be that way here, until the legislature changed it to something like “pedestrians and bicycles may not impede traffic.” Which means they can’t just whip out onto the road and expect people to make panic braking or swerving maneuvers to avoid them.

                    Alas, the local air base doesn’t appear to warn people about that when they rotate in, so the local hospitals have a small but steady trickle of pedestrians and bicyclists who were lucky enough to make it to ER instead of the morgue, because they do *not* have right of way here…

                    1. They do.

                      The airmen just ignore it.

                      How do I know this?

                      Part of every single briefing I have ever seen is that pedestrians and bicyclists only have right-of-way when they are following traffic laws. On base and off.

                      And the entitled twits still insist on acting like jaywalking is protected, because in a lot of states it functionally is. Even when it’s illegal.

                    2. Back in the ’90s, 49 states (except Utah) had declared bicycles to be a vehicle and were subject to vehicle laws (except when otherwise singled out). I tried to stay to the right, but a bunch of Cali roads didn’t offer that option; my morning commute had some high-adrenaline moments.

                    3. Had some really high profile cases here in the Eugene/Springfield area. Biggest of them were on Main Street in Springfield, and involved jaywalkers and dark clothing. A big one had a family in a crosswalk where all the kids were killed; driver ran a red light. So “something had to be done.” Never mind that automatically putting the driver in the wrong changes nothing about the accidents that have occurred. The one where the family was hit, driver was already in the wrong, or future ones. The others, well dark clothing at night jaywalking isn’t going to help the driver to react faster just because of automatically deemed driver is at fault. If you can’t see someone until you are on top of them, you can’t stop in time whether “oh gee I’m in trouble” is a factor or not.

                      FYI. Insurance is not taking this judgement. Do something stupid as a biker or pedestrian and go after the auto insurance of the person who hit you, or try to sue, expect to be paying YOUR and the Insurance’s legal fees with no payout.

                2. Ick.

                  I had an adult tricycle for a long time; it let me cart groceries home, and take my son to and from school as he sat in the back basket. Folks were rather surprised to see me load an entire cart of groceries onto the thing, with the use of balance, careful item arrangement, bungee cords and tough jute shopping bags. The land was very nicely flat too, so it wasn’t so horrible to pedal along once I got going. Wouldn’t have tried it on hilly areas, since physics would have been working very badly against my small self.

                  1. There are occasional tricylists around here. They all seem to be sane and careful operators of their vehicles, unlike the lesser two-wheeled types…

            4. yeah Richmond just took two lanes out of the main drag through town to add special bus lanes, thus making merely bad downtown traffic, worse

                1. I’ve noticed how the government establishes parking garages that compete with private enterprise, charge high (half-)hourly fees to encourage people to get their activity over with as hastily as possible rather than shop, and offer subsidized discounts (or fee-paid) to those needing to park forty-plus hours a week.

                  Of course, those parking decks are often poorly lighted with lax (at best) security, making them uninviting to anybody tempted to use them at other than crowded times.

              1. Don’t fret it – they’ll use the further deterioration of traffic to justify additional “improvements” such as taking an additional lane away, splitting it in twain for “bicycle paths” to encourage reduction in car usage.

                And it will work!!! After a while the traffic will only consist of those who absolutely positively must go downtown and everybody else will avoid it like the plague it is. Locally they attempted such improvements every decade or so with the result that the only people working downtown were city & county employees and the few who provided services (primarily: lunch) for them.

                1. “Locally they attempted such improvements every decade or so with the result that the only people working downtown were city & county employees and the few who provided services (primarily: lunch) for them.”

                  RES! I didn’t know you lived in Eugene, Oregon … 🙂 You’d think they would have learned after they turned downtown into an open mall with no cars allowed (long since removed). Now it is (still) parking, traffic, and homeless; order varies. Only time I rode the LTD bus was when I was taking classes at the UofO, where parking, traffic patterns, are even worse. WE avoid both areas like a plague.

                  1. RES! I didn’t know you lived in Eugene, Oregon

                    I don’t, of course — but I would not be surprised if the consultants used by my town and Eugene were, if not the same persons, people who’d graduated from the same school of urban design.

        2. IIRC one of the great features of Lockheed’s Skunk Works efficiency under Kelly Johnson and Ben Rich was that the people on the floor making things got to talk to the people designing things. This was helped by keeping the number of people involved small.

          1. Back when I worked at $WeBuildScales when it merged, morphed, whatever, there was shock by the $OtherCompany (outside the US, and Very Big and Traditional) that things didn’t run in strict top-down chain-of-command with anything needing to bubble up to the top and then filter back down again. “What do they do instead?” “It’s small plant. If someone has a question, they walk over to the person likely to have the answer and then get on with things.” Alas, I think the VBT way held – and got imported/imposed… with predictable results.

        3. In the late ’40s through ’50s Japan, with our aid, rebuilt their industrial infrastructure which had been leveled during the war. American experts such as William Deming helped them create what became the modern industrial manufacturing juggernaut we know today. Deming was a proponent of what he termed Statistical Product Quality Administration, akin to the current field of Operations Research, or in a nutshell how to analyze and optimize any process to produce the desired results. My masters is in OR.
          In the ’80s and ’90s US industry got serious about upgrading both infrastructure and processes or made great claims to. And they studied what had worked in Japan and adopted all the new techniques whole heartedly. Or more accurately, they borrowed all the buzz words, touted them to stockholders, then proceeded on with business as usual.
          I had an insider’s view of the “implementation” of things like Management by Objective, Kan Ban, Just in Time, Quality Circles, and so on.
          Sat through endless presentations where management expounded on the latest “new thing.” And watched the rollout of whatever new process was being sold as the solution to all their problems. And watched them as each in turn crashed and burned, failing in the transition from Japanese to American manufacturing cultures. The usual cause was when middle management realized they actually had to change their approach or horrors of horrors, actually listen to their workers.
          There actually are ways to make some of those modern process controls work in the US environment, but it takes graduate level understanding as well as a huge helping of common sense, things often in short supply, certainly in combination.

          1. I was talking to the Water Guy this morning. (Cistern at Chez Phantom, despite the filters we don’t drink it.) He’s a small businessman, does his own deliveries. He delivers to large customers as well as two-bottle guys like me.

            There’s a Big Oil Company Installation hereabouts. When he delivers there, he is only allowed to carry one bottle at a time up the three steps to the place where the water bottles are stored. He is required by plant safety regulations to keep one hand on the stair handrail at all times while going up or down the three steps. There is a plant safety officer there to chide him if he forgets the hand rail, which he does, every single time. Because nobody listens to the workers or the engineers. They listen to the lawyers.

