The Trap of Noblesse Oblige


Of all the traps a culture can fall into, the fact that Americans tend to fall into Noblesse Oblige traps says very good things about us. It also doesn’t make the trap any less dangerous.

Noblesse Oblige, aka “nobility obligates” was a way that the excesses of a hierarchical society was kept in check.  While the peasants were obligated to obey the nobleman, the nobleman was obligated to look after them/not put extreme demands on them/behave in certain paternalistic ways. (One of these days I need to do a post on paternalistic versus patriarchal. remind me.)

It is what is notably lacking from ideologically driven totalitarianisms and hierarchies, probably because their basis being atheistic they don’t seem the humans they have power over as being worth anything or commanding any duty from them.  This is why in places like Cuba, Venezuela or China, the officials of the “democratic” government give themselves airs as long-suffering public servants while treating the people under their power worse than any of us would treat a stray animal (let alone a pet.)

In the US — where the citizen is king! — we have evolved a form of noblesse oblige best described as “Them who can, do what they can for those who can’t.”

It is part of our cohesive response to disasters.  The neighbors who can/are less hit will go out of their way to help others.  It is also why that guy who tried to write a book about how the poor stayed poor forever found that moving to a new city with his girlfriend and $5, he had trouble STAYING poor.

The problem is that it’s exploitable.  To a great extent the homeless invading our big cities and camping on our sidewalks are a perversion of this.  Yes, the mayors of those city are lefties, but they’re still actuated by a feeling they should “help the needy” and of course buying into the narrative that capitalism inherently creates a lot of needy, and therefore they have to mitigate it.

I don’t need to tell you how that gets weaponized against the common citizen of these cities, who find themselves confronted with unimaginable inconvenience or even danger around the corner, without warning.

I should probably point out it’s also getting weaponized against the governors and mayors. They might be too stupid to notice it, but mostly instead of thinking “look at the terrible results of capitalism” people are starting to suspect their local government is against them and FOR indigent drug addicted and aggressive grifters. (And they aren’t wrong.)  A lot of the anger boiling over in our society is from being inconvenienced by the “elites” ideas of noblesse oblige.

But the noblesse oblige that affects the common individual in America is the foundation of worse traps.

Most of the idiotic compliance with ridiculous Winnie the Flu rules and restrictions hooked directly into Noblesse Oblige.  For instance, the brilliant idea that you should wear masks to show you care even though we pretty much know they are completely ineffective and quite deleterious for a vast swath of people.

The idea that our kids should be forced to perform “volunteer” labor to graduate school, to “teach them to care for others.” The idea that you can always do a little more/sacrifice a little more for “those worse off” (Who often aren’t.)

When Noblesse Oblige turns into toxic altruism, it can take society apart.

Much of the “Green” mania is part of the noblesse oblige trap.  They’re trying to convince us that if we just do these little things — most of them counterproductive, like, say recycling, which uses more resources and causes more issues than just using stuff — we’ll make it better for everyone.

In a bigger sense, they’re trying to make it so that we commit polite suicide so that “others live better.”

It can result in truly horrible racism, too. A great part of the left’s being convinced, say, that meritocracy is white supremacy comes from the fact that, being white, (and racist) they assume that they’re more competent than any other race, and therefore following “merit” causes white people to rise to the top.

When this spreads into society wide rules and our education, it results in minorities being indoctrinated with helplessness, and white people subconsciously absorbing the racism of low expectations (of others.)

All of this is completely crazy and distorting.

Noblesse Oblige is a great sentiment for your circle of friends and among people you know.  Sure, if you can do. For your friends, for your family, for those you know are in true need.

But if you start extending that to strangers, you can commit some absolutely horrible injustices.

For instance, if you try to be kind to addicted/aggressive homeless, you end up being unkind to those who have to walk or live in the same area. You destroy real estate value.

In the same way, if you ditch meritocracy you’re going to hurt the most capable to favor the less capable, and you’ll also end up hurting society because the less capable also don’t run things in a way that is best.

Noblesse Oblige should have limits. And you should always make sure you’re not hurting others with it.

Yes, if you can DO but don’t do too much. Respect others’ ability and their noblesse oblige.

Don’t fall into the trap.

267 thoughts on “The Trap of Noblesse Oblige

  1. Thank you for this post.

    (Also c4c. Let’s see if I can remember the clicky box on the first try today.)

  2. Some folks have perverted the concept of “those who can should help those who can’t” into

    “Those of us with power should force folks we don’t much like to do things for folks who will then vote for us”.

    They, of course, try to make that sound noble and good.

    1. Yes, there’s a big difference between helping, and taking money from some people to help others, with a fair bit of the money falling into your own pockets along the way.

      1. The “fall into your own pockets” only applies to a few rat bastards. The rest just magically assume that if a million dollars is earmarked to ‘help the poor’, then a million dollars gets to the poor. Even people WORKING in the bureaucracy will tend to assume this. After all, their little office doesn’t cost that much…

        On top of that there’s the ever present menace of money being given to ‘poor’ who aren’t. Back when REASON was a tad more reliably Libertarian they published a study that asserted that money going to fraudulent ‘welfare Queens’ was a smaller number by an order of magnitude than money spent obsessively making sure that it didn’t.

        Which feeds into my feeling that we could do more good with Social Welfare payments if we converted that whole budget into $5 bills and airdropped it over city centers.

        It comes down to Americans (rightly) feeling “we’re rich!” and not understanding that being rich means being able to have anything you want, not EVERYTHING you want. We can, should we choose to (and are willing to do the skull sweat) solve a lot of problems with money. Some are not solvable with money. And some are large enough that we will have to choose which ones.

        1. It further occurs to me that many people are not usefully aware how many big problems we have already solved…that we need to keep solving. The creation of relatively sanitary cities is a BIG HONKING DEAL. Diseases spread by unsanitary water sources used to kill thousands or tens of thousands every year. If not more. We take sanitary drinking water, pumped right into our homes, for granted (or most of us do), but that infrastructure needs to be maintained, and it isn’t cheap. We take for granted that when we flip a switch, electric light will come on, electric motors will turn, data will move. That many people have no freaking clue how that works is shown by the biscuit-headed fashion for solar and wind power. We take for granted the roads that allow us to drive from one ocean to the other, but the first such fully paved road, Route 66, wasn’t completed until 1938. And keeping the roads we have drivable is a full time task, and far from cheap.

            1. Was it that Rte66 was the first _Ecoast-to-Wcoast_ route to be finished? I don’t recall. (Actually, I don’t know where the hell US30 *is*.)

        2. Very much this. Medicaid, the whole section 8 housing program, and SNAP are obsessive about making sure that people have the proper documentation to make sure that they aren’t cheating. The trouble is that the documents doen’t prove a **** thing, except that the applicants know how to get them.

          1. Just as Rent Control primarily works to reducing housing stock ad increasing politicians’ power.

            If the COVIDexodus serves to end the rent control regime in even one major city it may prove worth the lives lost. Few policies are so harmful contrary to their official purpose.

            1. Nonsense. What Rent Control achieves is stable, low rent for affluent Liberal Intellectuals. The kind of people who can stay in the same apartment for decades. The kind of people votesucking vermin like De Blasio meet at fashionable cocktail parties. The rest is fallout.

              1. Your defense of Rent Control recalls to mind the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and the tale of the Duke and the Dauphin, fleeing the mob angry at them for selling toothpaste which performed as promised, removing tar from teeth.

                No wonder they’ve found a feeble excuse to ban that book.

          2. I’ve collected unemployment a time or two, and that is one of the reasons I never jump on the “The urban poor are just work shy bums” bandwagon. Getting handouts from the bureaucracy is WORK. It isn’t PRODUCTIVE work. It doesn’t accomplish anything other than making you feel like a wrung out dishrag. But I can understand why somebody who is doing that has little energy for much else. And I don’t see any realistic hope of a system that does any better growing out of the government blob.

            I swear, if the inner city Blacks ever figure out how badly they have been USED by the Fascist Left and the Black Quislings like Sharpton, the riots we are seeing now are going to look like a cake-fight at a Sunday School picnic.

            1. I sat through a training seminar at work with a former social worker discussing the world of poverty. She talked about how a significant part of the poor’s day is taken up with what she called Agency Time: welfare, unemployment, various programs, food stamps, law enforcement, public housing, schools, CPS, etc.. You spend lots of time going to agency offices, filling out forms, waiting, answering questions, following up, and dealing with bureaucratic snafus among other problems. Some of this stuff sucks up your whole day and if you have a job, it’s likely the kind of job where if you don’t show up, you don’t get paid.

              1. One particularly vile element of it is that if “your” social worker is late you simply have to wait, even if it is hours — but if you are late, even five minutes!!! Similarly, if the people processing your forms make a minor error and they get kicked back by the system, well, tough for you; if you make a mistake you are immediately suspect for attempting to cheat the system.

                In every way the message is sent that you, your time, your problems are unimportant.

                I am reminded of the explanation by a young Black man about why he couldn’t afford to take a particular job: it barely paid more than Welfare, entailed costs that Welfare did not, benefits didn’t kick in until three months after he’d started but the insurance and other benefits he was getting on Welfare ended before his first paycheck. On top of that, as last hired he knew he’d be first to go when the inevitable layoffs hit, and he’d be months getting his Welfare & benefits re-approved. It wasn’t that he did not want to work, he didn’t see as he could afford to.

                Thus is maintained a dependency class.

    2. They, of course, try to make that sound noble and good.

      It is noble and good — for them.

      Noble … well, no-balls … because they aren’t directly bearing the risks attendant on these policies. Good, because it imposes little financial burden on their wallets while doing much to deter wealth accumulation within the entrepreneurial classes who would supplant them and take the perks they enjoy.

  3. I question the image illustrating this – noblesse oblige more nearly resembles a drain trap, catching the detritus that civilization is better served by flushing away and generating a disgusting mass of gunk that obstructs proper function.

  4. I was at Home Despot today for some plumbing parts. I also wanted to pick up some heavy manila or sisal rope to re-wrap the cat tree.

    They don’t sell rope. It’s gone from the shelves.


    I don’t know what country this is, but it’s not the one I grew up in. I thought Idiocracy was a spoof, but now I see it was just set too far in the future. It’s HERE!

