The Wrong Story

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Having dealt with what I’m sure is yet the same troll in the comments, telling us that without Marxism the “upper classes” wouldn’t give a fig for the lower classes, world without end, connected with something that has been going on in my head all morning.

Let me explain to begin with that I feel very ill this morning, so this is bound to be a little disjointed and I’m going to try to keep it short.

On the ill: Almost for sure not winnie the flu, as I have no fever OR cough, but all three of us in the house hold have been feeling tired/sleepy/generally out of it, with occasional nausea.  Nausea is the only thing that racks to Winnie the Flu, and honestly, it’s not enough.  It could all be psychological. I’d like to drag son for a walk as that might help. My sense of taste and smell come and go, but for me that tracks to stress/auto-immune. Also note “come and go” sometimes several times a day.  This morning I couldn’t smell cat pee. Right now I’m overwhelmed by the smell of the cleaner I used on it, even though it’s downstairs and across the house.  So….

No clue what it is. This sort of extreme tiredness often tracks to my being stressed/autoimmune acting up.  But in this case the rest of the family is going through it, as well.  Eh.You know, lockdown does weird things to immune systems, and though we’re not, we’re effectively on lockdown since Fash-Boots-Polis instituted mandatory masks. Because I never know if I’ll be allowed in with face shield (masks send me immediately into accute respiratory distress but stores don’t seem aware of exceptions) I just stay in the house.

Anyway, this morning I was reading a book from a non-woke author who has been pounded in reviews for daring to tell the truth about pre-conquest Mexican history, and yet, in analyzing previous Mexican/indigenous societies he speaks repeatedly of “class warfare” and seems to think it’s a normal part of civilization.

Which made me pound my head repeatedly on the breakfast table.

Class warfare isn’t a thing. It was never a thing until Marx brought it to the vocabulary. Hell and damnation, it wasn’t even a thing in the French revolution.  No, I’m serious.

The fact that some people have more and some have less has never caused war or the fall of any civilization.  What causes war or the fall of civilization is closing pathways to “having more” to large segments of the population.

The French revolution wasn’t class warfare. Yes, aristo, aristo a la lanterne.  But what it actually was was the violent reorganization of a society whose ruling elite had become obsolete and unable to adapt to new economic circumstances, and also who refused to let society change normally.

Which I can completely understand is something that would make our current self-proclaimed ruling elites uncomfortable, since that’s exactly what they’re doing.

French aristocrats were often not the wealthiest people around. In fact, their means of wealth had been falling for over a century, and most of them were deeply indebted. What they had by law, though, was power over everyone BORN under them.  It wasn’t economic, but state power, ultimately.  And they not only refused to relinquish it, allow the bourgeois (often far wealthier) into their circles, but kept coming up with more and better ways to keep the “interlopers” out.

They were in fact doing what a lot of our soi disant “elites” are doing, trying to silence dissent and return to a way of life that hasn’t been normal or healthy for a century or so.  (The left’s ideal time is the 1930s for instance. Only with more sex stuff, and — in their heads but nor really since they’re now for straight up apartheid under the guise of safe spaces — racial integration.)

But it wasn’t “classes” in the sense that Marx preached them. It had nothing to do with wealth, income levels, or daily occupation. (The nobility QUITE lacked means of production, that being part of the problem, in the industrial age.)

It was more accurately castes: i.e. privileges given by the government depending on the condition of your birth.  Which, again, is what the left is trying to institute here.

Anyway, there has never been “class struggle” in any history ever, in the Marxist sense.  That was Marxist…. Well…. Marx was a high functioning autist and invented patterns even where they didn’t exist. And he wanted to plug in to the romantic ethos of the time and make the industrial revolution bad. So he came up with that load of fecal matter. It means nothing.

If you believe in Marxist “classes” and “Class warfare” and you’re not a leftist, kindly consider you’ve been profoundly mal-educated.

(If you are a leftist, you’ve also been profoundly mal-educated, but you like it, you believe in it, and by gum you’re going to wallow in it like a pig in muck.)

History could more accurately be described as a battle of memes.

Humans live not by bread alone. Regardless of how food and the other necessary goods of society are produced, that’s not what makes people happy/unhappy, etc.  It’s the story in their heads about the society and what makes it tick that counts. And the story always lags reality. And is often used for the rulers’ purposes.

Hence the romantics were an attempt to make life pre-industrial revolution wonderful. And convince peasants living in rural submission was better.

At some point, though, the story breaks, when its fit to reality (it’s NEVER 100% because human life is fluid) becomes glaringly broken.  This is when revolutions happen.

For instance, it was easy for rural French peasants to groan under the oppression of the nobility, because there was a unified narrative that you were supposed to serve in the place you were born to. And because honestly, the noblemen were different enough so as to be another breed, almost.

It was when the industrial revolution advanced enough that there was a vast group of wealthy people who were told they were inferior “by reason of birth” that the wheels came off. Particularly as the bankrupt nobility tried to push them back into rural subjection.

In the case of the book I’m reading, he talked about pre-Mexican peasants rebelling against the priests who lived so much better, because class warfare.  This is not real. Or serious. It’s more likely they rebelled (we don’t know for sure, as we have no written accounts) because the priests failed in their role according to societal narrative.

I.e. they were supposed to keep bad things away, and didn’t.

In the same way the current covidiocy and intentional crash of the economy is an attempt to reverse the clock and to implant the narrative that “we’re all in this together” thereby giving the Marxist intelligentsia of the west control over the story in people’s heads.

“The heroic people and their heroic leaders defeated the virus with the power of government and therefore the government must have more power and narratives must come from the top and be unified.”

This is their preferred narrative. It leaks out with things like DeBolshevik wanting a ticker tape parade “when we defeat” the virus. Or their being really upset at Trump for not falling in line with “government is the way to defeat this” or imposing unified solutions from the top.

It’s not going to work. In fact, it’s hitting hardest those places they have full control of: Arts, entertainment, news, education–  What they’re actually doing is destroying their areas of power to gain power. Which is a ghost dance typical of what happens when an “elite” displaced by a change in circumstances which makes their story no longer fit tries to hold on to power.

The more they do, the more they flail around, the harder the fall will be.  Which frankly is scaring the shit out of me, as I think it’s going to be guillotines and terror. Not their fake attempts at terror, but the real one, where people Have.Had.Just.About.Enough and have no way to make the bullshit stop except a massive spasm of violence.

This is the way civilizations DO fall.

But the picture in everyone’s head right now is “classes” in “permanent war” which is an invention of Marx and has no contact with reality.

History is not permanent class warfare.  History IS permanent change.  And when the story in people’s heads doesn’t match the narrative, a time comes when it is reset VIOLENTLY.

The Marxist narrative was never right — which is why it brings death, starvation and destruction wherever it gets power — but it made sense to people in a regimented post-industrial world.  It also poisoned them for any practical solution, but hey, the ruling classes could USE it to get more power.  So it worked, after a fashion.

Only in the information age it doesn’t. And people are buying it less and less. Ad know all the ways in which it breaks.  But still retain fragments of it in their head. Which means as it falls apart, it will fall faster, harder and more violently.

The more it has penetrated everything and cued people for the wrong reaction, the more violent the outcome.

But screaming the story louder, or having seeded it everywhere doesn’t stop its fall. It just makes the fall more violent.

Reality is a bitch. It always wins.

And the current “elite” inability to understand that, or even to process that they are in fact in charge and not bold rebels (which their Marxist upbringing insists they are) is setting us up for a “blood to our ankles” situation.

Pray that I’m wrong.

524 thoughts on “The Wrong Story

    1. Autocorrupt and prediction are evil. Sigh.

      I fear the Tree of Liberty may require much watering ere the Left’s tyranny is ended.

      1. It may get plenty of watering, but it won’t be the blood of patriots.

        New Improved Plan: use the blood and tears of your enemies.

          1. “The blood of patriots” leaves out that their job is to make other people to as much of the bleeding as possible.

            Lots of talk about self-sacrifice, but that’s not the point of a fight.

            1. The people who wrote that had done a little fighting here and there, and kind of assumed that everyone knew that: that if you’re fighting and winning, some of your own blood is going to be shed even in the process of winning. It’s only in modern times that we’ve had enough peace that a vast majority of the population can be unfamiliar with such basic facts.

            1. I am quite familiar with the Patton quote. Perhaps you, TRX, and a couple others should look up the full Jefferson quote. It does not end “of patriots.” It ends “of patriots and tyrants.”

              Yes, it is desirable for the tyrants to do most of the bleeding. But it doesn’t always work that way. And telling who is going to do the most bleeding in advance is tricky at best. Sometimes you mount the campaign anyway.

              1. There’s a quote from the New Hampshire license plate that is appropriate for those situations: “Live free or die.”

                The time when the normal people spit on both hands and hoist the Jolly Roger has not arrived. But it approaches.

              2. “In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free — if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending — if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained — we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us! They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable — and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.

                It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace — but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

                1. Reading that, and remembering my visits to the House of Burgesses where Patrick Henry gave that speech, I can visualize the scene quite clearly. A young(ish) man, with his powdered wig on, pointing, pacing and roaring the words. He was the person that their God placed among them to provide the courage they needed at a time when they sorely needed it. It reminds me of the passage in Joshua about choosing whom you will serve should be remembered across the land:
                  choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

                  This isn’t mention to start a religious war, at least not of the type most would think of with that particular quote. Today’s Progressive Left have taken Marxism and turned it a religion with all of the shibboleths they need to signal to others their participation in the twisted rites.

                  As Patrick Henry’s quote above shows us, he chose what he thought his God would want – to fight and to trust. Liberty or death.

                  Can we today, when the time comes to make a decision to sit back and watch civil war pass by us or to fight to retain the essence of the greatest nation on Earth, which will we choose??

                  I know which way I will choose. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

        1. Given that the quote is about the tree of liberty being refreshed by the blood of patriots AND tyrants, it sort of indicates that both or all sides will be bleeding.

        2. First law of battle: The enemy will fuck up your plan. That’s why he’s called the *enemy*

  1. You’re exactly right about the French “noblesse” not necessarily being rich. Charlotte Corday, to name a famous example, was as blue-blooded as it got (her family had been noble since the time of William the Conqueror) but her particular branch of the family didn’t have much money and lived about like their neighbors did. All they had was a fancy escutcheon and a few traditional privileges, like having the ponds whipped to keep the frogs quiet when a Corday was about to give birth.

      1. As Kermit Says/Sings “It isn’t easy being green”. Next we’ll have frog spirituals I suppose.

  2. Pfui. With Marxism the “upper classes” still don’t give a fig for the lower classes; the proles are easily prompted to foul their ow nests while dismantling the middle-classes, pulling down any ladders by which the industrious might escape their gutters. The primary victims of the lockdown have been shopkeepers, small business people and others trying to build wealth; the primary victims of the de-policing have been urban poor forced to live with violence and mayhem.

    Marxism merely enables the “upper classes” to distract people from any real solution to their plight.

    1. I’ll go further. Non-Marxist rich demonstrably care more about the poor than Marxist rich.

      Show me the Marxist who spent his fortune building free libraries in the age of membership libraries, or something equivalent, out of a belief it would help them better their lives. Show me the Marxist rich who wrote accounts of their own rise and what habits and methods allowed them to do it, in order that others could emulate them.

      Marxists, at best, think giving the poor a pile of money to have nicer hovels is helping them. Even then they do it with OPM. At worst, they get off on telling the poor how much they should appreciate having hovels and that they should be happy they don’t have the responsiblities of “caring” (ie, ordering around) all of society, which they are compensated (inadequately, just ask them) with better material lives.

          1. Poor, you folks keep using that word…I don’t think thats what our friends with the D after their name want The Democrats don’t want poor per se. They want peasants/serfs that do their bidding, make their food, mow their lawn, come (willingly or otherwise) to their beds. All marxism is is a chance to return to a despotic liege lord with our various “representatives” playing the part of Lord/Lady without saying lets have Feudalism and titles back.. Hell look at Nancy Pelosi. 24K fridge with pints and pints of $12+ ice cream. I have a brother in law who was a senior partner at a major Boston Law firm, and wife was similar. Even at their peak their life style never looked like that, and not for want of trying some days. One wonders where/how someone like Nancy has achieved a lifestyle rivaled only by perhaps .1% of the US populace and thinks their par of the People.

            1. Her husband stole it.

              Seriously though. being a senior uniparty politician is the most lucrative thing ever. Ole Harry Reid was asked where his money came from and said he “was a good investor.” Much like Hillary Clinton who has the best batting average in commodity trading ever, it’s unclear where This skill came from and the possibility that Harry might have had an inside track on the sale of federal lands is just crazy talk.

              Susan Rice is said to be divesting her Netflix shares in preparation for running for VP. Where’d she get them? Barack the Unready bought that house on the Vineyard, where’d the money come from? To ask is to answer.

              Everyone paying attention knows that they used the NSA data to spy on Trump. If they didnt use it to enrich themselves and their friends and to put together black files against their enemies I would be the most shocked man on the planet.

              Grifters and thieves the lot of them

      1. Ben Franklin, who knew a thing or two about poverty, observed that about the worst thing one could do “for” the poor was making them comfortable i their poverty.

    2. The encountered standard response to this obvious empirical observation is the “No True Marxist” response, contending that “True Marxism” or “True Socialism” or “True Killing Fields” have never actually been tried, usually coupled with the Bullwinkle Predicate of “This Time For Sure!”

  3. One thought that I’ve had when Lefties scream about a “new aristocracy” when a relative of a Republican leader runs for the job that his relative had (besides the fact they are never concerned about a relative of a Democrat leader) is that they don’t understand what a true aristocracy (including a true monarchy) is.

    A True aristocracy is when the son/nephew of a dead leader has a no-questions-asked right to the job. No need to get voters involved, the job is his.

    Of course, they whine about the “rich” as if the rich is an aristocracy without considering that a true aristocracy has actual legal authority to rule.

    On the other hand, some may know the difference and think they should be the New Aristocrats. 😈

        1. Look up Season 7 episode 1 of Red Dwarf, “A Tikka to Ride”. It covers this in detail (and gives a lovely answer to who was on the Grassy Knoll)

          1. So where in either ILLUMINATUS or THE SCHRODINGER’S CAT trilogy there’s a scene where somebody is observing the assassination of JFK through binoculars (with all KINDS of people shooting the poor man) and muttering “Goddamnit, we should have sold TICKETS!”

    1. I would also suggest that no system of government has ever worked quite the way it is described to. Oh, maybe occasionally, for as long as a week at a time. And because the Fascist Left is obsessed with Marx’s simplistic analysis, their interpretation of how any society has ever worked is doomed to derangement.

      1. Even if had a reasonable sort doing good analysis from real observation, humans are not widgets, know they are being observed, and observers will always produce theory that does not completely describe the whole in all circumstances.

        1. A kind of parallel;

          My mother was, by avocation, an Architectural Historian, and by extension studied the muddy history of Urban Planning. According to her, a lot of traffic systems popular with Planners in the 1950’s were predicated on the idea that traffic flowed like water…and never took into account just how messy an ‘eddy’ of cars would be.

          Now, apply that thought to the way the Fascist Left deals with people.

          1. The University of Cincinnati used to have an acclaimed college called the School of Design, Art, and Architecture. So good so far. Then they altered the school’s mission and added Planning to the name. So, it is now DAAP. And you can see the results of that decision in the school’s premises on the UC campus — blocked thoroughfares, purely fugly buildings, confusing-to-non-existent signage. You’re doin’ a good job there, Brownie. Seems that the utopian ideal of urban planning is another of those failed leftist nostrums that ought to be history-ashbinned.

            1. Urban Planning always runs into the same problem that all Socialist Planning does. To take a line from Lois McMaster Bujold, “ People never follow your scripts. Never!”

              1. That’s just the thing. Sometimes they do! Some people will decide that whatever the experts say because they’re the experts, not us. Some people will decide that whatever he experts say because there’s a person of the appropriate sex who says it, too, and they’re looking to get laid. Some people will decide, eh, whatever. The problem is that you can’t get everybody truly working together by fiat like that. The people who are angry or resentful or uninterested provide enough grit in the gears that the whole machine comes to a halt.

                1. To extend the metaphor– you might get a few people who can act, and then various levels of people who will read off the script and if you yell “you’re supposed to go right!” they’ll do that because they don’t have a better idea at the moment?

                  But you can’t just hand everybody the script and get a fully acted movie.

                  1. I’m reminded of a “Barney Miller” episode (Season 7, Episode 7 “Resignation” which I haven’t been able to find on any streaming service so this all comes from my memory) which features an actor and a playwright who had engaged in fisticuffs.

                    It seems that the actor was performing a one-man show written by the playwright and the playwright had been unhappy for some time with the large amount of ad-libbing done by the actor. Eventually, it spilled over into violence and the producer, who had clearly suffered through this long drawn-out disagreement, came to bail them both out of jail.

                    On the way out, the producer turns to the playwright and says, “You aren’t Shakespeare. Your words aren’t timeless and if the actor wants to change some things around, don’t worry about it.”

                    Clearly chastened, the playwright kind of hangs his head while the producer turns to the actor and says “And YOU! The man wrote you a nice play. Say some of it!”

                    1. Stories about actors going off script abound in theatre. One of my favorites tells of Pulitzer Prize winning playwright George S. Kaufman shushing a companion backstage at a Marx Brothers performance of his play Animal Crackers to declare, “My God,” Kaufman said in shock, “I think I just heard something I wrote!”

