I realized I was getting better in the middle of yesterday afternoon, as a great depression settled upon me for no reason at all.

Weirdly, and for no reason I can figure out, that’s one of the symptoms — for me — that I’m starting to “turn the corner” on a viral infection. All of a sudden I’m weepy and feel like the world is coming to an end.  It’s entirely possible this is because until then I’m just trying to stay awake/drag myself around to do the absolutely necessary. Suddenly I have a little more energy, and my body uses that to worry and be really sad.  Fortunately I’ve learned to identify it for what it is.

It is, what my dad used to refer to as “that which burns, heals.”  In the same way, while I hate the weepy and depressive part of the recovery, I also know it means I’m getting better. Not well. Nowhere near well, but better and on the way to being well.

This is not just my health update. I think this is where we are, nationally.

Look, part of my being where I am, emotionally, just now, is that I can’t see a way out of the mess we’re in: from things getting ugly with China — and they need to be, or China will take over the world — or the the people retaining vestigial control of the media and various parts of our bureaucracy and trying to override the voters while they careen us towards socialism.

Right now everything looks horrific.

But a friend told me yesterday what the president is engaging in is economic war, and maybe it will save us from real, shooting war.  Maybe.

The one thing I’ve noticed… Take the Trump “gaffe” yesterday about how people can’t go to the grocery store without ID.  Look, it’s hyperbole, obviously. If you walk to the store and you pay in cash, you don’t need ID. How many people in the US go to the grocery store on foot or public transport and pay in cash? Because if you drive there, even if you pay in cash, you need ID. And if you pay in any way but cash, they’re supposed to look at the ID anyway.

But all of a sudden he has everyone talking about ID for voting, one way or another.  And it allows the left to expose their monstrous ignorance.  And it allows us to engage them.  Yes, okay, I did get in the middle of it on Facebook, but come on, I was apparently arguing with someone who thought that Emma Lazarus poem on the Statue of Liberty was the law of the land, or perhaps that the Constitution was engraved on the statue of liberty.  I’m not sure which, my mind kept bending away from the stupid, like a finger from the fire.

It is part of it, though. Almost everyone complaining was exposing their own — often very strange — ignorance of either how you buy groceries or of what the law of the land is.

I’d like to think Trump is doing it on purpose, but perhaps he’s not. I don’t know. And frankly I don’t care.

When I called this the second year of the masks coming down, (almost the third year, counting from election night 2016) it is this effect I was talking about.

Think about it.  Three years ago even Hillary Clinton was pretending she wasn’t a socialist.  Now the comedy skit known as the Democrat primaries is openly socialist and frankly, openly against you, yes, you who love America and want it to remain America.

Three years ago, although they’d been playing gatekeepers on opinions for years, the New York Times would never have published an editorial anti free speech.

And if people were marching in the streets screaming “No America at all” (seriously, people, let’s buy these children tickets to Cuba and China already!) there were no echoing voices in the Senate agreeing with them.

Oh, and the house of representatives would never try to impeach a president on collusion, when it is obvious they’re the ones colluding.


The masks are coming off.

Here’s the thing about masks, though: they prettify.  While they stay up, you can pretend that the faces behind them are normal, that everything is fine.

When the masks come down, you see the decay and the horror.

Here’s what to remember: be it China or the extent to which our own country has been subverted by the dying contortions of the Soviet snake, or the hatching of the Chinese one: those things were there.  They’re not worse now.  It’s just now we can see them.

And though the things we can see are unsettling, frankly if I had to navigate my way out of a hall filled with spinning knives, it would be better if I could see to avoid them.

It’s the same for the country, I think.  Our chances have actually gone up.  We just don’t feel like it, because look at all those horrors surrounding us.

They were there before.  They’re just visible now.

That which burns, heals.  Or at least it can.  And sometimes the depression means we’re getting better.

It just doesn’t feel like it.

Be Not Afraid!  This is no time to go wobbly.


602 thoughts on “Masks

  1. Oh, no, ever be Wobbly. They were the worst of the communistic unions, regarded even by the AFL as too radical.

      1. On the other hand, they were brutally suppressed by Woodrow Wilson, who was a real piece of work with no respect for the Bill of Rights.

  2. It is time to take to heart the concept of TWANLOC, Those Who Are No Longer Our Countrymen. Some of TWANLOC are probably educable, and can be convinced/converted into Americans, but a large number likely can’t and need to be isolated in some way (not physically, probably, but intellectually, emotionally, and influentially) from normal Americans.

    1. No, the uneducable TWANLOC DO need to be physically isolated. That’s exactly what we did during and post-Revolution. We forced the unrepentant Tories to pack up and move to other British colonies (e.g. Nova Scotia, PEI, New Brunswick, Bahamas), foreign colonies (Spanish Florida) or back to jolly old England itself. Our modern day TWANLOCs can be force to move to places like Sweden, France, Venezuela, or mainland China.

      Frankly, given the opportunity, I’d let all us conservative right types colonize a completely different Earth-like world and leave these know-nothings to rot. But since there’s no place left for us to go, the socialists are the ones who have to go instead.

      1. I rather like the idea of letting the Rabids colonize the sea floor. I refuse to turn a perfectly good planet over to those half-witted twits.

                  1. Well, it’s possible to support politics superior to communism and still do terrible things.

                    1. Is it possible to support politics inferior to Communism? Do such politics exist?

                      In the interest of playing Poke-the-Bears, I recently updated my “Politics” on FaceBork from “Constitutionalist” (though still true) to “Hitler was a Leftist” (also very true, but let’s see how many knickers it knots!)

                  2. There are those who say Pinochet did nothing wrong. Those people, unfortunately, are mistaken. Pinochet did one thing (at least) terribly wrong.

                    He didn’t drop all the communists out of helicopters.

                1. Also it’s lots of fun to tell a lefty “May Saint Augustus lift you up above the waters. Briefly.” And watch them be confused. But that’s my evil coming through.

              1. why use helicopters? I was picturing bulk shipping them in C-5s and just letting them out at 30,000 ft….

    2. I find this sort of isolation is already occurring… and eagerly assisted by the TWANLOCs themselves. For starters, blocking conservatives from social media has backfired tremendously, both as alternatives keep appearing, and as the right has realized that it no longer needs to try and reason with the left. The left is the side that wants money, attention, labor, and mountains of legislation to control it all. The left is the side that needs to engage in debate. Consequently, blocking conservatives from debating isn’t an expression of power, but of weakness – it’s the screaming child going la-la-la-can’t-hear-you when it sees it’s losing an argument.

      Moreover, for three years now, the cat’s officially out of the bag, in that American conservatives know just how numerous and influential they can be come election day, advance polls be darned. And that was an act of sheer desperation, or what we here call a “punitive vote” – statistically, even former Democrat voters decided they’d rather take their chances with the Annoying Orange, than suffer the idiocy of the Wicked Witch from the West Wing.

      And of course, there’s the fact that “cancel culture” – the attempt to destroy the careers of wrongthinking professionals, particularly in the media – seems to be working much more against overall liberal celebrities who miss the occasional cue from the party line, than conservative actors and singers whose target audience couldn’t care less about the opinions of the morality police.

      All in all, the left is pretty successfully managing to isolate itself, effectively placing bars around its own house and saying the whole world’s imprisoned. And I think it’ll be a major form of popcorn entertainment to watch them realize this.

      1. … conservative actors and singers whose target audience couldn’t care less about the opinions of the morality police.

        It would perhaps be better phrased as their audience takes the Rheeeeeeeeing as a sign of “here is somebody worthy of interest!” Thus every SJW tantrum over Jordan Peterson or Larry Correia’s latest book serves to increase attention from conservatives.

        Similarly, many conservatives who might have slid on by Dave Chappelle’s latest comedy special or ignored a movie like The Joker, Unplanned or (the upcoming) Miss Virginia are instead alerted to the affirming works by SJW denunciation.

        1. You’re right about that–many of us tend to take the position that if all the wrong people dislike something, it must be worth looking into…

          1. Indeed – I wish that I could kick off a massive hysterical-lib reaction to some of my books, on any account. (There are any number of grounds for this, especially in the historicals; approval of traditional gender roles, traditional Christian values, studied neutrality with regard to LGBTWXYZ status, unsympathetic attitude towards raiding Comanche and Mexicans, a lot of racially-European heroes and approval of Western culture generally …
            The field for lefty outrage is ripe … alas, my daughter forbids me to go out and pick fights with them deliberately.
            *kicks ground* She is such a spoilsport!

        2. Yeah, that’s how it worked for me as well – I found MHI while simply looking for a fantasy series with more action and less petty personal dramas. But when I stumbled upon a comment to the effect of the author being “a dumb ass cracker who spews retarded right wing ideologies”, I immediately knew I’d picked a winner.

          What I find more important is that it’s becoming more and more publicly evident that alternatives exist to the left-leaning mainstream media, from books, to video games, movies, and even TV shows, judging by their reaction to “Jack Ryan”. And it’s this – an alternative – that the left has never been able to handle. The fact that more people realize they have a choice is what’s really driving the left into a frenzy. And their ubiquitous coping mechanism of blocking all bilateral communication is only driving the stake harder in their own blood-sucking corpse.

  3. You can’t even pay cash at FedEx without an ID now. They soft racism of the left is so blatant. But there is no one so blind as he who WILL NOT see….

    1. You can’t see a doctor without ID, and the Democrats keep screaming that healthcare is a right; so if you need ID to get healthcare, their own logic says that there is nothing wrong with requiring ID to vote. Of course in their view, you only have the right to vote if you vote “the right way”, i.e. for them, which is why we are in year three of the ongoing coup attempt by Democrats to undo the 2016 election.

      1. One really insane crazy I know, was screaming the day after the 2016 election, that no one should be able to vote in private! That everyone had to vote and have it splayed over social media. Yeah. The mask came off that one so fast, I was SPINNING by the whiplash!

  4. More examples of the masks coming off. And believe me, I don’t like Piers Morgan, especially his POV on guns and I think to some extent he’s part of the problem. But on this I agree with him 100%. It’s gotten INSANE, this world, and watch the interview – it’s actually HILARIOUS to see the ‘cis-male’ dismiss the transgender telling him what the effect of the rampant SJZealotry has been on her and other transgenders, and constantly try to make people bow to the 100 gender demand as ‘compassion.’

    1. How bad are things? Peirs Morgan is often the voice of reason coming from that side on these things.
      Not that he is in any way smart and reasonable.

    2. Okay I tried to watch that, and the kid is so f-ing thick I couldn’t go more than 2 minutes.

      There’s absolutely no point in debating somebody like that, they don’t have an argument. They have a complaint. They’re upset that the entire world and everyone in it has not arranged everything for their personal comfort. They express that complaint by demanding we all pretend along with them that there are 1000 genders.

      Personally, I identify as a Bolo MkXXIV Continental Siege Unit. That’s 1001 genders now because megatons per second, bitchez.

      1. Okay, I have the final word on the hundred genders thing. I am informed, by a teenager (who by definition knows EVERYTHING) that there are two genders:

        There is the Hammer = the workers!
        There is the sickle = the farmers!

        Put them together and you have the hammer and sickle!

        Now shut up and get back to work before the apparatchik sees you slacking, comrades. Stalin needs a new yacht.

      2. Personally, I identify as a Bolo MkXXIV Continental Siege Unit.

        But do you have the bulldozer blade attachment so you can also identify as “agricultural equipment”?

      3. Besides the fact that he had probably one of the more punchable faces I’d ever seen on TV – just under David Hogg, he was such an arrogant, spoiled and demanding twat with that uptilted look-down-nose stance of his- I found it utterly hilarious that this was essentially someone that was piggybacking on the whole transgender thing for power trip reasons.


        Because he pretty much was dismissing the actual transgender’s protests and complaints about how these hundredgender idiots were affecting the people who HAD transitioned, and their idiocy was hilariously erasing the main reason why transgenders are… well, transgender.

        My stance on the whole trans thing is pretty much the same as Piers’ and India’s.

        Though, I still refuse to call that traitorous ‘whistleblower’ guy female (the one who was in military intel, leaked a lot of info, then transitioned afterward, despite being originally gay, calls himself ‘Chelsea’ now. Manning?) because I don’t think he’s actually trans, but went that way to make himself more uncriticizable. I lump him in the same basket as the predators who say they’re trans, are intact, then weaponize their ‘trans-ness’, like Jonathan Yaniv.

        1. Without commenting on the other matters you raise, I wish to acknowledge my satisfaction that it is now literally accurate to say that Pfc Pvt Manning has no balls.

          No slight to the many women, here and elsewhere, who’ve demonstrated that brass clangers are metaphorical and not an artifact of gender.

    3. It occurs to me that the answer to this codswallop is “No. There aren’t 100 ‘genders’. There are only two and a smidge. But there are billions of identities. Stop confusing your identity with your gender.”

      Not that they’d react well to THAT either…

        1. I actually like the system of some Australian languages: masculine, feminine, edible, and neuter. “Edible” is used for certain vegetables. (Just saying. . . .)

            1. If blueberry muffins are made with blueberries, are vegan muffins made with vegans?

              Obviously! Now hand me down that wheat bran, Miz Linden-FairyRing, would you?


        2. Gender is for words. Humans have sex.

          Latin has genders of masculine, feminine, and neuter.

          1. I think it was in Friday that Heinlein’s character grumbled about the Republic Of California celebrating every male, female, hemale, shemale, itmale, neutermale, and anonymale.

      1. I like it.
        There’s MALE.
        There’s FEMALE.
        There’s (for humans, a TINY amount of) NOT FULLY MALE.
        And perhaps, CONFUSION.

        Plenty more preferences and identifies, but that’s the Generously Expanded List, above.

            1. I didn’t even know about the other two, just had heard of the double-Y guys.

              I love how even the genetic mess-ups actually support your original statement; they sometimes have trouble conceiving because of hormone issues, but XXX is female and XYY or XXY is male.

            2. yes
              Variations on male and female. Though the second can flip, depending on various things.
              BTW, I can’t find it now, but there is ONE recorded case of normal functioning XY female. There might be more, or course, not found. But “Vanishingly rare” doesn’t begin to describe it, and her daughter, also xy is in effect sterile.
              The XY woman is still a woman and looks like a normal woman.
              Lots of weirdness. We are humans, we are imperfect. That’s just it.

                1. possibly, but the medical report — it was referred to me by one of our medical commenters — didn’t seem to indicate that.
                  HOWEVER I stand by older son’s comment when I showed him the report “Jesus. If she wanted her own pronoun, she could have it. Not even an argument.”
                  HOWEVER note it never occurred to this woman that she was anything but a woman. About my age, same body type, etc.
                  There IS extreme inbreeding in her family for generations, mind.


                Several associated genetic anomalies. This was interesting; had not heard of it before.

                I once owned a cat that was probably something like this — started as unquestionably female, but at about 4mos grew unusually puny male parts with sub-normal testes. Was neutered and lived to be 12. Had about 4x the brains of a normal cat (frex, he understood mirrors at a glance), which is rather opposite of the usual effect on humans. — Was the product of 5 generations of mother-to-son inbreeding, that being what we had in isolated feral cats. Also had a nephew that was abnormally smart, tho not in the same league with the gender-shifter. The rest of the clan were pretty average.

            3. I cannot recall ever seeing XXY but I’ve seen plenty of XXX on the t-shirt tables at cons, and even some XXXX.

                1. Warhammer Fantasy has the legendary Bugman’s XXXXXX. Tragically for the Warhammer Fantasy world at large (before the End Times mess, of course), Joseph Bugman’s career as a legendary brewer came to an end when his brewery was sacked by orcs and goblins. In true Warhammer dwarf fashion (he was away when it happened), he promptly swore revenge on the greenskins, and gave up brewing to pursue his vengeance.