            Water Guy is a private contractor. He doesn’t work for Big Oil Company, and he doesn’t get paid by the hour. The safety apparatchik makes sure it takes WG literally twice as long to unload the truck as it does at any other customer. WG happily charges them twice as much per delivery as any other customer. Plus a premium for pissing him off. They pay it, because everybody around here knows what Big Oil Company gets up to in that plant, and everybody adds the same premium to their quotes.

            One suddenly understands how a government-run crown corporation could rack up $106 million dollars building a website and a warehouse to sell dope.

            1. He is required by plant safety regulations to keep one hand on the stair handrail at all times while going up or down the three steps.

              Having carried five-gallon water bottles (standard office dispenser size) one-handed (without benefit of those convenient handles that make gripping the neck far easier) I cannot help but observe that carrying two bottles at a time — one in each* hand — is far safer because the load is balanced, avoiding the problems attendant on carrying 40+ pounds of water off to one side.

              *standard two-handed biped; different principles apply for alternate body configurations.

          2. It has been my experience that the Greatest System Evah can fail, and a mediocre system succeed, depending entirely on whether the people charged with implementation buy in. America has a significant legacy of distrust between management and labor, a (well-earned) legacy which makes effective implementation of changes very difficult.

            1. When I worked at USPS (feeling better now, thanks) it was plain that it worked as well as it does not because of the management, but despite it. The smartest supervisors stood back and let things get done, only getting involved when things went truly wrong. Such supervisors were, alas, quite atypical.

          3. Oh good Lord, you looked at my work history. We were the silicon fab portion of the division that made various optoelectronics widgetry for Hewlett Packard. The division names usually changed every 2-5 years, depending on division management’s enthusiasm for buzzword of the year. On a side note, if your work entity ever gets the word “Solutions” in it, Run!

            We went through all the bit; Just in Time was entertaining when it took a full week for the absolute top priority lots to make it through the fab. (The cost to the normal priority lots was never talked about…)

            We actually started to get success after several years. We had one person in the fab area who’s job was to a) review the specs with the workers, b) GET THE FEEDBACK from the workers, c) revise the specs, and d) ITERATE. (She and the workers pulled it off, too.)

            My product engineering job morphed to include a similar role as test area product engineer. That extra duty faded when we finally got the automated tools in house and online. (Didn’t lose any headcount, but we didn’t have to expand headcount for more business, since the operators didn’t have to do the BS gruntwork the old equipment needed. Not surprisingly, quality went up when we didn’t have to handle the wafers manually, either.)

            Naturally, once we got everything settled, TPTB decided to ship everything overseas, and then in phases to dump the entire semiconductor operation.

        4. When you bring humans into the picture, Industrial Engineering and adjacent fields have answers for some problems. Like maybe Queuing Theory for traffic lights.

          One of the human system cases I’m interested in is convincing the majority of an originally lawful society to go “fuck you and your laws”. Perhaps a more general case of the preference cascade that is reported with the fall of Romanian communism.

          I think a lot of the established work does not cover this stuff; I expect much of it was done by technocrats who would not think to do so.

          Other side of the traffic light thing is technical. CS has distributed computing, and the EE/ME disciple Controls Engineering has distributed controls. My understanding is that the tools we currently use and the way humans think make it difficult to predict, debug, or ensure the behavior of machinery that makes decisions in more than one place at a time. So, there may be a design argument that an ‘open loop’ timed light is protects against that sort of esoteric risk.

          My feeling is that these fields, economics, history, stuff I haven’t studied enough like game theory, and stuff I probably haven’t heard of, can be brought together to understand systems that we cannot possibly control with any sort of engineered solution.

          1. “My understanding is that the tools we currently use and the way humans think make it difficult to predict, debug, or ensure the behavior of machinery that makes decisions in more than one place at a time.”

            Yes! But in the next breath, AI machine learning is going to replace human labor in ten years!!!11!!

            “My feeling is that these fields … can be brought together to understand systems that we cannot possibly control with any sort of engineered solution.”

            Yes. There’s probably proof out there that centralized top-down command/control organization -cannot- work in the long term for most purposes.

            Look at wars fought with armies. The winner is the one that screws up the least, unless the winner flat-out got lucky.

            1. There was a story many moons ago in Dragon Magazine (back when it was published by a TSR that was its own company), with the line, “In Chess, the winner is he who makes the next to last mistake.”

              There is much truth to that.

              1. The problem, of course, is you cannot be sure who made the next to last mistake until somebody makes the last mistake.

            2. A left-leaning friend of mine shared an article (with the usual slant/bias/not really looking at anything but the writer’s own prejudices) about the current trade war with China, and how Trump and his tariffs are ACTUALLY a hint of socialism in him. My response was “Yeah, probably, given that he’s been a NYC democrat for most of his life, and anyway socialism infects EVERYTHING” and then went on to state my opinion on the matter (ie, I don’t know much about what’s going on with the trade war, but I’m not in favor of kowtowing to a tyrannical regime that enslaves people just so we can have cheap stuff, that all we ever see is the panicking side of things in the media). She replied “Yeah, but it’s hurting all these farmers and some of them are going to lose farms that have been in the families for generations!!!”

              And my next response was “…and? If they can’t find new markets/other sources of income/adapt then they’re doomed to fail. Our agricultural system was buggered up long before this, on account of the gov mucking about it in it.”

              Her family–extended, anyway–runs a farm and apparently are impacted by this, so I softened it a bit and said “I can see why this concerns you.” What I did NOT say was “And again…so? You adapt or you die.”

              (And possibly I’m missing big things in this, because I am not interested in reading up on the trade war, and haven’t got a dog in the fight other than “Good, we need to stop propping up China’s regime” but beyond that…::shrug:: Find another market, farmers. Maybe look to reforming stuff here so you’re not dependent on the gov for subsidies. Maybe we should get rid of the ethanol insanity. I dunno, I’m not a farmer, and my experience with ag is limited to raising a few various animals as a kid and gardening.)

              But the tl;dr point here is: ALL the panicking about a change in system–we see it with automation, we’re seeing it in the trade ‘war’. “People won’t have JOBS! They’ll STARVE!! Eleventy!!!”* When anyone who cares to look at history can see the exact same panics occurred in the Industrial Revolution, the rise of computer use, etc, etc ad infinitum and amazingly, no mass starvations have yet occurred…

              *Even as many of those exact same people are looking to cripple the ‘gig’ economy with regulations because how DARE those lower-paid/underemployed folks seek additional streams of income!

    2. Its firelady. ~:D They go completely crazy when you add “lady” to anything.

      While I have no objection to driving Leftists insane, I’ll admit that “Firelady” makes me think less of the female equivalent to a fireman and more of a pyro-powered super heroine.

      1. “Samuel, have you a moment?” asked Tchoflae.