                    2. well — Marx Brothers — the writers gave up and just put in “business” to mean “you guys improv something here.”

          2. The same example can be used to show why mathematical, and especially financial, economics is mostly bunk. My family are tired of my pointing it out every time we come to “a hill and a curve” on the highway.

        2. I remember reading the Book of Lord Shang — the great work of the hard-headed, brutal, severe Legalist philosophy — and thinking “What naive idealism.”

          You impose severe punishments, and then everyone will behave!

    2. So, like Hollywood then? Hereditary rights to membership in SAG seems to have been pretty standard back through at least the Barrymores.

      1. OTOH, training to do the same job that your parents did has been pretty standard back through medieval times, so there’s a viable alternative explanation for the many Hollywood families whose children go into acting.

      1. They are NOT against spending by rich people on politics or political causes. What they oppose is their political and ideological opponents spending money on politics and poltical causes.

        1. but, but, they assure me they want all money out of politics. Are you tellin’ me they might not be forthright in this?
          shocked, shocked I tell you

  4. The class warfare that is going on now is primarily Horizontal rather than Vertical class warfare. The owner/CEO of a small manufacturing company, with an income of say $300K, likely has more in common with one of his own workers making $50K than he has with a Hollywood type making that same $300K. The starving adjunct professor with no realistic chance of ever getting tenure identifies more with the secure and high-paid tenured professors than he does with other people in hand-to-mouth jobs.

    (although the term ‘class’ isn’t really applicable in the American setting owing to higher social mobility, maybe call it ‘category’ instead)

    1. Having read the Ancient Regime a few years ago, that struck me as well. In the early phase of the regime, the nobles lived in constant congress with their serfs, and more or less operated a managers of the regional business.

      It was only as the regime grew old, and the nobles shed all of the responsibilities they had, without shredding the comeasurate rights that the system disintegrated.

      They could not adapt to new realities, because they had lost the ability to actually do anything.

      1. That implies that when Louis XIV forced the French nobility to stay with him in Versailles, instead of tending their estates (and possibly plotting to revolt) he actually broke the Ancien Regime. The damage just took two more reigns to come to the surface.

      2. There’s also the observable fact that all human systems tend to calcify unless shaken up with some regularity. While the state of Public Education has clearly been made much worse by the derangements of the Fascist Left, a lot of the damage has to do with a system that got too set in its ways, too.

    2. Would it be feasible for the starving adjunct to switch to an industry where he has more opportunity?

      1. Could he? Yes.
        Should he? Probably.
        Will he, or will he continue to pursue the tenure-track position that he’s got a snowball’s chance in Hell of getting? He has a PhD. You think he’s going to go work in a job with people who only have a Master’s or *gasp in horror* only a Batchelor’s degree?

        1. Could he chuck it all for a job that pays more and has better benefits? I’m not asking if he would, just if he could. Adjunct professor sounds like being an hourly employee forever. That’s why I asked if change was possible.

          What would you recommend as an alternate career? I know that it all depends on the individual, but….

          1. Yes, it all depends on the individual – and what they are adjuncting for. (Oh, come on, that has to be a real word.) Some would do well in industry (and many that I have encountered, teaching is their secondary job). Others that I have come across I wouldn’t trust to clean dog kennels.

          2. Depending on his field, I could potentially refer him to my job, but editing (in the changing stuff sense not the selecting stuff sense) isn’t for everybody….

            1. Speaking as a person who has been an Adjunct in English (Composition, mostly) for far too long, I must know: what exactly is your job?

              1. I edit research papers. The company is generally good to work for but I… hmm… want to maintain some semblance of public anonymity and am hesitant to link straight up here. (I admit I’m not sure if I’m being overcautious there/if it’s a lost cause anyway, though.)

                1. Gotcha. I definitely understand the desire to remain anonymous.
                  I have a few different email accounts available for that very purpose.

          3. If someone really wants to teach, then a high-academic college prep school. Teach at the college level, without the college nightmares and research burden (unless you want the research burden). That can also open doors to full time at a community college, which gives you college classroom hours that can get you into a tenure-track slot, depending on the specialty.

            1. I wish it were that easy — 20 years of college teaching has not been enough to get into a full-time, tenured gig. I’m preparing to face the reality that it just won’t happen, and doesn’t happen for the vast majority of other adjuncts I have met.

              1. Ouch.

                By the time I was in grad school, they had evidently come to the conclusion that the number of graduate students they needed/wanted was in excess of the number of new professors that could ultimately be accommodated… so while I didn’t give up the idea of trying to become a professor right away, I did get some advice fairly early that it might be a good idea to look at alternatives.

    3. … a Hollywood type making that same $300K

      Let’s be honest: in Hollywood’s structure anybody making $300K isn’t really anybody. There’s folk making more than that for a single half-hour (okay, twenty-two minute) TV program.

  5. The “rich”, where most of them are first generation to it, and their descendants tend to not be soon after inheritance. Heck, most of the current “rich” won’t be within a few years themselves as they move from one economic status to the next.

      1. The rich that they know in their inner circles are multi-generation. Kennedies, Waltons, Fords, Rockefellers, etc. The ones that cannot create wealth – and therefore are most determined to preserve it by eliminating the competition. (One of the things that I like about Trump is that his children – other than Barron, of course – work. Daddy gave them a big leg up, but they have made a lot of reasonably honest money through their own efforts.)

            1. Hey, providing a conduit for patronage and political favors IS work! He sat in a fancy office for a few hours a week and everything!

          1. No. Joe got his boy money & a title. Would not call what his son did was a job. A job is work for money. No way did that boy work.

            I know responding to sarcasm … but still.

              1. There are still House of Medici descendants with political power. I’d think all of these new world power dynasties, either those newly elevated a la Biden or Clinton or those who own some of the hereditary Senate seats, or those spawned from Prohibition wealth like the Kennedy clan, or those spawned by the California Gold Rush like the Hearsts, count as look-down-your-nose “new money” to the real sustained dynasties.

      2. If the “they” in your sentence is Europeans, then yeah, I get the impression that American economic mobility is… not well reflected in European economies, shall we say. Which would explain why they would think that “rich” is a state that passes on from parents to children, forever and ever, world without end, amen.

        1. I ran across a line the other day asserting that of the 100 largest European companies none were founded within the last 40 years.

          I don’t recall where I saw it and cannot confirm it is the “100 largest” or “50 largest” but the main point remains.

          1. Hmm. Ten largest American companies according to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_largest_companies_in_the_United_States_by_revenue and when they were founded:

            1. Walmart (this surprised me). Founded in 1962 but really started in 1950: 70 years old
            2. Amazon. Founded in 1994: 26 years old
            3. ExxonMobil. Founded in 1999 but really comes from Standard Oil, so really 1870: 150 years old
            4. Apple. Founded in 1976: 44 years old
            5. CVS. Founded in 1996 but really comes from Melville Corp, so really 1922: 98 years old
            6. Berkshire Hathaway. Founded in 1839: 181 years old
            7. UnitedHealth. Founded in 1977: 43 years old
            8. McKesson Corp. Founded in 1833: 187 years old
            9. AT&T. Founded in 1983 (as SW Bell): 36 years old
            10. AmerisourceBergen. Founded in 2001 as a merger, but really 1871 or older: at least 149 years old

            And I’ll throw in #11: Alphabet (formerly Google). Really founded in 1998, so 22 years old

            Two companies less than 40 years old in the top ten by revenue, and a third at #11. If you expand the criteria to “within the last 50 years” you pick up two more.

            1. Berkshire Hathaway is an old textile company that was essentially bankrupt when Buffet bought it. It’s only been a name for many years.

              Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, and Google Make up over 20% of the S&P 500, Together their market value is larger than entire G7 stock markets. You have to skip down then a bit to find Home Depot, NVIDIA, PayPal, , then a couple more to Netflix and Adobe.

              a contrast would be the UK FTSE where the top companies are BAE systems, Scottish Widows, GVC Holdings, and Rolls Royce. the only “newish” company there is GVC, which does online gambling.

              Germany: Wirecard, Siemens, SAP, Bayer, BASF Volkswagen, Adidas, Daimler. The only newish company is one called Wirecard and that’s in the process of unraveling in what might be the world’s largest accounting fraud ever. Billions are missing and the managers are turning up dead.

              Some of the American companies go back a long way but they’re often really just old names. In any case, the turnover among the largest companies in the US is very high. Much higher than anywhere else outside China and Russia where the descendants of the people who stole all the money by and large kept it.

              If you want an old US company, Martin Guitars go back to the 1830’s and Zildjan goes back to 1623 in the Ottoman Empire.

            2. SWBell goes back a lot farther than 1983. My parents were paying SWBell for telephone service back in the 1960’s. Since it’s one of the “baby bells” it is, in fact, just “Bell Telephone” that goes back to the 19th century.

              1. So, just one out of the top 10, but two out of the top 11, were less than 40 years old. Less than 50 years old is three of the top 10, or four of the top 11.

              2. Yes, all the Baby Bells that were broken up from Bell Telephone/AT&T, and Bell goes back to Alexander Graham Bell’s father in law filing the papers to set up a company for him in 1877.

          2. Not the same thing, but going off Wiki’s list of top 20 world wide by income, the only European companies that are less than a century old are Volkswagon and Glencore. (I checked their merger, they’d be 94.)
            The French gas copmany I’m not sure how to figure; Total SA looks like it was “founded” in 26, via being given 25% of another company in war damages. Not sure how that would count.

            The American companies over 100 years old are Exxon (via Standard Oil) and McKesson Corporation, over 50 are CVS and Walmart.

      3. That’s because they define things solely in economic terms. They compare the top 1% and bottom 50% today to the top 1% and bottom 50% from 30 years ago without recognizing that the four groups all have different people in them.

        If you define “the poor” as the bottom x% of the income distribution, you’re always going to have the poor. It doesn’t matter if everyone lives in a mansion, sits on gold toilets, and sleeps on mattresses stuffed with money, the people who only have a 50-room mansion, sit on 14k gold toilets, and sleep on mattresses stuffed with sawbucks will be considered poor.

        1. That’s one of my personal pet peeves in the poverty discussions. Sure, there’s always going to be the bottom 10%, 20%, whatever. That’s how things are defined and explained. Is it the same PEOPLE over time in those distributions? Largely not, and when you do see generational poverty, it’s generally a a question of structural enabling of poor decision making. Sometimes a result of geographic distribution and clustering.

          1. One of the under the radar things the Obama administration did was to change the federal government’s definition of poverty from an absolute standard of what one’s real condition is to a relative income definition, so that there will always be a significant number and percentage of people deemed to be in poverty no matter what. In other words, they changed the definition so that they can justify expansive government powers to end poverty while changing the very definition of poverty so that it is impossible to end no matter how much money government bequeaths on the “impoverished”

            1. The definition of “poor” somehow ignores the various benefits that often provide “the poor” an effective life style more comfortable than many a “middle-class” household. EBT cards, SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits, Section-8 vouchers, Medicaid — all without the inconvenience of having to show up for work.

              1. Ok, hold it. I’m not a fan of the whole Welfare State. That said, if you think the people on public assistance don’t have them inconvenience of showing up for work’, I have to assume that either you’ve never collected unemployment, or you’ve done so in a state with a radically different system for the two states I’ve collected unemployment in. I found the requirements time consuming and mind numbing, and I had a car both times. What it would be like if one DIDN’T have personal transportation I shudder to think. And that’s for basic unemployment. I never even tried to get any of the supplemental goodies.

                I have to assume that at least some of the effect of this is that people who are on public assistance hear people accusing them of being too lazy to show up for work and think, “Hell, if being lazy is this much work, what would having a JOB be like?”

                Maybe I’m weird, but I found having a job LESS exhausting than jumping through the hoops I needed to to collect the unemployment I was theoretically simply entitled to, because it was ‘insurance’ (yeah, right).

                Living on the dole is work. It isn’t in any way PRODUCTIVE work, and it encourages saying ‘yes, Massa Bureaucrat’ rather then developing any USEFUL habits, but it IS work.

                1. been very lucky. I applied once for unemployment, back in the 80’s, and by the time Louisiana got back to me to say “Yes, you qualify. Come in and fill out additional paperwork.” I was working another job.

                2. Washington state wasn’t hard at all– the only thing I had to show up at the office for was one training class and one application review (which they waived when I was able to deliver all the documents electronically and ahead of time), and I did most of my applications online.

                  Didn’t do SNAP.

                  Very much wish they would ditch unemployment and instead have a sort of termination account where the employer’s payments into the system are held for the worker, then run the system off of the interest on that.

                  The “training” compared disfavorably to that offered by the Navy on separation.

                3. Last time I had to file unemployment the entire process was done online.

                  OTOH, having some awareness of the petty power games bureaucrats play, I am fully aware of the apparently arbitrary calling supplicants in for interviews, for which said supplicant d-well better show up on time even if the bureaucrat arrives late or doesn’t show up at all.

                  That doesn’t make the burdens of the dole comparable to those of keeping a job. I speak not to demand less generous benefits nor more burdensome conditions. I speak for more honest reporting.

                  Ain’t never gonna happen, I know, but I shall continue to call for it.

                4. I was laid off once in, um, 2011. I collected unemployment insurance for the five weeks I was without a job. It was all done on-line and the requirements weren’t onerous. I had to not work and to say that I did three things a week to try to find work. Since I was doing roughly twice that per day, I had no trouble. It took a couple of weeks to get going, but I never even had to handle a check because it was by direct deposit.

                  Having said that, I kind of agree. Being on assistance is a lot like being in a job with no real prospects for advancement, but with good stability.

                5. but I found having a job LESS exhausting than jumping through the hoops I needed to to collect the unemployment I was theoretically simply entitled to, because it was ‘insurance’ (yeah, right).


                  You are not weird. Been there. Done that. Mind numbing sounds about right.

              2. Pre-tax, pre-assistance comparisons.

                Which I honestly do want them to use, I just want them very clearly noted as BEFORE the situation is worked on, and a reasonable attempt made at identifying the post-tax, post-assistance situation. That can help identify if the stated goal is achieved or not.

                1. Yes. If you don’t do before and after, you don’t know what’s going on.

                  I used to think I was bad at study design because I had trouble thinking up all the possible confounding factors and things that needed controlling for, and I am still grumpy about realizing this doesn’t stop nearly as many people as it should.

                  1. The thing is, if it stopped all the people it should, the entire discipline of ‘Sociology’ would go *pfft*, and all those Sociology PhDs would have to go find REAL jobs.

                  2. I think I spot the problem you have with study design: knowing what’s going on is usually the last thing wanted by those paying for the study. In fact, the public knowing what’s going on is directly inimical to their agenda.

          2. I’ve heard a leftist argue that the reason they change is that people die out of them and are replaced, which explained the apparent mobility in a study.

            1. That has to be in the top five Leftist ‘my theory doesn’t appear to match reality, but in fact reality is wrong’ excuses I’ve ever heard, for shear boneheaded stupidity.

        2. > If you define “the poor” as the bottom x% of the income distribution, you’re always going to have the poor.

          Capitalism eliminates *poverty*, while still leaving people poor.

          Socialism eliminates “poor” while putting almost everyone in poverty.

          1. I like to point out to people that the very wealthy of a couple hundred years ago would probably consider what we think of as minimal living conditions to be unfathomable luxury.

            Air conditioning?

            Music on demand?

            Hot running water?

    1. Baffled, bemused, sorrowful, but not merciful. Like most of Kipling’s creations that aren’t Evil, they live underneath The Law, and may not break it.

  6. Re the feeling sick, hope you feel better. Have you checked the Carbon Monoxide levels to make sure it isn’t CO poisoning? That is also something that could cause the symptoms you are describing.

    1. Yes – my first thought on “sudden” onset of illness in all household humans is to check for environmental factors, such as CO or possibly a new cleaning product interacting with something.

      If nothing else, Dr. House would tell you it is the first thing for which to look.

    2. First thing that came to mind, too. I’ve run into problems while remodeling.

      It could be various solvents (hydrocarbons, like the carrier for copper treatment or some enamel cleaners give a vile odor when exposed to a gas flame, including pilot lights. Lost dinner over that one once.)

      Another biggie is methylene chloride. It’s still on the market as a paint stripper/brush cleaner, but it get metabolized as CO. Very volatile, and it can go through the skin. That stuff didn’t quite kill me. I don’t use it anymore.

      1. Yeah. That once happened to my kids, where one was acting dopey and falling asleep, and then I found out that my MiL had just, the day before, varnished the floor on which her mattress was put. Got her out into the living room, aired out what we could, and did a serious “what were you thinking?” comment to MiL, who had not even considered that wasn’t the best time to lay down some varnish.

      1. Eeep. I didn’t think of those possibilities (CO or various cleaners/solvents, despite your comment about finding the cleaner overwhelming from elsewhere in the house), but I’ve definitely been in places where there appeared to be plenty of potential for air exchange but it nevertheless didn’t seem to be happening a whole lot going.

      1. Or a pandemic. Practicing socialist distancing is the proper response – remember to keep all socialists at least 90 miles away from the USA!

    1. I think it is actually the first ever war-meme. And the most successful. 100 million humans dead and still counting.

      Critical Theory is the current war meme on the attack in the West. Once you realize what it is and stop trying to -reason- with the unreasonable, it is very easy to counter. You just say “Get Off My Lawn.” You can add “asshole” at the end, but that’s optional. ~:D

  7. We’re all in this together really annoys me. To the point that I’m liable to punch someone one of these days over it. The longer I’m forced to participate in the kabuki theater of wearing an ineffective face mask the more anti-social I become. I work at a research university in the department that houses the safety office and we’re all supposed to be wearing masks, even outside. I want bang my head against a brick wall until my skull cracks open.

