Totalitarianism and Ignorance

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When I was little, we lived in an apartment cut out of grandma’s house. I understand before my time, it had been storage rooms of various kinds, but was converted to a shotgun apartment for my parents when they got married. Because my parents are crazy people, they then lived there for 14 or 15 years, until they could buy a home outright.

The house was already over a hundred years old when I was born, and electricity had been a late addition, though my parents had their own electrical board and meter.

Not that we used a ton of electricity. There was a light in the middle of the ceiling in the kitchen, one in the living room, and bedside lamps in the bedroom and in the hallway where my brother (or I. The other would sleep at Grandma’s that night) slept. And there was the radio mom listened to while working.  But the board was such that plugging anything at all in made it go down. And when it went down, the normal procedure was to slip the coin that was the equivalent of a quarter into the place where the last one had melted.

It took me years to find out this was an extremely unsafe practice and why.  I.e. since the coins don’t blow as fast as the fuses do, they could start a house fire. But frankly, if anyone in the family knew that, they didn’t care. Because having the coin in there meant if you accidentally turned on two lightbulbs and the radio, the whole thing wouldn’t go down.

Right now it’s entirely possible that we’re looking at just that situation globally, and that at the moment China is the coin in the electrical board, disguising the fact that things are very bad indeed.

Because I belong to a group of writers and futurists, we are, of course, all discussing what precisely the kung-flu — xi disease — means, and how bad the outbreak actually is.

The funny thing is that everyone agrees that the official numbers are nonsense, but what the real numbers are, nobody knows.  And the difference is ludicrous, ranging from something like 1k to 13k.

As for percentage of infected, that’s even more nebulous, because no one is testing everyone.

So far it seems to be a wet petard outside China — which is good — as SARS was, as were other illnesses of the third world, such as Ebola.  OTOH one of the things we don’t really know is how long ago the outbreak started.  We also are a bit shaky on latency, as it seems possible that people are infected and infectious a long time without symptoms, (we know it’s some time, but not how much time.)

In fact, the truth is we know about as much about real facts on the ground as we know who really won the Democratic party Iowa caucus.  Which is to say very close to nothing.

Even witness reports contradict each other, ranging from bodies piled int he street, to everything completely normal, except for an overabundance of facial masks.  And of course, there are reasons to lie in both directions. Opponents of the regime might want to report more trouble than really exists, while those who are defending the regime might want to white wash the whole sorry mess.

Which brings us back to jamming coins in electrical boards, or removing batteries from fire alarms that are beeping because the battery is old — and yes, I know you’ve done that. I have too, when it’s the middle of the night and you don’t have another battery — and then leaving it like that: it reduces the number of alarms. It also, in the end, could cost you your life.

Totalitarian regimes, by definition, falsify information. Or silence it.

They present the outside a smooth, polished, best-case-scenario image. That’s the good side. The bad side is that what is actually going on inside is not known, either to the outside world, or to the inside.

Everyone who agitates for reductions or elimination of the First Amendment should ponder that.  Sure, words can be hurty and cause much anguish. As someone who is actually quite confrontation averse, I know that. Also, frankly, like the beeping alarm in the middle of the night, which denotes not fire but a low battery, they can mean pretty much nothing. A lot of speech that goes to rumors and innuendo with absolutely no substance — but enough about CNN — is like that alarm, annoying you and keeping you out of bed for no good reason.

So, why not curb the ability to call people bad things? Or to tell lies? Why not pass a law against fake news? Why not simply say that news can only be reported by licensed journalists held to strict standards?

Because no one ever needed a First Amendment in order to tell you the baby is pretty and that the clothes the king is wearing are wonderful.

If you put any curtailments on the First, you’re giving tyrants and people who would like to be tyrants the ability to stop information they don’t like.

And trust me on this, having worked in industries dominated by the left, it’s like a mini totalitarian regime. You constantly watch what you say and even your facial expressions, because any sign of dissent will be punished.  This means when people get up there and make blatantly political speeches you disagree with at a political banquet, you try to keep your face absolutely impassive.

Of course that means the idiot who got up there some years ago, and talked about how Howard Dean was our future president had no clue how many people he was offending.  Now in science fiction and at the time, it didn’t mean much. It’s not like any of us were going to say anything. We couldn’t get around the gatekeepers and continue making a living.

OTOH when that regime is country-wide (and it is, in a lot of countries. Even Canada has restrictions on speech) there can be real world consequences.  Say a law says your words can’t “cause panic” or “incite to harm.”

Like facebook’s famous “coordinating harm” interdiction which was used to prevent from typing the name Eric C*aramella, because apparently naming a fake whistleblower means we’re all going to show up at his house with clubs and broken bottles, (Ah, left, you project like an IMAX) that incitement to harm or causing panic can be used to, oh, say, prevent a doctor from revealing that there’s a pandemic running rampant. Or preventing people from knowing the magnitude of the disaster.

So…. what does it matter?

Ah, I’m glad you asked.  You see, in the past we could tolerate totalitarian regimes where truth was unknown and unknowable.

Mostly because, frankly, though there was global commerce, it was erratic and performed on horse/camel/elephant back or by ship.

Nowadays you could go around the world in 3 or 4 days (depending on your flights and resources.  But more importantly, merchandise and money does that.

The epidemic in China can affect our economy. It can also affect our medical resources, available to fight the epidemic (of all things, apparently most surgical masks are made in China. Which is a problem.) So even if it’s just confined to China for cultural or economic reasons?  We’re still going to feel the impact, and in an election year that could be very no bueno.

But what if the “epidemic” started much earlier, or we’re being lied to about…. well…. most of it?

What if it comes here?

Well? What if it does? We have no way of knowing or judging how bad it could be or how bad it could become.  (And you guys are prepared for a one-month quarantine at home, right? If not, why not? I mean, even if this is nothing, there’s always the possibility of future trouble.)

This is the problem of enmeshed world economies, the problem of globalism and open borders.  It is not only that when trouble hits we have no real way to seal the border. It’s the problem that even a disease like SARS or EBOLA which will not propagate in the West, if it crosses a certain threshold, will have economic consequences for the west.

I’ve said before that if we want open borders, we can’t have a welfare state. And as long as we have a welfare state, we need tight control on who might come in to — potentially — be a charge on citizens.

In the same way, if you want a global economy, with complete free trade, you cannot have totalitarian states. Because if you do, you’re putting the entire world at risk. It is not a coincidence either that epidemics and any kind of illness tend to kill a lot more people in states where information doesn’t flow freely. A great part of curbing illness in any herd, including the human herd is forewarning and preparing. If you can’t trust anything our of a country you do business with, what confidence and you deposit in their performance?

In an ideal world — and trust me, I’d love this — we could have a free flow of people and business everywhere.

But I have some time ago realized that wishing every country were open to scrutiny and allowed speech of all sorts, it’s sort of like wishing every man were a gentlemen and none of them committed rape, or that every woman be honest and truthful.  It’s a lovely idea, but one that will never happen, for is it not written, the bad apples shall always be with us?

In a world with bad apples, individuals and groups of individuals — all the way to nations — must protect themselves.

Which means, unfortunately, that not everyone can move around with perfect liberty, and that one cannot have commerce with countries that engage in totalitarian practices.

Because totalitarianism kills, sooner or later.

And we don’t want to go down with it.

 

 

369 thoughts on “Totalitarianism and Ignorance

  1. 1) I like the comparison between “Welfare state or open borders: Pick one” and “Global trade or totalitarian regimes: Pick one.” Never thought of it that way, but it makes sense.
    2)Mrs. Zevon works in a Left-dominated field and speaks daily of the need to bite her tongue while clueless Leftists speak, assuming both that they actually know anything about the subject, and that everyone agrees with them.
    3) I work at a big box in a Colorado mountain town, and all of our dust masks (not even medically rated) were purchased by a Chinese man to send home, as apparently the country which makes all of them is completely out of them.

    1. We’ve got a box or two of medical face masks in our box of first aid and medical stuff – darned things might be worth a fortune at this point. I think that the Daughter Unit and I could manage a fortnight of self-quarantining – possibly even longer. Full freezer, full refrigerator, a lot of our work is done remotely … we could fort up rather comfortably, starting today, even.

          1. There’s a video game inspired by that siege called “This War of Mine”. You need to manage a group of survivors taking shelter in an abandoned house, and keep them alive until a ceasefire is declared. It’s a very interesting experience.

        1. Channelling my Less Saline Raconteur Report: Wash your hands.

          Start NOW with a clean hands protocol. 60% or greater alcohol in your sanitizer and have a bottle in your car and purse. Get the surface (hand, steering wheel) wet with the stuff and let it sit half a minute. [Source: Mayo Clinic]

          Do not touch your face and keep your distance. Immediately on returning home, wash your hands well. Sanitize your book or e-reader.

          Ounce of prevention…

      1. Those paper masks are next to useless. I have a couple of industrial masks with HEPA filters, for when I have to be around REALLY fine dust. Those work. They can be found at industrial and welding supply stores.

        They also make you sound like Darth Vader. I consider that a feature.
        ———————————
        My grandpa voted Republican until the day he died, but he’s been voting Democrat ever since.

        1. Got a crate of those around here somewhere. Yeah, those are nice to have. The kind that slip over your head and snug up close are good and toasty when its cold out, too.

        2. My apologies to the lady who provided the info, since I cannot credit.

          Take the industrial mask you use in the shop and treat with bleach. Cover with a cloth version of the disposable masks, also treated with bleach (LOK UP THE CONCENTRATION!!!).

          When you get home, boil/clean the cloth mask and reuae.

      2. Okay, you’re quarantined for the next 2 weeks. 3 days later the power fails and the power company employees aren’t able to respond (same quarantine problem). Your local gas stations miss their next fuel delivery and stop pumping, or go on rationing. 4th or 5th day the cell towers go down because no fuel for their generators. At the same time the supermarkets close due to missed shipments and none of their refrigerators working because their generators are down too.