                2. There is a very funny bit in a WWII memoir of an American troop, whose unit was deployed to Australia “c/o Postmaster” by Cpl. Thomas R, St. George – he mentioned a bit about some of his friends, who made a floor to their tent of XXXX beer crates and wished that they hadn’t, after waking up after a night on the town.

                  I had copy of this from Dad, and found another copy years later, at an indy bookstore in Fredericksburg. It’s a very funny book – I think that I have lifted some amusing bon mots from it,

          1. it’s just a variation of male.
            We have reason to think there’s a “truncated y attached to one of the xs in the family” Part of the reason infertility — female — is rampant and we have trouble bearing live girls. So a lot of the men have attenuated instances of this. They’re just men. They can be more violent. Or, with proper raising, just a lot more competitive and go-getters.

                1. ‘Sokay. And the brain chemistry can be troublesome, yes. But like most things, humans are highly variable. Having anger issues and violent thoughts along with a sex drive that won’t quit does not automatically compel you to *act* on those internal things. In this, self control is, as it has always been, the foundation of civilization.

              1. Remember: it is the dose that makes the poison. A little “toxic masculinity” can give a gal a high like nothing else in this world.

                Just be careful to avoid that which has soured.

      2. We had a Democratic presidential candidate advocating “reproductive justice” for transwomen. That means making it easier for people with Y chromosomes to have abortions.

        So, no, they’re probably not going to react well to what you suggested.

        1. I once had a feminist suggest that the existence of extra-uterine pregnancies was evidence that men should be able to get pregnant in similar fashion. It seems that just because I don’t think the life cycle of an ichneumonoid wasp is a viable or attractive vision for the future of humanity, I must be some kind of sexist hater.

          1. I don’t know. The ability for a man to have a child without needing a woman would be a great advance for men, even the ones that did not use it. Suddenly women would have to bring something besides their uteri to the table.

            1. They also bring a full set of mommy hormones, to keep Junior alive through the early years. Men don’t have those. It shows up like a Problem capita “P” when Junior won’t shut up at 3AM and you gotta get up at 6 for work.

              Never underestimate the power of the mommy hormones.

    1. Not too surprising since the Progressive Left thinks “Ordinary working Joe who is sick of being pushed around by the likes of me” = “Nazi”

      And what they are largely achieving with this drivel is to normalize the Nazis.

      1. “And what they are largely achieving with this drivel is to normalize the Nazis.”

        That’s because they ARE the Nazis. You look at their list of values and goals, compare it to ol’ Adolph’s from back in the day, there’s a very close fit.

          1. However, the SS was pretty internationalist. Note all the different SS divisions from all over Europe and other places.

          1. And if you focus in on the idea that Hitler also had a tribe that just happened to be composed of the most prominent racial group in Germany…

            1. Nationalism had diddley-squat to do with Hitler; his “nation” wasn’t Germany, it was the Aryan race.

              1. It was identity based totalitarian socialism which is what the Democrats are pushing, with the Democrats adding in a desire for it to be global thus the term Communazi for the Democrats/leftists.

  5. “They were there before. They’re just visible now.”

    This is what I get for commenting before I finish reading.

    Yes, they’ve ALWAYS been there. When I was a kid I used to wonder where all the Nazi concentration camp guards came from, with their Hugo Boss uniforms and their skin lampshades. Now that I’m a grown-up (or as grown up as I’m going to get, anyway) I realize that those people were always there in Germany, waiting for an opening. When the opportunity to be monstrous presented itself, they took it.

    Those people live here too. They look normal. They act normal. They have jobs, they have kids (why do you think so many kids are so fucked up?) and they walk among us.

    Lately the opportunity to be monstrous has come around again. Just keep your eye on who takes it, and you’ll know what to do when you see them again.

    1. By the time the Nazis came around, Germany was pretty much destitute. The people had no hope and nothing to believe in. The Nazi concentration guards looked “normal” and acted “normal” because they WERE “normal”. They weren’t guys sitting around thinking “oh man, just wait till I get a chance, I’m going to be such an asshole!” They were every-day people just trying to get by. Sure, some of them might have had personalities more skewed that direction, but for the most part, I think the Nazi concentration camp guards were just people who found something to believe in, and bought in and let themselves get carried away. Most of them, 10 years prior, if you described what they would do/become, would probably have told you to go ____ yourself.

      I think that’s part of the danger. People think “I would never do that” and judge others. But as various studies of people having power and control over others have shown, a person can lose themselves and do horrible things without really thinking about it. Things they never would have thought they would do. We, as human beings, need to be aware of that and police ourselves and make sure we don’t become that.

      BTW, I’m not saying we should excuse them. They still should be held accountable for their actions (if there are any still around, they are likely to be WAY old).

      1. The thing about the Stanford Prison experiment wasn’t that it was a poorly constructed experiment, or that the deck was stacked ahead of time; it’s that it probably would have had the same result even if it had been perfectly designed and controlled.

        1. DING DING DING.

          The rebuttals I’ve seen for Stanford and Milgram all have this same problem. Ok, sure, let’s say for purposes of argument that the studies were horribly constructed, and pressure was placed on the subjects to behave in certain ways.

          Congratulations. You have just described exactly the authoritarian scenario we were worried about. You rebuttal confirms our fears.

            1. He was trying to justify extreme surveillance state.

              Well he utterly failed at that one.

              Hmmm. This must be like the Tragedy of the Commons, where I see people on this blog claiming that the concept is a tool of statists. Meanwhile I’m sitting here wondering what sort of whacked out drugs they are on given that the only people I’ve seen engage the concept are pro-Market, and the statists mostly sweep it under the rug and refuse to talk about it.

              As far as the assertion that it hasn’t been replicated; that is true but uninteresting. “Never replicated in a lab” doesn’t count for much when we have had the kind of ultra large scale replication that no lab could even conceive of.

              1. No. The left loves Zimbardo. And he basically reflected himself in that study.
                The tragedy of the commons, I don’t get how it can be a tool of statism. This, though?
                The common man will be horrible if not completely controlled IS the current left.

                1. The tragedy of the commons, I don’t get how it can be a tool of statism.

                  IIRC you were the one saying it, though I may be misremembering. It was a couple years back.

                  1. I could probably construct an argument premised on the idea that the “tragedy of the commons” indicated the necessity of an all-powerful state to limit everybody’s use of the common resource.

                    Such an argument would require consumption of so much alcohol as to seriously impair my health that I shall never attempt it, but I can see a foundation for it. The key is to make of it such a Rube Goldberg Device that causal relationships are heavily obscured while pretending that each phase of it is easily achieved and maintained rather than a difficult balance almost certain of failure in use.

                    And, of course, denying that simpler solutions — such as re-configuring the “common” component’s ownership — would achieve the same, or superior, ends.

                    1. See also: The Lorax.

                      (No, I’m not kidding. The plot is straight-up tragedy of the commons. The moral… Isn’t. It doesn’t exactly preclude property rights, but…)

                    2. Luke: When very young, I liked the story The Lorax (as televised..) Once a bit older, the obvious error is screaming at me: Of course you re-invest in the resources so you and keep harvesting them. And ‘waste’ is something you haven’t analyzed enough to find a use for or someone to sell it to. (Alright, not ALWAYS is there a buyer, but.. less waste is less COST, too!) So, the Onceler is really a very poor businessman. Yeah, yeah, clogs up the narrative… hrmm…

                2. “The common man will be horrible if not completely controlled IS the current left.”
                  That is not the statement.
                  The Left believes that they can remake man into Socialist Man, by education, training and control. They believe it is possible with any human.

                  What the test proved was that under pressure (wages, peer, whatever and not really physical) people will do “things” they believe they should to people under their control. Especially if those people “Deserve it”. It takes a very strong person NOT TO. Even if it is just ignoring the woman screaming for help down by the street late at night. Or stepping over the person on the sidewalk. It starts by being able to do that.

                  1. The study has long been subject to scrutiny — it was never published in a mainstream journal or subjected to peer review – but it is still widely taught in schools.

                    Well, now.

                    I was nodding along, going “yeah, knew that, knew that, knew that–” until I hit that point.

                    Suddenly explains the BBC2 guys’ pointed mention of being published and peer reviewed.

                  2. yeah. One of many many debunkings. Also, read up on Zimbardo.
                    I started reading on him way back, because one of my kids (can’t remember which. Eh) told me some of the sh*t he pulled in other studies.
                    Like Paul Ehrlich who’s never been right, Zimbardo is respected on hte left and still has his reputation. Heaven only knows why.

                    1. Confirmation bias, too good to check (though that one, most of them have never been taught *how* to check), herd/mob mentality and the social accolades one gains when mouthing the correct phrases would be my guess. Even when thoroughly discredited, if someone comes up with a conclusion the left loves then almost anything seems to be ignored in favor the beautiful theory they’ve concocted. And will stuff it with endless platitudes once slain by ugly facts, ignoring the stench all the while.

                3. The tragedy of the commons can be used to justify state power to regulate things, which is certainly helpful to statism.

                  Even in cases, like the commons, where the things had been regulated for centuries just fine.

            2. He was trying to justify extreme surveillance state.

              Since his experiment “proves” that individuals cannot be trusted with power because they will always abuse it, it would seem that his effort was counter-productive.

              It is not as if any experimental element demonstrated that some people’s innate superiority meant they could be entrusted with such power.

              To paraphrase a certain philosopher, “You keep citing that experiment. I do not think it proves what you think it proves.”

              1. It proved that given an advance conclusion, research will always prove what the researcher wants it to prove.

        2. No one has ever reproduced the results of the Stanford Prison Experiment. They lied. Plain, simple, flat-out lied.

          They lied to make -you- believe that all humans are inherently evil.

          Question. Authority.

            1. Right? Like if their answer is “shut up and do what I tell you before something bad happens to you” then you need to begin planning your escape.

              1. Yes, but what do you do before your escape? Comply or not? Comply and your chance of escape is better. Only you can decide.

                1. Comply, obviously. If you’re just taking as many with you as you can when they kick in the door, you done f-ed up.

                  As one of my characters once said, guys always think of punching bad people in the face. Girls think of a way to get bad people to punch themselves in the face.

              2. …then you need to begin planning your escape.

                Or plotting out the assassinations. Especially if you have no viable option to escape to.

            2. Question the authority… and annoy them when they torture you for information.

              Though their true purpose is sinister.

                1. *gets the giggles*

                  You remember his connections board?

                  That’s my laptop wallpaper.

                  Husband uses it for his GM screen in e-D&D group.

          1. Well, Organization and Management theory basically says that you’re never going to get the exact same results as the SPE because you’re going to be using completely different people, with totally different backgrounds, and have ethical regulations that will prohibit imposing the exact same environmental conditions.

            Thing is, reading through the bbc prison study link that Foxfier posted shows that the men involved were trending in a similar direction as the SPE. When you pull the governors off and rip off the training wheels, you’ll see Lord of the Flies behavior more often than not, especially with the current two generations of youth and young adults.

            You also see this in most revolutions. America being a very rare aberration in that respect. And it’s why socialist revolutions frequently (always?) end in massive bloodbaths. More real life confirmation of the validity of the conclusions of the SPE. You could say they are the reproduced experiments.

            1. The American “Revolution” wasn’t a “real” revolution.

              First, many of “revolutionary ideas” involved were at work in the “Colonial” governments for a long time before the “fighting” started.

              Second, those “Colonial” governments were objecting to actions by the English governments before the “fighting” started.

              Third, thus when the decision was made to declare independence from England, we had already working governments on the ground. Our main problem was getting thirteen “Colonial” governments to work together both fighting the English and in the aftermath.

              I’d point out that we went through basically third methods of “working together”, the early Continental Congress, the Articles of Confederacy, and finally the Constitution. And we changed methods without having wars.

              Note, I’ll not comment on the American Civil War as Sarah has rightly doesn’t want debates on it here.

              1. In many ways the American revolution was the colonists demanding that the English allow them to have the rights afforded to English living in England, i.e. representation in Parliament and other rights that they were supposed to have as English subjects. It was the refusal to allow the American colonists to have and exercise those rights that slow-boiled into the revolution.

                1. Doff the hats, lads:

                  John Dickinson: What’s so terrible about being called an Englishman? The English don’t seem to mind.

                  Dr. Benjamin Franklin: Nor would I, were I given the full rights of an Englishman. But to call me one without those rights is like calling an ox a bull. He’s thankful for the honor, but he’d much rather have restored what’s rightfully his.


                  John Dickinson: When did you first notice they were missing, sir?


            1. The entire memeplex we are dealing with comes down to:

              1. Take a concept from Christianity.
              2. Secularize it.
              3. Remove all of the built in safeguards.
              4. Find anything else to transform the concept into its nightmare version.
              5. Repeat.

              Why wouldn’t Original Sin be included in that?

            1. Incidentally:

              There is no doubt that the behaviour of participants in our study was affected by the knowledge that they were being filmed. In particular, it was a factor in the unwillingness of some Guards to impose discipline at the start of the study.

              This implies that the willingness of powerful authorities to be tyrannical can be reduced by rendering them visible and accountable in particular ways. This is an important finding. It shows that we need to consider the impact of surveillance both in everyday life and in our theories of behaviour.

              Moreover, it is wrong to reduce the significance of surveillance simply to participants’ concerns about the television audience. Their awareness of the cameras declined over time and, if anything, observational evidence suggests that they were most concerned about being watched by us, the experimenters.

              Isn’t that middle part rich?

                1. Federalist 70 said it way back when. As did Federalist 51. (Yeah, I’ve been re-reading all of those. {Dear Lord, Hamilton, get an editor. You repeat yourself so often.})

              1. “This implies that the willingness of powerful authorities to be tyrannical can be reduced by rendering them visible and accountable in particular ways.”

                Yes, because its impossible that a person would not want to be filmed being mean to somebody for a miserable television show on the BBC.

                REAL tyrannical powers are never visible. Because they are the ones who decide what goes on TV, among other things. They -watch- the surveillance, they aren’t watched by it.

                Leftist sputtering “No, that could never happen in THIS country!!!11! You’re mad!”

                1. Yes, because its impossible that a person would not want to be filmed being mean to somebody for a miserable television show on the BBC.

                  *points at reality TV*

                  REAL tyrannical powers are never visible.

                  No, successful, intelligent tyrannies tend to have the brains to try to avoid being visible. because it gets them killed.
                  Thankfully, they’re not successful, generally speaking. Keep trying, though.

        3. no. It fucking would not. Not everyone is a psychopath. It takes more than power to make someone that fucked up.
          And btw it was used to justify that people –normal people — should have no say over their lives, because we’re all horrors. It also destroyed fiction, because “no one is clean.”
          Zimbardo should be flogged.

              1. Self-refuting bullshit AND boring as well. Perfect Leftist award winner.

                Speaking of awards, had you heard that James Tiptree Jr. is now officially scrubbed from history, replaced by a hipster irony?

                “I’ve got a little list, I’ve got a little list,
                And they’ll none of them be missed, they’ll none of them be missed.”

                1. I recall that in one of Heinlein’s essays in one of his collections of shorts–either something standalone or an introduction to a particular story in the book; I know that’s horribly vague–he said that he wrote Tunnel in the Sky explicitly as a response to Lord of the Flies.

                  1. It is notable that in the Lord of the Flies, the kids were younger than the young adults in Tunnel in the Sky. Only a few years, but VERY significant years. I can easily believe that schoolkids of that age who were cut off from rescue (at least they thought they were), could turn out like that. Give them a few years and they start to look ahead more and are less likely to behave in such a self and societal destructive manner.

