Once the Trust is Gone



What do you do after you lose trust in your institutions? All your institutions? What happens to a civilization when every public institution, everything we are supposed to trust and believe has provably lied to us?

From the media with their increasingly crazy and public lying and insanity, to professional associations (“gun epidemic”), to our schools (really, really, children walking out to protest climate change? Because yes, children know things you didn’t tell them), to our scientific studies that no one can actually reproduced, to our contaminated, cheating elections (really, Arizona? We’ll keep the polls open till the leftist wins?) to the fact that one party in the US is fronting candidates that no one can actually believe and who seem to be living in a parallel universe, to our corrupted statistics for both census and production and cost of living, to the frigging polls, to–

Look, all “elites” lie to the people, and arguably our institutions lied a lot more to us in the past. Or if not more, at least as much.

Now for the first time, though, there are ways to verify and to question what we’re being told, and again, I must ask: What happens when the people lose all trust in their institutions?

Perhaps it’s an effect of catastrophic technological change. Perhaps it’s why it’s not so obvious in the rest of the world?

Or is it obvious in the rest of the world? There seems to be a lot of “unexpectedly” in foreign elections recently.

Or perhaps it’s the result of our elites going off on a kind of determined vision of what the future is that prevents them from seeing the reality that everyone else sees.  But then again this has happened to a lot of elites throughout the ages without people losing all confidence.

Except of course, when people have and Madame la Guillotine worked overtime, and when there were sudden and horrible upheavals.

Look, I’ll be honest, with people losing all respect for all institutions and credentials, we’re running close to the idea of the people who take revenge on the elites after nuclear war in A Canticle for Leibowitz: “Yes, we’re simple, and we shall have a great simplification.”

I don’t see any way out of this that doesn’t involve an upheaval and the throwing away of the baby with the bathwater.  Some things are possible, like the replacing of the corrupt mass media by people on the scene.  And perhaps other things, like replacing corrupt politicians (we hope.)  But how do you replace scientists? how do you investigate scientific knowledge and determine the wheat from the shaft? How do you regain trust in our government agencies?

Throughout the world, when people have bragged of bodies composed entirely of women (Sweden) and awards given on the basis of everything but what the award is actually for, how do you regain trust.

Trust is built slowly, over generations. It can be squandered very quickly.  Once it’s squandered, how do you regain it?

Look, guys, we make lots of fun of people who think the Earth is flat. Rightly so. But there are things you can’t verify for yourself.

If someone tells us that Iran has launched missiles at us, do you believe them? What institution would you believe, if there were a big explosion somewhere and we were told “Oh, that was an Iranian missile.” Or, alternately “That was a meteor.”  Any?

Because I have to tell you — I’m all out of trust, and I don’t think I’m alone in this.

Is this survivable?  Or are we like a marriage where you come home and find your spouse in bed with the paper boy and she tells you “I’m completely faithful. Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?”  Where divorce is the only possible recourse.  But how do you divorce your own institutions: schools, universities, professional certification bodies, corporations, agencies, the press itself?

In this year of the great unmasking, where the kings and queens dance naked in the streets, how do we survive this perilous times? Whom can we trust?

Build under, build over, build around.  Tell the truth or at least don’t lie.  Remember to build in truth, because there is no hiding from it.  We live in the times when the secret of every heart shall be revealed.

Build under, build over, build around.  Build solid. Because the only other bridge past this time of troubles is built of blood, of human bones, and of a dark age that might or might not flourish again into the light.

Be not afraid, but be aware.  And don’t be lulled into either complacence or despondence.  We’re surrounded by lies. It’s up to us to find our way through them.


394 thoughts on “Once the Trust is Gone

  1. When things are so far gone as to be, well, not even *this* out of whack (and speaking of, do we really want to be *in* whack? It sounds rather sanity-lacking to me), the truth gains another property. Laughter.

    The scolds on the left have no humor left in them, or at best very little. And there is no defence against laighter. They can *try* to make it un-funny. Poor fools. But the trying makes them all the sadder.

    Well. There’s the gulags, I suppose. But between the laughter and the gulags we’ve a ways to go yet (and my, isn’t *that* a sentence I never thought I’d write).

    Perhaps it’s alike to a secret code. We can poke fun at our politicians on our side. We can poke fun at ourselves, too. They can’t. Heck, satirists shy away from the Left because they take it upon themselves to *top you* when you are merely being funny. Now if that ain’t sad- and funny- I don’t know what is. *grin*

      1. I’m just curious how large a light bulb is it, if you can squeeze radical feminists inside and leave them room to screw.

        1. I think it also depends on what accessories are employed, such as whether we’re talking single point or double-header. Absent such appliances there will be no screwing (except politically, morally, ethically and emotionally) ongoing.

          The first step in determining any answer is to clearly define the question.

    1. We can poke fun at our politicians on our side. We can poke fun at ourselves, too.

      That is one of the least discussed advantages Trump has. Despite the enormous ego (or at least the one he pretends to have…still not sure myself) he will carefully use self-depreciating humor. Often it is very dry, like “sorry about the wait; tricky business” comment when he gave his victory speech.

      Still he laughs at himself. He laughs about the foibles of his supporters and we do the same to him (I still claim his hair is a mind control Tribble and that explains all of it).

        1. Only from Captain Koloth’s ship. Commander Kang, his wife Mara, and Commander Kor have more stones, brass, and character than the average Never-Trumper.

                1. True.

                  I find Carrie Fisher attractive and all in that bit, but I don’t get the fascination.

                  Mara, with the dusky complexion and the very 60s super future make-up and the Klingon attitude. That’s attractive.

                  If I reflect on the Leia thing you kind of hit on the downside, but only kind of. If you’re into the whole slave girl imagery (and I am) go all out and embrace it, but also get beyond the 13 year old version. Get some imagery out of Orientalist paintings of “harems” and the ideas of things like Odalisques and bath slaves.

                  Scantily dressed girl as sex object is fun, but not nearly as fun as scantily trained slave girl with much of the same training as Inara. I cannot image Leia that way. I certainly wouldn’t lean back on the edge of the tub and trust her to shave me (aside: single ladies looking to stand out or married ladies looking for a new connection, learn to shave your man with a safety razor or, even better, a straight razor).

                    1. Yes, it very much is. Shaving yourself most of the feedback is in your shaved portion.

                      Also, it is a skill you can get lots of toys. When the girl recently taught a class on it an attendee said her collection of razors, brushes, creams, soaps, etc were “a bootblack kit”.

                  1. Ok, that does it! Now I have a mental image of a green skinned Inara wearing a metal bikini top and nothing else but strategically placed silk scarves, shaving me with a straight razor….and thankfully her last name is not “Bobbit”….and we’re talking about our next heist……….wait….hmm, okay never mind. I’m good with that.

          1. (Goes to Memory Alpha, reviews the relevant Klingons. Yep.) Saw almost none of DS9. Life got in the way.

      1. Someone who is capable of self-depreciating humor is someone who is visibly showing “I can relax, and I don’t take myself seriously all the time.” There’s a lot of the bravado that’s very obviously an act, but there’s also the genuine shining through, which is what the average person responds to, and acknowledges: ‘I know you have to put on a bit of a show, but I get the honest bits of you too.’

        Witness the clumsy attempts of Warren and other Democrats to show they’re ‘no different than the average American’ – they only really highlight that they don’t, in fact, behave like the Average American.

        Trump on the other hand, I can easily imagine, even back before he was President, being very capable of smelling a hot dog wagon’s wares, and telling his driver to pull over, get out, and happily buying some of the goods, chatting to the seller about his sales, the business, the food, and how good it smells.

        And bringing back some for his driver.

  2. There is a way (probably only one of a number, but the one I’m familiar with) of divorcing the institutions that are comprehensively lying to us, and doing so increasingly incompetently. In my experience, it comes from the Amish world–shunning. You see the results of shunning in our society in many ways: the explosive growth of the home-school movement; the cratering of viewership/readership in the mainstream media; academia being unable to meet their registration goals, and being increasingly sued in the courts for their discriminatory practices against conservatives, males, and caucasians. I’m sure there are more examples, those are just the ones that spring immediately to mind.

    The widespread civil disobedience to any and all firearms relinquishment laws could be considered a form of shunning too, as could the growth of organizations like Oath Keepers, etc., as a collaborative form of protection and self-defense when the governmental authorities show themselves unable or unwilling to perform those roles.

    So the rejection of previous power structures and the construction of alternative ones may be one fairly non-violent (for the time being, at least) way of addressing the problem of our “elite” class finally being unable to keep its fundamental mendacity and craziness from being revealed.

      1. 40 years ago, my ideas about society put me slightly left of center. (supposedly…)

        Now, largely unchanged, I’m off in barking-moonbat crazed right-wing territory.

        The Overton Window keeps moving…

        As the Democratic Party keeps trying to twist the knob past “11”, they’re alienating their former core constituency in favor of… I know what they *say*, but I don’t think even the Presidential candidates have any plan beyond “say anything that might get me some more media attention.”

        1. “Tired of the same old view out the same old windows? Get new windows from Overton. The Overton MX-Windows move, and your view moves right along with them. If you really like a view, we can also install a traditional picture window, or, if fear you might need to break things up later, ask about the Overton DensePack. Life doesn’t stand still. Why should your windows? Get Overton Windows and get with it.”

          1. I remember when the Drudge report was conservative and actually had news in it. It used to be the first page I’d read, then went downhill, especially after Nov, 2016. I finally deleted the bookmark entirely. Headline after headline about how Trump is going to be impeached!!!11eleventy! And generally for something taken out of context or flat-out lies. (Rest of rant deleted)

            Hmm, kind of like how RedState fell off the rotation when they went full TDS. They’re sloooowly getting my trust back, but Eric Erickson did a lot of damage befor he left.

            1. He did a lot of damage to the local talk radio station too, for the same reason. He had drive time going into the election. I don’t think he does not, but haven’t gone back to check.

            2. I just do not understand the Never Trumpers. The alternative right now to Trump is the Democratic/Communist Party. Trump at his absolute worst is still far better than the Commies. And yet they would rather see a Commie get elected rather than Trump re-elected…even though economy is good and Trump at least tries to pursue policies that have OUR national interest in mind. Given the actual facts, I think the Never Trumpers are outright pyschopaths.

              1. I think I understand them, and despise ’em.

                I see the NeverTrumpers as members of the junior division of the Permanent Bipolar Fusion Party, whose motto should be “Where’s Mine?”, or perhaps “How dare these peasants not do our bidding?” Witness the NTs vowing to support Joe Biden in 2020, or that creepy guy Weld pushing capital punishment for the Ukrainian non-crime. SMH. Hint: they think Trump is either a peasant or a traitor to the PBFP.

                We saw this on a smaller scale locally. Some of the GOPe were beaten in primaries, and the local establishment refused to support the Republicans who won. One other guy was recalled as a county commissioner, and defeated for state representative in the primary. He switched parties to the Donks, and still lost.

              2. Never Trumpers are in over their heads, so deep, they are part of the swamp! They know should he get more firmly unobstructed they are SOL, as the swamp gets drained. All they have done is expose themselves.

                ** Side note. Laptop failure. Have to use my elderlyish Samsung 8″. Better than the phone. … But, damn. **

              3. If I read it right, they’re insisting that the only reason we aren’t in a declared recession is manipulation to put it off until after the election.

                So either they don’t think the economy is good or they’re lying.

                I lean toward lying, but I do recall someone (probably here) mentioning that they had a boggling conversation with someone who looked back wistfully on the seventies as economically preferable to the eighties, explained by said person having been in government jobs….

              4. It is possible that they are simply folks who find their worldview rocked and the stability they thought they had, gone. Much like the deep state bureaucrats. The shock’s been a bit much for them, thus they’ve gone a bit crazy.

                1. Over in the Philippines, you have Duterte Derangement Syndrome. It’s globalistic support is FAR more visible, given that the lefties there keep trying to get help from the UNHCR to ‘enforce’ things.

                  I mean, the President in the Philippines gets a single 6 year term (which is why there’s been attempts to try change the government to a parliamentary system, but the resistance to this is big, and some dimwit tried to accuse Duterte of going to try, which he showed no signs of ever wanting to do.)

              5. Never Trump believers (IMHO) are the leftists within the GOP who are in favor of the slow road to globalism. Trump represents a turning away from globalism which is why the NTB’s refuse to support him, and are being voted out of office in growing numbers…So the NTB’s are basically thinking along the same lines at the radical fascist left controlling the democrat partei right now…OF COURSE they’re psychopaths!

