What if I Told You?

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I’ve found that just like in the old Soviet Union, we know more or less what the future will bring (at least a lot of us are beginning to be very afraid we know what the future will bring, while our adversaries are sure they know. And also wrong. And pushing us towards a precipice*.) It’s the past that keeps changing.

Now, this was not a surprise to me, so much as it must have been to Americans born and raised who were paying attention at the time (seemingly a minority, but what do I know, since we were in the power of the MSM back then) but I’ve watched the past change many times in this country.  It wasn’t as much a surprise, because I’d watched it change in Portugal too, as good years of sane-ish economic policy became in retrospect “good agricultural climate years” or complete messes of leftist governments became “Competent” and “unimpeachable” in the rear-view mirror.

Leftists in the rear-view mirror look more centrist than they really are.  And everyone to the right of Lenin is evil and corrupt.  I’ll say it again, in case you missed it the first few times: of all the events in my life that I was present at and which were reported in the press, not a single one matched, and the slant was sadly and stupidly predictable.

But even that did not prepare me for the suddenness in which the prosperous 80s (following on the f*cked up 70s) became “the decade of greed.”  Or how Clinton’s grasping and corrupt administration was whitewashed in retrospect.

And the thing is, there is always an agenda, always a plan.  The left will pull the strings of their media puppets — always — with intent to lead people somewhere.  The stampeding is that of a band of primitive men surrounding the mammoth.  The mammoth is much bigger but never realizes it, because there are these scary sounds all around. Any minute, he could break free, trample a couple of the annoying gits, and get home free, but he doesn’t.  He allows himself to be driven to the precipice.*

Thing is, if you look at what the left is stomping and yapping about, you know where they want to lead you and what their ultimate plan is.

Deriding the 80s as the decade of greed allowed for shaming corporations into cooperating with the Clinton crime syndicate. It allowed for people knuckling under tax increases. It allowed for a patina of “virtue” needed to hide Clinton’s zipper eruptions.

You could sort of see it coming, if you paid attention.

This is particularly obvious with the culture.

Sure, some of their moves are obvious to anyone who can read print written seven feet high and in letters of fire, right?

Their distortion of history so that everything America ever did is wrong and evil-bad is designed to make our own kids hate their own country and imagine themselves as “citizens of the world” which is to say citizens of nowhere.

Which in turn allows for wide open borders which bring in the population of 3rd world serfs the statists count on to keep them in power forever.

For the last ten years I’ve been disquieted and disturbed by the persistent myth of: Our ancestors were far more cleanly, happy and prosperous than we think.  Yep. Your foot-in-the-mud ancestor didn’t suffer under the lash of his feudal overlord.  Oh, no. He had hot running water, regular baths, religious holidays off and–

Spits.  And the girls sang as they wove garlands on Mayday, I suppose.

Most of these myths are arrant nonsense.  Some are arrant nonsense on stilts with a dash of oikophobia thrown in.

I’ve mentioned here that I went to the Viking exhibit at the museum some years back, and it was all about how free and egalitarian the Vikings were, male and female.  Which I suppose was true, if you miss the large component of slavery. And the fact that they raided foreign shores for slaves and loot. And that almost every skilled artisan was a slave. And–

Then there is the continuous “The Vikings were much cleaner than the Christians and women preferred them.”

First let’s cut the crap. We have zero clue if women preferred them. When the raiders come to town, they don’t stop to ask thee fleeing women to sign “affirmative consent” forms.

Second, yeah, I’m sure in some Viking villages they were cleaner.  We do have have reason to suspect some areas had functioning saunas.  But then some of the areas raided had functioning Roman baths still extant.

I’m sure for some times and places, that was true.  I’m also absolutely sure that for most times and places the Vikings were about as clean as everyone else, which is to say not very, due to the lack of easy-accessible soap (yes, it existed. In certain times and places. NOT everywhere and not of a kind you’d want to use on your skin) of easily accessible acceptable-temperature water, and/or of warm enough places to bathe in.

No, medieval people weren’t as utterly filthy as it’s imagined (though there were some, I’m sure) but I’m also utterly sure, having experienced this in a temperate climate, that washing in winter would be limited, careful, and therefore maybe not as thorough as we imagine.  Or to put it another way, when the Victorians went on about catching a chill, they weren’t just blowing smoke, guys.  People didn’t willingly strip down and dip in lukewarm water int he dead of winter and when clothes would take forever to dry, unless they had other clothes, and facilities for getting warm right after.

In other words, Vikings and the rest of the Middle Ages were, from our POV a little wiffy.  As were most places until the late 20th century.

So why the cleanly and perfumed Vikings (Particularly since the records of the time don’t support this view, except in very few, highly publicized circumstances?)

Oh, that’s the “don’t go imagining Christians were better” wing of the oikophobe chorus.  They will tell us Christians were filthy.  The pagans, on the other hand, were cleanly and perfumed.

Weirdly the one people we know were cleaner than Christians, also more literate and prone to less domestic violence never come in for praise in these comparisons.  I suspect being part of the foundational build of the West, the Jews aren’t considered “wonderfully other” enough. Or given some of the recent bs on the left and the people they embrace, perhaps it’s a hate thing.

BTW that Christians being filthy is bullshit.  Later on, in defense of “but medieval people weren’t that filthy” they’ll bring in the injunction to change your underwear daily.  Which is more than a little confusing when you researched the heck out of “underwear use” in various places in the renaissance and know most women at least wore none.  Eventually you find out the injunction to change underwear was in monasteries.  Monk’s orders in fact, also had various guidelines on cleanliness which, for their time, were amazingly enlightened.  Even if, yes, by our standards, they were all a bit wiffy.

The same applies to a ton of other things.  These revisionists tell us they ate better than we think, oh, and by the way, except for infant mortality they lived as long as we do.

All this is insanity on stilts.

Those of us who didn’t grow up in the first world (second and a half at best!) know d*mn well how people lived in the 20th century, with nominal indoor plumbing, but without a lot of changes of clothing, washers and dryers, heated houses, etc.  (The trains from the mountains, where it was colder, in winter, smelled like a mix of VERY unwashed bodies and wood smoke.  You never forget that smell.) The particular etc. I have in mind in this case is the lack of refrigeration.

Look Portugal is fertile enough that a careful planner can feed a family on less than an acre of land (particularly the area I come from, apparently one of the oldest inhabited in Europe and whose name in Indo European translated as wet and fertile valley.)  I’m sure the food available to us in the 20th century when you could buy improved seeds, etc. was way better than the one available to people in the middle ages.

But … yeah, no. We didn’t eat like people do now. Not even close.  For one, meat was fairly scarce.  We mostly ate fish (thanks to the coasts!) and vegetables.  Oh, and we were relatively lucky. A lot of people got almost no protein.  The most common lunch among the people was the “isca” that is a bit of fried flour which might or might not have a couple of shreds of codfish in it.  The very poor ate a lot of vegetable soup.

And again this was in the 20th century.  In winter vegetables more or less vanished and the only fruit available were the wrinkled, flour-like apples.

Christmas treats were dried fruit, not cookies.  It tells you all you need to know. (Yes, it was healthy too except for the scarce protein for most people, but no one said the way we eat is particularly healthy.)

I’m not complaining, but I know that we ate massively better than my parents did in the mid 20th century.  And they ate better than their parents. So, kindly, do not tell me some serf on a medieval estate got his choice of however many flavors of ice-cream.

Sure the very rich ate well, if sometimes oddly.  But the average person, not so much.

And as for living as long?  Yeah, no.

I still remember vividly — as do many our age — when 60 was old, 70 VERY old.

Yes, I’m concerned for my parents in their late eighties. And that’s, as my dad puts it “after 80, that’s old”.  But it would surprise no one is they lived another 10 years.  Because a lot of people do now.  And now one makes a big deal of people who turn 100.  (Even though 114 seems to be, a little inexplicably, our hard drop-off limit.)

And besides we KNOW.  Shakespeare at 58 — two years older than I’m now — was “very old.”

So kindly take your “people lived about as long,” fold it all in corners and put it where the sun don’t shine, even if people in the arctic in winter will be a little puzzled by it.

So, why is the past changing in that curious way?  What are we being stampeded towards?

Ah.  Well, see Occasional Cortex’s magnum opus: the Green New Deal (Temptation to write The Green Nude Heel intensifies.)

If you believe your ancestors who were serfs to their “betters” and tended a plot of land by “natural” means (read ox and man power) lived about as well and were about as fulfilled, wouldn’t you say “okay, maybe.”

The problem being of course, that none of that is true.  The Green Nude Heel (eh) would in fact put us on the verge of what was it Obama called it “A precipice* of achievement.”  I’d even call it a precipice* of prosperity.  A veritable Venezuelization, in fact, like… oh, what happens to all the democrat controlled areas from cities — hello, Detroit! — to states — I’d say California should chime in, but it’s hard to make smoke signals with candles.

What the Democrats and their associated media and education industrial complex are signaling so hard with their changes to their past is that what they have in store for our future is about as good as the Middle Ages… if we’re lucky.  And if we’re not lucky we deserve it, because our ancestors were filthy Christians, and generally evil.

The thing is you see that if you refuse to let them change the past, and you make sure the kids know we know that’s bullshit, you’ve gone a long way to reclaim the future.

Reclaiming the language helps too.  For instance *contrary to what Obama seemed to believe means, in fact, a great drop.  Mind you, maybe he knew what it meant and just experienced a need to be truthful, for one moment, who knows.

However, I’d very much like for people to stop imitating his misuse.

Keep in mind when someone is lying to you about the past they’re trying to stampede you.  They’re trying to stampede you because they don’t have the ability to force you.

If you end up going over the precipice, it’s because you listened to them.

And that would be tragically stupid.

323 responses to “What if I Told You?

  1. Amen, Sister. Been increasingly stunned at the fervent manipulation of the ‘Narrative’, especially since watching the banners at the airport last night. Good Grief!!

  2. Why are “smith gods” always lame?

    Because smithying is a skilled trade that would command some negotiating power. If their legs are broken, they can’t run away.

    “Sons of Martha” have a long uneasy relationship with rulers.

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      Could also be that a member of the community who was injured or born crippled could still have an important role in their society.

      • Possibly. But what I know of third world life says that a woman handicapped by what appears to have been some kind of stoke that took out her whole right side when a girl, cannot get a husband, is limited in her usefulness, and must live on the charity of her family. Constant pain and dashed hopes made her sour. Living one failed harvest from near starvation caused resentment towards someone who could literally not pull her own weight. Even in a loving family. By the time my grandmother knew her little children feared and mocked her.

        It was a very, very hard life with no end in sight.

    • Directrix Gazer

      Arsenical copper followed by arsenical bronze (the main difference being more arsenic in the latter) were the first metal alloys man used on a large scale, followed by tin bronze. Early metalworkers likely stumbled onto the advantages of arsenical copper over pure copper simply because copper ores often already have some arsenic mixed in. Unfortunately, that arsenic often ended up in the smith as well as his work-piece. For instance, Otzi the Iceman, from the Copper Age, the relatively brief period before knowledge of the alloys became common, had a very pure copper axe on him and traces of arsenic in his hair, indicating that he may have had some involvement in copper smelting.

      Arsenic exposure can cause peripheral neuropathy, sometimes manifesting as weakness in the legs. This has been proposed as a possible inspiration for those lame smith-gods. Thanks to the cultural discontinuity of the Bronze Age Collapse and the rise of iron that followed it, people may have had a vague cultural memory of an association between smithing and being crippled or weak-legged, but they would not have had any personal or literary context for why that would be the case.

      • One theory of the dragon’s blood clothes that burned people to death was that it was a distilled memory of clothes dyed with arsenic based colors.

    • If their legs are broken, they can’t run away.

      And if they have such a useful skill, you can’t afford to kill them outright.

    • A smith like that you don’t want to eat all at once?

    • Which brings up this thought- do you really want the skilled guy making your armor and armaments to be holding a grudge because you broke his legs?

    • Except that breaking legs badly enough to cripple was a good way to KILL your smith. If he’s valuable, you want him alive.

      Also, you don’t want the guy who controls how good your sword is ticked off at you.

      • Or who know just how to heat treat armor just so it passes the proof stage, but fails in battle.

        It’s also a good way to ensure that you don’t get more smiths when the one you have dies.

    • It’s also a medium dangerous occupation. Dealing with really high temperatures, heavy weights and various toxic fumes, singly or in combinations. An early metal age smith (pick the metal) would be damned lucky to be healthy after a few years.

  3. i remember a couple of series through BBC and PBS which had groups of people do some of the following: live like 19th century pioneers, live in a 19th century house or 18th century manor. Nearly all of them cheated one way or another. One of the pioneer families bought meat from a (modern) neighbor, the 1900’s house bought modern shampoo to wash their hair.

    Fact is, where the rubber meets the road, modern people would not like to live like their ancestors. MSM might try to propagandize the lives of our ancestors to be “rich and wonderful”, but it would take YEARS of slow deprivations to get us back to “living with nature”. I mean, have you looked at the “we can’t stand the way our kitchens or baths smell” aisle? So many weird scents like “spring rain” or “lilac burst” or “apple mist” littering the shelves. And we are going to convince these people to live without on-demand hot water? That’s where I think the left get stymied. Too many people like their “basic necessities” (hot/cold constantly clean water, constant electricity, easy access to food) to tolerate government getting in the way of those. Well, at least here in Texas. I know people in California are suffering much. Poor saps.

    • Jack Kerouac famously lived a short bit hard scrabble in California, picking cotton and living in a tent. He thought it romantic for a while, then left his girlfriend and returned to New York.
      Lots of people romanticize that life, few actually try it, and fewer yet want to keep it.

  4. Saturday night baths. Without changing the water between uses. The third brother to take a bath got very grey water. I just barely remember moving into a house with a shower, which, besides meaning clean water, for reasons I don’t remember also meant daily bathing.

    • Oh, yes. Our entire family used one bathtub of water. the order was by age, and sex (girls before boys. On the assumption men got dirtier.) We did have a shower (in some ways dad’s family was “posh” though not rich,) but it was cold and outside. Dad was the only one crazy enough to use it. He said it inured you to colds, apparently a Roman belief. My guess is it would have killed anyone with weaker constitution.

      • Back in the early ’80s when I was stationed in South Korea, a lot/most of the homes in the farming villages had outdoor showers. Very necessary after a night of too much peach wine or soju.

        • Outdoor showers seemed fairly common in beach communities, but thankfully the ones I’ve encountered mostly had hot and cold water.

      • I suppose similar to “healthy as a horse” – considering how precarious equine health is, any issue must be minor as there’s not much range between ‘healthy’ and ‘dead’.

