Doing Evil by Doing “Good” – A Blast From The Past From August 2018

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*This one is dedicated to Occasional Cortex who thinks that, after releasing criminals indiscriminately and refusing to enforce the law, the reason that NYC (and everywhere, really) has more crime is because “people are starving and need to feed their children.”
The level of stupidity involved in believing that is aided by a good bit of Marxist indoctrination and the fact that ultimately she’s a rich bitch who never had to do any real work or employ her mind in any way. (Bartender? Yeah.  She probably was a lousy one.  And we know she did no work in school.) Even so it is amazing that people believe this cr*p. But they do. Particularly people like Sandy Cortez, who find that they can use these stories to fashion saddles that they may ride us.

Of course the rise in crime is — as always — the result of letting people wedded to power and a dysfunctional philosophy (not to mention their own unearned sense of superiority) have any power at all.  Stay frosty.  Ça Irá! – SAH

Doing Evil by Doing “Good” – A Blast From The Past From August 2018

There is a peculiar strangeness to virtues, to those things we strive to practice and which are good for us and society in general: you have to know when to stop.

An excess of virtue seems to turn to vice and derange the mind just enough that it doesn’t realize what it’s doing.

Perhaps part of it is that we’re a less religious society, so some people have never been warned of the dangers of keeping the form but forgetting the purpose.  Or perhaps because so many people have forgotten the idea of “virtue” as such and just have these left over, ingrained reflexes of a post-Christian society.  These people can usually be recognized by saying quite the most stupid things about who Jesus was or what he believed, while running down those who have any religious belief in the mean time.  You’ve run into these critters, for instance, deploying memes on compassion to claim Jesus was an illegal immigrant (as though the forms and borders of the 21st century applied to the 1st) or deploying memes to say Jesus expelled the “capitalists” from the temple, (ignoring that the sin was doing it under the aegis of the temple, aka, confusing the market place with religion and vice versa which is not, usually, a sin of capitalists, except in those places corrupted by socialism,) or oh, telling us that we should be willing to pay more taxes because we ere enjoined to look after the poor, or perhaps my favorite from the party of abortion-on-demandTM reminding us that Mary was a single mother, (again completely missing that the forms of the society in 21st century America and 1st century Judea couldn’t be more different.  She risked stoning, had someone not stood by her, and yeah, for the record I completely oppose stoning single mothers, even without divine intervention.  OTOH I don’t remember her asking for government benefits for her baby. Must be a different translation of the New Testament I read.)

But this is not a religious blog, and at least one third of my readers aren’t Christians, as far as I can track.  This was just to explain that the society retains the “form” of Christianity and a lot of the impulses, while having lost the why.

Which allows virtues to morph into truly repulsive behavior, which destroys lives while going unchecked, because it’s hiding under cover of something “we all know to be a virtue.”

Take charity, or if you prefer compassion — caritas, by any other name — which in many ways is unraveling society and destroying lives.

Charity, as practiced by all the Abrahamic religions is supposed to be a PERSONAL virtue.  Sure you can band together with people of your faith or others to extend the reach of your charity. BUT you are not supposed to force other people to participate by force.  That might be organized crime, or perhaps just extortion, and like some organized criminals, you might have the best intentions in the world, but it does not sanctify the arm twisting. Because you’re still “causing harm to do good” and that’s always bad.  Because your knowledge of others is limited, you won’t know the unintended consequences of your actions, or even if you’re extorting from the “right” people. (Not that there’s any “right” people to extort from but people delude themselves about the “rich” paying their “fair share.”

Government is particularly bad about this.

Take us, for ex.  I pay an unreasonably high tax rate, because I fall under a category that is meant to catch under-reporting lawyers and doctors, not free-lance writers. For the government, though, we’re exactly the same thing and if some government drone noticed that we fall into it too, he’d probably assume all moderately-successful writers are exactly like the series “Castle.”

And even programs supposed to be more discriminating (in the right sense) do very weird stuff.  Keeping in mind I’m a writer: we learned earlier that when our kids applied for student loans, we had to make sure my money from writing was in another account, neatly labeled business and locked away by being part of a corporation.  Because suppose I go a few advances, and had been doing well indie for six months, and had 40k in the bank the month the kids applied: the program ASSUMES all of it is available to pay for their tuition (we paid half of each) and none of it would go to taxes or other business obligations.  Nor did it seem to understand the money might be there for some other reason: a new computer, or whatever the need for making more money was.  There were a couple of years we had to shoulder the full thing, because my not unusual situation was completely opaque to what is supposed to be a fairly sophisticated ah “ability and needs” judging program, led them to believe we had a year’s income sitting around in the bank, waiting to be spent on tiddly winks and chocolate milk, and that the kids were only applying for loans out of joi de vivre.

In the same way, many a family business goes bankrupt when the main owner dies, because even though the business’s worth is invested (particularly in the case of farms or restaurants) in things that are neither convenient to sell nor can be sold without destroying the ability to make more money, the government expects the heirs to pay full tax on their WORTH.  It’s amazing how many small businesses (not ours, though some of my colleagues got books seized when the copyright passed to heirs, and the assumption of the copyright value was… interesting to say the least) have a worth of a million or so, while barely making enough for a family of four, once you run it and pay employees.

The thing is this is all done in the name of compassion, which has been outsourced to the government and therefore is going after the — on paper — rich to give to the — on paper — poor.  This is a lot like the left’s conception of Robin Hood (they have him as wrong as they have Jesus.  Mostly Robin Hood stole from tax collectors and gave back to the people.) And they think it’s a good thing.

But the repercussions or our… ah, developmentally disabled tax system has destroyed many many lives.  And not those of the plutocrats the left imagines it’s taking undeserved money from (they should know about undeserved money, since those of them who work work entirely on the parasitic mechanism of the state “equalization”machine.)  It has taken the money from family businesses that had sometimes taken generations of patient work to build, it has made it harder to survive as a middle class working person than an indigent lay-about, and it has made it harder for families to climb out of government assistance, because after taxes the proceeds of honest labor are much lower than what you can get milking the system.

To the extent that generations on welfare stunts the ability to be a contributing member of society this false compassion based on extortion has destroyed entire generations of people and might have done irreparable harm by creating a tribe of anti-socials in our midst, who consider themselves entitled to living as they wish while not working. I’m not sure how many of those a functioning society can support.  I suppose at some time we’ll find out.

That’s the macro level.

The local level…. Ah, compassion.

Look, I do realize that some people, at times, are homeless through no fault of their own.  We’ve never quite hit that point but after some exceptionally bad years, I won’t say we weren’t close.  We stayed off soup kitchens by eating a lot of rice and frozen vegetables for years.

But you have to understand just like our “hunger in America” count dieting people (the question is “did you ever go to bed hungry” or “Do you normally eat all you want.”) so does homelessness in America count your kid who is between jobs and staying in your guest room, or your friend who just moved to town and crashed on your sofa for a week.  The most common time someone in America is “homeless” is 1 day.  Second most common is 2 days, etc.

But there is real homelessness.  Of course there is.  When Acacia Park, downtown Colorado Springs was infested with them (is it still?) I used to hear them talking candidly among themselves during my morning walk.

Do you know what I never heard them say “I can’t find a job.”

Do you know what I heard them talk about?  Drugs, mostly.  The young ones would talk about not going home, because their parents (gasp) would require them to stop doing whatever it is they were doing, drug wise.

There were also complaints about cities making it hard to beg, talk of having “dropped out” 30 years ago, and the injustice of even thinking of finding a job.

Were a lot of these people drug addicted or mentally ill.  A-yup.  Were a lot of the mentally ill drug addicts who were trying to self medicate?  A-yup.  Were a lot of them on the run from legally prescribed drugs that would control that mental illness?  A-yup. Do a lot of drugs, when used over time, have the uncomfortable side effect of bringing on mental illness which might have been latent?  Seem to.  The relation hasn’t been very well documented or studied, but anyone who knows people who did a lot of drugs in the sixties has noted a difference before and after.

The one thing that’s certain is that encouraging (with money and freebies and that famous “compassion”) the homeless to continue in their destructive lifestyle has horrendous social consequences.

Those shelters and soup kitchens that cater to all without demanding sobriety will turn teens who left home because parents objected to their pot use into hardened street people who will not have any skills and fall, rung by rung into being utterly useless and unable to integrate in normal society.

But they do worse.  Around these soup kitchens and shelters, if near residential areas, there grows an area of crime and desolation, because you know, these people still have to pay for drugs somehow.  If near commercial areas, they blight the tendency of shoppers to come to that area, because no one wants to be followed/accosted or screamed at by people who are acting crazy (whatever the real reason.)