        Collapse will start slow, and be virtually indistinguishable from temporary problems. It’s the 3rd day to possibly the end of a week before it becomes evident that it’s snowballing out of control.

        1. From local experience, your power will get fixed in all but “we’re not answering because we’re all dead” situations. I’ve yet to see a situation where we *don’t.* May take a few hours, but it will be on.

          There have been situations where we’ve tapped the national guard to use tracked vehicles to tow bucket trucks. We work sick or healthy, armageddon or no. When the guys who keep the bones of power, water, and sewer don’t show up, your society is pretty well Effed. Fast.

          1. ’69 local snow. We had power. Any lines that went down got fixed fairly fast, even though TPTB could barely keep the freeway plowed. Let alone the designated military routes required to keep clear. Not enough plows. I am sure the local power repair trucks were getting where they needed to go, however they had to do it.

            Do not remember the store being empty either, even tho we had to walk to it. Think we went to get milk, eggs, & break. Freezer was full of deer, elk, & trout.

            No power locally means no drinkable water, beyond what is in your hot water heater, or what you might have in bottles. No power locally means sewer will be flowing into the river, further polluting the potential drinking water. It isn’t we don’t have water, just it isn’t drinkable.

            This was southern Willamette Valley. Pretty much entire Willamette Valley was shut down due to snow, extending south past the areas that normally get a lot of snow.

            Do we have enough, today, for a month? Not really. Could make it stretch if we had to. But, not really.

            1. Honestly, anyone who decides that “International Brotherhood of…” is a good name for their group smacks of “secretly we want to be Bond Villains” in my book anyway… 😀

        2. Been there in the Ice Storm when the Daughter Product was still a yard ape. It was fine. Local voluntary associations were fine. All the machinery was no bueno, but the people were copacetic.

          The problem comes when you add epidemic to the mix.

          Lose the people and all bets are off.

    2. We’re about to hit round umpteenth of convergence so this is helpful.

      Why they win: I need to get on one of the Listening Teams as a LatinX. I’m too embleer Frith-ing busy. But…

  2. I wish I were at home where I could go into why this is so on spot.
    Maybe it won’t fall out of my head after a day of work and moving the snow out of the way, and I can do it justice.

      1. I like how you put Canada in there. So far Canada seems to be (mostly) okay IF you’re not talking about the mooselimbs. Go there, and you could have a problem. (Which is why I say mooselimbs, of course. ‘but officer, I was talking about the limbs of mooses.'”

        I can tell you, as a local, that the CBC is all-spin-all-the-time. If the CBC says the sun rose in the East and set in the West today, you should go and check.

          1. I’m not saying you’re wrong, Canada definitely needs to be put in the UnFree Speech category. That’s why I like that you put them there. They’re more full of shit than most people will believe.

            The Trudeau government bailed out the Canadian lamestream media to the tune of $600 million CDN, and the last couple of weeks they’ve been making noises about requiring “journalists” to have a federally issued license.

            I guess The Rebel Media and Mark Steyn have been annoying the Shiny Pony a lot more than we thought.

      2. How in the name of St. Peter’s Little green apples do we enforce that?

        You were spot on with “free trade only with people we trust”.

        A law in every heart or a policeman in every corner. And they look the other way when bribed, anyways.

    1. I understand (and share) the impulse to want to stop doing business with China (and others). Unfortunately, what it would take would be for this to happen, the US (assuming we are talking about the US) populace would need to buy-in to the idea in a major way. With roughly half of US citizens aligned with the political party that shares the political ideals that developed into what China has become, I don’t think that level of buy-in is even possible right now. Note how much traction the “Buy American” movement doesn’t get.

      1. Also, a) it’s not half the US population. IF IT WERE these people wouldn’t be wholesale committed to vote fraud. it’s in fact not even close. b) a large percentage of their voters are hereditary democrats who have no clue what the party has come to stand for. Some are wakening up. c) a larger percentage of their voters think that the other side wants to do awful things to them, having been sold a bizarrely distorted version of history. This fear works until the information barrier breaks, and it’s breaking. d) Most of the remaining dem voters who aren’t in it for the graft and corruption are social-signaling, because “everyone knows” the good people are dems. Trust me, I lived among these people. A good scare, not even anything of consequence and they’ll turn their coat so fast your head will spin.
        e) all of this is in flux and not in THEIR direction.

        1. The crazy is crazy in specific ways. And you don’t tend to notice the fraudsters when it affects other people.

          Me: Is there anyone left you want to vote for?
          Actual Nice Lefty Lady: I just don’t know (about the remaining Den candidates)
          Me: I have no idea who to go for in the [open-! double-edged sword, m’goobers- NOT said.] primaries now that Tulsi Gabard is out.
          ANLL: I just don’t like her [Actual words]
          Me: I know, but all the right wingers [Cucks, condottiere cons, etc- also not said] who are repulsed by how icky Trump is like how she’s pro-America. She talks nice about the troops, chuches… But she’s solid on Universal Heath Care, abortion, LGBTQ rights… All the important stuff. She could’ve taken Trump.
          ANLL: I just don’t like her [actual words]

          If Mr. Trump beats the margin of fraud it’s going to be because of all the ANLLs.

                1. Only if my order through Outer Limits Supply, Inc cannot deliver Zanti misfits …


                  I understand they’re on back order because of high demand from the DNC since the Iowa Cock-up.

      2. Except… it’s already happening. All it took was hitting China with tariffs equal to what they had on us, and punitive tarriffs on top until they stopped the outright blatant intellectual property theft – or at least hid it, instead of demanding it in contracts as part of the ability to manufacture there. And then we accelerated it by threatening to decouple Hong Kong’s Most Favoured Nation status from China’s systematic abuse of it, due to their abuse of Hong Kong.

        In the last three years, there’s been an explosion of manufacturers moving to Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, and other points around the globe – much less some coming back home – because between all the other problems inherent in doing business with China and us deciding to join the trade war they’ve been having against us for decades now, it was no longer worth doing business there, or no longer worth putting new plants there.

        You don’t have to convince the consumers if you convince the manufacturers. Nobody cares if their jacket or shoes are made in Nanjing vs. Laos – they just want their clothes to fit and be on the shelf to buy.

        1. *nod*

          Doesn’t have to be perfect, just has to be less insanely blind– they break their agreement, we don’t keep it and pretend they didn’t break it.

      3. I’ve been buying American where I can. Feeling a little bit crazy while the cost differential makes me wince. What started me from “sounds nice” to actually doing it was considering the culture of the origin country and asking if product substitutions along the manufacturing chain would cause harm. (Thanks Foxfire, started me imagining… lots of new things)

        1. I try to buy American when practicable… and I have also switched to paying cash when practicable. Because that leaves the vendor fee in the hands of the company I choose to patronize, instead of being skimmed off by the credit card companies.

          Because I’ve seen the SJW’s moving to capture the credit card companies like they have paypal, and I don’t want to encourage this. Of course the leftists like a cashless society – that means they can dictate who gets paid, and who gets blocked, at the push of a button. No more having to convince the noisy populace that they’re right!

          1. I wish that companies would give a cash discount. Instead they just want to get their own brand of card out there. Like at Costco. A friend who works their informed me that they lose money on their credit card transactions, so why not offer shoppers a cash discount?

            1. Most credit card contracts prohibit the merchant from charging more for credit, or giving a ‘cash discount’, or any measure that would resemble passing the credit card surcharges on to only the credit card users. In effect, cash customers are subsidizing the banks.

              Don’t like the terms? Fine, your customers can’t use OUR credit card at your business.

              I don’t know how gas stations get around it, blatantly advertising separate CASH and CREDIT prices. Maybe because gas stations can get along just fine without accepting credit cards?

              I still prefer to pay cash.
              ———————————
              They say I can’t be a nonconformist because I’m not like the other nonconformists.

              1. I’m aware of at least one gas station – an Arco station – that only allows customers to pay with cash or debit. No credit cards accepted. I’m not sure whether it’s a chain thing, or something about that specific station.

            2. In Washington state, they don’t offer a cash discount because it’s illegal– had a big blow up about gas stations doing that, about ten years back.

              I know some doctor’s offices offer a discount for paying on the day of service, though.

              1. The banks bought enough politicians to actually get a LAW passed against charging cash customers less?

                Where is the leftist outrage against such a monstrous abuse of crony capitalism?
                ———————————
                Leo Bloom: “Well, if we assume you’re a dishonest person—“
                Max Bialystock: “Assume, assume!”

                1. I seem to remember the argument was something like it was too hard for poor people to buy gas, or they were gouging poor people who didn’t have cash on hand, or something like that.

                  1. And the fact that ‘poor people’ are the ones LEAST likely to have credit cards just kind of got lost in the noise? Why would the banks want ‘poor people’ to have credit cards? They don’t have any money!

                    1. They’ve expanded “poor” to the “working poor”– which you and I would probably identify as folks with poor money management skills, not actually poor.

                      You know, the guy at the barracks who always had his entire paycheck spent two days after payday, even though he didn’t have to pay rent or buy food or anything.

                    2. People can work and still be poor. Maybe young, maybe pulling up socks, maybe having legitimate expenses that produce secondary poverty. (Sickness in the family, for instance.)

              2. California had something like that. IIRC, it was “no charging a surcharge for credit card”, while “discount for cash” was acceptable. This was as of the 1990s.

                1. The main thing I remember is that I suddenly had to pay more and switched to paying with my credit card, because then I get points at least– and I thought it was pretty dang cruddy, because now EVERYBODY had to subsidize the folks who would make a purchase and then report their card as stolen. (If it’s under a pretty high amount, the card agreement means that the store has to eat the cost.)

              3. As I recall the regulation was established in the credit card agreements shops have with banks.

                As for doctors … my “Family Physician” offers a 55% discount for payment at time of service. At least, they did before my Medicare coverage went live. I know that Medicare, Medicaid and all insurance companies negotiate a “discounted” fee for service before enrolling a physician on their acceptable providers roll.