        “Sure, Choff. And you can call me Sam. What’s on your mind?”

        “Terminology. I know my kind has an appearance like earth insects, and some – even some of our own – call us ‘bugs’. That’s not the problem.”

        “Alright.. then what is?”

        “Could you explain why ‘firefighter’ is a good thing, ‘fireman’ is tolerated, ‘firewoman’ is strange, and then why ‘firebug’ is-”

        Sam explained, when he finally stopped laughing. He didn’t have the heart to bring up ‘firefly’ or ‘lightning bug’…. yet.

        1. DGM I can’t imagine they’re worth a lot of XP. Its like killing rats or Giant Spiders. OK for low level types I suppose. Unless you can find a 30th Level Beast of Whining…

    3. Before it was (mostly) cancelled, the state auditors estimated that California’s high-speed rail system would cost as much as a 737 *per mile*.

    4. “They go completely crazy when you add “lady” to anything.”

      That’s because they aren’t Ladies, and they damn well know it. They are, at best, slovens and wenches. And far more usually twunts.

      1. Sir, on behalf of wenches everywhere I must protest that remark! And slovens! They work for a living.

        The term you’re looking for is “retarded sea-going mammals with trust funds.”

      2. You seem to have mis-spelled THOT.

        As in That Ho Over There.

        As in, “My THOTs and Preyers go with you.”

      3. Back in the early 1990, Jeff Cooper avoided the “lady” problem altogether for female police officers. Whether or not it’s safe (in any meaning of the word) to use “copchick” will be left up to the reader. 🙂

    5. Its firelady. ~:D They go completely crazy when you add “lady” to anything.
      I tried to find a clip of it but no luck . . . Richard Hammond did/does a BBC show called Crash Course. He went to DFW Intl to take a course in fire fighting and had to race a “girl” fire fighter who was a pleasant looking younger lady of mid to late 20’s or so, with an athletic build (not out of place as a model for sporting clothing or racing swimwear).
      And of a size where she outweighed Hammond (aka Hamster) but a considerable amount and stronger in many ways. Who would you rather rescue you?
      Yeah, I’ll take the lady, there. She made the grade on ability.
      Now, they keep wanting to lower standards for passing, and there is the problem.
      Not only do less able women get past, so do more less able men. So not only do you get the occasional less able woman forcing her way through, but more of the guys suck at the job too. Far more.

      1. I’m a big believer in ability. If the girl can pass the PT and drag the hose pack up five flights of stairs like the boys, I’m happy.

        Problem arises when none of the female candidates can go five flights, so they change it to two flights. Now I’ve got a problem.

        1. That makes it no longer a standard, but a concession. Standards are there for reasons (i.e. Chesterton’s fence). Concessions are usually made by the losing party.

        2. Nor, pace former Colorado Representative Patricia Schroeder, am I willing to have my head bounced along several flights of stairs in the interest of female equality.

        3. Eh. I probably could have when I was young. I didn’t realize I was a freak of nature until husband and i had MALES come help us move. I could keep up with him (When husband was young he could pose for hercules. He still acquires muscles out of nothing) NO ONE ELSE COULD. This was my experience in Portugal too, both lifting and endurance.
          Now… well, the way of flesh, etc.

          1. I’ve always known my limitations. I could keep up with the guys on the timber crew, if I ran all day, but I couldn’t run all day, even with the stops they did normally. BUT, I could walk all day, without the stops they made, at which point they couldn’t keep up with me. It’s not that I wasn’t less able. It was I am short. What I couldn’t do by brute force, I did using leverage. What I couldn’t move 2 at a time I could move one at a time twice as fast. Most of this was not the main part of the job. Timber cruising, marking, running chain and compass (I’m old, predates GPS by two decades), are skills, not physical. That and no matter how wet, how cold, how hot, I did not complain, ever, … not even when I ended up in the hospital.

            I was not on a fire crew. I didn’t belong on a fire crew. I could meet the specs, then, for a forest fire crew, barely. I would have been angry to know the requirements for anything I did was compromised to allow me to do that job.

            Just like hundreds of foresters, it wasn’t me, nor my gender, that force me out of timber. But a tiny little bird. OTOH programming let me fly. Never would have tried without that tiny bird.

          2. I work hard to not be offended when while helping me load the moving truck, a male friend hands over a box and says, “Careful, this one is really heavy!” Thank you, I know. I’m the one who packed it.

            1. In consideration of those warnings, I’ve packed many a box without realizing how heavy and awkward to lift it might be … until the lifting time arrived.

              Additionally, the weight can act differently when being transferred from one person to another than when merely hoisted.

            2. The movers didn’t believe I had boxes that heavy (books) that I could lift and move. Then they found the weights and bench in the next room…

          3. A horrifying number of guys have no idea how to correctly use their body to lift things. I was decently strong, but more importantly I knew how to make stuff work FOR me, so I could move stuff the guy using monkey-muscle couldn’t.

            I got the heck out of the way from guys like my dad or father in law (both very short and lean) who are moving stuff, though. Doesn’t matter they’re a generation older, they’re strong and know the same tricks I do.

  3. * disclaimer that I have not read 1984

    and the part we saw was sort of the Potemkin village of Big Brother, the parts bureaucrats see that make them happy.

    I thought this was explicitly the case. Everyone in the book is part of The Party, but “proles and animals are free”.

  4. they read 1984 and viewed that place as a desirable world

    There have been several mainstream storylines where I’m reading it, and they’re setting up a really great villain where you can emotionally correct but they are still unequivocally wrong and violate the stated, and demonstrated, founding principles of the story thus far….

    and then you realize they don’t realize they’re writing a villain. That’s the protagonist.

    (Check out geek pages on facebook–you don’t need an account to do so– and observe how often this happens.)

    1. I’ve read quite a few of those in recent years. The bad guy, and the other bad guy… well, remember, “nobody is clean, the world sucks, and it’s only normal to stab people in the back if you have a chance.”

      Their world is a dark and sad place.

          1. I grew up on Batman: TAS. There were things I liked about Batman Beyond. A grimly paranoid and untrusting Batman resonates with me.

            I like Rorschach, and argue that he is unambiguously a hero, and the only sane person in Watchman.

            All that said, so much darker and edgier is simply denial that light can and does exist.

            1. Agree. And it is a failure of courage to deny all hope for a brighter tomorrow. Fatalism and pessimism are easy mode. They require no effort.

              1. Particularly when Yvonne Craig (Batgirl) or Julie Newmar (Catwoman #1) showed up. Eartha Kitt wasn’t bad either. I think that was the ONLY reason my dad put up with it.