    1. If not for that pesky little detail of charges (“assault” and “manslaughter” come immediately to mind), I’d say you’re thinking about the wrong skulls being cracked open. 😛

    2. That phrase seems to get used far too much by the celebs in Pedowood as part of the onslaught of COVID PSAs. No, buddy. We’re *not* all in this together. You can get tested, get hydroxychloroquine and have your minions bring you dinner. Not true for us.
      [2000 profanity laced words deleted]

      1. Oh no! You just said the Name Which Must Not Be Mentioned! Do you want to bring the Corona Cops down on us?

      2. The “we’re all in this together” catechism is designed to get people used to it and to try to condition people to it, so that when they impose even more draconian restrictions as part of their “green new deal” in order to “save the Earth”, they can trot it out again and use the conditioning as a weapon to enforce conformity and obedience.

        1. They keep tightening the screws, bit by bit, even though after 8 months they have to be aware that we’re not living in ‘The Last Centurion’.

          They believe they’re boiling a frog. They will be ‘Shocked, Shocked!’ when they find out they’ve been poking a bear…

          1. Oregon residents will doubtless be shocked by this news:

            Oregon Governor Caught Violating Her Own Mask Order
            Oregon Governor Kate Brown (D-Portland) and her security detail appear to have violated Brown’s own mask mandate, according to a post that has gone viral on Facebook. In addition, a member of that security detail, an Oregon state trooper, has yet to be publicly recognized for rescuing a teenage girl from drowning. A witness to the incident last Sunday is now demanding that the trooper be awarded a medal from the Oregon State Police, but so far Brown has not publicly acknowledged the heroic act by the police officer.

            In an interview with PJ Media, the witness, a woman named Rebekah (she asked us not to include her last name out of fear of retaliation from Gov. Brown) described the scene. Rebekah brought her kids to a riverside park on a hot summer day to go swimming. She happened upon Kate Brown and her Oregon State Police security detail on a trail next to the park in Marion County. None were wearing masks, despite a mid-July executive order requiring masks outdoors, not just inside public buildings. …

            1. Rumor has it we’re about to be on travel restrictions, with in the state. Hopefully she’ll hold off until end of month when we’ve already left for Yellowstone.

                1. I hate to link to MSM stories, but the Fishwrap of Record has this:

                  https://www.oregonlive.com/coronavirus/2020/08/oregon-considering-potential-travel-restrictions-to-slow-spread-of-covid-19.html

                  Details are (purposely?) missing, but it looks like interstate, primarily Cali to Oregon. FWIW, Klamath County cumulative case count is up to a stratospheric 201, with the horrendous death count of 2. /MSM-panicspeak

                  Knowing DKB, the opportunity it could have for economic chaos in our area (we’re the market center for Modoc and eastern Siskiyou counties in Cali) might be seen as a plus. She’s have the opportunity to screw us over (any given day, there are boatloads of Californians shopping in K-Falls), as well as doing a favor to Gavin Noisome by screwing over the north county California Deplorables. At a guess, if the border were closed, a lot of people would have their 80 mile round trip shopping excursions increased by a factor of 4.

                  1. Oof — when I was a very wee tad, I remember driving with my mother on grocery shopping excursions from Lakeview, Oregon to Klamath Falls, Oregon (93 miles one way). There was a Safeway store (still is!) in Lakeview, but I suppose my parents weighed out costs and decided it was cheaper to drive 180 miles and fill up the back of the station wagon with a couple weeks of groceries rather than shop in the small town’s one grocery store.
                    About a decade later, we lived in a VERY small “town” in central Oregon (less than 100 population) which had no grocery stores at all, which meant that one could go either north or south for about 70 miles to buy anything other than over-priced gasoline or a meal at one of three town restaurants.
                    And that wasn’t trying to cross a state border.
                    If people who live in the California hamlets of Dorris, MacDoel, Tulelake, or Alturas can’t cross the border, that means a very long trip to Weed, or perhaps Yreka.
                    This is not a good thing, since most of the people who live in those areas are not made of money.
                    But the progressive philosophy would be to just coerce those people into the cities of their own “free will”, for better control…err, I mean services and benefits.

                    1. They’ll probably hit Reno– I know the aunt whose family is in Gerlach did that, sometimes, after we weren’t available to “pick up a few things” in Klamath for them.

                      If you’re buying shelf-stable, it really is worth the drive– could get a 12-flat of canned tomatoes for about what you’d pay for six or eight cans, a mega-pack of TP for maybe twice the price of the little packs, soap is at most half the price, frozen goods are available and inexpensive….

                2. No kidding.

                  At least going, we don’t hit an interstate until Idaho … Cross I-5, or can, take 126, whatever to Burns, and up the canyons to Nyssa on Oregon border. Then we pick up I-84/80/20/22 🙂 across Idaho to W. Yellowstone, Wyoming.

                  Will worry about coming home on I-84, etc., then. At least we’ll have Oregon plates. Besides, we’ll be at 800-dial-a-tree, so no news, what’d we know?

              1. Hmm. I have a medical trip over the Cascades coming up soon. $SPOUSE is already nervous, partly due to proximity to the People’s Republic of Ashland, and also from some serious political vandalism in Medford. I read the article on Despicable Kate Brown’s behavior just before, and it should be noted that the person who caught Kate violating the order Must Not Be Acknowledged, because the upstart serf had the audacity to wear a Trump 2020 hat.

                Refusing to recognize her own protector’s heroism seems to be part and parcel of the “it’s gotta be me” attitude DKB always shows.

          2. The problem with the left is not they don’t read dystopian stories, its that they think those stories are “how to” guides; just look at their effort to emulate 1984’s Oceania.

    3. We’re all in this together — but some of us are in deeper than others and losing our appreciation for the people standing atop us, keeping us down.

    4. The thing that annoys me about That Phrase (WAITT) is that the people most given to spouting it are the ones most demonstrably NOT in this with us. They have pleasant little spaces to retreat into, and privileges not open to The Common Herd.

      Will I accept WAITT from my neighbors? Sure. For the most part, we are. But it’s probably a good thing I gave up on broadcast News some decades back, or my blood pressure would be a lot higher, and I’d be stalking some talking heads with a nine-iron.

  8. Tom Watson Jr, the longtime CEO of IBM, wrote a wonderful memoir (‘Father, Son & Co’) in which he mentions that when he was young (high school age, IIRC), he was interested in a local girl whose mother ruled him off-limits…why? Although IBM was not then the behemoth it later became, it was a successful and well-known company, and Tom’s father, Tom Sr, was making plenty of money. But the Watsons were’t an ‘old family.’

    I don’t think there’s much of this sort of thing today, but there’s a modern equivalence, based on educational credentials…not knowledge, just the brand of the college.

    1. That’s fine.

      I hope Harvard, etc. mothers keep that up. I don’t want one of their blue haired, self-harpooned land whales trying to marry one of my nephews.

      1. I would hope any young relatives of yours would have benefited at least a tiny amount from your example. It doesn’t take much common sense at all to tell that sort are toxic.

  9. While class warfare may not be real, classism on the part of the ‘intellectual’ left remains rampant.

    Real-life example just today from our local school board, who have decided that while schools must remain closed, they are going to provide daycare in the school building via the YMCA, so that kids whose parents work can do their virtual schoolwork there supervised. You know, like school, but with only those icky lower-class (and where I live, heavily minority) daycare workers getting exposed instead of the super-protected, over-educated, Union member teachers, who are specialler than anyone else who has to work.

    Oh, and since the teachers will be teaching from their classrooms, the kids will only be allowed to use “common areas”, because trying to learn online from auditoriums, cafeterias, and hallways should be very safe, comfortable, and distraction-free.

    Oh, and it will mostly be paid by the federal taxpayer (that’s you and me, folks) via CARES grants. So no matter where in the US you are, you are now on the hook to use local East Coast State’s school buildings to literally warehouse kids (instead of the usual figurative sort where we at least give lipservice to providing education). The rest of the cost, naturally, will be borne by single parents and those too poor to live on one income who need somewhere for their kids to go while schools are closed.

            1. Hey, you’re having way better luck swapping e-mails with her than I did. Mine never even got there.

              Hotmail delenda est.

                1. You gave me that one before, but then Greebo died before I tried it.

                  And to be honest I’m not sure it’s worth rewriting. I don’t fault you for any of it, but I’ve had “multiple critical failures in a row” kind of luck with this guest post – the hotmail trouble was arguably the least of it – and no one ever expressed any interest in reading it anyway. Might be best to just drop it.

                  1. No one here expresses interest in reading anything till they see it whole.
                    Okay, other than interest in two or three lines of a beginning, but that’s fiction and also why I learned never to post those unless I intend to write them.

                    1. Fair enough. If you still want it I’ll try the scifi address, though I warn you that if gmail treats me the way hotmail has I might just have to burn down the internet.

                      One thing first: I can remove the Greebo stuff if you like, but it occurred to me that I could leave it in as a sort of tribute to him if you’re comfortable with that. It’s entirely your call.

                    2. >> “Your wish . . .”

                      Eh, not so much a wish as recognition of the inevitable. 🙂

                      I didn’t know about the sequel, though. I also found this:

                      I wonder if Leslie Fish knows what horror she’s unleashing?

  10. Frankly, I think a lot of the ‘white privilege!’ posturing on the part of upper-class whites is just another sordid and ugly bit of class snobbery, allowing them to dump bucketloads of scorn on working-class and relatively unprivileged whites.
    It’s not ‘white’ privilege – it’s plain old privilege privilege – but the exercise thereof lets upper-crust social justice campaigners off the hook.

    1. So much this! Just one more way of looking down on dirty rednecks who are to stupid/racist to realize they are just as privileged as rich white people by dint of birth.

  11. Only with more sex stuff, and — in their heads but nor really since they’re now for straight up apartheid under the guise of safe spaces — racial integration.)

    Not more sex stuff either. That’s in their heads like racial integration. Trans is the “black student unions” of it.

    Right now the sex stuff is where race stuff was 2005 or so. The big battles are mostly won. “Full integration”, in this case gay marriage, is in the cards even if the courts don’t intervene. In fact, it’ll be better if the courts don’t intervene, at least for society. Using the courts, however, creates more foot soldiers. Obergefell is a lot like Roe with abortion. Given it is completely court created and binary, it leaves gays knowing one justice is all that stand between them and no gay marriage, or at least they can be frightened with that.

    However, keeping said foot soldiers means a new case is needed and both trans and pedo were trial ballooned the next week, with trans getting traction.

    But trans is actually at some cross purposes with gay. LG is barely a community, LGB is adding people they think are lying, and LGBT is adding people are cross purposes.

    But trans is advancing. We’ve gone from “if you want to prove you’re not a lesbian, suck it” being something rude men say to “if you want to prove you’re a lesbian, suck it” being said by transwomen. Race, size, appearance, and genitals preferences are not considered istaphobic. There will be no individual choice in sexuality in their utopia. Some people will be allowed to demand sex and you won’t be allowed to say ‘no’.

    That ‘no preferences are valid’ mindset, at least around genitals, is overtaking the BDSM world and, no, it is not the same the vague bisexuality a lot of people wind up having in that world. It is different because it is born of fear of badthink instead of hedonism and fear of missing the latest fun thing.

    BDSM is more about political posturing than even the worst of the “freak the mundanes” contingent was two decades ago (there was that as a political form, just as there was among gay men and lesbians in the 70s). I miss the days when it was about sensation play and adrenaline junkies and out and out hedonism.

    I figure sex will be circumscribed in a way worse than what the Boomers pretended came before them by 2030 at this rate, barring a change of course.

    1. People talk about “backlash,” but they don’t believe in it. It can’t happen to them. I just had a flash of an alternate “history,” where the conditions of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” were caused by backlash rather than whatever does cause it (“rabid Christian fundamentalists take over,” I gather). But yeah, I’m a straight Christian of a certain age and I could see us both being unhappy with future sexual mores.

      1. Actually, Handmaids Tale implies the fundie takeover was at least partially a backlash. She doesn’t dwell on it, but some of Offred’s memories are not of some progressive paradise. It was more exchamging one poor treatment, let’s call it Clinton-Weinstein feminism, for another, Iranian Islamic Republic style (which Atwood said was her model).

        1. Iranian Islamic Republic style (which Atwood said was her model).

          Strange that she also has said that she “knew” American Conservative Christians that would have supported the “world” of her story.

          1. She thought the IR was the logical end state of American funded.

            I didn’t say he was 100% on target, just that she at least percieved what she imaginied would result from a backlash.

            1. OK.

              I have not read that book to know if her “world” was in part the result of a backlash.

              I disagree that the IR is the “end-result” of American Religious Conservatism.

              I can imagine a “backlash” that plenty of good atheists/agnostics wouldn’t like that would be far from a Christian Theocracy.

              1. As I said below, I can imagine a path that could have gotten there, but it’s narrow and threaded.

                IMNSHO, the less likely the path the author needed history to thread to get from A to B the greater her responsibility is to give me details that sell that path. Atwood gives a few, but not enough. Sure, I can fill them in, but if I’m doing the work we’re getting my reactionary US dystopia, which is a very different beast.

                1. > I can imagine a path that could have gotten there, but it’s narrow and threaded.

                  I can imagine growing wings and flying, but that doesn’t mean there’s any thing vaguely “reality” about it.

                  I know a lot of religious people very well. Some are my mom’s family (at several were considering taking orders at one point, and her sister spent time in a convent). Some are my dad’s family, which are all over the board. Some are friends and friends of friends.

                  I know others by one or two steps removed.

                  Some are very conservative, some aren’t. What they don’t have–even the “religious conservative” ones, is a consistency of belief that would band them together long enough for them to take over the government.

                  They aren’t like the IIR AT ALL. Hell, the Southern Baptists can’t even get drinking and dancing banned above the county level.

            2. Funny how the same leftists who cheer the work of Atwood and others and routinely denounce religion as irrational and theocracy as fundamentally evil are so anxious to cozy up to Iran’s ruling theocracy and us utterly unworried that the “irrational and fundamentally evil” religious theocracy could get nukes because somehow normal rational deterrence will somehow keep the Mullahs from using those nukes.

              1. Deterrence? Nothing they’ve said or done resembles deterrence in any way.

                What I don’t get is, how can they Believe in appeasement, when they know THEY can never be appeased?

          2. When I read the book, I was pretty sure the Commander’s wife was Tammy Fay Bakker. I remain mixed on if the Commander was supposed to be Jim Bakker.

            My problem with her theory that the end state of American Evangelical Fundamentalism would be an analog to the Islamic Republic was not that such a strand did not exist (I saw it at a few sessions of vacation Bible school), but that the sequence of events where that minor strain became the tail that wagged the dog was tenuous in her world building. Sitting here in 2020, I can unroll the current state of Leftism in the Democratic party back to 1968 and see the map. I can at least conceive of a similar map leading from some point, Roe would be a good one, to a circa 2020 AEF revolt that leads to an IR equivalent, but it’s one hell of an alternate history.

            RAH probably had the outline Atwood needed in his notes for his never written “The Sound of His Wings”. Nehemiah Scudder is a perfect model for the Commander.

            What would differentiate the theocracy Atwood imagined versus the one Heinlein did is the concern over birthrates. People forget, or possibly never knew, that a major problem of Atwood’s world is a fertility collapse. I am not aware of Atwood saying she was familiar with the Ceaușescu’s regimes fertility policies, but they would fit into Atwood’s world. In fact, a lot of Atwood’s world in the first novel (I have no interest in the recent sequel) maps well to what we now know were conditions in Romania and the USSR with regards to pollution, a factor in her fertility crisis and what the undesirable population was used to clean up.

            Sometimes I think I’m the only Hun to stand up for the book. It isn’t the grand work about Trump’s American people have claimed for 4 years, not was it a “1984 of the American Patriarchy”. However, it is not worthless, thoughtless dreck either. It is a moderately well written dystopian novel with many good ideas never really explored or developed and a decent use of real world analogs.

            The real sad thing to my mind is there are at least three (off the top of my head and three decade old memory) hinted at in the novel which could have been much more interesting stories than the one Atwood wrote.

            Also, Offred, being the perfect feminist victim, is a boring, very low agency protagonist. That doesn’t help the story either. The villains and two allies are much more interesting. Why didn’t we get the resistance fighter who is another Handmaid as the titular Handmaid. Her maybe two paragraphs were much more interesting that Offred’s tale.

            1. When she’s not hammering “victim victim,” Atwood can be a good writer. I’ve gotten pulled into several of her books, then dropped them and walked away. It’s just, as you say, she spends far too much time with “Offred is a passive victim” and not enough on the other possibilities. Her world-building was pretty darn good, too. Not as good as some, but a lot better than many dystopias or feminist-sermon-in-a-novel-s.

              1. I think of her a lot like John Scalzi. There are good ideas and some decent writing in Old Man’s War. Even on religion he does better than average for modern leftist writers. Sure, he takes the Sermon on the Mount cheap shot that crowd loves, but the single most advanced aliens in his universe are 100% religiously motivated and a theocracy. Given modern leftists are convinced religion will die off in two generations (and have believed that for at least four generations), that’s actually risk taking in their world.

                Then he folded and wrote the correct message in the sequels. Alan Steele did it with the later Coyote books (seriously, hard core recycling and you run out of resources like iron…either you’re recycling or your not and apparently inventing new materials stopped when we got space travel or something).

