Power And Wealth

power and wealth

The problem with power and wealth…. yes, yes, is that I don’t have any. Right. The jokes write themselves. Don’t forget to buy your waitress (she’s a robot) and tip the fish (he bets on the ponies and is always looking for a tip.)

Now being serious, for a moment, the problem with power and wealth is that they’re inseparable.  And no, not just as our Marxist brethren have been taught, in “a capitalist society.”  Actually if there’s any hope of separating them it’s a true free market society. Not that we have that.

Even under monarchies, those who financed the king usually got power in return (also placed themselves in danger. If my research is correct some ancestors were that bloody stupid. Ah, well.) And at any rate, people with money (or other exchange. After all money is a proxy for goods and services you can’t just carry around in your wallet, right?) can by definition buy the allegiance, obedience or labor of others. In any society. Which means if you have money, you’ll soon have power.

The thing our Marxist brethren (or mentally-impaired little cousins, whatever. Every family has one, right?) forget is that the equation works the other way too.

If you have power, money will follow. Because people want to appropriate some of that power to themselves, so they will buy you dinner, give you material goods, find jobs for your ne’er do well cocaine addicted Hunter Biden son, give you amazing book deals that any professional working writer knows will never earn out (even if you were as fascinating as your crazed followers, who think you’re sort of a god, believe), or other make believe Netflix advising jobs taking advantage of your non-existent talent and brilliance that people keep trying to wish into being. If nothing else, if you have power of the government kind, you can make money the old-fashioned way. By stealing it, or getting bribed to sell uranium to Russia sell/give away national assets.

Power might be an easier route to money than money is a route to power.

Not the least of it, because if you have made money through some other means we know that at least once in your life you had to regard other human beings as autonomous units with wants and needs.

Sure what you sold to get there might be vapor ware of some sort, including stories, but you still had to think of “What are other people likely to wish to buy” and “What’s in their head that I can slot into as a way of making money?”

Note as someone who is supposed to make her living selling brain gleanings to other human beings, I spent an inordinate amount of time thinking about what un-examined things are in other people’s heads; what they like; what they assume; what I can sell them that will slot into those two.

And I, alas, am not nearly successful enough to make money (Working on it, okay, guys? Expect big changes this year. Again, year of go big or go home) that will allow me to buy any power at all.

The people who make it at that level, in a free market. Yeah. They spent some time thinking about what to sell, how to sell it, how to create it for maximum appeal, etc etc etc.  These things don’t happen by accident. They can happen by luck, sure, but most of the time “luck is that with which people explain the feats of genius” or something like that (I don’t remember Heinlein’s words exactly.)

They can, of course also happen by rigging, nepotism and other forms of interference.

Which brings us around to the other side: power.

The left has power — near dang absolute — over certain fields.  And their thirst for more and eternal power leads them to favor and push things that no free market, ever, would reward with money. For illustration, look at most TV programming and most movies. There is no rational explanation for those projects even getting made, much less funded.

And while a lot of individuals are making tidy fortunes by slotting into the system and working it from the lefty-power angle, i.e mouthing all the right (left) words, and claiming all the right (left) beliefs, the system itself starts losing money when the takeover is complete.

Because those “successes” and wealth come from the side of power becoming wealth, these people have never spent three seconds together thinking of what other people want or — possibly — of other people as humans. If they think of those who disagree with them at all, they see them as worthy of re-education camps. (BTW some of the Chinese work camps do have conjugal visits. No, that doesn’t make them better. I hate to say it, but hearing Bernie’s staffer I kept thinking the Democrat party is a con game created and designed for the purpose of getting their slaves back once more.)  Mostly, though, they think of us as stereotypes. “Those uneducated, stupid rednecks.”

They don’t bother knowing anything of the real world because, who cares? In fact, it could be dangerous. Their wealth comes from kow towing to those in power and believing the right (very left) things. If they start having ideas that challenge that, then they’ll lose both power and wealth. (In case you wonder why skinsuited institutions become more and more rigid echo chambers.)

Which means that, people who come in through power into wealth, tend to have bizarre ideas of what the rest of humanity is like and what they do. They are more likely to believe the stories that brought them power and wealth, because, well, they are what they were taught in college and have given them great advantage. Among other things, they will believe if only we were “more educated” we’d believe as they do, they believe humans are infinitely malleable, and they believe a lot of things that just ain’t so, including that their degree in whatever field or their superior intelligence (well they believe what all the “smart” people believe, right?) means they know everything and can improve manufacturing processes, make the economy more “just” and/or design cities and improve agriculture.

To be absolutely blunt this is how you end up with wheat planted in Siberia in Winter. It’s how you end up with famines. It’s how you end up with Venezuela, a land of untold natural riches where people are starving to death.

Which brings us to the other side of this: when your system grants power for things other than competence and (well, it’s impossible to keep that out) wealth, what you’re doing is privileging power games over getting the job done.

The people who prefer to acquire wealth through power; the people who want power over everything and anything else, tend to be the sort who’d rather reign in hell than serve in heaven.  And “serve” includes selling ANYTHING that those unwashed deplorables will want to buy.

You’ve met their kind, and so have I. They come into an otherwise perfectly functioning office or work environment and set about empire-building. Sometimes it’s not even political. Sometimes — though not always, and I hate to ascribe everything to childhood trauma — it’s some kind of flaw that makes them feel unsafe, and they “need” to acquire enough power to finally feel safe. Sometimes (perhaps often) it’s being conscious of not being particularly confident, and wanting to make their position so powerful that no one else can dislodge them no matter how much they f*ck up.

They will gossip, lie, slander, steal other people’s work, put on airs, and do whatever it takes to get ahead and get power over others.  Weirdly this rarely has anything to do with actually doing the job in front of them. You know, the one they were arguably hired to do.  In fact, even when they are otherwise competent, they’re so busy playing f*ck-f*ck games (I could tell you stories and how) that the job not only suffers, but becomes distorted by their game playing.

This is not always political, as I said. In fact, at a certain level it is by definition non-political.  However, the higher you go in a corrupt hierarchy of a field taken over by the left, the more likely these people are actual convinced Marxists.

But whatever they are, and whatever they believe, power-oriented people make horrible employees and worse bosses. Mostly because the job and the potential wealth it might or might not generate have absolutely nothing to do with their path to power. And their path to power is all important.

I’d guess, from my and friends’ experiences that at least 50% of what goes on in companies (and much more in some) is contrary to what is needed for that company to survive and make money.  It’s all in the service of someone’s games and power acquisition.

So, what does all this mean?  One of the things it means is that government needs to be a lot less powerful. It is better to have businessmen by power than to have the powerful politicians be bribed with wealth.  Because at least the first have some idea of other people existing and wanting things, beyond what’s in the businessman’s head (because if the businessman is that clueless he’ll go bankrupt and stay bankrupt.) Right now our federal government attracts people who crave power like sh*t attracts flies.  Which means it is increasingly a corrupt money-sink that does nothing anyone wants of it.

Government being a necessary evil, let the overarching branch of it have the least power and let power devolve ever down, till the most power is with the individual human being himself. Yes, I know it will take a miracle. Miracles sometimes do happen.

Part of making this one happen is the culture.  Marxists have succeeded to a bizarre degree in making normal, every day businessmen, those who seek wealth and yep will acquire power, into the villains.

Now, businessmen aren’t saints.  No class or type of person is. Once they become big and powerful enough, the temptation is to use that power to knock out business rivals. That’s just humans being humans.  And yep, it will require vigilance, as well as a government where people actually believe in equality before the law and don’t try to use — say — tax law to favor their big donors and stomp down start up rivals.

However, businessmen in general are more likely to be rational and moral than any politician ever, and certainly than any powerful (but hidden) unelected bureaucrat in the machinery of government.

The fact that our books, movies, etc. sell it the other way around, representing apparatchiks as selfless paragons of virtue and every person who makes his wealth by selling or running a company that makes something as evil and crooked is one of the reasons we’re in this mess.

It’s time to turn it around. It’s time to blow that stereotype sky high.

Politics is downstream from culture. Stop pouring sludge into the stream, and start cleaning.

In the end we win, they lose, but let’s not make it harder than it has to be.  And let’s try not to make it the work of the next generation.  I have maybe 30 years left, if I’m lucky. I hope to see at least the first glimmers of the turn around.

Get it done.

 

 

236 thoughts on “Power And Wealth

  1. Remember the Golden Rule: He who has the gold, rules.

    Also frequently expressed as He who pays the piper calls the tune.

    Even under monarchies, those who financed the king usually got power in return

    The history of the English Crown (that being the crown with which I’m most familiar — thanks, Willy Shakes!) can be understood as a prolonged argument over this very principle, from Magna Carta to Elizabeth I to the Glorious Revolution (and its American sequel). Kings want to king and eventually enough people get tired of footing the bill they take away the King’s authority to raise funds without some say from the people whose funds keep getting raised.

    It is also why, in America’s Constitution, the power to tax and appropriate money is vested in the chamber most temporally tied to voters.

    1. The Fugger family did very well . . . until the monarch decided just to not pay. Yes, his credit rating went down the drain. Their entire family (almost) went with it.

        1. Well, the KT was a travel protection racket that morphed into a bank. Yes, lots of royalty gave them protection fees and then banked with them, but they had no single major regal protector, so in the end they were disposable.