The do gooders then claim the fault is of “normal society”, of those horrible bourgeois who don’t want to live or shop in an area where they’re likely to be assaulted, insulted or mistreated, not mention robbed from.

But of course, there are very few (some of course) middle class people who are that by virtue of having inherited all their money.  Most of us stay out of homelessness by working daily, sometimes brutal hours, so we can pay our taxes and still live and build a future for our children.

When you make the work and our limited enjoyments more difficult we move on.

Now the “compassion” in the more “progressive” locales has reached the point of if not outright encouraging, not discouraging “homeless” — which really should be “barbarians” because they’re actually not just homeless.  The habitual ones are people who live outside our civilization as effectively as though they were the nearby tribe who lives from raiding us — from defecating on the street.

You know, I come from a society where many many illnesses were endemic that shouldn’t be: from cholera to TB to typhoid.  They were finally controlled not by modern medicine but by a rigorous program of public hygiene; by making people buy shoes and wear them on public streets and spaces (in my mom’s time, though there was still a law forbidding going barefoot, which I fell afoul of when boarding the train to school on a day I had forgotten to put shoes on.  Shut up. It was in finals.)  Other things it discouraged included spitting or on ground.  Or pooping on the ground, where it could contaminate ground water.

In the densities of people in cities, it is very easy for one barbarian to infect the entire tribe and I look forward to seeing what sort of new epidemics develop in one particular city.  Or I would, if our society weren’t so interconnected and people didn’t travel all over taking their germs.

And ultimately that’s it.  Like a gap in our immune system — or an exploit-worthy flaw in a computer system — this “outsourced compassion” and this non-judging charity without paying attention to when it actually becomes harmful, is a gaping and growing wound through which barbarism is invading civilization.

The idea that instead of people being secure in their possessions and in the enjoyment of their space, anyone who has anything is somehow beholden to those who don’t is a Marxist lunacy, (not Christian) and a part of that whole fixed pie economics fallacy.  It’s the idea that whatever you have, you stole from someone, and if you wish to enjoy a clean and safe walk through your neighborhood, you’re some sort of despoiling ogre who caused the filth and the aggression of your neighbor, and therefore must have your nose rubbed in his (never learned to restrain it) anger and filth.

It destroys decent life, enjoyment of the fruits of one labor and the safety that civilization is supposed to provide.

It’s not Charity.  It’s the “Marxist virtue” of envy dressed in charity garb and strutting and dancing to fool children and idiots.

And unless we start combating it, it is enough, by itself, to undo civilization.

 

 

194 thoughts on “Doing Evil by Doing “Good” – A Blast From The Past From August 2018

  1. The pie is NOT fixed. Every person doing productive work makes the pie bigger. Every person doing non-productive work cuts it into smaller slices.

    Government is entirely non-productive. ‘Community activists’ are non-productive. Paid instigators that turn demonstrations into riots are anti-productive.

    Some non-productive jobs are still essential. Police, good teachers, doctors, truck drivers, all support the people doing productive work. Bureaucrats, not so much. There is no value in a pile of government forms.
    ———————————
    Welfare is pay without work. In order to provide pay without work for some, others have to work without pay. We used to call that slavery.

    1. “There is no value in a pile of government forms.”

      Not quite. If the forms are filled out with sufficiently confusing data, a pile of government forms can prevent the government from doing anything for MONTHS. Now THAT’S value!

      1. Illustrated: “What happens at the moment if there is some vacant land in, say, Nottingham, and there are rival proposals for its use – you know, a hospital, a college or an airport?”

        “If the right people don’t have power, do you know what happens? The wrong people get it. Politicians, councillors … ordinary voters!”

    2. > The pie is NOT fixed.

      Communist pie is. No Communist economy ever grew; they just move the goal posts, blame their failures on someone else, and run on credit and forced labor.

      If your GNP was a hundred billion rubles, your *actual* GNP was probably fifty billion rubles, even counting the “na levo” black market economy. Their pie wasn’t just fixed, it was always smaller than it was supposed to be.

      All socialist economics is based on, at best, a stagnant economy. [Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, and Poland looked like they might make a go of it anyway, but they were forcibly “corrected” by their ideological masters and sank back into the general poverty of the rest of the Warsaw Pact countries]

      1. I’m less sure that’s a COMMUNIST problem than it is an anti-Capitalist problem. Capitalism recognizes the value of moving item A from where it is plentiful to where it is wanted., which HUGELY expands the pie. Both Medieval Christianity and Confucianism explicitly denied this, placing the merchant at the bottom of the pyramid of social value. Until you recognize the value of mercantilism, you are unlikely to get effective industrialism.

        1. Capitalism doesn’t exist. It’s a boogieman “system” invented to give Communism an opponent, and was given all the negative options where free exchange exists– it’s as if someone was promoting forced sex by giving a name to ‘no system for organizing sex at all’, and attributing rape to that system. That the solution in practice involves exactly what the supposed problem is somehow not worth noting.

          People can (and do) do immoral things because they have a material or locational advantage.
          That doesn’t mean the solution is “kill them and take their stuff,” but it also doesn’t mean one isn’t allowed to notice, and attempt to prevent damage from, those threats.

          (Especially since there’s a non-zero rate of “kill people and take their stuff” in the getting of said advantage. Pirates and bandits have to sell somewhere….)

          1. >> “Capitalism doesn’t exist.”

            Then what’s your name for the system us liberty-minded people want?

            1. It’s not a system. The word “system” implies a level of imposed structure. It’s simply leaving people to their own devices and making their own decisions on what transactions they will voluntarily engage in.

              1. You’re going to have a political and legal system of some kind. And if you want to argue for a particular kind you’re going to need a name for it.

                1. The form of the political and legal system matters less than you might think. What matters is how expansive and how intrusive it is not the particular details of its form. A hereditary monarchy with sharply limited powers can be much “freer” than a democratic or representative government that’s always in your pockets. One might argue that it’s less likely for a democratic or representative government to be so intrusive compared to a hereditary monarchy but, well, I’m not so sure that that holds up to historical examination.

                  1. Don’t get caught up in the words used so much. As Thomas Sowell is wont to say, quoting Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. “Think things, not words.” It’s the “thing” one needs to focus on, not the words that are as often used to obfuscate as to illuminate. More often, in my experience.

                    1. >> “Think things, not words.”

                      I lean more towards ESR’s position: “When you have named a thing you give your brain permission to reason about it as a conceptual unit.” Having a good name makes it easier to think about the thing.

                    2. The problem with that is that the word soon gets divorced from the thing it’s supposed to conceptualize. In which case instead of illuminating it obfuscates. You must constantly go back to the thing itself and ensure that your words actually describe the thing and not fall into circular reasoning where words are described in terms of more words which are described in terms of yet more words, which are described in terms of the words you started with, never actually going back to the world around us, to the “things” in it.

                      There’s a common rookie mistake in carpentry. A person cuts a piece to measure. He then uses that piece as a template to mark and cut the next. Then he uses that second piece as a template to cut a third. And so on. The problem is, that each use of template and cut adds error to the original measurement and before too many iterations at all, the piece no longer fits because of the accumulated error. You have to go back to that original measurement (the “thing” itself) to ensure that the further pieces (the “words”) actually correctly apply.

                    3. Having a good name makes it easier to think about the thing.

                      And having a bad one– one that is inaccurate in its qualities– makes it harder, or impossible.

                      See the round and round argument in theology on if Muslims and Christians worship the same God; the God of Abraham, yes, duh, that side of “the same God” argument is obviously correct. The same God, as in, sharing the same traits? That is obviously false.

                      But the argument goes around and around because people don’t look at the contents of the box.

                      See also, ‘human’ and ‘person’.

                    4. By the same token, it encourages you to think of a ramshackle collection as a thing. For instance, in the 19th century you had people talking about how Labor was prior to Capital because it made Capital.

                      As if John Doe’s labor didn’t make the capital for his new bakery, rather than Richard Roe’s, hired after the bakery was begun.

                    5. And somebody paid that John Doe for the labor used to produce the capital, somebody who was willing to delay gratification, somebody who was willing to forego current benefits in the hope of future returns from the production of capital.

                2. No, you’re not going to need “a system”.

                  Because basic human behavior involves dozens of them, for different situations.

                  Communism is toxic exactly because it takes the “system” for inside of a family when there isn’t someone who is toxic and tries to impose it on all humans.

            2. That’s exactly the problem– it isn’t a system

              It’s a framing that was chosen by an opponent specifically because it doesn’t work as a system.

              It’s like the Antifa tactic of screaming they’re against fascism, so if you object to them smashing your car up then you’re pro-fascist. Or the Black Lives Matter guys arguing that if you don’t chant along with them, you want blacks to be subservient, rather than “I don’t want skin tone or declared ancestry to matter for who is in charge at all, and in fact I disapprove of your bad behavior as behavior not as an extension of your appearance.”