                1. Sounds about right. Depending on the practice and facility, I was getting 30-50% discounts for cash at time of service. The day surgery center wanted cash a week before the procedure, but with the 50% discount.

                  The surprise was for warfarin INR testing. I was going to a public health clinic for a while, and the finger-stick test was costing $13 or so, roughly the cost of the consumables and 10 minutes of tech time. The one time I did the same through the hospital-affiliated clinic (part of their infusion treatment facility), the gross cost was $100, with 30% off. I assume if was the overhead costs. (Wasn’t worth getting the meter and doing the test myself. Still not worth it post Medicare eligibility.) Getting a blood draw cost less (and since it was part of the standard lab), I didn’t have to make a specific appointment to do so. Handy when the lab is 40 miles from home with lousy weather.

      4. I think you’ll see rapid changes once medication begins to be rationed. A full 90% of our generic medication comes from China. I’m sweating my diabetic medication. I’m also wondering how effective it is, and what kind of quality control it’s been produced under.

  3. As surely as shade follows a cloud, those who are given power to punish people for “hate speech” are going to start defining any speech they hate to hear as hate speech. First they will go after the skinheads and Westboro Baptist types. Then they will go for Jews, Catholics, and Mormons. And then they will come for you.

    1. Of course, the same thing applies to defining people as “crazy”. Who do you trust to define “crazy”? There’s people on this very site who are fine with trusting the government to do that as long as it allows them to apply it to people they find unpleasant.

      Want freedom? You’ll have to give up speech and tone policing in ALL their forms.

        1. Oh, I’m willing to talk about ‘red flag’ laws. They’re unfair, stupid, unconstitutional, and won’t do Jack Schitt to prevent crime. They punish people who have never committed a crime. They’re gun confiscation laws straight out of Nineteen Eighty-Four.

          Anybody want me to talk about them some more?
          ———————————
          Dayna: “Don’t you ever get tired of being right all the time?”
          Avon: “No, I get tired of other people being wrong.”

          1. Quickly! Excommunicate Imaginos!

            ******

            Now, that wouldn’t change any minds– and there are minds out there to change– in no small part by simply explaining the way the laws they’ve got in place
            1) don’t work,
            2) are easily abused.

            And it’s easy— if you have anything but the “we need these nooooooow” folks talking.

            1. Quickly! Excommunicate Imaginos!


              Awww, not here too. I’ve been excommunicated from so many places I can’t keep track of ’em all. I just can’t help calling bullshit when I see it.
              ———————————
              I used to live on a farm. I know what bullshit smells like.

              1. Since we’re talking about the guy whose response to a call for banning knives was to ask “but how will I slice my strawberries?” under a picture of him using a k-bar in his office to do just that, they were probably being set up for a really epic smackdown.

          2. Congratulations! You’ve just convinced every innocent naif who thinks Red Flag Laws are possible that every opponent of such laws is an intransigent nut incapable of reason.

            Your saying those laws are unworkable is about as persuasive as proponents insistence that we can trust judges to ensure such procedures are respectful of competing public needs.

            I realize that sitting down with people and walking them through the ways in which Red Flag laws are unworkable seems almighty tedious but if you want to convince the public it is so that is what it will take.

            Pain in the butt, I know, but the price we pay for trying self-governance.

              1. I’ve no argument with him — he’s effective. My argument is with those among us who are counter-effective.

                1. Since he’s making the same actual arguments I am, it gets back to exactly what I said: tone policing.

                  Been there, done that, got the T-shirt.

                  1. Absolutely — because there’s never a difference between walking people through the ways a system can fail and ranting about how those considering it are wanting you dead. I said I had no problem with the arguments, only the effectiveness.

                    Politics is tone. Just ask Ronald Reagan.

        2. Until lots of people, me included , asked him if he really wanted the same people declaring him crazy and impeaching him over “crimes” ruling on his sons’ civil rights. He hasn’t mentioned that for months.

          1. Which did a wonderful job of smothering that chance to actually fix the stupid laws in its very crib.

            It’s supposed to be the Left that wants folks to shut up.

            1. As Tom Knighton points out, those laws are unconstitutional on their face. That means they can’t be fixed. Strangle them in the crib. Which is why only CINOs and Leftists (BIRM) are still pushing them.

              1. They’re already here.

                Which means to fix them, they have to be removed.

                Which means that people will have to– gasp! Talk about them!

                Or they’ll have to be ruled unconstitutional, which is a really freaking slow process and not to be depended on.

                But I guess you’d much rather other people have to pay the price so that it can trigger standing in the courts to work slowly through and hopefully remove them, rather than the legislature openly discussing them, showing the country what they actually consist of, and destroying the arguments that enabled their being put in place.

                But hey, you got to beat your breast and scold a one-eyed SEAL.

                And indulge in high-level histrionics in the comboxes.

                *golf clap*

                1. 1. I am aware that they are already here. So what? Violations of our basic rights can certainly be legislated anywhere there’s a majority of totalitarians and useful idiots. As an example, slavery was already here, and supported by the legal system…. until it wasn’t.

                  2. I stopped thinking that military service, medals, or battle scars were signs of infallibility when I read about Benedict Arnold, who possessed ALL of those qualifications….. and was still capable of treason. Similarly, Rep Crenshaw (the eyepatch was rather obvious), despite his past service, is simply WRONG on this issue. Your logical fallacy of appealing to authority is obvious to everyone.

                  If he votes to impose such a thing, he will have broken his oath to uphold the Constitution, as a representative, a soldier, and as a citizen. If he wants laws to strip the rights granted by the 2nd, 4th, 5th, and 6th Amendments, he should propose amending the Constitution to remove them. Until that happens, those laws should be evaded, exploited to damage the opposition, or resisted by whatever means are available.

                  3. My comments here aren’t really intended to convince YOU of anything; mock you and your hypocrisy of referring to yourself as a libertarian of any stripe while supporting using government to hammer people you don’t like…… Guilty as charged. So clap away.

                  1. I do not call myself a libertarian. I’m the one that pisses you of by pointing out when that theory doesn’t work, especially when you make supposedly libertarian assertions based on false information, remember?

                    The rest of your comments are just as accurate as that first one, too, and demonstrate that it’s not worth trying to talk to you on this. You’ll just make up stuff that suits your conclusion.

      1. How do I define as “crazy”?
        Someone who wants to do physical violence against me or my family.
        Because I’m former military and a strong proponent of the Ender Principle; I’m not going to just stop you this time, I’m going to stop you for ALL times.

        1. Wants to, and as a narrow-down-the-range-of-targets, has a reasonable means to do so.

          And if there’s an open, honest argument about “red flag” laws, they will eventually get through the part where the goblins don’t need a gun to kill people, so it becomes people control– so you have a system where the known crazy who has repeatedly chased people around with a knife can be ‘red flagged’ and him stopped, before he kills someone. (I know, in person, three different individuals who fit this format; two had to kick the insane person out or be killed, and the other is basically using it as suicide.)

          Going from gun to people control has the added advantage that there are a lot more safeties involved in trying to control a human.

          But you can’t follow the stated arguments in support of the gun confiscation laws to that logical conclusion without talking about it. :/

          1. Reminds me of an Easter Sunday at Travis AFB back in the 90s.
            Had the priest over for coffee between masses (wife is a choir director and RCC convert so she’s even more Catholic than I am having been born and raised in it.) We were looking out the back window down the row of back yards in enlisted housing; when we see this guy with nothing but a pair of pants come running like mad from between two of the houses.
            No sooner than we’d said, “What the…” when we see this little Filipino gal come tearing after the guy waving, I kid you not, a damn meat cleaver and screaming her head off at him. They both disappeared between the houses a few down the row.
            Wife turns to the priest and asks him if he wants to intervene and provide counseling to them.
            “Heck No! Call the cops and have them take care of them. If they want me, they’ll call me later.”

            We called that couple the Cleavers for the rest of the time we were stationed there.

        2. Well, “they want to kill me” is where the whole idiotic “speech is violence” thing comes from. We do treat crimes differently on the basis of intent but there actually has to be a crime committed first or an explicit step taken to make one happen. (If I try to solicit a hit man for my cheating spouse, etc.)

          What someone wants to do, or supposedly wants to do, isn’t a crime. Just like speech can’t be a crime.

          But if they’re acting on it, stopping them for ALL times is perfectly reasonable, and a public service.

          “You have expressed mild disapproval for my choices, my lifestyle, or my proclaimed identity. This clearly means you want me to die.”

          That’s really the level of idiocy that we’re dealing with.

          1. And ‘phobia’. There is an actual, scientific, clinical definition of the suffix ‘phobia’ which includes the subject’s inability to function normally when confronted with the object of a phobia. Phobias are real, serious, debilitating conditions which require extreme efforts do deal with them.

            But if somebody says, just for example, “I don’t like gays hitting on me” it’s HOMOPHOBIA!!! EEEVUL!! NAZI!!! RAAAACISSST!!!! You want to send everybody with ‘alternative preferences’ to the ovens!! You must be killed! Kill! Kill! Kill!

            Leftists have made up their own language. All the words sound just like words in other languages, and are spelled exactly the same, but the meanings are completely different, and change based on what the leftists need them to mean at the moment.
            ———————————
            They got a building down in New York City called Whitehall Street where ya go and get injected, inspected, detected, infected, neglected and seeee-lected.

            1. Again, who defines behave?

              If I actually assault someone, that’s an objective standard. Someone doesn’t like that I talk to myself in public? Not so much.

              1. That’s not a problem in our modern world. Just hold a cell phone up to your ear (even a broken one) and you can wander around aimlessly talking to yourself without anybody noticing, because most of them are doing the same thing.

              2. Except that whether you assaulted someone turns on subjective intent.

                Also if you start to talk to yourself about what sort of crimes you want to commit on passers-by, there will come a point at which you are legally committing assault by putting them in fear for their safety.

                1. At which point, the protections we theoretically give the accused (presumption of innocence, due process right, etc.) come into play. With red-flag laws, they don’t and in many cases are tailor made for getting people SWATted by exes, etc. See #MeToo for examples of how that will go.