          1. especially disposable once most regal types were in debt to them more than any service said regals perceived they could get by protecting them
            Moral of the story
            If your going to buy your way into power, make sure you stay more powerful then those you are buying the power from.
            combined

            1. Yeah, someone asked who Bill Gates was virtue signalling. The people who can deny him the right to armed security and then stand aside when the mob shows up at his gates.

              Remember when Obama reminded the bankers he was the only one standing between them and the pitchforks and torches?

                1. Well, the bankers got a first hand taste of that in Chicago already; they didn’t need a lot of convincing.

          2. Yeah, that was a pattern throughout history and into modern times. If you loaned money to someone powerful who didn’t want to pay, you mysteriously became a victim of lawfare, rumors of unsavory behavior, raids by law enforcement, etc.

            1. When History tells of Queen Isabella pawning her jewels to finance Columbus” first voyage they typically neglect to inform that immediately thereafter she and Ferdinand decreed an Inquisition and expelled all the money-lenders from Spain, confiscating their property in the name of the Crown.

              There’s little interest in that part of the tale.

              1. And by “moneylenders” in that era, you frequently mean “Jews”, because that was a job that was often dominated by that particular religious and ethnic group.

                And thus the sad cycle. King X decides to show kindness to Jews, and allow them to freely live within his kingdom. Jews fleeing from persecution move to his kingdom, and establish themselves there. In order to show their support for the king, and to make sure that he’s able to stay in power, they lend him money. King Z finally shows up on the scene, notices that his treasury owes an awful lot of money to a particular group of non-Christians, and throws them out of the country. In an instant, the kingdom’s debts are wiped out with only minimal impact on the treasury.

                1. There was a church prohibition on charging interest on loans (termed ‘usury’) that either demanded transparent workarounds for paying the innate cost of risk along the lines of extra ‘gifts’ in repayment, or it meant only non-Christians could be lenders. Not a lot of Buddhists in Europe at that time, so it fell to the local Jews to fill that niche, but they ran the risk of being owed too much money by local royalty, who get advised that scheduling a pogrom would actually be cheaper than paying off the loans.

                  Then a decade or so later the kinglet gets in a war and has to borrow money, and it shocked, shocked at the high rates he is charged given the increased risk he represents, this preloading the next program-refinancing exercise.

              2. The chronology is a little more complicated and quite intertwined: The Alhambra Decree expulsion order was issued on 31 March 1492, Columbus, who had been hanging around their court since January after the Portuguese court told him to go way and check his math, was commissioned by Ferd & Izzy in April 1492, The Alhambra decree effective date was 31 July 1492, and Columbus actually sailed in August 1492.

                If jewelry paid for Columbus’ fitting out, it was only Izzy’s because she and Ferd ‘acquired’ it from the expelled Jews and Moslems.

            2. Pikers. In real historical times you just besieged their cities until they agreed to write off the loan.

          3. Hey now, if it was a racket they would’ve been threatening folks themselves.

            They were actually defending people who needed it, from other people!

            1. Fair enough – not “Nice Pilgrimage you got here. Be a shame if anything were to happen to it.” That was pretty much what the local Christian kingdomlets along the route to the Holy Land were running on the Pilgrims passing through.

              But what KT started as pilgrimage escort protection from Muslim bandits and such ended up also protecting pilgrims from those actual protection rackets along the way, which added to the KT enemies list.

              And KT’s real downfall started when they had so much money that they decided to start lending.

              I wonder what would have happened if they had declined to lend the French king anything.

              1. It’s generally the downfall of an organization when they turn into a bank. It makes me wonder what’s going to happen to Apple with this whole “Apple Credit Card” I keep seeing advertised…

                1. Apple was doomed the moment they built their fancy new headquarters. That’s always something that is coincidental with company failure, usually by way of indicating the hubris of the management.

                  I’m thinking of that huge basket out in the Midwest, in particular. Longaberger built that thing in the late ’90s, and were doing the corporate dying cockroach by about 2010. Hubris, inevitably followed by Nemesis.

                2. Apple CC not a big thing. I have the Barnes & Noble CC, as well as the Costco CC. Neither Barnes & Noble nor Costco actually created a bank to have one. Both are deals with existing CC management companies. Not sure who BarclayCards is through (guessing a bank), but Costco is through CitiBank. Now if Apple has spun a bank to do this, then … um, oh dear …

                  1. the Cabelas credit card, on the other hand, was not a bank card but is one now

                    From the murmurs, Apple’s cc won’t be a bank-licenced card.

                    1. What the Charles Schwab started out as (2% on all earning across the board), then they sold it to Bank of America. We don’t have that anymore, something better came along & we let it *drop (lack of use).

                      Just a little bit of brag. When a CC drops us for lack of use (happens, but not very often even when they say it will happen), we can take the credit-rate drop. When ours gets looked at and the indication is a drop, vendors don’t go “why?” they say “who the heck cares”. We aren’t stratosphere wealthy, but our credit rating is in the stratosphere, we worked hard to put it there.

  2. @Sarah,

    End of third paragraph:

    >> “Which means if you have power, you’ll soon have money.”

    I think you meant this the other way around.

    1. It works both ways. Consider the Clinton Foundation or the Obama’s new beachfront residence.

      Power often accumulates money, or, as Al Capone supposedly observed, “You can go a long way with a smile. You can go a lot farther with a smile and a gun.”
      .
      .

      1. I know. I pointed it out because I saw that you were obviously trying to make both points but ended up saying the same thing twice.

        I like to imagine you frantically trying to finish these posts with no time to proofread because Greebo is giving you the evil eye. While pointedly sharpening his claws. With a switchblade.

        1. LOL. That’s part of it. The other part is that I wrote this while still technically asleep.
          This morning I was walking into walls…. I had to ask the DIL I didn’t leave the fire on under the coffee….

          1. [i]raised eyebrow, concerned look[/i]

            You bang out 2,000-word political tracts in your SLEEP?

            Lady, I think you need a new hobby.

            1. [sigh]

              Wrong brackets for the tags. It would help if different forums were consistent about which ones to use.

              As long as you’re messing with the blog, do you think you could throw in a preview or edit option for comments?

              1. As far as I’ve seen, WordPress doesn’t do preview/edits. The good news is that they’ll use bog-standard html coding. The quirky bugs, that’s WordPress.

                    1. Keep forgetting that difference. In any case, probably a good thing – even more time taken away from more important stuff.

                      (I’ve explained to at least three bosses that the “components revolution” is deadly, unless all of your “components” come from the exact same development team – and sometimes even then. Finally got through to one with the Lego analogy. Some are made to metric. Some are made to Imperial. Some are made to Klingon…)

                    2. My brother-in-law had to make three trips to the hardware place in one morning, once for the part, once for the wrenches, once for the different set of wrenches that actually fit the car. . .

              2. NONE of the themes I can find for wordpress offer it. I WAS looking.
                Again, I neither have the time nor the knowledge to change the code. I can ask my husband, but … well… it took 2 years for us to coordinate on my amazon #

              1. Have you considered doing 2,000-word stories some of the time instead? Or does it just not work that way for you?

      2. It’s probably how her brain is optimized.

        I can read most things and follow the line of thought two seconds after waking up. Math, on the other hand needs a good night’s sleep and a couple cups of coffee. Even then, I may not be optimal.

    2. No, she didn’t mean it the other way around. That is precisely what she is saying, that power always brings wealth, but wealth does not always bring power. That is why people of wealth who lack power have been stripped of that wealth. And often, their lives.

  3. After all money … can by definition buy the allegiance, obedience or labor of others. In any society. Which means if you have power, you’ll soon have money. … the equation works the other way too.

    re: emboldened section: to quote Mr. Wonka, “Please, strike that! Reverse it! Let’s get on with our day”?

  4. As for power and riches, and businesses going all wokey-broke … there was a commenter on one of your threads or at Mad Genius who observed that whenever they saw a business which apparently had no reason to exist (like making a profit, forex) they assumed it was a front, or a money-laundering set-up. The Daughter Unit and I talked about this, as we walked the dogs; places that never seemed to have business … and yet remained there. Places like mattress stores. The whole institution of buying and selling modern art. A tiny folk-art furniture place in Greece that I knew – which never seemed to have any shoppers, and never any turn-around in stock. Fat publishing contracts for politicians, whose books never seem to sell.

    1. Supposedly, this is exactly how cops usually find money laundering.

      They look for the places that never have any business, and stay in operation.

      (Frequently, it turns out that it’s somebody’s personally financed Hunter Biden solution.)

    2. Fat publishing contracts for politicians, whose books never seem to sell.

      Kinda makes you wonder what would happen if some investigative journalist (rumour is that some still exist in the wild, not restrained t only do oppo research for Dems) took a look into actual book sales for certain tomes, don’t it? Or if an investor in, say, Penguin Random House or some other political vanity press, demanded an audit of whether those advances paid out.

      Meanwhile, I think I will flap my arms and fly to the moon.
      .
      .

      1. Book “sales” are so passe’. Nowadays, the payment for perjury is handled by setting up a GoFundMe and bombarding it with bots donating under $50 until the payment is delivered. See Kavanaugh’s main accuser.

      2. Yes! Some do exist. One tracked down the tape of Smollett’s “attackers” buying their equipment in the store (and observed on twitter that you do not want to know how many stores that involved).