    I thought only the government could force everybody to make the same stupid mistakes. They had to go and prove me wrong. What can I tell the cats, when they gaze sadly at their rope-less tree?
    The Democrats are willing to burn America to the ground, so long as they wind up squatting on top of the ashes.

        1. While I wouldn’t be surprised, if they’re worried about someone killing minorities with stuff bought there, I can name 20 items without trying that are better to kill a man with, and that’s before I go into tools.

          1. It’s not actually about killing. It’s about making the proper signs and not letting said minority ever be made to feel bad because they saw an inanimate object.

            1. The local Home Desperate has “limited inventory”, but one over the Cascades has a dozen in stock. Other varieties (poly, sheathed polyester, polypropylene) have large quantities in stock, so it might be a sisal shortage. OTOH, if all rope is out of stock, you might have a governor who’s afraid of being a lamppost decoration. Do you by chance live in Michigan?

              I’m seeing rolling shortages. $SPOUSE is staying home and tending to our not terribly healthy dogs*, so I’ve been doing the weekly shopping since the end of March. It’s a crapshoot as to what’s going to be in stock, what’s temporarily out of stock, and what’s transformed into unobtainium. No salt added canned kidney and black beans are hitting this, while dried beans were out for a while. Now, corn is hard to get locally and beets seem to be unicorn food. Other items are out or are in short supply; finger nail brushes (which we use for multiple purposes) are hard to find, along with the obvious things like surgical masks, gloves, ammunition, and things that use ammunition.

              (*) She hates face masks more than I do, too.

              1. Same here as far as rolling shortages. Was at the closest local grocery stores earlier this week (a Stop and Shop, although one of their smaller ones). Stuff that had previously been well in stock was in very short supply while other items that had been out of stock for weeks were now available.

                I suspect these kind of supply chain issues are going to last a long time, as the ripple effect of the imposition of shutdowns on large sectors of the economy, and the resulting economic carnage, continues.

                1. Local supermarket seems to have a policy of of having black strips to slide over shelf price tags so they can fill the shelves with whatever they have/can get rather than having things look… Soviet. Overheard: “It’s probably going to be a year until supplies are back to normal.” Not said, but heavily implied was “…If we’re lucky.”

                  1. Harbor Fright is fun to guess what they might have this week (hot tip, ALWAYS avoid the Jack Stands).
                    Twice I’ve heard the employees complain about getting a load containing stuff they are over stocked on, and nothing they really need. That fun China syndrome.
                    I see some of their new “Better Quality” stuff is coming from Taiwan, now
                    Most of our locals are at least in large part supplied by Super Value (Everyday Essentials etc) or to a lesser by the local, so we are probably in much the same boat as you on that end, Is there another grocer supply that way? In DFW Texas we had HEB, Kroger, Brookshire’s, Albertsons/Tom Thumb, Brookshire Brother’s, and I’m missing one or two others.
                    Here we got SV and Great Lakes Foods.

                2. We are RVing, and so far we have been in Tennessee (home), Kentucky, Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan. I’m seeing rolling shortages, too. Some stores are rationing items – only one package of dried beans per customer, for example. Bush’s canned beans are semi-consistently short, as are dried beans and occasionally paper products. We hit occasional meat shortages as well. But so far, we’ve been able to get what we need.
                  So far as tones go, our one-night stand in IL felt….odd. central WI was largely open, masks often seen. We got out of the Madison area just before the statue toppling, but the local talk radio irritated me because of its, “of course, we all know x, so we don’t need to discuss alternatives, ” component.
                  Michigan was a real mixed bag. I got us thrown out of an RV park by mentioning the bathrooms and how long we had been waiting for the manager to come out. (I think she was just having a really bad day: she hadn’t come out because she was on the phone with her lawyer). Everywhere else fine. A fair amount of cynicism about Whitmer opening the part of the state where the “old money,” including her family, has their “summer cottages,” but people still glad to get out and do business. It all looks fairly normal. So far….

                  1. meet has been yo-yoing like mad locally (Michigan Wisconsin border).
                    One week ground meat is nearly $7/lb, the next week $5 with 80/20 this week being on sale for $3.79 and a “Signature Blend” 50/50 pork/beef $3.49 (last week it was $4.89) Ribeyes were on sale for $9 and change (I got 4 that looked like Wagu! Very good tasting and not CAB) and last week they were $11+ for the non-CAB, and $14.89 for CAB

          2. One bottle of bleach, 1 bottle of toilet bowl cleaner. Works best in enclosed spaces. Mixed up a batch this morning trying to kill/drive away a damn groundhog in the yard. Pour in the toilet bowl cleaner, pour in the bleach and immediately cover the hole with dirt.

            Note: if you survive doing it to yourself, it will probably make you much more susceptible to COVID infections. Which is why you shouldn’t mix cleaners when actually cleaning things.

            1. Nothing that complex is needed. A simple garden spade is lethal when used correctly (c.f entrenching tools in WWI). My understanding is that wasp spray is a close cousin if not precursor to tabun and sarin. RAH had it right there are no deadly weapons only deadly people. Perhaps Home despot is expecting a visit from Ghislaine Maxwell?

                1. Parathion is a nerve agent. I don’t know if they still use it as a pesticide, but it’s deadly by inhalation, ingestion, skin contact.

                  1. I think wasp spray contains malathion. Even back in the 1970’s, methyl parathion was barely available to farmers because it kills EVERYTHING. My uncle spent weeks filing paperwork to get 5 gallons of the stuff to kill off an infestation of alfalfa weevils.

                    It killed the weevils. It killed the grasshoppers. It killed ants, worms, mice, rats, birds, bats, moles and gophers. The field was posted with KEEP OUT signs for two weeks. A neighbor moved his beehives eight miles away and still lost a third of the workers. Moving the hives just meant they’d die on the way back instead of bringing parathion into the hive and killing ALL the bees.

                    It’s mean stuff.

                2. Pitchforks and rakes are also traditional, but I don’t find the new LED torches entirely satisfactory.

              1. The spade works better whatever you are shoveling if you first sharpen it on a belt sander. It goes through dirt much easier afterwards.

                1. Some of us use a file, rather than a sander, but yes, a sharpened spade is soooo much easier to dig with, especially if you have to cut through established sod or rose and tree roots.

                  1. I’ll give it a shot. I have to dig 90 feet of trench to lay a network cable in… it only has to be a few inches deep, but the less work in this heat, the better…

                  2. The reputed favorite edged weapon of Soviet (and I assume current Imperial Russian) Войска специального назначения use was a sharpened entrenching tool.

                    Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

                    1. Yes, but theirs had heavier blades and didn’t fold. Most US ones would bend or break if you hit someone with them.

            2. Now I envision a trap for vehicles (MRAP or such?) that is made to just hold until *PLOP* quite deep… and the bottom is a mix of bleach and ammonia bottles… and maybe the odd propane tank.

              Anything with treads? Alright barbed wire isn’t the SAME as razor wire, but….

      1. They babbled some bullshit about ‘hate crimes’. I gave them my standard answer: “Just when I thought the shit couldn’t get any stupider, they had to go and prove me wrong.”

        1. You can make a lot of nooses with a spool. Sounds like they’re trying to maximize their profit off of racists.

          1. Or very cunningly concealed, so cleverly concealed the victims never realize they’ve been taken.

            For example, selling a class of people the idea that government dependency is the best they can hope for, that learning our culture’s heritage is “acting White,” that voting for a political party which has its roots in the enslavement of your ancestors will work because this time is different, this time they’re really, really sorry.

      1. I’m surprised the ones in Atlanta still do after Arthur Blank’s last few choices as the Falcon’s owner.

      2. They issued a press release a few weeks ago, saying they were no longer going to sell cut rope, just entire spools. Most people don’t need that much rope, so I imagine some stores sent the spools back to the warehouse or whatever they do with unwanted inventory.

        Their explanation was “COVID”, trying to imply that the ‘rona would infect cut pieces but not spools, or so I gathered. Sometimes the stupid is thick enough it’s hard to parse.

        1. Strange, my first thought about COVID being the excuse is that they’re afraid someone’s going to use it for suicide.

          And they’ll be sued by the next of kin for providing the means.

          Now, I’m envisioning needing a background check to buy rope.

      3. Use thin wire. There is of course the problem of the head coming off but that is such a small thing.

    1. {Rope]’s gone from the shelves.

      Last time I bought rope there (I use it to bundle small branches, saplings and similar yard waste for city pick-up and disposal), about a year ago, they didn’t keep it on shelves, it was on reels so you could cut it to the desired length … although they did have balls of various cord in bins underneath the reels.

      They sold chain from reels as well, cut to length and pay by the foot.

      OMFG – I went to look for a picture and found multiple stories about them “changing its rope sales policy after multiple nooses were found in stores across …” sourced to CNN, Business Insider, Fox Business, MSN, and various television outlets. Pre-measured lengths in packages only.

      Lowes seems to still sell it by the foot. Try them.

      1. Lowes seems to still sell it by the foot. Try them.

        Maybe not — when I tried to click through to see their prices on sisal I got a “You ain’t ‘lowed in here” message … and when I clicked back to the display page I also got … well, look:

        “Access Denied
        You don’t have permission to access “″ on this server.
        Reference #18.ccce5640.1594243727.3646ea6”

        Okay – switching from Chrome to Firefox evaded the denial; here’s your sisal at $0.27 a foot (and just when did the cents symbol disappear from keyboards? It makes no sense! Having to type [Alt]0162 is ridiculous.)

        We live in a world driven mad, mad I tell you.

        1. Lowe’s has for no apparent reason been doing that to me in Firefox for months. I am mystified.

          1. No conspiracy there – just idiots for web developers / maintainers.

            When we needed our new refrigerator (as in NEEDED it), $SPOUSE$ came to me with the one she wanted; decent brand, decent price – at Lowes. Well, I tried ordering it from them. Got that “unauthorized access” several times; when I finally got there to place the order, it sent me through some idiotic “VISA Pay” subapplication, and it took me nearly an hour to fight with that to have it recognize a debit card.

            Then I THOUGHT I was done. Had the order confirmation page and everything. NEVER received a confirmation of shipment, when the order said it would be shipped. Got back on line. No sign of the order. Fortunately, also no sign of payment being taken. Tried their chat – idiot kept on repeating to me that I never ordered it (obviously he couldn’t find it either in the system, even given the confirmation number). It… just… vanished…

            Decided they really, really didn’t want my money. Ordered one that wasn’t quite what $SPOUSE$ wanted from Home Depot – which went as smoothly as ever.