      1. I don’t mind a certain amount of “black and gray morality” in fiction. Heroes that can be a bit shady can add spice. Firefly and Farscape are both good examples. The nihilism that people claim as “realism” is a whole other ballgame:

        As Ouida, pseudonym of Maria Loise Rame. From “Romance and Realism” in “Frescoes and other stories” (1883) wrote: “But the Vatican Hermes is as ‘real’ as the Japanese netzke, and the dome of St. Peter’s is as real as the gasometer of East London; and I presume the fact can hardly be disputed if I even assert that the passion flower is as real as the potato!”

    2. I’m not sure what pages to be looking for on FB; if it’s not too much trouble, could you give some examples?

      1. There are folks who think Ironman in the comic version of Civil War was excessively moderate (basically, enslave or imprison in a hell dimension everybody with super abilities)
        There’s literal “sterilize everyone, design the kids, issue them to parents only after careful testing for acceptability” folks.
        There are even folks who think the Giver is a great idea…..

      2. Pretty much anything with “Geek” in the title and a bunch of anime/comic book/geeky memes will have examples, and they’re not all trolls.
        Soemtimes you’ll see trolls getting one-upped by the sincere.

  5. This is how we get the erasure of gendered language.

    In English, perhaps. But I’d love to see the left take offense of the grammatical gender found in other languages, let alone try and erase that.

    * * *

    I could ascribe all this to straight up malice, with leftists trying to flex their social muscles in the “call a deer a horse” manner we’ve talked about before. I could also pass it under Hanlon’s razor, and explain it with stupidity instead. Or more likely, plain and simple childish immaturity. However, there is another way to look at this – as a literal mental illness. Namely, what’s called Munchhausen-by-proxy.

    You know the story – a worry-stricken mother gets her child admitted to the hospital, even takes a prolonged leave of absence to further take care of her. And she milks all the praise she can get for being such a devoted parent. Yet the actual symptoms are all over the place – intermittent and inconsistent, often described by the mother rather than the child itself, and the she keeps demanding more and more tests and treatments, and seems to get more restless whenever she’s told the child is actually getting better.

    Does this sound familiar? Whether it concerns oppressed minorities or environmental issues, the left loves the idea of someone having a Problem™, so they can fret about it day and night… in fear it might actually get better without them. Because, if they aren’t such paragons of virtue and fighters for social justice… what would they be?

    Typically, Munchhausen-by-proxy is very hard to pinpoint, but the ultimate proof is found when the wannabe caretaker deliberately starts imitating, exacerbating or outright causing the symptoms of the claimed illness. Like, say, when liberal politicians go to environmental summits while riding private jets. Or when celebrities glorify criminal lifestyles in fiction and music, and then complain about police brutality and prejudice. It’s all about getting attention and praise, with no real desire to end the problems so desperately advertised.

    1. > other languages

      “Latinx.” ROFL.

      First few times I encountered it, I thought it was a new Spanglish word for “mariposa”, which was roughly equivalent to “twink” or “chicken”.

      “No, we’re going to take two different gendered words from a foreign language, and make a new non-gendered word to combine the two, because gender is evil and we’re retards.”


      1. At the college I went to the nongendered ‘x’ suffix gave us the term Filipinx. I didn’t have many friends on campus, but those I did have made it clear that the term gained a lot of popularity for reasons other than what the inventors of the suffix intended.

      2. That’s actually BIZARRE because well, you take a word that’s NOT GENDERED in English. You add o or a to sound, I don’t know multiculti and special.
        And then you become enraged it’s now gendered and substitute a or a with x.
        This is the definition of stupidity. Latin is NOT gendered in English.

        1. My favorite is when they make a verb out of a noun. “Differently abled” is the example euphemism that took over from “physically challenged” or “mentally challenged.” Mostly because smart-asses like myself would pipe up from the back of the room: “How challenged are we talking here? Kinda challenged, or REALLY challenged?”

          A human (or a switch, I suppose) can be “enabled” or “disabled.” They can’t be straight up “abled.” Also the modifier “differently” is hilarious, making Differently Abled my favorite buzzword-bingo phrase in healthcare.

          Leading me to believe that the people who think this shit up are very serious and very thorough… but they’re not very bright.

          “How different are we talking here?” ~:D

      3. Our library has a sign in front that says, “Bibliotecas son para todxs.” First time I saw that, it took me forever to figure out what that meant. I still wonder how actual Spanish speakers feel about Anglos sticking random “X”s in the middles of their words.

        1. Our library has a sign with a picture of a bird on it.

          The library was next to a large church for decades, and the sign was across the street for some reason; Jesus-dove-open hands symbology, as far as I knew.

          Eventually the library moved down the street, and so did the sign. When I mentioned it someone said, “Oh, no, that’s a picture of a book, not a bird!”

          Still looks like a bird to me. So much for how much better pictures are than words.

          Besides being yet another example of the massive fail of the graphics goobers, how much use is someone going to get from the library if they can’t even recognize the word “library”? Granted the staff is probably required to fill the application for a card out for them if they’re that illiterate, what are they going to do now? “Checking out movie DVDs” is not the answer, since the library uses plain white disc cases instead of the ones they come in.

          1. You aren’t aware of Pun with Pictures? In some ways iconography makes it easier to create the ambiguity required for puns.

      4. … gender is evil and we’re retards.

        Please be advised that a) there is nothing amusing abut “gender” — it is a fundamental component of identity for a great many people and b) “retard” is on the official unofficial list of derogatory and demeaning words which Must. Not. Be. Used.

        Present yourself for reeducation and reporgramming at the usual time and place.

        1. RES your statement about the SJW is overdetermined. It should read
          “there is nothing amusing” period end of sentence.

          Q: How Many SJW does it take to change a lightbulb?
          A: Thats NOT funny.

        2. I got booted off a forum for using “never go full retard.” One of the (many!) moderators found it to be Ultimately Offensive, and ordered me to make a public retraction and abasement within (four?) hours. After which there was a spate of ever-angrier PMs as they brought in other moderators to share my “intransigence.” Then, since I was obviously flouting their Authori-tay, I was locked out.

          I found this out, oh, maybe a week later when I chanced by again… apparently it never occurred to any of them that someone wouldn’t be checking in every hour or so see if anything was going on.

          Somewhen “special” became the new euphemism for the mentally defective. Which I find hilarious when I watch the yellow prison buses every morning, with “SPECIAL SCHOOL DISTRICT” lettered onto their sides…

          1. Apparently they never saw or failed to appreciate the brilliantly funny Tropic Thunder, which is where that line comes from. Sigh.

            And yes, its a commentary on method acting.

            1. Not just method acting, but on the trope of big Hollywood stars getting their Oscars and their “serious actor” reputation by playing people with disabilities.