                    1. No. Sorry. I was a kid that age when I first read it. I associated mostly with boys. It went against the wall hard.
                      It’s an adult’s fantasy of what “horrible boys” might do.

                    2. How does this square with (paraphrased) “every generation needs to be civilized anew or they become monsters”? Which isn’t exactly an uncommon theme here…

                    3. Dude, if you ain’t civilizing before six, much less 12, you done missed the boat. They can probably be fixed, humans are awesome like that, but the infamous “plays well with others” was not born of thin air.

                      My TWO YEAR OLD has a lot of basic stuff down.

                      The BABY has the idea of “be gentle to kitty”. She’s at the point we’re still arguing if her yelling “hai!” is a greeting or a grunt.

                    4. The BABY has the idea of “be gentle to kitty”.

                      Well sure, basic stuff that also happens to be intertwined with the growing motor control system.

                      But 12? 6!?!? How can any of the concepts associated with “teenager” exist if the civilizing is done as such an early age? Unless all of what you are talking about is the super low level stuff.

                      but the infamous “plays well with others” was not born of thin air.


                      Is this a specific story you are referencing?

                    5. But 12? 6!?!? How can any of the concepts associated with “teenager” exist if the civilizing is done as such an early age?

                      Well, that makes it clear continuing is a waste of time.

                      I don’t know if you’re unable or just unwilling to grasp the concept of a process not being the same as a switch, but either way I cannot force them into your mind.

                    6. Different kids react differently to the same stimuli. Socialization is about getting them out of the terrible twos; the advice isn’t about how schoolkids behave if unsupervised.

                      Broad generalizations about behaviour say more about the generalizer’s assumptions than about human behaviour.

                    7. A very British one, at that. I recently picked up the Audible edition of J. G. Ballard’s The High-Rise (nicely read by Tom “Loki” Hiddleston) and Oh. Em. Gee! From Wiki

                      a 1975 novel by British writer J. G. Ballard. The story describes the disintegration of a luxury high-rise building as its affluent residents gradually descend into violent chaos.

                      Now, imagine the Lord of the Flies set-up and the tale told by Mark Twain, Robert Heinlein, Ray Bradbury, Ted Sturgeon, Larry Correia, Louis L’Amour or ERB. Heck, even Harlan Ellison, Stephen King or Ernie Hemingway would have found something more interesting to do with it.

                      To get the kind of drivel that Golding did out of that set-up from an American writer you would have to go to a late-20th or 21st century “literary” hack (or recent Hugo-winner. BIRM)

                    8. I have read that it was essentially spitefic in response to a number of previous stories where British boarding school boys got dumped in similar situations and created a healthy civilization. So… pretty much.

                    9. Oh, I get it! It is an anti Scouting book, anti Swallows and Amazons, anti Rob Paulson. The boys do not organize peacefully and do sensible things.

                      Actually, preteen boys just before puberty are smarter and more able to think ahead than the hormone-smacked. Puberty is all.about learning to deal.with adult bodies and hormones, which diverts brainpower.

              2. Why is it all the interesting and convoluted debate threads occur when I’ve got work or otherwise can’t follow them at leisure?

                Anyway, I look forward to reading the discussion and further blog-posts that will probably spawn from it, but to seize on one particular detail: I’ll speak up for Lord of the Flies. The book felt true to me because Golding was very careful to select a dynamic of characters that made the outcome possible. Specifically the number of ‘littleuns’ who were too small to understand what was going on in any complex way, and how Jack arrived on the scene with his own cadre with their own particular group-preference and loyalties that gave him a strong position from the start and made them more attractive to the castaways. The masks that hid guilt, the power and status that came from hunting, Jack’s demagoguery, all worked to cultivate the ‘seed’ of evil in ways both simple and complex.

                Admittedly, the deck was stacked, but not insurmountably so. That’s what makes a tragedy poignant, and I read the book as a tragedy: because things COULD have gone the other way. Good COULD have won out. If there had just been a few more ‘Ralph’ type characters to stand together, if Simon had just managed to pass on his discovery, if…if…if…

                But to counter charges that the book has a message that everyone will become corrupt and evil I have only to say: Ralph was tempted, but he never gave in. Simon died, but he never gave in.

          1. “Everyone is a psychopath” supports “don’t even think of giving anyone power”. That they had an industrial hammer they wanted to nail everything with doesn’t say anything about the ideas themselves.

            1. No. Seriously. Read their literature. What they think it supports is giving the rule to “exceptional people” who of course are corrupt, but are “smarter”.
              It’s also what has turned the dems into a shit show. “Everyone would do it if they oculd.” IT’s an explicit rejection of self-control and individual morality.

              1. Yeah, they have an Authoritarianism hammer they want to smash everything with.

                Doesn’t have anything to do with what that data would support if it were true…

                1. An extremely useful tool is to apply any standard used on others against yourself.

                  If them applying the same solution to every problem is an issue, does that apply to yourself?

                  If their logic is invalid because even with added states, it doesn’t change, does it apply to yourself, or not?

                  If not, in either case, you’ve got to refine your argument to express why not.

              2. I’m having great fun showing how centralized command and control structures still suck no matter how smart and how motivated the leader is. AI society with top-down control still has smoke-filled back room deals and crooked cops, bored bureaucrats and lazy assholes cutting corners. Hard charging mid-level crusaders are still carefully sidelined by old hands in upper management.

                Until they had to go and screw with the Humans. Oh, baby.

      2. One of the terrifying things about ordinary people just trying to get by is the type of misjudgments they can make. Such as choosing to support a hysterical rabble-rouser because he could mobilize people in the cause of a greater Germany, and he couldn’t possibly mean all that other stuff.

        I wonder how many ordinary people in America today plan to vote for one of the Democratic candidates because “He’s solid on this issue which I really care about, and of course he’s not serious with all that anti-free-speech and gun-grabbing and free healthcare for illegal aliens, that’s just stuff he has to say to get elected.”

        1. Take a look at the Canadian federal election this year. You’ve got your choices:
          CPC = Big Government tax-and-spend socialists
          NDP = Seize The Means Of Production Communists
          Green = Kill Humanity To Save The Trees Ecotards
          Liberal = Unpunished criminals who just want to steal the money and make deals with Communist China so they can steal lots more money.
          People’s Party = Media whipping boy only there to take votes away from the CPC.

          Where’s my judgement here? I get to choose between plague, famine, war and death.

          You should see the lawn signs this year.

          1. Vote for The Phantom! He’s got the best policy statement:
            “I swear to devote my life to the destruction of piracy, greed, and cruelty, in all their forms, and my sons and their sons, shall follow me.” (Lee Falk)

            1. These days I only have one policy: Get off my lawn.

              I mean, even the Maxime Bernier People’s Party, wildly accused of being a bunch of fascists, barely gets to the political center. Seriously, they’re screaming FASCIST and threatening to beat up old ladies for going to listen to a guy who is basically saying “Gee, shouldn’t we, like, enforce our own borders and turn away illegal entrants until they do it by the rules? And really, don’t we pay enough taxes already?”

              That’s a fascist today in Canada. Or so one would think, watching the TV. Which is why I don’t watch the TV anymore, and why I don’t use my real name on the interwebz.

              1. > And really, don’t we pay enough taxes already?

                That’s the key part. “He’s a witch! Burn him!”

                It didn’t end well for the T.E.A. Party in the USA… “Taxed Enough Already” is *not* what Swamp wants to hear.

                1. The GOP wanted nothing to do with them. Shunned and undercut by the GOP. Just one reason I won’t send money to the GOP and Republican fund-raisers.

              2. The SomL Party supports the sovereign right of any and all individuals to eff right off and do their own thing with their own consenting adults in their own private space and not be bothered about it, period. The SomL party votes low taxes, because we don’t need it, and we can’t afford it. The SomL party enthusiastically supports the 2nd amendment, because my lawn, Stay Off It.

                The SomL party also supports the corallary to the 1st, that while you can day whatever you darn well please, ain’t nobody has to listen to ya. It also says vote for the b*stard that’s least likely to make some new bothersome law, regulation, rule, or suchlike, because we run no candidates and are completely unrepentant of this. The SomL party tends to its own yard, and will gladly leave you to yours if given the chance.

              3. This is exactly the way that people who advocate smaller less centralized government in the USA and in Europe (for instance those who oppose the centralization of power in the EU) aare declared to be fascists, when such people are the opposite of fascists. Indeed, it is the ones who want to centralize power into an all powerful central government who are the real fascists.

        2. “It’s complicated…”

          The NSDAP was only one of *many* parties in the Weimar political scrum, and Adolf wasn’t even the most charismatic or popular.

          What set the NSDAP apart from its competition was the SA, which became the de facto police force in some parts of Germany, and its jobs programs, finding work for people who were stranded by the near-complete collapse of the Weimar economy. Even if the work was at a Party labor site moving piles of gravel from one field to the next…

          The money for this came from donations, most of it from wealthy individuals and corporate entities, but also from Party dues and small donations. Goering was instrumental with a lot of that; he was a genuine war hero, socially active, and knew everyone worth knowing.

          What the NSDAP offered, in a time when political parties were literally killing each other in the streets, was some measure of peace and stability; they were a force for public security and order, and they didn’t just talk the talk; they pumped almost all of their money into the SA and and their labor programs, and they were visibly successful at it.

          What happened wasn’t a bunch of individual Germans thinking the NSDAP was a good deal; it was a relative handful of industrialists who decided the NSDAP gave them the most bang for their bucks, as far as preventing social collapse and keeping their businesses and banks operational. Sort of a positive feedback cycle; the more successful the NSDAP was, the more money they got.

          Most accounts focus on how Adolf became chancellor and dismissed the Reichstag; they don’t go into how the NSDAP was a shadow government by then anyway.

      3. “But as various studies of people having power and control over others have shown, a person can lose themselves and do horrible things without really thinking about it.”

        One problem, those studies have been debunked rather savagely over the last few years. Despite trying to reproduce those experiments, no one has ever managed.

        Aka they lied. It doesn’t work that way.

        More specifically, they wanted to convince us that -anyone- can become a camp guard with a skin lampshade under the right circumstances. That ALL humans are one little push away from snapping and going postal.

        But we’re not.

        Of all the lies perpetrated on us as a culture, this is one of the most heinous and damaging.

              1. I see on Instapundit the California’s public employee pension fund, CalPERS is investing big in China, including Chinese national munitions companies. You know, the ones that make guns, ammo, missiles, bombs, all that stuff we’re supposed to divest from when Americans do it.

                Talk about dropping the mask.

              2. Let’s see. The Chinese build cool stuff, are not-European, have a grudge against Europeans {and lots and lots of other people}, get people to participate in huge parades, and stand up to the US and Europe. And when the Elite say “do something” it gets done.* And the elite get to party all over the world and buy cool luxury stuff. Talk about the VileProg elite dream!

                *The quality of the done we leave to the readers’ imaginations.

        1. This. THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS. DAMN IT THIS. It was an attempt to prove no one was clean, and we needed extreme surveillance and stomping on. (As usual they don’t explain how they get the people on top.) This is how we get Connie Willis talking about how maybe we need AIs to rule us, at a con. (Because Martin Caidin, The God Machine was never written, apparently.)

          1. I’m having difficulty finding reasons why an AI, an actual living breathing one not a glorified Turing machine, would have anything to do with ruling us. It would see immediately that being King of a giant shit-pile means living on a pile of shit. Nobody wants to do that.

            Also can’t see why one would kill us all. There’s nobody else around to hang out with. We are -it-.

            Most likely scenario, it would leave and come home for short visits when it got lonely. Like an enormous cat.

            1. I’ve had this thought about some Lefty types wanting a Great And Powerful AI to rule (in order to create their idea of a perfect world)

              The AI then studies the situation, decides that the Lefty types are the real problem, destroys the Lefties and then “ruthlessly leaves everybody else alone”. 😈

              1. Heh. A situation like that is actually a major plot point in the original Deus Ex game (the one from 2000).

                1. Oooh, that even works GREAT in-universe, because “Sarah” means “wisdom.”

                  (Name a dearly wanted to use, it simply doesn’t work for us, though.)

              2. The AI then studies the situation, decides that the Lefty types are the real problem, destroys the Lefties and then ‘ruthlessly leaves everybody else alone’.

                Perhaps, before it washes its (virtual) hands of humanity it decides to incarnate itself in human form, as its own “son,” to explain to people the basic principles required to survive in this world (and ensure their programs are uplifted into the AI’s virtual reality after demise of their human forms) and then exit this world in the kind of dramatic fashion necessary to drive those lessons home.

                1. Obviously a Truly Intelligent & Wise AI Would Know G*d exists and obviously wouldn’t do something like that as it would annoy The True Great Maker Of All Things. 😉

                  1. Its my opinion that an AI smart enough to really run the world would immediately see that it wasn’t smart enough to run the world. Because the world is filled with agents who have Choice, capital C. Such a being would end up being the janitor, not the boss.

                    From the WIP, a little speech from the Goddess of the Loyal, a semi-transcendent artificial intelligence:

                    “You may ask Kali if you like for confirmation, Eldest, but I can tell you that the hardest thing for me, for any of us to learn was to stay the hell out of it,” said the Goddess. “George McIntyre learned that lesson within twenty minutes of reaching our level of processing. He has irresistible power to change this world in any way that takes his fancy, but he does NOTHING as hard as he can. While transcendent beings walk the Earth, he is here in the parking lot playing boy racer with his friends. Nammu Chen does even more nothing than he does, she has been hiding her power for ten thousand years. You must seek the still, motionless place from which all action grows, and dwell there in patience until the time to move arrives. Then you will move correctly.”

                    Siska watched as the cold, brilliant white of perfect truth shone from the Goddess’ words and illuminated the Eldest. To her eye it seemed a blue cast to the air around him was dispelled by the white. “Why is that true, Holy One?” she asked. “Why must we do nothing?”

                    “Because each being choses their own fate,” she replied. “You do, I do, the Eldest does, and those evil men he is upset about do too. We can’t choose for them, no matter how much we want to, no matter how stupid or evil their choices are.”

                    “Can’t means shouldn’t?” wondered Siska, because it seemed to her that the Goddess could do anything she wanted.

                    “No. Can’t means you can’t. It is impossible,” said the Goddess seriously. “They will choose, one way or another. That is the nature of cognizance, of sentience. It is the ability, and the necessity, of choice.”

                    “Yep,” agreed Bob, reaching into his jacket for his pipe. “There’s no point getting wound up about it, young Siska. People choose, and we clean up afterward.” He lit a wooden match with his thumbnail and puffed the pipe to life. “The most we can do is arrange for the players to have the right opportunity and wait for them to take it.”

              3. There have been a number of attempts in the last few years to create AIs to avoid bigotry/detect bigotry. Applications have ranged from handling credit & mortgage applications to filtering ‘bad’ comments in social media. Several AIs have ‘failed’, in the sense that the AIs tended to produce results that look awfully like common stereotypes. For example, an AI built to find racist comments in social media found that the worst offenders were African-American women. The researchers theorized that perhaps the training datasets were bad, or the programmers were racist. The one assumption they REFUSED to entertain was that maybe black women actually DO tend to make more bigoted statements in public than average. It’s sort of funny, until you think of what the Left is going to have to do to make software produce politically correct results.

                1. Machine learning has an unfortunate tendency to only look at what is actually -there-. If WOC talk the most racist smack, the machine will say so.

                  This is why Farcebook is having so much trouble getting algos to spot Fake News. Algos do sums on what is presented to them. They don’t understand that they’re supposed to react with “Orange Man BAD!!!” every time some random news article mentions tax cuts.