                Atwood can write a sentence and tell a tale, but she gets distracted writing the correct narrative among them. I wonder if that got worse as time went by, but I don’t care enough to start with her early books and jump forward a few years at a time to tell.

                1. I’ve read a little Scalzi and just couldn’t get into it. At least most of it doesn’t drive me nuts. Except the “short” story he did for Ringo’s “Black Tide Rising,” anthology. It consisted of nothing but conversation between two guards on a wall. And if I could have entered the story (and returned!) It would have been to smack the guard who wanted to talk about media SF right into next week.

                  1. betting Scalzi tried to write the lamest thing possible to get it tossed so he could whine about puppies being mean to him, and the Ringo et al putting it in as is so everyone could see the garbage Scalzi was willing to turn in and claim was valid writing.

                2. > you run out of resources like iron…

                  Geology must be different in his universe. The core of the Earth is the size of Pluto and is made of “nickel-iron”, which you find in the kitchenware department labeled as “stainless steel.”

                  Drilling down to the core would be a big project, but way cheaper than mining the asteroids…

                  1. In fairness I picked iron at random and not from memory. Maybe it wasn’t mentioned, but yeah. Somehow by 2400 we’d used up the solar system?

            2. My problem with her book was “I’ve heard this story before”.

              The US as a Christian Theocracy has been pushed in fiction (and political rhetoric) long before Atwood wrote her version.

              While YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary) always applies, for me the only thing new was the “Evil Patriarchy” part which is what I heard most about.

  12. The big thing that our Leftist “betters” hate the most about the American “class” system (such as we have) is-

    1-There is a massive amount of mobility in it, especially from the lowest to the middle, and
    2-Anybody reaching the top doesn’t have to start trying to make themselves a part of the “upper class” immediately, and the upper class has little choice on too many occasions to work with them and their attitudes.

    The first one-good friend of mine was lower-class at best in Queens, joined the Navy, worked his ass off, and he’s now married and has a house and career and everything in Hayward. That he’s blacker than most people that claim to be “black” made it harder, but he did it. And, I know more examples as well.

    The second-Elon Musk is the first that comes to mind. A lot of the early tech boom billionaires. Hell, Sam Walton is still Middle American in his appearance and morality. The “upper class” would try to ignore them, but they tend to have money, which they want…

    It frustrates them to no end, and while it might be harder now to do things, I don’t see the possibility of mobility changing any time soon. Short of Biden being “elected” into office and a massive Democratic slate in the House and Senate. And, that mobility makes it even harder to foment class warfare in the US. We have the possibility-see Minneapolis. But Seattle and Portland are mostly people from lower middle class to lower upper class origins afraid that they will be unable to rise or even hold even, combined with a viscous froth of Marxist cant and societal pounding for over forty years and some change.

    1. “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.”
      ― Ronald Wright, A Short History of Progress

      The left has been working their tails off trying to change both the reality and the perception of that, with, sadly, some success.

    2. Err, Sam Walton died in 1992. His children stayed mostly conservative, although they backed Clinton in 2016 (possibly personal conflict with DJT’s abrasive personality). The third generation, though, is heavily Democrat.

      1. I consider what happened with WalMart a prime example of the evils of the inheritance tax. When Walt was alive, the Left might HATE WalMart, but they had a tough time coming up with a legitimate reason. The company’s policies were focused on providing both a good place to shop and a good place to work for people on the lower rungs. But since Walt’s death, because he couldn’t simply pass the whole thing to his offspring, there has been nobody in a position to tell some Suit “Don’t have the company act that way, my name is on the building!”. WalMart is still doing OK, policy wise, but there have been real blunders.

        Another case in point happened with McDonalds some years back. Some guy happened on that year’s instant win million dollar game piece, and gave it to his pastor. Now the way these games are run is the company sponsoring them buys an insurance policy that pays off the big prizes if they turn up. And the insurance companies obviously won’t pay off if the rules aren’t followed, because the price of the policy is set by the probabilities. But it took THREE DAYS for McDonalds to realize that saying “the pieces are not transferable, so we aren’t paying” represented a public relations disaster that was likely to cost them a hell of a lot more than paying the million out of company funds (because the insurance wasn’t going to pay out). If Ray Kroc had still been alive, I have to believe he would have caught that one HELL of a lot faster. I’m told he was something of an @$$hole, but he knew good PR and bad PR.

        1. Yup, I worked for the company through that period.
          Sam Walton would never issue “guidance” to Wall Street like other large companies. The company was run for the long term and forget about the stock price, it was about the people. And during that period the stock did quite well because the business did good.
          After Mr. Sam died the bean counters slowly took over. Not issuing “guidance” was one of the first things they changed. That ended up making managers work to make their numbers meet or beat the guidance instead of thinking long-term. If you’re concentrating on short-term numbers instead of the long-term health of the company then things slowly deteriorate down at the worker level.
          They’re still not a *bad* company – mostly because a portion of the culture Sam Walton built remains. But they’re not what they once were.

          1. There are many favorable stories from people who had met Sam Walton, almost all positive.

            There are no good stories about Walton’s spawn, who are all hard left.

          2. That is why demonizing the “Robber” Barons shows how little people knew. As cspschofield said, his name was on the damn building. A lot of his sense of self, his identity, was tied up in it and thus making sure it would stand the test of time as opposed to the next quarters earning, informed his choices. Same with Ford, Carnegie, Vanderbuilt, et al. Now, there name wasn’t on all of it (Vanderbuilt’s railroad was The New York Central…Carnegie’s was on the steal, US Steel was created when he sold out). Despite not liking a lot of his shenanigans at Telsa and his solar company, you see the same at SpaceX with Musk.

            It probably says something about the withered souls of most leftists that they just think rich people like that are all about counting money and not about building something. Even Shelley understood that FFS, which is how his…not mocking, but pointing out how it doesn’t ever last forever worked so well.

            1. Most of the first generation of wealthy are charitable…but, on their terms. They aren’t interested in bloating up an organization, they want something done with their money.

            2. Trump talks a lot in his “How to build wealth” books about his branding and having his name on the work and the buildings. Too many leftists (and some rightists) attribute that to egotism rather than pride in his work. Dude is absolutely an egotistical blowhard. But he WORKS. And he has high standards. And expects others to uphold them, as well.

            3. A lot of the ‘Robber Baron’ narrative comes from the early Progressives…who hated the Industrialists. They obsessed over the railroad barons, it no small part because it was easy to depict them as a bunch of profiteers. Which is somewhat fair, but misses a major point.

              Overall, the railroad network was only so-so profitable. The trunk lines made money, but the feeder lines tended to lose, and without the feeder lines the trunk lines would have, too. The big money was made in real estate along the railroad right of ways, and a lot of that came from government grants, which has been depicted as ‘corruption’ (or perhaps Corruption!). Which kinda misses that the railroad network is an example of one of the few things that, historically, governments are good at; fostering networks that the free market doesn’t want to pay for, but which will generate a great deal of wealth for everybody. Sensible people didn’t think that a trans-continental railroad would be profitable enough to pay off the cost of building it in a reasonable amount of time, so what you got were gamblers. And there needed to be a bribe. The land was worth little to nothing UNTIL the railroad was built. THEN it was worth several fortunes. And the Progressives have been playing up the shady nature of the gamblers who undertook the project and carrying on about the value of the land involved (ignoring that it started essentially worthless) ever since.

                1. One of their most frequent gotchas on Trump is that he’s had businesses go bankrupt. What they can’t stand is that he kept trying until he won, and he’s won more than he’s lost.

                2. Not really. The Progressives (like most other Elites through History) were looking for ways to badmouth the Elite that preceded them. And the Railroad Barons were among the sketchiest. Especially since most people don’t understand enough history (or economics) to grasp the dynamics of a wealth-creating network that individual customers won’t voluntarily pay for. Canals. Railroads. Rural electrification. Phone Systems. The Internet. All hav needed some government muscle to come into existence, even if it were only the granting of a monopoly for a time.

                  The problem with such networks is that, once they government has decided to support them it frequently continues to do so long after the logic that supports them has changed. Then you get Amtrak.

                3. No, the progressives were always super white supremacist; the confederates also disliked the railroads. XD

                  The War of Northern Aggression was about Anti-Capitalism, not slavery. Lee, Forrest, et al. were simply trying to stop Lincoln from handing the country to his rail masters.

                  In all seriousness, we really do owe the confederates some praise. They had the courage of their convictions, and they were a little more intellectually coherent than their modern heirs.

                  1. *shrug*

                    I still think the Civil War was mostly about a faltering Elite trying to hold onto their position when reality was changing. And coherence doesn’t enter into it much when the South was jabbering about States’ Rights, but didn’t want to recognize the rights of the Northern States to say, “We don’t recognize Slavery as a legal status. If a ‘slave’ gets here, whether on his own or you brought him, that person is free. Period.”

                    1. Just a note to remind everybody that discussions of the ACW are a no-no by decree of Sarah.

                    2. Yeah, me too.

                      I had thought I’d put my tongue firmly in cheek enough to be acceptable. To have stayed on the right side of the line, I would have needed to sit on the urge to write that last bit.

                      I’m sorry.

                    3. (Shrug.) From the perspective of the Southerner that slave was property, was chattel. Just because my dog/cow/horse wanders onto your property doesn’t make him your dog/cow/horse.

                      That there is a fundamental distinction to be made between a human (exceptional!) and an animal was as irrelevant to Democrats of that era as is the difference between “a clump of cells” and a developing human embryo to their modern heirs.

                    4. Just because my dog/cow/horse wanders onto your property doesn’t make him your dog/cow/horse.

                      Depends on the laws in place for an area– I know there are some places rule that if you don’t keep your animal under control and it gets into other ones, you lose the animal, lose rights to it, etc. Example, trespassing dogs can be shot in rural Washington, and the owner fined for failure to control it.
                      (possibly all of the state, but I’m only familiar with the areas where animals have right of way for traffic)

                    5. I may be wrong, but I think there may be a minor distinction to be made between shooting my dog (which is generally only accepted if he is threatening or damaging your property — damages for which I am liable, IIRC) and declaring the son of a bitch liberated (or, indeed, my legal equal.)

                      That is but one of the idiocies involved in a legal regime to support keeping humans as chattel.

                    6. Being on the land is enough– the “to stop damage” version is pretty standard, although it may be a dead letter in some places. (this is before things like pet laws that boil down to “if they can get your pet out of your yard they can take it”)

                      An added wrinkle would be exotic pet law– I know some states flatly forbid possession of various animals.

                      There are very big existing differences in animal property laws, so while they might feel it is unjust to rule that failure to control their property means they lose it, that doesn’t give them a legal leg to stand on.
                      Those kind of disputes always have both sides feel the other is unjust, that’s what makes a dispute.

                      As said stupid goal requires pretending that a human is no more than a dog, they can’t justly object when neighboring states go “fine, then you’ll be on the same restrictions as a dog.”

                      But it doesn’t work if they can’t force everybody else to pretend that it’s true.

                    7. … it doesn’t work if they can’t force everybody else to pretend that it’s true.

                      Oh, well then … The Democrat Party would never force the country to act as if anything unproven were true.

              1. The big railroads were a direct result of the push by the Union during the Civil War to have uniform gauge for the rail lines so that troops and supplies could move faster. It gave the Union a huge advantage over the Confederacy, which often had to move troops and supplies from one train to another when they came to the end of one rail line to another, because they had different gauge and the same trains could not use the same tracks as a result.

                This need for uniformity became standard nationally after the war, which naturally led to consolidation of the rail industry itself.

              2. Burton W. Folsom Jr., professor of History at Hillsdale College (ret. 2016) has written extensively and interestingly on the Robber Baron myth. From Wiki:

                Folsom distinguishes between political entrepreneurs, who ran inefficient businesses supported by government favors, and market entrepreneurs, who succeeded by providing better and lower-cost products or services, usually while facing vigorous competition.

                In contemporary parlance, political entrepreneurs are called crony capitalists.

                Along with Amity Schlaes, Professor Folsom has done much to correct the propaganda of Progressive revisionists. Youtube offers a number of his presentations.

  13. The French revolution wasn’t class warfare. Yes, aristo, aristo a la lanterne. But what it actually was was the violent reorganization of a society whose ruling elite had become obsolete and unable to adapt to new economic circumstances, and also who refused to let society change normally.

    Some credit (heh) must be accorded the massive debt run up in a seven-year war with Britain followed by extensive support for a revolutionary movement against that adversary. Massive debt and the steps to reduce it often lead to overthrow of the Powers-That-Be.

    Denizens of Washington DC, New York, Illinois, and California ought take note.

    1. You can go back farther Louis XIV started the mess, his great-grandson(!) Louis XV kept digging. One of DeToqueville’s points in his book about the Ancien Regime was how the Revolution continued the policies that started with Louis XIII.

  14. That would be Mexico, where rich leftists slaughtered the poor peasants and middle class townspeople, and the poor called upon priests and the Knights of Columbus to lead them in battle against the atheists who were killing them for worshipping and believing in Christianity. You know, the Cristero War.

            1. To be fair, and little understood background of the apparitions in Fatima, is that Portugal was going through similar issues either at the same time or close enough. Early communists were REAL believers.

  15. [The priests] were supposed to keep bad things away, and didn’t.

    I don’t mind a bar/club assessing me a two-drink minimum — provided the drink is what I requested. When my Cuba Libre has no discernible rum, when my call-brand scotch proves to be bar stock, then I get irked. It is one thing to be honestly over-charged, but when they cheat you on top of that it becomes insulting.

    Similarly, with government a little honest graft is tolerable, even expected. But when the dam collapses because the contractor skimped on the concrete and rebar, that goes beyond graft.

    We pay a premium for a name-brand over a generic because the name-brand supposedly exercises higher levels of quality control — but if the quality drops so does the brand name.

    1. I have argued Buddy Cianci should not have gone to prison for his corruption as Mayor of Providence. Under his administration, which was corrupt, projects in the works for over a decade (or even decades) got underway and done.

      Why? Because the possibility of some skim got a lot of people working hard to remove all the petty roadblocks to the project. The GooGoo types appeared to their better natures. Buddy appealed to their undersized wallets.

    2. The idea of “honest graft”: you take a cut or hand the contract to your cousin who was nowhere near the lowest bidder, but the work gets done. That’s got a long history in the U.S….actually pretty much everywhere humans have been. The problem with it, though, is that it seems like it almost inevitably turns into just plain corruption. Mayor Bob gave the contract to Cousin Juan who could do the job–but then Mayor Bob Jr. got elected, and Cousin Jose considered himself just as entitled to the contract as his dad was, only he couldn’t do the work, so he charged a little more, bribed a few inspectors, and eventually the whole thing falls apart.

        1. In certain circumstances, the ‘Boss’ system works better than the representative democracy it its a corruption of. The immigrants of New York City knew how to work with Tammany Hall, but had no clue how to work with elected officialdom (and the anti-Tammany types had zero interest in addressing the problems of the poor that Tammany did). But as matters go along, the crooked Elite get just as distant from their need to actually provide service as any other kind of calcified Elite.

  16. It has long been my impression that while Marxists rage at the rich their main target has always been the middle class who are the buffer zone between the envious poor and disdainful rich. Our progressive administrations have done their best to destroy our middle class and now Wuflu looks like it may help them finish the job. I fear the loss of that buffer

    1. Pretty much. IIRC, Marx claimed that the existing middle-class would end up withering away, and this would set the groundwork for the great proletarian revolution. But the middle-class has stubbornly refused to vanish, thereby blocking the revolution from getting started.

        1. That’s reverse order. The Killing Fields came after the Communist takeover of Cambodia, and were based on the romanticizing of agrarian life. Our esteemed hostess often references similar attitudes (though to date not as fatal to the population at large) among those who would denigrate the Industrial Revolution. According to the Khmer Rouge, farmers in the countryside were superior to everything else, hence all trappings of Western culture – which brought about the industrial revolution and encouraged people to leave the countryside and move to the cities (probably a gross simplification of the Khmer Rouge philosophy, but it more or less fits with what I’ve heard about it) – must be destroyed. According to Marx, the middle class was supposed to disappear *before* the proletariat uprising, and be one of the causes of it. But when the Khmer Rouge took power and created the Killing Fields, the middle class was still very much in existence in Cambodia.

          1. Many of the farmers were that middle class. When Pot’s lot started stirring up things the smart farmers fled ASAP (some helped along by other farmers making claims to the Rouge in hopes the gator wouldn’t eat them) and soon there were few farmers, and famine in a place known for massive food production.
            Also known as the Zimbabwe(ZimBob’sWay) plan.

      1. Not only has the middle class stubbornly refused to vanish, it keeps providing an escape hatch to the proletariat.

  17. But the picture in everyone’s head right now is “classes” in “permanent war” which is an invention of Marx and has no contact with reality.

    Thomas Sowell’s book “Marxism” is a good one for folk to read (well, pretty much anything by Sowell is a pearl of great price). Sowell was a Marxist in his youth so his description and critique gives some very valuable insights.

    One of the things he pointed out was that Marx defined “class” as being in struggle with some other class. A group, no matter what similarities they might have one to another, is not a “class” unless it’s in conflict with some other group. So, once you’ve defined classes as being “in conflict” it’s easy to mix definitions, use a more conventional definition of “class” but then apply the “Marxist” definition as though it were a law of nature. Classic fallacy of equivocation.

    Marxism is full of that–non-standard definitions simply declared and then treated as though they apply in the case of the standard definitions. And why I am such a big fan of an expression Sowell is wont to use (quoting Oliver Wendall Holmes, Jr.) “Think things not words.” Words can often be used to obfuscate. The things behind the words are generally much clearer.