            I pretty much only order online from Amazon and Home Depot these days – Walmart seems able to take my order and payment okay – and then falls flat on their face when delivering even by the date promised. (The two mentioned have taken the aphorism “promise less, deliver more” to heart.)

            1. only order online from Amazon and Home Depot

              Costco. I’ve noted the fun we had with our freezers earlier this year. First one was from Home Depot. Second one was from Costco. Should have gone Costco from the get go.

            2. Home Despot also sells on eBay under a variety of non-HD-sounding names. I’ve been getting odd bits for the remodel project from eBay vendors, but the items show up in HD boxes with an HD return address. I would have figured they’d try to get some return for all the millions they spent established the HD “brand”, but I’m just an ignorant consumer…

              1. The way corporate has been acting up they might need to hide the HD to get folks to buy it.
                The Green Bay HD will deliver here to Marinette, and across the river to Menominee, but won’t deliver to Peshtigo or Oconto . . . that they have to drive through to get to Menominee and Marinette

        2. I suspect that’s not a Lowes thing, that is a Google thing. Google is evil and any expectation that they don’t abuse their monopoly power with their operating systems the way they do with Google searches, YouTube, etc., is simply utterly unfounded.

          I will not use Chrome. Ever.

          1. Happened to me with Lowes too, Cardshark – and I do not allow Chrome anywhere near my system. (Firefox.)

            The only Google OS I have is on the stupidphone – which is only because they are slightly more trustworthy than Red Chinese Apples. (Never do any secure thing through it anyway; if someone itches to find out what $FAMILY$ wants for dinner that night, they can snoop all they want.)

            1. Next time you get a new phone check the LineageOS compatibility list.

              Android incorporates code released under the GNU license, and therefore the Android source (for the basic OS) must also be “free and open source.” LineageOS is the FOSS compiled version of Android, with some apps written to replace the non-free Android ones.

              It’s not perfect – it’s too big for a single person to reliably vet the source before compiling, and it still includes some “black box” binaries for interfacing with each specific phone – but as long as you avoid installing Google Store and limit your apps to what’s available from F-Droid, you’ll be reasonably secure.

              F-Droid only carries apps provided with source code, and does “clean room” builds for download. You still have to trust F-Droid if you don’t DIY, but that’s better than trusting a dozen separate apps of unknown virulence.

              Fortunately, the trackers and data vampires are so used to everything hanging out there free for their taking, even minimal efforts to thwart them are remarkably effective. There’s so *much* marketable data out there for free, it’s not worth their time to work for it.

          2. stuck using chrome it here at work. All we got is IE, Edge, and Chrome. IE stopped being supported and the latest forced update it stopped working with the two web pages I need to use (Outlook and our GHS labeling Wercs), but while the EMail works okay in Edge, the Wercs site doesn’t, but I can force it, after much gnashing of teeth and multiple ctrl-F5s, to give me a PDF Preview of the correct label. Also need Chrome from time to time to view my pay stubs. that is hit and miss on Edge, and IE stopped working this past month. Wercs stopped printing via the browser a bit over a year ago (hmm, might be over 2 years) so you need the PDF to do so via Adobe Acrobat(spit), but IE will show a view of the label as you work on it, and refreshes your updates, but stopped giving that PDF preview, Edge doesn’t show you the work in progress (WYSIWYG is WYCSINAWYG what you can’t see is not always what you get) makes the changes from time to time (enter the part number, size of label needed, and fill in Made In fields and get the label someone printed a month ago! What? That not what you need?) and Chrome works as well as Edge and IE combined (so not at all)
            In fact, I am goofing off typing this reply instead of arguing with the thing to make a new label I need for today’s work.
            Le sigh

              1. I think it is still shipping time Edge with a few updates. I got a few days of “Update To The New Edge Now” the beginning of the week, and then it stopped. I figured they might have updated wile I was logged off (some updates occur that way. We are told to log off but never shut down). Our Corporate IT has things set where if you are notified of an update, we don’t have permissions to install them, and often, if you don’t catch it and click the right box to delay it, you get updated whether you want to or not at around 1pm on a Friday, because no one needs to use a computer while at work around 1pm on a Friday, right? And they pick and choose which updates we get. The only updates we can do ahead of their schedule is Windohs Updates, We can’t even change the Starting Home Page of the browsers that is set for a corporate page 75% of the users are denied access to. The company emails also almost exclusively link to that version of the corporate pages. Keeps down complaints on the feedback when the feedback page isn’t available to those who need to give feedback.
                Like their stupid Phishing test emails sent out periodically . . . they got on you if you either opened them, or didn’t report them, but the reporting function stopped working just before Christmas. They still send the emails though.
                The Update B.S. gets the one building I used to work in a lot. They have one out on the floor and around 1 or so they start closing out the shift, moving stock, entering labor for the day, etc. and suddenly they get rebooted because it remained in the background when they had SAP open, and didn’t see the box allowing them to delay the update because it remains in the background.

                1. I started having issues with Chrome about a year ago, but Edge was only barely functional, so I suffered along.

                  The new Edge actually works, and the only website issues I’ve run into were the website. So far. Knock on wood.

                  Like their stupid Phishing test emails sent out periodically

                  Oh, you’ll love this one.

                  Husband’s office gets a lot of these. They’re sent out from whatever they call the tech security office, and they constantly get nastygrams about how people click on the link in the email that says it’s from so and so, click here to read important information.

                  … the nastygram is in the form of an email from that office, which says it’s from so and so, click on this link to read the important information.

                  1. Our first few were formatted exactly like our “outside of Network, but approved sender” do you need to allow this sender? emails (like one of our Tolars sending me a request for labeling the first time) and folks got hostile over it, so they changed it to sounding like a company email about some things, that 90% of people don’t have access to, or would know how to handle “Please Wire Me Money and sign off on the funds please!, My Corporate card stopped working” really doesn’t work when A: we don’t have cards like that, and no one can wire money outside of 5 people in another state. It certainly doesn’t work on even the dumb bunny in shipping who just emails the boss “order #xxxxxxxx ready to ship!”

                  2. oh, and I forgot to explain fully the out of network emails. When we get one from those approved sending domains (gmail is actually one) but not in your contacts list, it stays outside the system. You get a notification you have an email, and it shows you the sender and the text, but the links or attachments are not working/included (full link text shortened so no copy/paste), then if it is actually someone you need emails from you notify the system, they get added to contacts, and then only certain attachments are allowed (some photo files, PDF and in a few cases excel and word) and html links. All other emails have to come from within the corporate system to get to you, so no “EdTheSalesman @ is going to get to you without this happening, and these tests are some generic thing so they have NO company stuff in them, Ed The Salesman doesn’t have Ed @ or the company contact info in his emails. Actual phising does. Hence EVERY email that pops up with these Phishing schemes for testing us are spotable without even opening the damned things, and as the reporting is a fail, I just delete them out of hand. I’d forward them to the big bosses but they “communicate” with us via NoReply addies and surveys or feedback on the inaccessible web pages. even without clicking through you can tell they are fake as you just need to look at the sender as we can see where they are in the organisation by hovering over their name in the to/from. Even the CEO’s noreply for his carp has that feature. Heck our Tolar emails work that way . . . the phishing doesn’t. Slight clue!

            1. “Among your charges against Sarah’s post, Mr. Taurus, you accuse it of depriving us of the benefits of her image. This is untrue, sir. In my browser we have always had that image.”

              “In my browser we have not.”

              “Oh. Then I suggest that the words “in many cases” be added.”

    2. A public service announcement due to some hard won experience during plumbing drama on moving into a house:

      1. In the words of our friend Larry: NEVER buy that g$%-@#$$ tin-silver pipe solder. It’ll sit on your shelf until one day, you’ll be tempted to use it. That crap doesn’t flow, it doesn’t wet, and you need a far hotter flame than those stupid butane torches will give you.

      (The professional plumbers that worked with that stuff used (1. a different formulation of it from their own plumbing supply stores, 2. Acetylene torches.) They also wrapped wet rags around either end of the area they were working on so that the heat wouldn’t flow down the pipe and cause all the leaded joints elsewhere in the house to let go. The wet rags confined the heat to the work area.

      Instead, order lead “stainglass window” solder online (Amazon has it.) Get it while the periodic table of elements is still legal. (I solemnly swear I’ll only use this for stainglass windows…)

      2. Finding a plumbing contractor store will be a way to get a pipe-cutter that isn’t a pipe-threader. The hardware and big box stores all seem to sell the same bad, loose, high-tolerance design. All of those wobbly chinese designs will cut maybe one pipe, and thread all future pipes thereafter.

      3. Shark-bite joints actually seem to work. I’m pleasantly surprised with the four of them that got put on the bypass manifold for my heater/softener.

      1. I did replumbing for my house in Cali around 2003. MAPP torches worked well enough with the tin-silver solder.OTOH, it’s not advised for confined spaces; the end products include CO as I recall. I screwed up one valve and didn’t try to redo it because I was pressed for time. Got a new valve and the bits to splice it in. Worked fine the second time.

        If I had to do replumbing in the current place, a) I’d far it out; I’m not up to such fun anymore, b) I’d go with PEX. If I ever plumb compressed air in the shop, I’d go with PEX and the DIY tool. There’s a faint possibility that the pro tool is available for rent.

        1. I’d avoid PEX as — I read recently — the copper in traditional tubing proves to be an excellent anti-microbial agent. But, if you have issues with sweating joints — as do I — the “shark bit” or press-and-fit fittings work admirably for new installs as well as repairs.

          1. Well, initially, but if you have anything other than soft water the copper oxide inner surface layer gets plated over with whatever your water chemistry so you gradually lose that effect.

            I have poked around the professional plumber forae on the intertubes and it seems to me that PEX is gaining quite the following with the folks who put them in for a living.

            PEX also makes practical homerun-type retrofits which eliminate most joints and greatly simplify selective isolation of specific fixtures for work, which is what I’m leaning towards for my next adventure in plumbing.