              I’ve never understood how the word “retard” was more offensive than Oscarbation like Forrest Gump, Monster, The Soloist, etc. where a famous actors plays someone with mental illness or retardation to win over the Academy.

    2. I’ve seen it tried in government buildings in Germany. And in some academic journals. Most people just roll their eyes. This is a language where a woman can become neuter based on her job or if you use a suffix of endearment. Men likewise. So I don’t think forcing that highly gendered language into neutrality is going to happen soon.

      1. I read a German once complaining about the changes to the prayers — whenever the term was masculine, you had to say “masculine and feminine” — EXCEPT that in the Hail Mary, where it says, “pray for us sinners” — which is masculine — they never insisted on having the feminine inserted as well.

  6. I wonder sometimes if this is all insanity related to rapid technological change. The official aim is “diveristy,” but the methods and end result is mind-numbing conformity.

  7. “But the left is convinced if they reeee enough to make us stop using gendered nouns the very concept of gender will vanish.”
    I KNOW. Let’s call Lefties “Neuters”. Or maybe “Thingies”. I like Thingies much better.

    1. It’s not that the concept will vanish. It’s that they want to divorce it from biology. They insist that it exists, but that it’s part of your personality that can shift over time.

    2. I will admit to wanting to use it and it’s as pronouns for everyone who lists their preferred pronouns.

      1. I advise against accepting any terminology they select, either for themselves or for anyone else. I try to use “leftist” consistently in talking about them, and “normal American” or “traditional American” in talking about the rest of us. 🙂

        1. Wokelings is getting to be a favorite with me, but only when being polite. Lefties, commies, SJWs, fruitbats, wackadoodles, and then the usual panoply of AngloSaxon words and sayings.

          The International Lord of Hate has a creative swearing post up today, he’s waxing lyrical.

          1. And apparently he’s in Facebonk Jail again for that. *facepaw*

            I sort of like “barking moonbats,” but I don’t remember if that’s copyrighted or not.

        2. I think “Statist” is the best description of a variety (communist socialist progressive fascist NAZI ) of barbarian thugs.

  8. ” The above is in the name of making people jump when you say frog.”
    I always carry a frog sticker. Actually, maybe we all ought to carry a couple dozen peel-and-stick frog stickers, to put on leftist papers/signs/etc.

    1. Had to read to the end of your comment before I realized what you were saying. You see, back when I was a kid a frog sticker was what we called a knife with a long thin blade.
      Of course I would never suggest that pithing a few proggies would be a good idea would I?

      1. AND, at least where I’m from, a “frog sticker” usually had a fixed blade. I kinda miss mine sometimes, even if it was a crappy knife made in Pakistan, and the blade rusted in spots no matter what I tried to do to stop it.

        1. I always thought it was a 3 or more pronged spear head used to stick frogs. Wouldn’t want them to get away one you stuck them. Frog Legs, YUMMMM.

          1. The three pronged spear thing is a frog gigger.

            Although you might be right that I wasn’t thinking of the right implement. I’m starting to think I was thinking of a pig sticker (which also makes no sense, because who in their right mind would use one of those on a pig).

            1. Actually the terms are relatively synonymous. And a pig sticker is a very valuable thin bladed knife used for the first cut into a freshly killed hog so that the carcass can bleed out quickly before making any further attempts to butcher the animal.

              1. ” for the first cut into a freshly killed hog so that the carcass can bleed out quickly before making any further attempts to butcher the animal.”

                LOL! 🙂 I grew up on a small farm. I’ve only ever seen that cut made (on a hog) with a plain old butcher knife. I have seen a skinner knife used for that on a deer, but a skinner isn’t even close to a pig sticker. And once I saw a man use a machete to do that on a steer (cut, not chop. Sharpened machete But yea, pretty creepy to watch). OH! Come to think of it, I once saw a dumb-ass kid try to use a katana to decapitate a live hog. He THOUGHT it was sharp, but it pretty much bounced off. The hog wasn’t amused. (Note: To be honest, it wasn’t a “real” katana, it was one of those crap ones posers buy for decoration. Although it was “sharp”, for certain values of the word sharp.)

        1. You gig froggies, then pith them to humanely end their suffering. Frog legs taste remarkably like rabbit, which tastes an awful lot like chicken.
          Proggies are very much larger and their meat is of no earthly value whatsoever. Doesn’t even make decent fertilizer.

          1. Can be used to feed Pigs, Lions, ants and other predators. But yes, not much use to other humans. Still, more useful then when they were alive.

          2. Proggies … meat is of no earthly value

            It’s their Vegan diet; lack of fat means they are stringy and have little flavour.

            So, the Veganism is a defense mechanism?

            1. Apparently, there are a lot of vegan white supremacists. The article was idiotic so I’m not going to try to find it, but I probably got it from Insty, if anyone wants to dig for it.

              1. Its difficult to tell, the definition of “white supremacist” having become so malleable that it is essentially synonymous with “fascist” and “doody-head.”

  9. > How about why is fireman a bad thing? Note I’m perfectly happy for there to be a firewoman too.

    Because if they’re “gender-ambiguous” or suited and masked for work and you can’t tell what gender they prefer at the moment, and you “mis-gender” them, that’s a HATE CRIME! REEEE!

    I did note that “Congressperson”, pushed *very* hard in the 1970s and 1980s, seems to have faded away; we have “Congressmen” and “Congresswomen” now, including the far-left ones…

      1. How about Congressfiend? “You’ve got a fiend in Congress.”


        Sigh. I sometimes miss the older, ruder days when we could just call the by their basic job description: Whore. Or, for those wishing to avoid demeaning honest service providers, Congresswhore.

        1. On further reflection, I suggest Congresshole as appropriate, congress representing a black African-American hole into which our tax dollars are dumped, populated by a different but equally undesirable kind of hole.

    1. I suspect the push toward gender-norming titles arises from one of the basic tools of persuasion: get the sucker prospect to agree with you on small, innocuous matters, such as terminology (really, what’s the point in arguing, right?) and that makes it easier to push them to the desired goal. So Feminist Scolds Activists demanded we moderate language as a step toward getting us to moderate behaviour.

      Just one more, small little step – you’ve already come so far!

      1. Sigh – I was <I<sure I had closed that strikethrough!

        I suspect the push toward gender-norming titles arises from one of the basic tools of persuasion: get the sucker prospect to agree with you on small, innocuous matters, such as terminology (really, what’s the point in arguing, right?) and that makes it easier to push them to the desired goal. So Feminist Scolds Activists demanded we moderate language as a step toward getting us to moderate behaviour.

        Just one more, small little step – you’ve already come so far!

    2. I think that part of the reason why congresscritter is gendered again is because it’s harder to push the idea of a fearless female legislator crusading for the rights of women against the patriarchy if it’s a congressperson.