              Everything that isn’t “take things away and give them to people that the taker thinks needs them” is not a system, it’s the entire spectrum of systems.

              Spectrum might be exactly the way to explain it…. it’s like they pointed at green, and then said that all other colors are “neerg.”
              And when folks say “you just made up neerg,” they then demand “well, what color IS the ONE that isn’t green?”
              There’s a lot of not-green.

              1. The Left is currently heavily invested in polarization; as you observe, they insist that if you are not one thing — anti-racism — you must be for the other: racism. Ad if you are not working for Justice you must be supporting Injustice.

                More than the problem of the abandoned middle is the denial of alternates. I oppose Fascism and Antifa, the first because it is evil, the second because it is counter-productive, producing Fascism in the name of Antifascism.

                I can oppose starving babes without endorsing strangling them in their cradles, I can reject injustice without insisting on greater governmental authority, I can deplore police abuses of power without defunding the police.

                And I can denounce all who declare “if you aren’t with us you’re against us” although, if pressed, I will stand against them for the same reason I don’t set fire to my barn to get rid of mice.

                Okay – If I had a barn, I wouldn’t set it ablaze to eliminate the mice.

            3. Yeah, I’ve got to enthusiastically concur with the other two about there being no system.

              One concurrence on the grounds that ‘everything not totalitarian socialist’ no more narrowly defines capitalism than ‘everyone not left’ is a narrow definition of right. I’ve a more extensive comment on this written today at OldNFOs, but the left has more than one feature that people can object to and oppose. Different choices of feature to oppose can lead to wildly different ‘right wingers’. One example, do you oppose the leftwing ‘harder with a bigger bureaucracy’, or the leftwing ‘everyone has the rights of the civilized, regardless of if they behave civilized’ takes on criminal justice reform?

              One concurrence on the grounds that system especially needs a usefully narrow definition, with the left weaponizing the word at the same time that it retains useful meaning in technical contexts. I have some unwritten essays that have airplanes, rivers, human society, and ‘the environment’ as the four test cases to discuss the meaning of system.

            4. I had understood the system was called Liberty. Sometimes Free Markets, but never call it Late For Dinner.

        2. Medieval Christianity argued a bunch about the position of merchants, but so did the Greeks and the Romans. Economic theories slowly developed throughout the Middle Ages, and got more formal in the Salamanca School, Bellarmine, etc.

          Of course, the most economically forward folks (for a while) were the Templars — who got destroyed — and the Jews — who weren’t in a position to argue theology and economics with Christians in most places. And the Carthusians, whose vast metal production facilities were also taken away by a French king. And so on. We don’t have the records enough to know the theology that similar groups had, and a lot of medieval records in big economic or merchant areas got destroyed in various wars, disasters, fires, Protestant library destructions, etc.

          So yeah, I’m not sure we really know what people think. There’s a lot of cases where an argument says that X does the least to achieve Y, and then a paragraph later, they’re explaining how a bad X can ruin Y.

            1. I’m guessing that, if you were looking for theology of money, you should look somewhere like Venice or Genoa. They were cities run by merchants for merchants, and they ended up with a startling number of saints, for all the complaints the rest of Europe made.

              And of course St. Francis of Assisi was a merchant’s son, and some of the stuff he pulled was pretty businesslike, when he got his head out of “I’m a troubadour knight!” territory. He was very big on dropping into neighborhood churches and chapels, and starting to clean up any of them that he found dirty. And then he’d ask around for various stuff, and people would realize, “Crud, we should be taking care of our own chapel!” There’s other stuff I don’t remember right now, but he did manage to organize a huge new religious order. And eventually his dad was quite proud of him.

              I like the bit when he’d just started, and his dad was still mad at him and would swear curses at him when he saw him, so Francis adopted a beggar friend to be his new dad and bless him. So there were these big public Italian bless/curse offs.

          1. Merchants tend to suffer (as Thomas Sowell has explored) because both those from whom they buy and those to whom they sell believe they’re being cheated.

      2. Communist pie is NOT fixed. Because it promises more than it can deliver it inevitably cosumes its “seed corn” — resulting in diminished future crops and greater consumption of that “seed corn.”

        It is an ever shrinking pie.

        IF ONLY it were fixed.

        1. And every time it shrinks it is used as justification for even harsher totalitarian control in order to stop the “counterrevolutionaries” who are clearly the cause of the pie shrinking, because it can not possibly be the nature of the system itself.

        2. My Linux system brings up the Fortune snippets when I log in. This fairly appropriate one came up today:

          We are going to give a little something, a few little years more, to
          socialism, because socialism is defunct. It dies all by itself. The bad
          thing is that socialism, being a victim of its … Did I say socialism?
          — Fidel Castro

          Kinsleyian gaffe, one suspects…

    3. Some non-productive jobs are still essential. Police, good teachers, doctors, truck drivers …

      First, what truck drivers do is productive work; it is transportation of resources from where they are surplus to where they are in demand. We might debate whether their efforts constitute direct or indirect production, but there can be no question about it being productive, just as the forklift driver moving resources from warehouse to shop floor (and finished goods from the floor to the warehouse) is productive. Because they increase system efficiencies and facilitate greater productivity theirs are not non-productive jobs.

      On the matter of “teachers” it is useful to divide them into sub-categories. There are (in descending order of social benefit) teachers, instructors (the most common form), presenters and (the form we seem headed to) indoctrinators. The first is invaluable, the second valuable, the third mostly neutral and the last is harmful, dedicated to suppressing thought, much less critical thought.)

    4. Been musing on this.

      Government is entirely non-productive.

      *points at currently lawless cities* Police are government. I know Seattle’s productivity is in the hole. Husband and co are annoyed they were out of the office for a few hours because of a possible disruption– they’re going on weeks in some places in Seattle, and not all of that can be done from elsewhere.

      My productivity goes up from not having to enforce all contracts personally– that’s government.

      Not having to create supply chains that are not adulterated– that’s government, too.

      It’s like any other fence. Stuff was put in place for a reason. YEah, a lot of the time the reason is either gone, now, or was based on bad reasoning/a misunderstanding in the first place…but a lot of times it’s not, it’s just something that is a small enough problem on an individual scale it won’t show up, but multiply by a few million….

      1. Not sure it’s on topic, but today’s shopping trip was spooky:

        Went to the restaurant supply to get various items, including the sacks of rice and beans we donate to the Gospel Mission (AFAIK, they run a pretty tight ship; I’ve seen people kicked out of the residence program for refusing to work. Real workers stick around 30 days max and move out.)

        The delivery truck normally hits on Tuesday, but no signs of it. Resulting in:

        Beans: Almost completely out of stock. I bought a 50# sack of black beans and another 25# of lentils. A couple other 25# sacks on hand, that was it.

        Rice: White completely out of stock. One sack of exotic brown rice. Passed on it. There’s normally a dozen 50 pound sacks in stock when there’s not a full pallet.

        Looked at the oats and specialty stuff from Bob’s Red Mill. A lonely bag of wheat flour was there.

        I hope this was a delivery gone sideways, but it’s not good to see. Not sure where the warehouse is, I assume west of the Cascades, not too far from Portland.

        1. The UN released another warning of mass starvation yesterday– or at least, my husband saw it on the news yesterday.

          Folks may have been reacting.

            1. For the folks that aren’t really plugged in to international news, this may be the first they’ve heard about the locusts, etc.

              Kind of like how folks were first hearing about the kung flu on Valentine’s day weekend, if they weren’t already looking over seas.

            2. Admissions against interest are allowable under the hearsay exceptions for good reason. . . .

        2. Mail around the Bay area is still disrupted from the Recent Unpleasantness, and L.A. isn’t much better. Last 3 received from CA:

          Letter, Bay area, 9 days, had a replacement routing sticker.

          Parcel, LA area, 9 days, no transit info on USPS tracker.

          Small parcel, Bay area, stalled at receiving PO for 8 days, then down to L.A., and another 5 days in transit (by truck per the scenic routing, which hasn’t been done with very small parcels in 20 years; normally they go by air). Yes, 13 days for large-envelope-sized priority mail. And judging by the transit times when it was actually on the road, the truckers are working max hours and then some. (No doubt overloaded by all the newly homebound using Amazon. My local carrier now sometimes makes two rounds per day, just for parcels.)

          And mail is priority freight. Gods know what’s happening with ordinary freight.

            1. Well, consider that all the mail delays are happening on the Left Coasts… and that some election whose location I forget reportedly had $SomeLargeNumber of mail-ins delayed past when they could be counted, and therefore invalidated… yeah, I’m sure 200 million extra pieces coming into the system all at once will never be noticed. Especially if they wind up in that corner behind the forklift.