                2. The bottom line is that red-flag laws require a level of trust, both of government and your fellow “citizens” that the last 30 years should have shown is ridiculous.

                    1. 100??? When has government EVER shown itself trustworthy except when closely monitored? After all, it consists of Soylent Green people!

    2. are going to start defining any speech they hate to hear as hate speech

      Where have you been? This is already happening. Sure, it isn’t so much on a government level, but with the cancel culture environment in the US, it doesn’t have to be the government doing it.

      Also, you are wrong about them going after the skinheads and Westboro first. Skinheads fight back (violently in some cases), and the Westboro people fight back in court (and win, because that’s their schtick). Besides, those two groups are FAR too useful to the Leftists as examples to paint their enemies with.

      1. I was thinking primarily of the government level, where enforcement can really bite, with fines and jail time, and there’s been more talk than action. But on the broader social and cultural level, which is where support for government action will come from, then sure, it’s been happening. I don’t Tweet/Twit, but what’s been going on in the Twitterverse does get reflected in blogs and commentary, so I’m not totally oblivious to it.
        And, yes, the Jews, Mormons, and Catholics will fight back, too. They more they are forced to, the more they will become scapegoats, by exaggeration, rumor, innuendo, and outright lies. Just like a stereotypically bad story, we’ve seen this trope before.

    3. Let’s be really clear on that point:

      A sure as the water will wet us, as sure as the fire will burn, the Gods of the Copybook Heading in terror and blood return

  4. “Everyone who agitates for reductions or elimination of the First Amendment should ponder that.”

    Bold of you to assume those agitators are capable of pondering anything.

    The problem in Wuhan is that the Chinese government is not moving to protect the people. It is moving to protect itself, and 100% does not care what happens to the people. If the whole city dies in the outbreak, they’re okay with that as long as it doesn’t make the government look bad.

    The problem we have is that our media is actively and knowingly lying about the nature of the Chinese government.

    I must assume this is because the people in out media consider us all deplorable and are happy to have a few million of us die, just like in China. All the Trump voters, for instance.

    1. If the whole city dies in the outbreak, they’re okay with that as long as it doesn’t make the government look bad.

      The Chinese government believes* its greatest problem is excess population. If the price of culling a few million minimally productive subjects is the loss of a city or province and a few thousand trained, useful persons … well, that is a price they’re willing to pay.

      *This has been true of all Chinese governments for as long as we know.

      1. Somewhere (not going to try to find it; too many posts on this to search) there was an article pointing out that TPTB in China were promoting the wonderfullness of a country with half the population it currently has.

        This lead to the speculation that *if* it really has a preference for Asian men, it would serve to undo the “unintended consequences” of the One Child policy and the totally unexpected gender imbalance.

        1. Inevitable progression. You see, the natural order of humans is enlightened self interest. This poses a direct threat and constant opposition to the socialist drive for loyalty to and ownership by the State. Thus the effort to control the people is unceasing and the fewer of them there are the easier it will be to achieve the grand and glorious objective of true socialism.

        2. The people smart enough to keep our complex technological civilization running are not stupid enough to Believe in socialism. For one thing, they have to understand math. So, they must be silenced.

          When forced to choose between socialism and civilization, leftists always pick socialism.
          ———————————
          Please try to remain calm. You can panic if you want to, but it won’t help.

          1. I know, there was an article not long ago about how it’s worth destroying civilization to destroy “whiteness” (WTF that means.) These shit birds hate prosperity and civilization.

            1. I think ‘whiteness’ means everything Europeans with pale pinkish-tan skin have learned, done, and built over the last 2,000 years. Except Marx and Lenin; they must have been ‘people of color’ on the inside or something. All the rest has to be destroyed to bring about their Socialist Paradise.
              ———————————
              It would seem that some folks think ‘To Serve Man’ had a happy ending.

              1. Well sure. Look at the pictures of Karl Marx. Doesn’t he look like a bearded old black man? Of course he does. Being such a colorful character, he must have been a character of color.

                1. Sounds like the (IIRC) Barnes and Noble stunt of doing classic books with People of Tanning Ability on the cover, instead of the Melanin Deprived as actually written in the books. I gather that the pointage, laughter, and mocking made them back off the covers.

                  1. Bonus clulessness: Those ignoramuses black-washed a white character created by a black author without his consent: The Man in the Iron Mask.

                    https://infogalactic.com/info/Alexandre_Dumas

                    Addendum viz censorship: The search “Infogalactic Man Iron Mask” after 3 pages of results yields nothing even close to the above results.

                    The fine print at the bottom reads Some results have been removed

                    First they came for [ Vox Day ]and I said nothing because …reasons that are good to me and mine. If you wonder why no-one speaks up for [ x ] ; ” Don’t they understand what’s at stake-?!” Now you know. We are so screwed

                    Keep fighting though. Better to go down with a sword in your hand than a boot in your neck.

                    1. FWIW, it’s possible to search Infogalactic directly. I don’t have G in my favorite search engine list (customizable in Pale Moon; YMMC), but Infogalactic is. There’s a plugin for (Mozilla?) that maps Wikipedia links to IG. I’ll use Wiki for non-important stuff; when it gets important, I’ll look at both.

                    2. I know and I do search IG that way.

                      But I know how to use Google’s basic search function and that string USED to work. Maybe not the top result, but it worked. Now they’re manually removing results Google doesn’t want you too see.

                      Creepy.

            2. Thing is, they’ve figured out the “Year Zero” principle and overestimate their capabilities. They think that if they destroy the current civilization they can build a new one where they will be just as well off in jig time.

              Yeah, we know they’re idiots, but they don’t.

            3. They hate prosperity and civilization because both tend to reward merit more than a network of interlocking Elites does. Not perfectly. Often not even very well. Just better than the Elites would. And the current Elites are at least dimly aware that they themselves are largely merit-free.

              1. “They hate prosperity and civilization because both tend to reward merit…”

                Would it be reasonable to assume that the Super Woke hate SPECIFICALLY that section of the above which appears to be not rewarding THEM?

                Two points: Most of the lefties I know are blissfully I aware what is the foundation of everything they live and work and rely on. They’re marginally -literate semi-barbarians. It if you prefer children, using a n acetylene torch to kill the spider in the library.

                Second: If I’m correct, it means that they are reachable by demonstrating said rewards of WestCiv…

          2. Based on recent evidence, it appears that Boeing has been hiring people who believe more in socialism than those with technological competence.

            1. Thankfully, too much of that and the free market/Gods of the Copybook Headings will correct by Boeing going belly-up. The pity is in how many more plane crashes it will take before that happens.

            2. Boeing is typical of modern software projects where testing is a cost center, and they figure their customers can serve as their test team. Where Boeing is unique is this didn’t used to be done with systems that lives were depending on.

      2. All population is excess until the new FoxConn deal for which they are paying you and all your relatives “consulting fees” requires more workers.

      3. While the high-ups might like that, the average citizens won’t. If word of an actual plan along those lines got out, those citizens would start asking questions about The Mandate of Heaven.

        1. I think pretty much everybody knows. The Chinese cops actually say it: “Shut up, you’re making us look bad!”

          The problem they have in China is that Full Boogaloo isn’t an option. Unlike the USA, the Chinese government would be happy to -nuke- an offending province if it meant keeping the rest in line.

          These are the demons who killed 100 million Chinese since 1949. Anybody think they’ll shrink from killing 100 million more?

          1. Nuking a province might not go over very well with the population at large. It’s one thing to send in the troops to bloodily crush demonstrators. Nuking a province signals that you’ve completely lost control, and are effectively writing it off. It’s a signal to the rest of the country that your power is a facade outside the line of sight of your guns. It will cause even your supporters to step back and reevaluate whether they should support you. In short, it’s very reckless, and is likely to lead to an insurrection or war.

            Also, there’s a good chance that it will immediately cause China to be cut off from the international markets as various countries (likely led by the US) immediately announce punitive trade actions.

            1. I’m not saying it would work, I’m just saying they’d -do- it. After all, THEY’VE DONE IT BEFORE.

              Westerners don’t understand who these people are, and think they’ll be restrained by practicality or threats from abroad. They’re demons, and won’t be restrained by anything other than a long fall under a short rope.

              1. You’re acting as if China is a monolithic bloc. It’s not. It’s a collection of fractious provinces with shared ethnicity and language, and some cultural similarities, that’s currently controlled by the Jingjinji Metropolitan Region. It’s spent more time fighting civil wars than it has united.

                Nuking a province is all but guaranteed to reignite those civil wars. It’s a short-term “fix” at best.

      4. “This has been true of all Chinese governments for as long as we know.”

        Not true. For instance, they stopped charging a per-capita tax for small children precisely to keep the poor from murdering the children.

        There have been many other active pro-natalist acts in their history up to and including Mao’s declaration that they should have lots and lots of kids. After all, every stomach came with TWO hands attached.

    2. I *really* need to create that demotovation poster I’ve been mending to do.

      The idea is to take a clip of Mork from Mork and Mindy doing his “Fly, be free!” routine with her eggs, and caption it:

      ” Breaking all the eggs does not make it an omelette.”

      1. Bingo!

        There should also be one pointing out that if you have a State that takes from every individual according to their ability, it does not follow that the State will or can give to every individual according to their need.

    3. “Oft evil will shall evil mar.”

      Who’s more likely to get a mass outbreak than Democrat cities where they leave poop on the sidewalk because cleaning it up is raaaaacist?

    4. RE: Wuhan and making the Communists look good.

      Milton Friedman’s comment about motivating bad politicians to do good things is what comes into play here. Losing Wuhan will make the Communists look bad. So it will only happen if the alternatives are even more disastrous.

      1. “Losing Wuhan will make the Communists look bad. So it will only happen if the alternatives are even more disastrous.”

        You need to look up what was done to China by the Communists during the Cultural Revolution, and then as a chaser look up what was done to the Ukraine by Stalin. And what the reasons were for those atrocities. You will not frigging believe it.