              6. If you haven’t noticed, the never-Trumpers are the donkeys in elephant’s clothing. At least, the ones I’ve seen. They wanted to continue the slow slide into leftism, boiling the frog. Then Trump started hopping around, telling everyone they were being boiled.

                1. LOL…missed that.

                  Most “leftist” “hedonists” wouldn’t know dangerous kink if it bit them even if they checked okay on biting on their checklist.

                  Safe, sane, and consensual is the way to gut being kinky. Consensual is fine, but how is S&M safe or sane by normal standards?

        2. As the Democratic Party keeps trying to twist the knob past “11”, they’re alienating their former core constituency in favor of… I know what they *say*, but I don’t think even the Presidential candidates have any plan beyond “say anything that might get me some more media attention.”
          There you go, The Media (who are almost totally with them while driving them), and their loudest raving loons are who they wish to appease.

          1. Submitted for your consideration …

            Dems Will Have To Lie About Their Agenda To Win, Poll Shows
            A recent Harvard/Harris Poll of 2,531 registered voters shows why.

            Unlike other polls, this one attempted to gauge support for Trump and a Democratic opponent without using any names. The question just described their respective agendas.

            Here’s the text:

            “Which candidate are you more likely to vote for:

            “A presidential candidate who stands for the green new deal on climate change, Medicare for all, free college tuition, opening our borders to many more immigrants and raising taxes to pay for these programs.”

            Or …

            “A presidential candidate who stands for lower taxes and reduced government regulations, strengthening our military, strengthening our border to reduce illegal immigrants, standing up more to China and Iran and seeking better trade deals for the US.”

            You’d be hard-pressed to come up with a more concise description of what President Donald Trump and any of the leading Democratic candidates stand for.

            The result: A stunning 61% say they’d vote for Trump’s agenda.

            Among independents, 65% chose the Trump agenda, as did every age group except those 18-34, who split 50-50. Even among Democrats, more than a third said they’d vote against the candidate pushing the current Democratic agenda.

            The poll went further and broke out specific policy issues. There wasn’t one item on the Democratic agenda that came in the top six. Only 38% say they were likely to vote for a candidate who promised to “raise taxes to pay for these programs.” On the other hand, 83% said they’d likely support a candidate who promised to lower taxes.

            How will the eventual Democratic nominee overcome this huge gap in support for the two visions for the country? Lie about Trump’s agenda? Deceive voters about their own? Or some combination of the two?

            1. The Democratic candidate will just say OrangeManBad and that will take things to about even, because too many twits simply hate Donald Trump. Now, more than ever, it is about personalities and partisanship rather than actual policy. I think things are starting to shift – the end of Left’s monopoly on mass communications, their blatant lies, etc. are starting to make a difference – but we’ve still got a ways to go, and the Left is fighting it all the way. Social media was starting to allow alternatives to the Left’s narrative to emerge, but the most prominent platforms are so far to the Left you see bans getting thrown at almost everybody disputing the Left’s narrative – or “inadvertent” technical difficulties cropping up. Even Democrats and other Leftists who just disagree with specific parts of the narrative run into problems and bans. So the narrative still holds sway over much of the populace, and will for some time, especially because about half of Millennials have been so indoctrinated that they are OK with Socialism.

              1. The Democrats will say “Orangemanbad” and that will make up a lot of the difference IN POLLS, because people have been bullied into publicly opposing Trump. And the Democrats, who have if anything regressed since election night 2016, will believe the Polls, and be shocked when the votes are different.

                “Hello, Mr. Average Voter. Would you like to go on record as opposing the President and supporting one of the rabid scolds the Democrats are thinking of nominating, or shall we just publish your address right now so that the Democrat Sturmabteilung can come smash your windows and attack your children?”

                Yeah, that’ll get accurate numbers.

                1. All irrelevant if Democrats manufacture enough fraudulent votes in key states. Trump needs to not only win but win by a large enough margin to defeat the Democratic Party’s efforts to steal the election through outright fraud.

                  1. Or, since he ISN’T a Gentlemanly Republican Loser, he could put operations in place to CATCH the Democrats committing massive vote fraud. They’ve gotten away with it for so long, they’ve probably gotten quite sloppy.

                    1. He might catch them at their traditional ways of committing vote fraud, which IMHO is why the putsch for vote by mail.

                    2. One thing that will certainly work for the conservatives this time is that the left is starting to get very desperate in their tactics. Even the current flap over the Ukrainian phone call is starting to fall flat. And while the House leftists state they are doing an impeachment investigation there has been no formal vote as such (which would allow Trump to sic Guilliani on anyone they could use in their defense..which the left cannot allow to happen)…Their desperation will only increase in the coming days which could very well drive them to do some very risky, stupid things…when things are driven to the edge, it’s very easy to make obvious mistakes that are easily detected and proven….gotcha!

            2. You missed:

              Prohibit private ownership of firearms and confiscate all 300 million existing guns from the 100 million people who own them.

              Except, of course, the elites’ private armed guards, and the millions of criminals they can’t take guns away from now.

              Yeah, some of them still pretend that’s not what they’re after, but enough have spoken out to expose the lie.
              Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!!

              1. The same people who say that it is impossible to deport millions of illegal immigrants claim they will confiscate firearms owned by millions of Americans. Shows you their priorities.

            3. One of the youtube conservative places, I forget if it was CC or Crowder, did a video of them going around doing the same thing, more or less, giving people the impression that it was Bernie Sanders who was pushing actual Trump policies. The students were enthusiastic for the policies, thinking that it was Bernie doing them, but you could SEE the mental stutter when they’d find out it was Trump’s policies.

        3. This was Reagan’s observation back when. It wasn’t that his own beliefs had markedly changed from when he was a Democrat. It was the Democratic Party itself that had shifted.

        4. I went, without changing many views (two did change significantly including a 180 on gay marriage to opposed after Mass legalized), from liberal Republican to “literally a Nazi” in less time than it took to get two editions of D&D.

            1. I wasn’t opposed until it was used to shutdown the largest adoption agency in Mass and also the one with the most placement of hard to place kids (family groups, disabled, older) to appease a handful of gay activists not looking to adopt.

              It hurt everyone else. Not just the kids, but gay couples looking to adopt. Sure CC didn’t adopt to gay couples, but other agencies did and those agencies now had to service the gay couples, their prior straight couples, and all the straight couples who could no longer go to CC.

              The question had been, “who will gay marriage hurt”. The answer was famililess children and gay couples looking to adopt.

              1. And doubtless the answer there is it’s the Catholics hurting everybody by not knuckling under. Just like the people who have problems with the NHS blame inadequate funding instead of inadequate fundamental concepts.

                1. Oh, I have heard people say the Catholics are bad for not doing charity to their standards. They usually call me names when I ask them when they are going to provide charity.

                  1. Similar things were one of the bits of convo that slowly eroded a long friendship; complaining that the government didn’t look after retired vets (a valid complaint) then citing an example of a homeless, starving wheelchaired vet the person speaking would pass by every day.

                    I asked why didn’t the poor man get handed a pack of sandwiches and a bottle of drink whenever this friend saw the man, to thank him for his service. I didn’t get the impression my friend was so hard up that it couldn’t be done.

                    My mom knows someone who’s helped a bunch of starving public school students with their studies and feeding them simple lunches on a tiny pension, in exchange for prayers before and after meals. In the Philippines.

                    1. The “I can’t be bothered to do charity, but if you can I’ll demand you do it the way I would if I wasn’t a lazy and selfish sack of excrement,” school.

                      Ah, I know it well.

              2. One of the things I remember reading about the shutdown of Catholic orphanages was that some of the orphanages weren’t actively opposed to adopting out to gay folks (they had done so previously, apparently) but would adopt out based on whether or not the prospective parents were going to raise the kids in Catholic traditions and faith.

                Apparently that was considered ‘wrong and discriminatory.’ Which is fundamentally stupid. Of course anyone handling the adoption of children have to be discriminatory – they have to make judgements on whether or not the parents in question are suitable, and if you’re going to a Catholic orphanage, they’re going to have religious considerations. But apparently the main draw of such orphanages is because the places turned out better behaved kids than most of the state-owned places.


                Yeah, it was one of the things that turned me against, though I don’t have any issue what consenting adults do in their lives. It was a visible ‘if we don’t get our way, we’ll shut you down’ even way back then.

                1. And the visible, “When we do get our way, we’ll use it to settle ‘scores’ against people who aren’t even you, but you’re a good enough stand-in.”

              3. 1st and 14th always guaranteed gays’ right to marry. Don’t blame gay marriage for psychopaths who gleefully hurt people just because they have the ability to hurt people. If they weren’t “doing it for gay marriage” they would be doing for some other psychotic reason.

                Be against leftism.

                1. If 1st and 15th always guaranteed government recognition of a union, why did it not occur before then? I mean, the term “Boston Marriage” is well over a century old so clearly no one was preventing anything but government recognition.

                  And it is the government recognition, not the actual coupling, that was both meant by gay marriage and the weapon to be used against dissent.

                  The argument given to require government recognition was hospital visitation and inheritance, but actions have proven that not to be the case.

                2. Don’t blame gay marriage for psychopaths who gleefully hurt people just because they have the ability to hurt people.

                  Except that the forcing-people-to-pretend-it-is-the-same as the gov’t recognized, child producing marriage (which needs to have an option for recognized exactly because it produces children via basic biology, which complicates everything) is exactly the force they needed to exercise their psychopathic desires.

                  They needed that change in order to force people to assert an obvious falsehood, that the sexual pairing of two men or two women are the same as a man and a woman, leading directly into the insane “trans” nonsense going on right now.

                  Just like with Jim Crow or anti-miscegenation laws; it’s not enough that they’re free to do what they want. They want to force everyone to act like they agree.

                  1. Before someone decides to get clever with “but some heterosexual marriages can’t have children, too!”– do not get me started on how many people I know who are impossible children. Heck, Sarah has one. We don’t know a fraction of what we think we know.
                    Combine that, with the KISS method of law making, and heterosexual marriages having the option of being registered so as to provide legal protection for the natural results of the sexual act is a no-brainer.

          1. I got another “Nazis are not socialists” from Sparty of all people.
            Too much time spent in Europe, methinks. Other than their socialist programs, and having it in their name . . .
            Had to walk away, or stop watching WW2 and Time Ghost.

            1. Because the Z stands for Zombie, of course! There’s no S in the name, so obviously it *can’t* mean Socialism. Socialism is good, comrade. And by the way, those shoes are nicer than mine. I’ll take the left one, so you don’t feel privileged.

              1. I’ll be the spelling, er, Nazi here: 🙂

                National Socialist German Workers’ Party or Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or NSDAP

                “Don’t be stupid.
                Be a smarty.
                Come and join
                the Nazi party.” — M Brooks

                No zombies were harmed in this post.

                1. The Nazi agenda was also what would be dubbed a “green” agenda by today’s left; currently occupied towns and lands turned into vast government controlled national forests and parks, being environmentally “pure” and one with nature, etc. Given that today’s left is essentially seeking to impose global identity based communism but is willing to use fascist tools to do so, I still think Communazi is the perfect term for them

            2. It seems as if Sparty is in the process of learning that him saying a thing does not make that thing true.

              Of course, as we were recently advised by one of his Senate colleagues, “Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus.

                1. Yeah, this, As an IBEW alum, I can testify that Union *leadership* is hand-in-glove with the most ‘progressive’ lefties, much more so than the rank and file. ‘Course, as long as said leadership keeps the perks coming there is little motivation to call them on their shenanigans. Especially when raising your voice, or even your hand, against their agenda can threaten said perks. Imagine the fire and brimstone looks I received from the leadership when I recharacterized the ‘voter suppression’ bill they were railing against as a ‘ballot integrity initiative’. And I wonder why they didn’t get 100% behind me when an issue came up with management . . .

        1. In fairness, with some of the stench rising from the UAW (among others) you can understand the Dems trying to claim they’re only the piano player.

    1. I think you make good points, and this is why the Left is so adamantly opposed (on an institutional basis, because as you mentioned, some Left-wing people are homeschooling their children) to homeschooling. And also why they are trying to gain total control of the internet, in addition to the near-total control they already have over traditional mass media.