              Best solution ever, if you want to totally screw up the election according to whomever paid the biggest bribe, or has the worst mail service.

              Should be one ID’d warm body, one vote, on the spot, period. I remember when you actually had to prove that you needed an absentee ballot. Ain’t a slippery slope; more like a cliff.

              1. Well, it isn’t as if they intend to count the actual mailed-in ballots, is it? I am confident that vote-by-mail will work exactly as planned.

            2. It depends on how you define the problem. For example, if you define the Wuhan Fever problem as Donald Trump being president …

          1. I had a few packages come USPS via a second drop for the first time a few weeks ago. That is the first time for around here.
            After 9/11, SWA was still flying a nearly full schedule before everyone else because they reverted to planes fully owned, and had an agreement with Boeing to hold all the leases and payments. I fueled planes with 4 or 5 passengers that were profitable because the belly was loaded with mail. If there are reduced flights, the mail times suffer fast. SWA might have been filling the bellies, but they couldn’t haul it all. Fed Ex was flying mail as well (might still). They were to take it all but they could not handle it all in a timely fashion so the airlines came back on line. I bet FedEx and UPS air are fecking full about now. Trucking mail is limited as well, as the companies and drivers need to be bonded and expanding capacity is not a fast thing. Expanding trucking mail or regular is now strangled due to policies put in place especially during the 0bama admin. Driver were removed from the system (well, some needed to be gone) but they then limited more on the hours and days straight a driver or team could work.

            1. Yeah, I heard about SWA going meh, who needs passengers, and filling up with mail and small freight instead. Sounds sensible to me!

              Have also heard truckers griping about the new regs, and worse, the way they’re enforced. Yeah, not having exhausted guys on the road is Good. Considering 5mph in the yard as “road time” is insane. You can tell that the framers of the regulations seldom drove their own cars, let alone a truck.

          2. Mail in these parts is screwy too. Our church in Reading Mass needed to send out some information to our elders (many of whom are NOT friends with modern computer technology). My wife popped the letters in the mail IN READING at its post office (such as it is). it was 4-8 days for the letters to get to folks, we’re used to 1-2 for that kind of mailing. My understanding is that at least locally the mail Carriers and sorters are near retirement and so were sent home at the start of this mess. So local mail is WAY understaffed currently.

            1. most of ours are younger, locally (not sure about the sorters at Kingsford) both sides of the border, but I did have one package recently come to town a few times before I got it, was probably stuck to the crate as it was one with the sticky stuff that destroys the plastic when you open it and a bit of it was exposed and the Kingsford office kept scanning it back. a bit of paper was stuck to the sealing goop that looked like it hadn’t made the arduous journey with the rest of the package.

          3. Amazon took two weeks to ship my order though it arrived within two days.

            This is why I get the dead tree from Barnes and Noble — MUCH faster. Except when the local post office gets — interesting. Once it registered the package three days before it registered it again and another time ten days. (However, I have noticed that the post office pulled up its socks or something because the mail’s arriving much earlier.)

      2. Police and doctors (and firefighters, which imaginos didn’t mention) are in the same category of “non-productive”: their jobs do not produce anything new. Rather, their jobs involve preventing other people from suffering loss. Very often as you go through life, you won’t require their services — but in the times when you do require their services, nothing else is a good substitute. Same thing for the military, in fact: the military doesn’t produce anything, and most of the time you don’t need them, so they look like a broken-window expense. But just you try going without them for a few years, and you’ll soon learn to your cost (as your country gets invaded and plundered by the communist country across the ocean) just how much it’s costing you not to have them.

        1. Computer gamer slogan: You can’t DPS when you’re dead.

          For anybody who doesn’t speak MMOgeek:

          DPS is damage per second. In any fight, you have to do damage to the enemy, prevent damage from the enemy, and heal damage to your people.

          Those jobs/roles are Damage (broken into ranged and melee, and/or magic and physical), Tanking and Healing.

          Sometimes it’s Damage and Support, although I tend to avoid that because it’s generally used by folks who have to have the first phrase repeated to them. Several times. In a single fight….. but the basic theory is sound. There’s “kill stuff” and “make it so they don’t die while killing stuff.”

        2. There have been times when the Military or Military like organizations HAVE ben productive for who ever pays them. It is true that they don’t produce anything but they can help you to acquire land, gold, trade routes and other things of Great Value. Things you could not have gotten any other way.

          Example the War with Mexico. The US wanted the south west (New Mexico, Cali, north thru Utah) but Mexico would not sell it to the US. So the US went to war with Mexico. US about 25k troops and Mexico 100K+ European trained. The US won and could have just taken the land as spoils of war. But the US didn’t they sent people to Negotiate for the Sale of the land and bought it for MORE then they had offered before the War. I am sure that the US troops in Mexico City had something to do with changing Mexico’s mind.

  2. “I am for doing good to the poor, but…I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. I observed…that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.” Benjamin Franklin

    It’s one thing when somebody really faces difficulties through circumstances beyond their control (although many times that’s claimed when it really doesn’t apply–that you can’t find a job because you studied feminist dance therapy rather than electrical engineering is on you, and you can generally still fix that if you apply yourself). It’s quite another when people make their own beds then complain about the lumps.

    1. It’s more like they refuse to make their own beds and then complain about the lack of sheets, blankets and pillows.

    2. How much “beyond their control” there is hard to tell too. I have repeatedly seen cases where someone does “all the right things”, as in you look at the chain of events that led to them not having a car, job, whatever and go “nothing wrong there” and yet there they stand. So it’s all just “bad luck”. But it keeps happening to them. Somehow they are always the one with bad luck.

      The problem is saying “it must be their fault” is considered mean spirited. After all, they didn’t do anything wrong! And yet. Tying it back to original post I have also noticed these people constantly have problems, but only to the point the accept it. Despite advertising, they never end up in the streets, they usually have enough food to tie the soul to the body, etc. I suspect if they had no other recourse they still would end up coming through.

      I haven’t decided if the fact we can’t see what is wrong is lack of information or part of being human (as in “fish can’t see water”).

      1. I had a room-mate like that for a few years. Made terrible choices, left himself wide open for Murphy, and never could understand his “bad luck”. Of course, he was the guy who thought he was in an open marriage until his soon-to-be ex-wife’s lawyers disabused him of that notion. (He also walked into the end negotiations without any representation. Yikes.)

    3. that you can’t find a job because you studied feminist dance therapy rather than electrical engineering is on you

      Properly performed, feminist dance therapy can induce movement of the electrons through their appointed rounds and is far preferable to oppressive masculine command and control systems which compel electrons to jump through hoops. Refusal to recognize the ethical superiority of such alternative systems is why feminist dance therapy is denied its rightful rewards. Systemic Sexism Must End!

    4. The PROBLEM is that you HAVE to be WILLING to see some of them go under, to starve because they just will not work. Like the Old Work Houses. Work of Last resort but if you wouldn’t work you didn’t eat.
      Most people today CANNOT and WILL NOT watch that happen. Since Government can make no distinctions between the Deserving Poor and the Undeserving Poor, (and there are far more Undeserving the Deserving( They give to both and the number of Undeserving Poor grows ever larger and more demanding. That has always been why NON-Government Charites are ALWAYS better they can give to the Deserving Poor and kick the Underserving to the curb.

      1. If you would divide The Poor up into arbitrary categories you are obviously a racist homophobic Nazi. To Gulag with you!

  3. Trying to get people to understand that the benefits to be derived from a functional economy are not finite is more frustrating than teaching a pig to sing.

    The university I just retired from has a graduation requirement of “quantitative reasoning”. The idea is that students need to graduate with a base level of numeracy – it’s one class. The screams of agony from the humanities faculty when this requirement was proposed was astounding. That area, with of course some individual exceptions, did not want to stress their students with something as plebeian as numbers!

    I was pushing for a macro economics requirement *in addition* to the quant…you can imagine how well that went over…

    1. As soon as they stopped introducing math to kids by having them move objects around or play with abacuses, I swear the numeracy problem got worse.

      Not every kid is touchy-feely, but a lot of kids really need that.

      1. Especially the younger ones, it helps them focus and channel energy. Plus it is easier to see how math works when you are adding to a pile (or on an abacus) or taking away. Visual, motion, tactile, aural . . . you hit all the bits of the brain and have better odds of locking the ideas in.

      2. We had to take number two son back to counting because he had a horrible math teacher and we had to go all the way back to find out where it went wrong. We used blocks in singles, tens, etc., He didn’t so much use them as fidget with them but we’d get these sudden bursts of understanding. Went from counting to Algebra in two years which, considering we spent 4 months on fractions, wasn’t bad.