        Though a journalist at CNN found out that Sarah Jeong was no longer on the board at the NYT — a month after it, when she posted her tweet encouraging people to cancel their subscriptions, and someone thought to ask the NYT what they thought of that.

    3. Lots of things can be accomplished with a storefront/storefront that doesn’t really have customers. 8 figure advances for book contracts, just try to convince me that it’s legit.

      1. The problem with huge advances to “celbrities(sp?)” is that they can claim, & probably write it off against their tax calculations, as an “advertising” expense, because they can then claim that “Publisher of [whoever]” gets them extra sales in a market they consider valuable.

    4. Mattress stores can pay their bills off a few sales a month. But yes, money laundering is a thing in businesses that shouldn’t stay in business. Also illegal gambling in the back (like that one bookstore and several other small businesses in a small town’s historic downtown), or drug deals/shipment/storage.

  5. I’d guess, from my and friends’ experiences that at least 50% of what goes on in companies (and much more in some) is contrary to what is needed for that company to survive and make money. It’s all in the service of someone’s games and power acquisition.

    Part of the complication is– which half?

    Because I know some of the social junk is “morale building.” The stuff that will make someone fight for the company even when it’s not short-term useful. It’s part of a healthy corporate culture. (even if your corporation is a small family business plus one or two folks who you like better than those relatives)

    Thing is… if the guy in charge of the corporate culture takes a dislike to you, you’re hosed. If someone comes in and hijackes the culture, you’re screwed.

    I watched it happen over and over in guilds, and in several social groups.

    /sigh

    Humans!

    *******

    Note: yes, there is a subculture that favors this tactic. Folks much glibber than I am pointed out it’s a whole tactic… skin ’em and demand respect. /sad

    1. I wasn’t talking about the morale building stuff, but the main mission. The morale building stuff is just a tool for the empire builders. It can be good, sure, but not when the empre builders get hold of it.

      1. More of a consideration for targeting– I was trying to mentally identify tactics to identify the wasteful stuff, then realized that a lot of the really bad, counter-goal stuff is kind of….oozing over from stuff that is either good, or useful, or it’s good stuff that had the stuff that made it good removed, but it still looks the same.

          1. If one were to look to HR one would not be looking very far away from the true source of the bad stuff.

            And any organization with a very influential (read powerful) HR department is on the road paved with good intentions.

    1. Thanks. My problem is I always remember Heinlein in Portuguese FIRST which messes up everything else. (Because I re-read the books so often as a kid they’re part of my “early brain.”)

  6. “but hearing Bernie’s staffer I kept thinking the Democrat party is a con game created and designed for the purpose of getting their slaves back once more”

    Sort of. Just before the Civil War, there was a guy named George Fitzhugh, who wrote a book called Cannibals All, which essentially claimed that not only was slavery a positive good for black people, but that it would be better if most white people were made slaves, as they were unfit to care for themselves. This view was considered…extreme, at the time, and most supporters of slavery preferred the views of Alexander Stephens, which was that whites were made to be masters and blacks were made to be slaves. (I’m not sure which view is more horrifying, honestly.)

    I think today’s current crop of Democrats have decided, usually unconsciously, that while Fitzhugh went a little too far he had the basic idea down pat. And that’s concerning, because the journey from there to “he didn’t go far enough” isn’t very long at all.

      1. What they want Madam Hostess is serfs. And they believe they’ll be the lord of the manor
        with all its privileges including the (mythical) Droit du Seigneur. Admittedly they may not choose to
        apply it only to young women. Boys, sheep, avocados whatever floats their boat.

        1. I heard a rumor that in many cases when droit was exercised, it was a cover for what would have been an embarrassing lack of virginity on the wedding night.

          1. The problem with that rumor is that there was no evidence that the right existed, let alone was exercised. It’s always a salacious tale about someplace else, or an earlier time.

            1. Right classic game of Telephone mixed with “OOOO do you know how bad the (French, Normans, Saxons, Poles, choose the princeling you hate most) do that is so evil? Their lords will take young women away from their intended and then rape them”. Basically unless you were claiming they were sacrificing children to Moloch and putting that in the sacramental host you couldn’t really come up with a more salacious rumor. All sorts of I heard it from harry who heard it from ethelred who knows a guy. Pass that through a millennium of telephone and Voila! Hey presto, the Droit Du Seigneur. The 19th century writers and historians liked it so much they propagated the heck out of it.

    1. Well, of course they are.

      The Democrats are the pro-slavery remnant of the old Democratic-Republican party. The anti-slavery wing split off, merged with an anti-slavery faction from the Whigs, and formed the Republican party in the 1850’s. The Republican party was mostly founded on opposition to slavery. The Democrats stuck with supporting slavery. The Whigs pretty much faded away.

      The Democrats started the Civil War a month after President Abraham Lincoln took office. Didn’t end well for them.

      ‘Gun control’ was put into place across the South to keep them uppity freed slaves from shooting back at the KKK — a bunch of disgruntled Southern Democrats.

      During the 1960’s their overt expressions of racism flipped from anti-black to anti-white, but other than that they haven’t changed much.
      ———————————
      My grandpa voted Republican until the day he died, but he’s been voting Democrat ever since.

      1. Much of what the modern intersectionalist preach is basically “the white supremacist are correct, but that’s bad Mmmmkay’.

        1. Most. MOST of what modern intersectionalists preach is basically “the white supremacists are correct, but that’s bad Mmmmmkay?” Feminism mirrors chauvinism in very much the same way. It’s just that they insist that it’s GOOD that women have mushy brains that are unsuited to business or science. Better, even!

          What blows my mind is how few people even hear what comes out of their own mouths.

          1. What they saying is Nation of Islam founder Elijah Muhammad’s screed that “The White Man is the Devil” and simply gussying it up in academic terms and expanding it to include white women (most of the time). People spouting this don’t want equality. They want to be the masters.

            1. The thing is, the white majority of screeching wokesters don’t see themselves as white devils. Oh, there may be some sacramental decrying of personal skin privilege, but deep down, they know they are better than the vast majority of flyover country deplorable clingers.
              The wokesters also look at the various minority peoples they claim to speak for as a form of speaking animal, to be preserved in their natural habitats when possible, but occasionally acceptable as status pets. But the idea that they can survive in the western world without careful shepherding from their woke white betters? It confuses and terrifies the poor things- they just can’t comprehend the complexities of white science, ethics, economics, and so on.
              Thus the doublethink of western radical chic.

              1. The wokesters also look at the various minority peoples they claim to speak for as a form of speaking animal, to be preserved in their natural habitats

                This is most clearly demonstrated in their many efforts to sue on behalf of those — chimps*, elephants, river basins, the climate — lacking in standing because they are NOT persons and are incapable of telling wokeratti to go pee up a tree speaking on their own behalf or of complying with court orders.

                *I haven’t seen the latest alerts: is “chimp” now offensive because it diminishes the stature of the noble chimpanzee? (gads, I hope so.)

                1. There’s also the fact that despite all the liturgical denunciations of personal privilege, they aren’t exactly selling all their positions and giving their money to the poor. They’re not resigning their positions in academia, government, or publishing to make room for a qualified minority candidate. They’re not not running for office. They’ve not stopped trying to put their kids into the good schools.

                  They don’t hate white people- they just hate you.

                  1. They don’t hate white people- they just hate you.

                    Which is why my response to the holy-than-you-crowd-on-high is “You first.”

                    If they are walking the talk (rare) then my answer is “Well good for you. Congrats.”

    2. not only was slavery a positive good for black people, but that it would be better if most white people were made slaves, as they were unfit to care for themselves.

      I can see the arguments in favor of that.

      How many people do we know who are permanently “down on their luck”… because they won’t work, or will work, but only enough to finance a self-destructive habit, and who then cry about how unfair it is that other people have better lives than they do?

      People who make no effort to take care of themselves, expecting other people to do it for them?

      This isn’t a modern problem, people like this have existed forever.

      How would it not be better for them to have their bed and board provided by someone else, and all they’d have to do is fetch and carry?

      Whether it would be better for the people who owned them is another matter entirely.

      This kind of person wouldn’t make a good slave. He’d make the kind of slave that would steal from his master, and that would have to be beaten frequently to do the most basic of chores.

      It’s way more work to force this type of person to take charge of his own life, but it’d be better for everyone involved to do so.

      1. Relative’s spouse fits that description. He had a nice database programming job with an insurance company he lucked into straight out of high school, so he never got his degree. Which meant he was stuck in that job and not promotable. Problem was, he complained too much and eventually quit; and found nobody wanted him either because they’d heard about his complaining, or because he had zero sheepskins or certs. And no unemployment because he quit, wasn’t fired. Lives off his wife’s pay, goes and shoots pool at the local hall, occasionally heads to Foxwoods and blows through money they can’t afford. Lost their house. Lost their 2nd car. Barely make it living in a one bedroom condo apartment. And he’s 110% into progressive socialism of all kinds. And it doesn’t matter how many other people have to work their tails off to support him and those like him.

        1. “And he’s 110% into progressive socialism of all kinds. And it doesn’t matter how many other people have to work their tails off to support him and those like him.”

          Yeah. Most people don’t mind too much if they’re helping people with a legitimate inability to work. Someone who can’t be arsed to correct their lack of education or is picky about what work they refuse to do, particularly now that everywhere is hiring, is another matter entirely. And since this guy has a roof over his head and is supported by another person, there’s no excuse about “living wage” keeping him from contributing *something* to his own upkeep instead of being a 100% leach.