            1. Oh, that’s interesting about the antibacterial effect fading….

              I would have been happy to keep the copper that came with the house, but apparently the local water chemistry and history of houses built around the same time were not wholly promising for its lasting much longer (the previous owner had a leak under the house fixed during the negotiations), and an addition had been done in polybutylene, which evidently people later stopped installing for good reasons… sooooo we decided to spring for a full PEX repiping (by the company that did not propose to leave us with several holes in the walls) before anything had a chance to get exciting. Or potentially worse, sneaky.

              Replacement with new copper would have been… I think three times as expensive.

              On the other hand, I think my parents’ house has hundred-year-old copper pipes and hasn’t required more than piecemeal fixes — although there are some non-structure-threatening issues that would be nice but challenging to address.

              1. My tenants complained that the hall carpet was wet, right beside the bathroom door. Did some investigating and decided the water was coming from under the wall. If everything was REAL quiet, I could hear a faint hissing sound behind the toilet.

                Opened up the wall and found that they had nicked the 1/2″ copper pipe with the copper staple that held it in place, back when they built the house.

                50 years later, it leaked.

                  1. I am also convinced that something has changed in how they make copper pipe from what was produced way back when compared to now – I’ve personally seen even older copper pipe installations in a friends 1920s house going great. I looked at sections of pipe removed during their remodel that would probably have lasted another 75 years if the joints held up – aside from the calcium-whatever plating from hard water (and not that much of that as at some point someone had put in a water softener) those copper pipes were perfect.

  5. I’ve made it policy to only help friends and family. And never with cash. I’ve paid for tanks of gas, gift cards, cell phone bills (how can ANYONE run up a $250 cell phone bill in ONE MONTH?!? And not make any international calls?!?), rent once, groceries, at least two ER rides, etc, etc, etc.

    I tell people to repay it if/when they can, or help others. There’s one friend that (assuming she isn’t dead-worked in a nursing home in Ohio last I heard of her) I will probably never see the $1500 or so I helped her with over a few years (which includes deferred rent because she was couch surfing with me and the Crazy Roommate for six months). Helping others? This is the SF/SJ Science Fiction/Ren Faire community-you have to look hard to find a community of less scum and villainy than that. (Don’t get me started on the local furry fandom…)

    I’ve given up helping people on the street years ago-I’d buy McDonald’s gift certificates (and, for a while, gift cards), enough to cover a day’s worth of meals and the cursing out I would get…

    1. I will admit I help out some of the homeless in downtown Atlanta. I’ll buy them food more often than give them cash and have yet to be cussed out for it.

      That said, I always give Homeless Joe a buck or two because, well, he’s kind of an institution in my part of Atlanta. His initial is to ask you what the greatest nation on Earth is and when you say “the US” he replies, “nah, a doNation.” You toss him a dollar and he doesn’t bug you for a while then reminds you, you’re behind on donations. Yeah, it’s a scam, but he’s friendly and kinda fun. I suspect keeps the worst of the crazy homeless off his turf, so you can see the few bucks as the security the city won’t provide. In the end, though, for some reason I, and several of my coworkers, just like him.

        1. The buskers, at least, are providing some value to the passers-by, in the form of (frequently quite good) music.
          Such practices should be encouraged via the strategic application of dollar bills.

          So says my mother, at any rate. ^_^

    2. $250 cell phone bill in one month is easy if you don’t have unlimited data and don’t put your phone on wifi every opportunity while you sit there and play cell phone games that run ads. Esp with multiple phones

    3. I helped out my brother down in Texas once with cash to be able to afford a lawyer good enough to gain custody of his daughter from her nutcase drug and alcohol abusing mother.

      Best spent $1500 ever.

      1. … gain custody of his daughter from her nutcase drug and alcohol abusing mother.

        That’s hard to believe — single mothers are selfless, noble, self-sacrificing creatures who would never, ever, deprive their children of badly needed care. Not only is it all over the news, I’ve seen* countless Lifetime movies displaying such virtue. It is only sires fathers who neglect and abuse their children. Your brother must have played you!

        Shall I pull the other one?

        *Well, not seen seen – but I see those descriptions whenever I scroll across that channel”s listings

    4. *hug*

      I’m sorry.

      My sister had the giant “sucker” sign over her head, too– I think it actually says “I actually care about people,” but the users can’t tell the difference between honestly wishing the highest good for others, and enabling their current impulse and translate it as “sucker.” And it can take a while to learn most of the manipulation tricks, including cursing out the giver.

      I don’t have a way to help.

      There are folks who really do need help, or are at least willing to act like it– I try to remember to put some of the bags of groceries near the driver’s seat when I’m otu shopping, and will pull stuff out of there. Folks seem sincere when they thank me, even if it’s just a loaf of cheap bread…it’s what we were going to eat, too.

      1. That’s the big thing-users will figure out the best way to trade what they can offer for what you can give. And, wow, there are some very AMAZING users out there… 😦

    5. > (how can ANYONE run up a $250 cell phone bill in ONE MONTH?!?

      I’ve seen it several times. And when I helped parse the phone bills, it looked like they had been on the phone nine to ten hours per day. And both of those cases were *before* there was any such thing as a “data plan” or “smartphone.”

      When I comment about some people needing their phone like they need air, I’m not entirely snarking.

      1. I remember the days when you owned a pager, and you got a certain number of characters then they started to bill you…

        I know, I know. I have seen worse bills-not by much, but worse.

        1. Not that it would apply in the present circumstance, but I do remember back when I worked in rock-and-roll promotion and we did outdoor shows in temporary venues, our phone bills running into five figures a month.

    6. We helped hubby’s sister, twice. Paid way too much for her ex’s golf clubs. At the time neither of us, nor the yet-to-be-son, played. Those clubs have been long donated and replaced with a lot better clubs. Both hubby & son play. The before school August where SIL said she didn’t have the money for school cloths or supplies … “What do you mean I’m writing a check for the amount I deposited from my pay check this month? Why in the H*** (all caps) am I working?” No I didn’t say it. But I thought it very loudly. We never did get paid back, we never will, we didn’t expect to be, but we expected something to be mentioned later; nope, nada. Helped the other sister when her husband was dying. Went down to be with her & the kids. Took kids places to get them out of the house. Gave her cash. Which she offered collateral for, which we refused. She did pay the money back. Going down was bad timing. We were suppose to leave down day after Christmas. We didn’t actually get there until New Years Day. He died Dec. 30th. Why not leave when planned? MY grandmother died unexpectedly sometime in the early AM Dec 26. Okay, she was weeks from 80th birthday, but as far as anyone knew she was healthy and doing fine. Went to bed evening of Christmas, cousin found her not alive the next morning.

  6. Okay, who read Sarah Atlas Shrugged in her sleep.

    Not that it is bad thing, Rand really needed an editor (you can take the girl out of Russia, but you can’t take the Russian literature out of the girl it seems).

    1. >> “Okay, who read Sarah Atlas Shrugged in her sleep.”

      Hmm… Maybe Greebo’s an Objectivist? It would explain why he’s so uptight about her work ethic…

      1. Greebo, like all cats is a Monarchist (with Greebo as King). His interest in our hostess is that of any good monarch in the productivity of his serf(s). Heck Greebo’s daily kibble depends upon it.

    2. Rand could spot the problems. Coming up with good solutions, well, she turned out to be no better at that than anyone else.

      Coercion can call itself devotion all it likes, but they’re separate motives, each on the other side of self-interest. Saying that we should get rid of devotion as a motive for expending resources is throwing out the baby with the bathwater.


      1. Some problems are immune to good solutions.

        As Frederich Schiller observed, “Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain.”

        1. Genius has its limits. Stupidty does not. For folks that actually grok the scientific method, this should be terrifying. Because it *is.*

  7. Sarah?
    You need to do a post on paternalistic versus patriarchal.
    You said to remind you.
    Failed to say when.

    1. As (mis)used by the Fascist Left ‘paternalistic’ means ‘likely to actually govern” and ‘patriarchal’ means ‘any system not run by whinging twunts like us’.

      1. And both could be preferable to the current matriarchy. I re-read Little Women last week, and I got to thinking that if you could have most of the technology: antibiotics and electricity* and modern plumbing (that men, not women achieved for us all… I’d rather live in that world.

        Crazy, no? Because there’s no going back, only forward

        *Candle-light and tarletan, and crino!one and “illusion”… Shudder.

        1. The road’s more meandering than that. All sorts of things have returned. Like republics.

    2. I don’t think that needs to be done here. Huns do not need such instruction.

      Better she should write it for PJM, where it reaches a broader audience and she gets paid.

    3. Anyone have a good recipe for Carp that’s been supersonic? Asking for a friend…

  8. Noblesse oblige traditionally was, as the name suggests, an obligation of the nobility, the elite, the ruling class, or the powerful to act nobly; the ruling class imposing obligations such as “volunteering” or mask mandates upon the powerless is them being generous with other people’s money and liberties rather than offering their own, a perversion rather than a realization of noblesse oblige. You make excellent points about (the self-sacrificial form of) altruism; on top of corroding human integrity, it is very often weaponized to cloak the designs of some to exploit others to serve their own ends. This was an excellent post; I liked reading it very much.

  9. I think Sarah is being too kind to the Big City Mayors. Rudy Giuliani cleaned up NYC, the Big Smoke, in a single term. It took the DemocRats 20 years to undo what he managed to accomplish in four.

    Giuliani did two things. The first, and most memorable, he fired half the NYPD. Anyone who was shady got the quiet word that it was take early retirement or jail. Cleaned the whole place out from top to bottom. Remember that? It was beautiful.

    Second, the “broken window” policy. The NYPD began ticketing and arresting people for shoplifting, j-walking, illegal parking, petty vandalism, street-level drug dealing, all the low level stuff they’d stopped doing under Mayor Dinkins. The city cleaned up the graffiti. They fixed all the broken shit lying around and towed away all the wrecked cars, cleaned the streets etc. The health department enforced health codes. The fire department enforced fire codes. The road department fixed the pot holes. THEY ALL DID THEIR JOBS for a change, is what they really did. You know, basic city services?

    And lo, the crime rate -plummeted- to levels that had not been seen since the 1950s. All the criminals fled to places like Mt. Vernon and Yonkers, because they were getting arrested for selling drugs. The ones who would normally be getting high and robbing old ladies were on 1 year jail terms for jumping turnstiles on the subway.