  10. “Why did it cost the Ontario government over $100 mill? Corruption.” Could it be that employees were smokin’ the inventory? Ooooooooooooooooooo, mannnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn, this is goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooood weed!

    1. The government grew it. I’m willing to bet that it’s actually some of the worst weed anyone has ever smoked.

      1. Right Likely they either planted straight up HEMP (low to No THC) or oregano (suitable for tomato sauces etc.) Or perhaps Cat Nip.

      1. Well you see their problem is that they’re trying to make a profit. Here in Alabama the state stores more or less break even. But they do provide a lot of jobs for cousins and brothers-in-law of politicians who would otherwise be indigent and on the public dole.
        Periodically it’s been suggested that the state stores be closed and private industry take over, still with all alcohol flowing through the state control board of course, but without all that infrastructure and salary overhead. It goes to committee and somehow always seems to disappear.
        Similarly, we still have a number of dry counties which propose to become wet on almost a yearly basis. It’s always voted down under extreme opposition from the preachers and the bootleggers.

        1. There is also the consideration that Profit is evil, representing the exploitation of the Working Classes by evil Evil Capitalists! It is only by strict application of government oversight that we can ensure no profits are made, even if that requires working overtime.

          Attending necessary staff retreats in which products are sampled, tested, and reviewed to ensure our staff are prepared and able to advise customers on all their consumption choices is just a small part of the sacrifice made, one which staff are proud to perform for no more than double-time.

        1. In Iowa, just across the river from where I used to live, they sold 6% beer and 12% wine in grocery stores, but hard liquor only in state owned and operated stores, one per zip code. Made things interesting on my side of the river, and dang near impossible on the Iowa side, lines around the block in the run up to the holidays.
          Now there was a group of seven villages in eastern central Iowa called the Amana Colonies. Originally founded by an off shoot German Lutheran sect, they form a popular tourist area specializing in arts, crafts, fine fabrics, wood working, and wine making. Their wind makers have a special dispensation from the state that allows them to produce wines with an 18-20% alcohol content. And all those wine shops offer free tastings. I could never handle more than three or four shot sized sips.

          1. Amana Colonies. Darn good eating establishments there. Made many trips while at University of Iowa and try to stop by whenever visiting back home.

          2. I got my mother a bottle of rhubarb wine there once. My only condition was that she could not expect me to drink any of it. We had rhubarb in the back yard when I was young, and I had my lifetime supply of it before I turned 8. Can’t stand it at all.

            They had some nice multicolored cotton sweaters; not dyed, just different strains of cotton.

    2. Look, somebody has to perform quality control checks on the product! It is essential that the Public be protected against substandard reefer. It’s a nasty job, sure, which is why the QC People require College Degrees and generous compensation in salaray and benefits.

      I would think you would appreciate the effort your government goes to to ensure only the finest rope-weed is sold in your shops.

      1. Sounds like the stuff gleaned from ditches in areas that grew hemp during WWII. Some of the college potheads were *really* broke.

  11. “But they are not at war with us. They are at war with reality.”

    They _are_ at war with us as well. We have the advantage because as you point out, reality is on _our_ side, not theirs.

      1. Recall when they declared themselves the “Reality-Based” Community?

        Does anything in that claim assert actual interaction with Reality? Or is the implication that they left that base far behind?

        1. Considering some of the stuff blurted out in the debates, I think a fair number are acid-based. Generally Lysergic.

  12. And let’s not start on things like “Janitor”. For some reason “cleaning person” was bad. I’m trying to remember what the latest word for it is.

    “Sanitary engineer”? Or is that already passe?

    During my life I have seen the polite term for someone of sub-Saharan African descent change from Negro to Black to Afro-American back to Black and finally to African American. None of it accomplished diddly squat in terms of race relations. But it sure made the nascent SJWs feel like they were doing something.

    1. I’ve been known to confess that my two favorite African Americans are Peter Grant and Charlise Theron.

    2. Same here. I’m really rather tired of the constant churn through terminology. I’ll stick to “Black” or “of Color” and the hell with it.
      And get off my lawn!

      1. United Negro College Fund

        National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

        When they change those names I will consider changing my terminology. It ain’t like new letterhead is all that expensive.

  13. for decades we LET them.

    What do you mean “we,” kemosabee?

    Mostly it was the Journalists Caste, and mostly because they are insecure, Few journalists get past the fact they are commodities, easily replaceable hacks of little intellectual stature. So they take instruction in word choice for fear of a complaint campaign eliminating their tenure (old-style cancel culture) and to ape the manners of those they imagine to be their betters.

    Otherwise people just sorta kinda go along with the flow. They read or, increasingly, hear the journalists using those terms and subconsciously pick them up through osmosis.

    It can, I think, in America be attributed to problems of race … excuse me: of Race. The long-term collective guilt of White Folk, especially those supposedly socially conscious, made them particularly susceptible to the complaints (and demands) of race activists in large part because terms of racial identification were often used as slurs. To identify as being on the Right Side of History (and not like those people) it was necessary to watch one’s language … with a corresponding carelessness about what were once delicately referred to as “four-letter” words.

    And of course, as always, social climbers have typically been insecure about word usage.

  14. Sigh… What they forget is there are a bunch of grumpy old men and women of all ethnicities that DON’T care for either the direction or the pronunciations from the left. We’ve been there, done that, and thrown the damn t-shirt away a long time ago. But we have never forgotten our oath to defend the constitution from enemies both foreign and domestic. AND we have the tools to do that.

      1. A few years ago I read a report about a “disturbance” in… Charlotte? Louisville? The police didn’t show up for over an hour despite 911 being bombed with calls.

        Turned out their new “procedure” was to wait for a full half hour after the last gunfire call, “to assure the safety of our officers.”

        Further checking showed it’s becoming a common thing now.

        They wear uniforms and badges, but they’re not policemen. They’re not even men. They’re weasels.

        1. Identify a respected institution.
        2. kill it.
        3. gut it.
        4. wear its carcass as a skin suit, while demanding respect.
        – David Burge

        1. When seconds count the police are only minutes away.
          Has always been true, but more valid than ever these days.

        2. But their work is so haaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrd! They shouldn’t be expected to go into dangerous situations! In the meantime some soldier jumps on a grenade.

          If the police want to have respect and not be considered as a brotherhood of thugs they should start by not adopting every trait that the cop-haters said they had.

          1. And yet they often like to think they aren’t civilians along with the rest of us not subject to the UCMJ

  15. And if you think there is no difference in gender performance for both of those, you’re of your rocker. And you shouldn’t talk while the adults are talking. Because police women have both advantages and disadvantages over men.