      • We had the sex distinction, too. Three brothers and one sister; she didn’t share in the same water we did. I don’t remember if she got to go first, or if she just got her own water. An outdoor shower would have been deadly in Michigan!

    • I just barely remember moving into a house with a shower, which, besides meaning clean water, for reasons I don’t remember also meant daily bathing.

      *thinks about the houses they looked at when home-hunting where you could walk in and tell there was a teen boy, even with signs of obvious daily showering and mitigation attempts*

      • LOL. You wait. The summer Marshall went into puberty — with a rocket propeller. He grew over a foot that summer! His voice dropped to adult range in two months. Hair appeared everywhere — I kept telling him “GO TAKE A SHOWER” “But I took one two hours ago.” “DON’T CARE. GO.” Including once forcibly throwing him in there.
        That was “the summer we tolerated ax body spray.” Because, dear ghu, it was preferable.

        • Maybe that’s what makes Americans different– we’re not accustomed to HAVING to be in places that smell like people all the time.

          • A friend spent several years in Germany. He spent quite some time describing the “S-Bahn funk” in the summer.

            Conversely, some Germans he got to know well mentioned they thought Americans all had some kind of Bubble Boy sterility fetish they really needed to get over…

        • Youngest brother spent the better part of two years in early puberty making similar protests when told to GO SHOWER. “But I already did!” “YOU STINK”

          Poor kid, he took it so personal for awhile, then Mom finally sat him down and said “Look, it’s Teenage Boy Funk, you can’t help it, but we’re not going to put up with it any more than we have to. Just go shower.”

          I believe axe body spray was also one of the solutions at the time, heh.

      • Now that you mention it, the advent of daily showering could have been more to do with my reaching 13 (I am the oldest) than with our acquisition of a house with a shower.

  5. “But even that did not prepare me for the suddenness in which the prosperous 80s (following on the f*cked up 70s) became “the decade of greed.” Or how Clinton’s grasping and corrupt administration was whitewashed in retrospect.”

    I recall the 1980s as the time when the Hippies were finally ignored. I was a young man, I had my jobs and my motorcycle, and I pretty much ignored anything that had to do with politics or anything other than music and motorcycles. The 1980s were when we all stopped “giving Peace a chance” and didn’t give a shit if Ronald Regan was a big fat Fascist. We were dancing to the first good music there’d been since the 1960s when we were little kids.

    I remember vividly the Cognoscenti bemoaning how difficult it was to get Young People like myself to be interested in the environment or the all important anti-war movement. They scolded and we ignored them. Life is a party, have a drink before the Russians blow us all to Hell. The 80’s was pretty fun, all things considered.

    The 90’s, the Clinton administration was what -forced- me to pay attention to politics. I did not want to, but between gun control and moving to the USA, I had to.

    The Clinton administration was whitewashed as they went along, in my recollection. Nobody remembers Newt Gingrich and the “Contract With America” because the media memory-holed it as it was happening. Everybody knows that Gingrich cheated on his wife, nobody knows that he lead the Republican revolt in 1994 against some really amazing corruption in the House of Representatives. Everybody remembers the Clinton Assault Weapons Ban, nobody remembers that it was an abject failure. Memory hole.

    But the 1990s had one more thing happen that made the whitewashing stop working. The Internet happened. Media threw the assault weapon thing down the memory hole, but thousands of annoying people like myself would create these crazy web pages and bring it back into the light again.

    So for me, the 90’s was the time when the scales fell from my eyes, and I saw the propaganda sausage being made. I finally saw the guy with the shovel and the pile of sawdust, hiding there behind the curtain.

    Now of course the whitewashing is a 24/7 affair, the past changes minute by minute and the present can’t be seen through the haze of smoke and mirrors. But it doesn’t matter what they say. Reality continues to grind along, and causes create effects regardless of the spin.

    I read this today, and it reminded me that history repeats itself whether we like it or not: https://bearingarms.com/came/2019/11/02/germany-readies-further-restrictions-guns-speech/

    Its a New York Times story, but they have a paywall so this link will have to do.

    As pointed out at Small Dead Animals, but not at the New York Slimes, this is Deja Poo for Germany. We have seen this shit from them before. The Wiemar Republic had all kinds of gun control and speech restrictions in place, which came in very handy for old Adolph when he finally made it to Chancellor. In fact the argument has been made, repeatedly, that the reason Adolph ever got elected at all was partly due to gun control and government censorship.

    But Regan was a monster, Bush was a double-monster, and Trump is REEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!11! they can’t even come up with a word, just screaming.

    Thank God for the Internet.

      • I think the difference for me between now and the ’80s is mainly knowing I’m not the only one with non-complying opinions. When I was around 30 I used to thing the media expressed view was the majority one. For example, that gun control was what -everybody- wanted and I was just out of step. I had reasons I considered good and sufficient for my views, but I never really said much about it to people. No point, majority rules, right?

        Fast forward to the 1990s, I suddenly discovered that whole thing was a mirage. I was compelled to dig into the medical literature, read it all and found it was -idiotic- to the point where even the comments published in the journals said they were idiots. But the media kept going. So I looked into it more and discovered all kinds of issues were linked together by flows of money and political affiliations.

        The more stuff that became available because of the Internet the more I was able to connect the dots and follow the money around. Now we can see them so well they can’t hide anymore.

        http://www.smalldeadanimals.com/index.php/2019/11/05/come-back-pizzagate-2/

        There is nowhere to hide. The media can whitewash all the want, but it doesn’t matter anymore.

        I’m going to make a prediction, based on nothing but pure suspicion and my own eeevile imagination. Some day it will be revealed that Jeffrey Epstein died so that Felonia Millhaus Von Pantsuit could run in 2020. You just follow the money and the connections, and it’ll be there.

        Because will even New York liberals vote for some Borg construct who’s husband spent his time shagging teenagers? Gotta cover that shit up until November.

        By the way. Did y’all know that if you google “Felonia Millhaus Von Pantsuit” most of the pics are of Trump? Same for “Hilaria Millhaus Von Pantsuit” and other spellings. Identical search returns. Also on DuckDuckGo.

        We can SEE you, assholes!

        • I don’t disagree with your overall point, but it does seem to me that the likely reason the “Felonia Milhaus” et al terms return images of Trump is because it’s mostly Trump supporters who use those terms, isn’t it?

          • I’m calling shenanigans because no matter how you spell it you get the -same- images, and only three are her. Felonia, Hilaria, Milhouse, Millhaus, all return the same set of images.

            And you can’t tell me there are only three (3) unflattering memes of Felonia Von Pantsuit out there. I’m just not going to believe that one.

            Therefore, shenanigans. And stupidly obvious ones at that.

            Remember the good old days, when people would shade the truth and be skillful about it? Now they say up is down, and demand you agree or they REEEEEE at you.

          • The Goog is giving me Hillary pictures. DDG doesn’t give pictures, but the excerpts mostly mention Hillary, no Trump. Same for Bing. No pictures on Yandex either, but a bunch of conservative web sites mocking her. Same for Baidu, which is the only one that returns Michael Z Williamson snarking on the first page…

            • One thing to remember is that you get different results depending on, for example, the country code of your IP addy. Mr. Crowder of Louder with Crowder proved it.

              • The other thing is to clear out your entire browsing history before doing any search, where you care about seeing what a “clean” search gives you.

                That can be a pain, though. I used to keep a separate install of Firefox that I used only through a private window, but managed to forget once which one I was in. (A private window uses your browsing history and bookmarks from the non-private sessions, but doesn’t add to them.)

              • I’ll vouch for that; I use Avast VPN, and it allows you to set your IP addy to different places around the world. I’m running into more and more sites that won’t let me create an account unless my proxy is in the US, if they will let me use a proxy at all.

        • On my bad days, it feels as if the consensus that it takes to make a working society is coming apart and we’re heading to civil war.

          On my good days, I remember that the “consensus” was enforced by monopolies/oligopolies of the wire services and airwaves, that Jacksonian or libertarian voices were systematically suppressed, and that what’s happening now is that we can *hear* the dissent, not that it is new — and that airing these opinions and developing a society that can tolerate them is the only possible way to *avoid* heading to civil war.

          “A republic, if you can keep it”

    • And good old Joy Behar revealing her true colors yet again.

      https://www.foxnews.com/media/joy-behars-guns-second-amendment

      Joy Behar: Don’t tell Americans before you take their guns
      By Nick Givas | Fox News

      ‘The View’ co-host Joy Behar has made controversial statements for years. Here is a look back at the times Behar has crossed the line.

      Politicians seeking to confiscate guns from Americans shouldn’t share their plans with the public beforehand and should seek to maintain an element of surprise, Joy Behar said on “The View” Monday.

      Behar was discussing former 2020 presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke, a Democrat from Texas, and said it was foolish of him to announce his plans for gun confiscation before he was elected. She advised all politicians to go after the country’s guns after they’ve assumed office.

      “They should not tell everything they’re going to do. If you’re going to take people’s guns away, wait until you get elected — then take the guns away,” she said. “Don’t tell them ahead of time.”

      Co-host Meghan McCain also weighed in on the issue and said O’Rourke has poisoned the well and scared off independent voters from the Democratic party.

      “I will also say that his stance on gun buybacks — Mayor Pete said it was a shiny object that distracts from achievable gun reform,” she said earlier in the interview. “That clip will be played for years… with organizations that try and scare people by saying that Democrats are coming for your guns.

      “[Beto] also made some statements about religious institutions getting their tax-exempt status removed from them because they didn’t support same-sex marriage,” McCain continued. “He did a lot of, like, battleground culture war, and he ran as the most left, most woke candidate and look where he ended.”

      O’Rourke, a former congressman, dropped out of the 2020 race on Friday, telling supporters, “It is clear to me now that this campaign does not have the means to move forward successfully.

      “My service to the country will not be as a candidate or as the nominee,” O’Rourke wrote in a post on Medium. “Acknowledging this now is in the best interests of those in the campaign; it is in the best interests of this party as we seek to unify around a nominee, and it is in the best interests of the country.”

      Fox News’ Vandana Rambaran and Alex Pappas contributed to this report

      • Never thought I’d say something nice about Meghan McCain, but she had a great line in response to Behr: “By the way, that’s what people like me think you’re going to do, so I appreciate his honesty.”

      • Does anyone still watch that show? Really? Their viewership must be in the dozens by now. Harpies, the lot of them.

        • I saw it once or twice as the bar I was at had, of all things, that on. That didn’t last, of course – and I didn’t have to resort to any gadgetry to force the issue.

      • > confiscation

        https://survivalblog.com/mathematics-countering-tyranny/

        They don’t have enough cops and soldiers to do it. Not by at least an order of magnitude. And that assumes most people will meekly comply.

        • For tyranny to work, you need a cooperative population, and you need a supermajority of the population to play along.
          Otherwise you basically get Afghanistan. Even the Soviets couldn’t make tyranny work there.

        • No, but that doesn’t mean they won’t try. And usually when they try, it’s as horrific as they can make it “in order to encourage the rest of us.”

          BTW, the link talks almost exclusively about reaction to federal gun measures; but the reality is, they will be forced down on the states too. All state regulations will need to be rescinded. About the only places that will have the right to restrict gun carry will be private homes or businesses; which is as it ought to be.

          “What do you mean I can’t wear my gun belt with pistol to dinner? Fine, me and the wife will go to your competitors instead. They like my money just fine, the food’s better, and the environment’s safer!”

      • “My service to the country will not be as a candidate or as the nominee,” O’Rourke wrote in a post on Medium.

        O’Rourke’s only ‘service to the country’ was providing a bad example…

    • Everybody remembers the Clinton Assault Weapons Ban, nobody remembers that it was an abject failure.

      *snarls* If they share that garbage around ME they get reminded that Columbine happened in the middle of it!

      • Remember the Great High Capacity Magazine Buyback For The Children, For Realz This Time! in New Jersey last year? Six months on, seems there weren’t many turned in. One report said *none* turned in. At all. In Socialist New Jersey, no less.

        Criminals are defined as people who commit crimes. You can affect them in many ways, but their tendency and desire is to *commit crimes,* not spontaneously become law abiding citizens. The most intelligent, efficient, and moral response is to allow law abiding citizens the basic (God given and Constitution explicitly approved by amendment) right of self defense in the most effective way we have. Firearms.

        They work as a deterrent. They work as a tool to defend in the hands of the innocent. It is quite fun to achieve and maintain proficiency safely, and the gun community actively *promotes* such safety (everyone I know of has, and yes, there are a few idiots- always will be- but they are vastly outnumbered by the rational many).

        • Mexico law essentially bans private ownership of guns. Has not stopped the cartels and other criminals from getting them, but it has stopped their victims from fighting back.

        • Criminalizing previously legal behavior or conditions never works well.

        • Additional laws do not make criminals law abiding. They do make the law abiding criminals and this just as good for ruling class.

          • True enough. Looking at the results, that may very well have been the intention all along.

            • I’m pretty much convinced of it. After all, all they have to do is pass it, and they turn your “assault rifle” into a paperweight.
              1. You will not be able to maintain it, because your purchase is recorded and “why are you buying parts / ammo for a weapon you aren’t allowed to own”. Oh, and for the people who say “I use cash”, does your gun store use inventory tracking software? Do you have a customer account? Lots of ways your buying history can be tracked, and I guarantee that “woke” businesses like Salesforce.com will have no compunction about handing that data over to law enforcement.

              2. You will not be able to practice with it, because the gun range will be required to report any unauthorized shooters, and most of the US population doesn’t have access to private land to shoot on, and the drive to it will provide ample opportunities for some woke citizen, or just the cops, to spot it and turn it in. After all, you only have to be unlucky once.

              3. You most especially won’t be able to use it for self-defense, when a few Democrat Party troopers show up at your door, like they did on Halloween at journalist Andy Ngo’s house. Aside from being arrested when the cops show up, you’ll be on the hook for murder charges, under the “actions performed while committing another felony”, like possessing the banned weapon.

              Any and all Democrat policies involve selective enforcement. They won’t be going door to door; they’ll just wait until they need an excuse for going after an individual.

    • From TFL: “The law passed last year requires companies running social media platforms, including Facebook, Google and Twitter, to remove “obviously illegal” content within 24 hours, or face fines of up to 50 million euros, or about $56 million.”

      Ah, I see the tactic at work: what’s required under the law is completely impractical without mass-purging every post with certain keywords, which will be promptly routed around by creative posters. Therefore the ideal “unintended consequence” is to simply drive Google and Facebook and Twitter OUT of Germany, so this avenue of communication is closed to average citizens.

      • Absolutely. By demanding perfection of private companies, they make them move out of the space or be driven out of business.

        Which only means that the whole thing moves underground and completely out of government reach.