  18. [T]he picture in everyone’s head right now is “classes” in “permanent war” which is an invention of Marx and has no contact with reality.

    It has one point of contact with Reality. “Classes” are often an expression of Caste, translating Social standing into Economic position. This is, in a way, the underlying truth about the Dress For Success concept: people in business respond subliminally to markers of social status.

    Because Marx addresses only the artifact of the deeper societal phenomenon his analysis is inherently flawed, like alchemists persisting in the belief in phlogiston or physicists defending the existence of aether.

      1. I posit, particularly after reading in the last week an article that said the universe was far more regular than expected, that Æther / Dark Matter is actually the manifestation of Will. From my perspective, the Will that enforced the Words of Creation.

      2. Not as I understand it.

        I haven’t read History of Theories of Aether and Electricity yet. I understand that Aether was a media for the vibrations we now understand as electromagnetic waves. I also understand that dark matter is something else entirely.

  19. For those who medically cannot tolerate conventional facemasks: Kid who works at Walmart was wearing one of these; asked him about it, and he said it’s because he has asthma and can’t tolerate air restriction. When the rule is a “face covering” without specifics, they can’t very well object.

    Airsoft paintball mesh mask:

    There are numerous models; this was just the first cheap one I came to. (I should get one to use when chopping weeds with the big goat, so I don’t eat so much detritus.)
    .

        1. I’d love to see (or hear about) the reaction to you wearing it. 😀

          1. I still need to try it on and make sure I can breathe comfortably in it, but there’s no trouble with it I’m hoping to try it out at Wal-Mart soon. They’re the only place I normally go that’s really bugging people about masks.

          2. No reactions to my shemagh at all. Tends to make my glasses fog up, though.

            Not going to have the matching mirrorshades, though. The mirror film I got isn’t flexible enough to follow the curvature of the lenses on my spare glasses.

        2. I saw a person wearing one of these in a home supply store (Lowe’s to be exact) the other day!
          It wasn’t an expensive leather version. People in line were chuckling and asking him about it.

  20. Theory of class warfare lets situations that are sometimes at war and sometimes have a de facto peace consensus be described as unrelenting warfare.

    It is used to justify situations where peace consensus never really exists. Lenin and Stalin wanted situations where anyone who did not implement their whims would be murdered. The reciprocity of a peace agreement is not met; the lead tyrant holds to no promises, and no one else is willing to tick him off by protecting people who had done nothing that was previously considered wrong.

    It has a somewhat lower capacity for peace than tribal savages who know nothing other than endemic warfare.

    Teaching Christ could be an answer to tribal savagery.

    The modern woke are too exquisitely ‘educated’ for that.

    That would seem to leave ‘civilize them with a Krag’. However, one spiritual discipline and rebellion against Marx is refusing to solve policy problems by selecting possible solutions from the set of solutions that theory can describe.

    No theory can never capture all of the possibilities of a group of people. Theory that is a basis of policy can motivate changes in behavior that make theory based in prior behavior obsolete. That we do not seem to be able to persuade these fellows does not automatically mean that we are left with killing them as expediently as practical. That might well be the case, but we should not make that decisions solely from theoretical considerations.

  21. The woke mob showing its Maoist/Stalinist nature as they have turned their attention towards actress Gina Carano, whose “sin” is “not showing enough support for the BLM movement” and for posting the famous picture of the one man in the crowd refusing to give the Nazi salute:

    https://www.breitbart.com/entertainment/2020/08/07/gina-carano-fires-back-at-blm-cowards-and-bullies-smearing-their-critics-as-racists/

    To her credit, she is not backing down and refuses to bend the knee, or her neck, to the mob.

    I presume that this means that she will be fired by Disney from The Mandalorian and will be blacklisted in Hollywood, because leftists are fine with blacklists when they are the ones doing the blacklisting.

    1. The second season of Mandalorian is probably far enough along that she can’t be removed from any episodes that were written to include her character. However, it’s also worth remembering that the series left her in a position in which not seeing her again would be perfectly normal. So it’s possible that the writers were already planning on not bringing her back. That would particularly be true if the stories about Sabine Wren showing up are true, since she would likely fill a similar role.

    2. There is currently one property falling under Disney’s $4.02b LucasFilm acquisition which is a net positive value, and that is The Mandalorian. Disney’s quarterly results the other day highlighted how Governor Gavin’s edicts and the remaining effects in Florida and around the world are starving the park of cashflow, and add that to ESPN with no sports, ABC with a dearth of anything at all popular plus the mass flight of advertisers from broadcast to streaming with the resulting drop in ad rates, plus the closure of movie theaters around the world, and The House of the Mouse is in dire financial straits.

      On top of that LucasFilm, through classic roll-left-and-die management, has managed to drive the value of their vastly valuable franchise into the ground, with the latest Star Wars film’s final box office gross nosediving to 55% of the first of the new trilogy. And the story for the rights that actually funded the creation of LucasFilm and made George Lucas rich, the toys and merchandising, being vastly worse for all three of the new trilogies.

      IN fact, rumors are all over the place the Kathleen Kennedy will soon be, or possibly already is, out the door, a major chunk of rumors that Disney investors are trying to entice George Lucas to come back and head LucasFilm so he can fix things, along with the possibility that the entire new trilogy will be erased from canon through a vast retcon.

      In all of that, the one bright spot is Baby Yoda and the Mandalorian.

      So Gina is very safe – There is no way that Disney will mess with anything to do with that show.

      1. > trying to entice George Lucas to come back and head LucasFilm so he can fix things

        Considering Lucas did as much to destroy the franchise as anyone, that sounds more like a Hail Mary throw than a real business plan…

      2. Hmmmmm … interesting report from the left-of-center PEN America (HT: National Review Online gangblog The Corner):

        Made in Hollywood, Censored by Beijing
        This report examines the ways in which Beijing’s censors have affected and influenced Hollywood and the global filmmaking industry. Stories shape the way people think, and the stories told by Hollywood reach billions. As an anti-censorship organization dedicated to the celebration of open cultural and artistic expression, PEN America has sought to understand how one of the world’s most censorious regimes is extending its influence over the global locus for filmmaking here in the United States, shaping what is perhaps the world’s most influential artistic and cultural medium.

        PEN America defends and celebrates freedom of expression in the United States and globally. Our work has included a decades-long advocacy engagement on China, where dozens of members of our sister PEN organization—the Independent Chinese PEN Center—have been imprisoned or persecuted by Beijing. The most influential of those colleagues was Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo, who was serving an 11-year prison sentence for his writings when he died of liver cancer. Our work has involved advocacy campaigns, detailed research reports, literary exchanges, and other efforts aimed at pushing back against Beijing’s censorship policies and its criminalization of dissent.

        Over the last decade or more, as Beijing has expanded its global role as a world power, leading trade partner, sovereign investor, and cultural influence, these domestic patterns of censorship and control have extended beyond China’s borders. Beijing’s rising global influence has meant that the ruling Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) approach to censorship is making itself felt by publishers, authors, scholars, writers, journalists, and others who address topics of interest to China, regardless of their citizenship or where they are based. …

        … Hollywood is an important bellwether. The Chinese government, under Xi Jinping especially, has heavily emphasized its desire to ensure that Hollywood filmmakers—to use their preferred phrase—“tell China’s story well.” Within the pages of this report, we detail how Hollywood decision-makers and other filmmaking professionals are increasingly making decisions about their films—the content, casting, plot, dialogue, and settings—based on an effort to avoid antagonizing Chinese officials who control whether their films gain access to the booming Chinese market.

        As U.S. film studios compete for the opportunity to access Chinese audiences, many are making difficult and troubling compromises on free expression: changing the content of films intended for international—including American—audiences; engaging in self-censorship; agreeing to provide a censored version of a movie for screening in China; and in some instances directly inviting Chinese government censors onto their film sets to advise them on how to avoid tripping the censors’ wires. These concessions to the power of the Chinese market have happened mostly quietly, with little attention and, often, little debate. Steadily, a new set of mores has taken hold in Hollywood, one in which appeasing Chinese government investors and gatekeepers has simply become a way of doing business.

        [END EXCERPT]

      3. Kennedy was rumored to be gone after TLJ. Except then she ended up sticking around, and the rumor was that Disney was keeping her onboard due to the difficulty of persuading someone who might be worth bringing on to direct the franchise and also willing to pick up Kennedy’s incomplete work instead of launching straight into their own stuff (because, to be blunt, while there are many skilled individuals in the industry who would no doubt love to run Star Wars, most of those people wouldn’t want to start their run by having to clean up the messes that Kennedy left behind). I’ve no idea whether those rumors are true. The only thing that we can say for certain is that Kennedy is there right now.

        There are apparently four confirmed Star Wars TV series in production. Mandalorian is one of them. An Obi-Wan series – starring Ewen McGregor – is another. And a third series will focus on the male lead from ‘Rogue One’, along with his reprogrammed former-Imperial droid (for obvious reasons, this will be a prequel). There’s also another three movies planned. Aside from the fact that Taika Waititi is directing the first, nothing is known about them. It’s anyone’s guess whether this has anything to do with Kennedy’s continued association with the franchise.

        Disney is probably coming under pressure with regards to The Mandalorian. The arguments will be – as always – that any changes The Woke want to make to The Mandalorian won’t affect the viewership – and thus the profitability – of the series.

        1. Kennedy greenlit all of those, and the leaks say everything she had in development has been firmly placed on hold, and is currently being re-evaluated by and rejustified (basically repitched) to Disney – with KK not in the room.

          Other leaks say the Disney execs had no idea how much damage the KK Star Wars trilogy was doing to value of the franchise, but recently had their eyes opened by personally lurking in some of the fandom forums and seeing first hand the vitriol directed at Star Wars as it currently stands – and specifically at how KK’s Star Wars movies treated the Luke Skywalker character arc.

          No matter how bad the prequels were, they did not kill off the merchandising – which is exactly what KK’s movies have done.

          Poking into the rumor mill on this has been fascinating. It will be very interesting what comes out over the next two months or so.

          1. That is interesting… though I would really have expected looking at the fall-off in sales to make more of an impression on them than fan complaints, no matter how vehement or how well supported.

            1. It’s likely that the fall-off in sales is what prompted the executives to go lurk in the fan forums in the first place.

              Also, the original properties are still more or less intact. It’s the new stuff that’s got issues. For instance, Fantasy Flight Games uses the Star Wars license for a variety of table-top miniatures games and RPGs. They led with Original Trilogy content, and now they’re branching out into Prequel Trilogy content. But their releases for the sequel trilogy have been much more limited. The RPG got an introductory box set for TFA that didn’t even include the full rules for the game. And there have been a few ships for the very popular X-Wing game that were from either The Resistance or The First Order. But the ground combat game – Legions – and the fleet combat game – Armada – haven’t gotten anything from the sequel trilogy. Given that the sequels are current and the prequels are old news, this is the sort of thing that should set off alarm bells at Disney. And it sounds as if it did.

              1. The major toy manufacturers, who made many millions off of Star Wars toy sales over the decades, reportedly took a hard pass on all of the designs from Ep IX (Space Horses!), which is why all one finds from the new trilogy anywhere are from Ep VII and VIII, and those in the heavily discounted clearance categories because there’s tons that never sold.

                On the other hand all the original trilogy stuff still sells.

                When George Lucas retained all the merchandise rights to Star Wars back in 1977, the studio kind of shrugged, but those vast and ongoing merchandise licensing and royalties allowed him to build LucasFilm and become personally rich outside of the studios notorious magic bookkeeping, famous for never, not ever, recognizing any net profits on any film no matter how much money it makes at the box office.

                One more story from the rumor mill: There was reportedly a George Lucas cut of Ep IX that was basically complete. Major Disney investors finally were able to get a confirmation that this Lucas Cut existed, and they recently flew up to Skywalker Ranch and viewed that film. They came away incandescently furious that the cut that went into theaters was the Abrams/KK cut instead of the GL cut – it was that much better.

                When Disney paid George Lucas $4.02 Billion for LucasFilm, they were buying that merchandise revenue stream with the expectations that their new movies would expand that stream, building on the existing locked in fan base. The fact that current company executive leadership allowed KK’s rogue woke decision making to throttle that income stream to a trickle while using three very expensive productions to alienate that fan base is a major trigger of the investors being up in arms to the point of intervening.

                1. The rumor that I’ve heard is that reactions to the initial round of test screenings for Episode IX were extremely poor. So in succession Iger himself(!), Lucas, and finally Abrams, all took a pass at fixing the script.

                  I don’t know whether that’s true or not, but it makes for a good story.

                  1. I saw a report that in one preview showing only a few months before the fixed-in-stone release date, the final climactic battle scene as then currently shot resulted in the audience breaking out in laughter.

                    One of the Rey stand-ins said she was still shooting action scene reshoots as late as three weeks before the release date.

                    They can squeeze changes in that late thanks to digital, but just because you can does not mean you should, and there’s really no reason you should other than abject panic.

    3. … leftists are fine with blacklists when they are the ones doing the blacklisting.

      What, after all, is a union shop but a blacklist in operation? “These you may hire, these you may not hire” is the essence of a blacklist, and membership in the union does not come before swearing fidelity to the union.

      And we all know how kindly unions treat scabs.

      1. We really need to recognize that exclusive bargaining units are just monopolies on the labor market and regulate them as such. Ideally, we’d make those clauses illegal and force the unions to compete for workers.

        1. I don’t know if it did anything beyond figuratively making them blink, but I have gotten several folks to stop and think by describing unions as labor monopolies.

        2. This is basically what “Right to Work” laws are.

          Unfortunately, the Democrats are bound and determined to force everyone into unions in order to please their union paymasters.

          1. Sort of. Right to Work means that you don’t have to be a member of the union to work there. You’re still part of the bargaining unit, which is generally represented only by the union.

  22. There does seem to be two distinctly different mindsets among people.

    There’s those that don’t want to eat the rich because they hope to have a little more later than they’ve got now and even if you feel it’s unlikely it’s *possible* and if you were so lucky and then someone took it all away? No.

    Then there’s those who really seem not to be able to imagine ANY social mobility whatsoever.

    Oh, and look at society and note which side overwhelmingly campaigns against learning the cultural norms of the middle wealthy to rich. Hmm? Social markers can, for the most part, be learned. Look at who calls learning them white privilege or racism? AS IF poor white people don’t also need to learn the same things or struggle with what wasn’t imparted in the nursery. They used to publish *books* on social expectations, customs, manners and behavior.

    It’s like, “That’s so unfair to you…you should just stay poor and aggrieved over the injustice. Look at me, I’m helping.”

    1. Yeah.

      I think I’ve said some of this before.

      I’ve had just enough experience with both male role models and lack of male role models to get how important they are.

      I know what the older men in my life gave me in terms of the sense of “do not do that, it is stupid, and will get you killed”.

      I’ve enough experience screwing myself up with not realizing that I can succeed, to understand how badly I could hurt myself with the “unified theory of why Bob will /never/ succeed”. I know how the hope of future success changes my sense of “there is a cost to activity x, because perhaps I could otherwise succeed.”

      I’ve struggled to understand the descriptions of job advertisements, become demoralized from applying many times without success, and then eventually started to figure things out, sorted my head out, and become more successful.

      There’s a bunch of stuff that the effective people say, and it doesn’t make much sense from the outside, looking in. I get that, I get the frustration, I’ve even done a decent job of studying some of the issues and oversights that make the hiring and career development statuses quo such awful messes.

      Some hypothetical person without that experience, gets to advise people to make all the choices that I think are mistakes, some where I’ve been convinced so by painful experience, and I am supposed to hold my tongue because they have darker skin and a complete confidence in their theoretical model? Well, I’m a little reluctant to speak out, but that does not mean that I have made any concession to the argument that my thoughts are for whites only.

    2. Yesterday I saw some idiot on TV yammering about how grammar is Racist Oppression.

      Because naturally, the Leftoids’ Preferred Victim Groups are too stupid to learn the same grammar everybody else learns. They have to get by with a pidgin patois and everybody else has to expend extra effort to figure out what the hell it’s supposed to mean.

      Never mind that for successful information exchange, all parties in any communication must use the same protocols. The words and their interrelationships must have the same meaning to everybody involved, or there can be no communication.

      Language is a tool. Those who do not learn how to use it effectively are just going to hurt themselves.
      ———————————
      They say I can’t be a nonconformist because I’m not like the other nonconformists.

      1. “Yesterday I saw some idiot on TV yammering about how grammar is Racist Oppression”

        Oh yes, the tyranny of the Write Supremacists. 😝

      2. Reminds me of an “orchestral rock” video I saw. The orchestra is all dressed casual. Except for the drummer, who is wearing a nicely-cut three-piece suit. He had removed his jacket and rolled up his sleeves for freedom of motion, but his vest was buttoned and his tie was straight.

        Well, you know, drummers…

      3. John McWhorter’s most recent book is about how English is changing, like it’s changed since the beginning (his main theme is that words such as “like” and “literally” are being “misused” in the same way that the predecessors of “very” and the suffix “-ly” were). One of his points is that language can communicate comfort, either by the speaker or towards the listener. For that community, American Black English is like a comfortable hoodie. He also makes the point that, like clothing, there is a time and a place for comfort. You wouldn’t go to a job interview in a ratty old hoodie, so you should use standard English in that situation.

        Really, all these “grammar is racist” people are trying to do is establish the linguistic equivalent of sumptuary laws.