    So when we look at places like LA, San Francisco, Chicago, even Boulder Co. or Minneapolis Mn, that is all -entirely- due to the DemocRat leadership in those cities. It isn’t that lax enforcement allows the crime to build up. It is that the criminals are actively protected from enforcement by the leadership. Chicago has the crime rate it does because that crime is extremely lucrative for the people running the city.

    Otherwise, it would stop.

    1. My younger brother, who has drunk the Kool-Aid on a lot of things, thinks that broken window policing is the enemy of policing major crimes like drugs. And policing major crimes like drugs is the enemy of investigating hidden major crimes. And police corruption is mostly created by broken window policing, because somehow there’s a lot of money in issuing tickets for loitering and graffiti.

      I’m not actually sure what crimes he thinks the police are supposed to be pursuing.

      1. Ask your younger brother who broke the window. Unless it was a hailstorm or wind blew a branch through it, then a crime of vandalism and violence was committed. And that broken window stands as evidence that crime is not punished; which is why people are encouraged to fix it as soon as possible, to show that someone DOES care. Best to catch the person who broke it and make them pay for it, but we’re lucky if that happens 10 percent of the time.

        1. people are encouraged to fix it as soon as possible, to show that someone DOES care.

          Psychology can be a pretty powerful crime stopper. The nice neighborhood with clean streets and no graffiti sends a strong signal to the would-be hoodlums: “not here.” Apparently it works with larger menaces as well: I was reading about the Hotel Rwanda movie from some years back, and one review pointed out that what really kept those who hid in the hotel safe was the fact that the genocidal nutballs didn’t quite dare go after a five-star, Western-style hotel. They could have overrun it easily, but again, there was that same psychological signal: “not here.”

    2. It’s been several years since I spent much time in Boulder, but I used to walk around there quite a lot and one thing I noted was that there was ALWAYS graffiti in the underpasses and on bridge abutments and walls–it was hard to find a concrete surface that hadn’t been tagged. Meanwhile, 10 miles away where I lived, it’s an exaggeration to say that I never saw graffiti, but I didn’t see much, and I never saw the same graffiti two days in a row.

      1. In general, I’m opposed to Graffiti and ‘Street Art’. It’s seldom clever and usually tiresome. But there are exceptions. I don’t have a picture handy, but there is a place on the Washington DC beltway where you can see, in the distance, the rising spires of the Mormon Temple. Because of the treelike, it looks like it is hundreds of stories tall (actually, what you can see is nearly all there is), and like something off a Hugo Gernsback pulp-cover, or like the Emerald City. And right there, in the foreground, is a railroad bridge over the beltway. And at most times, unless there has been an anti-graffiti campaign, there will be a graffito on the bridge that reads “Surrender Dorothy”.

        1. That’s funny; I’d like to see the DC temple someday, the pictures are gorgeous.

          1. Just don’t actually go up to it. From a distance it looks great. Up close, where you can see how actually short it is, it’s VERY weird.

      2. Its a sign of the city establishment setting priorities badly. If your city doesn’t keep infrastructure like bridges and postal boxes in good repair, but you didn’t get a big tax cut, that means the money for repair and maintenance is being re-directed somewhere else.

        1. The thing is, it isn’t ALWAYS the fault of the city administration. I was living in Washington DC during the brief administration of Sharon Pratt Kelly. She followed Marion Barry and actually tried to get the city’s finances under some kind of control. She tried to close down police and fore stations that were actually excess to requirements, and for a wonder managed to get the city motor vehicle bureau moving (I had had to visit it once under Barry, and one chore took all day. Under Kelly a similar task took less then an hour). She got NO credit. She caught the blame for all the rot she exposed, even though it pretty clearly happened under Barry, and actually managed to lose to Barry when he made his comeback. The damn city LIKED Barry’s mismanagement.

          Of course it didn’t help that when Barry announced he was running to recapture the Mayor’s office the Washington Post (which had supported him no matter what he’d done right up to the end) published an editorial that read like a hysterical maiden aunt crying, “You can’t possible vote for That Man!”. All over the city, the sentiment “Oh, Yeah? Watch us!” was palpable.

    3. New Yorkers are a bit smarter than the average urban Democrats; they will actually elect a Republican mayor when their town has gone to pot due to Democrat misgovernment. Once the GOP mayor has cleaned the place up, however, NYC follows its heart and elects a Democrat to replace him.

      1. Anybody else remember all those thumb-sucker essays running five, ten years ago, pining for the “exciting,” “flavorful” and “edgy” New York City of the Seventies?

        I wonder whether any of those writers are doing follow-up pieces o how wonderful it is to see the return of the New York of their youth?

        1. I went to NYC in 1973 on a high school humanities trip. I got “molested,” in the hotel elevator (guy grabbed my breast and butt on his way out) and my boyfriend got propositioned in Times Square by another guy. (Looking back, I suspect I was my boyfriend’s “beard,” but he was a sweet guy and fun to be around). These people are probably the same ones who pined in print for the “old New Orleans,” after Katrina, where laziness and looseness with the truth were such vital parts of the culture.

          1. I got “molested,” in the hotel elevator

            Did you kick the bastard in the nuts? That’s what they need.

        2. I also remember Daniel Henninger (WSJ) having a piece saying, “Yes, it was edgy. And miserable, and vicious, and stank, and oh heck no, it was not fun.” The first time I was in NYC was about two years into the clean-up. The next time was in1990. The difference was amazing. (OK, aside from the fish places dumping the guts out the back door, but that’s just cultural.)

        3. I used to go to CBGB’s and the other clubs back in the day underage. This ain’t no mudclub, but they wouldn’t let you in there. They made fun of my catholic schoolboy haircut. Just about all of them are dead …. heroin mostly. NY was dirty, and dangerous.

          Still, I prefer NY in the 70’s when working class people still lived there to today’s Disney NY filled with the very rich and those who serve them.

          It’s no accident that the current and previous mayor of NYC came from that grim, cold, grey city in the north.

        4. The thing is, the New York of the ‘70’s and ‘80’s had a sort of character, I wouldn’t have LIVED there on a bad bet, but I did visit a few times. But two of the things that killed that ‘character’ Had nothing to do with the crime clean-up. The iconic march of exploitation movie theaters along 42nd street was killed by the video revolution, as were.the peep-show emporiums, and the dank and dusty shops full of old ephemera (post cards, magazines, etc.) were killed off by the Internet (they made their rent selling porn mags of various vintages, and the Internet was a much more convenient place for ‘collectors’ to congregate, even before the Web could really handle video).

          I visited once between the death of the exploitation theaters and the ‘revitalization’; the area that has once been full of noisy if sleazy life was a freaking ghost town; tumbleweeds would not have looked out of place.

    4. Sadly lots of people, including those who should know better) now equate Mr. DeBlasio’s Stop and Frisk with broken Windows (+ CompStat and community-based policing) and want it chucked. That little weasel has a lot to answer for.

      1. Until just now I had thought that Stop-and-Frisk was part of the same initiative as Broken-Windows and had wondered if the drop in crime was worth the clear Constitutional violation.

        1. It is, but only a part. It also isn’t a clear Constitutional violation. The policy doesn’t allow cops to just stop random pedestrians and frisk them, there was supposed to be some evidence of illegal behavior. The idea being to treat illegal carrying of a gun just like turnstile jumping.

          1. Which might be ok, if it wasn’t also applied to knives that an officer could manage to open one handed before his arm got tired. That is/was an amazingly stupid law. I read somewhere that it has changed, but with the City still under the control of the Fascist Left, I wouldn’t bet on it.

            1. To be accurate, the policy was labeled, “Stop, Question and Frisk.” It was premised on the widely recognized fact that experienced police officers can tell, by looking, whether a person is carrying a gun. It was enacted by the Bloomberg mayoralty when budget cuts constrained the policy** employed by the Giuliani regime to detect and remove guns from public areas.

              The general intent was to persuade potential criminals to leave their guns at home, thus reducing criminal use of guns.

              I vaguely recall an NY Post opinion piece in the last month or two addressing the policy but cannot now find it. Heather Mac Donald, writing in The hill provides useful perspective on the overall policy and its history.

              …in the 1968 case of Terry v. Ohio, the Supreme Court affirmed an officer’s power to briefly detain an individual for questioning if the officer reasonably suspects that the individual is involved in criminal activity. If the officer believes that the suspect may be armed, he may pat that individual down for a weapon. In New York City, about half of police stops entail a pat-down (or frisk).

              The claim that stop, question and frisk is unconstitutional rests on a 2013 decision by New York federal district court judge Shira Scheindlin. Scheindlin held that the NYPD’s practice of the tactic was unlawful, the product of a novel concept – “indirect racial profiling” – that Scheindlin made up for her opinion. So eager was Scheindlin to rule against the NYPD that she improperly steered a trilogy of cases challenging proactive stops to her courtroom. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals subsequently removed her from the case because of that improper conduct; the circuit court then stayed her opinion while the city appealed. New York would in all likelihood have won its appeal: Scheindlin had excluded key evidence, such as rates of criminal offending and a Rand Corporation report finding that the NYPD did not engage in racial profiling, and had relied on a statistical model of policing that bore little relationship to the NYPD’s data-driven approach.

              Mayor Bill de Blasio dropped the city’s appeal of Scheindlin’s decision when he took office in 2014, and her decision stayed on the books. Terry v. Ohio, however, remains good law; proactive stops are a constitutional tactic, though one that, like all police powers, can be abused in individual instances.

              It is always important to remember that not any every thing one reads in the Press is true.

              *Widely recognized =/= demonstrated

              **I regret to say I do not recall what that policy had been.

      2. Bloomberg, wasn’t it? Not that I like him. The more of his campaign ads I saw the more he scared me.

    5. And then just to confuse things, you’ve got people like Krugman pushing the Broken Windows fallacy. So you start talking about “broken windows theory”, and then have to stop and check to make sure that your audience knows what you’re talking about. And that they don’t get confused when someone starts talking about a fallacy with the same name.

  10. It’s Noblesse Oblige when you use your resources. It’s totalitarian socialism when you use everyone else’s resources.

    1. But prog projection tells them that since they won’t do a thing with their own resources then obviously no one else will and so you have to force people to the “right thing.”