        We learned that Math should be tutored not taught in a classroom since every kid, except that one guy, misses something and, because math is cumulative, they are more or less done at that point.

    2. You promoted a program in which performance can be assessed through objective measures??? HERETIC!!! PHILISTINE! VANDAL!!!!

      1. You forgot RACIST because of course “objective measures” are WHITE!!!!
        How dare you want to hold those poor POC to the same standard as everyone else, you know they can NEVER do THAT. You Racist.

  4. > Around these soup kitchens and shelters, if near residential areas, there grows an area of crime and desolation,

    A friend owned a restaurant that did a pretty good business, until a nearby church put in a soup kitchen. Within weeks the blight hit. He was a little too slow off the mark to sell out before the property values tanked, and wound up closing up and eating the loss.

    Another friend lived in an older but nice neighborhood. Church next street over started the soup kitchen thing. Instant blight, crime, people who could afford it selling or moving out. A few years later it looked like Harlem or South St. Louis.

    “Helping” some few came at the expense of massive disservice to others.

    1. It seems to me that it should, in theory, be possible to have a soup-kitchen AND a safe neighborhood. But to do so, you would need to crack down HARD on infractions, and keep doing so. Make it clear that the price of free food is good behavior.

      And the Fascist Left would have a cow. Breach presentation.

      So there is no DOWNSIDE per se…

      1. My childhood church has a once-a-week meal program that has been going for over thirty years. My dad was a mainstay—his job was to hang around in the parking lot. That’s pretty much it. He’d help with parking (attached school meant that there were no parking lines, since it was the playground), greet people, and so forth—but his main job was to be a six foot male in view so that people thought there was a security guard.

        The downtown homeless helping place (soup kitchen, showers, washer/dryer, school for kids with no fixed address) is set right next to the train tracks and a highway, so it wasn’t exactly desirable land to begin with. They’ve been pushing the tiny houses program for years and it looks like they might finally have it—of course, as a private entity, there will be rules and regulations for living there, so it should probably work.

        1. Note the big, soulful eyes, the intellectual depth: AOC is a cow.

          That would certainly explain the messes she creates.

                1. I don’t think so. Wallabies rarely fight their friends.

                  Prank them, tease them, put whoopee cushions on their chairs … maybe. But there are those in much greater need of being fought.

          1. The hell she is!
            Recall the poem about the gum chewing girl?
            It applies here, too.

            The gum-chewing girl
            And the cud-chewing cow
            Are somewhat alike
            Yet different somehow.

            And what is this difference?
            Ah, yes,I think I know now.
            It’s the sweet, thoughtful look
            On the face of the cow.

          2. As Orvan and others have noted comparing AOC to a cow is an insult to bovines everywhere. For example. at a minimum the output of bovines can be used as fertilizer (given time). AOC’s output has no value and is actually toxic.

  5. If you want to help the worthy poor, get rid of all payroll taxes, all affirmative action, all anti-discrimination laws and generally all laws that make it obscenely expensive to hire someone before he does the first day’s work. Also all the laws that make it so expensive to hire casual labor that entire companies are paid to be middle men. Likewise get rid of most if not all renter’s rights laws that make the wrong choice of renter cripplingly expensive to deal with.

    Or, in other words, if you want people to take a chance on someone, reduce the cost if it doesn’t pan out. If you want people to give jobs to the not very productive, reduce the cost of employing them.

    1. BINGO.

      Costco calculated that in California, 70% of the cost of a legal employee is crap paid to the gov’t. (Which is exactly what I found when I investigated hiring part time help. Never mind!) So that $10/hour is really $30/hour. What marginal or entry-level employee is worth that?

      And how many employees wouldn’t prefer even $20 of that in their own pockets up front, and never mind all the damn benefits? (I knew a guy who paid his illegals better than his legals, cuz that was still cheaper for him and he could hire a better class of employees.)

      Thus is explained the massive popularity of illegal labor, on both sides of the desk.

      And I can’t advertise for the right type of tenant for my rental, because you can’t discriminate against $ProtectedClass (in this case, families with kids, never mind that it’s entirely unsuitable for that.)

      Just give us back real freedom of association, and we’ll handle the rest, dammit.

      1. many years back now, Michigan jumped its min wage over and above the Fed (Jennie The Canuck, methinks) and it added $20,000 a year per part time employee for a small deli operation. Guess how many kids had summer jobs at said deli after that happened? By the time the whole thing was done it became the two owners only working there, and it has been for sale for 10-15 years. no takers

        1. Guess how many kids had summer jobs at said deli after that happened?


          Or any kind of job? “Do you want fries with that?” are about the only jobs that HS students at 16 can get. Couple of others.

          Son worked for the local paint gun range, while they were open, until he went off to college. Worked a few Christmas seasons at the local tree farm Christmas Tree sale location, but as a scout. Vetted scouts (i.e. vetted parents) volunteered, their hourly pay was *donated by the farm into the youth scout’s account. A paid employee, a vetted scouter, oversaw the program.

          Farm has been out of the Christmas Tree business now for over a decade. Nothing to do with this program, matter of aging out & inheritance. Next generation wouldn’t or couldn’t keep it going, don’t know the details.

          * Since the money was donated, no SS, no taxes, etc. They paid good too.

          Poor kid got stuck selling them. Then picking them up (major troop fund raiser).

        2. You write as if that were the unintended consequence. Eliminating jobs (except those controlled by unions) is a long-standing Leftish process, their only problem with it is how to disguise things so it isn’t obvious what they’re doing.

          They’ll turn us all into beggars ’cause they’re easier to please
          They’re feeding our people that Government Cheese

          1. Ah, well the wage increase was also along side some increases in other regs and mandates (included as future budget funds) so when the jobs went away, they had a new shortage of funds. Like Seattle is going to have, now that they added a new tax to every job to pay for shortages due to WuFlu. (or course, excepting Civil jobs, though that actually makes sense, I doubt their reason is the same as it making sense) because raising the wage to $15/hr did so much for jobs already.

            1. Long term thinking has never been one of the Left’s strong points. That requires projecting likely consequences from actions and they truly suck at that.

  6. One of the many gaps in my religious education was the idea of what a sin is– I think we may have gotten something like “making God sad.” It sure didn’t stick, I don’t think Sin was ever mentioned except with God forgiving everything, and usually they skipped the sin part.

    A very useful definition I ran into, probably from EWTN, is “sin is sacrificing a greater good for a lesser one.” Because people don’t want bad stuff, they want stuff that is good– pleasure is good. Pleasure where you do harm to others sacrifices their good for your much lesser good. Doing good is good. FORCING people to do good takes away their ability to choose to do good– both in that instance, and with the things you took from them to do the good.

    From CS Lewis’ The Humanitarian Theory of Punishment:

    It carries on its front a semblance of mercy which is wholly false. That is how it can deceive men of good will. The error began, with Shelley’s statement that the distinction between mercy and justice was invented in the courts of tyrants. It sounds noble, and was indeed the error of a noble mind. But the distinction is essential. The older view was that mercy ‘tempered’ justice, or (on the highest level of all) that mercy and justice had met and kissed. The essential act of mercy was to pardon; and pardon in its very essence involves the recognition of guilt and ill-desert in the recipient. If crime is only a disease which needs cure, not sin which deserves punishment, it cannot be pardoned. How can you pardon a man for having a gumboil or a club foot? But the Humanitarian theory wants simply to abolish Justice and substitute Mercy for it. This means that you start being ‘kind’ to people before you have considered their rights, and then force upon them supposed kindnesses which no on but you will recognize as kindnesses and which the recipient will feel as abominable cruelties. You have overshot the mark. Mercy, detached from Justice, grows unmerciful. That is the important paradox. As there are plants which will flourish only in mountain soil, so it appears that Mercy will flower only when it grows in the crannies of the rock of Justice; transplanted to the marshlands of mere Humanitarianism, it becomes a man-eating weed, all the more dangerous because it is still called by the same name as the mountain variety. But we ought long ago to have learned our lesson. We should be too old now to be deceived by those humane pretensions which have served to usher in every cruelty of the revolutionary period in which we live. These are the ‘precious balms’ which will ‘break our heads’.

    There is a fine sentence in Bunyan: ‘It came burning hot into my mind, whatever he said, and however he flattered, when he got me home to his House, he would sell me for a Slave.’ There is a fine couplet, too, in John Ball:

    ‘Be war or ye be wo; Knoweth your frend from your foo.’

    1. Or Hercule Poirot’s simple summing up:

      “His sympathy was with victims who need not have been victims had justice been put first and mercy second.”

    2. One of the many gaps in my religious education was the idea of what a sin is– I think we may have gotten something like ‘making God sad.’

      I believe the wording in the text is quite clear: sin makes Him hold His nose, it is a stench that makes us unacceptable in His presence and it is only by being specially washed that we may be present with Him.