        As mentioned the latest attack on Jews was with home-made weapons. Its 2019, you literally cannot stop people from making firearms. It is impossible. No matter what law is passed, government does not physically have the ability to stop them.

        • Or it gives them a pretext to engage in the censorship that they have clearly wanted to pursue for years. They will not give up business in the EU the same way companies kowtow to China. Instead they will use it to censor Americans in the USA in order to silence any dissent from leftist orthodoxy.

      • Remove content that is “obviously illegal” — in what country? Content must be removed from the United States because it is illegal in Germany? Are they aware that they did not, in fact, win World War 2? That they can not impose their laws on other countries?
        ———————————
        [From the cover blurb of ‘1635: The Cannon Law’ by Eric Flint and Andrew Dennis]

        You see, it’s 1635. Everybody expects the Spanish Inquisition!!

        • It’s not hard. The German Internet backbone is controlled by the government. Unless Facebook, Twitter, et al want their entire internet domain blocked from Germany, they will self-censor. Since it’s easy for them to portray that content as being provided by “white supremacists”, “alt-right”, “neo-Nazis”, etc., they can virtue signal at the same time.

  6. I’ve noticed it’s a pendulum effect. Part of how the “low tech lifestyles are just as safe and happy as high-tech” argument came from when mediaeval historians were pushing back against the “Dung Ages” imagery of the past as absolute intolerable hellhole (see A World Lit Only By Fire by William Manchester for an example of this), which at that time was being promoted so as to justify the end-of-history moral and intellectual supremacy of the modern age and the benighted closed-mindedness of those horrendous traditional Christians.

    But instead of attempting to resist this, it now looks like the manipulators pulled a (it must be granted) quite clever judo move and simply went with it instead, pulling the pendulum as hard as possible in the other direction so that now the past is touted as no harder to live in than a camping weekend, thus justifying the new environmental paradigm in which there are far fewer people and much fewer rich people (except for those who buy their way into the Gaian priesthood during its establishment). But those who remain will be, somehow, just as healthy and happier for the lack of modern dangers.

    To which, as P.J. O’Rourke once said, I have only one word to say in response: Dentistry. (“Anaesthetics”, “penicillin”, and “affordable vision-correction” might be my substitutes of choice, but the point remains.)

    • Having a variety of congenital issues (Asthma being the worst) if I had been before my 1961 start date I’d have mostly spent my (abbreviated) life in misery. Before the 1940’s and penicillin I doubt I’d have made it out of toddler hood due to several bouts with pneumonia (which I don’t remember but my Mom made sure I knew about 🙂 ) due to the lung issues. And that’s just ignoring things like scarlet fever (Mom had it, heart damage got her in the end), tuberculosis, measles and polio. Yes SOME people lived to ripe old ages in previous times, But if you look in any New England cemetary you can see LOTS of adults (and children) dying young. Particularly young women as things can go very wrong in child bearing. The number of male ancestors I found with multiple wives because they lost the first one (or two) beggars imagination. This is the same flavor of stupid that gives us the Noble Savage.

      • There’s a “game” where you state when you would have died due to lack of modern medicine. My husband would have died at birth due to Rh incompatibility (requiring a blood transfusion that later had doctors wondering if he possibly had AIDS. They eventually decided *that* particular illness was a form of mononucleosis that they’d never seen before.) I would have died (possibly) at my first kid, who got stuck. (Depends on how talented the midwife was, I guess.)

        • I had pneumonia a couple of times, once at 5 and then again at 11. There’s a good chance one of those would have gotten me. If I survived both, then I certainly would have kicked it at 29 when the diabetes kicked in.

          • Oh, yeah, pneumonia at 33. ALMOST killed me, even with IV antibiotics.
            My body hates me.

            • I survived: Scarlet Fever, both measles, mumps, chicken pox, whooping cough … most everything that you currently get in children’s vaccinations, except polio and small pox (those are the childhood vaccinations I received). Including several bouts of extreme strep throat; last one occurring at 19 with a fever of 104, both strep and tonsillitis …

            • Appendicitis at 24, anaphylactic reaction to *something* I ate (perhaps lobster, timing was wonky) at 45, pneumonia at 46, diabetes at 46 (simultaneous diagnosis), AFIB at 60. Sleep apnea would have got me somewhere, too..

              My body doesn’t hate me, but it’s not sure of the relationship.

              • My childhood was fairly unalarming compared to some people’s. The main thing there would have been rolling the dice on assorted vaccine-preventable diseases, and of course presumably the need to engage in more hazardous activities in general.

                The broken femur a few years ago might not have killed me, but I’d never have walked well again. Even a few decades earlier, I’d have still been in a cast at the time I was doing PT and able to sit cross-legged.

        • I’d probably be alive if purely medical concerns were all I had to worry about — never had any diseases or significant childhood injuries.

          Whether I got drafted into any battles of my liege lord and survived them would change that significantly, of course — as the firstborn son of the household I’d probably have been very strongly discouraged from going into the Church, which would have been one of the few places to live the scholastic life I’d prefer.

        • In my case it’s how many times I’d have died. At birth, through sheer lack of care? (I fit in my dad’s size 11 shoe at birth. It took the family taking it in shifts to watch me and change hot water bottles around me, to keep me going). One of the many infections before 2? (I have foreshortened neanderthal ear canals.)
          I suppose small pox at three was luck of the draw. I mean, they covered every light in red to avoid eye damage, and sued some herbal thing on me, so I have ONE scar on my upper lip and a few on my stomach, but the rest… luck? TB? Well, I did have a course of antibiotics for that. Asthma? I did get driven to ER and put in an oxygen tent several times before school age.
          Then there was… uh… pneumonia at 13?
          DEFINITELY birth of first and/or second son, supposing I managed to conceive first without help.
          So many deaths aren’t even funny.

          • Heh, birth and two weeks in, too. Would’ve bled out most likely if not for a combat medic uncle when I was a toddler, so that might count. Measles. Allergic response at six, luckily close to a modern hospital. Stupid kid hijinx at 9, 11, 12, 15, 16 (twice), 17, and so on that medieval or even 1860s level medicine (outside of some major hospital and doctoral intervention, *possibly*) would have left me lame, maimed, possibly paraplegic, or dead.

            In the early 1900s, the flu would likely as not have got me when it came through Appalachia. TB a bit earlier than that, I think, too. Smallpox was still around somewhere around in there, and there are a bloody *lot* of little gravestones I know of with foreshortened dates in that time frame. In the 1919/1920s (I think) there would likely be a one in three chance of death by violence (moonshiner conflicts), just a guess based on how bloody this corner of the world was at the time, or foriegn intervention (world war). Before that, ACW, Sherman.

            My earlier ancestors lived relatively long, if they lived at all, but it was spotty. A dozen kids might net three that lived to bear you grandkids. Or one. Or none. Across the pond, well, we seemed to get kicked out of one place after another. Germany. England. Scotland. Ireland.

            When my folks only had two (on purpose), my great grandmother was a bit speachless. The idea was, a half dozen was a safe bet. In our great grandkids time (the big “our,” as I have none of my own, so Foxfier’s or Shadodanceer’s kids most likely), who knows what they will think when they play that game. *grin* Cell phones may be the equivelent of drying your clothes on a line in winter, and washing with cold water and lye soap once a weel whether you need it or not. *chuckle*

            • Mom’s family history is mostly unknown back beyond her parents generation. Dad’s goes way back. What we know, if they could have kids, the kids survived infancy, toddlerhood, and childhood; young adulthood, especially the young women, not so much. I mean the three Applegate brothers brought their wives and not quite a dozen children each, from newborn (born on the trail) to pre-teen, between them, with most surviving to see the homesteads (lost 2 to the Columbia). OTOH, one of the brothers lost daughter after daughter, each in their early 20’s, leaving grandma & grandpa to help out SIL’s to raise the small children left behind.

        • Died? Eh, probably not for the last couple hundred years. I think. But instead of being a fully functional, creative adult I would quite literally be a cretin. That’s still the medical term for being born hypothyroid, like I was. Which means my life span would have depended on the dedication of my caregivers.

        • I probably would have made it into my twenties. I had the usual childhood diseases and survived them (measles, chickenpox, etc.) and I don’t recall any of them requiring hospitalization, so I probably would have survived them at an earlier date. But my wisdom teeth were impacted, and when I had them removed at the age of 17 the x-rays showed that my lower jaw was eaten away so that only about 1/3 of it remained below the impaction zone. It probably would have just broken a few years later, with no hope of repair before modern medicine. I’d have probably starved to death at that point.

        • I am the third of seven children. We once figured that maybe two of us would have made it to adulthood without modern medicine. And it didn’t even matter because Mom wouldn’t have made it to adulthood without modern medicine.

        • Hmmm … hard game to play, as many of us cannot recognize an exigency that ought have eliminated us. For example, a few years back Beloved Spouse was pulling dead leaves off a plant and a few days later a finger demonstrated it had been slightly cut by swelling up and becoming extremely painful … one trip to the ER later we were on treatment for sepsis and thankful to have saved the limb. Antibiotics for the Win!

          A hundred years ago? Loss of limb, certainly, and possibly of life. Gangrene is a bitch, don’cha know? Instead the worst part (other than the ER bill) was a month or two with heavily bandaged finger causing Beloved Spouse to give everybody at church the bird.

        • I would not exist at all without modern medicine. My moth would have succumbed to rh incompatibility birthing my older brother, and neither my younger brother and sister nor I would have existed in our present configuration.

          And that’s aside from my own bout of pneumonia at age seven thay has left me with reduced lung capacity. Plus the broken bones, long-running strep infections, anemia, and childhood illnesses like chickenpox, measles, and mumps.

      • This – so much this. A friend and fan of my Adelsverein series took me to the old Catholic cemetery outside Fredericksburg, a couple of years ago. The cemetery was a small one, about fifty marked graves, and was in use for about fifteen years between after the late 1850ies. Fifty or so graves, and all but then of them were babies and children; babies who died at birth, or after a week or so. Several sets of siblings, who died within days of each other – there was a horrific diphtheria epidemic locally in the last year of the ACW. A couple of people in their twenties or thirties, murdered by Indians – and maybe four who died of advanced old age – in their seventies and eighties.
        (Pictures here – http://www.celiahayes.com/archives/334 )

        • Related, that “sewer full of baby skeletons” story that makes the rounds every few years was started because a local historian knew that people were tending the graves of the kids who died at the unwed mother’s house/abbey in the area, and she wanted to get the names to make a nicer memorial for them.

          The death rate was horrific….to us. For then, it was pretty impressively low, especially for the generally in very bad condition mothers, thanks to the skilled care they could get.

          (It got jumped on by a raving bigot and publicized that way, sadly.)

      • me too if born before 1962 or anywhere that antibiotics and at least rudimentary meds weren’t available. For same reasons.

        • *snarky*

          I would’ve been smothered before I hit teen years because my snoring was so horrificly loud.

          (I woke up my parents on the far side of the house when I was about 5, regularly.)

          • and with the whole family in one room… you only think you were joking.
            Trust me. Younger son went through a phase that when we were sharing a hotel room I considered it.
            He lies when he says he woke up with me trying to put a pillow over his face (I was putting it behind his head, trying to raise him) but … well….

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              Well, of course. If you were trying to kill him with a pillow over his face, you would have killed him. 😈

              ::Idea taken from old Daniel Boone TV episode. Where Daniel’s son said “If Mingo wanted to kill you, you’d be dead (while explaining why he didn’t believe Mingo had tried to kill somebody. It was Mingo’s evil twin).::

              • I remember Ed Ames. He had a good singing voice too.

                • Ed Ames had a beautiful singing voice.

                  I “remember” watching Daniel Boone in color. I know it wasn’t because the folks didn’t have color TV until after I was in college. The show was off the air before then.

            • Ah ha! So that’s where George Lucas got the idea for Luke to try to kill his nephew!

          • My sister and I had the same problem, until we both had our tonsils out at the same time (I was 5, she was 4). After which, our night-time breathing became so much quieter that for the first few days my parents regularly tiptoed into the bedroom we then shared to check on us several times a night, as they kept getting bursts of frazzled panic that we’d somehow died. 🙂

      • One of the peculiarities I’ve noticed when pursuing my genealogy (which at furthest tenuous record goes back to about 300AD) is the low rate of child mortality all along the way, and many cases of nine kids surviving to adulthood, with very few of those sadly nameless waifs born and died in the same week. And only rarely the obvious wife lost in childbirth. I can think of only one case offhand of 3 wives, and very few of two. (One being a divorce.) Also, a great many ancestors, even in the days of yore, who lived to what we’d even now call a fine old age.

        Conversely I’ve poked randomly at other lineages, and encountered many cases of 9 nameless waifs and one or two that survived to reproduce, and multiple marriages when the previous wife was lost.

        I can only conclude that my family are descended from aliens.

        • Your family might be one of those that copes with a stillborn child by mourning in private, and not naming the kid; my mom’s mom lost several kids, fairly late along, and none of them are recorded.

          Contrast with folks who cope by naming the lost child, even if he died relatively early along.

          I’ve noticed a pattern in how they remember those who die in other methods– generally, those who wall off the pain will be understated if they do yearly memorials at all, while those who dive in and rip the pain apart will do more active memorials. My family tends to not even remember death-days, and when the death is fresh we’ll only talk about the person if we can’t avoid it*; a family friend literally did week, month and then quarterly public memorials of the death day, and several years on are still doing highly public memorials of the death-day.

          *varies by person and subject, good rule of thumb is that if we can’t talk without choking up, we don’t talk about it at all. Wakes and such private intimacies are obviously excepted.

          • In Portugal you can talk about them on Faithful Dead Day — Oct. 31st, around the bonfire with the chestnuts and the red wine.
            But I’ve noticed my family mostly talked of the long-lost. Ten years dead or so. And mostly told the funny stories.

          • Nope… the few listed infant deaths sometimes have names, sometimes not, but several hundred years of pretty much the same pattern, on both sides. (Frex, one of my ancestors came over on the Mayflower, and had 9 kids; all survived.) One side is all Norwegian, mainly farmers; the other is mixed British going back to Norman and Norse ancestors (the latter from the same area as the Norwegian side), with a lot of minor nobility in the mix. (And some not so minor, but find me a Norman who’s *not* related to Charlemagne.)

        • My family and Dan’s seem to have lost very few infants, also. HOWEVER one of my ancestral lineages had bizarre fertility. Only that explains the one child every ten years pattern. There was no effective contraception that would do that.
          And I suspect another the mother got wrecked for more kids after the first. That’s the size with the massive heads. I suspect great damage there.
          No deaths in child birth we can ferret.
          On Dan’s size, OTOH one of his ancestors married four sisters in succession as the elder died in childbirth, leaving an infant and the bereaved father could only trust the “aunt” to look after the littles.
          His youngest and last wife gave him seven kids. Dan is descended from her.
          At marriage, she was 11. Her groom was 40.
          Yeah. Life was HARD.