      2. As can be seen by the statements of the leadership of the Democratic Party, as well as people like “the Squad”, is that they fundamentally believe that the vast majority of people, i.e. the peasantry, i.e. anyone not a member of the elite political class, is unable to care for themselves and must have every detail of their lives micromanaged by The State. For them, having absolute power over other people dovetails with their belief that the people they seek power over are at best incapable and at worst fundamentally evil. Simply put they loathe the people they want to rule over, and yes, they want to rule, not govern.

      3. In the prison system those people are referred to as “institutionalized”. There are some inmates who recognize they’re better off in jail, and will upon release, sometimes forced upon them, immediately commit another minor crime to get back in.

        Back when the Army and Navy didn’t have an up or out policy for enlisted men, career privates and seamen were not uncommon. It was said the best rank in the Navy was petty officer 2nd class. Senior enough to get out of most working parties, and too junior to actually be in charge or responsible for anything.

    3. I think that Fitzhugh, other than using language we’d find appalling, was entirely in line with the most common attitudes today which is that people are “unfit to care for themselves”. More, it’s trendy to be proud of your inability to take care of yourself, proud certainly to be unable to master yourself. “If I had a gun I’d get mad and shoot someone,” is something said *pridefully*. Repeated expressions and confessions of indelible bias are humble brags, “Oh, look at my human weakness which I can never change but also, over here, see my extreme virtue in my confession.”

    4. I don’t think it’s necessarily a “drive for slaves” so much as it’s a “drive for power”. They don’t really want the responsibilities that go along with being slave owners, like having to take care of the slaves and look forward to taking responsibility for their well-being in the future. That’s damn hard work–You have to find things for them to do which will pay their keep, and keep generating new business. It’s much, much easier to have hire-at-will employees you don’t have to feed, clothe, and house–A point the slaveowner glides right by, because “slaveowner”. They’ve got a psychology and mindset that is geared towards perpetuating the system, which is actually a lot harder on them than a free labor market would be. Once you’re on that tiger, there’s no easy way to dismount.

      The Democrats want the ability to tell people what to do, without the responsibility of having to care for them when things don’t work out. That’s the basic drive–They’re like that bossy kid on the playground, the one who is constantly trying to order everyone else while they’re at play. It’s not the slave that turns them on, it’s getting to tell that slave what to do and how to live. You can observe the fact of this in a lot of Democrat and elite policies–They tell people that traditional family formation is unnecessary and inimical, but what do they do for themselves? Are they there to pick up the pieces in the aftermath? Nope; that’s someone else’s problem, not theirs. Never mind the inimical effects of their policies and acts, it’s the intent that counts instead of the effect.

  7. Defunding government at all levels and scaling back its authority to that specified in the constitution is needed. But it won’t happen as long as we all have an idolatrous view of government. The left has evangelized their presuppositions widely and deeply in our culture, so that much of the discord is over the means of implementation, rather than questioning and opposing the ends. These presuppositions must be examined, excised, and replaced, first in ourselves then taken into the broader culture and society.

    1. The ability to do that wasn’t as well protected in our Constitution as it should have been. And getting any amendment passed to require it can’t be done through elected officials. Barely possible through the individual state referendum process; but that is flawed too in that Congress could open a Constitutional convention rather than just for the amendment, and end up screwing us all to Kingdom Come. Granted, that’s what the Founders did with our current Constitution, but most of them truly believed in setting up a government that wouldn’t automatically be to their benefit at the expense of their fellow citizens; and actually understood what the words “freedom” and more importantly, “liberty” actually meant.

      1. Agreed, but the failure ultimately lies with ourselves, not elected officials. We bought into the fundamental lie with the 16th amendment: take money from those rich guys and give it to the beneficent federal government. Those rich guys keeps being defined down, so that today it means anyone who has a non-minimum wage job. America needs a change if heart and only God can give that.

        1. Those rich guys keeps being defined down, so that today it means anyone who has a non-minimum wage job.

          There, fixed that for ya.

          They believe the government will be ‘better’ at spending my money than I would.

    2. It can be done. Trump’s taken a few steps toward it with his “no new regulations unless you get rid of old regulations” EO. And a surprisingly large amount of bureaucratic overreach is because Congress has delegated many of its responsibilities to the various agencies. If Congress were to retake its authority, then power would once again rest in the hands of individuals who are at least responsible to the voters.

      1. Real campaign finance reform forcing politicians to listen to their constituents rather than Unions, Corporations, and Billionaires. Especially Soros. Soros is horrible human being.

        1. Simply require all campaign funds be received from constituents (match by party — helps reduce All Out Craziness.) Place limit on incumbent spending equal to best funded challenger (incumbency is sufficiently advantageous that the limit might be, say, seventy-five percent of what BFC spends.) Yeah, take spending cap off in final period after October reporting.

          Third party ads must be clearly identified, with major funding (Soros, Bloomberg, Steyer, Kochs — anyone providing more than a set percentage, determined by various factors) sources publicly named.

      2. And they did. His rule was that they had to remove two to put in one. They have outdone it, by all reports I’ve seen.

        1. The shocking thing is that there has apparently been very little gaming of that — no Rule #, Section #, sub-section #, sub-sub-section # bull crap.

          Of course, that may be because the regulations are already so comprehensively larded with sub-regulations that they can’t get any more micro-managerial.

      3. If Congress were to retake its authority, then power would once again rest in the hands of individuals who are at least responsible to the voters.

        .
        But then the congresscritters would have to work and we can’t have that! They must have all their time free to campaign for the next election and pander for bribes raise funds! And bloviate about how much better they are than everybody else.
        ———————————
        A politician is worse than a toilet. They’re both full of shit — but at least you can flush the toilet.

      1. Hmm. At some point I want to start playing with your covers to play with expressions. (I know the program you have is bad at it.) It would be interesting to see how easy it is to nudge things around…

  8. The left has power — near dang absolute — over certain fields. And their thirst for more and eternal power leads them to favor and push things that no free market, ever, would reward with money.

    The Left accumulates wealth by gate-keeping — or its alternate aspect: cancelling. Thus they are forever trying to create new gates.

    Unlike the Free market, their goal in pushing product is not gaining of wealth; the already have power which will produce wealth or its equivalent (e.g., shopping in special “Party Member” stores not available to the hoi polloi.) Their purpose in pushing certain “stories” into the market is the same as the ancient kings who kept court bards: legitimizing their rule.

    Which is why the Left first seized power in the symbol manipulation fields where public opinion gets molded.

  9. “I’d guess, from my and friends’ experiences that at least 50% of what goes on in companies (and much more in some) is contrary to what is needed for that company to survive and make money. It’s all in the service of someone’s games and power acquisition.”

    I have the worst of both worlds here, a combo of power grabs and a serious case of I don’t want the responsibility, often in the same person. So we got people who want the power to decide but then can’t bring themselves to decide.
    My new supervisor got the job because he transferred out to become a supe in a different department, yet in meetings he was the one saying yes or no on if certain things were possible and how long this or that should take. The previous supe, who was once his boss, and after more years than I have working at this job, still had no clue how to operate the department. New plant manager said, If you got the answers, you got the department.
    Life got slightly easier.

    1. JP Kalishek Said
      I’d guess, from my and friends’ experiences that at least 50% of what goes on in companies (and much more in some) is contrary to what is needed for that company to survive and make money
      There was an old joke at Digital (i.e. DEC) that 50% of the employees did nothing, 40% actually opposed progress and 10%
      did enough to overcome all that inertia. Sadly somewhere in the late 80’s the first two contingents won out. and the death spiral started.

        1. And in my experience, that 80% ends up deciding who gets laid off, and a remarkable number of the productive 20% get included because they are not ‘team players’ – you know, actually getting stuff done instead of team playing.

            1. Hey. Now. I’ve been on groups where 100% of the group does their part of the project. Managed it 4 times now. Granted last two times were the same group of 4 individuals. Somehow my programming career didn’t rely on group projects. Really, extremely, rare I know. Not even when working at a large company.

              Last company I worked at you could consider the whole entire system a project. But somehow nothing anyone worked on relied on someone else’s work, other than if they’d been into a particular program before you they didn’t muck it up. Happened, but the person stepped up & fixed it.

              Only had one time in 12 years where the person said they’d have to put the problem fix on a back burner. Uh, no. Not when it involved payroll & the person reporting it was going to be fined for it being as wrong as it was. I had to be a bit persistent to get the person, the cause of the problem, get involved right now to do what the client needed to get the data & programming changes fixed. Normally under these circumstances I would have just stepped in (stepped on toes) to fix it … we all kind of did. This was one of the few places where one person, & one person only, had the expertise to get it fixed quickly without getting the client in trouble; and it wasn’t me (but I could, & did, uh, I think it is called … nag).