        If the communist government thinks they want to for whatever reason, Wuhan will be firebombed, the ruins bulldozed flat and the name removed from every map in China. They will deny that Wuhan ever existed, and shoot anyone who says different. They will close the borders of China and kill every foreigner stuck inside when they do it. They will do all that, and blame the Americans and the British for it.

        They Have Done It Before.

        1. I’m well aware of those instances. I’m also very much aware of the Chinese historical cycle in which a dynasty rises to power, reigns for a time, and then suffers events that risk the perception that they’ve lost the Mandate of Heaven. Believe me, the Chinese Communist Party leadership is desperate to figure out hiw to project the image that they’re in control.

          The Holomdor was instigated by the Siviets, and news of it suppressed (incidentally, a movie is about to come out about it). The Cultural Revolution was fully instigated by the Communists.

          Wuhan was not started by the Communists. It was started by a virus. The most that the Beijing government can do is to try to get ahead of the situation. If they end up levelling the city, then it will be seen by the rest of the country that the Beijing government got beaten by a virus. That would suggest that the Communists have feet of clay.

  5. the truth is we know about as much about real facts on the ground as we know who really won the Democratic party Iowa caucus.

    But we do know who won the Iowa caucus.

    Trump won the Iowa caucus.

    Just so we know certain facts about the coronavirus.

    We know China is lying, which means it is worse than they admit to.

    We know Third World medical care is not particularly effective against it.

    We know that it seems manageable with modern Western medical practices.

    We know that regions which have never employed or have abandoned modern hygiene standards — China, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City — are probably more susceptible to pandemic than regions which have maintained decent sanitation.

    And we know that certain types of politicians are sure to stoke panic over this and use it to demand more socialism.

      1. I’m reminded of the bit in The Mixerman Diaries where Mixerman is dealing with an obnoxious and ignorant but too-powerful-to-offend producer who kept telling Mixerman to “increase the soar.” Finally, Mixerman found a knob that wasn’t attached to anything, labeled it “soar,” and let the producer turn it as much as he wanted, though warning him that “a little can have drastic effects.”

        Pity we can’t make a similar placebo “socialism” knob for the Leftists to play with.

        1. Why placebo? The issues that the knob must be conductive and the shaft connected to it NOT at ground potential. The lowest setting is great: 0V. The low setting, alright, 1-9 V. Then it gets’.. interesting… and it’s exponential, so that ’11’ is not 11 V. More like, oh, 11 KV. And let the problem solve itself.

          What, me evil?

        2. Wire the dial to a grid on his seat.
          “We haven’t used the Soar button because it has a short in it and we can’t get it fixed any time soon. Go right ahead and use it, but remember you’ll feel a stronger shock as the dial goes up.”
          See if he knocks himself out.

        1. I think it is important though to keep in mind how many thousands of deaths ordinary seasonal influenza causes, even in the USA, each year, so as to put coronovirus in perspective.

          1. I think its important to realize that we can’t believe a single one of the numbers we are being given related to this coronavirus.

            1. Surely you exaggerate. There must be some numbers we can believe. It’s just hard to figure out which ones.

              1. Draven means all the numbers coming out of China are missing some zeros on the end.

                We had some kung-flu cases locally in Mississauga, some prick got off a plane from Wuhon with a cough, turned up at the hospital days later. Real model citizen, that guy.

                I have not heard that the kung-flu has killed everyone in Mississauga, and I would have if that happened. Please note that while the hospitals in Mississauga are a bit crappy and I wouldn’t want to be sick there, they are not run by -idiots- with no notion of infection control. They beat SARS sure enough.

                Therefore while I am not filled with joy at the notion of the kung-flu, and I really don’t want to catch it, I don’t think we’re talking Raccoon City here. This isn’t the Umbrella Corporation’s T-Virus.

                1. Also, given that the virus impacts the respiratory system, how many of the deaths are due to the fact that the weakened respiratory systems can’t handle the air pollution that China has that is far worse than the air here, thus making their death toll higher even if medical treatment itself were equal (which its not, ours is also better).

                  1. yes. We’ve factored that in. A doctor friend thinks the first patients were hit with various things that depressed their immune system as it was assumed respiratory distress was asthma.

                1. yeah, i don’t feel thqat i am exaggerating at all. I’m just hoping that the number they are giving for the people infected isn’t actually the number of people that have died from it, is all.

            1. And the rate of increase and death rate are too perfect.

              They are reporting from a mathematical model.

              1. They are reporting from a mathematical model.


                Do you mean she has a degree in mathematics, or her measurements correspond to an equation?
                ———————————
                Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!!

    1. They are also stoking panic because they believe panic will lead to an economic downturn, which is what they need to have before the election as they continue to pursue their effort to get Trump out of office.

      1. actually the MSM is not even touching panic.
        I don’t want anyone to panic. I’d just like to know what we need to do.
        Arguably if it all drops in the khaki, we might end up in a situation sort of like after the end of WWII. I really think of the rest of the world WE will come out (relatively) smelling like roses. The rest, though…..

        1. I was referring not to panic about the virus itself, but the horde of people touting an economic downturn/recession because of loss of trade with China. Of course these are the same people that swore Trump’s raising tariffs in order to push for better trade terms could not possibly work. Of course some of it is mixed in with the general chorus declaring that there is an imminent recession or that one is starting and that we should stop believing or lying eyes and listen to the “experts”.

            1. Other than the rare earths essential to modern technology that China has been monopolizing while the left has put the kibosh on our mining for them in the USA.

        2. except for, more than likely, parts of the US where interpersonal space and cleanliness isnt quite up to par… *looks at Los Angeles county*

    2. Actually, concerning the virus, what we KNOW is that, regardless of actual conditions, the Chinese government (like all Chinese governments before it) will choose a “Nothing to see here, move along” narrative. There may, in fact, be nothing to see. But since they only play the one tune, we must assume they are lying.

    3. In the other hand, viz panic: If you have beloved elders, please ring them up and get them started on a hand-washing / care in handling anything brought into the home regime. Start NOW because slip ups happen and it takes at least 14 days to set a new habit.

  6. when that regime is country-wide … there can be real world consequences.

    cough. Rotherham, Telford, Rochdale, Peterborough, Newcastle, Oxford, and Bristol. How many thousands of young girls must be sacrificed before police and politicians decide to risk being denounced as Islamophobic?

    The one thing of which you can be certain is that there will be more, because actions that are enjoyable and have no notable negative consequence will persist and grow.

    And, of course, isn’t it an insult to Islam to ascribe such practices to that Faith? I’ve no doubt there are many Muslims who detest these practices and would report them if they thought the authorities would pay heed.

    1. https://www.spiked-online.com/2020/02/07/je-suis-mila/

      In which French police investigate a French girl for insulting Islam on the interwebz. Instead of investigating the death threats against her.

      Because its easier to throw one loudmouth teen girl in jail than punish 10,000 murderous assholes rioting in Paris.

      So, how many girls must be sacrificed on the altar of Diversity? ALL of them. Because its easier to make y’all shut up than it is to make the Islamists behave like civilized human beings.

      Not to put too fine a point on it.

      1. So, how many girls must be sacrificed on the altar of Diversity? ALL of them. Because its easier to make y’all shut up than it is to make the Islamists behave like civilized human beings.

        I dunno, saying “Weapons Free” doesn’t seem like it would take much effort.

        1. In the US? Arguably not so much.

          Where the masses have mostly been disarmed, that’s another issue entirely.

          (Not that firearms are the only weapon option, mind you, but they’re generally a lot more convenient than the alternatives, which is why militaries adopted them as soon as the technology allowed.)

          1. In this case I’m not talking about the masses, though they should be armed.

            “Weapons Free” is a military order. And as bad as they are the European militaries haven’t *quite* completely disarmed themselves yet.

      2. After Rotherham came to light, one of the victims happened to come across one of her victimizers in public. She started verbally assailing him until the cops showed up and threatened her if she didn’t leave the man alone.

      3. When, exactly, did child molestation become ‘grooming’? I must have missed a bunch of memos from the Ministry Of Truth.
        ———————————
        No matter how much it sucks, you can’t fire the government.

        1. It’s the specific type of abuse involved. In most cases, the victimizers are “grooming” the young women so that they can be prostituted out to others.

          1. Does it matter why they are molesting children? They should be horsewhipped at the very least!

            The proper purpose of government is to prevent such abuses of its citizens. If the government fails in its most basic duty, it should be replaced with one that will do what it’s supposed to do.

            Eventually, there will come a breaking point. The only question is, will they get the American Revolution, or the French Revolution?
            ———————————
            Those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it. Those who do remember history are doomed to watch everybody else repeat it.

            1. Unless they redefine molestation to include all the not-specifically-sexual abuse leading up to it, “grooming” is recognition of the entire systematic process of…well, basically abuse-to-break-them-down so they won’t resist being sold.

              I believe it came out of various defenses that boil down to “you can’t show that I had sex with her!”

              It’s often found in human trafficking– usually starts by identifying someone who’s vulnerable, luring into a situation where you have some leverage, and then getting hard core on the abuse. Gangs will do it, too, to recruit new members.

              1. I believe it came out of various defenses that boil down to “you can’t show that I had sex with her!”


                Really? That’s supposed to be a defense? Like “You can’t prove I pulled the trigger”? Don’t they have conspiracy laws?

                Here in the U.S. if three punks rob a liquor store, and the owner shoots one of them, the other two can be prosecuted for murder because they participated in a criminal conspiracy that resulted in the first punk’s death — just the same way all three of them can be prosecuted if one of them had shot the owner.
                ———————————
                Dark Willow: “Bored now.”

                1. I’m pretty sure that conspiracy to commit a (whatever level crime child-rape is) or even conspiracy to prostitute a minor is a bit light on the punishment that is realistically needed.

                  Kind of like the difference between negligent homicide and premeditated murder.

                  1. The punishment for ‘conspiracy to commit…’ is the same as the punishment for actually doing it. That’s the point of conspiracy laws.