      • Funny. Ran into a guy this weekend who was a polio survivor. Apparently he wasn’t vaccinated and a kid next door came down with it. Isn’t cross infection wonderful?

      • When my mother was doing it, there was an average of three wives (serially, we are not LDS) per male ancestor, up until about the mid 19th century, IIRC.

        I know that a transposition in one date of birth had her following a completely unrelated line for several generations. (I think it was the second and third wives that had the same given name, so that did not suffice to clear up the confusion.)

        • Right two wives/husband was about de rigeur until late 19th century in my family tree. Often the second wife was herself a widow with a child/children. Having born one child follow on pregnancies were more likely to succeed. First time mom must have been a terrifying thing as it was an absolute crap shoot. These kind of complex blended family trees can really throw you for a loop doing genealogy especially if you get two spouses with the same (rare) first name of similar ages (and cousins with same family name to boot). In one case if someone didn’t have photos of the two different gravestones I would have never figured out there were 2 wives not 1 because the records from the 18th century are spare.

  7. I recently just barely restrained myself from a rant when a (left-leaning, alas) friend posted some hogwash article about how the medieval peasant had more vacation time than we do now. I finally put together a reasonably civil response that that kind of crap is apples to oranges comparison, because we have UNIMAGINABLE luxuries and free time compared to them, and we’re not dying young and crippled on account of constant backbreaking physical labor just to put basic food on the table.

    The response I got (from a different friend) was “Yeah, but the stress is killing us!”

    I began to compose a lengthy rant about how, at least where Americans are concerned, by and large we are CHOOSING to overwork ourselves and/or opting for higher-stress jobs, and it’s not like we haven’t got alternatives, then realized I would be wasting my time and energy and upping my own stress levels for no good reason and left them to their ignorant imaginings.

    (And these are folks who were in the SCA, and ostensibly are aware of the long-standing joke that the SCA is the medieval period, but only the fun, good bits.)

    But yeah. The nostalgia-for-the-distant-past thing just boggles me with the silliness. I mean, on one level I get it, I do–really it’s people longing for “simpler” things (and failing to realize that people’s individual lives have ALWAYS been complicated, it’s just different forms of complication). I mean, I’m pretty sure that the very real specter of starving to death come every winter, or the black death creeping up the road from the town that just went silent, or your overlord starting a border war with his neighbor over was pretty damn stressful, after all.

    Frankly, even I have joked about wanting to live off the grid–but I always add “but only if I have hot water, reliable electricity, and good internet access” to that wish.

    • some hogwash article about how the medieval peasant had more vacation time than we do now.

      I’ve seen one like this. Yes, if you add up every saint’s day that was celebrated and assume that every saint day was celebrated with play, you come up with more than the dozen federal holidays and two weeks’ PTO of the modern worker. Of course, the author doesn’t bother to add in the 52 Saturdays a year to the modern worker’s days off, nor the fact that some Medieval holy days were fast days where you worked anyway while eating nothing. (Nor is there any appreciation that not working meant risking the chance of not eating.) But yes, if you’re stupid enough to conflate “holy day” with “holiday” with “vacation,” you can claim peasants had more vacation.

      • Those happy peasants also did not enjoy eight-hour work days, with an hour for lunch and a couple fifteen minute mid-day breaks.

        There are reasons that wherever the offer is available the peasants abandon the fields and flock to those horrible back-breaking mind-numbing factory jobs and it ain’t the higher pay.

      • I think another factor is that the peasants had most of the winter “off” – i.e., not doing the heavy labor in the fields.

        The menfolk, perhaps, had more “free” time, other than doing all of the repairs and so on that were put off for planting, weeding, and harvesting – and the womenfolk didn’t have the stoop labor of the vegetable gardens. A farming family may slow down the pace in the cold weather – there is still plenty of work to be done every day.

        BUT – I’ll take working all winter through over the “vacation” of huddling around a peat fire and watching the stocks of root vegetables dwindling day by day.

        (Oh, and I just took a look at my time logs. My grandmother had a “washing machine” – i.e., it had a motor on it that agitated the clothes in the open galvanized tub, and it drove the wringer as well. She did laundry once a month, and it was pretty much an all day endeavor, from start to finish at least twelve hours. My logs? I run laundry once a week – and the total time is less than two hours a month. Okay, I don’t iron the bed sheets like Gram did, but still…)

        • I’ve used the agitator / wringer early washer, summer ’75. No car, 35 miles off I-5, neighbor house had one she let me use. I’d seen them before but never had to use one (seen them since too, at least I know what they are … many today, don’t).

          Put in clothing, fill with cold well water with hose, add some soap (FYI, not biodegradable …), turn on agitator, wait, drain water (onto gravel ground), add water again, agitate, drain, repeat the last three steps until soap was out of clothing. Next, manually pull out each water logged item and put through wringer on top, generally multiple times … Take over to line and hang it up to dry (and pray it didn’t rain). At that I wasn’t washing sheets. 3 pairs of jeans, 2 pairs of shorts, 9 pairs of socks, 7 shirts & tee shirts, and couple of towels (undies, etc, were hand washed and hung in the apartment). At that I was glad I wasn’t using a wash board & basin hauling water from the well, or beating clothing on rocks.

          BUT, let me be clear — NEVER AGAIN. Even laundromats are preferable, which I only use if we are on vacation. Otherwise mom & sister have homes close enough to use their laundry devices when ours fails (which it did, just a few weeks ago, long 10 days to get them replaced too).

          Would like to also point out, as near as my grandparents (either side) they didn’t actually always have “laundry soap” they used boiling hot water to wash clothing, using a paddle to “agitate” in a basin, wash board to scrub out more stubborn stains, dump out the muddy water. Even when some were lucky enough to afford the new fancy agitator/washer.

    • I wonder if that person will take the Thermal Challenge?
      For one year, they have to forgo any and every modern means of changing the temperature in their local environment.
      That means NO A/C, no electric fans, no modern central heating, no electric blankets. Just a wood fire in the fire place, and maybe coals in a bedwarming pan.

      • No, they will just get loud and obstinate in, say, May when their computer keeps overheating.

        • Heh. My computer puts OUT enough heat to do a tolerable job of heating my room. 😀
          (But then, I live in Wyoming. “Hot” doesn’t really happen here. Much.)

          • The son has a fairly small room, and a full-up gaming system. He doesn’t need heat at all during the winter here.

            On the other hand, he has no idea of what “cold” is. Complains every time (about a half dozen) he has to scrape ice off of his windshield in the morning. I just laugh at him, and imagine him trying to find his white Dodge Neon around the middle of January in rural New Hampshire. There were at least a couple of times that I dug out most of somebody else’s full size truck in the morning…

            • I tell you what, I am eager for the day that I finish working on my house (the plumbing has to all be replaced, as well as a few other things) and have a proper garage again. I *hate* digging my vehicle out of the snow here in Wyoming. When one leaves at 530am for work (which is an hour away), that is the LAST thing I want to do in -20 temperatures 😀

              And yeah, my sort-of-gaming rig (last time I rebuilt it was with “better gaming” in mind) heats my current rather small bedroom very nicely. Makes it miserable in warmer weather, though. (And opening the windows occurs, but then we get that other lovely feature of Wyoming: dust EVERYWHERE.)

      • Ooooh, that sounds marvelous! And I watched a number of those (Fill in the era) House shows on PBS. Came to the conclusion that the only way I would ever consent to appear in one of those (and I wouldn’t since the camera hates me anyway) would be a 1920ies non-rural version with a house which features electricity and indoor plumbing.
        I’ve done the research! (And went camping as a Girl Scout!) Often enough to know that living by candlelight and cooking by fire is a non-starter!

        • Of course, candles were expensive (and that’s fat that could be going into your cooking), and it’s probable most folks just shut down after twilight.

        • For fun? Short time. Fine. To live that way, 24/7/365/for-life? No. Just no.

          Even your “off the grid” homesteaders, are determined to have modern amenities, like: not just running water, but running cold/hot water, for regular bathing, cleaning clothing, etc.; electric power, for refrigerators, freezers, power tools, etc., regardless how they get it; Saws, both chain and wood working type. And the list goes on.

          “Off the Grid” = does want to pay someone else for power &/or water, or it is too expensive to have the convenience brought in.

      • *snicker* I lived that for sixteen years, until we got an oil burning furnace and installed it. You see your breathe when you wake up. And when you sleep. There were good reasons for those heavy quilts. And the layers. The next to last thing you wanted was sweat. Sweat froze, and then you were sunk, had to get dry at the fire if you could and hope you didn’t catch cold. The you had to work sick anyway, and nobody wanted that.

        • The house my grandfather built in Central Florida after WWII had neither air conditioning or any real heating.
          And being in Florida, it was set up to stay cool, which meant lots of louvered windows and tile floors, so it was bloody cold in the winter.

          • I imagine so. Southern Appalachia gets humid hot, but not Texas hot (or Arizona, yet). It gets cold, but the snow insulates a bit.

            Used to, we’d not see dirt from December to March. Less so, now. The Interstate project changed local climate, so storms don’t hit the mountain wall and stew until they can climb over like they used to. They slide north, dropping less snow on the way.

            I remember my grandma’s tile floor, in winter. My grandpa built the house half underground, roof about level with the dirt on the upper side. You could’ve kept meat froze on those tiles!

        • Sweating from fevers was a killer. Kick the fever, then too weak, and run the risk of hypothermia.

      • Nope, no wood-burning stove either; that causes CO2 emissions (and yes, the lefties plans to ban fossil fuels would make swath’s of Alaska uninhabitable as wood burning is the only viable heating fuel for many. Meanwhile the Chinese keep laughing at us and building coal plants as they pursue global hegemony.

    • I wonder if that article discussed where those medieval peasants went on their vacations? Or the farm critters living in the house through the winters in most cold climes?

      As for the stress killing us – yeah, if you’re a wuss. Here’s betting the author of such articles never tried to cut a winter’s worth of wood with a chainsaw, much less an ax. There’s nothing better for working of stress than chopping wood for the morning’s cooking.

      • Going by the mystery series I read (which the author died before she finished, I’m so bummed)…the one that lived in the city went to visit his relatives in the country and helped THEM out with the harvest. Okay, he was a tradesman, not a peasant if by peasant you mean “serf”, and neither was his family, they were fairly prosperous farmers. But although it was sort-of-a-holiday (especially for his two small children) it was nevertheless WORK. A lot of it–and a good deal more physical than his regular job (he was a bookseller/maker). But it was important, because helping them contributed to his own food stores for the winter.

        That’s something idiots today writing articles like that also didn’t consider. Most of the freaking NOBLES helped out on the harvest, at least in some manner or fashion (up to and including stripping off and helping with the reaping, especially, as I understand it, if they were ‘smaller’ in terms of land/people working the land.) Because they, too, had to be concerned about whether or not they’d have enough food for their household over the winter. And they couldn’t go take it from their peasantry unless they were evil or stupid–because if their farmers starved to death over the winter, there would be no one to produce food for the landowner next year.

        I swear that the lack of visible connectivity in our systems today–as opposed to the medieval world–also contributes to the idiots. These are people for whom food is always magically available in the grocery store, and they don’t have to consider where it comes from or who produces it.

        Where I live, it’s a bit more visible, because I live in what’s known as a ‘food desert’–in that our chain of supply pretty much comes all from out of state, and from only a few sources. So when the winter storms shut down the interstate (which happens a lot, because idiot that built it ignored the locals when they said “Don’t build that there, the prevailing winds will drive the storms right down that corridor”) the grocery store shelves can get a bit bare. But still not completely bare–not since the Big One of 1947 when they had to fly food in. (And which was pre-interstate anyway.) Just, y’know, not as much variety available. And it’s always very obvious even in summertime when the delivery truck got delayed in some way, because the shelves get similarly sparse. If we ever DO get another Big One that shuts things down for more than about a week, then we might have problems. (Or, rather, those folks around here who should know better but still only have a few days’ supply of food or less on hand will have problems.)

        • Wait, the author DIED?
          D*mn it.

        • You would think somebody might have read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s The Long Winter, about the settlers moving to South Dakota only to discover that the plan to resupply them by train failed to take into account winter storms that would pile the tracks six, seven, eight feet deep with hard-packed snow. Nobody recalling that tale would ever blithely assume roads remain open.

          Around here (central NC) just the hint of snow induces panic-buying of bread, eggs and milk at the groceries.

  8. What do you mean, the Middle Ages weren’t filthy? We know they were:

    “E must be a king!”
    “Ow d’yer know that?”
    “E ‘asn’t got shit all over ‘im.”

    Next, you’ll try to claim ‘The Holy Grail’ wasn’t a documentary…

    • I spend a lot of time chuckling over otherwise-quite-well-researched medieval novels (usually romance, but since one of the authors has branched over to mystery, she does a bit of it there, too) that take time out to assure the reader how often the main characters bathe. I let it pass there, because in the case of romance novels in particular, I suspect most of the modern readers would balk at the idea of these lovely idealized people having sex and neither have them has had much of a proper bath in weeks/months. And since the author is not trying to win that (hilarious) internet award for “most repellent sex scenes” they just assure us all that THESE people of course bathe on the regular.

      (I mean, for cryin’ out loud, the year and a half I spent in Eastern Europe in 2001 was an education in just HOW MUCH Americans are oddballs in the realm of “bathe daily or near-daily” and “make constant use of deodorants.” I mean, we *really* noticed when a man smelled like soap and cologne rather than undisguised armpit. And that’s not to say (most) of those folks were particularly dirty–most of them weren’t. They just weren’t as obsessive about the bathing thing as us Americans. Which, given the various munincipalities tendencies to shut off the hot water (or all the water) with no warning and at random intervals, is understandable. Didn’t stop me from figuring out how to bathe daily, though, because I’m a greaseball if I don’t.)

      • take time out to assure the reader how often the main characters bathe. I let it pass there, because in the case of romance novels in particular, I suspect most of the modern readers would balk at the idea of these lovely idealized people having sex and neither have them has had much of a proper bath in weeks/months.

        I would think that just not mentioning it would be equally effective. I would think that readers are naturally going to picture well-groomed, bathed people in your sex scenes, regardless of how anachronistic that might be. At least, unless you went out of your way to include things like, “He kissed her oily, matted, dung-scented tresses,” or “in her passion, she raked her fingers across his back and ended up with a scum made of the accumulated weeks worth of sweat and grim under her nails.”