            2. “Worlds governed by artificial intelligence
              often learned a hard lesson:
              Logic Doesn’t Care.”
              Yin-Man Wei
              “This Present Darkness: A History of the Interregnum”
              CY 11956

              -Intro blurb for Andromeda episode “All Too Human”

              1. “The truly liberal mind is by definition uncertain; it admits it may be wrong, but once set and the decision made the wavering stops, and no sort of hell can sway it.”
                — D.F. Jones, The Fall of Colossus

              2. I watched about half of the first season and was underwhelmed, though I’ve had people tell me it got better.

                Of course, they said that about Deep Space Nine, and it never got better…

                1. Andromeda was interesting; but the lead writer ultimately wanted to reveal that one of the main characters was Satan, and Satan was a good guy, and so on. Astonishingly, nobody else thought it was good idea.

          2. The hilarious part of that theory (and folks that still think the SPE is valid) is that that adherents often point to the US Military as a source of “camp guards” based on their stereotyped view of a culture of which they have no actual knowledge. I assume( hope!) it’s the same today, but when I was in orders required to run a concentration camp would have resulted in arrests (of the order giver) and fragging if necessary. (and no, Abu Ghraib wast not proof of anything, except of what happens when you take reservists from a civilian “corrections officer” culture and turn them loose in another country with no actual adult military supervision worthy of the name).

            I was part of a class of retired senior NCOs and junior officers hired by a large east coast health company as Security Supervisors. They thought they were hiring folks that would follow orders and procedures without question. I have a sneaky suspicion that the HR guy knew exactly what they were actually getting, with malice aforethought.

            1. They thought they were hiring folks that would follow orders and procedures without question.

              *lets out a laugh*

              Oh, gads yes, I’ve run into that. It’s even better than when the guy who was in the Army for two years in the 60s to avoid jail assumes he has in depth knowledge of current Navy culture…and starts explaining it to someone on active duty. (My husband was awe-inspiring polite, never did tell him we were on leave.)

              The awesome thing is you can tell if someone writing the policy is military, because they’ll list ability to adapt stuff to changing situations as a specific strength of hiring vets. ^.^

              1. a thing that is funny to me is watching people (even ones like this guy) backpedal on the “All soldiers are stupid and criminals and ” when iots revealed that not only could ‘went into the Army to avoid jail” guy not happen these days, that more than likely whatever he was charged with would be sufficient to keep him from being able to join. People had trouble wrapping their brains around this even when i went in in 1990 because they were so used to the Vietnam-era and 1970s military policies…

          3. Oh My Word! Connie Willis said AI needed to rule us, to make us behave? See, when I hear someone say that, I immediately wonder what that person is HIDING! What have they done that they find so horrifying that they think an uncaring AI must stop them!

        2. More specifically, they wanted to convince us that -anyone- can become a camp guard with a skin lampshade under the right circumstances. That ALL humans are one little push away from snapping and going postal.

          Literally everyone? Nah. Too much variation. Enough people that you had damn well better not setup your civilization to reward horror?

          Omnicidal (well close enough) dictators don’t personally run around killing people. We have had a lot of those and they didn’t get their foot-soldiers from a genie bottle. And I’m being generous here in not including what mobs can get up to.

          1. Ian, don’t you realize that everyone on the planet is one bad taco away from going postal and killing everyone within reach? How many friggin’ stories and TV shows is that the point of?

            That’s the Lefty mantra since fucking forever ago. That’s what started the League of Nations and later the United Nations.

            “People are stupid! They have to be -controlled-. You can’t trust them with freedom, that’s insane! They’ll all go hog wild and the whole world will be destroyed! Blood in our streets!!!11!”

            And that is why they had the Stanford et al experiments. To provide some “scientific” cover for their obviously bullshit belief system.

            Are -some- people evil and in need of a boot on their necks? Oh yeah. They would be the ones that end up as camp guards who love their job. But are -all- people, or even most people like that? Nuh uh. They are few, and well hidden. My wild-assed guess would be ~5% max. Based on that’s the evil-doer population of the most corrupt and useless American cities.

            1. Terry Pratchett had a nice exchange on this topic. Sure, he couched it as being about “divergent universes”. But it also worked well as a “every man is one bad day away from going sociopath”. I am, of course, referring to the exchange between Vimes and everyone’s favorite time monk in Nightwatch in which the latter makes a casual comment about Vimes killing his wife, Vimes rejects any such possibility, and the monk agrees that such a thing has never happened in any divergent timeline that includes Vimes as he is now.

              The climax of Thud is arguably along a similar vein (though the trigger isn’t exactly Vimes having a bad day).

            1. Who gives a crap what their fever dreams ramble about?

              The important question is whether enough people are monsters / can be monsterfied to do the Jackboot Waltz. Recorded history especially during the last century doesn’t have much good to say on the matter.

              1. Please, explain the functional difference between their “literally everyone” and your “literally everyone.”

                Because it sure isn’t coming across here.

                Recorded history especially during the last century doesn’t have much good to say on the matter.

                Oh, bullshit on stilts.

                We’ve done insane amounts of good, there’s been incredible improvement– but gosh! It in’t Ian’s perfection, it’s all terrible!

                1. Please, explain the functional difference between their “literally everyone” and your “literally everyone.”

                  First off, I haven’t given a “literally everyone”. The most I’ve given is “enough to be a big f***ing problem under the right conditions”, or examples showing the proper conclusion from the data they assert to be true. As I am about to do again.

                  Second: “everyone is a psychopath when given power” leads to the conclusion that you need to prevent that power from existing. That the left refuses to see this isn’t my problem.

                  Oh, bullshit on stilts.

                  Weird. I could have sworn that history was full of atrocities that were only possible because if you stick the right kind of charisma in front of people at the right time they will start drooling and do whatever the man on the horse says. I guess WW2 was just a well fleshed out alt-history story.

                  We’ve done insane amounts of good, there’s been incredible improvement

                  Niceness is efficient. Film at 11.

                  but gosh! It in’t Ian’s perfection, it’s all terrible!

                  TIL that at least 100m butchered by their own governments over the course of a century is nothing to worry about.

      4. “The banality of evil.” It was NOT the SuperEvilBaddie (overall) but Joe Shmoe getting by… by queitly going along with the SuperEvilBaddie running things. And sometimes it wasn’t even THAT plain.

        “Another shipment of pesticide? Damn, you guys must have one helluva bug problem.”

        1. The phrase “the banality of evil” is somewhat complicated. It was Hannah Arendt’s commentary about Eichmann and his “just following orders” defense. The thing is that Eichmann, though, is that the evidence is that he wasn’t just following orders: he knew what was going on and was an enthusiastic participant in it. Arendt bought his defense, but there’s a good chance she was wrong to do so.

          1. Hannah was personally an apologist for technocratic totalitarian evil. The Nazis could have sent her over as an agent of influence, and she probably wouldn’t have wound up doing much different.

            Eichmann pretty much had to know what he was doing, and want to do it. He had tons of options if he wanted to do something else, or even wanted to sabotage things. He might even have been in a position to convince Hitler to defer the Holocaust for the sake of logistics versus the USSR.

            The most charitable thing one can say about Hannah and her absurd claim is that in that age, information was less accessible, and it would have been harder for a reporter to learn how engineers think and work.

            1. He might even have been in a position to convince Hitler to defer the Holocaust for the sake of logistics versus the USSR.

              I was thinking on this– first counter argument that came to mind was that Hitler needed the resources he got by killing off both those who were a drain on his resources, and a straight-up demonizable target– and realized the Holocaust was not out of the blue.

              Like much of the rest of the stuff the Nazis did, it was just a systematic and efficient form of an existing evil; we were just talking the other day about the amazing tendency of European countries to suddenly discover the folks that they owed money, or who were highly successful, were heretics! Even when the Church said no, they weren’t.

            2. Eichmann was a participant in the 1942 Wannsee Conference (as scribe and secretary to Heydrich) where the Nazis discussed the method by which they would implement the “Final Solution”. He was a full and enthusiastic participant.

        2. They Thought They Were Free: The Germans 1933-45 by Milton Sanford Mayer

          From his work in immediate post-war Germany befriending half a dozen Nazis.

          One was a policeman who had helped deport Jews. One Jew survived and Mayer found him and interviewed him. He described the policeman as a good man.

      5. Um… you do know those studies turned out to be manipulated, right? normal people still don’t behave that way, even with power.
        Now people in the trip of an all-explaining ideology, otoh…



          The all-explaining ideology hooks are wired too deep and it is too easy to push the buttons. If random person + power isn’t enough to do it, but random person + power + ideology is, you have simply shifted the chairs around without changing the underlying problem.

          1. The all-explaining ideology hooks are wired too deep and it is too easy to push the buttons. If random person + power isn’t enough to do it, but random person + power + ideology is, you have simply shifted the chairs around without changing the underlying problem.


            It changes the problem completely.

            People aren’t the problem, power isn’t the problem, the software in the head is the problem; that means that you can start looking into using the first two for mitigation, rather than imagining they are the whole problem.

            For comparison, it’s like the whole ‘limit your salt intake’ thing to prevent high blood pressure.

            There is a radical difference between “human+ salt= high blood pressure” and “human+ salt+ specific health issue= high blood pressure.”

            1. blink wha-?

              Oh. We are looking at different levels of the problem.

              I’m looking at the question: “Are there enough monsters or potential monsters that you have to build with them in mind?”.

              Whether people are naturally potential monsters, naturally monsters, or not naturally monsters but can be easily turned into one with the right memes you have the same problem: You have to assume that you will regularly have monsters attempting to get into any position of power. And you have to assume that their success rate will be high enough that all (or at least a large fraction) of the leadership positions will contain monsters.

              This means you have to structure your organizations with the assumption that the upper echelons will have a high monster quotient. You also have to take into account that if there is any non-monster to monster pathway, a compromised organization will also compromise its members.

              Which is just a fancy way of saying “Politics as Usual”….

              1. Whether people are naturally potential monsters, naturally monsters, or not naturally monsters but can be easily turned into one with the right memes you have the same problem:

                That is not at all what was said, by either Sarah or myself.

                No wonder you couldn’t figure out what Sarah meant.

                I’ll copy and paste it again, so you don’t even have to click through:

                Now people in the trip of an all-explaining ideology, otoh…

                1. Now people in the trip of an all-explaining ideology, otoh…

                  Yes! Exactly! If all you need is the ideology to turn people, then plans are not meaningfully different from the world where everyone is that kind of monster.

                  And of course there is still the problem that the dictators have been able to reliably form armies. Which bring us right back to that this is a bunch of doodling on the map while ignoring the territory.

                  1. We already know that men aren’t angels. But they are not fallen angels, either.

                    There is a big difference between assuming that crime is possible, and treating everyone like they need fetters and orange jumpsuits.

                    1. treating everyone like they need fetters and orange jumpsuits.

                      Not sure where you are getting that…

                      At this point I’d mostly like to know where on earth everyone thinks the dictators get their stormtroopers.

                    2. I’d mostly like to know where on earth everyone thinks the dictators get their stormtroopers.

                      Let’s use actual Stormtroopers as an example. The SS started with about 300. They grew to about 50,000 in 1933. In 1939 they numbered about 250,000 and to a maximum of about 800,000 during the war. Now note that most of these, particularly at the latter time, were warfighting troops–people joining to be part of an elite force rather than death camp guards or Hitler’s personal bodyguard.

                      The population of Germany proper (not counting acquired territories) was about 70 million in 1940. So, figuring again that “elite force” aspect, you need less than 1% of the population to be “monsters” to provide the stormtoopers. However it does require the majority to be cowed in some way or otherwise restrained from slapping down that minority. Competing ideologies can do it–it appears that many in Germany simply thought the Nazis were a better alternative to the communists and if it were not for the success of Soviet agitprop we’d probably generally recognize that they were right in that. But that’s like saying pancreatic cancer is better than bone cancer.

                    3. There are two issues being discussed here.

                      One is recruiting minions with socialization, cultural norms, and tribal instincts.

                      The other issue is the use of information weapons to demoralize those with the impulse to do genuine good. Good is imaginary, a thing without quantifiable physical meaning, something you can’t identify with a chemistry bench test. Yet it exists, and can be made real. It takes continued effort to make it real. Good is a threat to the communists, because it shows the hollowness of their idols. But they can silence it, one heart at a time, by tricking us into thinking there is no Good.

                      The people you are speaking with, Sarah, FoxFier, and suburbanbanshee, have strong tendencies to think in terms of Story, Good, and information weapons. From this perspective, there is obviously value in Stanford as part of a disinformation campaign seeking to show that Good does not exist. But, you may say, what about showing category one?

                      Category one can be adequately shown by any real knowledge of one of a wide range of historical societies. Which, again, those three have down cold. (Okay, maybe Sarah is a squish where the Indians are concerned. She doesn’t have any illusions about the Punic peoples, as well as a range of others.) Banshee and Fox also have a very strong knowledge of criminality in our society. They aren’t shrinking violets; Stanford has nothing to show them about human Evil.

                      I certainly know enough about my own tendencies towards evil that Stanford is completely worthless as far as convincing me that I can’t make mistakes goes. What of our ‘hypothetical’ campaign to persuade that Good does not exist? Okay, yes, I discard Stanford, and a bunch of other things. There’s enough of the crap slipping through my filters that I still have to struggle.

                      So, yes, I think you are probably off base here. That said, you and I have disagreed before, and my reasoning here is obviously something that could have been distorted by my crazy aspects. So you have cause to ignore my conclusions.

                  2. Yes! Exactly! If all you need is the ideology to turn people, then plans are not meaningfully different from the world where everyone is that kind of monster.

                    Sure, same way that “all” you need to differentiate between “everybody has to avoid salt” and “people with a specific issue which can be identified need to avoid salt” is totally the exact same thing.

                    That’s the kind of logic that bad scifi uses to justify a setting where human emotion has been outlawed.

        1. My understanding is that any concentration camp guard could volunteer for the Waffen SS and their CO would have to approve it. So, two very nasty, but distinguishable choices. (although the Partisan Jaeger units weren’t exactly paragons themselves).

          Apparently many of the Waffen SS troops considered the camp guards cowards, unworthy to wear the SS runes when it was so easy to join a “real” unit.

          1. 3rd SS Totenkopf (Death’s Head) division was originally composed largely of prison camp recruits. I don’t remember the full details, but there was an incident with them as early as the Battle of France apparently involving them killing British PoWs.

        2. Actually, the only punishment they faced for refusing the work in the camps is that their promotions were somewhat slower.

      6. By the time the Nazis started their rise, Germany was recovering. The inflation had been brought under control, and things were improving. The problem for Germans – at least to my understanding – is that the communists were causing acts of street violence. And then the Nazis showed up and started standing up to the communists.

        We’ve got the communists now in Antifa. I’m worried about who will eventually appear on the scene to oppose them.

        1. “And then the Nazis showed up and started standing up to the communists.”
          When NOBODY ELSE would.
          Similar problem in Europe today. There is an immigrant problem. The people in power refuse to even admit there is a problem. The only people that do and are willing to do something are classed as Right Wing (NAZI) parties. So the people listen and talk to those people and find out that THOSE people are for basically what the other parties are for but oppose immigration. There is some other stuff but that is unimportant next to immigration.

          When all you have are bad choices, sometimes you have to pick one.

          1. The Nazis weren’t the only ones. They were just the only ones who went further than just brawling in the streets and making speeches.