        1. It should not be. The party against common sense, however, wants you to believe that the mess is certainly not *theirs.* It is, in some convoluted and Rube Goldbergian method, Donald Trump’s, and ultimately, *our* fault. Somehow. Because reasons. Racist! *hiss, hiss, scream and spit!*

          1. Those refusing to participate in the System are responsible for the Failures of the System, because they “cream” the best students, deprive the System of necessary resources, or otherwise serve as the kulaks and wreckers that prevent “us” from having nice things.

            It is your disbelief that keeps away the unicorns whose farts are needed to develop sustainable non-polluting electricity!

            Hell, you probably refuse to clap for Tinkerbell, too.

    2. Likewise – I’m quietly shunning most of the professional journalist establishment and much of the entertainment media. I’ve never been much interested in sports, so no strain there. Dumped the cable TV, and for fun watch a lot of foreign shows and movies on streaming video. Just about all the books I’ve purchased lately have been through second-hand bookstores, or by indy authors.

      The one thing that entertainers can’t do … is make me spend my money on them.

      1. Me, too. But I don’t really have a choice about what I hear and deal with. My in-laws, who live in our downstairs bedroom, play MSNBC every night, and NPR and/or local news every morning. I just kind of ignore it and roll my eyes, unless it gets too egregious. I’m not looking forward to the upcoming political season…

        1. There is no season any longer. Since 2016’s run-up, it has become 24/7 year-round.
          I used to worry a bit about how knee-jerk I got over 0bama et al, then after BadOrangeMan won, I realize how restrained I actually was.

          1. And how. *shakes head*

            It may be small, but I *do* have a brain, and do understand that should the Great Zero have been impeached or indisposed somehow, our new President would have been Creepy Joe. Lazy or crazy? Hmmmm…

                1. *shakes head* No lie. How did we end up with such bums for so long? I mean, we could have done worse, but still and all… If we’d cut spending *then,* well… We would be facing different problems just now.

                  1. The media bears a large part of the blame for this. They’ve spent decades covering up the faults and misdeeds of those they like, spotlighting the faults and misdeeds of those they dislike, and ignoring those whose messages resonate but whose message they dislike. (In more recent years, rumor-mongering and outright lies have also become common.) This has impacted both the primaries and the general elections. When you can’t get your message out very effectively, and the media is showering praise on your primary or general election challenger, you aren’t likely to get elected. Sometimes it doesn’t work out as the media planned, and you get those who stand for America, like President Reagan and President Trump.

                2. leftoids always think shorter. Look at things now. Pence is further from what they want than Trump but they think, somehow if they get Trump, Hillary would take over until this next election.

                  1. Surprise someone isn’t pointing that out. OTOH maybe they think outing President auto gets out VP too ??? Then they get in Pelosi. …

      2. I’ve never been much interested in sports

        Good thing, too, as NBC has recently exposed sports for the corrupt tool of the patriarchy that they are:

        Barstool Sports and the persistence of traditional masculinity in sports culture
        “I think Barstool is a nostalgic callback to the idea that the more offensive you are, the more free you’re being,” an expert on digital media and gender said.
        By Shannon Ho
        When the news broke Sept. 10 that a lawsuit had been filed against NFL star receiver Antonio Brown accusing him of rape, Barstool Sports, like many other websites, published an article about it. But it was the comments on that article that told the real story.

        Two comments alone — “I hate this guy but I think this is all BS and some chick is trying to get paid” and “Most obvious extortion attempt I’ve ever seen” — racked up hundreds of “likes” on the sports and culture blog geared toward young men. A majority of replies to the article on Twitter elicited jokes about rape or crude remarks and captured a perspective popular with Barstool Sports’ readers.

        That was a direct and deliberate contrast to the ascendance of political correctness.

        The current Congress is the most diverse in U.S. history, and American women have won more attention for sexual harassment issues in the years following the birth of the #MeToo movement. But Barstool Sports has found a base hungry for its politically incorrect content — all the while also creating a steady stream of controversy.


        Rather than being an errant blip amid an increasingly woke generation, Barstool Sports seems to exist as a parallel culture.

        “Not only has it been parallel, I think a conservative, reactionary response to women increasing prominence and equality is institutionalized by a place like Barstool Sports,” said Soyaya Chemaly, a women’s rights activist and the author of “Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women’s Anger.” “I don’t have any sense that #MeToo or even Trump’s election was ever going to make a dent in that culture.”

        Conservative ideology appears to be a core part of Barstool Sports — especially its portrayal of gender roles, with hypermasculine, sports-loving men and hypersexualized, submissive women. The site’s reinforcement of conservative American values is what makes its content stand out from its competitors, Marie Hardin, the dean of Penn State’s Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications, said.

        “In many ways, Barstool has resisted some of the more progressive discourse around sports. And I think there’s a niche for that,” she said. “There’s a market there and they’re able to capture that.”


        “I think Barstool is a nostalgic callback to the idea that the more offensive you are, the more free you’re being, and it’s also a kind of cultural preservation project for bros,” said Lisa Nakamura, a professor at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, who studies the intersection of digital media and race, gender and sexuality.

        Barstool Sports, Nakamura said, strikes a chord with its primary target audience — young white men — because it casts them as the “persecuted ones” of mainstream, politically correct culture. Men who feel disadvantaged by the world around them see the platform as a safe space where freedom of speech means voicing unpopular and sometimes offensive opinions without consequence.


        “They will not have a reckoning until they no longer reflect a good portion of this country’s values,” Hardin, who has researched gender in sports since the late ’90s, said. “Is Barstool a reflection of our values or is it reinforcing our values? It reflects and reinforces — the only way Barstool could ever die is if it no longer reflects. But we’re not anywhere close to that as a culture.”

        Introducing progressive ideas, she said, takes work when it comes to changing American sports culture, which is riddled with conservative values. Barstool Sports is just “amplifying what’s already there.”

        “Barstool would not exist if we did not have a spectator sports culture that positioned men and women in a certain way, in a way that we really take for granted,” Hardin said. “So many people don’t even think about the signaling about gender that spectator sports do every weekend on television. Those are things we aren’t thinking about enough as a culture — and Barstool would not exist without that.”

          1. His remark that the only things that happen in video games are making money and buying weapons threw me – I must have missed the weapon shop in Tetris – but otherwise it’s a good observation.

            1. It’s disappointing how Generation Tetris can’t seem to stack things in a vaguely rational manner. Maybe they really needed actual, physical blocks like us ancient creatures had?

              1. IIRC, there was a “storyline” regarding Tetris calling it a Soviet mind control program. I wonder…

    3. Shunning only works against a small percentage of the population. When you have half the population trying to shun the other, you have a polarization effect identical to the current state of affairs; and you are not going to get people to voluntarily change to fit back into a single social organism.

      Conservatives would love to divorce the progressives. The problem is, the rest of the world is already progressive; and there’s nowhere left for the conservatives to go. Our backs are to the wall. You can’t run, your choice is fight or die. Right now the fight consists of words, spoken and written; but as we’ve seen with Antifa, we’re real close to killing frenzies flaring up all around the country. Look for ignition points at colleges, police protests, and political rallies.

        1. Probably accurate, but thing is they’ve been good students of Marx and Ayres and infected most of our most influential institutions. Particularly in media and education the hard left and their sycophants have infiltrated to the point of dominance in those fields. And through academic and government influence aided and abetted by a complicit media they are even turning our scientists into willing accomplices to their efforts to seize complete control over every aspect of our lives.
          Watching that speech by that little Swedish girl to the UN made me physically ill. Perhaps the greatest obscenity yet in a long string of vile and disgusting manipulation and perversion of the public trust.

          1. Agreed. The majority of America is not political- or at least thinks they aren’t. Viz: percentage of population that votes in presidential elections, also percentage that votes in off-year elections (lower), and local elections (lower yet). But this percentage is, by and large, educated in public schools and did very little to educate themselves outside of that.

            In other words, they are reflexive (or default) left, because “everybody knows.” Everybody knows climate change is real, one in five women, republicans are racisss, and so on. They don’t really quite *care,* it is just simpler to nod and smile and go on about your day. Home and family and jobs and kids and pets are far more important that politics, even political correctness.

            Even when it impinges on on the daily routine, as long as it happens gradually it passes largely without comment. “My vote doesn’t matter” is a common refrain. No time for it. Who are the candidates again? What issues? And so it goes.

            Until 2016, I thought this would continue until, well, Venezuela level corruption, inflation, and destitution would follow. I am quite pleased to have been proven wrong. *grin*

          2. Cute disabled white girl pleading for Climate Change Authority.
            The old “But it’s for the children!” logic fallacy. (Actually, I forget the formal label for this, probably a form of Appeal to Emotion.)
            Her arguments, well, I actually didn’t hear anything from her except fear of the future based on the assumption that the planet was going into a runaway greenhouse effect.

            1. When I was her age, I was told not to save for retirement, as I would have no future. The world would be destroyed by nuclear war. I was told it was pointless to have children, as the world was over burdened and there were too many people. I was told, the environment was going to collapse …always in ten years. I was told, the world was going into an ice age.

              The left has been peddling fear for a long, long time to impressionable children.

              1. Yep and their solution, be it an imminent ice age or “global warming” is the same; give a small cadre of people absolute totalitarian power because “they know what is best”.

              2. You must be my age. “Ice age.” Be it neclear or environmental.

                Oh. Don’t save. Or save because no SS? Never figured that one out.

                We saved. Figured worse case might have time to dig in or get out of dodge. Either take protection. Both take resources. Bonus if wrong & nothing happens, have something left for heirs. Which now they want to take. Or get their taxes early, at a higher basis than what would have paid on if we hadn’t socker away. The Welchers.

              3. I wonder to what degree the failing achievement levels in the schools can be attributed to Progressive fear mongering?

                Probably not half so much as is attributable to their unions’ incompetence.

                1. I attempted being a physics teacher. I took courses and shadowed. There’s a *lot* of things wrong with the system. I saw some frustrated teachers unable to teach due to discipline issues and others who just didn’t care about teaching at all.

        2. And if what they’re saying about that girl having a whole slew of mental illnesses is true (And I believe it is)…then we just saw massive child abuse on the international stage, as she is the result of adults gaslighting a child who is incapable of being anything but literal.

          But that’s the left: manipulate anyone, abuse anyone, exploit anyone in the name of gaining more power.

          1. But that’s the left: manipulate anyone, abuse anyone, exploit anyone in the name of gaining more power.

            Cindy Sheehan died for their sins.

            OTOH, eighty-six years of voting in Democrats has solved almost all the problems African-Americans faced.

      1. Shunning doesn’t preclude self-defense. But refusing to participate in or fund the activities of TWANLOC (Those Who Are No Longer Our Countrymen) is a valuable method of starving the beast, if not the sole sufficient means.

    4. I wonder what a modern version of the Amish would look like if you picked, for example, 1989 as the cutoff year for acceptable technology. cell phones and laptops, but not smart phones or tablets. The world wide web just makes the cut, but no social media. Shoulderpads, big hair, and skinny ties would be standard “Sunday go-to-meeting clothes”.

      1. First web browser was 1990, so the internet (and services like FTP, Usenet, email, telnet, gopher, etc.) make the cut, but the web does not.

  3. Also from A Canticle for Leibowitz: “The closer men came to perfecting for themselves a paradise, the more impatient they seemed to become with it, and with themselves as well. They made a garden of pleasure, and became progressively more miserable with it as it grew in richness and power and beauty; for them, perhaps, it was easier for them to see that something was missing in the garden, some tree or shrub that would not grow. When the world was in darkness and wretchedness, it could believe in perfection and yearn for it. But when the world became bright with reason and riches, it began to sense the narrowness of the needle’s eye, and that rankled for a world no longer willing to believe or yearn. Well, they were going to destroy it again, were they ‘ this garden Earth, civilized and knowing, to be torn apart again that man might hope again in wretched darkness.”

      1. From the review: “All apartments are made entirely of glass and curtains can be drawn only when one is having state-licensed sex.”

        “state-licensed sex”…sounds like an American university in 2019!

    1. A Canticle for Leibowitz
      *sigh* I’ve wanted to read that book, but I will have to go to a used bookstore and hope, as it’s not available in e-book. (And I can’t afford new paper books right now.)

  4. We find, or build, other institutions worth trusting. If you follow the history of scientific investigation it is remarkable how quickly a new center would spring up after the old one lost its marbles. The method when apploed, is sound, and by its fruits it is made known.