      Admittedly, that might be metaphorical as there is some doubt about whether on-corporeal beings can smell (in either direction of that word.)

      Other belief systems, of course, proffer other definitions of sin, with some completely side-stepping the matter with resort to such concepts as Karma. But for those which entertain gods, offending those gods generally results i unpleasantness.

        1. Exactly. It’s a beautiful metaphor, but not necessarily useful in practical application. Rather like when I was preparing a story to send to an anthology I really wanted to get into, and was told to “buff polish it until it shines,” which presupposes the ability to unpack the metaphor of physical polishing of metal to black pixels on white screen or black toner on white paper ( depending on whether you’re rewriting on screen or printout).

        2. Er, isn’t sin what God said you shouldn’t do in the Bible? Admittedly this is from a Jewish point of view, but I’m sure Christian theologians would agree.

          1. As I said earlier– it’s bad, cool, I don’t want to do it…so how do I identify it?

            Even Jesus had to explain it, and IIRC “explain the law while standing on one foot” was a pretty standard request to identify the philosophical roots of a teacher.

            1. If more laws had to be explained while standing on one foot, we’d have far fewer and simpler laws…

              1. Just like “teach this to a kid who doesn’t know ANYTHING” is a really good way to clarify your thinking and identify assumptions.

    3. I was intrigued by the definition of sin given by characters conversing at the beginning of Arthur Machen’s novella The White People.

      They talk about the difference between sin and Sin.

      Or perhaps more accurately, the difference between sin and evil.

            1. Dang…I read those books a long time ago, but I don’t remember that phrase.

              Buzz bombs were cool.

              1. She was counseling Robin about her conflicted feelings for Conal, and the resulting guilt.

                Red-Eyes made the Buzz Bombs even cooler. Live, feral Sidewinder missiles. Gaia was a trip.

                1. Oops, I forgot. Red-Eyes were live, feral Sidewinder missiles, WITH TEETH! One of them tried to bite Nova’s foot off.

    4. Modern Catholic Dictionary, by the Servant of God Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.:

      “A word, deed or desire in opposition to the eternal law” (St. Augustine).

      Sin is a deliberate transgression of a law of God, which definition identifies the four essentials of every sin. A law is involved, implying that there are physical laws that operate with necessity, and moral laws that can be disregarded by human beings. God is offended, so that the divine dimension is never absent from any sin. Sin is a transgression, since Catholicism holds that grace is resistible and the divine will can be disobeyed. And the transgression is deliberate, which means that a sin is committed whenever a person knows that something is contrary to the law of God and then freely does the action anyway.

      (Etym. Old English synn, syn, sin; Old High German sunta, suntea, perhaps to Latin sons, guilty.)

  7. Funny story, our family has been technically homeless twice.

    Once when my husband went ahead for a job, which sent him for training (the kids and I were homeless six months, he had a lease for 2 of them so not homeless), and we were homeless for three weeks during the move last year. Living in hotel rooms while we closed on the house.

  8. Gah. People who either do not read the Bible, or apply later ages to the times. Or both.

    Mary was never a “single mother.” She was, by Jewish law and custom, married to Joshua the entire time, from her introduction into the story until she exits. That is the whole point to the angelic intervention with Joshua – to neither “put her away quietly” or officially divorce her for adultery. (The first is what he was going to do, as the second would have seen her stoned.) It is also the reason that Yeshua, although not Joshua’s biological son, was considered to be “of the line of David.”

    1. Nitpicking: Mary’s husband was Joseph. Her son would be Joshua if the translation steps for the New Testament had been the same as the Old.

              1. Ever see the backup plan for Operation Eagle Claw? They took a C130, added RATO facing BOTH directions and were taking off and landing in little over the length of the plane (not including the glide slopes).
                Carter killed it after the test pilot fired her braking RATO a few feet too soon and the plane broke its back. She did several other successful simulations.
                Makes Fat Albert look sluggish.

    2. I went to Sunday School, or Church, or both, until he creeping Liberalism of the local Methodists got to be more then my (Methodist Minister’s adopted some) Father could tolerate, sometime in my high school years. In all that time I remember ONE sermon. It was a Christmas sermon, delivered by a visiting minister (the board TRIED to hire him, but he had commitments), and it was on the Faith, and Patience of Joseph, and how undervalued it usually is.

    3. I read a weird theological speculation once about how God might have used Joseph’s DNA for Jesus through some kind of transfer method that would have maintained Mary’s virgin status. It was weird.

      1. Mary was of the House of David, and Jesus was an adopted son of a son of the House of David, and Mary and Joseph were apparently some kind of cross-cousins anyway. So it’s not like Mary didn’t have a fair helping of the same DNA as Joseph as it was.

  9. Ok, make that “Methodist Minister’s adopted SON”

    It ain’t WordPress. I just can’t type and often read what I think I wrote rather than what I did.

    Oh, and “the creeping Liberalism” not “he creeping Liberaliam”

    1. I am convinced WordPress sometimes changes my text between the time I click the button and when it finally shows up on the blog.

  10. I rise in defense of Sandy Cortez. I do not believe her to be as stupid as you say she is. She does NOT believe the “justifications” she spouts for theft; she expects US to believe them, or at least enough of us to confuse the issue. (You can tell she’s lying her ass head off by all the hand-waving she does.) She lies secure in the knowledge that MSM interrogator will pursue the illogic of her assertion, they only do that to Republicans.

    And she lies secure in the faith that her supporters will repeat those lies ad infinitum o the internet and in the media. Those lies are chaff, deployed to diffuse incoming fire.

    Never assume a politician believes their nonsense; their only concern is that the public will believe it. Yes, that is an insult to the public intelligence, but it is justified. After all, the public elected her and is well en route to re-electing her.

    1. So basically your position RES is that Occasional Cortex is not stupid, she’s merely evil?
      That works for me…

      1. Oh, I wouldn’t necessarily go <I<that far. I often embrace the power of “and” and it is especially powerful in AOC’s case.

        In this instance, note, I merely said she was not as stupid as Sarah accused her of being — there remains plenty of space between being stupid and being <I<that stupid.

        1. Dang – those italicized thats didn’t come off quite as intended. Oh, if only WP had a Preview function. Oh well, WP is big dooty-head. WPDE.

          On the matter of Sandy Cortez’s intellect, I realized that I had not addressed an element of her argument I’d found troubling:

          “Do we think this has to do with the fact that there’s record unemployment in the United States right now?” the progressive said in a town hall Thursday. “Maybe this has to do with the fact that people aren’t paying their rent and are scared to pay their rent. And so they go out and they need to feed their child and they don’t have money. So, you maybe have to — they’re put in a position where they feel like they either need to shoplift some bread or go hungry that night.”

          Quote courtesy of the NY Post OpEd at AOC’s dishonest, callous answer to NYC’s surging street violence

          Note these two (emphasis added) phrases:
          “people aren’t paying their rent and are scared to pay their rent.”

          and

          “they feel like they either need to shoplift some bread or go hungry”

          Why would people be scared (her word) to pay their rent? Because they don’t know how they can pay their rent and buy food, perhaps? But if they have to shoplift bread (and color TVs, computer games and all the other looting that’s gone on) wouldn’t the operative term be unable to pay their rent, not scared?

          Sandy done attempted some verbal jujitsu that she don’t have the chops to pull off is my guess. It is like a card trick gone bad, where the prestidigitator flipped a card that was supposed to stay hidden.

          1. From the opcit, this additional bit of wisdom:

            “Keep in mind that this uptick in crime that’s happening right now is with a $6 billion New York City Police Department budget,” she said on Thursday. “We have shoved more and more and more money into the NYPD. It has not prevented this uptick in crime.”

            Yep, she went full Fox Butterfield there!

            You never want to go the full Fox Butterfield.

          2. Somehow I don’t think drive by shootings have anything to do with people having trouble paying rent or shoplifting bread., Of course AOC’s solution is Soviet style bread lines and government provided housing, like her beloved Soviet Union.

          3. “wouldn’t the operative term be unable to pay their rent, not scared?”

            The attendant emotion would be fear.

            If every supposition were accurate (and I don’t think they are) and I had to choose between a roof or food, then I’d be scared.

            AOC’s an easy enough target. We don’t have to nitpick.

          4. Cuz everyone knows the best way to get bread for your starving kids isn’t to go to the nearest church or food bank. The best way is to shoot some random stranger on the street, then drive away without even robbing them! /s

      2. No, she’s a mouthpiece. I believe this is both parts 1 and 2 of Mr. Reagan’s little documentary.

    2. Remember that she’s the one who was apparently baffled by a garbage disposal. So she might very well really be that ignorant.