      1. Well, that and all those other people out there have a lot of money, so as long as it’s for a good cause…

      2. As we know, progressives are defective in their thinking.
        It’s not a virtue if you have to be forced to do it.
        It’s not teaching compassion if you have to be forced to do it.
        You’re not improving anyone if they have to be forced to do it.
        Force, and it’s subcategory, coercion, remove choice. Then it’s not altruism, compassion, or sharing; it’s bald-faced theft, stealing at the point of a gun (even if they’re hiding the gun.)

        1. High school and college students are now required to do volunteer work (I call it mandatory voluntarism) and I recall seeing something a couple of years ago that rates of volunteering dropped precipitously for those ages 23-30 and then picked back up again. When I brought up the forced nature of volunteering for the previous 8 years of their lives as a possible reason (no coercion, and exhaustion), a colleague swore that couldn’t be it. The now former students had obviously just turned into selfish idiots.

          Back at the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union, academic types were shocked to see the steep decline in labor union membership among people living in former Soviet bloc countries. Explaining that they had been forced to join such organizations only resulted in puzzled looks.

          I use both of these examples to *try* to explain why forcing people to be virtuous and compassionate is a lost cause. Sigh. They just don’t get it.

          1. > mandatory volunterr

            Besides a fat “Oh, HELL no!”, it looks like another way to minimize the connection between “work” from “and then you get paid.”

            1. I completely agree. Sadly though, it is a graduation requirement for many if not most high schools today. In college (at least my most recent employer), student clubs and organizations have to do a certain number of hours of service to maintain their status as registered student organizations. Teams, marching band, and Greeks included. There’s also a huge push to shame them into volunteering all the time. It’s getting crazy. Untenured faculty members can also get sucked in to the detriment of their research and thus their tenure. They get guilted into doing it and tenure is vaguely threatened if not done. The unspoken comment is if you don’t volunteer you’re obviously some sort of immoral idiot.

              1. I have gotten a little good use out of “My religion teaches that charity you speak of loses its worth, so I cannot report it to you” works fairly well.

                Fairly well.

                The way my eyes were glowing red at the time may have been involved…..

                (I do very, very poorly with mandatory volinteering. I’ll donate $20. I will not give a single dime in response to a threat.)

              2. It should be acknowledged that not all volunteer effort is deemed suitable. Tell the you’ve volunteered at Planned Parenthood gets a very different reaction than announcing you’ve volunteered at Crisis Pregnancy.

                Perhaps conservative groups need to find ways of providing volunteerism opportunities. The NRA (or perhaps a group seriously dedicated to preserving our rights) could establish a program for volunteers to pass out literature explaining the history of the Second Amendment, the history of Gun Rights in America, the role played by NRA advisors in training and equipping Freedom Riders in the Forties & Fifties to defend themselves against Democrat oppression …

                1. I like that idea. I was the faculty sponsor for a section of Young Americans for Liberty. Sadly, it died out when the two organizers graduate. Such is the fate of many campus groups.

          2. I am not surprised that new grads, still wet and blinking at the cruel, cruel balances of their student loans and the crippling minimum payments, somehow neglect to work for other than pay for decades at least.

          3. I remember the hoorah over that when it started in the 1980’s. ALL kinds of fuss and feathers. Schools were blatantly biased about what KIND of volunteering counted, and had no leeway for children of families that needed them to work at home. I thought the Left had finally got loose of that particular political tar baby. I’m sorry to hear that they lacked the sense.

      3. Remember the Indian Ocean tsunami, when the alert had kittens because the United States had donated so little to the relief effort? And it turned out that the Government hadn’t donated much, but the American people had out-donated the rest of the world combined? Suddenly, the Left was vitally interested in something *squirrel!* else.

        1. My carrier group was the immediate, on the scene response to that. Then we split up and did the first liberty in half a year in different ports, to spread out the cash influx and avoid over-taxing already destroyed supply chains.

          Guessing that wasn’t counted towards helping, either.

          1. That was my thinking – and an American carrier group is a pearl beyond value in such circumstance … not that the quibblers counted it at all.

            1. I remember the reaction when we sent JUST ONE carrier in after an earthquake, after I was out– and the idiot talking heads were yelling about how dumb W was, until folks pointed out it was a floating city with a hospital, a bunch of trained emergency evac crews, and a ginormous number of strong, healthy, trained backs–oh, and an emergency kitchen that cooks for thousands without even blinking, and makes an insane amount of clean drinking water just by floating there.

  11. A lot of the anger boiling over in our society is from being inconvenienced by the “elites” ideas of noblesse oblige.

    Oddly, the “elites” seem to think that noblesse oblige constitutes the burden society should bear to help the less successful (they say “less fortunate” but that ain’t how this die rolls). And by “society” they mean the working Joe, the “Middle Class”, the Bourgeoisie … in short, average taxpayers.

    No damned way the elites expect to suffer the inconveniences imposed by their pets. You won’t find the homeless panhandling outside Bergdorf Goodman, Nordstrom, Brooks Brothers or even Target. No, they’re at Walmart and highway off-ramps. Nor will their kids attend schools expected to tolerate the sorts of disruptive outbursts that are routine in most public schools. Their private security will respond to alarm calls before chalk outlines need be drawn.

    Yes, they pay higher taxes — they can afford them, as they so smugly remind us — but they also demand (and receive) a higher level of government service than the residents of the slums and slums-in-the-making to which they’re condemning the rest of us.

    Their noblesse is generally our oblige.

    1. > You won’t find the homeless panhandling outside Bergdorf Goodman …. No, they’re at Walmart

      The local Wal-Mall started letting them set up their pitches at the parking lot turn-ins. Or quit running them off, whatever. So every time we go there, we have to run the beggar gauntlet. So far they’re still keeping them shooed away from the doors, but I expect that will change eventually.

      Disinclines me powerfully to go to the Wal-Mall, but they’re literally the Last Store Standing in my town, and I’m not *quite* annoyed enough to drive 10-15 miles and pay 20-30% more for the same items. But everything we can, we buy online.

      They’re on Wal-Mart’s property, and Wal-Mart apparently feels whatever signal they think they’re putting out is important enough to drive paying customers away.

      1. There is usually either a state of cooperation, or a state of war, between a local Wallyworld and a local police body. (Because Wal-Mart wants the police to come pick up the really bad shoplifters, brawlers, etc. Some police departments refuse to help out.)

        Generally, there are also interesting wordings to local laws against panhandlers, and panhandlers take advantage of the borders between jurisdictions to avoid arrest.

        I think there have also been cases where panhandlers have pretended to be campers, because RV users and camp/hike/bikers have traditionally been favored under the ways of San Walton. But that stuff is not supposed to last more than a week or so.

        1. Wal-Mart used to have a policy of welcoming RVs and long-haul truckers and letting them park at the far end of their lot. Yesterday I noticed our store has signs all over the parking lot, telling them to they’re not wanted and don’t bother to stop.

          Meanwhile, we had to run the beggar gauntlet coming and going.

          I imagine a lot fo RV’ers will make some changes to their shopping habits from now on.

          1. Ours used to until there were a series of overnight shootings in their lot. Hard to blame them for the “no overnight camping” policy after that.

        2. Locally Wallymart has forbidden overnight campers. Which sucks. What other locations are doing so? We typically stop overnight at a Wallymart, with the RV. Especially when either because off freeways (no rest areas), or rest areas tried were full of refrig trucks. The morning after staying is the only time we shop at Wallymart …

        3. Hmm, war between W-M and the local cops? I wonder if this explains why the local Lehigh Valley megastore has their own security people working for them? Not that they’re much use — I heard from friends who were there how some creep was pounding on his girlfriend, screaming curses at her. They asked a nearby security guard ‘why don’t you do something’? His response? “Hey, when he shoplifts, then I’ll stop him.” They then went after the guy and chased him from the store. They also hung around until help arrived for the lady.

          1. Intellectually, I know that is a sign of active antagonism by at the very least someone who would use a police report of stopping an assault to cause major trouble.

            Realistically, I want to yell insults about someone’s manhood.

            And on third consideration, my brain is going “Wait, why did they stop and talk to somebody when somebody is getting beat up?”

            And yes, I am that much of an idiot, as a runt. No, it’s never via pulling a gun, so far, more usually turning into their Irate And Loud Aunt. There’s a reason my relatives worry about me. (apparently they don’t think I can run if some jerk comes at me)

            1. “And on third consideration, my brain is going “Wait, why did they stop and talk to somebody when somebody is getting beat up?”

              It was probably a mixture of ‘this is his job, isn’t it? He has the tools and skill to handle this, right?’ and being afraid that they might get in legal trouble if they did something. Apparently the guy giving the beating and the security guard were the same ethnicity, and they weren’t.

              That and AFAIK none of these guys are ex-soldiers or jocks or the like. And they don’t carry guns.

              1. And a security guard is usually in the same legal place as J Random Dude, in spite of the “rent a cop” name. (and the conceits of some!)


      2. Is it Wal-Mart property or is it city property that Wal-Mart is responsible for without any authority over (park strip)?

    2. You won’t find the homeless panhandling outside Bergdorf Goodman, Nordstrom, Brooks Brothers

      From the Wall Street Journal fr 09 July, 2020:

      Brooks Brothers, Hurt by Casual Friday and Virus, Files for Bankruptcy
      Brooks Brothers, which dressed the American business class in pinstripes for more than 200 years, survived two world wars and the shift to casual dressing. But it was no match for the coronavirus pandemic.

      URL neutered because of paywall:
      wsj . com/articles/brooks-brothers-hurt-by-casual-fridays-and-coronavirus-files-for-bankruptcy-11594210645

      1. Brooks Brothers has been working really hard to alienate their core customer base fora couple years now – they are right there with the latest stupid looking Mad Men inspired high fashion styles, but you have to dig for anything along the lines of a conservative suit.

        That and their C-suite was vocally hard left, so they pretty much chose to just die.

        1. When I was a boy they laid out the suit jackets on a table inside out to show the stitching. Brooks Brothers quality had been poor for many years, outside the Golden Fleece line that was still made in USA but was very expensive. I’m glad I’m getting toward retirement age and won’t have to roll over the suits any more since I have no idea where I would get them now. I can still get shirts and haberdashery but I suppose I’ll have to go to Paul Stuart and who knows how long they’ll be around and they’re so expensive.