      1. Yeah, we got plenty of blame game too.
        As well as someone nixing stuff for reasons that make no sense (stopping a loading dock for “safety Reasons” and they are not engineering, or EHS, or OSHA who were fine, or even a department affected by it being or not being. Just for no reason anyone can figure was on the Go/NoGo sign-off list)
        Another issue is too many of those who will make a decision can be sure to make the WRONG decision.
        I’d wonder about how they stay in business, but I know my worst profit product is a 28% margin and that is one that isn’t used internally at all, so every last drop is at least a 28% margin. Heck, we “water it down” for one company (they requested it, one version literally pure H2O and a bit of soap base to hole things together, the other from a different process I cannot do, needs a reactor, vacuum, heat etc) and it is almost the same price per pound, “retail”.
        Okay, this is getting a bit ranting

  10. “Among other things, they will believe if only we were “more educated” we’d believe as they do, they believe humans are infinitely malleable, and they believe a lot of things that just ain’t so, including that their degree in whatever field or their superior intelligence (well they believe what all the “smart” people believe, right?) means they know everything and can improve manufacturing processes, make the economy more “just” and/or design cities and improve agriculture.

    “To be absolutely blunt this is how you end up with wheat planted in Siberia in Winter. It’s how you end up with famines. It’s how you end up with Venezuela, a land of untold natural riches where people are starving to death.”

    While I need to get out of Upstate NY and fast (we got stalled, but now the plans are churning forward again!), it is precisely the cloud of this kind of ridiculousness that makes me *continuously, extremely glad* I got the heck out of DC. -_- “Evidence-based governance!” “It’s necessary to have regulators be able to ban any substance at a moment’s notice without legislative backing, that way the *scientists* get to protect our safety instead of idiot lawmakers who are all in Monsanto’s pocket anyway!” Maybe it’s because I was adjacent to the tech circles, but if I had a dime whenever I heard someone pining that if only we could have rule by (who they considered) the smartest…!

    Ptui. I’m glad I moved and married into a family of middlemen and bootleggers. -_-

    (Also, unrelated: I finally got around to drawing myself an avatar! yay.)

    1. I expatriated from NYS over 3 decades ago. Best damn decision I ever made.
      Join the Free State Movement and come to NH. Yeah, FS’s got a bunch of anarchists and Libertarians in it, but they also had/have a majority of minimal government conservatives.
      Make NH Red again (or at least a more crimson shade of purple.)

      1. Mike Give me a few years and I may take you up on that. I grew up in Connecticut, when I was a kid it was Liberal Republican, that is Socially liberal, but fiscally conservative and for individual freedoms. Downstate near NYC had a few idiots but generally things were OK. Somewhere in the 90’s things went to hell in a hand basket. Connecticut today makes Massachusetts look like a libertarian paradise (that’s a joke folks). New Hampshire when I first worked there in the 80’s was pretty nice. Sadly the flow of untrained MassHoles has balanced to state to its southern regions and is slowly strangling the Live Free or Die State.
        Not quite sure how the New England States got this FUBAR. A little more than 50 years ago they were reasonable places. Of course so were NYC and Hollywood. Now not so much.

        1. Part of Connecticutt’s problem is the legislature convince the people to add an income tax to their existing property taxes with the bogus claim that it would more fairly balance the total tax load for everyone, lowing property taxes and having minimal income taxes.

          And the poor fools bought it.

          1. Like Oregon trying to convince that a Sales Tax would create a financial triangle VS just property tax & income tax; plus it would hit the tourists visiting or driving through. Or Washington with an income tax.

            Okay Washington I’ve got nothing. Don’t live there anymore. Although will state that when we were there we were better off under the Sales Tax VS Income tax (and our WA county property taxes per thousand were way less than our OR county), then we were lower income, lived on the border, & didn’t pay use tax on anything brought over the border that we could haul & did not have to license (not that it was much).

            Oregon though? First any traveler through Oregon is going to get nailed for gas tax. Any traveler staying in Oregon, not staying in private, non-commercial residences, are nailed with hotel lodging taxes. Otherwise, Oregon idiots who want sales tax can shove-it-where-the-light-does-not-shine. Even at that is not stopping our lovely governor with the consent of the democratic state senate & congress. Now there are TWO taxes based on percentage of the vehicle or RV sale, plus a jack on registration. One tax is .5% of a new vehicle (this was new in 2019), called a new vehicle privilege tax. Second (new 2020) is .35% dealership/vehicle sold fee (know it applies to new vehicles, from context, it applies to used too). Both are “technically” assessed on dealership and not on vehicle purchaser, but dealership can directly pass on the fee to the buyer. Registration & licensing has more than doubled, although first time registration is now good for 4 year, not 2. All & all $1k+ more than the price of the vehicle (have actual #’s on a $28k purchase). To license a vehicle whose MPG rating is 40 mpg or more? That can run $800+, unless you register the per mileage option, which is only available currently in Portland metro …

            Our Sonota is approaching 100k miles. Hubby is thinking for around town an electric smaller vehicle (smaller than Santa Fe, lots bigger than Smart) … I’m thinking “uh, no?” Besides. Yes save money on gas … he doesn’t pay our electric bill!!!! He wants to do that, lets add solar to the house & have EWEB pay us for a good portion of the year, first.

          2. Yes I think that was the mistake. Once the Camels nose is in the tent (or you pay the Dane his Danegeld) it never goes away. Connecticut had always had relatively high sales tax (was 5% most of my life, was 7.25% when they added the income tax) but that was because they were in lieu of income or similar taxes. Only other burdensome tax was the Gas tax which was high but supposed to be for roads ONLY (ha). They let the legislature add the income tax and got nothing back for it. I suspect it was pushed by the Cities which were bastions of stupid liberalism (but I repeat myself) and had been on the ropes since the la 70’s when most manufacturing headed south (later to go offshore)

            1. Something glitched. (WPDE!!!) in any case I was saying I suspect the income tax was pushed hard by the cites which were liberal bastions and had few functional residents as the functional ones (of any race color or creed) booked to the burbs in the late 60’s during the riots and then the blue collar ones went south when Manufacturing left to the south due to costs and really strict union rules.

            2. A lot of that manufacturing was icky, like Colt, Ruger and Mossberg.so good riddance.

              Besides, many manufacturers employ deplorable people, people without college education, people who sneer at doctorates in important fields such as Gender Studies and Ethnohistory. Driving away their jobs is the only way to rein them in.

              1. Oddly RES that manufacturing remained until relatively recently. Connecticut was arms maker to the world, Colt, Electric Boat, Pratt & Whitney Sikorsky and on and on. But yes the elite glitterati hate that stuff and denigrate it every chance they get.

  11. these people have never spent three seconds together thinking of what other people want

    Other people will want what We in power tell them to want. Most of them don’t know what they want until we tell them, anyway. Who the Hell ever wanted a mood ring, pet rock or three-figure sneakers until we told them to want those?

  12. The urge to power seems to be a built-in feature/bug that is only tangentially connected to the desire for wealth. How else to explain the people who set about ruining neighborhood groups, the PTA, writers’ groups, quilt groups, other associations where there’s not nearly enough wealth going to justify their destructive games?

    1. And there’s always one.
      I didn’t say that there wasn’t power for its own sake. Those are usually the worst. I’m saying that it’s a path to the other side, anyway.

  13. In fact, even when they are otherwise competent, they’re so busy playing f*ck-f*ck games (I could tell you stories and how) that the job not only suffers, but becomes distorted by their game playing.

    Oddly enough, HR Departments seem t be the one corporate sector where that game-playing is a necessary part of the job.

    Which is not a compliment to HR Departments.

    I’ve been through a large number of companies and interacted with many excellent HR people, caring and committed to their work. But ONE RULE is always in effect: don’t f–k with them, don’t piss them off, don’t make their job any harder.Because even the nicest people will hammer down any nail that sticks up.
    .
    .

    1. Right meddle not with HR or Executive Assistants for in doing so you will see what power they actually wield…

      1. “Mr. Smith, you’re causing my executive secretary to be unhappy. When she’s unhappy, I’m unhappy. This is my company, and I’m not running it because I like being unhappy. So unless you’re going to make me happy, you need to stop making my secretary unhappy. Or I’ll find a way to ensure she gets happier. Do you understand me, Mr. Smith?”

      2. Yeah, don’t ever be on the bad side of any administrative assistant/executive assistant/whatever euphemism for the-job-that-used-to-be-called-secretary, ever. Choose pissing off HR over pissing off any admin.

        1. Indeed – and one of my jobs in the corporate world was as an admin-assistant. There is a very old-fashioned concept of the admin/executive secretary being basically the “office wife”, who looks after the principal in the work world as steadfastly as the official wife looks after the principal in the home and social setting.
          (Principal meaning ‘the main executive person in the company’. Nothing in the least sexual about it, usually. Just long-time association, mutual respect, friendship even – as well as the long-time good of the enterprise.)

          1. Back when I started my first cubeland job there were still execs who would not type their own emails because keyboards were what secretaries used, but they retired and the administrative assistant job moved from typing stuff to taking care of stuff, and usually for other than C-suite admin roles they moved from supporting just one or a few managers or directors to supporting entire groups, managing everyones travel, organizing meetings, scrubbing major presentations, and so on. With roles that broad the admins became pivotal in Things Getting Done, especially in engineering and operations groups where I worked.

            If I were staffing my volcanic lair, I would pay the most attention to staffing the administrative assistant jobs just because they can set the tone for an entire organization.

        2. Right Secretaries (name them what you will) can be Fairy Godmothers fixing things for you or they can rival the worst of Beelzebubs minions. Always amusing in the classified world was that the secretaries tended to have the highest clearances and were read into the most programs so they could handle all the output for their boss.

        3. The rule of thumb in the AF was that you can have the Commander, and even the First Shirt pissed at you at the same time and you might survive if the Commander’s Secretary likes you. May God Have Mercy on Your Soul if you get the Commander’s Secretary pissed at you.