                    1. Where?

                      I know there’s also a lot of cruddy case law involved, too– in both directions.

                      Plus, “grooming” catches those cases where, say, the first person they sold the girl to for rape was a cop, and lets them catch all the other abused kids.

                      Kind of like the old transporting minors across state lines for immoral purposes, but without that scary “morality” talk.

                2. Part of the issue is that laws are organic– they change, and then the criminals change.

                  Say, for a notorious example, when Mexico put in laws that made it so they could lock up shooters over the age of 13 for a very long time.

                  The cartels started get 9 year old hitmen.

                3. Also, the punks-in-a-liquor-store example depends on state. (I think they put it in for federal crimes, too, but you gotta be charged federally)

            2. “Grooming” gives a sense of the time and scale involved. It wasn’t just an occassional “get the teenager drunk and play with her privates” sort of thing. It was an industrial-scale operation aimed at turning large numbers of teenage girls into prostitutes.

              When you understand what “grooming” means, it gives a better sense of the scale involved than just calling it “molestation”.

              1. So they were prolific child molesters. That doesn’t mean we should debase a perfectly respectable word to give their crimes an innocuous-sounding label.

                We already have words for what they did: kidnapping, child abuse, torture, and slavery. Use them!
                ———————————
                There are a lot of idiots in the world that believe sticking a politically correct label on a thing will make it what they wish it to be, instead of what it is. They are full of shit.

                1. I disagree. From what I’ve seen/read/heard, “grooming” is the process that gets a victim to the point where the molester *can* abuse them with relative safety. The snare, not the gun. Balancing positive feelings (trust, gratitude) with increasing negatives (they won’t believe you, they’ll hate you if this comes out). Having a name and definition makes the behavior pattern easier to identify so the victims have a chance to escape before they *are* victims, or so the hypothetical cops can notice something is wrong.

                  1. And many of them don’t just groom the prospective victims. They also put a similar effort into manipulating the views of the adults who should be protecting those children, convincing those adults that there is nothing amiss, that this person is a good, helpful, trustworthy etc. person.

                    A few years ago we had an incident in our own community of a person who was the go-to guy for the whole fannish community for any sort of electronics, who was a trusted babysitter, who took in friends who’d fallen on hard times and needed a place to crash until they could get their feet under them — and then one of those houseguests happened to look at one of his computers and saw pictures that shouldn’t exist. Pictures documenting acts of child molestation, some with preschool children. The houseguest called the cops, and this individual ended up confessing to an enormous number of acts of child molestation, as well as distributing and receiving illegal material. His own wife didn’t realize what he was doing, he’d made such a convincing sheep-suit for himself that she missed all the signs, and she’s a survivor of child molestation.

        2. It didn’t. Child molesters can take a long time to work up to molestation. For instance, steadily advancing the touches to the child, which certainly start out with acts legal except for the intent.

    2. The British Parliament, courts, and police all operate under the authority of Elizabeth II.

      Who is also head of the Church of England.

      The British are just as inscrutable as the Chinese, sometimes…

      1. So what if they did. All they would do is refuse to enforce it and scream Islamophobia at anyone who tries to acknowledge reality. JUST LIKE HERE.

    3. What I want to know is why, in the absence of official action, none of the parents have gone Napier on the rapist shits.

      1. From what I’ve read a lot of these young women are from families where the parents are effectively dysfunctional/ have written them off. The groomers know in most cases no one is coming for them because they selected their targets for that feature. And even if there was someone that gave a rats patootie this is the UK. Politeness seems to rule all. Class still is far stronger then in the U.S. and these girls would be pretty low on the totem pole. The Britons have been utterly disarmed. And the perpetrators are hidden in effectively no go zones. The U.K. might as well rewrite Rule Britannia as it seems that these days if you’re a lower class young woman or girl “Britons shall Always, Always be slaves”. But for the grace of God (and our tenuous hold on the 1st and 2nd amendments) there go some of our poor women. It may yet come to pass…

        1. All I can say is that if it was my kid, they would understand what Mercedes Lackey said in Born to Run: “Never piss off an engineer. An engineer will keep trying things until one of them kills you.”

          And direct confrontation where they could retaliate effectively would not be anywhere *near* the top of the options list. I have… *issues* with people who hurt kids, and a very Jacksonian mentality about enemies.

          1. Tcbobg it’s a good thing I wasn’t drinking when i read that … Sadly it seems to be true. They were probably better off when James I and his ilk favored divine rule of kings. And that’s saying something.

      2. Like tregonsee said, what parents? I know in at least one of those cases nearly all of the girls came from a government foster care facility.
        And to one’s surprise, the government caretakers didn’t care.

      3. In Telford, there was a particular victimized young woman whose mother rescued her and started standing up to the local grooming gang.

        Their house was firebombed, killing both.

        1. And now we’ve brought that to NYC.

          “Police detailed the case of Wilmer Maldonado, a victim of a brutal gang assault in October 2018. Nine alleged members of MS-13 were arrested.

          Maldonado stood ready to testify against them, but then, Nassau police said, a judge, abiding by new requirements, handed over previously concealed information on his identity to the defense.

          Suddenly, they said a pattern of intimidation began. On Jan. 30, a witness was shot in New Cassel. On Feb. 1, Maldonado was beaten, but escaped. On Feb. 2, however, he was found beaten to death.

          “We believe the information that was released, a victim’s information, which should have been protected, was turned over too early. And immediately after it was turned over, we saw the intimidation pattern start,” Ryder said. “Justice reform is not taking care of our victims.”

          https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2020/02/05/new-york-bail-reform-laws-wilmer-maldonado-ms13-nassau-county-police/

          1. Yep. At the point where official action is useless, we can assume that, at least among a free people, *unofficial* action will begin. Groups like MS-13 operate under the assumption that they have a monopoly on non-official violence. Demonstrating otherwise would be… instructive, if corrosive to the legal system.

            1. They also operate under the belief that they are protected by and endorsed by the Democratic Party; after all people as high up in the party as Nancy Pelosi have defended MS13 and have condemned people who call out MS13 for the violent criminal gang that it is as being deplorable racists.

            2. MS-13, AntiFa and others. They do not realize who they’re fooling with nor the wrath that will be loosed should Americans decide government is failing at its single most important duty.

              We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government …

              Emphasis added. “Vigilante Justice” is justified when no better alternative is available, and it targets not just those abusing power but also those whose job it was to reduce the need for vigilantism..

              You have just one job, government — everything else is extraneous.

              1. Isn’t NICE of the members of MS13 to mark themselves as members of MS13.
                You don’t have to worry about getting the wrong person. I am surprised that someone hasn’t already started on them. So clearly defined.

              2. It’s a more than slightly nightmarish scenario, because once the dance starts, there is nobody with the authority or clout to say “stop” and be sure of obedience

      4. Some tried. They were jailed. It’s a hate crime to punch a Muslim who raped your kid, doncha know. And they live in a surveillance state that exists to persecute fathers while protecting child-rapists.

        Nothing inscrutable at all, just good old fashioned evil.

        1. Who said anything about punch?

          They live in a 1st world city, which means access to all kinds of fun things that allow for massive retaliation without coming into direct contact.

    4. “We can’t investigate and stop Asian sex grooming rings because people will think badly about Asians and the Asians will think we’re targeting them,” presupposes that the Asian communities, and not just the criminal sex gang members, support the activity as a whole.

      1. The idea that the radical ‘Asians’ are a minority is a myth. Only 1 in 20 ‘Asians’ supports violent jihad here in the US, but worldwide it’s more like 75% who support sharia and all that entails. Over in England, ‘Asian’ imams preach that white women are damned and asking for it by how they dress, and it’s the natural right of ‘Asian’ men to bring the infidel sluts ‘under their right hand’.

        So yes, there’s broad ‘Asian’ community support for gang-raping prepubescent girls whenever possible.

        -Albert

  7. Even witness reports contradict each other, ranging from bodies piled int he street, to everything completely normal, except for an overabundance of facial masks. And of course, there are reasons to lie in both directions. Opponents of the regime might want to report more trouble than really exists, while those who are defending the regime might want to white wash the whole sorry mess

    It’s also a useful way to get rid of folks. And if they’re shifting sick folks to a different area, that could make for body piles….

    1. There’s a fair number of body bag pictures around the ‘net, and the take on the Chinese “hospitals” that they are quarantine centers seems reasonable. The pics I’ve seen of the interiors show a distinct lack of medical infrastructure (like IV stands or places to put medical supplies by bedsides…)

        1. Elsewhere, somebody observed that the plume in question seems to be originating from the same area as some facilities that might be kept running (or at least hot) despite the crisis, and speculated that skeleton crews may be running them without all the emission control gear in operation. Or it could be cremations. I wouldn’t put anything past the PRC government.

          1. If it were just a coal-burning power plant or steel mill or somesuch I would expect the SO2 concentration to be in the same range as other places in China that are supposedly not on lockdown, and in the same range as Wuhan was back three months or so, but no matter what day you look at the data you get this higher-than-anywhere-else-in-China concentration that started up after the lockdown was imposed.

            I mean, they just announced that FoxConn is starting back up production in Zhengzhou and Shenzhen, so those areas coal-fired plants are or will be going full blast, but those areas have basically no concentration and Wuhan is still this major SO2 hotspot – less at night but still there, and it really fires up in the daytime.

            1. Note that today there is one other hotspot 470 miles to the west of Wuhan in Chongqing – not as high concentrations as at Wuhan, but higher than elsewhere in China right now.

            2. There was something a few days ago; FoxConn was shifting production to face masks. That got a raised eyebrow and a WTF? from me.

              (Hmm, thinking about it; we used face masks all the time in the fab and test areas. It’s possible that FC has a line to make their own facemasks.)

              1. They might, if they don’t trust the other suppliers to meet standards. (Which, China being China, would make having an in-house facility for masks and suits [if needed] a near-necessity.)