          1. I use them both, because they have slightly different meanings and connotations. Sometimes one conveys the meaning and tone I want, sometimes the other.

        1. his main theme is that words such as “like” and “literally” are being “misused” in the same way that the predecessors of “very” and the suffix “-ly” were

          Verily?

    3. Then there’s those who really seem not to be able to imagine ANY social mobility whatsoever.

      If you think it through this makes perfect sense as an item of unquestioned faith for the idle scions with hereditary wealth: If there’s social mobility, it runs both ways, which means they could lose their Eloi social standing and mobilate (totes a word) right on down into the lower ranks of Morlochdom as other less well-bred people socially mobilate upwards to take over the scions’ newly vacated Martha’s Vineyard oceanfront estates.

          1. Those are stringy and have a sour aftertaste. OK for feeding to the wolves, but mostly used for fertilizer.

    4. “Then there’s those who really seem not to be able to imagine ANY social mobility whatsoever.”

      ———————

      These are often the kinds of individuals who claim that any ideas within the culture suggesting that social mobility is possible are merely the equivalent of pipe dreams, laid out by those at the top to placate the masses with false hopes that they too can rise to the top while staying within the bounds laid out for them by “the system”.

      1. And when you try to tell them about Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Oprah Winfrey, Jeff Bezos, Jerry Yang, Dorothy MacKaye…

        They stick fingers in ears and squawk “Anecdote! Anecdote!” until you get disgusted and give up.

        1. That’s one reason why I often say that the plural of anecdote IS data… for sufficiently large values of “plural”.

            1. For people who are being totally logical, yes.

              For most people who aren’t following the rules of strict logic, when they say “No X exists”, what they often mean is “there are so few cases of X that it’s very unlikely that you or I will ever see one.” In which case what they need to hear to be persuaded that their position is false* is not just one example of X, but multiple examples, presented in such a way that it’s clear that these are not the only examples you could find, but merely the ones that come most readily to hand. Which is why it’s often useful to present a whole list of counterexamples as argument, rather than just one. It’s more effective with people who are being rational, but don’t follow the strict rules of logic in their everyday conversation.

              * Assuming that they CAN be persuaded to change their minds, of course. Many people are just not open to reason AT ALL. But some are, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised sometimes when someone I thought was not open to reason said, “Hmm, that’s a good point. I’ll have to think about it,” and then moderated their incorrect position at least a little.

            2. Also, the original source of the “the plural of anecdote is not data” line was medicine, where there’s enough variation in human response to drugs, nutrition, etc. that you do have to do large-scale studies to be sure of your results. Just because something worked for one person, or even a dozen people, doesn’t mean it will work in the general population: you might have gotten a dozen people with a rare recessive gene that makes your experimental drug work for them, but the majority of the population with the dominant gene are not going to experience any effect. Or something. There are SO MANY variables that it’s almost impossible to narrow it down to just one. So at least in medicine, you wouldn’t ever say “No X exists”, but you might well say, “There are so few cases of X as to be practically zero, so for all practical purposes, we can act as if no X exists.” In which case a single counterexample does not disprove it, and you actually need to find a statistically significant number of X’s in a sufficiently large randomly-selected sample in order to disprove the idea.

              1. Since humans are about as outbred as a species can be studies made with highly inbred mice have to be taken with a big dose of salt. Particularly those testing for carcinogenic potential.

                1. “How do you know this causes cancer?”

                  “We gave it to a bunch of rats and they got cancer.

                  “You mean the rats we’ve bred to be susceptible to cancer?”

                  “Well, yeah.”

                    1. In the mid to late 1970’s a study was done in which the usual laboratory rats were subjected to the usual cancer study routine (backs shaved, regularly painted with the substance under study), with the difference that they were painted with distilled water.

                      And they promptly threw out tumors in numbers strongly correlating to the kind of numbers that were used to ‘show’ that various substances were carcinogenic. The researchers proposed that the assumption that the laboratory routine has not enough to provoke tumor formation needed to be re-examined.

                      Interestingly, I find it about that time that the anti-tobacco Crusaders stopped trying to persuade and started to browbeat. It’s almost as if they were afraid that if somebody looked too closely at the available data their case might collapse.

                      Smoking is a vice. Like all other vices, it ain’t good for you. But the anti-smoking Crusade has drifted into Anti-Saloon League Levels of hysteria, hyperbole, and fraud. And it drifted into that territory a while back.

                      I wonder what a serious audit of the American Cancer Society wou,d reveal. I doubt it would be good.

                    2. That’s interesting. May I ask if you remember the control group, or if it’s plausible that the results of this study were actually incorporated to affect the use of control groups thereafter?

                      It’s just that in the studies I’ve read — which are not, to be sure, pre-1970s tests on what causes cancer — the researchers usually do put the control rats through as much of the same routine as the experimental group as they can, to the point of injecting the carrier solution or cutting them open to perform a sham surgery.

                    3. In my testier moments I like to point out the first widespread public anti-tobacco campaign was in Germany,…

                      …Nazi Germany.

                    4. Weren’t they also big on a centrally planned economy and gun control? I think it was Jonah Goldberg who posed the question, Leaving aside the antisemitism what exactly do Democrats find objectionable about Nazi Germany’s policies?

                      And these days it’s hard to believe they really disagree on the antisemitism (nor, given their eagerness to eschew discussion of China’s Uighur encampments and organ harvesting, does it seem likely they really object to the German solution.)

                    5. Replying to PK,

                      I read about the study sometime around 1974-75. I believe it was in The National Review. The article was pointing out that the rats us3d in the typical cancer study were bred to throw out tumors, and that the studies were measuring how much faster or more prolifically they did so upon exposure. The study mentioned was based on the observation that most cancer studies produced quite similar results. The person running the study used the existing study/control pattern, but applied it to distilled water. Or so I remember. Keeping in mind, this is a non-technical article I read more than a third of a century ago.

                      About the same time, a series of (then) much touted studies involving forcing experimental animals to smoke was quietly ashcanned, as I recall, because the researcher was found to be A) totally deranged on the subject and B) unsubtle enough to be an inevitable embarrassment.

        2. Those are claimed to be the exceptions that are allowed in just to deceive the masses into believing that upward mobility is possible.

    5. They also don’t realize that envy is poison to the soul. Especially when you deceive yourself that your envy is righteous.

  23. To be fair, that’s apparently endemic in medical thinking these days. You seen anything about how long it’s taken to get any of the alzheimers research community to even consider that the amyloid plaque removal might now be the only thing they want to research? I’ve heard estimates that that may have cost us over a decade in alzheimers research.

    Of course, that sort of thinking seems to be the way any government bureaucracy operates. If you want to get really mad, go watch 12 O’Clock high, then go watch this lovely video: https://youtu.be/aCLa078v69k

    “Today we’re going to talk about the P-47 fuel system and treachery.” When the guys who’s main focus is spending hours explaining NACA reports in great detail, feels to obligation to set the record straight, it’s aemorable listen.

  24. Not only does our current ‘elite’ believe that, but they’ve also spend decades getting our schools to have everyone else believe it….

  25. Does anyone have a good source for something that would explain in detail how All Is Not Lost, for someone who is entering the “Trump hasn’t accomplished anything, leftist freakouts are them showing their power” stage.

    Not for me, someone else.

    1. Not really, today is not a good thinking day. I also haven’t been reading very widely. Those are also two subtly different goals.

      “Never give up” is more a philosophical position, and your good advocates often have religious or depressive tendencies. There can be theoretical explanations, but the need for the arguments is precisely when there is evidence in favor of futility. The general useful theory can be formulated in terms of information that the observer lacks, and information the opposition lacks. The theory specific to this opposition is that they really like reduced order models, and will act like they have complete information and can calculate everything, even when they don’t, can’t, and many could see that they are foolish for trying.

      Analysis of the details to guess what is going on is more of an intelligence process, and comes with several caveats. Sifting lots of information to tease something together from details is very heavy guesswork. Details today are old tomorrow; a list of items from 2019 or 2018 may be quite out of date. The process is hard on sanity, any analyst you point to could well be a lunatic. A long list of items is either something you pay for, or something that some random lunatic thinks is worth their time.

      When I found out about Schiff’s district (I already knew Pelosi’s), I had the suspicion that the whole exercise was simply that Trump, as a recent liberal Democrat, was not plausible enough as a sudden convert to mass murder of blacks and homosexuals, and so the outrage needed to be turned up over 11000 to compensate.

      The riots clearly have enough coordination, orchestration, and official collusion that they are for political profit enterprises. They also aren’t being continued in a way that people who use riots for political power would if everything has gone successfully as foreseen. Just the claims of ‘white supremacist infiltrators’ alone should be a fairly obvious sign. The whole thing was planned incorrectly; it is either failed stagecraft to magic up a revolution, or a failed attempt to monkeydance/escalate to more extreme violence.

      That surge of criminal violence is very far from a successful start of a clear cut civil war. Okay, sure, some communist theories of rural guerilla warfare. Doesn’t work so well if you are weaker than the ordinary criminals, and you discredit the theory your sponsors are using to justify the policies they push. ‘Epidemic of gun violence’ is the least damaging spin that they could put on it.

      Going after the NRA? Throw me in that briar patch. The left believes its own propaganda, and fundamentally misreads the role that organization plays wrt gun rights.

      On twitter, #NeverTrumpers like esotericcd and baseballcrank have been quietly complaining about Tom Nichols and the Lincoln Project being Democrat activists only pretending to be Republican.

      The delays in announcing Biden’s VP nominee. That could be deliberate messaging, or strong leadership deeply hidden. Or a mad Clinton attempt to parachute in at the last minute. These past two two cycles haven’t been ones for working according to conventional wisdom, but why delay announcing if you have a clear choice, and that nominee is going to be helping the campaign more than hurting it? I’d guess that VP nominee is seen as a short path to PotUS, Biden is weak, and none of the potential nominees is skilled enough to push the others out.

      These items aren’t persuasive. Yeah, they don’t look like the Democrats are unambiguously winning on every front. I selected these items; they might be as representative as black grains are the sands of Miami beach. I also supplied interpretations; why trust those without evidence to believe that I am sound in my reasoning and analysis? Plus, I’ve been declaring myself out of the political forecasting business, and attempting to avoid emotionally investing in this cycle. Isn’t my credibility rather strongly self impeached?

      1. I’ve been saying for a year the competition for VP might get to, “I, Claudius,” levels. At least so far no candidates have died. Yet. But maybe the delay is due to intrigue.
        And I keep thinking we are all missing something. The easy (and frightening) thought is the Party isn’t running a normal campaign because they know there won’t be an election. One way or another.

        1. There have been reports of considerable behind the scenes knife-fights, from dumping opposition research to vigorously scrubbing revising Wikipedia pages. With numerous of the possible picks being largely unknown to the general public there is real rough’n’tumble fighting to set the “first impression” of Biden’s choice.

          1. The other thread that Scott Adams has pointed out is that Biden is functionally failing, and may not be able to even run by November. The VP delay may be because the party is seriously looking at replacing their candidate for president, and don’t want to put their best contender in the 2nd slot. The challenge is going to be how they can actually do that legally.

            1. Since they haven’t held their nominating convention yet, legality doesn’t enter into it. Biden just doesn’t end up with the nomination. The problem is coming up with a nominee that isn’t a bat guano crazy Leftist and can’t deny they are.

              There’s a few possibilities; Cuomo is one, which is why they’ve been lying about how well he handled Wuhan Flu.

              The other question, of course, is whether there’s enough Democrats who still realize they need someone who isn’t bat guano crazy Leftist.

              1. Let’s be honest with ourselves: they’d be lying about Cuomo’s handling of Wuhan Flu pretty much regardless.

    2. There’s a website that shows progress on completing the wall.

      The thing is, I doubt you’re going to find a single smoking gun to demonstrate your point. Instead, the case needs to be made out of a dozen different facts, all carefully teased out of the hiding places that the media has attempted to smother them in.

      1. John Wright’s blog category “Not Tired of Winning”, which I mentioned just below, is the closest you’ll get to a single smoking gun: a single source where you can keep scrolling (and sometimes clicking “Older Entries”) and get lots and lots of facts already teased out for you.

        I just mentioned the link below, but here it is again in case this comment gets separated from my 1:25 AM comment by multiple replies later on:

        http://www.scifiwright.com/category/not-tired-of-winning/

    3. John Wright, a science-fiction author who blogs at a site called Sci Fi Wright, has a category called “Not Tired Of Winning” in which he lists, among other things, many of Trump’s actual accomplishments that the media rarely mentions. For example, replacing NAFTA with the USMCA, which as far as I’m aware is a much better deal for all involved, including the US, than NAFTA was. Scroll back through previous entries and you’ll find quite a lot to counter the “Trump hasn’t accomplished anything” idea. (What’s actually true is that the media wants you to believe that Trump hasn’t accomplished anything, and so they don’t report on his accomplishments.)

      http://www.scifiwright.com/category/not-tired-of-winning/

      1. This is exactly what I need.

        Unfortunately you take someone already bent towards not seeing anything going well, have their primary news source be Free Republic (aka: people who can’t comprehend anything working), with the news coming from the MSM (who are doing their best to suppress anything good), and then stick them in the kung flu pressure cooker….

        I try to feed good news / more intelligent analyses when I see one that might get through. But there is only so much you can do.

        1. Reziac’s list, just below (at least as of now as I type this), is also good as something you could stick into an email. If you need to overwhelm the person’s negativity with a shotgun blast of good news, a list like that can be effective.

    4. Dunno about that, but someone elsewhere posted this list of Trump Accomplished Stuff Despite 3.5 Years Of Obstruction:

      • 5.5 million jobs created since election, with 196,000 jobs added last month.
      • More Americans are working today than ever before in our history – nearly 160 million Americans now have jobs
      • March was the 102nd straight month of positive job growth; longest streak ever
      • There are a record number of job openings.
      • A record 73% of newly employed workers were people who were out of the workforce and who are now coming off the sidelines and into the workforce.
      • The unemployment rate has remained at or below 4% for 13 straight months – it recently reached its lowest rate in nearly FIFTY YEARS.
      • We have created half a million manufacturing jobs since election. More manufacturing jobs were created in 2018 than any single year in the last 20 years.
      • Blue-collar jobs recently grew at the fastest rate in more than THREE DECADES.
      • GDP grew at 3% during the four quarters of 2018, the fastest rate of any calendar year since 2005.
      • Wages grew by 3.2% over the past 12 months, the largest increase in 10 years. Wage growth in 2018 was fastest for the lowest wage earners.
      • Hispanic-American unemployment in February fell to its lowest rate in history.
      • African-American and Asian-American unemployment rates have reached all-time record lows
      • Women’s unemployment is at its lowest rate in 65 years.
      • Veteran unemployment has reached the lowest rate in nearly 20 years.
      • Youth unemployment reached the lowest rate in nearly half a century.
      • Unemployment rate for Americans without a high school diploma hit a new low.
      • Unemployment rate for disabled Americans recently hit a record low.
      • Over 5 million Americans have been lifted off food stamps since the election.
      • Median income for Hispanic-Americans surpassed $50,000 for the first time ever.
      • Home-ownership among Hispanics recently hit the highest rate in nearly a decade.
      • The official poverty rates for African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans have reached their lowest levels ever recorded.
      • Manufacturing, consumer and small business confidence recently set record highs.
      • A recent study found that 8 in 10 businesses plan to hire more workers this year. More below:
      • Signed the biggest package of tax cuts and reforms in history. Since then, almost $600 billion dollars poured back into the U.S. and more than 6 million workers received new bonuses, better jobs, and bigger paychecks.
      • Saved Family Farms from the Death Tax and doubled the Child Tax Credi
      • Obamacare individual mandate penalty GONE.
      • Under our tax cut, small businesses can now deduct 20% of their business income.
      • The Pledge to America’s Workers has secured private-sector commitments to provide over 6.7 million jobs and training opportunities to American workers.
      • Reauthorized and modernized the Perkins Career and Technical Education Bill.
      • Announced a historic U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement to replace NAFTA.
      • Concluded a tremendous new trade deal with South Korea, and will begin trade negotiations with Japan to open new markets for American workers and farmers.
      • Reached a breakthrough agreement with the EU to increase U.S. exports.
      • Imposed tariffs on foreign Steel & Aluminum to protect our national security.
      • Imposed tariffs on China in response to China’s IP theft, forced technology transfer and its chronically abusive trade practices.
      • Confirmed Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.
      • Confirmed more circuit court judges than any other new administration.
      • Helped win U.S. bid for the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
      • Helped win U.S.-Mexico-Canada’s united bid for 2026 World Cup.
      • Opened ANWR & Approved Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines.
      • Record number of regulations eliminated, saving $33 billion dollars.
      • Enacted regulatory relief for community banks and credit unions.
      • Administration is making more affordable healthcare options available for Americans through association health plans and short-term limited duration plans.
      • Prescription drug prices declined in 2018, the first time in nearly half a century.
      • In 2017 and 2018, the FDA approved more affordable generic drugs than ever before. Many drug companies are freezing or reversing planned price increases.
      • Signed Legislation to end “gag” clauses so patients can find the lowest price drugs.
      • Passed Right to Try to give critically ill patients access to more life-saving cures.
      • We reformed the Medicare program to stop hospitals from overcharging seniors on their drugs—saving seniors hundreds of millions of dollars in 2018 alone.
      • Secured $6 billion in funding to fight the opioid epidemic.
      • Reduced high-dose opioid prescriptions by 16% during first year in office.
      • Signed historic VA Choice legislation and the VA Accountability Act.
      • Expanded VA telehealth services, walk-in-clinics, same-day urgent primary and mental healthcare, and launched the promised 24-hour Veteran Hotline.
      • Signed an Executive Order to help prevent veteran suicide.
      • Increased coal exports by more than 60% during first year in office
      • The U.S. is the largest producer of oil and natural gas – surpassing Saudi Arabia and Russia. We are a net exporter of natural gas for the first time since 1957.
      • Announced our withdrawal from the job-killing Paris Climate Accord.
      • Canceled the illegal, anti-coal, so-called Clean Power Plan
      • Signed a bipartisan Criminal Justice Reform bill into law
      • Secured a record $700 billion dollars in military funding; $716 billion this year.
      • Secured a $100 billion dollar increase in defense spending from NATO allies.
      • Launched whole-of-government approach to women’s economic empowerment around the world (W-GDP) with a goal of empowering 50 million women by 2025.
      • Nuclear and ballistic missile testing in North Korea have stopped, hostages have been released, and the remains of our fallen warriors were returned home.
      • Process has begun to make the Space Force the 6th branch of the armed forces
      • Initiated withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.
      • Withdrew from the one-sided Iran Deal and imposed the toughest sanctions ever
      • First country to recognize Juan Guaido as Interim President of Venezuela
      • Recognized Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel, and moved the U.S. Embassy.
      • Took historic action to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
      • Protecting Americans from terrorists with travel ban, upheld by Supreme Court.
      • Issued executive order to keep open Guantanamo Bay.
      • Improved vetting for refugees, and switched focus to overseas settlement
      • We have begun building the Wall and support strong borders and no crime.