        • I’m really glad I wasn’t drinking anything when I read that.

          • I grew up on the Ohio river and many of my most vivid childhood memories are of it in flood. Clean water is taken far too much for granted these days.

            I apologise if the following is repetitive – this will be my third fourth attempt to get WP to accept it as a posted comment:

            Sigh. Pop “canadian water more lead than flint” into a search engine.

            You will receive a large number of responses (Yahoo offered 45 million, but what do they know?) among them:

            [To Be – WP Willing and the Creek Don’t Rise – Continued]

            • Part II:

              Investigation: Lead in Some Canadian Water Worse Than Flint

              An investigation by a consortium of news organizations, including The Associated Press, finds some Canadians are being exposed to dangerous levels of lead in their drinking water, in some cities at higher levels than Flint, Michigan
              MONTREAL (AP) — Hundreds of thousands of Canadians have been unwittingly exposed to high levels of lead in their drinking water, with contamination in several cities consistently higher than they ever were in Flint, Michigan, according to an investigation that tested drinking water in hundreds of homes and reviewed thousands more previously undisclosed results.

              Residents in some homes in Montreal, a cosmopolitan city an hour north of the U.S.-Canada border, and Regina, in the flat western prairies, are among those drinking and cooking with tap water with lead levels that exceed Canada’s federal guidelines. The investigation found some schools and day care centers had lead levels so high that researchers noted it could impact children’s health. Exacerbating the problem, many water providers aren’t testing at all.

              It wasn’t the Canadian government that exposed the scope of this public health concern. …

              • Part III – Conclusion:

                The degree to which we take clean potable water for granted is remarkable. We are largely ignorant of overlook the vast array of microbes, parasites and toxic contaminants that naturally occur in that precious resource. Most of us have NO EFFING IDEA what goes on in water treatment facilities to make that feral water tame and able to remain so en route to our taps.

                And because we are ignorant we are prey to myths about life before such readily accessible potable water.

                Myths that may yet kill us all. There are reasons that our ancestors drank so much alcohol, reasons going beyond the pleasures of insobriety. Alcohol tended to be the only available analgesic (for the visiting team: that’s a fancy word meaning pain-killer) and it also killed a lot of things in the drinking water that would, given entry, kill you. No, they didn’t know about microbes but they were entirely able to make the connection between safe and unsafe to drink.

              • Part III – Conclusion:

                [WTFWP? This is what you can’t swallow?]

                The degree to which we take clean potable water for granted is remarkable. We are largely ignorant of overlook the vast array of microbes, parasites and toxic contaminants that naturally occur in that precious resource. Most of us have NO EFFING IDEA what goes on in water treatment facilities to make that feral water tame and able to remain so en route to our taps.

                And because we are ignorant we are prey to myths about life before such readily accessible potable water.

                Myths that may yet kill us all. There are reasons that our ancestors drank so much alcohol, reasons going beyond the pleasures of insobriety. Alcohol tended to be the only available analgesic (for the visiting team: that’s a fancy word meaning pain-killer) and it also killed a lot of things in the drinking water that would, given entry, kill you. No, they didn’t know about microbes but they were entirely able to make the connection between safe and unsafe to drink.

              • Part III:

                [WTFWP? This is what you can’t swallow?]

                The degree to which we take clean potable water for granted is remarkable. We are largely ignorant of overlook the vast array of microbes, parasites and toxic contaminants that naturally occur in that precious resource. Most of us have NO EFFING IDEA what goes on in water treatment facilities to make that feral water tame and able to remain so en route to our taps.

              • Part III:
                The degree to which we take clean potable water for granted is remarkable. We are largely ignorant of overlook the vast array of microbes, parasites and toxic contaminants that naturally occur in that precious resource. Most of us have NO EFFING IDEA what goes on in water treatment facilities to make that feral water tame and able to remain so en route to our taps.

              • WPDE!

                Part III:
                The degree to which we take clean potable water for granted is remarkable. We are largely ignorant of overlook the vast array of microbes, parasites and toxic contaminants that naturally occur in that precious resource. Most of us have NO EFFING IDEA what goes on in water treatment facilities to make that feral water tame and able to remain so en route to our taps.

                And because we are ignorant we are prey to myths about life before such readily accessible potable water.

                Myths that may yet kill us all. There are reasons that our ancestors drank so much alcohol, reasons going beyond the pleasures of insobriety. Alcohol tended to be the only available analgesic (for the visiting team: that’s a fancy word meaning pain-killer) and it also killed a lot of things in the drinking water that would, given entry, kill you. No, they didn’t know about microbes but they were entirely able to make the connection between safe and unsafe to drink.

              • Damn you, WP, damn you to the deepest circles of Hell! This is unreasonable beyond credibility!

                WPDE!

                Part III:
                The degree to which we take clean potable water for granted is remarkable. We are largely ignorant of overlook the vast array of microbes, parasites and toxic contaminants that naturally occur in that precious resource. Most of us have NO EFFING IDEA what goes on in water treatment facilities to make that feral water tame and able to remain so en route to our taps.

                And because we are ignorant we are prey to myths about life before such readily accessible potable water.

                Myths that may yet kill us all. There are reasons that our ancestors drank so much alcohol, reasons going beyond the pleasures of insobriety. Alcohol tended to be the only available analgesic (for the visiting team: that’s a fancy word meaning pain-killer) and it also killed a lot of things in the drinking water that would, given entry, kill you. No, they didn’t know about microbes but they were entirely able to make the connection between safe and unsafe to drink.

              • Is it the browser, WP? Is that why you torment me so? How many times must you deny so temperate a comment?

                Part III:
                The degree to which we take clean potable water for granted is remarkable. We are largely ignorant of overlook the vast array of microbes, parasites and toxic contaminants that naturally occur in that precious resource. Most of us have NO EFFING IDEA what goes on in water treatment facilities to make that feral water tame and able to remain so en route to our taps.

                And because we are ignorant we are prey to myths about life before such readily accessible potable water.

                Myths that may yet kill us all. There are reasons that our ancestors drank so much alcohol, reasons going beyond the pleasures of insobriety. Alcohol tended to be the only available analgesic (for the visiting team: that’s a fancy word meaning pain-killer) and it also killed a lot of things in the drinking water that would, given entry, kill you. No, they didn’t know about microbes but they were entirely able to make the connection between safe and unsafe to drink.

              • Still? STILL you deny me? Fie, fie upon thee and all thy programmers!

                Part III:
                The degree to which we take clean potable water for granted is remarkable. We are largely ignorant of overlook the vast array of microbes, parasites and toxic contaminants that naturally occur in that precious resource. Most of us have NO EFFING IDEA what goes on in water treatment facilities to make that feral water tame and able to remain so en route to our taps.

                And because we are ignorant we are prey to myths about life before such readily accessible potable water.

                Myths that may yet kill us all. There are reasons that our ancestors drank so much alcohol, reasons going beyond the pleasures of insobriety. Alcohol tended to be the only available analgesic (for the visiting team: that’s a fancy word meaning pain-killer) and it also killed a lot of things in the drinking water that would, given entry, kill you. No, they didn’t know about microbes but they were entirely able to make the connection between safe and unsafe to drink.

              • Sigh. In small portions then …
                Part III:
                The degree to which we take clean potable water for granted is remarkable. We are largely ignorant of overlook the vast array of microbes, parasites and toxic contaminants that naturally occur in that precious resource. Most of us have NO EFFING IDEA what goes on in water treatment facilities to make that feral water tame and able to remain so en route to our taps.
                And because we are ignorant we are prey to myths about life before such readily accessible potable water.

                Myths that may yet kill us all. There are reasons that our ancestors drank so much alcohol, reasons going beyond the pleasures of insobriety. Alcohol tended to be the only available analgesic (for the visiting team: that’s a fancy word meaning pain-killer) and it also killed a lot of things in the drinking water that would, given entry, kill you. No, they didn’t know about microbes but they were entirely able to make the connection between safe and unsafe to drink.

              • WP apparently unwilling to accept additional comment from me, I abandon efforts to add the witty, insightful and enlightening conclusion to my comment.

                Three lousy paragraphs, WP, just three more paragraphs!

                • Oh, NOW you’re willing to append? NOW you will accept more? We shall see, WP, we shall see.

                  Part III – The Conclusion:
                  The degree to which we take clean potable water for granted is remarkable. We are largely ignorant of overlook the vast array of microbes, parasites and toxic contaminants that naturally occur in that precious resource. Most of us have NO EFFING IDEA what goes on in water treatment facilities to make that feral water tame and able to remain so en route to our taps.

                  And because we are ignorant we are prey to myths about life before such readily accessible potable water.

                  Myths that may yet kill us all. There are reasons that our ancestors drank so much alcohol, reasons going beyond the pleasures of insobriety. Alcohol tended to be the only available analgesic (for the visiting team: that’s a fancy word meaning pain-killer) and it also killed a lot of things in the drinking water that would, given entry, kill you. No, they didn’t know about microbes but they were entirely able to make the connection between safe and unsafe to drink.

                  • Poor RES. Carried off before his time by a wild apostrophe.

                    • The WP issue seems to be related to the comment delay issue we’ve had, in that (at times), longer posts (unknown as to size) are delayed even longer than short posts.

                      In short,WP found a new day to trigger WPDE.

                    • I have the image of a sword-wielding wallaby in grim battle with a nine-headed hydra (one head for each letter).

                    • Londo Mollari:
                      But this…this, this, this is like… being nibbled to death by, uh…Pah! What are those Earth creatures called? Feathers, long bill, webbed feet…go “quack”.
                      Vir Cotto:
                      Cats.
                      Londo:
                      Cats! I’m being nibbled to death by cats.

                      Although my black cat does come by and taste me to make sure I’m getting up to feed he and his sibling,

                  • “WordPress loves me
                    this I know
                    for my browser
                    tells me so…”

                  • If you want real insanity the New Jersey legislature is pushing a state Constitutional Amendment that would give everyone a constitutional right to a “clean and healthy environment” with such broad language, absolutely nothing will ever be able to be built or done again without lawsuits claiming its unconstitutional. Even worse, the little clear language they have includes a constitutional right to PURE water; not clean water, not potable water, PURE water. Which without distillation is essentially impossible and does not exist. Since the Democrats have close to California style dominance in the legislature, if their leadership pushes it, it will end up on the ballot and it will likely be approved.

                    • I have read that a major originator of environmental compliance suits are construction unions negotiating with contractors.

                      It is clear that such legislation as Jersey anticipates should prve of great benefit to the general public … if by “general public” you mean the tort bar.

                  • I’m sure you could form a raiding party to do a number on WP, that number being 245987852553655254558775 , which is secretly encoded…

                  • I got the same issue a few days ago; long posts got really long delays before showing up, while letting shorter posts appear (fairly) quickly.

                    I think the hamsters are rolling out a new “feature”.

              • Oh, NOW you’re willing to append? NOW you will accept more? We shall see, WP, we shall see.

                Part III – The Conclusion:
                The degree to which we take clean potable water for granted is remarkable. We are largely ignorant of overlook the vast array of microbes, parasites and toxic contaminants that naturally occur in that precious resource.

              • Part III – The Conclusion:
                Because we are ignorant of the processing involved in treating water to ensure it reaches our taps in potable shape, we are prey to myths about life before such readily accessible potable water.

                Myths that may yet kill us all. There are reasons that our ancestors drank so much alcohol, reasons going beyond the pleasures of insobriety. Alcohol tended to be the only available analgesic (for the visiting team: that’s a fancy word meaning pain-killer) and it also killed a lot of things in the drinking water that would, given entry, kill you. No, they didn’t know about microbes but they were entirely able to make the connection between safe and unsafe to drink.

                • WTF, WP? Was <I<that so damned hard to swallow? Even if I did have to combine the first two paragraphs into a single summatory statement

                  • Oh, Mr. Wallaby, I sympathize with your posting woes. I’m having them today, so the odds of you reading this are small.

                    But IF it goes through, I laughed so hard at your imprecations! Thanks.

                    • It is necessary to make minor alterations in re-posted text in order to avoid WP chastisement for having “already posted that comment” even when one has manifestly NOT done so, else there would be no reason for repeating it.

                      Being innately somewhat OCD the challenge to ascertain the wherefore of WP’s refusal to accept a comment creates an irresistible impulse to persist until successful, even though fully aware that eventually WP is likely to suddenly erupt in multiple iterations of the comment.

                      Thus it us incumbent on the poster to reiterate the comments in such ways as to offer some small number of chuckles for those forced to scroll through them. Glad am I that the efforts at humour amused at least a few.

                      WPDE will likely be imprinted on my tombstone, although I do not anticipate being able to confirm that.

                • *shudder*
                  One of the places that I first parted ways, HARD, with the Libertarians– when folks started talking about yanking all the sanitation related safeties out, but also wanted to have the freedom of movement we have.

                  Oh, hell no.

                  Stuff like the “no private orchard apples allowed” bans are what make it possible to allow free movement, because there is no way an individual can possibly repay the cost of introducing a disease/pest that wipes out half the apple trees in an area.

                  • That is one of the most murderously stupid things I’ve seen since Socialism hasn’t been tried. I’ve lived with well water before, and grew up with it. And careful tending of irrigated fields, sumps, etc. Before I took up plumbing. There are good and Godly reasons to protect things like, oh, the WATER SUPPLY and the food supply. Every-damn-body with a lick of sense wants CLEAN WATER more than they want some nebulous “freedom of movement.”

                    Similar reasons for the FDA and such watching food supply. These are things you *don’t mess with* because you will effing die horribly in many, many awful ways if you get it wrong enough. And once it starts going wrong, it can take herculean efforts to turn it around and make it right again.

                    If someone wants the freedom, so long as they are *only* doing it to themselves, I have no problem. But only themselves. The rest of us aren’t that damned stupid.

              • That seems to be the latest scare going around Canada. A friend’s dad (somewhat prone to going off the deep end) is in a panic over OMG Lead in Edmonton’s Water. To which I replied:

                ===
                The Canadian gov’t allowed level, 5ppb, is chemical nonsense (probably determined by “what’s the lowest level we can detect? set it there.”) While there is technically NO safe level for lead exposure — the background level of lead in the undisturbed environment is much higher than that. Here’s a Handy Chart for soil levels, probably a reasonable guide to what can be expected in associated runoff. Note that these are PPM, not PPB.

                https://extension.psu.edu/lead-in-residential-soils-sources-testing-and-reducing-exposure

                Had to laugh at their treatment… phosphate fertilizer, widely used all over the ag world, is what envirowhacks scream about causing algae bloom and other natural phenomena. Getting it banned is why we have shitty laundry detergent.
                ===

                • You can still get tri-sodium phosphate at most hardware stores. Adding a little to a load of laundry helps a lot with that dingy look that our ‘environmentally safe’ wonder detergents never seem to get rid of.
                  ———————————
                  Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!!