    Men and women tend to come at problems from different perspectives, often arriving at different, yet valid, workable solutions. One of the biggest shifts in law enforcement, outside of the hiring of more women, I’ve seen has been hiring much smaller, physically weaker, officers. At least around here. When I was a kid and my grandfather was sheriff, nearly all the officers were taller, heavier, more heavily muscled, than the average male population. And if a smaller officer was hired, they tended to be quite strong.

    There was a shift in hiring around here in the 90s where officers started looking more like the general population. By the 2000s the ‘larger’ department around here was putting cautions in for people as “3 (or 4) car run”, while the smaller department I worked at was still hiring the bigger, stronger, officers and shaking their heads over these cautions. Because our department was dealing with the exact same people, but wasn’t having any issues with them. I remember working one night and there were three officers dealing with a guy and they were screaming on the radio for more help because he was “resisting”. One of our officers was close by and went to assist. He flipped the guy around, grabbed his arms and bent him over the trunk, then looked back at the other department’s officers, “One of you want to cuff him now?”

    I think one of the issues with hiring the smaller, physically weaker, officers has been an influx of people with ‘napoleon syndrome’. They don’t have the physical stature to command the attention and give them pause to get to the reasoning the problem out part. And then feel that if the people aren’t giving the proper respect of authority to the position, then they need to get aggressive. This reflects poorly on the department’s officer selection process and training. Nearly all situations can be reasoned out. There’s really only a few that need be physical, but when those situations arise they need to be physical rather than just making the problem worse.

    1. Have a some-sort-of-cousin who was a cop in the 80s.

      He pulled a trucker over.

      Said trucker cussed him a blue streak, and ended with–
      “and if you’d get off my (Monday-Friday) running board, I’d get out of this truck and kick your (fundament)!”
      Cousin-the-cop: “Sir, I am not standing on your running board.”

      Apparently at that point the guy suddenly became a LOT more polite…..

      1. LOL. Dad was over six feet tall. He’s shrunk a little. For Portugal at the time — keep in mind, when I was 12 and over 5’4″ I was taller than ALL my male teachers — he was a giant.
        I remember several guys pulling up behind us to (they thought) engage in fisty cuffs over some imagined offense, and dad would just get out of the car and stand. Suddenly it was all “Oh, I just wanted to apologize…”

      2. TINS. I was standing in Old NFO’s kitchen. Peter Grant, Lawdog, OldNFO, and MattG were also in the kitchen. I felt sooooooo short.

    2. As I recall, the goal was to reduce the tendency of police to physically intimidate the public. Legislators and theorists (BIRM) decided that police/public interactions could be improved by eliminating that element of intimidation and that selecting officers on the basis of physical power was discriminatory.

      IT worked very well in their laboratories.

    3. Well, look at LAPD and how much manpower (and how many Tasers) they claimed were absolutely necessary to subdue one (1) unruly drunk.

      Unless Rodney King had some sort of super mojo powers, LAPD has been in bad shape since well before 1991…

  16. we used to say “police woman.” And if you think there is no difference in gender performance for both of those, you’re of your rocker.

    WARNING: Not For Faint Of Heart

    Hard to believe America was so unWoke in the last forty years!

    Let’s not even get started on Star Trek: The Original Series’ Yeoperson Rand!

  17. I always thought oriental was a good descriptive word for the far east. You really can’t get any more east. And while I don’t know everyone, I don’t know any actual far east Asians who think it’s pejorative.

    1. Thing to remember, though, is that Oriental has also been used to reference what we now call the Middle-East. Technically, that’s also part of Asia, meaning that yes, the Israelis are Asians. But no one thinks of the region or its inhabitants as part of Asia.

      1. But no one thinks of the region or its inhabitants as part of Asia.

        Pfui. No one thinks of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh as part of Asia. Essentially, if the eyes aren’t “slanted” it ain’t Asian.

        1. Not true. If you live in Great Britain, then ‘Asian’ typically refers to people from the sub-continent. Britain’s Asian experience was largely in India. Ours’ was in the Far East.

          Further, if you mention Asia, people will readily include India as part of the geographic land mass. In contrast, I know that when I think of the Middle East, I often forget that it’s also a part of Asia.

  18. I think there’s a backlash coming that those minorities that allowed themselves to be taken under the Left Wing are going to be seriously unhappy about. How happy are Blacks going to be when society decides, “Screw this, if I get called racist no matter what I do, then y’all are Niggers. Cope.”

  19. Two items at National Review Online, one link because …

    Merriam-Webster Adds Non-Binary Definition of ‘They’ to Dictionary
    Merriam-Webster has updated its dictionary with an additional definition of ‘they’ reflecting the word’s increased usage as a pronoun.
    By Zachary Evans

    Redefine ‘Woman,’ Activists Urge
    And then they came for the dictionary.
    By Madeleine Kearns

    1. Facepalm. I recently read a fantasy novel in which the plural third-person was used for a specific character (and, no, that character was neither possessed nor a hive-species nor existing in any other “plural” status). I mostly enjoyed it – BUT there were paragraphs in which I had to think TOO HARD about the described action, because of this particular choice. I really would have preferred artificial pronouns.

      1. Yep. It’s bullshit. I’m working on a novel that has an hermaphrodite world (yes, those of you who have read various stages of it, it is on now) and after tries with artificial pronouns I’m using he/him. Why? Because that’s how the Earth ambassador PERCEIVES them.

    2. But they already redefined it. To the point that asking to clarify whether they mean real-woman or Prog-“woman” (since it’s demonstrably not the same) whenever you want to break the pacing is an option.

  20. I was going to say that the really gross offenders are the radical feminists. Some of these manage to believe six impossible things before breakfast. In their world, biology is governed by political considerations and what passes for logical discourse is an exercise in doublethink. They do not realize that the impressive castle they have built is founded on solid air.
    However, based on fragmentary reports, I could probably say much the same thing about the entire target constituency of the DNC.

  21. “But they are not at war with us. They are at war with reality.”

    According to an FBI infiltrator in the 60s, the Weather Underground was prepared to slaughter 25 million Americans who would refuse to be “re-educated” by the leftists. By today’s population, that would be about 42 million.

    1. Yes, the problem with leftists who war with reality is that a lot of people get killed while the left fights its losing war. So they do lose the war against reality, but millions of dead are left in their wake.

    2. sure. They are also at war with us, insofar as we’re part of reality, but their war is much bigger and crazier. They are like late-stage Roman emperors who declared war on the gods.

  22. They are sure they can do it. See what Jim Jones did to control “his people”, group “struggles” during the cultural revolution in China. In the peoples republic of the bay area, the President of the United States is coming. For security, No One knows where he will be. Talk about a no go area.