    Seriously, right now Mom flipping through a slew of channels made by people who were absolutely curious about a subject and just started investigating it with an open healthy skepticism and found marvellous things. I suspect part of the reason the old institutions are failing is because they are already being replaced by newer systems that are faster, more efficient, and better at generating good results.

    1. Accurate results that are durable enough to weather absolute scrutiny. The spirit of science is to welcome scrutiny, to challenge one’s peers to bring all their wit and doubt to the proposed theory, and may the the last one standing win!

    2. And these new channels spread in unapproved ways, ie, outside the gatekeepers.

      Not just the obvious ones, like recommendations which YouTube is trying to tap down (for example), but word of mouth in unrelated areas.

      I was exposed to Jordan Peterson long before he became a big target of the left or published his new book. A writing podcast recommended one of his lectures, on the structure of Pinocchio, as good listening for learning about the structure and nature of story. It is lectures 2 (and 3) of one of his classes and my OCD meant I had to watch #1 first.

      Several hours later I not only had new insights on writing, but new ideas on a lot of subjects about meaning and how we express it. I also had a new YouTube subscription.

      That is what they are afraid of. Once they know to cancel Peterson and control his interaction by framing, as they did after the pronouns bill, is breaking down some, but that is not the real problem.

      When JDS was recommending him as a source on the nature of story he wasn’t even on the gatekeeper’s radar. He got a huge audience for things they aren’t even watching long before they knew he was a challenge to their authority (and he is).

  5. The question you are asking and I have been asking is this. The old, simple model is failing. What new simple model replaces it?

    When we frame it that way, the flaw is obvious.

    We can identify simple models when similar approaches are very successful and become so widespread that very many people use them. It that situation, many people are optimizing that approach, so it is stripped out the distracting features that aren’t important.

    When the old simple model fails, the replacement processes are not immediate, and single replacement models do not win right out of the gate.

  6. “How do we tell the wheat from the shaft…” Either that’s a really good typo for chaff, or that’s one of the best descriptions I’ve read in a long time. Because we’re definitely getting the shaft these days.

    1. It stands. Actually what it is is that my subconscious loves double-entendres, and I was not only exhausted, my husband was having a LONG conversation with me about… I have no idea. So the subconscious does stuff.

  7. “How do we tell the wheat from the shaft…” Either that’s a really good typo for chaff, or that’s one of the best descriptions I’ve read in a long time. Because we’re definitely getting the shaft these days.

  8. Given the way things are going in the UK – the supreme court has just discovered a justification from 400 years ago to tell PM Boris Johnson that he wasn’t allowed to prorogue parliament – its going to be bloody when it comes.

    I think it is fair to say that, at this point, a significant fraction of the UK does not trust the impartiality of the justice system. Nor do they trust their politicians, nor their journalists, nor most of the “experts”. It’s not clear what happens next, but Pol Pot style mass evictions of the elites from the cities is looking entirely plausible.


      1. me, back when they were pushing hard for this version- Why an EU?
        reply- To better compete against the US, they want to try to be more like the US? (this person wasn’t the brightest sort. This was their most coherent summation)
        me- So, they going try for all our wars at once too? Sounds like a good way to stir up a civil war and a revolution.

        so far, they lasted longer than I thought.

        1. No. That’s what I got, when I was in on their councils before marriage. THAT was their justification. And they didn’t want to be like us on the good things. Just in size.

          1. it did seem to be a case of “We gotta be like them . . . but we HATES them!”
            I think it was the added layers of bureaucracy that made the pols push for it.
            I mean banana shape deciders gotta have a gig too, ya know

          2. Just consider the EU to be an effort to create a Fourth Reich and everything about it makes sense.

            1. I find this the most probable explanation:

              Sir Humphrey Appleby: Minister, may I? [sits] Let’s look at this objectively. It is a game played for national interests and always was. Why do you suppose we went into it?

              James Hacker: To strengthen the brotherhood of free Western nations.

              Sir Humphrey Appleby: Oh, really. We went in to screw the French by splitting them off from the Germans.

              James Hacker: Well, why did the French go into it, then?

              Sir Humphrey Appleby: Well, to protect their inefficient farmers from commercial competition.

              James Hacker: That certainly doesn’t apply to the Germans!

              Sir Humphrey Appleby: No, no. They went in to cleanse themselves of genocide and apply for readmission to the human race.

        2. My gut reaction to the Euro becoming actual money was “Is it worth investing in proof sets? Are the actual Euros going to be collectors ‘ items, or the new Confederate Dollars?”

          (When I was growing up in Cleveland the Cleveland History Museum gift shop sold bundles of Confederate dollars for pennies on the face value.)

          People would ask me, “Why don’t you think the EU will last?”

          Well, basically, I could see no reason to belie in the stability of a Union including both France and Germany.

          “So, you think France still holds a grudge against Germany for WWII?”

          France still holds a grudge for Germany siding with Wellington against Napoleon. If they ever get over THAT, then they can start putting the War of 1870 behind them. And then working on forgiving WWI. THEN they can start getting over WWII.

              1. It’s like any family — you mostly get along but when you get to squabbling you’ll dredge up every complaint you’ve uttered since leaving the womb and a few beyond (younger child to elder sib: you left Mom’s womb a terrible mess!)

            1. Yep. Have to start about 1,000 years before the War of 1870. (Can’t remember offhand whether that was the Treaty of Verdun or of Mersen. Anyway, ever since the wrong grandson got hold of the “Holy Roman” title.)

                1. LOL! Of course, it doesn’t help that everyone who showed up after that only worked to make things worse.

                  Between other things, I’ve been digging into Portuguese history lately (colonial period); one of my protagonists is from a culture descended from it – and one of her first big problems is with one that came straight out of the worst parts of Castilian.

          1. People would ask me, “Why don’t you think the EU will last?”


            Gosh, why on earth would you think that a group that has absolutely nothing in common except for being in vaguely the same area and having tried to kill eachother for at least the last several thousand years– twice dragging most of the known world in with them, in fairly recent decades– isn’t going to last?!?!?


              1. Eh, I can see it, but only in the context of space empires. The only way to get all the people of Earth to agree to be part of one nation is for the people of Earth to think they have more in common with each other than some enemy large enough to compete with or even threaten the entire Earth. So in a universe where we are just one space-going species among many, or where Earth is just one of many human-settled planets where solar systems act as separate nations, I can buy it. Short of that kind of political pressure to unite against an “other,” yeah, it’s crazy.

          2. France still holds a grudge with Germany over Louis the German trying to conquer West Francia from Charles the Bald (even if Charles came out ahead and even allied with Louis against Lothar I…such loving brothers).

            1. The Left has been valiantly deleting and rewriting the history of the Americas; why should they ignore doing the same to Yurp?

      2. Look at what the Germans did to the Jews and others when rillied up.

        What are they going to do to Africans and Middle Easterners (including Turks who have been there for a century)?

        And who will look back and blame the anti-nationalists for setting up the bonfire?

        1. For that to happen, they have to be WILLING to do the hard part.
          I don’t believe that there are enough of the WILLING to make a difference. They WILL fight, but they will not win. There are no longer enough of them. The really sad part is that the Prog Politicians will be the first to run. And the press will say it wasn’t the Progs fault.

          1. Perhaps…that is an open question.

            However, I wouldn’t bet against it. I suspect there are a lot of people willing if they get permission. All that is required for permission is for someone to make the first move.

            Once it starts, I think it will speed up rapidly.

            That need for permission is buying governments times. That and the “stop this” messages of Brexit and Trump are being ignored, however.

            1. This. My few European friends look at their press in a similar way we do to ours. One of whom was raised in a former Soviet client state, he has a much more… robust opinion of the media, the machinery of the state, and the current situation than is speakable (or printable) in polite company.

      3. I usually refer to the EU as the New German Empire.

        And sadly, I think you’re right; we’re seeing the early stages of WW3 there, tho it may not heat up to a shooting war for another few decades.

      4. Umm… Sarah? Europe drowns in blood. That’s kind of its thing – I don’t think the EU has affected anything but the timing.

    1. Last I heard, Elizabeth had finally taken a stand and ordered Brexit to proceed.

      I have a feeling some of those judges are going to get their leashes yanked. The old lady with the hat and the Corgis is still their boss.

        1. Harry seems to be agreeing with his wife. But for the time being, William is the important one. And afaik, he’s generally stayed close-mouthed where politics are involved.

          1. And good on him for it. Politics is a dirty business all around. Best keep one’s own counsel until the last moment rather than paint a large target upon one’s back…

          2. With his father as a horrible warning, quiet is better. William the Silent (the first one) was a very effective leader. Charles I of England… not so much.

              1. One thing that’s struck me recently as a bit odd is the lack of Williams on the throne. That was the name of the guy who founded the dynasty (more or less)… and sonce then there’s been exactly one other William.

                And he married in.

                1. Two, unless you’re counting from Rufus instead of his father.

                  And technically the real dynasty founder was William the Conqueror’s great grandson Henry II. Let’s hope to get to that kind of government the English don’t have to endure another Stephen and Matilda fighting.

      1. Sadly E II is down the corgis. They are all are gone now, and she isn’t getting any more. At 93+ I think she knows any more corgis will likely outlive her and she seems to refuse to do that to them.
        I’m not fond of monarchy but you kind of have to admire Elizabeth II.
        Her eldest son on the other hand appears to be drawn straight from Monty Python’s upper class twit sketch. Charles has not been a good name for English Kings…

              1. Was thinking the same thing. She only gave up the ghost a bit over granda died, but defied medical doomsayers with that most Southern of feminine manners.

                “How’d your doctor visit go Grandma?”

                “He was a nice young man, bless his heart.”

                I think she knitted afghans and sewed baby clothes for him when he was young, his little, and then his grandwee one. And missed out living “that quack” as my uncle called him by about six months, mostly because she missed Granda I expect.

                  1. Huh. Okay then. I was 14, so the odds I was flat-out wrong were pretty good. Interesting that a rumor like that would make it out to rural Idaho….

                    1. Wishful thinking of a huge majority. Especially after he married Camellia. No one except Charley wants her titled queen.

                    2. Maybe correct word s/b “wanted”. Camilla has been perfect picture of step-grand. But what do I know. Don’t read the tabloids at check stsnd. For me to get that gossip, really has to go big.

                    3. Well, if there’s printed matter in front of me, I’m reading. Even — especially — in a checkout line where there’s little else to attend to beside that moron trying to take twelve items through a lane clearly marked for ten or fewer.

                      I don’t actually think Camilla wants to be queen; I’m not even sure she wanted to be Charles’ wife. From such little I’ve read about her days at boarding school, she was determined to be Charles’ mistress, his madame Pompadour and leave the tiresome duties of producing heirs and presiding at boring ceremonies to whatever brood mare the Crown picked for Charles. Not her fault they picked that stupid bint Diana (Camilla probably tried to warn them off her, preferring a more ovine person in the role, but did they listen to her?)

                    4. Nah, there’s a lot of Scottish folks who ended up in the north west about the turn of last century– that’s where my grandma’s family came from– and that makes for a lot of interest in the English royal family.

                      Add that to anything “princess wedding” related, and it goes through the roof.

                      Add a prince who is both rather goofy looking and says a lot of flat kooky stuff….

                      Heck, the stupid rumors about the second son being a bastard even made it out to my grandma’s house. (Time has made it really dang clear that they were stupid rumors. Poor guy, at least he stayed cute while he was single.)


                      Now I’m wondering how much interest there actually was in princess Di, vs the media expecting that of COURSE we’d be interested in a princess since that super-romantic “give up the throne to marry your princess” thing that gave us Elizabeth. They sure seem to be pushing it again every time one of the boys gets married.

                  2. IIRC QE might want to bypass Charles but it is up to Parliament to actually bypass him.

                    And Parliament hasn’t bypassed him.

                  3. I’ve read fools who say that the Act of Settlement prevents her from doing so. “Heirs of the body,” however does not legally mean “eldest descendant of the line” – it only means “lineal descendant.” Which (legally) means she can name as successor any of her descendants.

                    Politically… even to remove Charles the Idiot, she would need the permission of Parliament. Even, possibly, the unanimous permission of all Commonwealth governments. That was what was needed when the Act was amended to remove the prohibition against Roman Catholics in the succession.

                    1. I wonder … anybody know how to check the English bookies? What’s the over/under on Charles taking the crown then abdicating within a year?