  14. businessmen in general are more likely to be rational and moral than any politician ever, and certainly than any powerful (but hidden) unelected bureaucrat

    Minor quibble: businessmen in general are less likely to be irrational and immoral. Because they cannot get away with it, except in extremely limited circumstances (e.g., the Soup Nazi.) A business which acquires a “bad reputation” is subject to penalties [excise extended rant over Chick-fil-A problems] But a politician or bureaucrat is exceptionally well-insulated from any repercussions of their peculiarities. [Insert video of Congressman Rostenkowski fleeing mob of irate elderly constituents.]

    “I don’t think they understand what, you know, what the government’s trying to do for them. But it’s always been a problem.”

    “Do you sympathize with their anger on this?”

    “No, I don’t think they don’t understand what’s going on.”
    [from about 1’30” to 1’46”]

    1. > businessmen in general

      There are two kinds of businessmen: the ones who created the business, and the ones who inherited it or were hired in.

      The latter two are usually absolutely convinced of their rightness and superiority, and quite often destroy previously-profitable businesses by failing to do the things that made them successful to start with, even if they don’t roll left and sink.

      Yeah, there have always been exceptions – Henry Ford, Gates, Bloomberg – but they got so rich so fast, they could afford to virtue signal even when it was counterproductive.

      Who they’re signaling *to* remains a mystery to me. If I had thirty or forty billion dollars, my DGAF would be well-nigh impenetrable.

      1. Who are they signaling to? High Society.
        Having the right political views is what separates the gaudy nouveau riche from the true aristocrats.
        Which explains a lot of the views of the 2nd & 3rd generation rich kids- they want to be part of the sophisticated crowd.

  15. Yes, but you forgot to mention the most important thing:

    Who is that young lady on the new banner and what is she scheming?

    1. The blaster is one of the symbols of the muse of misogyny, homophobia, and white supremacism.

  16. The office empire builder who’s really good at backstabbing and ect is a good description of why San Fran Nan is House Speaker.
    And like most of the ilk, is an absolute leadership disaster when they actually get into that position of power.

    1. Plus she’s a carpetbagger – her power base is back east, where her family has been in politics forever.

  17. Noted, with amusement:

    WV invites Virginia #2A counties to switch states
    Jazz Shaw
    I’m not sure if this is more hilarious or serious. Probably both. But with all the news coming out of Virginia these days regarding pushback against new gun control laws, their neighbors in West Virginia have put forth an offer. Tired of the government in Richmond taxing the heck out of you and trying to infringe upon your Second Amendment rights? Perhaps you should consider switching over and becoming part of our state. Come on in… the water’s fine!

    And it’s more than just a casual discussion. The state government in Charleston has already drawn up a bill preparing to accept the new territories if anyone wants to join.

    Whereas, Article VI, Section 11 of The Constitution of the State of West Virginia explicitly permits additional territory to be admitted into, and become part of this state, with the consent of the Legislature and of a majority of the qualified voters of the state; and

    Whereas, In a spirit of conciliation, the Legislature of West Virginia hereby extends an invitation to our fellow Virginians who wish to do so, to join us in our noble experiment of 156 years of separation from the government at Richmond; and, we extend an invitation to any constituent county or city of the Commonwealth of Virginia to be admitted to the body politic of the State of West Virginia, under the conditions set forth in our state Constitution, specifically, with the consent of a majority of the voters of such county or city voting upon such proposition; and we hereby covenant that their many grievances shall be addressed, and, we further covenant with them that their firearms rights shall be protected to the fullest extent possible under our Federal and State Constitution.

    As Breitbart points out, this process would have to take place in a number of steps. First, the West Virginia legislature would need to approve the offer. Then, any of the Second Amendment sanctuary counties and cities that are interested would have to call special elections and have a majority of their voters indicate a willingness to change states.

    After such special elections were held, the petition(s) would shift back to West Virginia, where a majority of voters would have to approve the application. After that, the shift would become official at some point and we’d have to go back and redraw all the maps.

    So is this legal? According to Article VI, Section 11 of the Constitution of West Virginia it is. But I immediately began to wonder what would happen if a city in Virginia voted to join West Virginia but the surrounding county did not. Or what if one of the border counties didn’t join, but the next county to the east wanted to? Can we have non-contiguous counties as part of a state? I’m not sure what the precedent for that would be, but both Minnesota and Washington state do have sections that are not accessible by land without going through a chunk of Canada. It would be an interesting debate to be sure.

    More to the point, the political ramifications would be rather intense. Virginia would immediately turn blue, but they’d lose some congressional seats while West Virginia would become an even darker shade of red and gain some seats.

    All of this may have Governor Northam in even more of a panic than he is already. …

    1. WP says this comment is awaiting moderation. It is about as moderate as I can get and only includes a single URL. While I mislike quibbling or asking special treatment (although I adore receiving such treatment) I must inquire whether the new configuration is going to fuss about embedded URLs even more vociferously than did the prior.

      I do not request changes in the configuration, merely hope to gain knowledge about how to best play this one. Thus far it seems fine with youtube and graphics links, so is this problem due to the link being HTML-embedded, to HotAir (or similar site) or something else?

      Or is WP just being a dick?
      .
      .

        1. Oh sure, now it does, but for at least fifteen minutes after it was posted it was pending moderation. Frankly, I find it more problematic that WP lets things out of moderation without your telling it to do so. Holding in moderation until you release it would at least be evidence of consistency …

          WP is a dick; it lets you down sometimes.

          1. At least half of the posts I make take at least a few minutes (if not longer) to show up. It might even happen with this one.

            *shrug*

            It’s just one of those things I’m used to dealing with around here.

    2. Richmond was the Confederate capital, so none of these developments should have come as a surprise. Including a rich Carpetbagger from New York buying most of the state government.

      Maybe General Sherman should have made a little side-trip, and visited his own special kind of ‘urban renewal’ on Richmond after he finished with Atlanta.

      I would really like to see cities and counties seceding from Virginia, leaving just a thin shell of ‘progressives’ along the coast. I would like to see the Democrats struggling to stop the bleeding, and failing. In fact, I just bought popcorn!
      ———————————
      Everything the Democrats are doing 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.

      1. As much as I’d love to see it, I don’t think it can happen — mainly because of the precedent it would establish. Let those mountain Virginia counties convert to West Virginia and how do you stop Eastern Oregon and Washington from moving to Idaho? Why not let those depressed western New York counties join Pennsylvania and get in on that fracking job creation? Bad as Nevada might be, I think a number of Eastern California counties would rather belong to fealty to Carson City than Sacramento.

        It would get even better if states were allowed to evict localities, trading them to other states or just giving them away. While I doubt Indiana would accept Chicago I wouldn’t be surprised at Illinois attempting to sell it to them. Heck, Wisconsin might even decide that, as long as they’ve got Milwaukee Chicago would be an upgrade.

          1. Just so long as Dallas isn’t evicted. Living in a Dallas suburb, I like living in Texas. Rick Perry was too successful wooing CA businesses to TX. Lots of Calis in Plano.

      2. Or just not letting people vote against them:

        http://ace.mu.nu/archives/385353.php

        ace sums it up perfectly:

        And for those who say “Oh, this is just an opinion piece” —

        1, it’s an opinion piece pushed by a billion-dollar corporation. They’ve moved the Overton Window to the point where this is now fair grist for consideration.

        2, The opinion they’re pushing is an official government apartheid, but with a target class selected by the antifa left.

        3, the extremism of their demands is accelerating. Only recently they started agitating to repeal the First Amendment’s right to free speech; that is now in peril, and restricted where it still exists. Now they’re upping the ante to say that the right to vote must also be limited — and preserved only for the right people, who vote the “right way.”

        4, the last opinion they pushed — which the “reasonable” fake conservatives told me wasn’t anything to worry about — was the idea that a man could wake up one day and declare himself a woman, and that I would be under legal compulsion to agree with his delusion.

        And now that’s a fact of daily life.

        “We win, they lose.” Pull the other one.

    1. Read “Super Powereds” 1-4 this summer. Okay for a KU temp, but not sure if I’d want to pay more than 99 cents per story. “The Cloak Society” sounds the most juvenile of the three, and not particularly appealing; especially as I wasn’t enamored with the Percy Jackson stories someone compared it to. I’d vote to read Larry’s “House of Assassins”, except I haven’t read the first one yet; and my only problem with Larry’s stories is that they’re so popular right now, he can command a premium price of $7 even for an e-book. Sorry Larry, you’re absolutely wonderful, but until you drop to the 99 cent range, or KU temporary free to read, the only one’s I’m ponying up serious beer money for are the MHI ones I started with.

      1. Yes, the Cloak Society is a juvenile. It’s great fun, and better than Jackson. But if you don’t want to try it, I dare say you don’t.

      2. I have noticed that Audible frequently flogs Larry’s books, even the non-MHI ones, at discount. If you find listening to somebody reading a book that is a route worth considering.

        OTOH, the world holds no shortage of books available.

        1. Exactomundo! There’s a long tail of inexpensive, fair to good reads, and occasional gems, that can keep me sated for the rest of my life. And the authors appear to be happy with a sale that may get them a cup of coffee, rather than lunch or dinner.