    The propaganda is thick here. In last sunday’s bird cage liner, half the front page was an “article” on how wonderful “red flag” laws were, and how they “may have thwarted mass shootings”, while the Saudi oil attack is on page 6.
    California is the model they seek to impose on America. Corruption, communism, correction, then concentration camps.

  23. I’ve been both an Airman and a Landman (assistant, but even so)… still have all my lady parts.

    With gendered language we have a choice and no one in the Air Force is surprised if an Airman is female and no one in petroleum is surprised if a Landman is a woman. So the choice is to allow a word to mean what it means and no more, or choose to pretend that something nefarious is going on.

    It seems to be fashionable to pretend that something nefarious is going on.

      1. Not that different. There was a definite movement afoot to change some of the names of rates to make them gender neutral. “Yeoman” was supposed to be “administrative specialist”, for example. “Personnelman” has already changed to “personnel specialist”. What they were going to do to “corpsman” I have no idea.

        Then there was Admiral Richardson’s brilliant idea a couple of years ago to take away rates entirely. That didn’t last long, thankfully.

        1. What they were going to do to “corpsman” I have no idea.

          I believe President Obama pronounced in support of converting it into “corpse.”

  24. An amazing amount of these people…believed that they were going to Be Someone when they grew up. It’s like Henry Hill’s last line in “Goodfellas”-“Now, I’ve got to be a schmuck like the rest of them.”

    And, they are so scared of falling into (what they think is) the mass grey lumpen proletariat that they are willing to fight for the slightest bit of agency.

    1. And the means by which they get it isn’t by raising themselves up but by ripping everyone else down

  25. In a comment on an article on the most recent episode of “A Handmaid’s Tale”, someone actually thought that there are concentration camps in the US. Obviously the point of the show to scare its viewers into doing whatever the crazy progressives want or it will happen here! This is propaganda at its most blatant. To show that women are “silenced” , Handmaids in DC are shown with their mouths closed with metal hoops piercing their lips.

    How do you fight against this? By showing the asininity of it. And by showing it as torture porn?

    1. The problem is most of these people are beyond reasoning. What they are told by the cultural overlords is what they believe, and any evidence to contrary is ignored, suppressed, and the bearer destroyed.

    2. That seems credible to the Left because that is how they treat women.

      Juanita, Monica, Kathleen … not to mention all the ladies “mentored” by Harvey Weinstein and Clinton Foundation co-founder Jeffrey Epstein.

      1. Also known as the 3rd Law of SJWs: «SJWs always project».
        Occasionally, they have that weird thing when minions project on behalf of their bosses, but that’s not too different.

  26. As long as they can rain down hell on anyone that publicly causes problems to them thru the use of either force of law or force of culture they will have more than enough time to ensure they will live their life in pleasure and power as will their children. It’s only further down the line that stuff starts to ho sideways for regime. Especially if there is no objective knowledge of any other options.

    Theres always a pliable class looking for any excuse to cause harm, and we’re just starting to see the effects of them being given free reign.

  27. 1984 is the key: NewSpeak. If you control the words well enough, you control what they can and cannot think (I KNOW that’s BS, it’s just what the “this is no longer allowed” crowd believes.)

    And when’s the best time to stand up against it? Now. And next time, and every time after that. One win doesn’t win.

    As one Mal Reynold put it:

    Sure as I know anything, I know this – they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, ten? They’ll swing back to the belief that they can make people… better.

    (Yeah, I know Wheedon is a left-looning nutjob, but blind squirrels & nuts don’t you know…)

    1. yeah, Whedon doesnt even realize it is his ‘side’ that think they can ‘make people better’

      I experienced this in CA when dealing with a llocal Whedon fan organization, and with the SoCal Browncoats

      on a Browncoats mailing list a bunch of people freaked out when my roomate and I proposed that we take a group range trip…

      to keep it in Firefly terms, these people don’t realize that THEY are ‘the Alliance’

  28. ‘I.e. if I say “There isn’t enough diversity in science fiction”… ‘

    Dangit. No. I am *not* going to scribble down any more on that monstrous beast of a sci-fi/fantasy/space/zombie apocalypse/time travel thing that wants to be a series. Go find another head to make a home in!

    If they really wanted science fiction to be more diverse in the actual sense of the word, well, consider it already accomplished. Anyone can write what they darned well please, and if it is good enough, folks will read it these days. Or even mostly tolerable. With all the broohaha over this and that these days, escapsim is alive and well.

    It is just that a certain kind of folk want to make their fantasy our reality, I suppose. That is a problem.

  29. ” There is no other reason, no other point, no other purpose to it, than to prove to themselves that they can make people do exactly as they want, on threat of social ostracism if they don’t.”

    Blamo! Nailed it. These people get off on forcing others to do and say what they want. Like my Homeowners Assoc getting nasty because I won’t repaint my front door from SeaFoam#3 to SeaFoam#4. No one can tell the difference, they just want to make me jump.

    Ctrl-Left indeed.

  30. The weird thing about the left side of this country is that they think not only that they can but that they should regulate our speech, our beliefs and our thoughts.

    It’s only weird when you play along with their pretense that they are not what they are.
    When considered as a neo-Puritan theocracy under the clown makeup, well, it would be weird if they didn’t.

  31. You don’t express emotions the same way.
    BADTHINK! Doubleplusungood! How dare you!

    (If the radical feminists had their way, we certainly would all express emotions the same way. Blecch.)

  32. I used the term “oriental” in front of an HR fellow (he was the only male in the dept. and didn’t last long) and he corrected me: “We don’t say ‘oriental’. Use ‘asian’.” I thought to myself that an “asian” is anyone living between the Urals and the Sea of Japan and from the Arctic to the Indian Ocean. “Asian” as an identifier is meaningless. “Oriental” always meant SE Asian as in Chinese, Korean, etc. to me and people from elsewhere could be ID’ed as “Persian” or “Indian” or “Turk” or any of the myriad other peoples living on the world’s largest continent. I didn’t make an issue of it but, in hindsight, I probably should have.

    People who want “diversity” in SF must not actually read SF. SF writers have been populating their stories with the weirdest, most diverse creatures they can imagine. That they don’t insert such mundane creatures as homosexual humans or Africans or female midgets from New Jersey makes their stories just that much more interesting. We live with human freaks every day but three-eyed, tentacled, inter-dimensional Arcturians are something else altogether.

    1. I must admit I get the giggles at the idea of folks thinking the place to strike a stand for “diversity” is the one where a sizable percent of the most popular characters are not even human.

      1. But Worsel did not spend all his time whining about how the historical oppression of his people by the overlords of Delgon was so traumatic that he was permanently crippled and incapable. Therefore, in every important way Worsel was merely a male Anglo-Saxon Protestant, and in no sense diverse.

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