        1. More and more (and this appears to be an idea in The Crown, at least the one episode I watched) there is one thing she provides, as have her fore bearers: a single person who can give council to the Prime Minister who provides continuity across time and parties and whose prestige and image are tied to the continuation of the UK. Someone raised to think of themselves as England who is an adviser divorced from normal politics is immensely useful.

  9. “What do you do after you lose trust in your institutions? All your institutions? What happens to a civilization when every public institution, everything we are supposed to trust and believe has provably lied to us?”

    Hard questions indeed. But perhaps the answer lies in another question:

    How do you keep institutions trustworthy?

    In capitalism, there exists a rather powerful method of improving reliability – namely, plain and simple competition. When you think about it, it works for healthcare, education, living amenities, retirement plans… It can even work for science, with private institutes providing data more transparently than any government committee, and veracity being evaluated by relying on the scientific method itself – specific accurate predictions with reproducible (or otherwise directly measurable) results. And proper bookkeeping, so that the next doomsday alarmist can be shown their past dozens of failed prophecies, and get kicked off the payroll.

    All in all, the greatest illusion an institution can be built on is not that it’s invincible, but that it’s irreplaceable. That its services can’t be provided otherwise, at a far lesser cost. America itself was built on the then-preposterous notion that people didn’t need a king. On the framework wherein civil authority could be granted by the people themselves, and proper government consisted of representatives rather than rulers. Perhaps the thing to do now is to try and see which factors in modern institutions are as obsolete as kings were two centuries ago, and to create new frameworks without them.

    1. > How do you keep institutions trustworthy?

      There are probably a lot of ideas, but I’m to the point where periodic executions is starting to look pretty good.

      1. Also known as the Balkan method. To be fair, after the third government takedown in as many decades, it starts getting old. Though it did dispel one important illusion – the image of governments as these unassailable behemoths of legislative and judicial authority, guarded by a swiftly swarming army of men in black suits or black armor, descending in black helicopters in the black of night. If anything, it’s quite the opposite.

        For that matter, I reckon we tend to come off as more accepting of de facto dictatorships and authoritarian measures, precisely because we have firsthand experience of just how fragile such regimes really are, so we’re willing to offer more leeway to statesmen who can potentially fix a few things… not that it happens all that often.

            1. Indeed. Like a child throwing a temper tantrum, they think wanton destruction will get them what they want.

              I’d almost rather they just have done with it so we can get on with it. Well, not really as people are not eggs, nor is their Socialist paradise a tasty omelette with bacon sprinkles.

            2. The primary purpose of the Second Amendment is to recognize that the fundamental right to bear arms is essential for people to keep their liberty, which includes as a means to keep their own government from becoming tyrannical. The desire to eviscerate the Second Amendment is directly related to the desire to impose such tyranny.

            3. A lot of things “hard to rebuild” have *already* been torn down. I don’t think there’s a single institution left in America that enjoys the trust of anything like a majority of the American people, save perhaps the military . . . which is pretty frightening in and of itself. And the armed forces, after eight years of Obama and almost two decades of continuous war without end, are themselves in a parlous state.

      2. Truthfully? I think all politicians and people in the government should be held to a far higher standard of punishment for breaking the law. The damage to society that any one of them can do dwarfs what any one of us ordinary citizens can do. Not only that, but that citizens should be able to convene our own courts for trying crimes by government officials. Because I damn sure don’t trust those foxes to guard the hen house.

        1. Oh, I agree with that. Right down to traffic laws. In fact, I also think there should be a bonus for every trooper who nabs an auto with legislative plates going over the speed limit, along with iron clad job protection for doing so.

          Let’s see- since they pass the laws- 3X the penalty if caught breaking them? Seems fair to me.

          1. Start jailing legislators for DUI and the Senate, House, state legislatures, county commissioners and city councils would be empty everywhere except Utah.

            Not that I’m saying that would be a bad thing …

      3. There’s a reason Jefferson was calling for an armed revolution every 20 years.

        Ultimately, people who want to take away your rights have to be shown that they are rights you will kill to keep. We’re overdue for that lesson.

  10. It would be easier — not easy, mind you — if those institutions were willing to admit there have been problems and they’ve been less than trustworthy. Instead they’re telling us we’re the problem, clinging to those old values and making unreasonable demands, like they do what they claim to be doing.

    1. That reality check is what the market feedback (are customers buying it?) is supposed to force. Indiana404 is so right – so long as the people within the institutions believe that the institution is irreplaceable, and that *they* are irreplaceable, they have very little incentive to examine their own conduct.

      1. And unions and similar institutions (*cough* tenure) have done a bang-up job of shoring up those illusions: by making it nigh impossible to hold people accountable for their behavior (by firing them, demoting them, etc).

        I find a striking similarity between the scandal-plagued diocese of the Catholic Church moving, ahem, “problematic” priests from one area to another (because they would not/could not(?) fire them) and the way school districts do similar with their likewise, ahem, ‘problematic’ teachers (including paying several full salaries to…sit in an empty room).

        1. Being raised Catholic, and having family in the local schools… Well, from my experience, you’re not wrong. Take this anecdatum for what it is worth.

        2. Tenure exists for good reason, to protect unpopular research/ideas.

          The issue is that it no longer does so.

  11. Unfortunately so much of what I hear from those unfaithful sources is that all the lying and unfaithfulness goes the other way and is proven by the fact that the wrong people won.

    Clearly our institutions are corrupt and those who won are corrupt and our systems and laws themselves are corrupt because the results weren’t what people wanted.

    There’s a principle in geology (and this isn’t maybe completely random to bring up) where the stresses on minerals from the collision of continents can be observed through a microscope, in a pebble resting in the palm of your hand, from gazing at an exposed rock outcropping, from an airplane looking down, or from a satellite above the earth and each looks just like the other and tells the same story.

    How many times at how many different levels of organization have we seen people decide that they didn’t get what they wanted and that was proof that the rules were wrong and that the rules must be discarded?

    If it’s a sci-fi organization no one cares about and almost no one has even heard of, last minute “discoveries” of boxes of ballots accepted as legitimate, or someone deciding that the constitution doesn’t apply to what and who they dislike… “good” is defined by me, since I believe everything that is good, and right and wrong, lying or cheating, are defined by “did I get my way or not?”

    Trying to warn that undoing, discarding, and ignoring what make them unhappy and uncomfortable by unraveling objectivity and rule of law and tradition won’t suddenly make the world roses… well, trying to explain that is not going to get anywhere you know.

    1. ‘good’ is defined by me, since I believe everything that is good, and right and wrong, lying or cheating, are defined by ‘did I get my way or not?’

      Graven on the interior of my cranium are these words from Oliver Cromwell: “Is it therefore infallibly agreeable to the Word of God, all that you say? I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken.”

      Mind, it’s never yet happened but I am always mindful that it might.

      More importantly, I am ever aware that there is a vast difference between “I like a thing” and it being good. That so many of my favorite restaurants testifies to that (or the general public’s lack of good judgement … I can never quite decide.)

  12. Or is it obvious in the rest of the world? There seems to be a lot of “unexpectedly” in foreign elections recently.

    When Trump was running for office I started likening him to The Mule. He wasn’t part of the plan, and the plan has no response to him. But there is no Second Foundation shepard things back to the plan.

    We have a lot of Mules running around these days.

  13. The biggest thing I worry about is the courts. Specifically, judges. With the current court system juries can deal with incompetent and corrupt law enforcement and agencies. But when judges unilaterally rule on things beyond their scope, you got trouble. And some of them do that.

    My other big worry is access to communication. Access to the internet MUST be legally treated as a utility because that’s how EVERYONE — individuals, businesses, even government — treat it. No more games about deplatforming “for the sake of civility” or some such BS. It’s the way the world works now, and it must be accessible to all.

    I’m not worried about mass media. Just remember that nobody in mass media has any more skill or insight than anyone else. Don’t feel bad about getting your news from blogs. Truthfully, that’s all news organizations are: people telling a story to other people. Find one that tells accurate stories that you’re interested in. Everyone is a journalist, which is why access to the internet MUST be free.

    1. Considering the preponderance of plea bargains, you are wrong about juries being able to reign in the cops. Juries see perhaps 5% of the criminal cases the rest are plea bargained by prosecutors that can send the defendant to jail for many more years if they reject the deal.

      1. It used to be you were charged with one or two things, not they come up with ten or more charges, many juries fail to convict on almost all but they tend to convict on one of the lower charges because you MUST have done SOMETHING. That conviction will often be more time than the plea bargain. They are frightening people into guilty pleas, they don’t care if they did the crime. They want to take their scalp and go home to brag.

  14. Institutions support and implement the worldview of those who man and run them. If the worldview of the institution is radically different from the average person you’re going to have distrust on both sides. You’re also headed for revolution/civil war. The question is whether it will be American style or French.

    As the saying goes we have 4 boxes to use: soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. If you don’t want the 4th one to break out, then use the first 3.

    We have been woefully deficient in the use of the jury box. Our soap boxes are often just preaching to the choir. And our ballot boxes are given to us by the same “elites” who despise and defy us.

    We have to change what we’re doing if we want different results.

    1. The ballot box is of limited use when you are presented with a choice between bad, worse and oh-God-no!

      When only candidates blessed by the politburo dominant political parties ever appear on the damn ballot.

      When the media won’t take any other candidates seriously, selling the self-fulfilling prophecy that only the Republicrats have any chance of getting elected.
      A politician is worse than a toilet — they’re both full of shit, but at least you can flush the toilet.

      1. AAARRRRGGHH! Wrong tag. Should be:

        blessed by the politburo dominant political parties

        (hope that fixed it)

      2. “The ballot box is of limited use when you are presented with a choice between bad, worse and oh-God-no!”

        It’s also of limited use when the process has been set up to facilitate fraud.

  15. Oh Good Grief. We’re expected to entrust care of our immortal souls to such stupid gits as these?

    Knife Control
    Churchmen in England have demanded the government “take urgent measures to promote the sale of safe kitchen knife designs and restrict those designs which have been used in so many acts of violence.” Basically, they don’t want pointy knives to be sold in Britain.

    What I find interesting about this letter is how it just gets facts about knives wrong. “Historically we needed a point on the end of our knife to pick up food because forks weren’t invented,” is says, “Now we only need the point to open packets when we can’t be bothered to find the scissors.”

    Do these churchmen cook for themselves? It is extremely wrong to suggest that the only knives cooks want to use are stubby, or that the only point of a pointy knife is to open packages better opened by scissors.

    Pointy knives are especially well suited to rocking motions used to chop herbs. Points are also useful for piercing food itself — say opening a small hole in the skin of chicken breasts, the better to insert a little butter before roasting. If you’re deboning fish, you need a pointy and flexible knife.

    Getting rid of pointy knives may also lead to unintended consequences, say a surge in the market for non-pointy cleavers, which I should add are useful if you want to brain someone and kill them.

    1. The likely next chapter in this book of madness: “activists demand all knives be taken off the market; food to come pre-sliced in factories”.

      I’m not much for pithy lines, but when the mood strikes: Trying to stop violence by banning weapons is like trying to stop dissent by banning words. Lack of tools has never, ever, ever resulted in a lack of intent, or an all that great decrease in ability.

      1. I’m not much for pithy lines, but when the mood strikes: Trying to stop violence by banning weapons is like trying to stop dissent by banning words. Lack of tools has never, ever, ever resulted in a lack of intent, or an all that great decrease in ability.

        Just remembered something I’d picked up–
        they’re not actually trying to make it so folks can’t be dangerous. The knife thing is because there are various sub-cultures (which I have no idea which ones they are, and it’s England so from the carefully-not-saying allusions all I know is they’re not middle-to-lower-class UK nationalities and/or soccer hooligan types) they use knives a lot; it’s an attempt to target the subculture without targeting the subculture.
        Which, just like in the US with gun laws to “target” gang violence, they don’t usually enforce against the problem group. That’s dangerous, man! They enforce it against the folks who’d only in extreme situations, with full justification, violate those laws….
        So the laws do NOTHING to stop the problem, and they make ever stricter laws.

    2. And after the knives they’ll go for the forks. You can do a lot of damage with a determined forking…

            1. The best thing that ever happened to that film was the filmmakers agreeing to let Alan Rickman do whatever he wanted if he would just take the role.