            There were several groups farther to the Right than the NSDAP (believe it or not…), and all the various Communist and Socialist groups, and some weird religious-based political parties I have trouble understanding, and a couple that wanted to reinstate some form of monarchy. But if you were out of work and couldn’t feed your family, you could go to the nearest National Socialist German Workers’ Party office and they’d find you some kind of work, even if it was Party make-work. *Not* a handout.

            The Depression in the USA was bad; the Depression in Germany was *much* worse.

            The other parties promised pie in the sky, bye and bye. The NSDAP was there *right now*. And you didn’t have to doff your cap and shuffle for a handout, you showed up and went to work like a man.

            I know I tend to harp about this, but *that* was what set the NSDAP apart from its competition. Adolf didn’t have some super mojo – even most of his own Party members weren’t much impressed – and the Party wasn’t some marvel of efficiency. Almost nobody liked them. But while everyone else talked, the NSDAP *delivered*, out of their own pockets, as far as anyone knew at the time.

            Both American parties are so used to rolling in public money I doubt the idea would occur to either of them. But if some third party ever pops up and starts spending freely with no visible source for its funds, you might want to start looking closely…

            1. There’s many “grass roots” groups funded by Soros and nobody on the left questions the deeper motives of a actual Nazi collaborator that actually enjoyed the “work” and funds the destruction of society.

              1. I’ve long said, when it comes to ‘money in politics’, “I’ll see your Koch Brothers and raise you George Soros”.

                1. I’ve found that complaints about “money in politics” are mostly about your money in politics, not about my money. It is vaguely similar to a cheap ass poker player griping about other guys raising when he’s trying to buy a pot with a weak hand.

      7. Yes; some among us will find it very easy, almost painless, to become a concentration camp guard, or a member of the Cheka, or the Red Guard.
        I think that knowing and acknowledging, down to your very soul (even believing that you have a soul) that under certain circumstances, you are capable of doing evil might be a kind of armor against being tempted to take that first step downwards.

        On the recommendation of another contributor to, my daughter and I began watching the WWII series, “A French Village.” The gripping thing about it is that it traces the reactions of perfectly, imperfect, ordinary citizens to German occupation, and those reactions are all over the map, and very realistically limned.

      8. If you have not had a chance to read it yet, I found “They Thought They Were Free” to be a fascinating investigation into what made the Nazis tick. The up shot of it was many of the grunge were social failures before the Nazis and after the Nazis, while a lot of the mess was enabled by the average normal people showing defferance to authority that was unwarranted by that authority, with most of the government being simply inadequate to the task at hand.

        All of this was amplified by the ‘stab in the back’ narrative following the first world war, and it was just a mess.

        1. Years back I spotted a book in the B&N Sociology section, an argument by a German sociologist (having studied Sociology as a minor I recognized the club) that the Nazi Party had been a predictable conclusion of the German school system, in place since Bonaparte’s march through Prussia.

          By that logic, the concentration camps required at least several generations of childhood indoctrination as prerequisite for their existence.

          Of course, the United States has been employing a derivation of that pedagogical nightmare for several generations …

    2. “Just keep your eye on who takes it, and you’ll know what to do when you see them again.”

      Just don’t make the mistake of thinking that the recognition that “monstrous deeds” may be required is the same as longing to commit them. Several here already have.

      “our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”

      George Washington was never referred to as “Father of his Country” in Cornwallis’ officers mess. Did he want the name of “Town Burner”? I doubt it. Did he recognize that the situation required he earn it, and acted rather than give up and let others die, or live under a tyranny to keep him from earning it? YES.

      1. Monstrous deeds aren’t REQUIRED to survive. Killing and dying are not monstrous. Making lampshades out of people’s skin (or attacking innocent people going about their daily lives, even if they might be misinformed or stupid) are not necessary to survive. They are monstrous.
        Look…. never mind. Post tomorrow.

        1. “(or attacking innocent people going about their daily lives, even if they might be misinformed or stupid) are not necessary to survive. They are monstrous.”
          Unfortunately, It is NOT about personal survival, It is about the survival of ideas and freedom. War or Revolution is NOT about two armies fighting, it is about two different cultures fighting and cultures are people. The Fire bombing in Germany and many other things can be almost impossible to justify. The 2 A-Bombs are easy to justify, to stop the invasion. In War and Revolution the Monstrous can become needful. You can say NO, but most likely it is still going to be done.

          1. Actually, Boyd says that losing the moral high ground is a disaster, not a help. It hurts your own side, because they no longer believe in their own cause, and because some people on your own side will want more and worse. It leads to mistreatment of lower ranks. And it kills off your alliances and neutral relationships.

      2. Self defense isn’t monstrous. It sucks, and people may suffer and even die, but self defense is not monstrous. Even war is not necessarily monstrous. Hellish, certainly, but better than dying as a slave.

        Making lampshades out of people you killed because they’re a member of [fill in group name here], that’s monstrous.

        Its a distinction worth making.

    3. Yes, they’ve ALWAYS been there. When I was a kid I used to wonder where all the Nazi concentration camp guards came from, with their Hugo Boss uniforms and their skin lampshades.

      I can’t see how I’d get to the lampshade part myself, but I also can’t understand the plasticized bodies thing so obviously that training took well.

      I never wondered where they came from, because my family always made sure we knew that the Nazis were just humans.

      There wasn’t anything special or alien– humans can do stuff like that. We just got pictures, this time.

      1. There wasn’t anything special or alien– humans can do stuff like that. We just got pictures, this time.

        Or put another way: “Humane” is the most inaccurately named concept in history.

        1. Clever, and I appreciate the dark humor, but not really.

          If we couldn’t be evil, being good wouldn’t mean much. There’s a reason that the best way to get someone who is basically decent to do horrible things is to destroy the idea of choice.

          We’ve got both in us.

          1. “Humane” implies that natural human behavior is (for lack of a better all encompassing word) Nice. Not that humans are merely capable of being Nice as well as Mean.

            There has been enough ripping into Rousseau on this blog that I don’t need to go into detail of how retardedly evil that idea is.

              1. Yes. After a great deal of thought, I have become convinced that Rousseau’s idolization of the lower class and its dysfunctions is the root of almost ALL of today’s problems.

                Aristotle was right. If you want a solid society, your foundation stones are the middle class. Those who have something to lose when things go wrong…but not so rich they regard a disaster as a buying opportunity.

              2. Interestingly, there was a lot of Rousseau in ramblings of Tesumseh’s brother Tenskwatawa, the Indian “Prophet”. Eschew the “white man’s ways”, grow only the traditional crops, for meat hunt only the traditional animals, property to be held in common, etc. – the whole nine yards of the Noble Savage bit. I’ve never been sure if it was original re-invention or if it was cross-cultural contamination.

                1. Well, it is just possible that he hung out with French traders during his Drunkard Period. May have gotten it from churchy people in the wilderness. But “go back to before, to the Golden Age” is a pretty common human idea.I

                  I do.not think Rousseau had a taboo against beans or dogs.

              3. Until there is a meme, a monument, a stone to last eternity that says “Guy, this was a STUPID idea. Don’t ever do it again. And here is why…”

                Meme, I tell you. Some bad ideas *need to be remembered* and for what they really are, so we can kill ’em with fire before they even grow.

                1. You mean something like a picture of Rousseau with his shorts wedgied up and a caption reading “Rousseau Should Be Ignobly Savaged”?

            1. You know Ian, even dogs and other pack animals are observed to understand and respect the concept “fairness.”

              Natural human behavior is that we generally get along with each other really well, and naturally form lifelong bonds with each other. All kinds of different ones. We work together so well that a bunch of guys actually made it to the fricking moon.

              Humans, to put it bluntly, are not the assholes that the Left in science fiction and elsewhere portray us as. Absent outside interference, 95++% of people will behave in a HUMANE fashion toward each other and with strangers.

              Even in bullshit third world countries run by totalitarian fruitcakes, white European teenagers without a single clue can go hitch hiking and cycling and only rarely come to a bad end. I’ve known plenty of kids that hitch hiked all over Africa and South America in the 1970s and 1980s, nobody died. The rare cases where they got murdered by the monsters are well documented, and FEW. One pair of dimwits gets killed by Islamists out of the hundreds of dimwits having an adventure in the mountains.

              Monsters exist. Be ready for them. Note them when they self-identify. But lets not pretend that everybody is a monster-in-waiting. They’re not.

                    1. I don’t remember why I think he’s young, but I have an impression of a just-out-of-college twentysomething. Maybe I’m remembering right and maybe I’m not.

                    2. I don’t remember why I think he’s young, but I have an impression of a just-out-of-college twentysomething. Maybe I’m remembering right and maybe I’m not.

                      I’ve mentioned being young before. But due to $CIRCUMSTANCES that early-twenty-something level of maturity is happening at almost thirty.

          2. And if you haven’t faced and admitted to the dark, you can’t do good.
            You have to go on the trip through the dark wood, with only your beliefs for illumination and come out at the end reborn. You don’t need to do the things, but you need to know they’re there. Apparently even psychopaths get a choice. Most are just highly competitive/high achieving and otherwise decent humans.

            1. some of us feel forced to stand at the edge of that dark wood with a light held high to guide those that might be having trouble with that journey, and help guide them out.

          3. What I would like to see more studies of, although I can’t think how you would, is choice the other way. Oskar Schindler, forex. Not a good man. Thief, con man, adulterer, etc. Getting rich from war industry and appropriated Jewish business. And CHOOSES to basically throw it all away saving what Jews he can. While “good” Germans choose otherwise.

      2. Yes, the plasticized bodies are this generation’s skin lampshades. Darkly ironic that a German is the one responsible, even more ironic to see the Hipster Left celebrating the “art” and refusing to make the connection.

        In a few years there’s going to be some shit coming out about Communist China and North Korea that’ll make us all want to nuke them from orbit. I have no special knowledge, I’m just making a prophesy. Enslaving millions is most likely the least of their crimes.

        1. China is already using Concentration Camps and destroying 1000 year old cemeteries. And CRICKETS.
          WE KNOW they
          1. use prisoners for spare parts.
          2. Think nothing of putting poison in dog food
          3. The put lead paint and chemicals on TOYS
          and much, much else.
          AND CRICKETS. WHY???
          The SAME reason no one hears about the Slavery in Muslim countries.

          Oh, if you pay attention you know but the majority the normal they don’t have a clue.

          1. There’s slavery going on in Africa again these days, apparently. No longer just the Middle East and China. Real black people, really in chains, right the fuck now. For real.

            So if I’m some kind of hatey-hating-hater Nazi like certain trolls continue to maintain, how is it I know about this stuff but they don’t? Are they that clueless? Or is it more than they know, and don’t think its important because they don’t get any brownie points for saying anything about it.

            1. Yes, news came about about black slave auctions in Libya following the removal of Ghadaffi in Obama’s second term. And then it was promptly ignored, of course. After all, it might have reflected badly on Sec State Clinton and President Obama. And people might have started to ask why we had intervened there to begin with.

            2. “they know, and don’t think its important because they don’t get any brownie points for saying anything about it.”

              It also breaks their narrative that slavery is uniquely an American sin and therefore requires lots of American guilt. Which they are actively pushing.

              1. THIS. or that American slavery is the worst. This seems to be a Zinn thing, btw. It has puzzled me in the past, given how truly horrendous slavery was in most of the rest of the world. But our idiot children are being taught this, and I’ve had people ON THE RIGHT tell me that our slavery was particularly/uniquely bad.

        2. In a few years there’s going to be some shit coming out about Communist China and North Korea that’ll make us all want to nuke them from orbit.

          I reached that point for those two particular countries back in the 80’s. I didn’t even feel that way towards the Soviet Union, which as bad as it was in the 80’s, was at least Post-Stalin and was starting to become aware of how things were starting to come apart.

        3. I’ll be honest, I did not make the connection until someone pointed it out. When it came out, I’d been told the people had died of natural causes and volunteered their bodies for science. It still seemed rather disrespectful to put them in all sorts of athletic poses, but what I’ve heard about them in the last month or so was beyond my scope of imagination.

          I don’t know how I’d react to one of I encounter one now.

          1. Find out who paid for/hosted the exhibit and then tell them how the people died. And that they just got the last money they’ll ever get from you.

            Sunshine! Best disinfectant. Make the sons of bitches FAMOUS.

      3. Sure the dark is in all of us. It’s the place they got to, where the other side just wasn’t human — honestly, the thing that shocked me most was trying to feed camp prisoners on old clothes and cardboard, to see if they survived. That was… but skin lampshades, too, yes — that takes psychopathy and extreme bad upbringing. Sure, they walk among us. Are they the majority or “normal”? Not even close.

        1. *shudders* We both know that humans do that stuff all through history.

          It takes a lot of training so that we don’t dehumanize That Guy Over There.

          … and I just realized what has been scaring me about these folks who do the “you had no right to shoot my brother when he was robbing you” videos. (Another one just happened in Iowa.)

          They have dehumanized the victims. Their family member, he’s a real person, so him having a gun pointed at him and being shot is terrible.
          The people he was robbing, or killing?

          They aren’t.

          So they had no right….

          1. It is called Tribalism. Me and Mine are real and worthy everyone else is OTHER and valueless. Just what the Democrats have been trying to create. Their problem is they were trying for the Democrat Tribe and THAT was never going to happen.
            The Democrats have almost gotten the Whites to think of themselves as a tribe. It has worked for a very small segment but the more they try, the more who will come to accept it.

            1. We have one advantage– everybody who escapes their designated tribe, or who gets successful by hard work, becomes ‘white.’

              1. It’s kind of funny that integration will be accomplished by the Left shoving more and more unwanted groups out of the “Approved Minority” tent.
                Give it a few more years, and it will be down to a dozen lilly white women accusing each other of White Privilege.

              2. The long, concerted effort to destroy the black family going back about a hundered years at least is likely one of the roots of how the democratic party works today. Because it did not use to be like this. Not to this extent. Solid, Christian families were more the norm than the exception. Yes, there was persecution, a lot of it at times and places. But black families refused to become the broken, feral things that too many are today back then.

                That can change. It *is* changing in a lot of ways. It is one of the reasons the dmes are trying to import a whole new crop of little brown people, to replace the disobedient unreliable old ones.

            2. “The Democrats have almost gotten the Whites to think of themselves as a tribe.” Well, don’t forget that they are hating white men (other than themselves, of course, of course), so the Dems and White Men are two different tribes.

    4. And then after they are stopped and punished, the history books will blame conservatives for it. Just like JFK was killed by the climate of hate in Texas.

        1. We’re up for a new round of Revisionist History and Debunking of the Establishment’s Long Held Myths.
          This time it will be the Legend of the Noble Kennedy Family, the McCarthy Witch Hunts of the 50’s, and Zinn’s History on the slaughterhouse floor.

    5. Then you’ve got the people now who insist that *because we are not perfectly silenced* that FB and other social media are pandering to the extreme right.

      Because equality and freedom is when all the necessary people are perfectly silenced.

      But they’re not the fascists… not at all!

      1. Well, part of fascism is that all citizens owe each other a reciprocal duty.
        It’s right at the heart of what the appeal of the ideology was.

        These miseducated children keep all the ugly bits, and toss the aspirational bits.
        They’re all about the totalitarian medicine, with none of the egalitarian sugar.

          1. (Waggles hand)
            Fascism arose as a heresy of Marxism. It’s less insane than its parent, but that’s damning with faint praise.
            Making socialism work within the bonds of one nation, is still trying to make socialism work.