          2. There was a posting to /pol/ by someone who claimed to be a crematory worker, IIRC, in Wuhan. 2 shifts a day, running at full bore.

            It’s frustrating when the rumor is far more plausible than the Official News.

              1. I didn’t try to catch all the thread, but they were looooong shifts. I think 12 was a minimum, implying that they were doubling up part of the time. Makes some sense; [redacted speculation–too close to meal time].

      1. *chuckles* That I’m not going “hey, that’s just insane” to the idea that they’re using this to kill off large numbers of people, with deniability, supports that!

          1. But of course. Foreign enemies will only kill a bunch of people they don’t care about. Internal enemies will come after them personally.

          2. The paranoid side of me wonders if China is using this as an excuse for a purge. Oops How sad all the opposition caught Corona Virus and died. Pay no attention a 9mm hemorrhage is often what corona virus ends in.

              1. Xi’s daughter has been in the US for a while hinting that he’s trying to avoid Ceausescu’s fate at least for his progeny. As for junior’s thought that it would be closer to Hong Kong, I don’t think that they manufactured it. I think that they might take advantage of it to hide things. But like I said it’s pretty paranoid and I’m probably violating Occam’s razor.

              1. At minimum the “nonconformist” and “annoying” and “panic monger via social media” and really anyone who is on any of the police or party’s lists will get the first knock on the door and, amazingly enough, the handheld IR thermometer will indicate that they have a fever, so they get dragged off to the “quarantine” warehouses. There they will most likely be infected, and with any luck become a problem for the body disposal department.

                But it’s not a purge – just a series of misfortunate outcomes for those troublemakers.

  8. Not at all by coincidence, it is the same thing with “free markets”. “Markets” are a mechanism by which buyers and sellers can interact and arrive at a balance between “how hard it is to make something” and “how much people want something”, called “price”. A price is information. If you don’t know the price, you don’t have that information, and you can’t use it to make decisions. That means you don’t know whether you have a product or service that is worth making; you don’t know whether you can or can’t afford to undertake a project. You don’t know whether a company or an industry is useful … or not. The same kinds of corrosive things happen when you suppress that information or systematically distort it as with any other.

    1. Yes. That’s the central argument in von Mises’ “Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth, which demonstrated the unworkability of socialism nearly a century ago.

    2. Yep. Money is just information and a means to collect it.
      And damn it, Jeff, if this gets ugly, if we had a significant population off the Earth….
      The news today, assuming it’s correct, says there’s a 24 day ASYMPTOMATIC period. Which means we don’t know how the west will do on this at all.
      And the fact we have basically multiple open borders, (both airports, and ports and that big land border) with third world countries with sh*thole medicine, should be filling everyone with joy.

      1. Why oh why do I get a Ringo book feeling about this?
        it’s bad enough when the Babylon Bee is the paper of record, but really, he needs to stop doing this to us!

        1. Ringo is getting a Ringo book feeling from this, too.
          Okay, Ringo, myself and a handful of others I know for sure are not so much writers as bards. We receive books wholesale from elsewhere. I know, that sounds weird, but yet…
          The thing is he works near future and this world. It was inevitable.

          1. Dorothy, I will take Ringo’s The Last Centurion any day over Kratman’s Caliphate. If those are the only choices.

            *wanders off to drool over garden porn (known to most people as seed catalogs)*

            1. Amen! Recently had a (I pray non-precognitive) dream (nightmare?) where the security team at my church was discussing ways to live under Sharia.

            2. You and Kipling….

              https://www.poetryloverspage.com/poets/kipling/pan_in_vermont.html

              Pan in Vermont
              1893
              About the 15th of this month you may expect
              our Mr. — , with the usual Spring Seed, etc., Catalogues.
              – Florist’s Announcement.

              It’s forty in the shade to-day, the spouting eaves declare;
              The boulders nose above the drift, the southern slopes are bare;
              Hub-deep in slush Apollo’s car swings north along the Zod-
              iac. Good luck, the Spring is back, and Pan is on the road!

              His house is Gee & Tellus’ Sons, – so goes his jest with men –
              He sold us Zeus knows what last year; he’ll take us in again.
              Disguised behind the livery-team, fur-coated, rubber-shod –
              Yet Apis from the bull-pen lows – he knows his brother God!

              Now down the lines of tasseled pines the yearning whispers wake –
              Pithys of old thy love behold! Come in for Hermes’s sake!
              How long since that so-Boston boot with reeling Maenads ran!
              Numen adest! Let be the rest. Pipe and we pay, O Pan.

              (What though his phlox and hollyhocks ere half a month demised?
              What though his ampelopsis clambered not as advertised?
              Though every seed was guaranteed and every standard true –
              Forget, forgive they did not live! Believe, and buy anew!)

              Now o’er a careless knee he flings the painted page abroad –
              Such bloom hath never eye beheld this side of Eden Sword;
              Such fruit Pomona marks her own, yea, Liber oversees,
              That we may reach (one dollar each) the Lost Hesperides!

              Serene, assenting, unabashed, he writes our orders down: –
              Blue Asphodel on all our paths – a few true bays for crown –
              Uncankered bud, immoral flower, and leaves that never fall –
              Apples of Gold, of Youth, of Health – and – thank you, Pan, that’s all….

              He’s off along the drifted pent to catch the Windsor train,
              And swindle every citizen from Keene to Lake Champlain.
              But where his goat’s-hoof cut the crust – beloved, look below –
              He’s left us (I’ll forgive him all) the may-flower ‘neath her snow!

      2. I don’t have to leave the borders of the US to encounter sh*tholes……… CA take a bow. Austin wanted to, but we still have a governor here who’s already sent TxDOT around to clean out some of those areas near highways.

    1. Don’t you mean the Communist Chinese Corona Pneumogenic, or CCCP Virus?

      Actually, I don’t think China is really communist. It’s still an empire, ruled by Emperor Xi and a bunch of Mandarins for their own benefit.

      That is the only reason their economy is as semi-functional as it is.

      And all those foreigners investing in China are still idiots.
      ———————————
      “They were the bad guys, as you say, we were the good guys, and they made a very satisfying THUMP when they hit the floor!”

      1. China is fascist. No, seriously. To survive communism has to become fascism. Otherwise it burns out in 70 years, or when prevented from expanding.
        Fascism can last longer (don’t know how long) BUT it’s still that penny in the fuse box.

      2. The thing is the progressive Left nitwits who say “Real Socialism/Communism has never been tried” are absolutely right. This is because once that much power and authority is concentrated in the State, it becomes inevitable that the power will be abused by those who hold it. The core error of Socialism is the belief that this isn’t so. A Socialist State CANNOT exist, because it defies something approaching natural law. What any self-proclaimed Socialist State inevitably is, is either a fascist Dictatorship or a fascist oligarchy.

      3. Better to call it the CCP Virus than the CCCP Virus, since the latter is already basically gone, renamed, and taken over by Putin, while the CCP is still an authoritarian pain in the backside.

  9. Is it too long, WP, is that your problem?

    In the same way, if you want a global economy, with complete free trade, you cannot have totalitarian states.

    “Just In Time” manufacturing is a terrific idea, with many powerful arguments i its favor. It facilitates lower costs, more agile improvements and numerous other advantages.

    There’s just one problem: any break in the chain can shut down the whole process. The autoworkers demonstrated this some time back when a strike staged at a plant producing windshield wipers shut down the entire GM (could have been Ford, might have been Chrysler, I no longer remember) production line, idling thousands of workers (paid while laid off) while a few hundred demanded higher wages, better working conditions, china tea cups i the break room – whatever.

    And, of course, the strike fund supporting their action was paid into be every single union member, even (especially) those still drawing wages because the company had idled their plant.

    Just In Time is a tourniquet about a manufacturer’s jugular.

    1. Curse on thee, Double-You-Pee!
      Before the vaunted wisdom of Environmentalists held sway it was common land management practice to establish and maintain firebreaks, using natural contours of the terrain to limit how far and how fast any accidental fire could spread.

      Such circuit breakers are less necessary in a world of principalities, of duchies, of dispersed polities with little interaction between them. Before the German unification it did’t much matter(other than to Bohemians) what happened in Bohemia and what the Ceausescu family did in their nation was deplorable but not really important.

      Globally, however, we are living in a powder keg with a flint floor and taps on our shoes. If we do not hold everybody to a standard there will be Hell to pay.

    2. Nah, it’s just WP being WP. Short posts are getting delayed, too.

      OTOH, 8kun had a major DDOS attack yesterday, as did Iran.

    3. JIT is also a reaction to inventory taxes and the like. It looks sooooooo good from the bean-counter side of things.
      until you are the supplier of emergency stuff and there is more than one emergency in short order (like, say, you are a fire fighting foam supplier, and there are two chemical plant/refinery fires in two weeks)
      Suddenly that “we need to have 200,000 liters over and above sales needs on hand at ALL times!”, doesn’t look so silly.

      1. I would really love to see Trump and a right-wing congress remove the toxic legacy of Commissioner vs. Thor Power Tools.

        Who knows what the world would look like, if you removed that terrible case law?

        1. our Hazmat trainer was saying one side benefit of his “Two gone for every new one added” rule on Regs isn’t that they are removing many, they’re not (regulators HATE removing regulations, even when they re useless) but they are not adding new either, so it isn’t a win win, but a win via status quo.
          for now.

          I knew a Transmission rebuilder who closed shop over inventory taxes. Scrapped his inventory and got pennies on the dollar for his now wasted work, then did jobs out of his garage for cash, to “friends” only who had to bring the trans to him (one of those “friends” was a Mercedes dealer)

  10. Early in his career, Alan Greenspan wrote that bank failures were like fuses burning out . . . and that what the Federal Reserve system did was to put a penny in the fuse box, so that things went from localized disruptions to systemwide collapses.

  11. “Even Canada has restrictions on speech.”

    Hell, in one of our provinces they have restrictions on *language*.

    1. Might not be personal space. Might be ethnic. Or Sanitation.

      If it was personal space alone, we would perhaps expect more cases from Japan.