      1. And then along came March – now, and we’re back to 10.4% unemployment. And bracing for large numbers of bankruptcies in the last quarter of the calendar year. That doesn’t erase all the gains, but people and politicians don’t look too far back or forward.

        1. And none of that is Trump’s fault. He hasn’t ordered a single lock down. In fact, he’s been pushing to open things up from the beginning. And the second wave has shown that the lock downs didn’t do us any good, if we had listened to Trump rather than the MSM at the beginning we’d be pretty much in the same place as far as deaths from Wu Flu but with a much healthier economy. Places like theaters, bars, restaurants, and professional sports were going to take it on the chin regardless, but we wouldn’t be seeing anything like the supply chain disruptions we have.

          1. Those opposed to Trump argue that if he’d merely enacted draconian lockdowns on every state, then there wouldn’t be a second wave.

            Of course, they don’t note that such an action would also require shutting down all travel in and out of the country – including across our very leaky southern border.

            1. Of course, if Trump had ordered the lockdowns they’re clamoring for they would denounce him as a tyrant and insist (correctly, for a change) of claiming power his office didn’t have.

              They are two -faced in order to talk out of both sides of both mouths.

            2. Those generally opposed to Trump don’t do a whole lot of thinking.

              Of course, if Trump had implemented draconian lock downs they would be screaming that this wasn’t that bad of an illness and Obama was able to handle Bird Flu without becoming a tyrant. And all of the economic disruption would be Trump’s fault.

              Once again the Left’s anger at Trump stems from the fact that they won’t play by their rules, specifically the one that says the Republican always loses.

            3. They’re also objectively wrong– the “second wave” is a known disease pattern. The only way you can avoid it is if all the vulnerable folks die on the first round.

              ….OK, that is creepy, I went to check Iowa, Washington and New York to look at the no lockdown or masks vs lockdown vs draconian lockdown.

              Iowa has two fairly smooth humps, with the first about twice the height of the second.

              Washington has one sharp and one shallow hump, more spread out, with the second about half the height of the first.

              New York has an initial spike that is insane, and the secondary spike starts about a quarter of the way up but still during the first spike, goes about a third of the way up, and then collapses down.

              I didn’t use new infections because of the testing problems, but I looked at them to see if there was something off there, too; Iowa and Washington both clearly show two humps. New York has a slight bounce up about where there should be a second hump of positive results.

              The New York pattern would be consistent with the vulnerable population no longer being around when the second wave would have hit.

              I think I’m going to be sick….

          2. [Trump]e’s been pushing to open things up from the beginning.

            That’s because he wants people to die!!!!!

  26. Sarah! Is there ANY possibility at all of a gas leak or carbon monoxide entering your home? I’m very concerned about the symptoms that your household is experiencing. Open all the windows, gonout and get fresh air. Firemen or gas company can quickly check if there is a leak.

    1. There is no possibility of a gas leak. And the symptoms are at different “Stages” with each of us. Dan got it first, for instance. I suspect some kind of stomach bug, plus in my case auto-immune.

  27. c4c

    Off topic. Will be off line for 3 days. Not taking the PC or Tablet. I could use the phone, but why?

    Heading for Aunt & Uncle’s 65th wedding anniversary party. It’s on Sunday, in a park, outside, and across the state from us.

    Other news. Found *documentation for trailer (where it should be, in storage under the bed in trailer, just buried). Found paperwork for slide out. Good news was no matter what it can be gotten out easily, mechanically, whew. Better news, it’s fixed. Found the fuse box for the thing. Fuses were good, but the fuse box (thingy, it’s a word, get over it) had broken tabs. Luckily hubby was able to get skinny enough to get where it is (area in front of trailer that is a pass through storage, essentially under the bed & cabinets by the bed. He also fixed it, while laying sideways. Good thing too. Not one trailer place was able to schedule us in before September 10th. With the manual method, we could deal, but better that it is fixed.

    * We have documentation for stuff that quit, was replaced, & gotten rid of a long time ago. We never get rid of it, even if we think we’ll never use it. Occasionally, like the trailer, it has saved us a lot of money. Hard part was finding the documentation and the stupid fuse box. The latter the stupid documentation left off. Anyone working on RV’s there needs to be a “Here are the hidden, not obvious stuff” pictogram. The only way it was visible to see the label was to lift the bed and look into that area to the front. Least it be noted they should have pointed it out when we bought it. They probably did, 12 1/2 years ago.

    1. I think it was my now-retired parents who mentioned to me that the price of RV’s has shot through the roof recently due to a vast increase in demand. Being able to travel and NOT be exposed to germs from whoever else is in the same hotel? For many retired people, right now they’re willing to pay a LOT for that.

      Eventually demand will settle down, probably before production tapers off, and then there will be a glut of RV’s on the market and prices will fall. But right now, if someone wanted to sell an older RV or trailer, they could probably make a lot more for it this year than what they could make for it next year.

      (Do note that this is only “I heard from a friend” type of info, and I have not verified price trends myself.)

      1. I know we’re glad to have our RV from last year, not because of germs but because if some karen comes after me when I’m trying to get a cuppa coffee and wrangle the kids I will not be de-escalating the situation.

        1. Saw my first mask Karen yesterday. She wanted to know if the pharmacist would refuse service to anyone not wearing a mask.

          1. I’ve gotten a few scowls– half of which vanished as soon as I showed no evidence of ignoring the six foot rule and smiled politely, and even took a step back to gesture that they could go ahead while I was browsing.

            I prefer being six feet away from folks anyways, so not a hardship, but it seems to deflate the antagonism rather well!

            1. If they try to engage you in conversation, just growl: “lupDujHomwIj lubuy’moH gharghmey” and give them a demented look.

              (remember, a properly articulated phrase usually involves throwing some spit)

            2. I like to baaa like a sheep. It’s great, first the Karen has no idea what to do and second my wife will either drag me out of the store or not ask me to go to another one. Winning.

              Another fun thing to do is play hopscotch on their bloody “safe” dots. You can use the mask as.your piggy.

                1. Now, now. People will talk.

                  That said, I also do a great Gauleiter Murphy to the tune of the Deutschelander Lied.

                  Philip Murphy is a Moron.
                  He’s a Moron, Yes he is.

          2. Note the left is trying to flip the term. A Karen is not someone who refuses the mask, but someone who demands everyone mask. Including those — like me — who can’t.

            1. How can someone who lets everyone live their lives be a Karen? It’s like saying Libertarians are oppressive.

              The Left can’t meme.

              1. The Left can’t meme. At best they can sneer and whinge “I know you are but what am I?!” or similar.

                So they try flinging “Karen” at other people, despite having no clue what it actually means, while still thinking it’s a devastating retort.

                1. They say a lot of things that aren’t true.

                  “People who don’t wear masks are Karens.”
                  “Libertarians are oppressive.”
                  “I’m smart.”

                2. They say anyone not doing as they demand is oppressive.

                  Their behaviour embarrasses three-year-old brats.

                  1. *considers current three year old brat, whose favorite activity is dancing around after a bath chanting “wooook ah ma buuuuuhhhht!” and shaking his can*

                    Well, they would think it’s too far out there to argue and get away with, anyways.

        2. Yeah. We’d been considering, but we’ll wait to get one. At any rate, it’s just a “We want to have this to visit the kids when they both move far from us” thing.

          1. Before anyone buys an RV, I recommend they watch lawyer Steve Lehto’s videos on why you shouldn’t buy an RV. He’s biased (it’s largely because the Michigan “lemon law” doesn’t apply to RV’s and he’s a Michigan lemon law attorney) but I think he makes some good points.

      2. I’ve got mixed data on that. On the one hand, we had to move out of an RV park in Michigan a month or so ago because they were booked solid for the weekend. OTOH, we’re using military campgrounds and they have plenty of slots. Likewise our volunteer group has had projects cancelled because nobody wanted to travel, even in RVs. (We’re between projects right now; so far, the late summer/early fall projects are a go). Since virtually every street festival/ fair or other social activity has been cancelled, there’s less than usual to do.

        1. Back when it first hit, a lot of the military campgrounds were canceling/refusing reservations.
          At least the ones we were looking at. (Which are usually booked….)

  28. Eh, there were people in Ancient Greece who thought that property inequality was the source of all crime, even if their solutions were less radical. Aristotle took some thwacks at that:

    There are crimes of which the motive is want; and for these Phaleas expects to find a cure in the equalization of property, which will take away from a man the temptation to be a highwayman, because he is hungry or cold. But want is not the sole incentive to crime; men also wish to enjoy themselves and not to be in a state of desire- they wish to cure some desire, going beyond the necessities of life, which preys upon them; nay, this is not the only reason- they may desire superfluities in order to enjoy pleasures unaccompanied with pain, and therefore they commit crimes.

    and

    Men do not become tyrants in order that they may not suffer cold.

    1. That last bit especially. There are plenty of ways to remove yourself from poverty, people do it literally every day. People turn to crime because it’s relatively easy and, for those with a sociopathic bent, fun.

  29. I’m not sure I agree about the nobility lacking ownership of the means of production. As I understand it, being a noble meant having an estate, that is, owning land (and collecting rents on it). And land was THE means of production back then; capital was just a sideline. (And even in writing about his own era, I believe Marx personified M. Capital and Mme. La Terre.)

    1. Land owned the aristocracy, thanks to entail.

      Trade was where the money was; farming was not that profitable. If you had a winery or a sugarcane factory, that was the means of production.

      1. My mother’s family was land rich and very cash poor. Best thing that ever happened was the abolition of entail in Ireland in 2009. A lot of Irish land had been mortgaged and dealt with in the 19th century under the encumbered estates process and you could break the entail but it was a PITA and very expensive.

        A fair few hereditary nobles in the UK are quite poor because the title followed the male line while the property could go through the female, of course death duties don’t help. If I remember correctly the current Earl Nelson is a retired policeman.

        1. What money there was came from pigs. It certainly didn’t come from rents especially as it was almost impossible to evict, particularly after independence, and most of the tenants were relatives of one sort or another anyway.

          1. Yeah, after the revolution in Portugal they made much of rent-not-going-up-ever. And you couldn’t evict. So with inflation sometimes 100% a year, grandma was reduced to taking public assistance. She still had to keep up on repairs on the houses that were supposed to pay her retirement. She just couldn’t really get paid for people to live in them.
            Fun times.

            1. Democrats are trying to bring this to the USA both nationally through the Democratic Party’s latest effort to enact communism under the guise of “pandemic relief” and on a state level, under the same guise.

              1. Well, yeah. And Mr. Darcy probably owned a bunch of Derbyshire water-driven loom factories, at least as a major investor, although Derbyshire farmland was pretty darned good. (And underground thermally heated, in some places.)

            2. This was the underlying story in the Tom Sharpe novel The Throwback. The main character’s wife inherited a set of suburban houses in Surrey where the “Rents were small and fixed and the rates (Property tax) enormous.“ He got the people in those house to move by, among other things, doping a Bull Terrier with LSD.

    2. A noble estate was a hopefully self-sufficient food production facility for those living on the estate, and for supporting military obligations of knights. Surplus was nice but did not always happen. Money was having a market town on your estate.

    3. Not by the time of the industrial revolution, really. Most of the means of production were industrial.Marx also had a LOT of crap on why land-workers were not fodder for the revolution.
      No, seriously.

  30. I’m late to the discussion (left motel to see if power was back on at home after three days; it was not; found a closer motel, trying to get some sleep …) but I have been thinking that while poverty does not lead people to crime, helplessness, hopelessness, and lack of purpose in life may.

      1. I think it makes them more vulnerable to the sale, but that’s because blame feels like finding the root of the problem. They’d also be vulnerable to other sources of hope or control, fake or real.

  31. How many of the Huns here thought of this when reading Mrs. Hoyt’s description of what she fears is coming:

  32. Something occurred to me when reading some history this weekend. The US has been *utterly calcified* for over 30 years now. The period of my life has been somewhat extraordinary in the extent to which the world *HASNT* changed.

    Technology (with the much ballyhooed exception of computers) has been pretty stagnant, even declining in fields like Nuclear engineering. Aerospace has gone past some event horizon where it’s too expensive for anything new to be built. Politics has been getting sclerotic. Many of our last surviving “great companies” have been revealed to be utterly impotent at the creation of anything new.

    1. Computers is a pretty big exception, since it includes the cellphone revolution, telemedicine, telework and gaming.
      *looks over at the ARK server with its “all the dinosaurs algorithms are responding to all the stimulus in their area, not just a preprogramed route” insane nonsense amazing, then at the PS4 Star Wars game the husband is playing, which is not photorealistic only as a design choice and where the witch-sister’s freaking hair is blowing in the breeze from walking past a door, which makes you watch the jedi’s hair and notice that it is responding like short hair in the wind*

      I’m not sure of the exact timeline for the advances, but I do remember that at least one nuclear guy either here or over at The American Catholic said (and linked evidence) the Fukushima reactor was an outdated design with would-not-be-legal-today safeguards

      How about medicine?
      The knee surgery that my grandfather was killed during was considered pretty impressive; the one his daughter got about 15 years later (middle of your example period) was routine and inexpensive, but higher quality. Genetic testing went from something that was if not actually theoretical then functionally so when my mom got breast cancer 20 years ago, to something that doctors will routinely offer if you have a family history. (The latest doctor was startled to find out she’d never had the test, because he graduated after it became normal; mom’s little sister had gotten one when she was diagnosed, five years ago. Mom doesn’t have it, little sister does.)
      Premies keep surviving at earlier and earlier ages, with fewer complications.

      Stem cell therapy has apparently found some kind of a loop-hole around the FDA “it’s a drug” restrictions that tried to smother it, and there’s now Very Earnest Worried radio commercials that it’s not a cure-all. That was DEFINITELY not a thing 20 years ago!

      A lot of advances in cars are not things that I really want, but they have definitely found ways to manage the insane legal restrictions that are supposed to have us all thinking the old 80s Toyota mini-pickups are a big rig.

      Food production?
      Well, apples and other fruit have gone from simple old storage to controlled atmosphere, which is why you get Washington state apples year-round that seem to be fresh picked.
      AI for beef cattle is just outside of the 30 year window– my mom was doing it on a three-worker ranch– but it’s gotten down to where my cousin has a hobby pig farm with no boars, and does the AI herself.

      There’s some really interesting work that’s being deployed in… I think they call it bio-fertilizing? Using microbes to increase output, pro-biotics for the crops. Still in the beginning stages of general use, though, I can only think of a couple of different products I’ve heard of offering the seeds pre-treated.

      Bushels per acre in the US have also gone way up since the 90s.

      Everything I can think of where I actually know enough to see if there’s a difference, there have been advancements, even if it was “just” things going from being basically theoretically possible to being routine.

      1. My experience is in biomedical research and I can’t think of any breakthrough events such as DNA sequencing, PCR amplification of DNA and gene subcloning. These all occurred in the 80s. Big advances yes but mainly technological expansion of current knowledge. The big advances in basic research occurred mainly in the university environment. But that environment has been changed by grant driven research which tends to rather myopic due to the bias imposed by the objectives in the grant application

        1. Big advances yes but mainly technological expansion of current knowledge.

          Which would be the “just” taking things from possible to routine?

          1. But given the current grant driven research environment where does the new “current” knowledge come from?

            1. There would probably be serious issues with getting fundamental work done even if the funding situation were different. Look at how wild some of the scholarship in the humanities has gotten.

              My guess is that we can adequately sputter along on accidental fundamental work, and grant work carefully designed to also fund fundamental work, until the current university system is disrupted enough for a replacement to offer fundamental work.

        2. I keep forgetting to say– in ’96, instead of Khan we got Dolly the sheep. Which, I gotta admit, in all matters other that looks is far preferable, but it was Big Doin’s to manage.

          There are now multiple companies that will clone your pet.

          1. Thus inspiring a new verse for “Scotland’s Depraved”:

            “Bring me some whiskey, mother!
            I’m feeling frisky, Mother!
            Clone me a sheep, for I’m lonely tonight!
            And while you’re at it, Mother,
            Clone yourself for my brother!
            England’s forever but Scotland’s depraved!”