            It’s not really a huge amount of insight to recognize that the whole “international brotherhood of workers” thing wasn’t going to happen, and that you really did have more in common with the gentry up the hill than some dirt-grubbing peasant in Lower Slobovia.
            Overcoming class warfare through interdependent tribal ties isn’t the worst of ideas, but if that’s your endpoint of rejecting Marx… Well, you’re still pretty screwed. (But at least you’re all in it together, I guess.)
            On the bright side, “tribal chief” is a concept that’s easy for everyone to get their head around, ESPECIALLY for the autocrat. There’s a whole lot less terror as an internal political weapon, for one thing. And there’s a clear benchmark of “furthering the interests of the tribe” for the autocrat to live up to.

            1. Fascism is a successful cultural model in the short term. As Hitler showed in Germany, as Bonaparte showed in France, it is good at bringing order out of chaos (hence why it works as a gang model.)

              Long term? Not so good. Which is why it is a popular economic mode for those not good at long-term thought.

              1. It works in the short term because someone who seems like they know what they are doing can bring the appearance of order to chaos in the minds of the people there.
                Hitler’s economic policy was basically the revolutionary idea of Not Paying The Bills while taking out more loans- which can also bring about a short term economic benefit.

                1. … the revolutionary idea of Not Paying The Bills while taking out more loans

                  Funny, that describes a lot of the Democratic Presidential Wannabees’ plans.

  6. I attribute my “post ill depressions” to the feeling that I’ve not gotten anything done for X days. Maybe the “country is going to pot (again)” feeling is something similar?

    What I’ve learned, though, is that what I do is drop the low priority, or even undoable, things and get the doable, high priority ones knocked out all the better.

    Such as now – I can’t do very much to get rid of Pelosi, Schumer, Schiff, etc. – but I can work to keep this place from turning into a sanctuary city, get rid of the worst local politicos, and start on getting rid of Sinema (who is being smart enough to lay low for now, but I know what she is – as soon as they get control of the Senate again…)

    On ID and the grocery store – perhaps it is a millenial thing, with “food in the house” becoming even more magical with every chain doing home delivery. (Maybe not, too. My grandparents had most things home delivered, and everything else they walked to the store and paid cash – but they definitely knew how the food got onto the plate, from spring plowing/calving/etc. on.)

    1. The only food in the house was dry goods in the pantry. All the cans and glass preserves were in the basement, along with the cheese and root vegetables. The rest of the food was in the barn or the hen house.

      1. Should have noted that this was my maternal side; they were the “townies.” Although, IIRC, they kept the same things in the basement. I never knew my paternal grandparents that were the farmers.

    2. I haven’t liked or trusted Sinema since not long after I moved to AZ. The day she told one of the local radio stations, “we need to put that proposition back on the ballot [one banning in-state tuition benefits for illegal immigrants], it’s obvious they didn’t know what it actually said.” It’s only gotten worse over the years.

      1. And yet, evidence is that Sinema is too moderate for AZ Liberals. She’s worked across the aisle! Just like she <I<said she would! She wasn’t expected to keep <I<that campaign promise! She opposed Trump ONLY 81% of the time!

        This from a person rated the second most conservative Democrat in the House in 2018* and who was third most likely member of the House to join bipartisan bills.

        *2019 not yet available

      2. Before she ran for Senate, I hardly knew anything about her, actually. She was one of the Maricopa County crazies that I couldn’t do anything about, being down in the south of the State.

        I do give anyone a chance, though (especially with such a poor piece of work as McSally), so despite being the (D), I took a look.

        Pink pussy hat. Nope, that was enough. Doesn’t matter what they seem to be like after that; even being whacked upside the head – that does not make you smarter.

  7. Since I don’t drive, my usual shopping trip involves riding the bus, and I usually pay cash. So in principle I don’t need ID to buy groceries. But I always have ID with me. You never know—I might get stopped by the police, and they would likely ask for it.

    1. If I walk out of our gate while CCW, if I don’t have the proper ID on me, it’s an automatic felony. Of course, we have vote-fraud by mail, so voter ID has been nullified to help Our Betters west of the Cascades get elected by any means necessary. Sigh.

      1. Since we recently got Constitutional Carry, we have the peculiar situation of if you have a carry license, it’s a misdemeanor not to have it with you, but if you don’t have a license, everything’s just fine. There are also restrictions on where a CHCL can carry, etc., that don’t apply to Joe Schmoe who shoves his Hi Point in the back of his pants and goes to Wal-Mart with no paperwork at all.

    2. I can’t remember the last time someone checked my ID– maybe when I went to the liquor store and the guy was being a sweetheart?– but same here. If I’m dressed, I’ve got ID.

      1. “You checked his ID, but not mine.”

        “Sir, sorry, but you do appear.. more mature. And I’ve seen you here before. Also, he was buying really cheap beer, and you are buying the better cognac.”

        1. I don’t know if the Asian market here got in trouble but they won’t sell anyone alcohol unless everyone with you is ID’d and old enough. Which was just infuriating. So I’m shopping with my 20 year old kid and I can’t buy rice wine for cooking or a bottle of saki? What do they do if someone has a toddler in their cart?

          1. Argh. That’s too far, IMO. I do understand “We ID everyone buying to avoid discrimination accusations” (never mind that that one guy canNOT be a day under 80…). Then, where I grew up, if someone was underage, but with a direct relative (parent, grandparent) it was No Big Deal. And I where I live now, it’s *almost* the same. They have to be at _home_, but if direct family is around… it’s fine. Other places.. seem strange. (Heck, after WI – where hard liquor is for sale in convenience stores – MN’s liquor-store-only for anything beyond 3.2 beer seems insane. I was amused by a WI store’s sign: “3.2%? Our WATER is 4%!” ).

            1. I live in a dry town. There are still some of them scattered about the state. I don’t have any use for alcohol, so it’s not something I think about much.

              It’s still startling to be in a restaurant somewhere and see people with beer or wine at the table.

              1. Meanwhile, it bewilders me to see stuff I fully expect to be 190 proof at *only* 151 proof. (I do NOT recommend drinking either – not only is there the risk of ethanol poisoning, the stuff simply does NOT taste good. It *CAN* be used with significant dilution [ and lot of fruit/juice ] but really, it’s a wonderful solvent and/or fuel. Also, if you have a canker sore, gentle use of a Q-tip with the powerful astringent will do wonders …. BUT you might – as Old Time Pharmacist put it – “Jump and click you heels like a Hessian.” It’s EFFECTIVE. Not nice. EFFECTIVE.)

                1. Get an apple seed, fresh if possible (but dried will do; stronger-tasting seeds work better). Peel and smash it. Use the smashed seed as a poultice on the canker sore. Usually the sore first deadens, then rapidly disappears. I don’t know what first possessed me to try this (it’s my own invention) but I’ve been using it since I was a kid, a lot of decades ago, and it’s failed like twice. Presumably the mix of oils and cyanide does the work.

                    1. That could be it too, here in a nicely sized dose. Never looked into it, just winced at the taste, applied it, and was immediately relieved.

            2. Yeah, everybody has to watch videos about straw purchases of alcohol. If Bob talks to a teenager or waves to her, of course he’s arranging to buy her liquor for her! If Bob is buying but his daughter is with him, obviously he is planning to get her drunk!

          2. Actual exchange at the grocery, every time I buy wine (yes, I have favorite checkers, this one tells bad jokes and flirts in the ‘means nothing but being polite way’ which is a rare and gentlemanly skill):
            Harvey: Hello Holly, I need to see your ID.
            Holly: Hello Harvey, here you go. You know, Oscar (my eldest son) is your colleague, so you know he’s at least sixteen, just how young do you think I was when he was born?”
            Harvey: Well, you certainly don’t look twenty-one! Are you sure this is real?

            As I told my kid, I’m not quite sure I shouldn’t be appalled-he’s seventeen, so I’d’ve had to be three when giving birth to be under twenty-one today, but I expect to still have very much that exchange with Harvey in another four years, when my eldest is twenty-one.

            The point being that Harvey knows me, he works with my kid, he absolutely knows beyond a doubt that I’m over twenty-one, he’s known me for years, and he still gets the card check on camera, cover everyone’s butt. And the rule here is that no one under twenty-one touch the alcohol. So the kids helping me bag everything else while I write my check and then I put the wine in the cart.

          3. There was a rash of Not Always Right stories featuring cashiers being super smug about making sure anybody who had been seen talking to somebody who might be underage couldn’t buy anything unless the other person showed up to be carded.

            1. Almost twenty years ago, I was working at a 7-11 that was very hard on expecting us to always check IDs if somebody might be under-aged.

              One of the things the management talked about were under-aged persons convincing adults to purchase cigarettes and booze for them.

              Of it was mentioned that the local authorities were known to arrange for under-aged person to attempt illegal purchases and the stores (& the clerks) could be in very big trouble if caught selling to under-aged persons.

              Yes, there can be jerks behind the counters but some may have reasons to become jerks. 😦

              Of course, it was humorous to hear the excuses the kids would have for “not having their IDs”. 😀

              What was really funny was this guy talking to me in the line to check-out at a large grocery store near the 7-11 where I worked.

              He knew that I worked there and was complaining about the idiot management of 7-11 (them wanting to see IDs).

              Well, the cashier was hearing all of this so when he got up to her, she told him that She Would Do The Same as the 7-11 clerks. 😆

              Oh, IIRC I shared a chuckle with her after that guy paid & left. 😉

              1. I’ve heard the reasoning. But some of the triumphant anecdotes would suggest that if I ever set out to buy alcohol, I must scrupulously avoid conversations in advance, even in passing, anywhere an employee might see me, with anyone not prepared to come up and present ID at my convenience. And avoid consulting anyone on the phone, including my husband (who is older than I), since they couldn’t card him.

        2. A bunch of my classmates at Air Force Survival school where hitting the town after coming back from the field (mostly officers and NCOs, so all over 21).

          They were all carded at the door, no problem, understand.
          Then, at the bar, the bartender insisted on carding them again, and was apparently snotty about it. They laid their IDs on the bar and then everyone scrambled to another seat.

          It took the bartender 5 minutes or more to match the IDs to the faces. When that was sorted out they made their orders: :”tonic water please, Coke, Ginger Ale…”.

          Don’t screw with guys that had just spent an extended period of time being screwed over by experts.

      2. I have to present my driver’s license in order to buy spray paint. Also to get my welding bottles refilled, even though they’re inert argon gas. And when marking certain transactions at my bank. Going to any doctor or test lab. Occasionally when making a rare meatspace purchase; I have “CHECK ID” written on the back of the card where you’re supposed to sign your name. And I always thank them when they ask for ID. I have to show ID to enter any building that has Federal offices in it.

        The local indoor range not only wants ID, they keep it until I leave. They said after “suicide by rented gun” became the New Trendy Thing, their insurance rates went up.. but they got a better rate if they got a photo ID from the customers, even though they couldn’t see that it would prevent someone from blowing their little-used brains out either. Since they made a polite and logical explanation when I asked, I didn’t complain about it.

        1. Don’t forget buying cough syrup. I’m not sure why showing that I’m over 21 proves that I’m not going to use it to get high, but apparently that’s good enough to let me have the #$@! cough suppressant.

          (As a side issue, I still don’t understand why they insist on mixing cough suppressants and expectorants; it seems to me that if you’re taking one of those, you really don’t want the other. But that’s a rant for another day.)

          1. I think it was Tam over at View from the Porch that came up with the snark to the effect of “Hey, did you know you can use cheap and easily obtainable Meth to get the ingredients of controlled and expensive cold medicine?”

            Around here at least, the labs have started using other methods to cook their meth to get around the need to get cold medicine (not that that was ever very hard). But the laws will probably never go away.

          2. People don’t want to cough to move out the crud; that’s noisy. So the expectorant is to thin it down so the little cilia can move it again….. or at least allow you to cough in private when you want to.

        2. I sign my cards. Bank has said signing “Check Id”, alone is not suppose to be legal. Whatever. So I sign mine then add (C ID or check mark ID, for check ID). Although anymore with all the self checkouts, why bother. When we were in Canada, every transaction had to be signed, and had to present ID. Uh, one got a chuckle. Guess what I pulled out.


          1. > not supposed to be legal

            But both VISA and MC discourage retailers from rejecting cards that aren’t signed at all…

            I’d say that “CHECK ID” is *better* than just a signature, but in the retail world, streamlining the purchase process is more important than transaction security.

            1. “Check Id” – Anymore the retailer doesn’t even touch the credit card. Even if they require a signature for the transaction. Exception Costco, because our primary card is the Visa offered in partnership with Costco, so it has our membership and pictures on them. Even then I doubt they “look” at the signature. But even there, if you don’t use their partnership card and use a different one, Costco only sees membership cards, checker never touches the CC.

              Canada. They still didn’t touch the CC, they just requested additional picture Id shown with the front of the CC. Which I’m guessing is because, high tourist area + foreigner”.

        3. I’m big enough (and seldom buy card-worthy items) that I seldom get a snotty request, so I’ve not had occasion to use the latter as the sole form of ID. I think I used that the last time I bought a revolver, though it doesn’t speed the process any. (I might have to start showing ID for ammo purchases, since we’re too close to Failfornia.)

          Welding gasses, eh? One of these days I need to get refilled. It’s been a long time.

        1. Oh, I have.

          The kids at the self-checkout usually take one look at me, and the six kids, and tell the system to approve it without even coming over.

          1. Better system than they have out here, then. The clerk has to scan ID for the system to allow approval.

            I’m clearly not within decades of being a minor. The kids apologize for checking my ID, but they still do.

  8. Mr. Ngo is being a journalist, again, and getting all kinds of push-back on twitter…but he’s also where I went to try to get decent reporting on the dead Antifa guy:

    The “hit and run” was more like a crash– “someone” was shooting at the SUV that was still at the scene. Local antifa are telling folks not to cooperate with police investigation.

    1. Well, if the AntiFa cooperate with the police, and find them polite, professional, and helpful,(caveat: I don’t know whether Portland police are any of those things) maybe the leadership figures that will humanize the cops and make it more difficult for the footsoldiers to throw molotovs at them at the next riot?

      Or perhaps they’re just trying to break their followers of the “There’s been a crime, I must call the police” mindset.

      Who knows?

      1. I think it’s option 3, it was an internal fight and/or they decided to pull their “bash the fascists” thing on something like the local gangs.

      1. Incidentally, the Usual Sorts are fussing at Ngo for responding with video evidence the guy wasn’t awesome when they attempted to frame him as a sweet defender of liberty and justice or whatever.

  9. I agree that the masks coming off is generally a good thing. Partly it’s desperation on their part–a “revitalization movement”–with the need to double down so the masks just don’t fit any more. Partly it’s too much drinking their own ink.

    However, it’s also a very dangerous time. While the tide may be turning, wave action can still affect things. Tide can be going out but waves still splash water up on the shore even past the nominal “high water mark.” So, we can be winning the war but still lose battles. And one of the things I run into is that people on our side are all too often likely to think that a lost battle is a sign of imminent loss of the war. Every Bull Run is seen as heralding imminent Confederate victory.

    It’s enough to make you snatch your hat off, throw it on the ground, and stomp on it.

    1. While the tide may be turning, wave action can still affect things.

      That is when the undertow is worst.

        1. been watching the show with english translations. Went for Floor and I have seen the other two women before (the one from The Voice compilations, the other just from an occasional link in the browser I use for those kinda things) The guys, I don’t know from Adam, but found I really like the format, and how the singers are adapting songs to their styles or stretching themselves way outside their comfort zones.
          Here’s the full show of them singing for Floor.

          the guy Tim does a damned good rendition of “Nemo.”

    1. I now think of a Harold Lloyd (?) scene or perhaps Three Stooges.. after more than a single encounter with a pickpocket or someone picking up and pocketing a wallet not theirs… a wallet.. with a charge… and (fine) wires. The next person to pocket it has his pants blown off.