      1. I suspect, in general, the Japanese are cleaner and more hygienic than the Chinese.
        Or put it another way, the Japanese are less tolerant of ugly, diseased, obviously sick people in public than the Chinese are.

        1. … the Japanese are less tolerant of ugly, diseased, obviously sick people in public than the Chinese are.

          I have a quip about the Chinese leadership having to maintain a public presence, but as this is being typed on a Lenovo laptop prudence suggests I eschew such comments.

  12. Civilizations rise and fall. Epidemics come and go. Every so often, there’s an ice age or, if you take a longer time scale, a big meteor. The name of the game is not to make your civilization live forever — it’s to make sure it has offspring, that it is one of several successful civilizations, ideally in a friendly trading relationship. The point about getting off the planet is to build up *diversity* — in civilizations, in supply chains, in memetic and genetic pools, so that the larger human community is robust enough to handle shocks.

  13. It’s in the US, via evacuees—but since we’ve instituted actual quarantine procedures, even the fact that five of them have shown fevers (at Travis AFB in Fairfield) isn’t an item of high concern. Properly warned medical staff can take all the precautions necessary to arrest spread.

    1. So there’s a story about an US citizen individual stuck in Wuhan who, though madly trying, was not able to get through to the State Department to get a slot on an evacuation flight. Spouse in US, going nuts, calling every possible contact or resource, trying everything to get them out. Eventually Spouse made a contact through their rabbi to a contact in the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

      Suddenly connections were made and a slot becomes available – but flight is screening medically, and individual really would rather not get there and not be able to board.

      Knock on the door in Wuhan and there’s a young, fit, slightly swarthy western fellow, who absolutely does not work for the Mossad in China, who proceeded to give the individual at question precise timing and dosage of vitamin-I and other otc meds, which the fellow just happened to have with them, to knock down any potential fever or other symptom and get the individual through the med screening.

      The individual made it onto the flight and is now in quarantine on a US military base. No word yet on test results, but out is better than stuck, and I guess the lesson is a wide pallet of contacts is often useful.

      Or so I heard.

  14. One of the paths that can be traveled from this place is ‘we need war against these regimes, until the populations learn to keep their governments behaving well enough that they can be tolerated’. From there, one can travel ‘all of the other governments are sufficiently different from the US as to be intolerable’, and then ‘wars of extermination against everyone else’. I think the consensus here is that I cross over into insanity at some point.

    We can definitely coexist with the Indians, French, Chinese, Germans, Canadians, etc. if the silly idiots would just accept the need to protect freedom of speech, right to bear arms, etc.

    That may be improbable enough that we should be preparing to implement the strategy for the worst contingency. Except that infantry forces trained to be capable of mass murder are too dangerous to keep around ‘just in case’. You get politicians trying to use them internally, and worse costs than going into a war of mass murder without being fully prepared.

      1. Yes and no.

        We had some of the ingredients of a good infantry organization already, so we were not starting from scratch, so no. Yes, because we had to re invent or re discover a lot of things before they were ready for prime time.

        Pearl Harbor was Dec. 7th 1941. Gaudalcanal was August of 1942, and Torch was November of 1942. Some of the delay was transport, and needing the naval superiority not to lose the troop ships before they reached the shore. Some of it was assembling the formations from cadre, reservists and recruits. I know Torch was a seriously close thing where having the troops prepared was concerned.

        Thing was, because of the cadre and the culture they were recruited from, the US troops were not fielded prepared to massacre women and children in cold blood.

        After the war, that generation made sure of two things. 1. A standing Army, so that forces could be deployed more rapidly. 2. That the standing Army was not going to be used for atrocity.

        So, we have infantry we can rapidly deploy, but they will not massacre women and children in cold blood.

        If we want deployable infantry willing to massacre women and children in cold blood, we probably have to build the force without using cadre from any of our other infantry. Which means years before they are somewhat effective, and they will probably never be very effective against good infantry. Our regular infantry would probably ignore orders to stop the massacre infantry anyway, if they were in the same area.

        So, if we find ourselves in a war where victory can only occur through extermination of populations, with some of that being infantry massacring women and children, we probably have to wait for the war to change our culture first.

    1. this is why I look askance at all Arms Trade Treaties and calls for us to ‘normalize’ our gun laws to reflect the consensus of the rest of the world. If y’all want to normalize gun ownership to maximize liberty, I’m on board. If you want us to make our gun laws be like Japan’s, fuhgeddaboudit.

  15. “Everyone who agitates for reductions or elimination of the First Amendment should ponder that.”

    Everyone who agitates for reductions or elimination of the First Amendment should be struck briskly and repeatedly with a fungo bat.

    1. Agitating for reduction/elimination of the First Amendment is saying “I want to be enslaved by my government”. It might not start that way, but without… ahem… vigorous adjustment applied by the general public, that’s the way it ends (bearing in mind of course that the process can take generations).

  16. So the Chinese doctor who found a way to tells us how bad it is in Wuhan is now dead from the flu. I think you hit it on the head. We don’t know how long the incubation period is. The news coming out of China right now is frankly flat scary. I’m glad we don’t have as many cases; however, since we don’t know the incubation time (they say at least two weeks, but I am seeing reports that they may be wrong) we may not have seen the last of it in our country.

    1. *wags paw* Or he might not be. Again, it’s the “news from China is not trustworthy” problem.

      Re. the rest. I think the cruise ship quarantines and the Travis AFB sorts of places will be our best indication of what, how long, how strong, how spreads. China? Useless. (Now supposedly they are trying to force people to stop skimming waste cooking fat out of . . . sewer lines, where it gets dumped by vendors and restaurants . . . and apparently using it at home or selling it.)

    2. Well, they’ve decided to name it something more precise that “that new coronavirus.”

      Apparently it’s to be COVID-19

  17. I’m always fascinated by how the people calling for “limited censorship,” however defined, never, ever believe that someone might ever apply it to them. They never, ever study past totalitarian regimes in order to see what happens. So long as humans are involved, certain patterns appear. But they don’t study those patterns. *shrug*

    1. You’re better at history* than I am, is the “I can’t force people to listen to me so I’m being censored” thing common in other times/places?

      I know it was in the US in the 60s, but….

      * why, yes, that is understatement 😉

      1. That’s a Twentieth Century development, at least as far as I can find. Once or twice something similar to that has popped up in my readings on Imperial China (Warring States Period), but the sources are so old and so fragmentary that it’s hard to tell precisely if the writer was truly blocked by his government, or having a temper fit because no one followed his philosophy.

    2. They never examine past totalitarian regimes, because if they did they would have to face that one of the first priorities of any such regime is them liquidation of all potential troublemakers…like the Progressive idiots who agitated to revolution in the first place.

      And that, in turn, would mean they would have to give up their dreams of running things, because none of them are competent and vicious enough to land on top.

      1. One thing of which I am confident about those would-be elites is that they have not understood this old adage: “If you sit in on a poker game and don’t see a sucker, get up. You’re the sucker.”

  18. Speaking of totalitarianism: Has everyone seen the news stories about repeated vandalism of Karl Marx’s grave? “Doctrine of hate” and “architect of genocide” were painted on the monument in large red letters. Heh.

      1. I think that is a pilgrimage that is worth a group trip! 🙂
        Local officer comes up to group: What are you all doing here:
        Group: Watering Marx’s grave the natural way.

            1. And plenty of asparagus. Something about the sulfur compounds in asparagus makes piss absolutely REEK.

        1. I highly recommend AGAINST doing anything to Lenin. His tomb (assuming his is the “body” in it) is a scary place – not least because of all the armed guards, although the dim red light in a black stone room doesn’t help.

  19. And then of course there is the Democratic Party candidate for US Senate in Maine who is giving away t-shirts with pictures of guillotines on them:(hat tip Instapundit)_

    https://www.pressherald.com/2020/02/06/u-s-senate-candidate-selects-guillotine-as-symbol-of-the-work-we-have-to-do/

    “The guillotine is an image which calls to mind what people have done for revolution before,” said Kidman, an attorney who’s running for the seat held by Republican Sen. Susan Collins. “If we can find a better path to revolution than that we owe it to ourselves and our country.”

    One of her tweets promoting the shirts states “I was gonna wait for tomorrow to show of these beauties but Trump got acquitted and I feel folks could use something to look forward to” with a shirt with guillotine on it pictured below. Seems to me she is using twitter to make a threat of violence against the President and political opponents.

  20. “And then of course there is the Democratic Party candidate for US Senate in Maine who is giving away t-shirts with pictures of guillotines on them”

    And people wonder why I regard leftists as vermin gnawing away at civilization.

    1. Does that mean he prefers the French Revolution to the American Revolution?

      Be careful what you wish for, bub. Ask not for whom the tumbril comes, it comes for thee.

  21. *grumbles*

    Been thinking on the “you have to have free speech or no dice” thing— I’m not sure it will work.

    And if it will WORK, if it’s licit.

    Look at the “hey no cookies unless you warn people” stuff– will it just turn into more hoops?

    *grumbles more* Needs troubleshooting. It’s a good statement of intention. Needs devil’s advocates.

  22. It has been said that “every organization is a hierarchy of wastebasket.” This is true even when the person at the top of the organization genuinely *wants* to know what is going on.

    But when failure to throw the proper things in the wastebasket is punished with jail or execution, the hinderance to the flow of information reaches a whole other level.

  23. In addition to the liars who say “real socialism has never been tried” there are the liars who say “real socialism merely means an end to cronyism and foreign wars”. I’m not sure how they say this without dying of soul-crushing shame but I think it is because they have no souls. 😉

  24. I’ve been making sure there is a rotating stockpile of stuff. Separate supply in the shed vs. the pantry, cooking equipment and that kind of thing. Got a backpack full of spare clothing, meds, cleaning supplies, etc, etc, etc…

    Aiming at having two of the big Mountain Home cases available. But, then again we live in earthquake country and we’re as prepared as we can be for at least 72 hours without power.

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