      1. I don’t believe for one instant that she was confused by a garbage disposal. No, she merely claimed to be thinking it would make her more “relatable.”

        Which says more about what she thinks of her constituents than anything else.

        1. “Which says more about what she thinks of her constituents than anything else.”

          And she was correct: a lot of them loved it.

          Say what you want about AOC’s intellect, she knows her supporters. In many ways, she’s got the Trump effect: the things her opponents hate the most about her are the very things her supporters love and embrace.

          You underestimate her at your peril.

    3. I think she’s stupid. I think those who back her and put her on TV all the damned time are evil. Why her? She’s young and ummm well built but she’s as thick as two short planks. No, she and the rest of that crowd are deliberately put forward. In fact, she’s so stupid that I almost believe that Trump puts her forward but then I look at her cheering section and realize that they’re dumber than she.

      if you look at the demands at, say, Cornell back in the 60’s (all black colleges, no free speech, everyone a racist) you see that what’s going on today is simply history repeating itself. That’s why all those old Stalinist creeps are back. It’s history repeating as farce since the black students back in 68 could at least point to actual discrimination in law.

  11. … allows virtues to morph into truly repulsive behavior

    C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape expounds on this quite ably.

  12. suppose I … had 40k in the bank … the money might be there for some other reason: a new computer …

    Day-yum. That’s sum ‘puter!

    1. 40 bucks today will buy more computer than $40K would have 40 years ago. The new Raspberry Pi is more powerful than any computer that existed before 2000.

      I applied for financial aid while living on the family farm, and it was very complicated. A LOT of money passes THROUGH a farm, but very little of it is actually available to the farmer. He might have $300,000 in the bank in February, and $300 in May after buying seed, fertilizer, weed spray, bug spray and tractor fuel.

      1. Hm. Remind me again when FISA applications have to be filled out?
        .
        .
        .
        Oh, yea. ASAP 12:01 AM 1/1/xxxx

  13. There’s a novel by Nick Cole and Jason Anspach titled Madame Guillotine that may be of some interest…

  14. The do gooders then claim the fault is of “normal society”, of those horrible bourgeois …

    America has always had those who reject bourgeois society. Hell, those were mostly the people who settled this land. As the East got civilized they migrated (“It war getting too crowded; yestiday I saw a neighbor’s chimney smoke.”) and settled in new (to them) land although some just took the examples of the Mountain Men and Johnny Appleseed and went wandering (often to be later found contributing to bears’ scat.) Some gathered together and formed Utopian communes and some of those communes survived their founders.

    As the country’s frontier closed these anti-bourgeois dissidents became hobos, and after WWII they became Beatniks and, in the Sixties, Hippies. (N.B. – as a general rule, the Beats detested Hippies with much the same venom as the Left despised Liberals.) But until the last few decades these dissidents were a sub-culture, largely tolerated, even indulged, by the bourgeoisie.

    But the expansion of the college campus, both by the greater percentage of folks attending and the HR departments selecting for certificates instead of skills, brought with it the tolerance for idle BS and Good Intentions being more important than good results. We’d achieved a society rich enough to subsidize stupidity, vanity, sloth and several other of the Deadly Sins, and those are like kudzu in their voraciousness and difficulty of expunging their roots.

    The do-gooders are full of merde and have never had to dig a latrine or a new pit so the outhouse could be relocated, much less given any thought to the problems of outhouse placement. But they’re full of opinions on where others should place those sheds and neither their lack of experience nor their insulation from consequences deters their demanding their opinions be heeded. (N.B. – this last passage is a metaphor, expressly acknowledged lest any naif happen by, attribute the posting of this comment as approved by Sarah and assume the hostess of this blog is presenting herself as an expert on placement and management of excretoriums.)

  15. I look forward to seeing what sort of new epidemics develop in one particular city.

    This, of course, was written before our current spate of turbulence (fancy word for butt-headedness) in the major cities. Looking at today’s headlines (“NY Times Opinion Editor Quits Because Twits” and “Another Historically Violent Weekend Strikes Major U.S. Cities” among others) I am wondering not simply where are the adults, I am wondering why Democrat politicians looked at the Ferguson Effect in Baltimore and decided to say, “Hold my Chablis!”

    1. An ever larger number of Democratic Party politicians think the violence and crime waves are a good thing. Those who drink the Critical Race Theory neo-Marxist kool-aid think that crime by “the oppressed”, i.e. the selected favored groups, is justified and indeed should be encouraged as “forced redistribution of wealth”(this time is used outright in CRT) and that those who have lest have an absolute right to take what they want from those who have more. It is envy on steroids turned into a political ideology.

  16. more crime is because “people are starving and need to feed their children.”


    Please. I know preachin’ to the choir … Beyond what Sarah said. I didn’t see food being looted. Might have been a market or two burned indiscriminately, without, um, emptying it. Not sure how any of that feeds anyone. This is just during the riots. That wasn’t their intent. Of coarse those who now “know” they won’t be held accountable, for anything, won’t even try. If they want it, they will take it. AOC is an idiot. No, sorry she gives idiocy a bad name. She couldn’t find a horse if you put her on a horse, bareback. Not that any respectable horse would let her be put there.

    Finally a place I can vent and people won’t beat up on me too much …

  17. I saw Trump’s speech today. He does repeat himself a lot. He should work on that, and that monotone delivery.

    He read about a dozen items off Biden’s campaign platform. Each one of them is stuck-on-stupid. The combination is beyond insane. Nobody could make this shit up.

    If Biden gets in, it will be a disaster for America, and it will fall most heavily on the leftest parts.

    Maybe that’s what it will take.

    Maybe the leftoid clown car NEEDS to crash and burn right in front of God and everybody. Maybe they need to see the clowns running around with their Technicolor hair on fire. Nothing less seems to have any effect.

    If Biden ‘wins’ the election, even by fraud, I say Trump should bow out. “I will do what is best for this country by NOT inciting a civil war over blatant election fraud. Here is the fraud, by the way, in all its gory detail. I will soon be gone. You, the American people, will have to decide whether you will do something about it, or continue to tolerate those that do not trust you to decide who should represent your interests, in this country and in the world.”

    How will they put down the riots? They won’t stop on their own. There will be more ‘incidents’, on both sides, almost all of them in left-wing cities. Maybe the ATF will finally do something worthwhile, but if Trump is a Nazi for talking about using Federal forces against the rioters, what will Biden be for DOING it?

    I don’t think Biden can destroy the country in four years. 0-bama and Biden together didn’t destroy it in 8 years, and they sure as Hell tried. We will survive, and at least 180 million people will be PISSED.

    If Biden wins, Trump will be eligible to run in 2024. Maybe the Republicans will even be motivated to put up a better candidate. Maybe the TEA Party will get the support it deserves. Maybe things will get better.
    ———————————
    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. if Trump is a Nazi for talking about using Federal forces against the rioters, what will Biden be for DOING it?

      The hero we needed. The reporters will all be on his side, remember?

    2. Perhaps Biden won’t or can’t, but the person running the presidency will either be a central committee of radical leftists ruling in his name or his VP outright taking the job based on Biden’s inability to perform his duties as president, and ANY of the VP selections he makes will be true believers of the religion of Marx and will do everything they can to prevent the Democrats from losing power ever again except through forceful removal.

      You can guarantee the first thing that Democrats will do is grant amnesty to every single illegal alien in the US AND grant them voting rights. The second will be to declare national “gun violence” and “climate” emergencies to pursue gun bans and confiscation and restrictions on people’s use of fossil fuels, including of course, restrictions on travel. The CCP Virus lockdowns are their test run.

      Democrats simply have no concept of overreach and they WILL overreach, in their quest to become America’s CCP.

      1. You’re not giving the hard-core leftoids enough credit. I’m sure they can turn the illegal aliens against them.

      2. But Biden has won the critical Angela Davis endorsement …!

        She an’t praising him for his defense of moderation. From National Review‘s David Harsanyi today:
        0 – Davis is an unrepentant champion of domestic terrorists and murderers. In the early 1970s, Davis famously bought two of the guns used in a 1970 Marin County courtroom kidnapping-shootout perpetrated by Black Panthers, in which a superior court judge and three hostages were murdered. …

        0 – Davis collaborated with some of the world’s most nefarious regimes. The CIA estimated that at least 5 percent of the entire Soviet Russian propaganda budget in 1971 had been spent on propping up and defending Davis … Davis first visited the Soviet Union 1972, a year of renewed political repression and forced labor. “Miss Davis Hails Soviet’s policies,” read a New York Times headline from August of that year. …

        0 – by 1979 Davis had already met and been feted by Cuba’s dictator, Fidel Castro, and East Germany’s vile Erich Honecker, even while she was certainly aware that Stasi secret police were torturing political prisoners and soldiers were summarily executing Germans caught trying to cross the border to freedom. …

        0 – It shouldn’t be forgotten either that Davis was also a fan of the cult leader Jim Jones, himself a champion of the Communist cause, a fact that is often conveniently skipped over in the retelling of his story. Only two months before the Jonestown mass suicide, Davis personally assured the cult members — through booming loudspeakers — that Jones’ cause was worthwhile one. It was just another massacre Davis cheered on.
        https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/remembering-joe-bidens-newest-fan-angela-davis/

    3. If Biden wins … where does Trump go?

      Surely the Biden Administration will indict Trump and attempt to convict him for some crime or another? Hell, they’re still claiming “collusion” with Russia! Attorney General Harris will certainly find grounds to go after Teh Doald, his family and such senior members of his administration as Barr, DeVoss and others.