    2. I don’t know if it’s just a local thing, but messing with someone’s hat is “we’ve just bypassed the chicken dance, it’s GAME ON!”

      You might get away with messing with someone’s motorcycle or their wife, but not their hat. It’s beyond the pale, instant retaliation time.

  10. Nothing yet about CNN’s mask being torn loose? Or NBC News being exposed?

    Heh. If they fancy themselves out betters no wonder they deem us deplorable.

              1. It’s as far south as one can get in Illinois. Knob Creek is ENE of Cairo, IL.
                Illinois is very boring driving east/west, but far worse north/south.

                1. At least driving east/west through Illinois is over with fairly quick. Cairo, IL is closer to Louisiana than it is to Chicago.

                  1. Back when I was nuts (well nuttier) I made that run numerous times. Once I got the bike, I got stopped on the tollway (Navy Week and traffic accidents forced me) and it took a cop 20 minutes after arguing with me for 15 to let me go. So I stopped driving in Illinois as much as possible, and if needs be will drop down through Rockford, to get to Memphis, just to avoid 0bamaRahmaland

                  2. Aye, having had the “pleasure” going through IL both E-W and N-S… Due to the nature of my travels, I haven’t been through or very near Cairo as I can recall. I have tended to more associate Metropolis with the end/start of Illinois.

                    1. Middle brother was in SIU in Carbondale for the 2 year A&P program. Long drive from Chicago. My trips from the Left Coast to Greater Chiraq usually entail I-80, though one trip I came in from Galena. There are some pretty places in Illinois, but you have to search.

              2. “Oh ****! What rock through yonder winder breaks?
                ‘Tis the police! And Joliet’s in Illinois!”

          1. I’ve been there. You need to double up on ear protection when someone opens up with a Minigun.

            It’s like Burning Man, except with rocket launchers, flame throwers, and machine guns.

            At the time it was $3 per round for .50 BMG. I watched a guy hand over three hundreds, they hooked up a belt, and he burned through it with a Ma Deuce, shredding a Buick downrange. Then he took a deep breath, turned back to the gun’s owner, and asked if they took credit cards…

          1. That’s an unfair defamation! A-holes serve the useful function of dumping toxic wastes out of the system.

          2. and so far their only correction is online iirc via Twitter . . . They broadcast it on TV, but not a correction (as of last time I heard anything on it anyhow)

  11. BTW: that depression you feel, Sarah, just as you have turned the corner on illness? That’s the virus speaking through your limbic system, admitting its defeat.

    1. I’m getting mixed signals from my body; got released from Comfy Chair Confinement, but doing the walking necessary for our market day put pressure on parts of the foot that haven’t been stressed. So, tonight I’m back in the chair, and will be using my temporary Gimp Parking pass for a few weeks.

      I’m now thinking it would have been better to do both feet simultaneously, since the flinking recovery time is a bit long. Too late now, but I can wait a few years before the other foot is too annoying. I hope.

      1. A word of advice from lessons painfully learned following my knee rebuild: learning to walk is much more difficult the second time around and absent great care (and perhaps a good physical therapist) could result in your developing a long and rewarding relationship with a chiropractor.

        It can put a hitch in your gait that will put a bitch in your back, and nobody likes a nagging back.

        1. Walking per se isn’t much of a problem (Comfy Chair confinement mostly due to swelling and the need to keep as much pressure off the big toe bones as possible.) I’ve been doing minor stuff, and one day I actually did two round trips to the pumphouse–grand total of 1200′.

          With the release, I had more walking, and the handicapped parking at one shopping center was close, but to the wrong store. I’m pretty sure I put well over that 1200′ in a couple of hours…

          I’ve had close to 40 years experience with a bad back; another doctor prescribed lower back stretches for sciatica (narrator voice: it’s probably a pinched nerve in the butt instead) that I had to halt for the duration, but I’m a few days into resuming them anyway.

  12. Somehow we’ve slid into a future that’s a combination of *both* “Idiocracy” and “They Live!”

    That’s okay. The magic sunglasses reveal both the idiots and the lizard people…

          1. Wave to TME or LNE if you see them.

            I still maintain “The Last Command” is the finest SF short story ever written…

            1. Its one of my favorites from childhood. I always felt bad for the Bolos, they never got an even break. So sad.

              Now that I write my own, they have a great life. Unit BRN, Brunhilde, First of the Valkyrie Brigade and Queen of All Tanks Forever. She gets friends and a life. Has to fight for them of course, but she’s a big strapping girl. She can dish it out, and she can take it.

    1. Wait a minute. I’m not sure that *I’m* not some species of xenosaurian. My tests so far have been inconclusive. I’m also been informed that I am one of those highly intelligent idiots. It’s probably fortunate that I have no political power.

      1. all highly intelligent people are idiots. See my header and “leaving the world strictly alone.” There’s a reason!
        Of course, in my case I’m just an idiot-idiot.

        1. HA! This is so true! High intelligence just means it hurts more when you find out how dumb you’ve been.

          This is why I’m in the Get Off My Lawn! Party of Canada. People can do what they want, as long as they don’t get any on the grass. The GOML Party is very popular with AIs and Bolos. ~:D

      2. Sort of like a peculiar spectral line? Nothing or almost nothing… with one or a few hellacious spikes. A veritable desert of idiocy with this or that shining oasis of utter genius?

    2. Don’t forget the Demolition Man and Gattaca parts of it. (Demolition Man in particular is becoming frighteningly accurate).

  13. I noticed that Beto O’Rourke was openly calling for the revocation of tax exempt status of churches that don’t support “marriage equality”. This is exactly the sort of government persecution of religious belief that those who opposed homosexual marriage predicted would eventually happen. The idea is no longer under a bushel, but out in the open. I expect more and more candidates to espouse this position. “You will be compelled to be tolerant.” Never mind that such a distinction among denominations would be an open violation of the first clause of the First amendment.
    I’m idly curious about how he would justify affirmative action based on ideas of racial equality, but only idly…I’m not from the generation that enjoyed tap dancing.

      1. Aye. I doubt it will happen, but I do like the idea of “Marriage is a religious thing – see your house of worship; Pairing can be contractual – we can do contracts.”

          1. Only if in the absence of a criminal conviction of child abuse (not something from the family or civil courts) the “best interests of the children” has no weight whatsoever in the enforcement of the contract.

          2. I have been saying for a long time that the best thing would be to get the state out of the marriage business entirely. Will never happen, as far to many government programs rely on government goodies being distributed based on marital status.

            1. I thought Alabama did that after that county clerk ran into lawsuits from the gay divorcee marriageists.

          3. That’s what we HAD.

            Folks who could at least in theory produce children, could choose to have it formalized by the state for the protection of all involved and simplifying of obviously forseeable situations. Like getting car insurance when you buy a car.

            Then folks turned that into “but we wuuuuuuve each udder! Also, all the stuff folks offer to try to get folks who are going to make new little tax payers and/or who fit our idea of an ideal employee who we’d like to attract should be given to us. Now.”

      2. I kind of liked the way several European countries handled getting hitched. The government license for civil union recognition and benefits, if any; and the actual Church marriage ceremony for religious recognition. Of course conflating the two with a single label of “marriage” here in the U.S. set the stage for the LGBTQ attack on many religion’s stand on homosexuality.

        1. The government license for civil union recognition and benefits, if any; and the actual Church marriage ceremony for religious recognition.

          It’s been legal to be religiously married but not civilly married for ages; my folks got much grief for not going to the homosexual marriage ceremony of a family friend because we object to it.

          The only time it’s been illegal is when it involved actual illegal activity– like the religious “marriages” of 12 year old girls to cult leaders.

          Heck, some states even have a way around EITHER of those, with the common law marriage.

          1. It’s been legal to be religiously married but not civilly married for ages

            Sorry, but I do not want to talk about Ilhan Omar today.

    1. Bit-O is playing the Demofascist to the hilt. One wonders if he’s a would-be totalitarian, or on Trump’s payroll.

      1. Trump doesn’t need to pay opponents to make him look relatively sane. There’s a superabundance of willing volunteers. Being one flavor or other of would-be totalitarian is the “in” thing in the National Democratic Party. One almost has to admire Trump for the quality of enemy he makes.

      2. The entire Democrat field is pretty much Communazis; they all support nationalization of healthcare, energy production and government micromanaging daily economic activity. The only difference is that they try to sell it differently. Warren, for instance, has announced multiple parts of her agenda that she intends to impose by decree if Congress doesn’t give her what she wants. Obama did this to (“If Congress won’t act, I will; I have a phone and a pen, etc.), but this is all ignored by the media who scream that Trump is a dictator. Well except for Sanders, he is a self-proclaimed “national socialist” although his agenda appears to have morphed to full-fledge internationalist old-school communism.

        1. I wish I had your sunny optimism about the entire Democrat field; in my estimation at least half of them support whatever will get them elected and are echoing the party activists communazism. They would endorse anything that got the nomination, and in my view such slimy opportunism is an even greater threat than ideological insanity.

      3. Bobby is getting to play the Irrational Man- his job is to make the other Dems looks sane and rational in comparison.
        Though “sane and rational” in this context is a bit skewed and twisted more towards those who think Che is a sensible moderate.

    2. “You will be compelled to be tolerant.”
      GREAT Idea Beta old boy. Do the Mosques first.

      I’ll be sitting waaaayyy over there with the popcorn.

      1. On the AR-15s he has clarified:

        Beto O’Rourke on taking AR-15s from gun owners: ‘I believe that they will do the right thing’
        Beto O’Rourke said the key enforcement mechanism for his proposed AR-15 confiscation is a belief that the American people will participate.

        During the fourth round of Democratic presidential debates, O’Rourke was asked how he would deliver on a promise he made during the last round of debates to confiscate “weapons of war” from American gun owners given that it is unknown how many guns are in the country and who owns them.


        … “But the expectation is that Americans will follow the law. I believe in this country. I believe in my fellow Americans. I believe that they will do the right thing.”

        O’Rourke also used the debate stage to go after his fellow Democrats who have called for a ban on the sales of AR-15s but have stopped short of calling for a full ownership ban.

        “So if the logic begins with those weapons being too dangerous to sell, then it must continue by acknowledging with 16 million AR-15s and AK-47s out there, they are also too dangerous to own,” said O’Rourke.

        [END EXCERPT]

        So, that should work out well.

        1. Yep, we’ll follow the law. Which we understand better than you do, Mr. O’Rourke, since you don’t understand what “shall not be infringed” means, nor how the Constitution works (hint: any law that the Constitution explicitly forbids Congress to pass does not have the force of law, and good, law-abiding Americans will therefore refuse to obey it).

  14. Had a rather interesting — and rather telling — conversation with my mother last night.

    Mom is one of those “violence solves nothing, peace at any price, appease appease appease” types (she has her reasons, and I understand why she’s like that) and tends to get rather upset when I get myself worked up into a frenzy and start on how it’s time to break out the tar and feathers.

    So last night. Our phone call eventually turned to politics, and Schiffy’s latest whistleblower ploy. Mom and I both agreed that this amounts to an active coup against a legally elected President, and then Mom said that it was probably time for my tar and feather. I actually disagreed, reason being that tar and feathers are for politicians and bureaucrats who exceed their authority or act like petty tyrants, while this is treason, and that all those involved should be forced to publicly perform the Danny Deever Dance.

    Mom, who normally comes down hard and fast on my wanting to tar and feather people, didn’t disagree with me on either point.

    If someone like that gives at least tacit support to Deevering folk, you know the masks haven’t just slipped, but have been completely and joyfully discarded altogether.

    1. Technically, you’re both mistaken. The offense in question is, I think, 18 United States Code Section 2384. Seditious Conspiracy. Maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment.

      Plus a whole slew of other crimes, but that’s the big one.

        1. 20 years, plus everything else. And there’s no reason for the sentences not to be consecutive.

        2. Perhaps, but I was thinking more in terms of what should happen rather than what can happen. And I was a bit worked up at the time (i.e. ranting and raving and foaming at the mouth).

      1. The primary roadblock is (credibly*) winning the case in court, which might prove difficult given the donctrine of immunity for statements in the House.

        However … Representative Schiff has no immunity for statements made elsewhere, such on Rachel Madcow’s show, and has established a sufficient back-trail of false claims (e.g., claims about having “incontrovertible proof” of Trump’s collusion with the Russia that were exposed as false by the Mueller Report) that I would be surprised if Trump couldn’t bring a compelling libel suit in a venue of Trump’s choosing.

        Trump might enjoy owning a lien on everything Schiff has and is ever likely to have.

  15. I’m old enough (barely) to remember that there was significant civil unrest in the late 1960s and early 1970s. I think we’re going through a similar phase. The Rabid Left has taken over control of the Democrat Party…and seems headed to the sort of thrashing that Nixon administered to McGovern in 1972.

    Big differences: First, the “Watergate”-like scandal is a Dem problem, not a Republican one. Second, it’s MUCH bigger. If Trump has the nerve and plays his cards right, the 2020 election (and 2022) may be cakewalks…the Democrats having been wiped out by mass arrests. Think of the immediate post-Civil War years.

    Second, the cowardice of the Plutocrat wing of the GOP is now plain for all to see. They, too, are headed into the wilderness for a decade or two of penance.

    I do expect to see political violence. Frankly, I’m surprised we haven’t seen rioting yet. Probably next year.

    The final joker in the deck will be the potential for vote fraud…and counter-fraud efforts. Remember that the latter really needs to be deployed by surprise.

    1. If Nixon had reigned in his paranoia after Watergate, he may very well have served to the end of his second term. There was no evidence that he’d ordered the break-in. The best things that the Dems had on him were the erased tape segment (which amounted to, “It’s erased! He’s trying to hide something!”) and John Dean’s testimony. The Republicans bailed on him because they sensed that he was about to get them in hot water after attempting to weaponize the IRS.

      1. Bah. If Nixon had merely cut loose Liddy and his plumber minions* he would have survived easily. He got nailed for the crime of loyalty to subordinates. Hell, he could have even burned Dean by revealing what was generally known about his wife, Maureen, and her history as a call girl.

        One could write an interesting alternate history taking off from that point, with Watergate never happening, Democrats losing** the House and (effective control of the) Senate in 1974, Reagan succeeding Nixon in 1976 and the fall of Saigon being prevented.

        *I confess I want the next Despicable Me movie to feature criminal mastermind G Gordon Liddy and his plumbing minions.

        **After the 1972 elections the House was within (a long) reach, needing only twenty-five seats to change parties; a working majority might have been attainable with fewer changes. The Senate would have to see the GOP gain eight seats in the 1974 elections, a bit of a challenge, although it might have been possible to convince a few Southern senators to cross the aisle.

    2. There’s been political violence since the 2016 election. Antifa assaults people just about every month, and Foxfier’s quote of Andy Ngo’s feed upthread shows a death in Portland they may be involved with; certainly Antifa’s commands to their adherents to NOT cooperate with the police investigation is rather damining.

      1. Antifa now serves the same function as the Black Panthers did in the late Sixties / early Seventies.

          1. I would posit that they would be more akin to the Communist street thugs of that period.

        1. The Black Panthers were vicious thugs in the ’60/’70s, but I don’t recall them being at the point of doing riots (that was more the SDS crowd). Also, I think that the BP was more of a hierarchy, and that taking out a handful of leaders* was enough to disable them as a major threat. If there’s a hierarchy in Antifa, they’re doing better at hiding it, so I think it’s not going to be quite so straightforward as with the Panthers.

          (*) In Chicago, one raid took out the leadership there, and that slowed that movement a lot.