              I mean, it’s not that the rest of the film is bad–it isn’t, Costner’s abysmal attempt at an accent notwithstanding–but without Rickman (and the guy playing Gisbourne as his straight man) it would have been fairly forgettable. (And the guy playing Gisbourne went on to prove he was capable of going toe-to-toe with Tim Curry in the scenery chewing department in The Three Musketeers around that time as well.)

              1. Rickman was vastly underrated, indeed. Quite often a good villain character can make or break a film (or story), and that particular version of Robin Hood shows it in spades. Can you imagine if a lesser man had taken his place? It would hardly be as memorable.

                I mean, it would be, oh, Vader voiced by someone other than James Earl Jones. *chuckle* Boggles the mind a bit.

                1. Oh yes, huge fan of Rickman. His villainy in Quigley Down Under provides an essential spice to that film and he deserved an Oscar for his Galaxy Quest performance. Checking into some of his British work and you will see he could play a fine romantic lead in such films as Truly Madly Deeply and Sense & Sensibility.

                  The only criticism I have of his performance in Robin hood is that he seemed to be acting for two. The director is at fault for not telling Rickman that Costner hadn’t signed on to act in that movie and Rickman wasn’t obligated to make up for it.

            1. I saw Steven Segal kill someone using the edge of a credit card in a movie by slicing their neck, and it seems that someone with sufficient skill could actually do so. Does that mean credit cards also must be banned as dangerous weapons?

                1. Joe Pesci used a pen to kill someone in a bar in Casino. All these dangerous weapons just laying around for anyone to use.

                  1. Is it not widely acknowledged that “the pen is mightier than the sword”?

                    You wouldn’t leave swords lying about where any kid could run onto it, would you? So why leave pens on every desk in the nation.

                    Shucks, I’m so old I remember when banks gave pens away …

                    1. “the pen is mightier than the sword”

                      So I was told, one dark and stormy night, as the rain fell in torrents

              1. They sell folding “credit card knives” that unfold to expose a sharp edge. Doesn’t last very long being plastic, but if all you have to do is make one cut across meat…

                You’re more likely to find one in a novelty store than a knife shop, though.

                1. Considering some of the things they’re doing with plastic laminates on fingernails I wouldn’t be surprised at an Olga Krebs special, able to slit a man’t throat without him noticing until the blood drips down his collar.

                  Sure, a lady so armed would need to be careful about scratching herself, or wiping in the loo …

                  1. Isn’t that the vampire Drusilla from Buffy the Vampire Slayer with the long sharp fingernails that can be used as a lethal weapon?

            2. And the pocket-sized Mr. Trash Bags’ prowess in both combat and interrogation in “MHI: Guardian” is hereby explained . . .

      1. The semi-automatic assault fork:

        Really, nobody needs a fork; a spork is adequate for eating your soylent green ration.

      2. Fork me!


        “Master, the Empire has banned the possession of knives!”

        “Then, young Padawan, may The Forks be with you.”

      1. The wheat and tares will grow together until harvest. Hopeful in the sense that we can know that this is not a disaster however much it may seem so.

  16. [A]re we like a marriage where you come home and find your spouse in bed with the paper boy and she tells you “I’m completely faithful. Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?” Where divorce is the only possible recourse. But how do you divorce your own institutions: schools, universities, professional certification bodies, corporations, agencies, the press itself?

    Okay, first: there are no longer paperboys. Those are delivered by adults driving their routes and haphazardly tossing papers into driveways.

    Second: Divorce has not been the traditional response to such goings-on. Discovery in flagrante delicto was traditionally accepted as grounds for summary firing of both parties found with their hands in the cookie jar.

    Excuse me – firing at, not of.

    1. Firing at (and hitting) would still be grounds for a manslaughter charge. Quite a few juries would likely annul it, though.

      On another note, when I read the bit about catching your wife with the newspaperboy, what immediately poppedcto mind was the scene in a John Ringo novel. Without naming the specific novel, wife comes home from trip, walks into bedroom, and then immediately walks back out. Husband comes out a short time later and explains that he never cheated on her with a *woman*…

      As if that somehow makes it any better.

      1. I always considered that scene a cheap cop-out. Wife is a devout Christian, trapped in an empty marriage, neglected and ignored by a husband who provides her food, shelter and nothing else. She is treated as no more than a cook, maid and housekeeper.

        I was waiting to see how she would deal with the conflict between her vows, and the fact that the marriage has long since decomposed. Instead, the author hands her a get-out-of-jail-free card.

        It felt like he just lost interest in the series, and wanted to end it.
        “Mr. Churchill, if you were my husband I’d poison your tea.”
        “Madam, if I were your husband I would drink it!”

        1. There is a remarkable similarity between the ending of that book and a personal anecdote. Which might explain a decision or two of the author’s.

        2. Well, porneia is one of the traditional get out cards. But you are correct that the situation, having been created, required an honest resolution to give both drama and character development. (For the husband to become real, also.)

          1. Baen has/had a series of interview podcasts. The information which changed my understanding of that scene was in one with spouses of authors, in which Miriam was among the interviewed.

              1. Interviewed Miriam? Yes.

                The other? Guess the circumstances of the ending of John’s first marriage, per hearsay.

      2. Legend has it that at one time time in Texas killing your spouse and their lover with a single shot was automatically justifiable homicide.

    2. Newspapers are now delivered by adults because so few people get newspapers these days that the routes are simply enormous, and impossible to safely cover with a bicycle.

      1. There are other reasons people aren’t getting the newspapers delivered. I pay for a digital subscription to the Wall Street Journal but routinely pick up the Saturday/Sunday paper in dead tree because there is so much content that online reading would consume too much computer time; it is an extravagance but a minor one. Back in May, or maybe April, the WSJ added a sweetener to my digital subscription: free delivery of the Weekend edition on dead tree! Great, thought I.

        Not until the beginning of this month have I received the promised delivery, and they’ve missed at least once subsequently. They’ve also delivered the local paper Saturday (okay, they’re already throwing one into the drive, right?) the local Sunday paper and several days during the week. WTF? The reason I stopped getting the local paper was twofold: utterly predictable editorials (this from a town which once had its opinion page edited by Tony Snow and Terry Eastland!) and the fact that if you eliminated the wire service stories there was nothing much beyond the sports section remaining. Too much paper, too little news.

        One of the bloggers at Power Line has blogged about similar problems with his WSJ delivery in suburban Maryland.

        Amazing that a job I was performing in fifth grade has become so complex that even adults cannot manage to consistently do it well.

      2. When I was a girl, a man did the local paper route. The pretense was that his daughter was doing it. . . .

  17. It’s bad enough when you can’t trust public institutions but what happens when you can’t trust your fellow citizens?

    After listening to two “Lefties”, I wonder if they’d support the assassination of Trump or the murder of their fellow citizens who aren’t “Left”?

    You think I’m depressed?

    You’d be correct. 😦

    1. Sadly my draconic friend there is little need to wonder. The Weather Underground of the 60’s and early 70’s felt they’d need to purge several millions. The Anti Fa goons feel free to use violence of every sort with no restraint. Rep. Swalwell talked about the fact that the feds have nukes with respect to weapon seizures. 100 Million or so dead from varying flavors of communism/socialism. No need to wonder at all, they’ll use it without compunction if they think they can get away with it.

        1. “As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly” is just as accurte in describing Swalwell and his supporters (and much of the Dems candidates). Especially with the MSM no longer able to provide as much lift as they once did.

          1. Or “as God is my witness, I thought socialism would work this time”. That pretty much sums up the entire Democratic Party. or should that be Gaia or Marx in place of God, given their ideology?

            1. Well IIRC Wild Turkeys can fly (for short distances) but Domestic Turkeys can’t fly. 😉

              1. Wild Turkey’s fly quite well; although they’re reluctant to do so most of the time. New Hampshire usually has one traffic fatality per year due to a flying turkey hitting a motorcyclist or going through a windshield at 80 mph.

    2. A friend who lives in a highly leftist enclave, undercover (and who might or might not have written for this blog) says that lefties often talk of putting us all in camps or killing us.
      No wonder they want our guns.

      1. And they believe we’re stupid enough not to notice. They truly have no idea of what would happen if they actually tried to seize our guns…

      2. Obama’s pal Bill Ayers very explicitly called for this. Ayers of course is considered to be a respected person by the left and is cited as a mentor by numerous Democratic Party politicians. Bernie of course is very open in his demands that population be dramatically reduce (hint-abortion and birth control won’t achieve the reductions he is calling for). Of course they don’t want us to be able to defend ourselves.

    3. This is just the percentage willing to admit it. I wonder how they define “rich” for purposes of targeting?

      Survey: Almost half of socialists think violence against the rich is acceptable
      Rich people might want to watch their backs: New survey data shows increasing swaths of Americans think violence against the upper class is justified.

      The libertarian-leaning Cato Institute released its 2019 Welfare, Work, and Wealth National Survey on Sept. 24, which includes vast amounts of new data shedding light on the economic views and values of Americans. Cato partnered with YouGov to conduct an online survey of 1,700 American adults. The most disturbing finding is 47% of those with strongly favorable views of socialism think “citizens taking violent action against the rich” is sometimes acceptable. And it isn’t just fringe socialists who hold this view. The survey found that 36% of “strong liberals” and 35% of Americans under 30 agree that violence against the rich is sometimes justifiable.

      It’s certainly concerning to see so many Americans vilifying successful entrepreneurs and a rise of violent hate toward the upper class. But unfortunately, this trend isn’t all that surprising: It’s a direct result of the baseless fear mongering and “eat the rich” rhetoric pushed by left-wing political leaders such as Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

      To be clear, neither Warren or Sanders are in any way directly responsible for violence carried out by left-wing agitators or even for the violent sympathies of supporters of their own socialist agenda. But for the sake of our country and in the interest of reducing such violent tensions before they burst both should seriously rethink the way they talk about the wealthy when advocating for their far-left economic policies. There’s little doubt that the way they speak now is unhelpful.

      This becomes clear when you look closer into the Cato survey’s results. It found that 54% of Democrats think billionaires “pose a threat” to democracy, and 23% of Americans said they “feel angry when I read or hear about very rich people.”

      Sound familiar?


    4. Welcome to where I’ve been since 2002.
      We can’t live in a civil society based on rule of law with these people.

      Oh, and the word you’re searching for is realist. Or pessimist. They’re synonyms in this fallen world.

  18. Trust is built slowly, over generations. It can be squandered very quickly. Once it’s squandered, how do you regain it?

    To ask is to answer– slowly. 😦

  19. I am reminded of a saying I once saw “In God we trust: all others pay cash.”
    Perhaps we’re getting to the point where only God can tell us what to trust. That’s scary to me not because I don’t trust God but because I’m not sure I trust me that much.

  20. Or perhaps it’s the result of our elites going off on a kind of determined vision of what the future is that prevents them from seeing the reality that everyone else sees.

    I think this is a critical things in the kinds of social upheavals we’re seeing and that occurred in places like France during the Revolution.

    Most of the times lies are not 100% divorced from reality. That is where the old adages like “the best lie is wrapped in the truth” and “lie as little as necessary” come from. The less cognitive dissonance the lie creates the less damaging it is to trust long term.

    For example, an unfaithful spouse who claims “it was just about sex” where there was actual emotional attachment is more likely to succeed and rebuild trust because the denial is of the least testable

    Or to take an example from modern issues, it is much easier to sell Tula (Caroline Cossey[1]) as a woman than Jessica Yaniv even though the “lie” is the same, because in all the measurable ways and in all the ways meaningful to the real world beyond a handful people (husbands, lovers) Ms. Cossey was a woman in terms of presentation and social rule. Meanwhile Mr. Yaniv is rubbing the lie in our face.

    Ms. Cossey is telling a white lie to keep things running smoothly for everyone because the lie matches how things appear to be working. Mr. Yaniv is telling a lie that clearly contradicts how things are working.

    That’s why lying elites or, as I think is much the case now and was in France circa 1785 the insane elites, create problems with their lies now. Their lies are counter to society functioning by insisting it doesn’t work as it clearly does instead of saying ‘yes, that is how it works’ where if you did deeper that’s not quite true.

    [1] The real bitch is because she wasn’t out and proud and in your face she won’t be credited as the first trans Bond Girl

    1. There are two ways to lie. The first is to do as you describe, and couch it as close to the truth as possible. The second is to make the lie so glaringly obvious and over the top that the target of your lie thinks, “That’s so obviously fake that no one would be brazen enough to lie about it. So it must be true.” The authoritarians of the inter-war years relied heavily on this, and the technique has stuck around ever since.