      If Trump goes on extended vacation to Europe is there a nation there that could be relied upon to protect him? That seems unlikely. Would Abe give him shelter in Japan, with Biden and Sec. Treasury Warren eagerly selling the US out to Xi & Co.? Could he hold out four years? Israel would probably like to grant Trump have but the Biden White House will already be falling all over itself to curry favor in Iran and delight in an excuse to impose sanctions on Israel.

      Perhaps India. Trump seems to have gotten on well with Modi and Narendra would probably enjoy the opportunity to show his people he can stand up to the US. Besides, a developer like Trump could surely contribute to his host nation. Maybe he could buy the Taj Mahal and pretty it up a bit …

      1. > If Biden wins … where does Trump go?

        Think of how many heads he could explode if he emigrated and ran for President of Israel…

      2. If Trump is smart, in that situation just before his term ending, he pardons everyone in his family and all the advisors, etc., resigns, and than President Pence pardons Trump.

  18. The Seattle city council is pushing to cut their police budget by 50%. The head of the Washington police officers guild said that would mean laying off about 1,100 Seattle cops. At least one (unnamed) Seattle city council member is agitating to lay off only the white cops.

    They put those clowns in office, and re-elected them over and over. Time for them to get what they wanted.
    ———————————
    Why do so many idiots believe that the way to solve our problems is to keep voting for the same shitheads that caused them?

  19. This is a lot like the left’s conception of Robin Hood (they have him as wrong as they have Jesus)

    One quibble I have with Atlas Shrugged was Ragnar Danneskjod (?) wanting to ‘kill Robin Hood’. I agree that the popular (mis)conception of him as a wealth redistributionist needs to be deleted, but replaced (as noted above) by his true calling as a particularly beffective tax resister.

      1. Same with Ridley Scott’s version with Russel Crowe. I enjoyed the divvil out of that film

  20. One interesting feature of tax law: My mom is an artist, and occasionally sells some of her paintings. If she donates one to a charity, she can claim the value of the materials used to produce the painting on her taxes.
    When she dies and I inherit her paintings, I will owe taxes on the full market value, based on what she’s managed to sell in the past.

    1. And the IRS is unlikely to look favorably on the argument that “those are the paintings she didn’t manage to sell, so demonstrably, their market value is zero”. Even, nay, especially, if it happens to be true.

      1. Never thought of that. Grandpa painted. His mother was an artist. Family has a few of great-grandma’s passed through the family, never evaluated, although she supposedly sold art before she was married. Grandpa never, as far as we know, sold a thing. Gave it away far and wide. I have a number of his pieces, and should get more, when mom passes on.

        Mom’s cousin is a selling artist. I have a cousin who does art, she did a commission piece for me, but beyond that I don’t know what she’s sold; her kids are in for a rude awaking.

        Don’t know how this affected a co-worker whose wife was a painter. He had a commissioned piece hanging in his office for months before it was shipped to Europe. Rumored commission was > $100k. Office, Land & Timber district office of a multi-international timber company, had limited edition prints of a number of her pieces displayed in the office. The least expensive print was $700 (company co-worker discounted). Limited edition, but still … she passed away from cancer in ’95.

        1. This raises an interesting point. What is the “value” of such family heirlooms? Or rather, more importantly, who determines the value and according to what standards?

          Because the Democrats are intent on establishing a wealth tax which, while it will initially affect only “Teh Rich,” will eventually afflict all of us. So that painting from great-great-grand-ma, which has been in the family attic until grandpa discovered it while clearing stuff so he could finally sell the old homestead, turned over to you.

          Perhaps that trousseau brought over from Ireland by great-great-great-aunt Eileen and left stowed in a trunk turns out to be antique Irish lace. What about great-uncle Elmer’s comic books, discovered boxed up in perfect condition after he shipped out in ’42? Or even Grandpa Earl’s old erector set?

          You wouldn’t want folks to hoard wealth that the government could use to fund schools, would you (well, okay, you guys would, you know how bad those schools tend to be.) So prepare for the annual visit from Uncle Sam’s property assessor*s) who will go through your house and determine whether you are improperly withholding wealth tax money that could help improve your neighborhood, your community, your city, your state, your federal government.

          Nothing to worry ’bout, amIright? Any such tax will only affect the 1% … maybe the 5% … Just as the Income Tax did when the 16th Amendment was enacted.

          1. This raises an interesting point. What is the “value” of such family heirlooms? Or rather, more importantly, who determines the value and according to what standards?

            This is what freaks me out about any wealth tax. Taxing when stuff is sold, that has some data– but estimated worth?

            Iowa is having a multi-year-long fight because the guy who does the tax evaluations for one of the counties that has a big resort has been massively dropping the amount of money the state is getting from them. The accusation is that as soon as he got the evaluation authority, he re-evaluated his own home and massively dropped the value. Obvious corruption, right?
            Well… he combined the lot the house was on with the farming lot he’d bought. And reading between the lines, the prior guy had been illegally refusing to recognize farm houses as part of an agricultural evaluation. From the reported drop on property evaluations, the prior guy had been doing that trick where you act like every house is the same as the one in the middle of the private lake resort.
            A spread out suburb in J Random Little Town is not the same as a spread out suburb of vacation homes around a private lake is not the same as a farm house five miles from nowhere!

            1. M

              It establishes a market value AND determines the tax when there is cash flowing. Wealth taxes (such as inheritance taxes) destroy wealth by forcing owners to convert some portion that wealth into cash to pay the tax. Income taxes merely deter wealth development, adding friction to the process, but wealth taxes destroy embedded wealth.

              Not that the Left thinks that’s a bad thing, given that all of their policies have that effect. Independent wealth makes people independent of the State, after all.

              The fact that so many Leftists who have massive wealth tend to sequester it in trusts, foundations and other such devices is a “pay no attention to what’s behind the curtain” thing.

          2. Of course the actual rich — especially the Leftoid political class — will grant themselves loopholes and exceptions such that they wind up paying less ‘wealth tax’ on their mansions, yachts and private jets than the middle-class proles pay on their run-down furniture.

            It’s all about punishing the workers and rewarding the parasites, and as the biggest parasites, they give themselves the most rewards.
            ———————————
            Welfare is pay without work. In order to provide pay without work for some, others have to work without pay. We used to call that slavery.

          3. I first heard about a ‘personal property tax’ (as opposed to a property tax, ie. on land and buildings owned) from a co-worker who had spent some time in Oklahoma. I had considered getting a job there up to that point, but Nope! Nope! Nope! First time some peckerwood tried coming into my home and counting how many televisions, computers, etc. I owned would have had me saying something along the lines of, “This is my shotgun, these are my 00 buckshot shells . . .”, with all the antics that would have ensued.

  21. Virtues…here’s what GK Chesterton had to say:

    “The modern world is not evil; in some ways the modern world is far too good. It is full of wild and wasted virtues. When a religious scheme is shattered…it is not merely the vices that are let loose. The vices are, indeed, let loose, and they wander and do damage. But the virtues are let loose also; and the virtues wander more wildly, and the virtues do more terrible damage. The modern world is full of the old Christian virtues gone mad. The virtues have gone mad because they have been isolated from each other and are wandering alone. Thus some scientists care for truth; and their truth is pitiless. Thus some humanitarians only care for pity; and their pity (I am sorry to say) is often untruthful:

  22. If near commercial areas, they blight the tendency of shoppers to come to that area, because no one wants to be followed/accosted or screamed at by people who are acting crazy (whatever the real reason.)

    Pine Street homeless shelter in Atlanta. It is so bad homeless advocates tried to shut it down multiple times. The parking lot across from it is unusable during the day because it is filled, near capacity, with shelter residents. The nearby MARTA station, Civic Center…well, let’s just say if I miss my stop, which is one north of it, because I’m reading I ride to Peachtree Center, one south of it (DragonCon attendees will know it as the one off the food court, because the people who hang out in Civic Center station set off all my danger alarms.

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