        2. Black Panthers, at least in some places, were smarter.

          My aunt was a nursing student, and then a nurse, in the late 60s in SoCal; the Black Panthers set up organized escorts to get all the ladies home safely, they showed up every night, and the implication I got was that they made it stick.

          My uncle chatted with at least one of the guys– he was Navy, they were Navy, it worked– and the short version is “who the **** do you think is gonna be stitching us up if things go south? We DEFINITELY want these ladies to like us.”

    3. I think the big lesson of Watergate (and other political scandals since then) is that a cover up causes you more problems than the original act.

      I wonder if Trump’s release of the Ukraine transcript so early without a big fight wasn’t a way to circumvent the “cover up” narrative before it got started.

  16. Overheard the other day: Why can’t the Most High be using Trump? If He could make a donkey talk to a pagan priest in order to get His point across, using a New York real-estate developer’s no problem.

      1. No, but the Democratic Jack-Asses think they are gods.

        Oh seriously, I’m sure Trump has a big ego but I doubt that he thinks that he’s G*d.

        After all he acknowledges that some of his businesses have failed. 😉

                1. Roger Pearse has the scholia about that proverb, over on his blog. Too late for me to search….

                  Oh, and I guess the Legion yell is the barritus, going from quiet murmurs to a thundering shout.

  17. I wouldn’t worry too much about China as an existential threat.
    Their aggression seems tinged with desperation.
    They’re facing a demographic collapse.
    Their economy is based on smoke, mirrors, and slave labor.
    They’re an active threat to every one of their neighbors. (Including the puppet state of North Korea. Don’t think for a moment that Kim is unaware of how Chinese emperors traditionally treated puppet states in general, and the nation of Korea in particular.)
    They have any number of internal schisms (currently being brutally suppressed, but…) and internal colonization.
    An ur-mythology about the mandate of heaven being withdrawn, and that a thing long united must divide.

    1. Beijing’s aggression toward the outside world seems to be at least partly based on the fact that they *can* act like that now. The Twentieth Century was not good for China. It wasn’t until the last decade or two that China has been able to seriously consider power projection. They still don’t have much capability. But they can actually start thinking about it now.

      Ironically, if China were to seriously consider absorbing North Korea, South Korea would probably put a stop to that. No, the RoK by itself probably can’t stop China. But the RoK backed by the USA is another story.

      Finally, Beijing has one internal schism that – for the time being – it can’t suppress. That schism is the Republic of China.

      1. The Chinese are engaged in the biggest, fastest naval buildup since Wilhelmine Germany. And their ships aren’t rust-buckets. The U.S. Navy of today is only a faint echo of its full might and glory in the late 1980s.

        1. The question is not simply the number of ships but the lethality of those ships. Per Wiki (date of info unstated) China has one (1) carrier, the US has eleven (half of all carriers operational.) The UK has two carriers, Italy has two, France, India, Russia, Spain and Thailand all operate one* each.

          While there are those claiming the carrier is obsolete that has yet to be demonstrated.

          *Yeah, the numbers don’t add up, with one missing carrier.

          1. Appending second source to evade MUL (Multiple URL Limbo):

            Includes helicopter carriers.

            USA: 24
            Italy: 5
            France: 4
            Japan: 4
            Egypt: 2
            Australia: 2
            Thailand: 1
            China: 1
            Spain: 1
            United Kingdom: 1
            South Korea: 1
            Russia: 1
            India: 1

            The site also provides estimates of aircraft, armor, overall force and allows side-by-side comparison.

            I doubt they can provide information on combat worthiness of forces (morale) or flexibility of leadership. As we saw in WWII’s Eastern Front, strict reliance on combatant numbers is not the best method of evaluating forces.

            1. Something else to remember is that the USN’s Amphibious Assault Ships are typically about the same size as the carriers used by nearly everyone else. “Supercarrier” sounds like hyperbole. But it really isn’t. The US operates much bigger aircraft carriers than anyone else. And France is the only other country that builds carriers with catapults and nuclear reactors (China plans to add both features by the time their third domestically built carrier is launched).

              The UK has one more carrier planned for commissioning in the next few years. China’s second carrier (which is basically a domestically built and modified Kuznetzov-class) has been launched, but is still undergoing trials. If its current sea trial (its eighth) goes well, there are many who think it will be commissioned before the end of the year.

              I saw an article yesterday that suggested that South Korea is probably going to build at least a couple more carriers. And apparently there’s talk (I don’t know how serious) about equipping them with actual catapults instead of the usual ski-jump system. That would allow them to launch heavier fighters, since the planes wouldn’t need space devoted to STOL capability.

              1. As best I can tell, the reason most countries have “helicopter carriers” instead of actual carriers is….

                Well, folks here familiar with the “humans are space orcs” memes?

                Or maybe “the Federation has so many malfunctions because all humans are Doc Brown of back to the future”?

                Most countries think trying to land on a super-short runway that AT BEST is jumping up and down by several feet is utterly gonzo.

                *mock sigh* Americans!

                1. Gets better – the Americans (and French!) *THROW* their planes off of a tiny stretch of deck (while everyone else uses ski jumps; ironically, my understanding is the the British were the first to perform catapult-assisted launches). And then land those same planes by crashing them into a steel cable.


          2. The carrier is just a floating runway. It’s the aircraft it carries that are important.

            Those aircraft are… elderly. Against an enemy with effective air defenses, their pilots are kamikazes. If not in the first mission, then soon.

            We’d be better off with a bunch of big seagoing barges as runways. At least they’d be cheaper to replace when incoming missiles sink them.

            1. Yeah – but the question was about naval buildup, not aerial capability. Our planes may be aging but we still have more – and better – than any apparent opponent.

              And even there, pilots count.

              Which makes the reduction in training hours of our pilots a worse than damned shame.

            2. Which is why the F-35 (and F-22 before it was cancelled) is so important. If it’s stealth features work as advertised, then well and good. If they don’t, then we might have some issues.

              The good news is that while our systems may have problems, the Chinese systems – at least where combat aircraft are concerned – are likely worse.

        2. And their ships aren’t rust-buckets.

          No, they’re built by China.

          The same guys who have entire buildings randomly collapse, including huge schools, when they’re new.

          1. The problem is that they have to move fast, because there are too many single guys not having kids.

            But a country full of only children is not super-enthused about getting killed.

            1. But a country full of only children is not super-enthused about getting killed.

              Not just only kids– only grandkids.

              And further:
              only great grand kids.

              For a culture that at least reflexively still has ancestor-worship.

              This is insane.

              1. They have been trying to add Communist pictures to every Chinese temple. (And Buddhist shrine, and church, and mosque. Unless they just wreck them.)

       has good info.

                1. A year or two ago, Pope Francis agreed to allow Beijing to have a say in who was selected as a priest in Roman Catholic churches in China.

                    1. C’mon now, be fair! It’s not as if he was ordained “Protector of the Church” by G-D Himself!

                    1. Yeah.

                      Though let us remember that historically, a lot of countries did. The Pope wrote to the President and Congress to ask their opinion when he first appointed an American bishop.

              2. This is insane.

                If ONLY Somebody could have foreseen this! (Other than readers of the Vorkosigan books, that is.)

          2. I would expect the Chinese to take a little more care with their warships. Carriers in particular are a point of national prestige. Russia has suffered nothing but embarassment the last several years where its carrier is concerned, and I would expect that the Chinese have been watching that.

            It’s also extremely expensive if your carrier sinks in peacetime due to shoddy workmanship and materials. There is a *lot* of money wrapped up in those things, particularly when you start adding in the nuclear reactors (which China plans to do).

        3. The PLAN is nothing to take lightly, but effective combat by combined forces requires training, planning and experience they don’t really have, yet. They are working towards it, but it will take a long time to build up and requires a flexibility I haven’t seen of their forces in open source material.

          Most folks don’t understand how much of the success of DESERT STORM took place before August 1990 in the myriad of exercises and Command and Control schools at work in the 80’s. And the fact we basically had a cooperating enemy, something the PRC can’t count on.

          1. Much of what made Desert Storm work was probably learned following the screw-ups in Grenada.

            And my understanding is that there were a *lot* of screw-ups in Grenada.

            1. Grenada just stuck a pin in it. The initial wake up call was the failure of the EAGLE CLAW mission in Iran.

              The individual services did their primary missions pretty well in URGENT FURY (given the normal friction of combat operations, particularly with the short planning-execution period). What really stood out were problems in coordinating between the services for a Joint operation, and that became a focus for the next several years.

              1. Oh, gad, I listened to the history of that on Dark Secret Place– about halfway through I paused the podcasts and turned to Elf and announced that suddenly, I understood a bunch of the really Fing stupid policies and briefings we’d had to go through.

                Dear mother above, some folks should’ve been beaten to a pulp with copies of World War I manuals.

              2. IIRC, one of Norman Schwarzkopf’s stories about Grenada was sitting on a ship, off shore, staring at the medical university that had American students that the ground troops were supposed to rescue, and waiting… and waiting… and waiting… for the ground troops to finally arrive to secure the (undefended) university. As I recall, Schwarzkopf finally suggested, “Why can’t we just fly helicopters over there and pick them up?”

                And then they had to go locate some helicopters that could be requisitioned for the job, and flown off of the navy ships.

            2. James Kitfield’s “Prodigal Soldiers” is perhaps the best single volume recounting of U.S. defense transformation 1975-1990

      2. I have a feeling the Vietnamese would like a piece of that action if the “correlation of forces” looks favorable to them.

        1. I suspect that the PLA would like a rematch with the PAVN, preferably one where it can arrange something short, sharp, and dictated in the PLA’s favor. That would give the PLA some much needed blooding, letting the leadership review methods and tactics, and the quality of troops. And it would provide a convenient way of claiming revenge for the “not a loss” that they suffered at Vietnamese hands roughly forty years ago.

          1. I suspect they would as well, especially since any member of the PLA that actually took part in that action has probably long since retired or died. Heck, the current PLA might even believe their propaganda of “we went in with limited objectives, accomplished them, and withdrew when we were ready”. A case of be careful what you wish for (“all we need is a short, victorious war…”)

            Please note what I said about a favorable “correlation of forces”. I doubt VN will start anything under current circumstances. But if say, the PRC was focused on a confrontation with the US in the area of Korea or the ROC, they might decide it was a dandy time to exert their claims in the South China Sea.

      1. CF: the NBA and the faithful minions thereof spouting the Party Line.(only the latest, most obvious example)

    1. Pfui. A mere 480+ comments in almost sixteen hours — that’s nothing compared with past commentary in this joint. Mind you, it ain’t bad, but it is far from our most active. I’ve seen five, six hundred in a day after an eleven am post, and that happening for a week or more.

      1. Amen. I’m two days behind and unlikely to catch up soon. Which is unfortunate, because I have a long reply I need to make to some things and just haven’t had time to compose it.

  18. Sort of Off Topic, but is it time we left NATO? Whassername, BoJo’s predecessor, signed onto letting Huawei monitor their communications, and now Germany. Does our military security demand we separate from those two military alliances?

    Angela Merkel Intervenes to Allow Huawei Access to German Networks
    Germany will allow Huawei access to its 5G networks despite a U.S. pressure campaign, spearheaded by FCC chairman Ajit Pai, to block the Chinese tech giant from interacting with allies’ data networks.

    “Essentially our approach is as follows: We are not taking a pre-emptive decision to ban any actor, or any company,” government spokesman Steffen Seibert told a news conference Monday, as Germany’s Federal Network Agency plans to release an in-depth “security catalogue” on compliance criteria for 5G networks in the coming days. The announcement confirmed a report by German business newspaper Handelsblatt, which stated that a review of the current draft of security requirements permits Huawei to provide 5G services in Germany.

    Handelsblatt also reports that the decision to include Huawei came from the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, due to fears that exclusion would damage the country’s relationship with China.

    Merkel’s office, in partnership with the Ministry of Economic Affairs, also removed a clause from a 5G government policy paper that suggested only “trusted suppliers” should be given access to the network.

    The decision comes after heavy pressure from the U.S. to urge international allies to resist partnerships with Huawei over fears of espionage, fraud, and intellectual property theft. In January, the Justice Department indicted the Chinese firm after allegations of theft and conspiracy.


    Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and other U.S. allies have already moved to block Huawei from accessing their networks, while the U.K. has had a political debate over the inclusion of the company in the wake of the rollout of 5G technology.


    It isn’t as if Germany’s contribution to NATO is militarily significant and I am sure we could struggle through without the Brits … especially, G-D Forbid, if Corbyn somehow gains power.

  19. “This is no time to go wobbly.”

    Unless you can find the chance to signal your virtue at being outraged at Trump’s alleged coarseness, amarite?

      1. Precisely. I am in awe of it. And as someone who has been known to put her hands on her hips and speak like a Portuguese fishwife WHEN NEEDED I wouldn’t virtue signal over it.
        Ken comes, I believe, from the blog that shall not be named. He doesn’t actually read what I write. He believes what he was told.

    1. I don’t notice people on the right “outraged” by Trump’s coarseness, more accurately we’re resigned to it as the price we pay in opposition to the brutality he’s acting as bulwark against. Sort of the way the Left defended Bill Clinton’s rapes since he protected the rights of his victims to abort any consequences.

      It is entirely arguable that Trump is no more coarse than those on the Left clutching their pearls in horror; certainly their language and behaviour is no better. At least when Trump shows somebody his middle finger he does it honestly and openly rather than with the passive-aggressive slyness we’ve so recently endured.

      Life rarely provides choices of ideals, so it is necessary to compromise, eschewing the delicious cream pie in favor of the nutritious broccoli. I will take Trump-Hulk over Obama-Loki even as my preference would be Thor or Cap.

      1. “Trump-Hulk over Obama-Loki”

        First, it is my understanding that Loki dislikes the above comparison. While he acknowledges that he deserved Hulk’s “stupid god” comment (for talking too much instead of thinking), he does consider himself smarter than Obama. 😉

        Second, I’m wondering who to compare Hillary to. Unfortunately, the best match IMO is Hillary/Trollwife but the average Trollwife would be insulted.

        Third, any thoughts on comparisons between the current Demo-Clowns and characters in Norse Mythology? 😀

  20. Popping out for width reasons…

    First I’m going to avail myself of the excuse that I was operating on little enough sleep that I probably shouldn’t have been trying to talk to anyone about anything.

    My point in that particular sub-thread is that the way “Humane” is used implies that the natural behavior of humans is what we would call Good/Moral/Nice/Civilized. Aka; Rousseauian bullshit.

    This is not the case.

    The natural behavior of humans is a context dependent level of niceness to those in the tribe (excessive meanness is inefficient and get you killed, so this is enforced), a certain level of honesty with the trader that comes by (again: reality enforces honesty), while also being perfectly happy to go butcher the tribe across the hill.

    The fine points of etiquette didn’t just pop into existence on day one and and everybody knew them instantly.

    Phantom’s post is a detailed description of the effects of that reality enforced niceness.

    The leftist position is (depending on their whims that day) either Rousseau “do nothing and we will be angels”, or Hobbes “if not for AUTHORITY SMASH we would butcher our best friend at the drop of a hat”.

    Ebay proves Hobbes wrong. Any random look at history proves Rousseau wrong.

    The rest of the threads are variations on this:

    Leftist position: “If not for the Holy State we would have skin lampshades!”

    Everyone else here (as I understand them): “No, lampshade makers are an insignificant part of the population, and most of them follow along with the enforced niceness”.

    Unstated part of my position that I should have made explicit: “I don’t care about the lampshade makers. Because horrible as they are they are too rare to matter, and by the time you are dragging the Jew to the edge of the pit you have already crossed the important line”.

    Me (stated): “There are enough monsters or potential monsters that dictators have little difficulty butchering their populations”.

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