                • Had to laugh at their treatment… phosphate fertilizer, widely used all over the ag world, is what envirowhacks scream about causing algae bloom and other natural phenomena. Getting it banned is why we have shitty laundry detergent.

                  Back when I lived in Spokane, they banned it in Washington.

                  Then a guy did a study to see if it caused the theorized bloom.

                  It didn’t.

                  …he lost his funding.

            • Sigh. In small portions then …
              Part III:
              The degree to which we take clean potable water for granted is remarkable. We are largely ignorant of overlook the vast array of microbes, parasites and toxic contaminants that naturally occur in that precious resource. Most of us have NO EFFING IDEA what goes on in water treatment facilities to make that feral water tame and able to remain so en route to our taps.

            • There was some Canadian singer-comedian who recorded some stuff in the Carter years (“Let’s Have A Nice, Clean Holocaust, with a Nice, Clean Neutron Bomb”) and I have NO IDEA who it is. I was loaned a cassette that happened to have some of his stuff on it, but the fellow who loaned it to me was not forthcoming with any details (and has been dead a few years now, so I can’t ask him again…) There was one tune about various pollutants in places (asbestos in the air in one, that I recall). Don’t recall lead being mentioned, but “You can catch the limit, any kind you please. With a little luck, you might even catch Minimata disease!”

        • I grew up on the Ohio river and many of my most vivid childhood memories are of it in flood. Clean water is taken far too much for granted these days.

          I apologise if the following is repetitive – this will be my third attempt to get WP to accept it as a posted comment:

          Sigh. Pop “canadian water more lead than flint” into a search engine.

          You will receive a large number of responses (Yahoo offered 45 million, but what do they know?) among them:

          Investigation: Lead in Some Canadian Water Worse Than Flint

          An investigation by a consortium of news organizations, including The Associated Press, finds some Canadians are being exposed to dangerous levels of lead in their drinking water, in some cities at higher levels than Flint, Michigan
          MONTREAL (AP) — Hundreds of thousands of Canadians have been unwittingly exposed to high levels of lead in their drinking water, with contamination in several cities consistently higher than they ever were in Flint, Michigan, according to an investigation that tested drinking water in hundreds of homes and reviewed thousands more previously undisclosed results.

          Residents in some homes in Montreal, a cosmopolitan city an hour north of the U.S.-Canada border, and Regina, in the flat western prairies, are among those drinking and cooking with tap water with lead levels that exceed Canada’s federal guidelines. The investigation found some schools and day care centers had lead levels so high that researchers noted it could impact children’s health. Exacerbating the problem, many water providers aren’t testing at all.

          It wasn’t the Canadian government that exposed the scope of this public health concern.

          [END EXCERPT]

          The degree to which we take clean potable water for granted is remarkable. We are largely ignorant of overlook the vast array of microbes, parasites and toxic contaminants that naturally occur in that precious resource. Most of us have NO EFFING IDEA what goes on in water treatment facilities to make that feral water tame and able to remain so en route to our taps.

          And because we are ignorant we are prey to myths about life before such readily accessible potable water.

          Myths that may yet kill us all. There are reasons that our ancestors drank so much alcohol, reasons going beyond the pleasures of insobriety. Alcohol tended to be the only available analgesic (for the visiting team: that’s a fancy word meaning pain-killer) and it also killed a lot of things in the drinking water that would, given entry, kill you. No, they didn’t know about microbes but they were entirely able to make the connection between safe and unsafe to drink.

        • I would find that absolutely hilarious to read, to be honest.

          • *chuckle* I used to live near the Appalachian trail. Hikers on multi-day stretches would stop by our little speck of nothing and take a day to shower, restock provisions, and so on.

            The new local B&B at the time used the entire profit of *one* season to soundproof the rooms. The next two seasons made ten times the first. *waggles eyebrows*

            • ALL the long distance trails. PCT, Appalachian, Rocky Mountain, etc., have several places along the trail to do this. Top of the Santiam Pass, Hwy 126, HooDoo, keeps a mini-store, pay for shower facility, laundry mat, open 24/7 during hike through season. They don’t have it for the local hikers or campers, although some (how I know about it) use it. In *2003 it was $5.00 of quarters feeding in to keep the water flowing. I think each of the kids, okay the boys, were only $2 or $3 each, but us gals spent that much washing our hair (long hair has to be rinsed). They made $100 just in showers & stuff off our group alone.

              * 10-day 80 mile backpack that ended with “Family Camp” and yearly awards, that year. We got off the trail, met up, took off for the showers (which we did not know until then were going to be there … thank god).

        • No one wants period accurate hygiene in their fiction. No one.

          • Who wants hygiene at all?

            Anyway, the real advantage of writing is that you get it filtered through the point of view of people to whom it was normal.

            • Hygiene in fiction that is. That’s what scene cuts are for. (Or changes in POV if you want to do something whacky like I tried in Queen Shulamith’s Ball.)

              • Jim unbuttoned his trousers, and untied his stained undergarment. Relaxing slightly, he urinated into the hole that doubled as a seat in the outhouse. He could hear the piss hitting the pile of feces in the bottom; all the while thanking his lucky stars that he wasn’t going to be the person who had to dig the night soil out and haul it to the field for spreading around the crops.
                The buzzing of the wasps tending their nests on the ceiling didn’t bother him nearly as much as the buzzing of flies that tied to land on every piece of exposed skin. At least he could tolerate the smell, if only by leaving the door open to let in some fresh air.

            • Mmm. Hard (or mil) SF, it tends to be mentioned at least tangentially. As in: “The Navy obviously got these nano-wipes from the lowest bidder; they stop working after just two or three uses.”

              (Odd. “Nano-wipes,” I would think, would trigger the spell checker. Nope, Firefox apparently has it as a default real word.)

          • Now, if you could put the “fragrance” in the novel’s pages…

      • Not just Eastern Europe. The other university students thought I was crazy for showering just because I was hot and sweaty. Then I learned about the hot water tax…

        • Okay, now a hot water tax is just freakin’ evil. And would probably result in armed rebellion here in the states, lol.

          And sure, I’ve heard the lectures from europeans about how “Americans shower too much and that’s why you all have dry skin/acne problems” and maaaaaaybe, maybe there’s a little truth to that, but. BUT. I would rather spend money on the lotion for my skin than put up with what my hair turns into if it goes more than 24 hours without being washed.

          My mother has been heard to say that we were all so healthy–despite one three-months-early preemie (me) and one who had two open heart surgeries before he was five (next brother down)–in part because we got boiled daily. 😀

          (Though to be fair, I was an abnormally healthy preemie. Came out screaming, and then didn’t stop until they fed me.)

  9. Thanks for writing this Sarah. Another great one. I look forward to them.

  10. “What if I told you?”

    How do you know that?

    • There’s an annoying tendency on the Left (mostly) for people to not care how you know it. Example, Lefties ignoring the Black Death when they talk about idyllic village life in the 1300s. Which means they also have to ignore the fleas that carried it, and the rats the fleas lived on, and so forth.

      But if you remind them that half of Europe died in the mid 1300s due to bad housekeeping/sanitation, you’re a Nazi.

      I recall that reality TV show 1900 house where a family of modern Brits lived in a rather nice Victorian house using 19th Century technology. The realities of making the place work, even at a very high middle-class income level for the time (they had gas!) clashed rather strongly with their Modern sensibilities. As in, if you want chicken for dinner, you have to first catch a chicken. And then chop off the head, feather it, etc.

      • Carrington Dixon

        You might look at The Egg and I — book or movie. 19C style life could be quite a culture shock oven in the early 20C.

        • I am sure you meant to type ‘even’ but considering the results of heat-shock, ‘oven’ works.

          (And also: *grump* that PYREX is no more, just mere pyrex. I want my borosilicate, dagnabbit! Soda lime? Well, that was a big mess in the oven – and a lost meal. Soda lime is for cheap windows. Cooking demands borosilicate if glassware is involved. Even ox know that!)

          • Wait, what? no more PYREX??

            Good thing I’ve had a habit of nabbing loose specimens wherever I see ’em… I have more original PYREX than I can break in a lifetime, including a complete set still in the retail box. (Some years ago Costco got in some new old stock — and I mean old, from back when they had real rims on everything … and an entire pallet disappeared in literally minutes. Snagged one, thought better of it and went back for another, already gone.)

            I don’t oven ’em, but I microwave in ’em every day.

          • Go to Amazon and look up “borosilicate cookware.” It exists; it’s just not Pyrex. Which makes it cheaper, too.

      • > you’re a Nazi

        I’ve been called a Nazi so many times in the last few years that, for some reason, their bleating is starting to remind me of the “Springtime for Hitler” skit in “The Producers.”

        (the real one; I’ve never seen the remake and don’t intend to)

      • Shame on you bringing up things that modern medicine prevents. We’re supposed to all want to live in a hovel while our good progressive overlords live in Elysium.

      • Right 1900 House (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_1900_House). My daughters (then nearly teens when PBS got it) were fixated on it as it reminded them vaguely of their beloved of Mary Poppins and the Little House series. One thing I remember is there were many tasks that real 1900’s children would have participated in (e.g. laundry) that the children were not allowed any where near do to safety issues particularly around boilers and boiling water.

  11. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    Strangely, I keep thinking of Maxwell Smart and his “would you believe” line. 😆

  12. Most of these myths are arrant nonsense. Some are arrant nonsense on stilts with a dash of oikophobia thrown in.

    They aren’t myths.

    They are sales pitches. They are trying to sell us the idea that freedom and modernism made our lives worse so they can get us to do voluntarily what Pol Pot did by force.

    Of course, they won’t go back to the land with us. No, they will be the new nobles. Because they also “know” the lords of the manor did no useful work, but living in the lap of luxury on the backs of others.

    If they get what they want, I’m not sure which group of the ‘elite’ I will have pity for, the ones sent to the land with the rest of us despite being good little ‘nobles’ or the ones who find out what nobles did to make them worth supporting, which was in no small part being the controlled violence against the uncontrolled, and find they are not cut out for it by death or dismemberment.

    Probably neither. Those sent to the land will, in my mind, get off easy while those slaughtered by the uncontrolled violence they unleash or, if they survive long enough, by competent controlled violence, will have gotten what they deserve.

    • They aren’t myths.

      They are sales pitches.

      THIS! *I* am a Myth(ical). What they spew from the mouth, I produce (hopefully) only from the aft end of the alimentary canal.

      They see themselves Noble, huh? Well, then let them breathe nought but Noble gasses. I suggest Argon, but Radon would do in a pinch. Xenon would be too kind – and fraternizes alarmingly, for a supposed “noble.”

    • Is anyone really buying it, though? The peasants in Deplorable Flyover country are still buying the largest McMansions they can talk the banks into financing, and parking SUV’s in the driveway (the garage is full of stuff)- despite all of St. Greta’s scolding and whining.

      • Odd, it is selling to college students. Of course, they are buying it thinking they will be nobles. Since they buy it and they “know” the rest of us rubes aren’t as smart as them they are sure we are buying it.

        • Which is nothing really new- my parents generation tried it back in the late 60’s- and eventually came down from the drugs, took a shower, got a job, and voted for Regan.
          There’s nothing so stupid that a college student won’t believe it. I

    • I get this sneaking suspicion that what the Democrats really want to bring back is the droit du seigneur and the nobility’s rights to all those peasant wenches. Whatever else the rest of us have to give up is just too bad.

      Don’t even get me started on ‘organic farming’. I used to live on a farm. I know what bullshit smells like.
      ———————————
      Everything the Democrats do makes perfect sense once you realize that they have given up on getting people to want to vote for them, and are putting all their efforts into making people afraid to vote against them.

      • Well, droit du seigneur is mostly a myth.
        As for fear, they’re forgetting the part about actually having the people to credibly back that up. The soi boi Che wannabes in the big city People’s Republic aren’t enough, and they really don’t have enough people to go against the people should the time come when the people have had enough.

        • If they can cause enough trouble for your employer to get you fired, that’s pretty fucking scary.

          • Depends on the employer.
            If you are working for a small business where your boss has “Trump” stickers plastered all over his truck, and he sub contracts for people who post photos of themselves posing with the man himself, then you probably aren’t too worried about attentions from some keyboard commando.
            Heck, considering what usually happens when the cancel culture goes after non-conformist, they probably hope & pray that the wokesters would do them the favor of putting them on the radar. Lines. Around. The. Block!

            And if you are working for some massive megacorp, probably better to go off on your own now. The company willing to fire you for wrongthink is very likely to be rolling left, going broke, and laying you off anyway.

            • It doesn’t even have to be going downhill: There are very large companies that have a rule along the lines of “You must annually lay off the bottom 10% of your group’s review ranking distribution” so even if you have a team of all-stars, you gotta zap someone.

              The temptation to rate wrongthink as a “not a team player” review downcheck is absolutely a thing that can cause participation in the outplacement training benefit.

      • Bovine digestive end product smells a heck of a lot better that that of people or hogs; at least IMHO.

        • Actually, I mean that the whole idea of ‘organic farming’ in the modern US is bullshit, but I can see how that might not be clear.

          The objective of modern industrial farming is to get the most food from each acre of land, and we’re doing wonders. Back in the 1970’s my grandpa was working towards the almost-attainable goal of 100 bushels of corn per acre. These days, my uncle is closing in on 200 bushels per acre.

          Without that eeeeevil genetically modified hybrid corn, intensive fertilization, chemical bug and weed killers, and heavy farm machinery, it wouldn’t be possible. ‘Organic farming’ would get you maybe 50 bushels per acre. Put another way, it would take 4 acres to grow the same amount of corn.

          We are already farming the best agricultural land. If we substantially reduced crop yields, we would have to either farm a lot more land, most of which is not very good for farming, or decide which third of the US population to feed. Personally, I wouldn’t pick the dumbshits that forced such a choice on us.
          ———————————
          If we’re not supposed to eat animals, why are they made out of meat?

          • The hilarious part is their calling it genetically modified hybrid corn. Which ignores the fact that maize is a hybrid in the first place. The only real question is whether native Americans caused the hybridization, or did they accidentally come upon it after it occurred naturally?

      • Umm I fear many of the democrats have no interest in wenches per se

  13. Sigh. Pop “canadian water more lead than flint” into a search engine.

    You will receive a large number of responses (Yahoo offered 45 million, but what do they know?) among them:

    Investigation: Lead in Some Canadian Water Worse Than Flint

    An investigation by a consortium of news organizations, including The Associated Press, finds some Canadians are being exposed to dangerous levels of lead in their drinking water, in some cities at higher levels than Flint, Michigan
    MONTREAL (AP) — Hundreds of thousands of Canadians have been unwittingly exposed to high levels of lead in their drinking water, with contamination in several cities consistently higher than they ever were in Flint, Michigan, according to an investigation that tested drinking water in hundreds of homes and reviewed thousands more previously undisclosed results.