  18. Another relevant quote from my wisdom file, “I do not see how it solves the problem to take power away from wealthy people, who have a lot of it, in order to increase the power of politicians who have far more of it.” -Arnold Kling

  19. Despite my adolescent delusions of grandeur, I’m somewhat content with my lot as a man who has done good and occasionally important work. I understand you can make a good living selling Rolls Royces and Bentleys and become fabulously wealthy selling cheap but acceptable hamburgers and fries. You can also do great work that few appreciate even if it would benefit them greatly.

    One of the things I tend to ask young engineers I work with is, “Who would you rather be, Tesla or Edison?” Usually the response from the bright ones is, “Tesla!”.

    “So, you’d rather be a genius who ends up penniless and spends 30 years alone in a series of hotels where you can’t pay your bills instead of another genius who also had good business savvy and died a billionaire?”

    But yes, it vexes me greatly seeing the young, talentless, corrupt, self-important princelings being handed piles of money for having been spawned by their corrupt and vile parents.

    1. Would you like a snifter of schadenfreude with your cigar?

      USC offered Lori Loughlin the perfectly legal way to buy Olivia Jade’s admission
      The only question more baffling than how the uber-wealthy parents prosecuted in the college admissions fraud crackdown managed to mess up their crimes is why they had to resort to crime at all. Why couldn’t they just follow the kakistocratic method of the Kushners and the Kennedys and just donate a library and host a few benefits? Why go through all the struggles and stunts to pretend your beauty-vlogger daughter is in fact a Division I-quality coxswain?

      Well, the question became all the more confounding after federal prosecutors dumped emails from the Operation Varsity Blues case, proving nearly as damning for the University of Southern California as they are for actress Lori Loughlin and her husband, designer Mossimo Giannulli.

      Mere months into Loughlin and Giannulli’s machinations with mastermind Rick Singer to stage their elder daughter, Bella Giannulli, as an athletic recruit for USC, the university’s development office reached out to Giannulli directly to grease the wheels for her admission.

      “Please let me know if I can be at all helpful in setting up a 1:1 opportunity for her, customized tour of campus for the family, and/or classroom visit? I’d also be happy to flag her application,” the unnamed official wrote to Giannulli in September 2016. After he deflected the email in a few exchanges, the official followed up with a wink and nudge that they could discuss his possible “philanthropy or participation in [USC’s] mentorship programs.”

      Despite USC’s repeated refutations, the Varsity Blues scandal has blown the cover off of what everyone has known for years. Rich applicants and, more importantly, famous applicants earned special treatment with financial and publicity pledges. While top universities reportedly require around $10 million these days to be swayed, documents obtained by the prosecution found that USC routinely flagged applications from mere five-figure donors. If Giannulli and Loughlin were already willing to cough up half a million to illegally buy their daughters’ ways in, why wouldn’t they have just doubled that to slap their name on a library wing and avoid the whole federal crime thing?

      Prosecutors, who are rumored to consider prosecuting the students on the grounds that they were knowingly complicit in Singer’s scheme, are baffled by Giannulli and Loughlin’s decision. …

  20. That’s two of the unholy trinity that men worship. The third one is sex. If you have enough of either power or money, you can get more sex. It doesn’t quite work as well the other direction, although as various European monarchies and Chinese dynasties have demonstrated, it can. Women who latch on to the right man, or sometimes men, can accumulate substantial wealth and power in their own right. For any of those, the less you worry about the consequences to other people (and the feedback therefrom), the easier it is to accumulate.

  21. You are not imagining the desire for slavery. One ugly thread running through the tapestry of American politics has always been “We are the natural ruling race, and as such, we are entitled to the land, property, and labor of the lesser beings who could not take care of themselves without us”. The only major evolution has been the constant redefinition of who the “lesser” beings are, and the shift after the civil war from “we will take 100% of the property and labor of a small group” to “we will take less than 100% of the property and labor from a larger group”

    1. When I was stationed in Okinawa and managing the Quality office there, I had the experience of having a grown woman on her hands and knees begging me to not have her fired. And she didn’t even work for me, but for MWR, after they stranded us in downtown Naha during a tour.

      TOTALLY, WEIRDED, ME, OUT.

      I don’t think I’m psychologically suited to owning, keeping, or using slaves.

  22. Still running around like mad at the end of the week here, so all I have really been doing is checking “what did Sarah do now with the blog?”

    So, until I catch up, no substantive commentary – but I like this banner. Maybe even a little better than the old one. (The last one – rather scary! Maybe save it, though, for a picture writing prompt when Fluffy eats the email…)

  23. A very important topic. I’m reminded of a couple of quotes, one from Ben Franklin:

    There are two passions which have a powerful influence in the affairs of men. These are ambition and avarice—the love of power and the love of money. Separately, each of these has great force in prompting men to action; but, when united in view of the same object, they have, in many minds, the most violent effects.

    …and one from Irving Kristol:

    Now, the pursuit of power is a zerosum game: you acquire power only by taking it away from someone else. The pursuit of money, however, is not a zero-sum game, which is why it is a much more innocent human activity. It is possible to make a lot of money without inflicting economic injury on anyone. Making money may be more sordid than appropriating power—at least it has traditionally been thought to be so—but, as Adam Smith and others pointed out, it is also a far more civil activity.

    What the Democratic Party is all about, in practice, is tightly coupling the pursuit of power and the pursuit of money.

  24. Wholly off-topic but confirmation of facts we’ve long known:

    Cows talk to each other, including about food: study
    Cows are able to “commooonicate” with each other, a startling new study says.

    Published in Scientific Reports in December, the study notes that Holstein-Fresian heifer cattle are able to communicate with one another, using their own distinct moos. The researchers, including lead researcher Alexandra Green, took 333 samples of cow vocalizations and analyzed them using acoustic analysis programs. They discovered the cows are able to give cues in certain situations and express different emotions, including excitement, arousal, engagement and distress.

    “We found that cattle vocal individuality is relatively stable across different emotionally loaded farming contexts,” Green said in a statement.

    [SNIP]

    Previous research had revealed cows and their calves are able to communicate by keeping individuality in their lowing (the vocal sounds made by cattle), but Green’s research indicates that the individuality is kept throughout their entire lives and spread across the herd.

    “Cows are gregarious, social animals,” Green added. “In one sense it isn’t surprising they assert their individual identity throughout their life and not just during mother-calf imprinting. But this is the first time we have been able to analyze voice to have conclusive evidence of this trait.”

    [END EXCERPT]

  25. “I’d guess, from my and friends’ experiences that at least 50% of what goes on in companies (and much more in some) is contrary to what is needed for that company to survive and make money. It’s all in the service of someone’s games and power acquisition.”

    In a good company that’s making money, 50% is probably accurate. Half of everything everyone does is waste motion and power games. That’s my experience, anyway. Half the people work, the other half just look like they’re working. That’s a -good- company.

    In a shit company that’s losing money? Its -all- power games and waste motion. The people who work all fled, the ones that only look like they’re working are all that’s left.

    That’s why I love being self employed. Companies come and go, sales reps come and go, but I remain.

    In God we trust. All others pay cash.

    1. Is it just that link or do jpg links no longer go live? Has anybody successfully posted a jpg, pgn r gif link live?

      Still probing the envelope …

      1. I’m not seeing the image in Opera, just a clickable link.
        Not in Chrome either
        Nor in Firefox

        Windows 10

    2. It’s a bit soon to be thinking about blasting the native martians with rayguns.

      Decent chance that while the systems may be in space, we aren’t looking at having a lot of people up there. Space Forcers may be doing most of their dying here on Earth. And perhaps also initiating killing from same.

    3. Well, it did take the Air Force years to come up with their own uniforms and quit using hand-me-down Army designs. And until the last few years the field/utility uniforms have all been Army designs.

      Given that most of their operations are going to be in stateside buildings and under ground facilities for the foreseeable future, that uniform is about as good as anything and everyone currently in the Space Force already has it (or the previous AF ABU).

      I know I would rather wear pictured uniform than a flight suit in an office/ground based operations facility.

  26. Our opponents prefer the image-making industry because they are so very, very good at taking complete bullshit, wrapping it up, putting a neat bow on it, selling it to someone unsuspecting, and getting far away before the buyer unwraps it.

    Once upon a time, their worst impulses were kept under control because the people with Money tended to keep them from being stupid. Or at least being stupid where it wouldn’t risk them money. Unfortunately, we live in an era where technology and social media systems make it easy for our enemies to seem relevant because they are so very good at crafting the image.

    Fortunately, this also means that some of us that like working with images and aren’t pants-on-head retarded in everything other than the artistic field can actually make things.

      1. They are good at insults and putting other people down.

        Humor, on the other hand, requires you to have the ability to laugh at yourself, and they can’t. That means you have to be vulnerable and they can never be vulnerable, because they would stick the knife into someone if they were vulnerable.

    1. The thing is…I’m of the mind that there’s no reason there can’t be a female Doctor, and I’d have been interested in watching…if they didn’t turn it into a damn ‘feminsm grl pwr men suck!’ thing.

      For that matter, it’s just inconsistent: the female doctor is played almost androgynously and doesn’t seem to realize she’s a woman at all at first.

      On the other hand, the Master’s incarnation of Missy was great: she embraced the femininity and brought a new dimension of villainy to the character: cunning, playful, manipulative and – yes – dangerous.

      But maybe I just think women make excellent villains. I’m a misogynist that way I guess.