      1. There is no such thing anymore as a lie that is too brazen or an accusation too wild to be believed.

        1. Agreed. Speed that stuff spreads on social media is so fast, that lies, no matter how demonstrably they are proven to be lies, keep on spreading. This of course is assisted by the leftist tech oligarchs who control the social media sites in order to push a patently bogus narrative.

      2. Third type of lie: the Unbelievable Lie (related to your second example)

        This is a lie which is not just brazen but which the liar does not expect you to believe — and double-dog-dares you to call xim on it. This is because, as in Yaniv’s case, the price for saying the Emperor’s got knobby knees is higher than most any sane person would willingly pay. Cheating spouses typically employ this type of lie, making it clear that calling it out will cost the marriage and every scrap of peace of mind they can shred from you.

        You are not expected to believe the lie, you’re forced to swallow it, to become partner in it, even if that means going around to the woman your husband raped and thanking her fr not making a stink about it (while hinting her reputation will suffer more than his.)

        1. When, indeed, it’s not just a way to relish the power. The more absurd the lie is, the more power you evince by compelling the obedience.

    2. And there we have fine examples of the White Lie vs the Big Lie.

      Someone pointed out that the reason the Big Lie is so insidious is not because it’s outrageous, but because once you get people to agree that the Big Lie is really truth, they can’t go back; they’d lose too much face and suffer too much cognitive dissonance. [I forget exactly how it was phrased, but that’s the gist of it.]

  21. “Trust is built slowly, over generations. It can be squandered very quickly. Once it’s squandered, how do you regain it?”

    Ask a Russian, or an Italian or a Greek. Those guys haven’t trusted their institutions since before WWII. They seem to get along, mostly, but they’re not burning up the world with their fabulous innovations.

    From what I see, those guys just avoid government at all costs and do everything in cash. Or they participate in corruption, the less-safe alternative.

  22. Another difference, although similar to the one I gave above, is successful elites engage in lying in a fashion that benefits society.

    Let’s look at rich people buying college additions in the functional elite way versus the Full of Felicity way.

    We long had the lie that college admission are by merit and that you can’t buy your kid’s way into college. While that was not 100% true, you couldn’t but an utter ignoramus’s way into school and you couldn’t just bribe an official. You had to bribe the institution and, as a consequence, at least some of that bribe aided the broader community.

    If Felicity Huffman had paid for a “Huffman Actor’s Studio” at the university she wanted to get her kid into other people would have benefited. The theater department would get some upgrades while still freeing up some cash back into the Performing Arts Department or even the school in general due to cash being fungible and at least some of the donation just displaying existing spending.

    We all knew, three years later, when her not quite up to the standards here daughter showed up they were related. We accepted the lie because Huffman had bought our theater studying cousin a better rehearsal room and the math department on the third floor benefited just as much from the HVAC and plumbing renovations the building as a whole got.

    Also, under that system, had Huffman decided to save a buck and go for the direct bribe both the official she bribed and Huffman would have gotten the book thrown at them instead of still being employed and under three months in the pokey. While the obvious reason was she would have embarrassed her former peers (and they would have made sure it was very former) there was an understanding, perhaps unconscious, that she had broken the system without shoring it up somewhere else (the new HVAC that the math department got to use to) and thus risked breaking the whole thing.

    That is another reason why successful elites are able to lie. They lie to benefit themselves, but shore up the damage indirectly.

  23. The problem with science is that the scientists’ customer is government and government only cares about newsworthy stuff and stuff that supports the narrative. If their customer was going to go bankrupt if the science was wrong, there would be much less fraud.

    1. President Eisenhower was already concerned about aspects of the federal role in scientific research when he gave his farewell address. The subject takes up roughly as much of the speech as the more broadly heralded “military-industrial complex” portion. Some key points:

      “…research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.”

      “Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”

  24. But how do you divorce your own institutions(?)

    The traditional way was to take your stuff (or not if it would make too much noise if departing covertly) and walk over that hill, or out of that continent, or book passage on a ship to The New World.

    Unfortunately, that’s not in the cards currently – in contrast to pretty much all of human history, there’s not really a viable “Away” to which one can relocate at present, though various folks from here in Most Exceedingly Glorious Bear Flag and Used Syringe People’s Republic are trying.

    Until that is an option once again it seems like we’re in for a time of interestingness, that characterization being mostly apt to future historians rather than those of us who get to live through them.

    I think that is at base because humans need an “Away” – without a frontier, we go slightly bonkers.

    1. Even if he is consciously pushing it and doesn’t want it for those reasons, I suspect dig deep enough and the knowledge that it needs to be available is part of what is driving Elon Musk, among others.

      I think more than nuclear war the real danger that could end all humanity is the ugly intersection of “no place left to get away from the want to be tyrants” and more and more people thinking tyrant is the best they can be. Yes, I do think the later is relatively new and a product of the aforementioned lack of places (which removes the ‘have to be decent or they leave’ and ‘I have no place to escape if it goes south’ levers) with, at least in the West, failing to teach why that is bad, both morally and practically.

      1. I think we need the space to make our own lives. If we can’t get that space, we start trying to take over other people’s lives.

        So, the other option becomes making the extra space. This rarely ends well.

  25. Although I’m not convinced that the peaceful way forward will happen, there is a way. “But how do you replace scientists?” You stop giving them government money handed out by bureaucrats. Science doesn’t have to work if the money continues to flow. Money may be the root of all evil, and there’s lots of money in government (see richest counties in US, Joe Biden, and Harry Reid). The only way to regain control of the government is to turn off the money spigot. Can that be accomplished peacefully? I hold out a glimmer of hope. We shall see.

    1. Re money in government:

      To be fair, Harry was always the Senior Senator From The Entities Subject To The Nevada Gaming Control Board, and acted as such until he didn’t, and then, well, those ribs and face bones weren’t going to break themselves, and what’r’yacomplainin’about, they left him the one good eye.

      Creepy Uncle Joe is standard eastern seaboard Vietnam-War-draft-dodging pol, from a family that had connections but not wealth, and after gaining his Senate seat in 1972 managed to (somehow, unexpectedly) get pretty darn wealthy for someone who was a junior private practice lawyer and public defender before getting elected.

      Harry was in Washington from ’87-’15 (House and Senate) for a total of 12,419 days in federal office, and Uncle Joe only left office in January ’17 when Barack left the building and turned the lights off on him, racking up 16,086 days in federal office.

      The fact that only the rare term of any length in the US Senate does not unexpectedly result in significant wealth is the primary problem in our current form of government, and the doddering pack of multimillionaires (and their multimillionaire spouses and relatives) we have now are the best argument for term limits at the Constitutional level that I can think of.

      1. Term limits haven’t done much in CA other than make it all about seeking the next higher office, and ensures that young loons with fresh degrees in Useless Studies get sucked into the lower rungs on a regular basis. Things have gotten a lot crazier a lot faster since CA brought in term limits.

        Thought about total years served (something like 20 years) and that has the same basic problem.

        Perhaps better would be make it like jury duty, where you can accept or decline the nomination, but where it rotates through We The People… possibly with a requirement of citizenship plus at least a couple years in some form of national service.

  26. Thing is, I’ve never pit a great deal of trust in institutions…except to trust that they would behave the way similar institutions have behaved throughout history…and both my parents were History teachers.

    I expect the media to be biased, because it always has been. I expect public education to be about some kind of indoctrination, because it always has been. I expect the self-nominated Social Elites to be, for the most part, a bunch of self-absorbed twits, because they always have been. And I expect then to severely underestimate the stubbornness of the commons, because they pretty much always do.


    To quote REVENGE OF THE NERDS; “I have news for the Beautiful People. There are a lot more of us than there are of you.”

  27. I find that people have pretty much always done what they wanted, institutions or not. Even during times of tyrannical government.

    If the institutions and people are pretty much in accord, great.
    If not, the institutions are pretty much ignored, dodged, ridiculed, ignored, and so on.

      1. Maybe, maybe not. If President Trump is “investigated” for discussing the apparent Biden shenanigans related to Ukraine, that brings the Biden stuff out into the sunlight. Good. If President Trump did not actually do anything meriting impeachment, the Democrats look stupid and vindictive. Good. If President Trump *did* do something that actually merits impeachment, we get President Pence – and 1) I think Mike Pence has learned a lot in the past few years about how to handle the tactics that *used* to be used against him, and 2) it is possible that the other side will try to continue anti-Trump tactics against Pence, and I think that it is *reasonable* for me to hope that anti-Trump tactics will not translate effectively.

          1. Yeah, Nancy’s gotta feed the Demons that the Dems raised up, but I have a feeling what they will be fed is not what she thinks they will be fed.

            The concept of “Foreign Policy, which includes talking to and pressuring foreign heads of state, and deciding what to pressure them to do or not do, is one of the explicitly enumerated jobs that the President alone has per the actual Constitution – Have you actually read it? It’s not long.” seems to have escaped these morons.

            And they do not have the advantage of the sole information pipeline that existed when young Nancy D’Alesandro was watching her father’s Dem political machine run Baltimore as mayor in the 1950s, or watched her brother running that same machine as Baltimore’s mayor up to 1971, or a few years later watching the Watergate folderol. There are these days infinitely more channels for the public to access stories other than their preferred one.

            But they have their Watergate playbook, and they are going to run those plays!!!

            1. I know there are some delays built in, but consider that President Trump’s approval numbers on Rasmussen have been increasing since this story broke, hitting 53% today.

            2. While I do not insist on the scenario, I have yet to see behavior that contradicts my ‘The Democrat insiders are cleaning house by encouraging those who could challenge them for control of the Party ‘ theory. They MIGHT get Impeachment. Barring far more substantial charges than have so far been made, conviction will not happen.

              If the Party Elders take the front lines on this, that would weaken my hypothesis. But if they stand back and let the likes of The Squad push it…

              Or, just maybe, something will come out to damage some other power block IN the Party. An impeachment attempt against Trump that exposed misbehavior on Shrilly’s part might serve a number of people who have cause to want to kill off any lingering influence she might have. Lots of accusations against Trump have turned out to be (bad) policies put in place under Obumbles.

            3. The concept of “Foreign Policy …

              It is all a case of making an unreasonable demand — details of a private conversation with a foreign head of state — which a) they “know” he cannot comply with except by damaging his ability to conduct diplomacy, while trusting the Gaslight Media to fly close air support, insisting it is a normal demand and Trump is the unreasonable one. Imagine if the GOP had demanded the transcript of Obama’s “Tell Vlad I’ll be more flexible after the election” discussion and the absence of integrity becomes clear.

              Of course, the real crime here is Trump presuming to call out Democrat corruption. That is not how the system works: Democrats call out Republicans as corrupt.never the other way ’round. What Trump dd was as contrary to normalcy as ending a spousal argument with the wife having to sleep on the couch.

            4. Early word out about the “impeachment” stuff that Pelosi’s doing is that nothing has changed from what was going on before. It appears that this might just be a dog and pony show to try and stall for time with the base.

          2. Okay now, this seems awkward:

            BOMBSHELL: Intel Inspector General Found Whistleblower Had ‘Bias’ In Favor Of ‘Rival Candidate’ Of Trump, Report Says
            The Trump administration announced on Tuesday that it is releasing an inspector general report on the whistleblower complaint that is at the center of Democrats’ push to impeach the president which reportedly found that the whistleblower had a bias in favor of one of Trump’s political rivals.

            “A senior Trump administration official told Fox News late Tuesday that the administration will release a document showing the intelligence community inspector general found the whistleblower who leveled an explosive accusation against President Trump concerning his talks with Ukraine had ‘political bias’ in favor of ‘a rival candidate’ of the president,” Fox News reported. “The official did not identify the name of the rival candidate. Separately, a senior administration official told Fox News the White House has been working as quickly as it can to release to Congress the whistleblower complaint involving President Trump’s conversations with the leader of Ukraine, as long as it’s legally possible.”

            The development comes hours after Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that Democrats were launching a formal impeachment inquiry into the president over a phone call that he had with Ukraine.


            The Washington Times reported that the administration “reportedly has dropped its objection to Congressional Democrats getting testimony from the whistleblower whose leak started the Ukraine phone-call issue.”

            The Federalist reported that the attorney for the whistleblower has previously worked for Democrat New York Senators Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer.