    Residents in some homes in Montreal, a cosmopolitan city an hour north of the U.S.-Canada border, and Regina, in the flat western prairies, are among those drinking and cooking with tap water with lead levels that exceed Canada’s federal guidelines. The investigation found some schools and day care centers had lead levels so high that researchers noted it could impact children’s health. Exacerbating the problem, many water providers aren’t testing at all.

    It wasn’t the Canadian government that exposed the scope of this public health concern.

    [END EXCERPT]

    The degree to which we take clean potable water for granted is remarkable. We are largely ignorant of overlook the vast array of microbes, parasites and toxic contaminants that naturally occur in that precious resource. Most of us have NO EFFING IDEA what goes on in water treatment facilities to make that feral water tame and able to remain so en route to our taps.

    And because we are ignorant we are prey to myths about life before such readily accessible potable water.

    Myths that may yet kill us all.

    • See my post above. It seems to be the latest Stupid Scare going around all the Canadian news.

      And yep, most people think pure water springs from Athena’s brow, or something.

      [Mine comes out of a hole in the ground under my back porch, and it’s hard enough to make bricks without mud, never mind straw.]

  14. The Vikings were much cleaner than the Christians and women preferred them.

    Oy vey. On the frst assertion, show your work. There is active today a growing movement (primarily, I think, among darker-hued people) arguing that our American propensity for daily bathing is harmful to the epidermis, stripping away natural oils that promote flexibility and skin health. Are they right? Don’t know, don’t care, don’t have to ride bus with them. As to their being whiffy … that is a lot like background noise — the brain, if routinely exposed to it, tends to filter it out.

    On that second assertion, I am sue it is true albeit incomplete; the full assertion ought be, “women preferred Vikings to being slain out of hand.” Leftists, in particular, ought understand that some people consider dishonor before death to be a no-brainer decision.

    I suspect very few Saxon women were lining up on British beaches to wave welcome to Vikings dragon-boats. Nor do I think Vikings were inclined to treat captured women as treasured brides … they likely treated their sheep better than their women.

    • At my last job, I had a coworker I nicknamed “Sexy Viking Guy.” His family was Irish, but he looked like Kristofer Hivju’s (Tormund Giantsbane) theoretical son. Have a hunch one of his ancestors made sure to trip in front of the good-looking pillages.

      • … made sure to trip in front of the good-looking pillages.

        At a guess, after weeks manning oars at sea, waving swords, clad in armor and covered with blood, guts and effluvium the good-looking ones were hard to distinguish from the brutes.

      • Many Irish (and more Scots) probably have more Viking ancestry than one might think. The Vikings raped and pillaged all over the British islands, and their pillaging was at best halfhearted.

    • I saw a lengthy facebook thread some time back along the lines of “Ask white people all those questions you’ve always wanted to, but didn’t” and the conversation about “WHY DON’T Y’ALL GET ASHY WHEN YOU DON’T USE LOTION” had me laughing so hard I was crying. (It was a lovely post, overall, with people being kind and funny and silly with each other and asking some very silly questions that, nevertheless, they really wanted to know the answer to.)

      This wasn’t a discussion about “white people bathe too much” mind you. (it’s just that the comment reminded me of the discussion. Wish I’d saved it.) But it was a “Why the heck don’t you people use lotion? We all know showering that much is hard on the skin!!” (General answers were: At least some of us do use lotion, but many of us forget because it just doesn’t show up as much on us as it does folks with more melanin.)

      Other questions asked were: What the heck IS it with white people and putting weird things in Jello, like carrots. (General consensus was we didn’t know, but no one likes it.) Why do white people wear shorts even in the winter? (That was a good discussion, and my favorite answers were the ones pointing out that, look, our ancestors came from where it was freaking COLD, and so we tend to have that extra layer of fat…and so some of us are hot, even in the wintertime.)

      • Other questions asked were: What the heck IS it with white people and putting weird things in Jello, like carrots.

        Oooh, that one isn’t a race thing– it’s mutated aspic; that’s savory jello, basically.

        Harkens back to when the “rich people food” became something the average house-wife could manage.

        Thank you, Gallery of Regrettable Food!

        • I like it…. (slinks off.)

          • I prefer the carrot, raisin and cabbage coleslaw like salad, personally– but I don’t like jello textures.

            • Cottage Cheese in green Jello … whoever invented that … never mind, it isn’t printable. I like Cottage Cheese. Lime Jello, eh, can live without it, don’t despise it. Together? Yuk.

              • If you take a container of cottage cheese, a container of whipped topping, a bag of jello powder and at least one can of fruit that complements the jello flavor, and mix them, it’s a very nice salad. (that doesn’t have Jello texture)

                • THAT is a good salad. We do it at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Though we skip the fruit and just have the cottage cheese, cool whip, and jello-flavor. It’s best after aging in the fridge for a day or two 😀

                  • No. Just NO. Ack, Yuk, NO.

                    That and cream corn were two holiday traditions on my mom’s family side. She’s the only one remaining that will eat them, so they’ve dropped off the holiday menu. I can still remember the holiday dinner fights to get each of us kids to eat it.

                  • oh gosh, YES, and there’s a variation where you sprinkle crunchy nut bits over it just before eating, YUM.

                  • I forgot to mention– I think the fruit is mostly still used in my family because you can make it look fancier that way, by making patterns on top.

                    I think next time I make it, I’ll make it with chopped apples for the inside, and fresh cut strawberries for the “pretty” on top. I’ll have to be careful about the acid content, I seem to remember that can make it watery.

            • I like carrot, raisin, and cabbage slaw myself. Add a bit of coriander seed, salt, pepper, and just a bit of real mayonnaise. Can’t eat too much of it at one go because it races through my system in 12 hours flat.

              Carrots in Jello? No, just no.

              Cottage cheese and any number of fresh herbs, like a handful of fresh cut chives, or some nice fruit such as blueberries, raspberries, or peaches works for me.

              The one weird food from childhood was cottage cheese and peanut butter sandwiches.

          • Shredded carrots in orange gel can work. Peas in such? Just no.

            And while I prefer tart (vinegar based) cole slaw to the creamy sort, I can deal with creamy slaw. I do draw the line at raisin. Just.. no. Enough flavor leeches out that picking out the raisins doesn’t help.

          • I love jello salad things. When I was a kid there were Lenten pot luck suppers at church every Wednesday . I was a “picky eater” and particularly hated anything with cheese so I lived on Jello Salads, breads, rolls and desert once it was put out. Probably part of the reason I was a little roly poly ball as a kid…

        • Yeah, but all the variations I’ve met on it AREN’T savory. Last time I ran into it (inevitably at some kind of church event), it was green jello with carrots in.

          And some folks do like it, which would be why it endures, heh. I can’t stand it–but then, I’m not a huge fan of jello to begin with so that’s probably part of it. Though hot jello (ie, not left to set up) is wonderful when down with the stomach flu.

      • Sometimes I wear shorts in inappropriate weather because it’s so d*mnd hard to find pants that fit.

        It took eight stores to find shorts that “fit” (with necessary belt) on this last round. It often takes far more than that to get a chance to pants.

    • I suspect those particular writings came from settled Viking areas. The Danelaw and similar places, not the raiders. Nobody was stopping to write things down during a raid.

  15. Temptation to write The Green Nude Heel intensifies.

    As Orwell might have said, If you want a vision of the future, imagine a green nude heel stamping on a human face – forever.

    • Why do I suddenly sense a WitchDom kink?

      No, not your kink … well, considering what ELSE is out there, that might be considered a tamer one. Ox head hurt again.

    • The Green Police Super Bowl ad, noting that the Hollywood and Madison Avenue types convinced the Good Germans at Audi that it would be funny.

  16. Sigh. Pop “canadian water more lead than flint” into a search engine.

    You will receive a large number of responses (Yahoo offered 45 million, but what do they know?) among them:

    Investigation: Lead in Some Canadian Water Worse Than Flint

    An investigation by a consortium of news organizations, including The Associated Press, finds some Canadians are being exposed to dangerous levels of lead in their drinking water, in some cities at higher levels than Flint, Michigan
    MONTREAL (AP) — Hundreds of thousands of Canadians have been unwittingly exposed to high levels of lead in their drinking water, with contamination in several cities consistently higher than they ever were in Flint, Michigan, according to an investigation that tested drinking water in hundreds of homes and reviewed thousands more previously undisclosed results.

    Residents in some homes in Montreal, a cosmopolitan city an hour north of the U.S.-Canada border, and Regina, in the flat western prairies, are among those drinking and cooking with tap water with lead levels that exceed Canada’s federal guidelines. The investigation found some schools and day care centers had lead levels so high that researchers noted it could impact children’s health. Exacerbating the problem, many water providers aren’t testing at all.

    It wasn’t the Canadian government that exposed the scope of this public health concern.

    [END EXCERPT]

    The degree to which we take clean potable water for granted is remarkable. We are largely ignorant of overlook the vast array of microbes, parasites and toxic contaminants that naturally occur in that precious resource. Most of us have NO EFFING IDEA what goes on in water treatment facilities to make that feral water tame and able to remain so en route to our taps.

    And because we are ignorant we are prey to myths about life before such readily accessible potable water.

    Myths that may yet kill us all.

  17. Or how Clinton’s grasping and corrupt administration was whitewashed in retrospect.

    I vaguely remember not long after I first found your blog, someone offered Clinton as an example of a really decent Democrat who he could totally work with.

    Being from some of the areas that Clinton pulled Mark 1 of the then-current Mark 2 destruction abuses on, I was…not sympathetic. 😀

    • One thing I will say in Clinton’s favor is that his primary principle was, “Bill Clinton should be in power” and everything else was negotiable. That doesn’t make him “decent” but it does mean that when he saw the electoral writing on the wall, he was more than willing to move “right.” He abandoned Hillary Care and signed welfare reform because he never cared about those things in the first place.

      Clinton was the sort of Democrat that you could work with, not because he was decent but because he was the exact opposite: a completely amoral jerk who would do and say anything to get elected.

      (Incidentally, that’s why I’m still worried about Trump. I fear that if Dems ever stop declaring the anti-Christ and start playing to his ego, we might find he’s just as flexible as Clinton was.)

      • And that’s where we might be in luck. Even if there were some smart democrats, they would be negligible. What’s the line?

        “You have every right-thinking person on your side.”
        “That’s not enough. We need a majority!”

      • I was worried about it before the inauguration … but even assuming that one could get the Democrats to stop the “Orange Man Bad” frothing, I think at this point he’s been burned too badly to ever listen to them again.

    • We’re dying of Motor Voter, which is Clinton’s baby.

      • Sadly, I agree. It explains the way that Cali can keep shipping folks out– yet magically not lose numbers, and even when most of the folks leaving are conservative the voting results somehow turn out liberal.

        • What CA voters actually look like, by county (left) and by precinct (right) — 2016 Presidential election:

          You may notice that absent the major metros, blue areas are scant. Unfortunately, they’re also drastically outnumbered.

          Or, why an electoral college system at the local level might be a Good Thing.

          • Can I get an amen?

            As I had to point out recently– King County has a habit of keeping folks on the voter’s rolls for years after they leave. My husband is still getting ballots, and it’s a running joke how there will be dogs registered to vote and you find out because they get called up for jury duty.

            Yet they have a 75% voter turnout rate.

            National is 60%…..

            • Seconding the amen.

              I mean, being in *Lane County, vote would go left anyway, but at least the rest of state would have a chance. Even parts of Portland Metro.

              * Even if you separated Lane County into coast, valley, & mountains. We’re square in the valley. Springfield isn’t big enough to out vote Eugene.

          • And CA is going to basically copy CO this time around, with much fanfare, going full fraud-by-mail.

            I figure only bankruptcy and Federal receivership or Insurrection Act dissolving of the CA state government will change things here.

          • States generally have two legislative bodies. Up until a few decades ago, one body distributed its legislative distrcts by population numbers, and the other distributed them by counties. Unfortunately a court decision apparently put a stoo to that. And the justice who wrote the opinion made it clear that he would have forced the US Senate to do the same if the “outdated” Constitution hadn’t explicitly stated otherwise.

  18. My Nana lived with us when I was growing up, and she was old. This isn’t just the eye of childhood—I look of pictures of my little-bent, white-haired, mostly toothless Nana and know she was old… and by doing the math, she was in her 60s. My mom (her adoptive daughter) is not nearly so old in her mid-70s, partly because she took one look at what her mom did to her health and chose better, but also partly because things like modern dentistry and a better diet have helped a lot. (She was the last wave of pre-vaccine kids, so she still had the childhood diseases.)

    The 19th century was about as much of a nadir for health as you could imagine, both from a nutritional standpoint and from a disease standpoint. You look at Ruth the nursemaid in The Pirates of Penzance, old and decrepit at the age of “forty-seven years”, and you can’t play her with anyone under sixty, because it just doesn’t have the same impact. Read pieces from the period and you see gout, rickets, pellagra, flat-out hunger, tuberculosis (the biggest forgotten killer in human history), waves and waves of vaccine-preventable diseases, and it’s small wonder that people were “old” in their 40s. Their bodies were battered and worn out from all of the work, and that’s not even getting into outright injury or sepsis.

    • I had a couple of the last “childhood diseases” that didn’t have vaccines or the vaccine was not 100% effective for me (Polio vaccine being damn near 100% is such an outlier even those making it were astonished. They had ‘fever dreams’ of maybe getting up to 90% effective – and expected lower). I got mighty lucky. I had spots, I itched, I felt like crap, and… that was it. No scaring, nor worse. You know what? Had I the choice? Give me the damn shot! I do NOT like needles/shots. I can’t watch them go in. But given the choice? Jab me, Doc!

      • I’ve had chickenpox and shingles, and as an adult, whooping cough. Give me the vaccine! I can hardly wait until I’m old enough to get the shingles vaccine. Two rounds of that [censored] is two too many.

        • I’ve had the two doses of Shringrix, and they both kick my tuchus – it was like a really bad cold for a day or so… nasty chills, some nausea… and you know what? If it took a third dose, I’d take it in a flash. A few hours of chills beats actual shingles according to EVERYONE who had any shingles episode.

            • Did Shingrix, it kicked my butt too, but since the CDC recommended it for over 50 that got covered, but the year prior I paid out of pocket for the then-current pneumovax, and I think there’s a newer more efficacious one out now for that.