      1. My complaint was how heavy-handed and obvious the BBC was about “We’re having a female Doctor because Reasons!!” Not because the actress was the best person to play the role. I’d been drifting away for a while, but that finished chasing me off.

    2. Imagine, for a moment, they had cast a female Dr. Who but based her on Margaret Thatcher … or Nikki Haley.

      1. It is amazing how the Seattle fanvids from the late 80’s/early 90’s got over the SJW annoyingness in an ep or so of female Doctor, but the “professionals” can’t.

        I recommend “The Legend of Chief Shannon Grant” for a portrayal of a real life woman doing all kinds of stuff. You will notice that she was very high energy as well as being physically, athletically, and socially talented. (And even being artistic.) And she came from a family of high energy high achievers.

        So picture the hell on earth that it would be, if you were keeping a woman like that in purdah, with nowhere to use all her energies except on the family trapped there with her.

        Or picture what would have happened if she were working in Iraq as a civilian. She would still have been poking about, talking to people and becoming notorious. (Sort of like the actual Doctors, in fact.)

        There has been a lot of “woman warrior” discussion this week. Not all women are like Shannon Grant. But if you have a woman like Shannon Grant, you want to make sure her talents and energy are used, in the right direction.

    3. 1) I’ve said that if you wanted to do a Female Doctor, I’ve had this one idea for years…

      She has to be Scottish. And ginger. And, VERY much a woman. Believable both as a lady and as a wrench wench, has to have an episode where she works in a garage and looks great, even when covered in grease. (And secretly uses Time Lord technology to fix cars that they are BETTER than they were before…)

      Clothing style? Very practical Victorian steampunk-corset, skirt, blouse, vest, maybe a hat (and it has to be a nice hat), boots perfect for hiking or kicking people, question mark brooch. This is a Doctor that will always be in style. She will try to dress to “blend in,” but always at the height of style and the height of sensuality. Never…blatant? But always “When you get a chance, do pay attention to me. There’s a lot to see and it is marvelous.”

      Personality? Bon vivant, sensual, thoughtful, and caring. She flirts with everyone (openly bisexual and looks at people weird if you say otherwise) and you get the feeling that if they ever said yes, the show would have to be put on well after the watershed. There will be a scene where someone claims that because the Doctor is a kind and caring person, they are weak. She replied, “Why is it that people like you think that they are more ruthless than people like me?”

      And she shows them why.

      She’s more ruthless than the Seventh Doctor, and scarier than the Fifth. And, she has fully come to terms with being the War Doctor, and accepts that she did what was needed in a time of madness, not because she couldn’t be the Doctor, but because she was.

      And, wouldn’t that be a much better character than the MUH DIVERSITY Whittaker?

      2) The Doctor Who fandom, at least since the New Series, has had a lot of the yaoi female fanbase in it. Dated a girl for about three months that was a major Who fan and I got a chance to see this in action. The yaoi fandom has a lot of overlap with the Social Justice Zealots, especially in female fans.

      3) My hope is that there will be this moment of clarity in all of these shows, and we can get rid of the people that think this is a Good Idea (TM). We might see that with “Star Trek” soon, especially with the Viacom re-merger and nobody seeming to like “Picard” or any of the Bad Robot TV series. That a dance show could beat out the first two episodes of a new season of the Doctor should be a wake-up call.

      1. re: #1; Wait, what?! You want the Doctor as Kaylee Frye?

        More than fine by me. Can we get Jayne as companion?

      2. I dunno–honestly, I’d prefer one that was kind of a combination of Paksenarrion and, as RES put it, Kaylee Frye. It gets a little exasperating, sometimes, when it seems like every single TV protagonist is rolling like Casanova.

        1. I see this Doctor as the ultimate wingman (or wingwoman, in this case). She does everything behind the scenes to help other people succeed.

          And, I can even figure out how to make her the fourteenth Doctor! We’ve just been watching the Valeyard for the last season and a half, she hijacked the Doctor and her TARDIS and has been PRETENDING to be the Doctor.

          (Okay, who took longer than 30 seconds and a Google search to find the Valeyard?)

      3. Personally, if I were doing a female Time Lord, I would open with a woman walking through a countryside where you can still sometimes make out that there was a devastating war decades ago. Then the TARDIS appears. She walks and goes in, and says, “Grandfather?”

        Another woman walks into the control room and explains she’s Romana, and the TARDIS just picked her up in the same way. She can’t find the Doctor, either.

        So we have adventures, figuring out what happened to the Doctor. (And perhaps, the ventures to rescue the Tharils having been successful, Romana and they are working to replace the Time Lord as the preservers of Time. Maybe with the help of the Thals, because they are aware that without their war with the future Daleks, the Daleks would never have eliminated the Time Lords.)

        Then when the Doctor does get found, there is the whole aspect of things that they did, or left undone, differently from what he would have done.

          1. Ditto. And it would make a lot more sense than how the BBC handled it.

            Why can fans always come up with smoother ways to achieve the same ends as the studios do? [rehtorical question, probably]

            1. I’ll answer it anyways– fans actually love the series, and frequently include those who understand the series.

              Like how a shade-tree mechanic who geeks over engines will do a better job than the guy who just sells the car.

        1. Where’s the opportunity to virtue signal in that? Where’s the opportunity to rub Wrongfen noses in their misogyny? Absent those opportunities all they’re doing is producing a popular TV show. That no longer lets you go to all the right industry parties and boast.

          Wouldn’t those parties be a fun target for Project Veritas?

          1. I really hope someone with access is taking notes, and writes a book about Woke Broke Hollywood (and other entertainment media). Something akin to “Easy Riders, Raging Bulls”.
            This whole thing of showing contempt for your hardcore fanbase is stupid, but understandable. The various showrunners, creators, and others see themselves as being above the material, so they feel the need to twist it, deconstruct it, mock it, and do whatever else they need to do to show that they are the hip kids, not the geeks.

          2. Well, Romana and Susan could defend their own actions. Perhaps they had to do tough but necessary things like the Time Lords who first set up their defense of time, that hadn’t had to be done in the Doctor’s day because it was set up. The show could take their side.

            OTOH, the Thals are all blond. That would blow it out of the water right there.

    4. Well, I just got around to watching the ‘Orphan 55’ episode. They buried the plot by dumping the Message on it with a steam shovel, and the scientific illiteracy was painful to behold.

      It would seem that Global Warming will convert the entire atmosphere to carbon dioxide and kill off all life, except for hordes of monsters that live on an ENDOTHERMIC process — converting carbon dioxide into oxygen WITHOUT any source of energy to, you know, make such a basic chemical reaction run backward. Or any source of food, because the monsters are the only life forms on the planet.

      I remember when Doctor Who made at least some feeble attempt to acknowledge the laws of physics, but I guess those laws must be RACIST!!!! or something.
      ———————————
      G’Kar: “Weep for the future, Na’Toth. Weep for us all.”

        1. ….Plant monsters?


          They still produce oxygen in dark underground rooms.

          In addition, photosynthesis is about 0.02% efficient, so a humanoid monster would have to present over 500 square meters of surface area in full-strength sunlight to produce enough energy to support its resting metabolism. More, if the monster wants to engage in any sort of physical activity.

          There’s a reason trees don’t run around like squirrels.

          Oh, and there were fires burning in the carbon dioxide atmosphere; forgot to mention that bit of Hollywood Stupid. Very few substances will burn in carbon dioxide, and they don’t produce normal-looking flames.
          ———————————
          Anything the government can do for you, it can do you; everything the government ‘gives’ you it can take from you.

      1. *snort* I thought Great Britain was supposed to be underwater by now. Goes to show how much bunk the doomsayers are (I mean, as if the previous passing of all the DEADLINES TO SAVE THE PLANET weren’t a great, repeating example.)

        The fact that they keep forgetting that plant life has the most basic of abilities of using carbon dioxide as food and ‘exhale’ oxygen… is rather astounding, if it wasn’t for the fact that they have very little in the way of teaching those basics of science to the children these days.

        1. They don’t teach them arithmetic, either, and the history they teach is not the same history I remember. They’ve gone beyond leaving stuff out; now they’re making stuff up.
          ———————————
          Not everybody should go to college. Some folks, you send ’em to college and you just wind up with an educated idiot.

          1. Heck. Northern Rockies, specifically Glacier NP, were suppose to be glacier free this year. They’re having to spend money to modify/remove extensive signs “educating” the public throughout Glacier regarding the demise of glaciers in Glacier due to global warning, by 2020 … well this summer. Seems like there is too much snow to do it immediately (like maybe July 2020 they’ll get them corrected).

            We didn’t got into the Columbia Ice Field exhibit this last summer. Just too many people. Don’t know what their take is currently. They are still offering bus tours onto the ice shield. We didn’t go on the tour this time.

            What is really striking is the new Skywalk north of the Ice Field facilities. We came up on the highway, around a big sweeping curve, at one of the narrowest part of the highway through the granite cliffs, it suddenly is hanging off the side of the cliff, right at the edge of the road. Same way coming south, you can see it sooner, still impressive, even tho by then we knew it was there. One of the sweeping videos shows the parking lot. It looks bigger in the video than it really is. Room for a couple of buses, maybe. No place for other vehicles to stop, not even along the highway, for quite a ways either direction (we checked). Not a spot you can just pull into (legally).

            https://www.banffjaspercollection.com/attractions/columbia-icefield/skywalk/

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