            Trump responded to the news by tweeting: “Secretary of State Pompeo recieved permission from Ukraine Government to release the transcript of the telephone call I had with their President. They don’t know either what the big deal is. A total Witch Hunt Scam by the Democrats!”

        1. What worries me is that if (when) this fails, they will continue pushing the issue. They’ve been talking of this resistence. More recently armed resistence. Talking of being done being polite. Claiming there’s no time to follow the rule of law (or something to that effect, can’t recall the specific verbage).

          Consider. Recall the protests, riots in all but name, and so on. For those who have their “why” (that they are on the morally right (left) side of history), there is no how they won’t contemplate. Consider them instead as members of a cult fighting for its foundational beliefs.

          I would like to be proven wrong.

          1. Do you notice he’s playing hardball on things, confident that their Reeeeeeing over impeachment will prevent their ability to gin op controversy over anything else? For example, look what he’s doing to California: eliminating their private auto market, slapping SF with surface water contamination complaints, demanding compliance with the Clean Air Act?

            And what are they going to do about it, eh? Raise a ruckus?

            There’s no oxygen left in Liberal Land for anything to actually slow Trump’s regulatory juggernaut. If they were capable of self-awareness they’d rue the day(s) they ceded so much power to the presidency.

            1. If one wondered what dirt DJT had on Nancy and the other House Dem leadership to force them to launch this clownish impeachment thingee (“It’s an inquiry! Or an inveigling! But definitely not an investigation!”) one would be considered a true conspiracist, but frankly it’s very much to his benefit to have them reeeeeeing over this nothingness while he actually accomplishes the other stuff you mentioned, plus nominates and McConnell confirms another hundred or so Federal judges, and maybe zombie-RBG’s arm will fall off in public and he’ll get to nominate one to the Supremes.

        2. It brings the Obama stuff into the light as well, as Biden has implicated Obama. PJ Media has this interesting piece on this issue:


          Also, Trump indicated today he is going to release tomorrow the transcript from the call with Ukraine’s President. If he does this, and it doesn’t reflect what the anonymous claim asserts, and Democrats go ahead full bore with their effort to impeach based on it, I suspect it will boomerang on them big time.

          1. Trump indicated today he is going to release tomorrow the transcript from the call with Ukraine’s President. If he does this, and it doesn’t reflect what the anonymous claim asserts

            Piffle. They will claim the transcript is incomplete. In fact, they’re already complaining that. You can’t trust Trump, and for proof they offer their lack of trust in him.

        3. Also the f*ck authority do they have to say Trump did anything illegal? Hillary Clinton? Comey? FUCKING Obama spying on a political opponent. But calling Ukraine is impeachable? This will NOT end well.

          1. Impeachment is a weapon you can only use once. You miss and you’ll never get another chance.

            1. They also seem to think that it will work for them – when it only led to grief for the Republicans. That was with physical evidence, and absolute proof of perjury, which still led to a shellacking in the next election.

              Of course, the Dems weren’t dealing simultaneously with “Never Clintons” in their ranks. I’m dedicating my efforts (which are mainly as a keyboard warrior right now, dang it) to playing whack-a-mole with such on the “conservative” outlets.

              1. Note however that the Clinton impeachment proceedings did convince Dianne Feinstein to go to the WH with a passel of Dem Senators to ask Willy to resign, but Bill waved his cigar at her, told her to bugger off, and rode it out, because he knew it’s not really Perjury-perjury if it’s a Democrat perjuring.

                A less self-confident target would have been gone.

                So the historical box score for an impeachment is well in DJT’s favor.

                And I’m not convinced the Republican Party paid much of any price for the WJC impeachment – they carried the House and Senate for the next decade-plus, and won two Presidential elections in that time even with the media assault around Iraq. Only when they nominated “Maverick” McCain and he faced the Great and Powerful Barry Soetoro did they fall on their face with the electorate.

            2. I think Pelosi knows she’s not ready to use it. But she has to play for time with the base while she desperately hopes that something changes.

    1. The Democrats are in a cleft fork, no doubt about it. They made so many promises that they have to know they can’t keep, on so many levels, and they have to fulfill some of them or they won’t get money and support anymore. Worse, Pelosi might have a serious competition for her seat and she can’t have that.

      I won’t…be Cassandra? But, at the rate things are going, historians are going to say “this was when Trump got his re-election win.” The media can’t portray it fairly, because they have A Narrative to publish and they can’t get away from that. You can hear the hunger in them, they want this so much…

      1. Yes, there needs to be a majority vote of the House to send the “Bill of Impeachment” to the Senate.

        However, it may serve Nancy Pelosi’s purpose to allow the full House to debate sending the bill (or investigating Trump).

        For that matter, it might serve her purpose if the Bill doesn’t pass the House. 😈

        1. Nancy’s got, what? 35 – 40 House Democrats who won 2018 seats, first-termers going home to Red Districts to explain they aren’t moving on trade agreements, on gun control, on infrastructure improvements because they’re upset about the president thinking Biden’s son maybe didn’t earn that $50K a month Board of Directors stipend? To people for who $50K a year is good pay?

          Oh yeah, I bet they’re just chomping on the bit for those conversations back home.

          And they know, just effing know that if they don’t vote impeachment that AOC and her squaddies will line up primary challengers to force them ever farther Bluer in their Red districts.

      2. To impeach, but I suspect committee heads can start investigations.

        Regardless, the Speaker is for it and I suspect Pelosi is too savvy to say that if she would lose a vote to investigate. I think she’s trying to cover her left flank and is willing to sell out the Democratic Candidate Clown Car to do it.

  28. It isn’t that the web of trust is gone. It’s that parts of it have been perverted to fit a political agenda, and one side has been ‘purifying’ those parts so that opposing opinions or facts never get voiced. And that the side that thought they had control of those parts forever is losing control – because their propaganda organs have been seen through.

    People aren’t refusing to get on commercial flights. As a former controller, let me tell you that that if there was doubt in the web of trust, that’s as complex as it gets. If you didn’t think you could trust everybody involved unreservedly, there’s no way anyone rational would get on an airplane, but it’s got a lower accident and fatality rate per passenger mile than driving or rail. For that matter, we wouldn’t get into our cars and drive anything like we do – traffic signals and the like could easily be perverted by anyone who wants to.

    Perhaps a better metaphor is The Emperor’s New Clothes. Once you’ve not seen them – once you know others don’t see them either – there is no going back. But instead of dealing with the plain truth of the evidence, those in charge of the Emperor’s Wardrobe keep blindly insisting on ever more ludicrous descriptions and convolutions to pretend to themselves everyone still sees the imaginary finery, and to attempt to demonstrate they are still loyal to the illusion.

  29. By the way, I don’t think the leftists are living in a parallel universe. They’re living in an imaginary universe perpendicular to ours, and they only intersect at a few points. The natural laws are different there, so what they describe comes across as lies to anyone living in the real universe.

    Maybe Kurt Vonnegut could have written stories set in that universe.

    1. I want to study that universe, if only to shut the portals off between this one and that one.

      Something makes me suspect that some kind of dead god-thing or eldritch abomination is there, feeding very slowly on the differences.

    2. Yeah, and due to complex 12-dimesional perpendicularness, the intersection of that Hippie universe and this one are both the Summer of Love in the Haight-Ashbury and the date the Watergate hearings kicked off in DC – everything else diverges drastically.

  30. Okay, I am going to say it, absurd and off topic though it may be — every time I see the title of this post, my brain starts crooning, “After the love is gone.”

  31. Vote fraud remains a myth, something told to one another by conservatives sitting around campfires trying to pretend they’er frontierspersons:

    Michigan City Clerk Charged with Altering Ballots in 2018 Midterms
    Sherikia Hawkins was charged Monday with six felony counts for allegedly altering absentee ballots during the November 2018 election in her capacity as city clerk for the Detroit suburb of Southfield, Mich.

    Hawkins, a 38-year-old registered Democrat, stands accused of altering 193 absentee ballots. She was arraigned Monday in Southfield on charges including falsifying returns or records, forgery of a public record, misconduct in office, and multiple counts of using a computer to commit a crime. She was released on $15,000 bond.

    The alleged misconduct was discovered after the Oakland County Clerk’s Office noticed that 193 voter files had been changed to reflect that the voters failed to include a valid signature or return date, when all of the implicated voters had in fact included both items. The county clerk’s office later discovered the original voter files in the trash at the election-division office. The Michigan State Police then launched an investigation that resulted in Hawkins’s arrest. …

    1. > felony

      She’ll probably either be allowed to plea down or get a suspended sentence.

      Falsifying ballots or voting results should carry the death penalty. On national TV. And a livestream from doj.gov.

  32. Excellent piece. One tiny quibble; it’s t”the wheat from the chaff”, not “the wheat from the shaft”. Sorry, but mom was an English teacher.

  33. “But how do you replace scientists? how do you investigate scientific knowledge and determine the wheat from the shaft?”

    We seem to be getting along just fine without actual scientists anymore in quite a few fields. Published papers are crap – full of fabricated data, political jabs, and shrill climate alarmism in entirely unrelated subjects. And the AGW cult is destroying prior work and data at an alarming rate. Not just climate records – anything inconvenient for their dogma gets deleted, shredded, and unshelved at any opportunity. They all do it, down to the librarians.

    Engineers, entrepreneurs, and dedicated hobbyists and patrons will pick up the slack after the fires are out and start reversing the Great Unlearning.

    You know, as usual.

    1. This. It is conveniently ignored that scientists started out as dedicated hobbyists – the pros were the Alchemists, working for patrons, trying to turn base metals into gold. Those crazy astronomers and oceanographic-record-taking-sailors and monks-cataloging-flower-interbreeding were doing what they were doing for motivations other than securing the next grant.

    2. Contemporary Science reminds me of a bar crawl Beloved Spouse & I took one Sunday afternoon down Bourbon Street, alternating classic N’awleans bars with strip clubs. First strip joint had a two-drink minimum and a drunken stripper, followed by one who enjoyed some good-humoured give’n’take with the sparse audience. The drinks were good albeit not over generous. That’s your typical modern scientist.

      The second strip joint watered my drink (I am highly sensitive to alcohol and react to almost the slightest taste of it; it is possible there was rum in my rum & coke, it is possible there wasn’t even Coca~Cola) and Spouse’s call brand scotch was … well, it was some kind of Scotch. The strippers were talentless nymphets who engaged in various contortions that might (charitably) be called dancing, then paraded the audience demanding tips. The are analogous to the Michael Mann types of modern scientist — they know they’re cheating you, you know they’re cheating you, they know you know they’re cheating you and there’s naught you can do about it.

      The third and last strip joint (between the two-drink minimums and the alternate stops into real bars, our pub crawl was approaching literal crawling, even with watered drinks) was the Tranny Bar, complete with barker out front. These were the best show, having mastered the elements of glamour and using actual dance moves instead of just shaking their knockers at us. They represent the few scientists practicing who respect the traditions of their trade and try to provide good consumer value.

      Kinda make a body want to fwow up.

  34. “Because I have to tell you — I’m all out of trust, and I don’t think I’m alone in this.” I am out of it as well. I am a seriously law abiding person who used to respect law enforcement more than anyone else. I still do for the most part, but I will be very careful when dealing with them onward. If the FBI comes to the door, I simply plead the 5th. Period.

  35. Good article. Thank you. I would make one minor correction. The phrase is separate the wheat from the chaff, aka winnowing, separating the valuable from the worthless. Separating the wheat from the shaft is threshing.

  36. Y’all REALLY? Look. You have TWO choices left. Civil war, OR. Being a good little bug and getting on the box car without any backtalk. That’s where we really are in 2019. No matter who wins in 2020 there will be blood. If the (D) side wins we have mass confiscation of guns, church burnings, and all the worst from the communist playbook. Gulags at best. Death camps at worst. If the (R) side of the Omni party wins then the communist go all out with the Great Peoples revolution. TRUST? Are you kidding? No one with an IQ above room temp. has trusted government since the CIA killed Kennedy. No matter what happens next the survivors will swim the river of blood to see the other side of this.

    1. The CIA killed Kennedy?
      BY USING A COMMUNIST operative.
      Sir, please, pull the other one, it plays jingle bells. Also, take your meds, PLEASE.
      Yeah, there will be blood. In limited, already foredoomed places.
      Everywhere? DO YOU KNOW OUR COUNTRY, as you type this from a troll farm in Russia? Or are you just blowing smoke?

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