          I agree they had lost their customer base. The good thing about Brook Brothers was they had sold suits that fit men as opposed to the “men” wearing their little boy suits showing off their cute socks and they sold trousers with unfinished bottoms so you could get them cuffed and the damned things fit. Last time I was at brooks it was all skinny suits and sneering salespeople. given the amount I spent there over the years it was not a good move especially as LL Bean oxford shirts were stitch for stitch the same as BB (the sleeve placket button is the exception) for less money and much nicer people.

          Still I’ll miss them and hope that something is salvaged from the wreck.

          1. As far as a mans suit retailers still in brick I’ve been happier with dress shirts from Jos. A Bank than Brooks lately. My last “suit” was from them and is nice enough for me – I’m not hobnobbing with the thousand-dollar suit crowd, so all I need is “does not look like it’s from the clearance rack at Ross.”

            I’ve been looking for someone to really crack the “measure for your suit using an app” and there are a couple of companies that appear to be giving it a go using phone camera apps. I have not tried any yet, so no opinion.

          2. It might be an interesting study to look at the deterioration of once proud American businesses that continually watered down their brands — and what it says about the nation as a whole. Brooks once prided itself on “bespoke” quality service and maintained a standard renowned throughout the nation.

            Whether the costs of their wares could have withstood market changes or whether the deterioration is a national matter might be hard to determine, but either way there is insight to be had into changes on American culture over the last sixty years.

            1. It’s been passed around among too many hands. At the base of the decline of so many American brands is the LBO. Buy it, strip the assets, load it up with debt, dump the corpse. Lather, rinse, repeat. It’s one of the many prices of cheap money.

              1. That’s why Colt is just a shell. They don’t even own their own name any more.

    3. Well, Brooks Brothers just did a roll-left and die. Chapter 11 invoked today. There’s a good thread about the missteps that brought them to this point. Not sure about the panhandlers, now.

    4. The progressive elites are ignorant. Noblesse oblige is an individual duty, because only individuals can be nobles. It’s impossible for society to have a duty of noblesse oblige because be definition, our entire society can’t be nobles. And even if you take the subset of a society who are nobles, it’s still an individual duty (which many of that group fail.)

      1. Chapter 11 or chapter 7/13? Because theres a difference between mostly dead and all dead. With all dead the best you can do is go through their pockets and look for spare change and assets to sell…

  12. “It is the duty– and the honor– of the strong to protect the weak.”

    To quote Final Fantasy 14. 🙂

    Notably, this is enforced by the strong, on themselves.

    Not by somebody walking up and saying “you’re strong. So you gotta die for me.”

    As you very accurately point out, flipping the choice away from the guy who is paying on to the guy who gets what is bought makes it toxic.

    1. Well…

      The early Dark Knight storyline quests in FFXIV tend to revolve around what happens when people insist that the global hero helps them with their trivial crap (and get indignant when something goes wrong). Watching Fray dress down an arrogant merchant who tries to browbeat a heavily armed and armored dark knight (i.e. you) is pretty awesome.

      1. They put in a lot of good stuff. 😀

        (quote is from Landenel Peaumasquier. The much-more-tolkien-than-pixie-type-elf lancer with a naturally pink sort of mohawk. It’s in the Scholar’s questline. There that should help any random searches.)

        1. The game has had a focus on the roles and duties of the strong pretty much since ARR was released. The amount of focus that it gets fades in and out. But that was quite literally the crux of the argument between the villain of the ARR story arc – Gaius – and the player character.

          The Dark Knight storyline is awesome in part because it takes a look at what happens when someone is more or less compelled to help (i.e. your player character, who seemingly CANNOT say no to a request for help; this gets lampshaded more and more as the main game storyline continues) individuals who have less and less regard for the efforts your character is making for them. You start to resent it. A lot.

          And, well…

          You end up with the Dark Knight storyline as a result.

          On the other hand, when you end up with characters who are appreciative of what you can do, and treat you fairly, then you end up feeling like a proper hero. Which, I might add, is something that I’ve always felt was missing from WoW’s storylines (where it always feels like you’re playing second fiddle to the important NPCs). There’s a battle late in FFXIV’s Stormblood expansion where you take control of an NPC during a desperate battle in which that NPC is holding off a powerful villain while waiting for the proverbial cavalry to arrive. And the cavalry, in this case, is your player character. It’s a great feeling.

          1. I flat out CHEERED during that last one, too!

            The game feels like there really is a bunch of important stuff going on– and you are vital to it, but not the only vital one. Which helps for the whole epic feel.

            1. Everquest II does a fairly decent job of hero appreciation for their questlines. Signature quests for each expansion have been anywhere from ho hum to high praise from the ruling monarch. (No ticker tape parades with the mayor presenting you the keys to the city on the palace steps…yet.) But the game still lacks a decent faction algorithm.

              1. It’s been a very long time since I last played EQ2. So I can’t comment on how that game treats your character. But Final Fantasy XIV is heavily story-driven (to the point where you will occasionally get a notification that you’re going to be watching a *lot* of cut-scenes in quick progression, and it’s going to take a while, and you’re not going to be able to turn off the game while this is happening, and are you *really* sure you’ve got the time to do this right now?), and it does a very good job of making you feel like *the* hero. Yes, there are other important people on a similar power level doing other important things (in fact, that’s happening *right now* in the storyline, since your character is kind of unavailable at the moment). And there are other people who generally point you in the right direction to be where you need to be because the plot lines need to be completed. But your character is acknowledged to be *the* Hero, the person who slays gods and dragons, and whose presence is worth an army. That’s quite literal, by the way. In the second expansion you have heads of state discussing which battlefields you, personally, should be sent to assist.

                All in all, it’s a pretty cool experience.

    2. Strength is the first virtue. I keep forgetting where I read or heard that first, but it holds true. Moral strength to stand up for whats right. Physical strength, sometimes, to keep it so.

      There are other virtues, of course. But without strength, how will you defend them? There’s reasons fathers want their sons and daughters to be strong. The world will never care for them as their parents do. It’s far easier, and better, to make strong sons and daughters than it is to change the world.

      With enough people of good character, though, you might just change a piece of it.

      1. Related, the word translated as “meek” is more like “controlled strength.”

        As one extremely cheesy card (with really pretty artwork– I’m remembering it 25 years later!) said: “there is nothing as strong as gentleness, and nothing as gentle as true strength.”

        Got to remember the word, like the world it’s describing, is complicated. But it works.

      2. > will never care for them as their parents do

        Yet the helicopter parents continue to do their children the disservice of raising them in bubbles.


  13. Ages ago (mid-80s)I lived in San Francisco. The Chronicle had a wonderful columnist, Herb Caen. He had a story one day from one of his readers. It appears she had been regularly giving money to one of the homeless guys who inhabited a corner that she passed on her way to work. One day, she approached from a different direction at a different time and observed said homeless guy walking into the bank with a bag of money. She quit giving money at that point. No word on whether she changed her mind about policies regarding homeless in SF.

    1. One of the Sherlock Holmes stories revolves around a journalist who went undercover for a story about the poor in London and realized that he made more as a panhandler than he did working for a newspaper, so he started living a double life because he had to keep up the appearance of being a professional.

      It’s a old, old problem.

      1. Many of the old SF guys knew each other, socially from card-playing nights, or from couch-surfing during WWII, shared residences, etc. You had Heinlein, Kornbluth, Asimov, George O. Smith and others scattered from NYC to DC. Many of them have written about it.

        L. Ron Hubbard had been one of that group before he rejoined the Navy and went out to the Pacific. Every now and then he’d come back on leave and recount long tales of his experiences, which everyone enjoyed without trying to determine their authenticity.

        One of the stories, so over the top they commented on it decades later, was about Hubbard’s enagements with a German warship in the Pacific. But later it turned out there actually *had* been a German warship operating there. The story of the Komet, its trip across the Arctic behind Soviet icebreakers, its Pacific engagements, and it’s 100,000 mile “long way around” journey back home are even more fantastic than Hubbard’s tales.

        While the timelines more or less matched up, there doesn’t seem to be any evidence that Hubbard and the Komet were ever near each other, or how Hubbard would have known it was a German ship, since it was flying the Japanese flag and was painted “Manio Maru”.

        But I urge you to look up the Komet; it was an enemy ship, but it and its crew were made entirely out of awesome, and its life was a wilder tale than any Hubbard ever spun.

            1. Right, stories from my Uncle Leslie about navy stuff started with “No foolin’ there I was”, mostly because Grandma was in arms length and wouldn’t have tolerated that kind of language in front of kids or otherwise. She was still his Momma 🙂 .

    1. Interesting notes on RAH. I didn’t realize that I shared interests and skills with him in shooting and epee. I would have LOVED to have fenced or even shot with him for a single competition. Alas, we were too displaced in time

    1. “Whenever possible” we’ll put siblings on the same schedule. Uh huh. Ptui.

      Luckily, 60% of US parents plan to homeschool their kids this year, according to a USA Today poll.

      1. And a couple of months after school starts is the election. Sounds like a great time to make a point about school choice.

      2. I see you share my views on which direction a school will go when an option is vital to the child but inconvenient to the administration of the school.

        I sent in my paperwork for the local school– they have a form of “dual enrollment” that lets homeschoolers do sports and such* and made sure to include a note that we understood things are going to be “interesting” this year.

        * It’s actually way more complicated, in a good way, kind of like the roads of Iowa. Actually respects parental choice fairly well.

        1. Schools are run for the benefit of the Kommissars — errr, that is, the bloated education bureaucracy — the unions, the school administration, the teachers, the few parents who might cause trouble if they get upset enough, and, last of all, the product students.

          Fifty years ago it was a little different, but Jimmy Carter’s Department Of Education has corrupted the public schools from top to bottom. Now there’s something that needs to be de-funded!
          If a business tries something that doesn’t work, they either stop doing it or they will go broke. If the government tries something that doesn’t work, they just keep shoveling our money into it forever.

          1. Well, it’s more likely that buses will be run for the convenience of putting everybody in a neighborhood on a single bus, on a single day.

            Which is what will have to happen, because 22 kids is about three to seven bus stops. And since it might take ten to twenty minutes to get from school to bus stops, that means a lot of runs every day, and a lot of gas, and a lot of kids sitting at school waiting for school to start.