              Most people still actually die of pneumonia, so any leg up I can get, I’m taking.

        • I really should get the shingles vaccine. I had chicken pox as a kid, and from what I’ve heard I do NOT want shingles.

          • No, you do not. My first round was in the usual place (around the waist, thus the German name “red belt”) and the other was this August/September, in the mouth. No. Just no. Get the vaccine.

          • Me, too. I had chicken pox and German measles. The Daughter Unit had chicken pox – also naturally, through exposure when it went through the kid population at the base we were at, mid-1980ies.
            Mumps, though – family pediatrician advised against me getting it, as an early teenager. I think that he gave me an interferon shot? Something of the sort – anyway, it would have been dangerous for me at that age.

            Speaking as one who caught it – chickenpox wasn’t too bad, really, Measles was the pits.

        • I had Whooping Cough as an infant/toddler (before 18 months), AND as an adult … Give me the damn shot!!!! Had the old Shingles vaccination 3 years ago. Guess I need to get the new one now.

    • Yeah. I’ve had history teachers point out the ways that infant mortality gives a misleading impression that healthy 35 year olds were dropping dead. It’s true that getting past the childhood diseases and avoiding military service meant a man could hope to see his fifties, but they don’t seem to put the connection together that the stress, the diseases, and the malnutrition meant that his body in his forties then was in the same shape as a man’s body in the his sixties or seventies today. Women? Women had a 3-5% chance of dying with each pregnancy — and the average woman had seven. Even if you were living to be that old, it wasn’t a robust middle-age and a mildly inconvenienced latter life; it was pain and weakness and dependence on the next generation for daily living.

    • People in Portugal, even, are aging faster than I am. AND I first saw my first 80 year old when I was ten. He was OLD. As in unimaginably old. Non-functional.
      My dad is 88. He’s not nearly that old.
      And btw the gentleman I saw was upper class…

  19. A few years ago I fell and broke my wrist, both major arm bones broke. 100 years ago I would have been splinted, and my left wrist never work again. I had surgery, my left wrist works just as well as my right.

    So much stuff we take for granted. A guy who works with me has diabetes, 100 years ago he would have been long dead. Howard Hughes, one of the richest men in the world not so long ago, no amount of money could buy him treatment for OCD. He ends his life alone in a hotel room. Today, you go down to the drug store and take a pill.

    We still have a long way to go, but have come a long way. We take so much for granted. If we are not very careful we end up in a new dark age. There are no guarantees, the copybook writers still lurk.

    • Dad (in his mid 70’s) ruptured a vertebrae in his back last year. A few decades ago, he would have lived the rest of his life as a cripple with pretty serious chronic pain.
      But, thanks to modern medicine, he was in and out of the hospital in less than 24 hours, and is healed up and doing well.

      • One of my nieces broke her neck at a swimming practice. With a very intelligent coach who immobilized her immediately (out of the water, of course), and modern medicine—she has slightly less range of motion in her neck than usual, but was cleared for cheerleading within a year.

        Broke. Her. Neck. And now she’s basically so healthy you wouldn’t even notice anything weird about her aside from the cautionary tale of don’t DO that.

    • heck, I had what even now is considered rather major surgery a couple of years ago (major in that in involved actually slicing me open, I have a nine-inch scar on my lower abdomen now) and I was out of the hospital by the morning of the second day. I was up and walking around (slowly, and with a nurse right there) barely two hours after leaving the recovery room. Because that was the price of getting them to take off those horrible squeezy things from my legs, but I did it, and I did it just fine. I was fully recovered in less than six weeks.

      Had I been able to have the version of the surgery performed by robots (with a human running them, but still), it would have been practically outpatient.

      • I loved the squeezy things! Maybe they just fit well or something. The nurse said that some people hate them but they’ve caught other people trying to take them home.

        • I’m an insanely light sleeper on a good day, so having those things on my legs meant that I would get NO sleep at all. So that’s why I hated them–I didn’t mind the feel of them, but all I really wanted at that point was to sleep, and that wasn’t going to happen with them on. 😀

        • Danny Hamilton

          I had back surgery, in the operating room and for a good while after I had to wear those. I took them home. I had PAID for them, they were not reusable for someone else.
          The worst thig was the insurance paid for them twice! The second time I had to pay 20%. WHY?? The Insurance company would not believe that the leg things used in the operating room were the same leg things used in recovery. No matter how many times I told them.

  20. Presented without additional comment”

    • The problem is that all too often these questions can be effectively met with the single return question: “If I can promise you that the answer to Question #2 is, ‘Not yours,’ do you really care about the answers to Questions #1 and #3?”

    • All evidence is hard for the Left. That’s why they use so little of it.

  21. “They’re trying to stampede you because they don’t have the ability to force you.”

    Also, I believe they have abandoned all faith in their ability to TEMPT. They used to present the Masses with (they thought) alluring visions of the Planned Community of Tomorrow. And the Masses, for the most part, scampered over the horizon, holding their noses. The Progressives kept trying it for a long time, but recently they seem to have given up.

    • Danny Hamilton

      No they haven’t! San Antonio is STILL going for HOV lanes and public transport. They WANT light rail but can’t get it without a public vote by the PEOPLE.

      BTW: Texas just put NO Income Tax into the State Constitution. Take THAT Progressives, and it wasn’t even close, passed by about 75%..

  22. As far as the Vikings being cleanlier than others, we do have contemporary testimony to that effect. And I should point out that in a lot of places (Normandy and England come to mind here) the Norse were as much immigrants as raiders. That’s why just-pre-Conquest samples of Old English we have are very different from the stuff you find in like Beowulf…Old English and Old Norse were just close enough that if you simplified things, you could make yourself understood to someone who spoke the other language. Even before the Conquest, English was evolving toward what we would call “Middle English,” and the Norse input had a lot to do with it.

    As for bathing—people did try their best to keep clean. Sharan Newman has a very interesting article up somewhere about medieval bathing. In the cities, you were woken in the morning by criers going around calling “The baths are hot!” and people would often bathe in groups, male and female together. The Church railed against this, but the Church railed against all sorts of things and people generally went on doing them anyway.

    • Dear heaven. No. Also no. Yes, in some places. But mostly NO.
      Where there were Roman baths extant, for the first couple of centuries maybe.
      And you have evidence of the Vikings being more cleanly? That’s hilarious because of the horrible contemporary descriptions.
      Nonsense. On Stilts.

      • What I am aware of that keeps getting handed around is this one quote, attributed so far as I can find to the Chronicle of John of Wallingford, about an attack by Anglo-Saxons on nearby Danes, ostensibly because their more diligent hygiene made them too attractive to Anglo-Saxon women. It specifies daily hair-combing and weekly bathing, so it’s still by no means a daily hot shower.

        • Yes. Also, it’s always the same quote. Which will tell you something, if you think on it.
          It’s bullshit.

        • It’s like the myth of the Garand ‘ping’. It was just the writings of one guy that somehow got accepted as common knowledge.

        • Heh. That John of Wallingford was such a prankster! You ever hear about the time he snuck the rooster into the sacristy, the one he’d trained to crow whenever they chanted amen? Given he was writing a good two centuries after the events described one can surmise the Benedictine monk was tippling the house liqueur a mite heavily.

          If the Anglo-Saxon women had given a damn about personal hygiene you’d think they’d have tried practicing it themselves, eh?

    • In the cities, you were woken in the morning by criers going around calling “The baths are hot!” and people would often bathe in groups, male and female together. The Church railed against this, but the Church railed against all sorts of things and people generally went on doing them anyway.

      Christians opposed whore houses, even when they were in old Roman baths– news at 11.

  23. This seems timely (rimmed of descriptions, so visit the site):

    10 Books Every Conservative Should Read To Combat Leftist Misinformation
    Many books celebrate conservatism’s accomplishments, but these books correct misinformation and fill in important cultural and historical gaps in conservative discourse.
    By Michael Malice
    At its best, conservatism is about learning the lessons of the past and applying them to today. Conservatives cannot expect for one second to get an accurate representation of this past from the corporate press, let alone an entertainment industry where matters have to be simplified and edited simply as a function of the medium.

    While there are many lists of books that validate conservatism and celebrate its accomplishments, this list is something else entirely. Here are 10 books that undercut the misinformation put forth by the culture at large and that every conservative should read to fill in gaps in contemporary conservative discourse.

    1. ‘Economics in One Lesson,’ by Henry Hazlitt (1946)

    2. ‘The Black Book of Communism,’ by Stéphane Courtois, et al. (1999)

    3. ‘Hollywood Party: How Communism Seduced the American Film Industry in the 1930s and 1940s,’ by Kenneth Lloyd Billingsley (1998)

    4. ‘Reagan and Thatcher: The Difficult Relationship,’ by Richard Aldous (2012)

    5. ‘A Renegade History of the United States,’ by Thaddeus Russell (2010)

    6. ‘Gay New York,’ by George Chauncey (1994)

    7. ‘Wrapped in Rainbows: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston,’ by Valerie Boyd (2002)

    8. ‘Public Opinion,’ by Walter Lippmann (1922)

    9. ‘Good White People,’ by Shannon Sullivan (2014)

    10. ‘The Righteous Mind,’ by Jonathan Haidt (2012)

    • I’d add _Debunking Howard Zinn_, so you can point out where his pernicious influence came from, and how he failed to meet the standards of basic historical writing (as pointed out by people who agreed with him!)

    • I just picked up “The Coddling of the Americna Mind” (Haidt’s latest, with Greg Lukianoff) at LAX this weekend. Looking forward to reading it.

  24. I’d say California should chime in, but it’s hard to make smoke signals with candles.

    Smoke we’ve got.

    A big enough wet blanket to modulate it – not so much.

  25. Am I a bad person for laughing as I scrolled past RES’s many Part III posts?

    Vaguely on-topic, my hot water heater and my boiler are the same box-of-fire (aka “boiler”, even though nothing boils). There is a tank, but I’m supposed to have unlimited hot water. I don’t, usually. Lately, it’s been cold enough here that I’ve taken a shower after the boiler has been running for a while. THAT’s how one gets unlimited hot water from it! Sure, one does not _need_ a forty minute shower, but I was cold and tired.

  26. I’m sure we’re going to hit a new wave of Revisionist History, but it will be the historical myths of the Left up on the sacred cow grill this time.
    It’s human nature- we love ‘forbidden knowledge’ and learning about The Lies Our Teacher Told Us.

  27. “The trains from the mountains, where it was colder, in winter, smelled like a mix of VERY unwashed bodies and wood smoke. You never forget that smell.

    Body funk/sweat, ashes, and tobacco smoke. We lived in tobacco valley. Everyone grew at least a bit of it. It was a *cash* crop, and we were all pretty much dirty poor (well, we had wood floors. One generation removed from dirt, and just barely at that).

    In the wintertime, we kids would get down low on the floor and watch the cloud of yellowish white smoke get lower and lower until it was two feet from the floor. People didn’t go outside to smoke. Everybody smoked. Everybody.

    Rural townships still smelled a bit like horse dung, a bit less than they used to I’m told, for obvious reasons. They weren’t that far from that time, and there were still one or two that rode into town. I remember boiling water to drink, and to wash with. Cities, well what I used to think were such, didn’t smell right. Car exhaust, not farm diesel. Hot asphalt, not dirt on the wind (yes, it has a smell, and is usally local and dependent on soil composition).

    There were no kitchens without black flies. Flyswatters were a mandatory piece of equipment. Outhouses smelled *bad.* Most of y’all have no idea, save those who’ve had to use a slit trench latrine. I’ve bathed in a metal tub, with water I drew and heated myself. And used dirty bathwater, because I was the youngest, too.

    About the past, it is fine to visit in memory. There are more than a few I’d like to spend an afternoon talking with, and may yet come the day. But I’d not trade my today for any fair yesterday, nor even one with perfect health (that I’m not sure I ever had). My today is fine enough. My tomorrow, well, it might just be better yet. We shall see.

  28. BobtheRegisterredFool

    Yeah, but if you compare carbon monoxide, ash particulates, adenonsine triphosphates, and Toxic Masculinity, we have it far worse. Look at Tulsi Gabbard. Surely not having to deal with that is worth a little BO.

  29. I think I got out of fantasy novels and games because they don’t mention things like the horseflies that were everywhere.

    Or how nasty, brutish, and short life was for 90+% of the people involved.

    Or what real, Dark Age-era medicine involved.

    Or what it took to put that high lady in her dress. And, how rare it was for women to have anything approaching agency in their lives.

    Or one of a thousand things that makes me grateful for electricity. Water that you don’t have to boil or make alcohol out of it to drink safely. Music that is actually good any time I want it. That I have to worry more about obesity than starvation, and my particular kind of obesity.

    I know the world is better. My mother is alive due to progress. So is my sister. My dad has a working arm because they have a surgical process to reattach a torn rotator cuff. I am alive and not locked away somewhere because progress.

    Let the people that want “the good old days” have their myths. Just don’t make me live them.

  30. There were no kitchens without black flies. Flyswatters were a mandatory piece of equipment.

    We don’t call ’em ‘houseflies’ for nothing.

    Outhouses smelled *bad*. Most of y’all have no idea, save those who’ve had to use a slit trench latrine.

    [raises hand] Grandpa had a one-holer next to the blueberry field. Had to be moved every few years, and the pit filled in. Guess who got to help?

    At least he stocked it with toilet paper, not leaves or corncobs.

    We take for granted the privilege of not sharing our homes with mice, rats, flies, mosquitoes, gnats, fleas, cockroaches, lice, ticks and bedbugs — well, most of the time, anyway. Seeing one is an unpleasant surprise, and prompts a trip to Home Depot for a trap, a can of bug spray, or a quick call to the exterminator.

    Our medieval ancestors would not even have dreamed that freedom from such vermin was possible! The canopy on that old four-poster bed was to keep rat and mouse turds from dropping on the linen, or your head. The curtains were to provide privacy from the servants sleeping on the floor.
    ———————————
    Those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it. Those who do remember history are doomed to watch everybody else repeat it.

  31. NaNo

    200 words on the novel I’m trying to finish. I think some of my timing may be off.

    • And to tie this to the post — even with due allowance for the way royal fairy tale couples have fertility problems, and the number of children they have — the kings and queens do not live what we would now call long.

      The presumption is that your parents are dead, and you the monarch when your child is old enough to marry — early 20s at the latest for the kid.

  32. From William Bastard through Victoria, there were 27 English/British monarchs who died of natural causes. Their mean age of death was 46; the median was 58. (There were seven who died by violence.)

    BTW, if you read Wodehouse, note the many characters who are wards or other orphans in their teens or 20s – because their parents are dead in their 40s.