            1. Depends on the bus driver contracts; the ones in my old home valley told the kids to suck it up to the hour and a half long ride to school set up so that the most senior driver had his choice of route.

        2. > sports

          My town has something called “The Boys and Girls Club” (formerly just “Boys Club”) where neighborhood children go for exercise, individual, and team sports. I’m not sure where funding comes from.

          It seems to be heavily used; my assigned polling place used to be in its lobby.

          1. We’re rather rural, and those tend to get targeted for…um… indoctrination purposes.

            The idea is to try to help the kids meet other, local kids.

            (And, if mommy is lucky, start trading stories to find out that the cartoons are NOT accurate about school. Eldest is thinking it’s all recess.)

            1. Wow, cartoon schools still have recess? I thought everybody was getting rid of it. (Kidding, kidding. Mostly.)

              I’ve been side-eyeing Miraculous Ladybug and Hilda a bit, although curiously, neither of them for that specific issue.

              I’m not sure MLB even has recess, but it goes for the “school as an escape from isolation with bad family” scenario for one of the main characters and treats hiring tutors to provide a better education than the local lycée as part of the bad parent’s arrogance. Okay, it happens for some kids, but mf.

              Hilda is… actually relatively balanced on that particular subject, when I think about it. Some of the things I eye askance are more a matter of wanting to make sure my daughter gets that they’re sort of jokes, not actual ideals. (Like when… well, Hermione’s kindred spirit character says you are supposed to answer the set questions, not ask your own.) Hilda’s introduction to School and Other Kids and Town Life and the consequent frictions are a substantial part of the plot, but the difficulties of getting used to school (for example) are not one-sided.

              1. Our kids watch almost entirely either what we watched as kids/teens, (80s and 90s, plus the old rerun cartoons) or anime.
                The only thing I can think of off the top of my head is Mia and Me, which is French and is almost all socializing.

                1. I admit, I wanted to see MLB and Hilda. Drifted away from the former, latter is only one season to date, haven’t hunted up the comics.

                  Little one is somewhat confusingly distressed by Pooh and Peanuts. I suspect she’d like Bruce Timm-verse superheroes, though.

          2. “The Boys and Girls Club”

            Locally there is a boys & girls club too, plus there is a Y. Neither handle sports. That has been combined into other organizations. Kidsports + various “elite” leagues for soccer and baseball (both Babe Ruth & Little League). In HS the sports are covered by the HS Leagues. Kidsports takes anyone that signs up from age 3 (soccer only) or age 5 to 8th grade, regardless of age. By school teams are made. No levels until 5th grade.

            Our son did Fall & Spring soccer (also called Bumble Bee Ball when he was playing), indoor soccer, dropped fall soccer for flag football, basketball, t-ball to baseball, through middle school. Cross country, golf, & electric race carts (a lettered sport), HS.

          3. I’ve been long aware of the group although I’ve never participated myself. It is a philanthropic organization along the lines of the Scouts and 4H. Checking Wiki for confirmation of my admittedly vague impression I found this:

            “Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) is a national organization of local chapters which provide voluntary after-school programs for young people. The organization, which holds a congressional charter under Title 36 of the United States Code, has its headquarters in Atlanta, with regional offices in Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, New York City and Los Angeles. BGCA is tax-exempt and partially funded by the federal government.

            “The first Boys’ Club was founded in 1860 in Hartford, Connecticut, by three women, Elizabeth Hamersley and sisters Mary and Alice Goodwin. In 1906, 53 independent Boys’ Clubs came together in Boston to form a national organization, the Federated Boys’ Clubs. In 1931, the organization renamed itself Boys’ Clubs of America, and in 1990, to Boys & Girls Clubs of America. As of 2010, there are over 4,000 autonomous local clubs, which are affiliates of the national organization. In total these clubs serve more than four million boys and girls. Clubs can be found in all 50 states as well as locations in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and US military bases. In total, Boys & Girls Clubs of America employ about 50,000 staff members.

            “The Chronicle of Philanthropy ranked Boys & Girls Clubs of America number one among youth organizations for the 13th consecutive year, and number 12 among all nonprofit organizations. The Boys & Girls Clubs of America is the official charity of Major League Baseball. Denzel Washington, a former club member, has been the spokesperson for Boys & Girls Clubs of America since 1993.”

            Their web site is although a skim through of the pages offers the sort of jejune verbiage all too common these days.

      3. “Whenever possible” = When convenient.

        If you’ve got a kid in high school, one in middle school and one in grade school (e.g., grades 10, 8, and 5) it ain’t gonna be convenient or even possible.

        I expect there will be some level of sotto voce grumbling about “some people” having too damn many kids.

        1. I expect there will be some level of sotto voce grumbling about “some people” having too damn many kids.

          Neighbors. Six kids, age 6 to 14 (?), not sure of the middle ones ages, definitely hit all 3 levels (grade, middle, & high school). Schools have to deal with 5 legal parents, in households that are technically challenged.

          No, I have not volunteered to assist with the tech issues. I am not insane. I am not suicidal. I am no that clueless. I have not mentioned the career I retired from. All they know is that hubby & worked for the same company at one time or another at the same career. Not anywhere near tech. 100% Truth. Just it was 40 years ago …

          1. I’m re-reading The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress at the moment. I got to the part where Manny was telling a questioner from Earth how the Davis line marriage worked, and realized it was a lot simpler than a great many modern American living arrangements. (I hesitate to call them ‘families’, as they don’t necessarily involve responsibility or commitment)

            1. I’m re-reading The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress at the moment. I got to the part where Manny was telling a questioner from Earth how the Davis line marriage worked


              I mentioned it because of the school situation. The 5 parents doesn’t even count significant others of prior spouses, just the biological parents involved. Plus at least 4 households in the district who are all technically challenged. Handing out approved tablets for each kid doesn’t mean they have the internet connection at home, nor does it mean they can actually connect with them even when devices are delivered preconfigured for the connection needed for each child. Plus they get no response from school district IT for support; per her report (taking with a grain of salt, I’ve been on the other side of the support issue). Regardless the kids haven’t been getting schooling.

              As far as multiple serial marriages? My BIL and his wife are on their 3rd marriage, each. They’ve been married 29 years this August …

  14. “True nobility can always be recognized… even in one so belligerently shy as showing it as you are. The lad expected it, so you gave it to him. But Noblesse Oblige is an emotion felt only by those who are noble “ RAH -Glory Road
    We are as Americans, truly noble. A nation founded on an ideal, however poorly executed or distantly enforced could be no other way.

  15. Living in the NYC Metro area and having used to travel into NYC fairly regularly, the change under Guiliani and the impact it had on making the city as a whole more livable, especially for those in poorer and higher crime neighborhoods cannot be understated. And as bad as the city was under Dinkins, what has happened under DeBlasio makes the Dinkins era look like good governance. The city is now fundamentally dangerous to visit, and living there is even more dangerous. Apparently their goal is to recreate the conditions that lead to the Judges in 2000AD/Judge Dredd, because at some point the people will say ENOUGH.

  16. This just in from the “That Ship Done Sailed” Department:

    The End of the Excellence Standard
    By Kyle Smith
    July 8, 2020 1:01 PM
    Micah Mattix notes today in his Prufrock newsletter that more or less all of the major literary prizes these days are being handed out according to social-justice precepts and the imperatives of identity politics. The prizes become increasingly meaningless as they sever themselves from any interest in rewarding actual excellence. Asks Mattix:

    How long will it be before praising a work of art for its aesthetic excellence alone is a revolutionary act? Nearly every literary prize now takes into consideration the race and politics of authors when naming shortlists and winners. When they don’t, they get into trouble. More and more, what matters when it comes to literature today is the “utility” of a work—defined, of course, in a very narrow way—not its excellence, as if the utility of a work of art isn’t found precisely in its excellence.

    The organizations that hand out the major awards and prizes across the culture are varied in their degrees of transparency about their newfound determination to signal support for what Antonio Gramsci dubbed “the counter hegemony” rather than to reward magnificent achievements. Mattix points out that the Mellon Foundation announced last week that it is ditching the old excellence standard and henceforth will evaluate how well a potential grantee serves the project of creating “just communities.” Other organizations are trying to have it both ways — “These are the best candidates, honestly! By coincidence, they also advance the cause of social justice.”

    In both cases, the awards will matter less and less to the public, which has come to recognize them as virtue signaling and no longer pays much attention to, for instance, the Academy Awards broadcast. I doubt one American in 50 could tell you who won any recent literary award.

    Kyle Smith is National Review’s critic-at-large.


    Hey Y’all. There are opportunities to obtain the finest professional complement an analyst of climate models can obtain.

    Being written up for spreading misinformation in a journal like Climate Change.

  18. Noble Obligation is physical line of sight only … for those not in your sight there is no obligation, noble or otherwise … and a homeless person who “moves” into your community does not qualify … they are not part of the community you are obligated too … blood, family, community … everyone else falls under someone else’s possible obligation …

  19. Paternal – employer buys supper for employee because she’s working hard and skipped lunch during rush season.

    Patriarchal – employer gets Unhappy when employee does not have him vet her choice for husband, because the employee does not have a living male relative to do the job of candidate evaluation.

    1. Totalitarian Patriarchy- There is extensive paperwork certifying each female as under the control of specific male relatives. The reality is not so simple. Much unpleasantness ensues from making the effort.

      1. Or, no paperwork, just a universal assumption, making any unaccompanied female fair game. Or that quaint custom of ‘proxy marriage’ — some bozo gets a mullah and a goat, and then claims that one of the American officers at the local FOB is his property.

        It’s sooo politically incorrect for the base commander to say, “No, you married a goat. Enjoy your honeymoon.”

    2. That’s when you run down the list of spheres of authority, and remind boss that he is no where near the “father” sphere in relation to you.

      Abuse of a particular kind of authority does not imply that that authority is malum in se.

  20. My city (in its infinite wisdom) decided a few years ago that begging for money in public is “free speech” and thus is allowed in public areas.

    These beggars obstruct traffic, harass people in parking lots, even drag their little children out (into the actually quite dangerous to small children Southern VA summer heat) to beg for hours upon hours on end.

    It’s made the city a less safe, drearier, messier, more dangerous place.

    But hey, they City “did something”. :/

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