          2. >> “There are now multiple companies that will clone your pet.”

            Interesting, but the clone isn’t going to be the same person as the original. It won’t have the memories, and I’m guessing even the basic personality would be different.

            What I’d really like to see is cloning of human organs for transplants. Or maybe even finding a way to clone an entire human body minus the brain so you could swap your old body for a version of what you had when you were younger.

            1. They’re actually quite honest that you’re getting what amounts to a twin, same-sex sibling that happens to be much younger.

              If it wasn’t quite so expensive, we’d consider it for elder cat; I really wish we’d gotten kittens out of the fuzz-brain.

              1. Yeah. If it weren’t so expensive, we’d have cloned Pixie and Greebo. No, not the same cat, but I wish they’d left kittens, so…
                And we’d now clone Havey. But barring us winning the lottery, not happening.

                  1. Yikes. That’s still “new car” money. I guess it’ll be cheap enough in a few decades, but by then I’ll be too old for taking in new pets anyway.

                    1. Given how dirt cheap I am, same here–I’m still shuddering at the idea of paying a couple of HUNDRED to get a pedigree dog, just because they made it functionally illegal to buy a puppy otherwise.

                    2. If it had been say 5k now, considering you usually have a litter, by default, I’d have had half a dozen Greebos made, and apportioned him off to my fans for donations enough to defray half the cost. 2.5k so Greebo’s “kind” didn’t totally vanish from the world? Totally worth it.
                      BUT….oh, well.

                    3. >> “I’d have had half a dozen Greebos made”

                      I don’t know how expensive it is, but I know there are services that turn someone’s ashes into jewels. Assuming you had Greebo cremated…

        3. Also, original claim was that technology was stagnating. Not that there were a lack of breakthrough research events. 😀

          I have a really unfair advantage on the “30 years ago” metric, it means that if I look at stuff that was new when I was a kid in high school, it’s well inside of the 30 year mark.

          On the downside, I also think this is really neat, so I keep thinking of new things, which is probably mildly annoying. 😀

          1. But that cloning a product of research by folks studying how bacteria fight each other leading to the discovery of restriction enzymes. Since no immediate commercial value seen was largely ignored for years. The original work considered ho-hum back then and would have had a hard time being funded in today’ s grant driven research.

            1. Doesn’t matter; the technology advanced from “wow, look, we did adult stem cell transfer cloning! Wow!” to “hey, clone your dog!”

          2. Thirty years ago I was employing two of those breakout discoveries in my work. Three years later, all three.

            1. I’m not sure if you’re not listening to what I’m saying, or if I am somehow stepping into a term of art….

              It does not matter if something was related to/based on an earlier discovery, if you go from “first time ever successfully done, and we spent years trying” to “routine enough to offer as a specialty service,” it is a huge advancement in technology.

              Heck, you could even look at PCR to see that your experience was based on the technology advancing enough that you could use a thing inside of years of it being published, but it was a decade plus after it was thought of:
              https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4501591/

              1. The point I seem not to be making is before Nixon started throwing obscene amounts of money at colleges,, research, at least in universities, was driven by scientific curiosity, not dollars. Called basic research- now a term as much a relic as dinosaur footprint

                1. There would have been other changes in the university system over that period of time, and some of them were already in progress.

                  I’m wondering how much of the fundamental work done in the 19th century, etc, would have really qualified as basic research done at a university. Wasn’t Grassmann a secondary school teacher?

                  I’m also wondering how we know that no basic research is being done, as opposed to being obscured in a cloud of grant funded chaff?

                  1. Who would be doing it where? Been retired 20+ years but when I left the field applicants for tenure tract had to produce evidence of ability to get government grant funding. No lie saw the ads.

                    1. a) Just because you can get grants, does not mean that you cannot also spend time and energy on other things. Okay, there aren’t enough hours in the day for a diligent professor, but approximating zero instead of being zero is a huge difference.
                      b) Frankly, the amount of good very important work of the basic type was never going to be very high in the first place. You have to show ‘originality’ on a dissertation, anything that increases fraction of population with doctorates, or a population increase that raises overall numbers, is going to partly be an increase in slag and dross.
                      c) In fields based on applied math, teaching hours can possibly produce research of the broader/deeper type. There’s been more than one fundamental advance that was more or less “okay, this work has been done before, but here is how you can actually do it yourself.” There’s probably all sorts of pure mathematics with potentially useful applications that has been overlooked because only a few mathematicians know about it. Beyond that, Computer Science has a theoretical basis in discrete math, and programming has some very skilled artists, but IT seems to be a bit of a constant mess. The people funding the work don’t really know good work from bad, good experts from bad, or good expectations from bad. The theory of systems is more obscure, but has some overlapping applications, and similar issues with people funding stuff who think about the work magically, in buzzwords, and can only sometimes tell that an idea has failed after things have gone very badly. Trying to fix that is very fundamental work, could not be resolved by grant based research, and will definitely require a lot of work by people who are teachers.
                      d) Who needs tenure? There are research positions hiring PhDs that don’t require teaching, or all the time and energy overheads of a faculty position. If one was young, had a twenty or thirty year fundamental research goal, and no desire to teach, funding the basic research with a grant/project focused day job might seem pretty plausible. (Alma hints that she is continuing academic work along with a secondary teaching position, and writing fiction. I’m not sure she is academically active now, or how much time she will have for that in the future, but she is still using a pen name to avoid compromising her academic identity. Okay, history is a humanities subject.)
                      e) I would want to see a fair number of chains of research studied, and see some numbers to justify this idea that there was ever a way to, as an institution, deliberately achieve success. Because the histories I’ve been reading show a lot of accidental successes, and I’m inclined to suspect that it is more correct to speak in terms of a few rare events. Institutions try all the time to succeed, but I’m not persuaded that they’ve ever found a formula to reliably succeed. If the correct model for this phenomena uses rare enough events, we could still be functioning at the same level with it lost in the noise. I’m pretty sure fraction of agricultural labor has shifted over the time frame in question; if some of the occupational change went to applied/derivative academia, then basic research might simply be less prominent.

                2. Which is part of what Eisenhower was warning against in his farewell address. I swear the “military-industrial complex” bit gets all the attentions, but what follows it is perhaps even more relevant to the times, such as:

                  “The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded.”

                    1. Yeah, the poor guy who actually did science and, y’know, CHECKED if the phosphate that they banned in Washington actually did cause the algae blooms that were given as the reason for it.

                      It didn’t. His science was checked, and was sound. Fairly easy to check, too.

                      He lost his grants.

                      Ditto for the guy who went back and checked the reefs in Australia and reported the objective measurements that showed that no, the idea of “all the reefs are dying” was not true.

                    2. Foxfire,

                      In watching the ‘Environmental Movement’ since I first started paying attention to politics in the 1970’s, I have come to the conclusion that anything they are rabid to ban is likely harmless (or minimally, better than what will need to replace it), and anything they are over the moon about will make matters worse. There may be exceptions, but I’m unaware of any.

                  1. The grant/science governmental complex?
                    Seriously, we have people doing very good science. But all of it risks corruption, of course, by he who pays the piper calling the tune.

                3. Ignoring the various related questions on that statement– What does that have to do with the claim of technological stagnation, barring computers, since 1990? It’s been almost 30 years since Nixon died…..

                  1. If Nixon screwed up the initial part of the supply chain, it might not have been until the ’90s that the supply ran out at the point where the engineers are paying attention.

                    Madrocketsci is an aerospace engineer. What might he be thinking about in terms of computerized advances? I don’t know his field very well, so I can only point to computational fluid dynamics, and avionics/controls. Possibly composites should be considered an advance, that isn’t really computerized, but that may depend on if they are an improvement. Note how he mentioned vast increases in cost. Composites aren’t necessarily cheap, and we definitely haven’t learned everything about using them. We currently know more about conventional aerospace alloy structures and how they last over a period of sixty years.

                    1. I’m not entirely sure what my opinion is on the opinions discussed here. I’m perhaps thinking as well as if I had been concussed. 🙂

                      I think “how do you even measure changes in the idea pipeline” is a more interesting can of worms than I had originally realized.

                    2. Isn’t it, thought?

                      Likewise, how do you know what discoveries are going to be important? Just yesterday or so, Orvan pointed out that a lot of discoveries/inventions hung around for decades before someone went “huh, I wonder.”

        4. I would argue that you are looking at an environment that has cyclic problems with intellectual sclerosis. In the 18th century (my Father’s specialty) in England, much of the original thinking was done (and published) outside the University system, simply because the University system had emphasized orthodoxy over innovation; you had to swear to the Anglican Creed to go to University at all.

          That didn’t stop theoretical research and innovation, it just moved it off of campus.

          We are going through another era During which the institutions of Higher Learning is much more dedicated to an orthodoxy than it is to Truth. We’ve seen this process in the Arts, too. Most of what is considered Modern in the Arts is drivel, and the majority of interesting work is being done in different venues.

          The work is getting done, but since the Elites trying to hold onto their power can’t cope with shifting reality, they are doing their damndest to suppress anything that might shift the Status Quo.

          Fortunately, they aren’t all that good at it.

        1. Oooh, yeah! About half of the houses we looked at when we moved last year had digital showings that included drones, it was so COOL!

      2. Also, apparently Tesla self driving cars are now having few accidents per mile than the average motorist.

        We may actually be at that point where a car can drive me, better than I can drive it, especially since I’ve been on lock-down for the past six months, and I can already tell my driving skills have gotten rusty, without the daily commute…

        1. Remember the “average motorist” includes a sizable number of illegal aliens who drive in dangerous manners and consider any crash they can walk away from to be a win. For consideration, there would usually be one or two vehicles-totaled crashes in my old home valley that were standard accidents. There would be four or six, on a good year, which involved cars that had been officially totaled months/years before, and were abandoned when they couldn’t be driven away. (Scanner, so it wasn’t just a matter of “the abandoned vehicles stayed there longer and so were seen.”)

          The averages are not norms.

          1. We used to have a *lot* of Korean drivers in my area. I’m not sure how they got Arkansas licenses, or if they bothered… but apparently the rule in Korea was “he who honks first has right of way.” They’d tap the horn and drive through red lights, make left turns across oncoming traffic, or blow four-way stops without a care in the world…

            1. My younger brother took his first drivers test in Arkansas.
              The road test consisted of driving around the block and pulling into a diagonal parking space.
              Admittedly it was a long time ago (during Clinton’s first term as Governor) but it wasn’t at all hard to pass.

          2. >> “Remember the “average motorist” includes a sizable number of illegal aliens who drive in dangerous manners and consider any crash they can walk away from to be a win.”

            Hang on… Are you saying we’ve been invaded by an army of Launchpad McQuack wannabes?

          3. Hell that ‘average motorist’ includes a huge number of people who had to take their driving test multiple times in order to pass. I’ve been tested three times (changes of State and a long period when I gave up my license because I was living in DC, and the traffic flat out terrified me), and I passed on the first try all three times…and I KNOW I’m mediocre at best (and drive accordingly).

            1. Some of the driving test guys are either idiots or a-holes.
              (By definition of “not doing an important job that puts us all in danger,” rather than “motivated by malice.” )

              When I took mine– in a 4 door, extended bed, one ton pickup truck– he tried to tell me I hadn’t stopped at the stop sign for long enough. Being me, that’s the kind of thing I’m paranoid about, which there’s no way he’d know– except that I count out loud. So he literally heard me stop, flip on the blinker, and count to five out loud while I was looking for traffic, and wrote down the “error” anyways.

              Backed down when I in all seriousness blinked and asked if it was a non-standard sign, because I’d counted to five after a full stop, and the law only required three-second full stop. I know realize it was a face-saver but he blustered some about how I needed to be more sure of having completely stopped (hint: I drove that thing in winter. It was January. My mother would KILL ME if it got damaged. I was very, very aware of “full stop.”) and didn’t go over any of the other notes.

              Guy tried to have my sister adjust the side mirrors on her test. Didn’t realize they weren’t power mirrors. Was a LOT longer process than he expected.

              Amazingly, my brother didn’t have any problems. I suspect mom was sitting there looking like an anime character, surrounded by flames….

              1. Ah, I remember when I first got my driver’s license. I passed the written test easily, and because I was paranoid about the driving test — I was convinced if I failed, my father would have refused to let me take it again — I annoyed a friend who had just taken it to take me around and show me everything… so I passed even though my driving test was easily twice as long and covered things that, according to all my friends, weren’t covered at all when they took their driving tests (I think we did parallel parking 3 times, one of which was on a steep hill. Most people I knew said they didn’t have to parallel park even once).

                We then found out that there was, apparently, a much shorter, easier test when the (arguably) cutest girl in school managed to bump into the test-instructor’s car, BOTH when backing out to start the test, and then bumping it again when pulling back in from taking the test, which consisted of driving around the block a few times. No parallel parking, nothing… Well, nothing other than being absolutely adorable that is.

              2. I’ve taken the test 5 times. Failed at 16 twice, passed third time.

                Fail 1 – Oversize pickup, to avoid right turn over curb (which I still do when driving the xcab PU, & traffic is clear) swung too far into second lane (one way), traffic was clear. -> Auto Fail.

                Fail 2 – Oversize pickup (car mom & dad had wouldn’t pass the inspection), ran over curb on right turn into nearest lane (again, which I do still, when traffic isn’t clear in next lane driving the xcab PU) to avoid going into far lane. -> Auto Fail.

                Pass – Mom & Dad had a new car. Above conditions didn’t apply.

                Pass – New state. Which also included parallel parking, which wasn’t even on the prior original state test, & something I’d never, done before (still don’t after 47 years of driving.

                Pass – New state (well okay back to prior state, still had to take driver test). Used car, not pickup, not stupid.

                Son took 3 times to pass too. Same with nieces. Something about 16 year olds not being allowed to pass first to times? Can’t answer for nieces, but son was the driver if he was in the car, for an entire year. We knew he was a good driver (documented over 200 hours, those are the ones he wrote down). Our concern is we not only taught him the rules of the road, but a bit about defensive driving. Ex: Never jump a green. Wait a count of 3 before preceding. Don’t push the yellow. Be prepared to stop. Son & nieces weren’t the exception. Exception was a teen passing the first time, generally those that waited past age 16.

                First time. No visible use of mirrors to check, except when backing up. (Auto fail.) What the heck? If your mirrors are set right, & you have decent side vision, you don’t have to exaggerate your head movement. Told kid to exaggerate. (With backup camera & warnings, now, they’d be lucky to get any sign of movement from me.)

                Second time. Part of the drive is over non-regulated RR crossing. Where the rule of the road is to slow so you can check down the tracks. It’s 20 MPH through there, so slowing isn’t much more than lifting foot off of accelerator, checking down both ways, & slide through, ready to break if see one as you get closer. Tester? Suppose “to stop”. Not the rule of the road. Also dinged him for “hesitation at lights when green” (see above) It was the combination that failed him.

                FWIW. Locally only the bigger city DMV’s are allowed to have driver tests. Not Junction City, Creswell, or Drain, etc. That prevents the driver passing by drving around the block & parking = pass.

                1. If your mirrors are set right, & you have decent side vision, you don’t have to exaggerate your head movement

                  *laughs* Oh, I’d forgotten that one!
                  One of the “suggestions for improvement” was that I spent too much time looking at my mirrors. I rattled off how often we were supposed to use them, per the handbook he’d handed me, and was very worried, started going to look it up.

                  Man, suddenly I realize how much of a pain in the tukis I was to adults who were just doing the stupid monkey games, and I didn’t even realize I was doing it….

                  This kind of weaponizing of tests is a really bad thing. I know it’s a traditional hurdle– most Navy boards will have at least one moron who brags about how nobody will be allowed to pass on the first try– but it’s one of the things you’re supposed to look out for in abusers, as well. Petty abuse of power to see how people respond to it.
                  They’re creating a very good hunting grounds, and they don’t even realize it.

                2. Driving test failed first time. Ohio has this “maneuverability test” that had replaced parallel parking and was something I’d never practiced. Hit one of the cones knocking it over. This is a “crash” and an auto-fail.

                  Second time I hired an instructor from a driving school specifically to learn the maneuverability test. School also provided an instructional car. Spent about a half hour practicing the maneuverability test then went to take the driving exam. Passed.

                  Still suck driving in reverse (and that includes parallel parking) but I’m very, very good driving forward and I have the autocross trophies to prove it. 😉

                  1. I remember when Ohio changed from parallel parking to the maneuverability test.

                    Look, the reason that (some) states require parallel parking is not because you’re going to do a lot of parallel parking. I only did a lot of parallel parking when I drove pizza because often the only place to park was on the street. I got pretty good at parallel parking but, based upon recent tests, those skills are gone.

                    No, the reason that they require parallel parking is because it tests the driver’s ability to do a number of things that are quite useful. To wit, you have to be able to estimate where the front and rear of your car are as well as the clearance on the passenger side. Since parallel parking is something that people do that requires those skills, that’s how many places test them. Ohio got the idea that “parallel parking” was scary and so invented a synthetic test to assess the same sorts of skills.

                    For the uninitiated, the maneuverability test is done in an area that has a set up consisting of three cones. Two are set about one car width apart and one is set about a car length ahead of those two and exactly in the middle. You pull through the first two cones and then to one side of the third, stopping when your rear bumper is lined up with the third cone. Then, you back up between the first two cones, exactly reversing the way you went forward, stopping with your front bumper on the line between those two cones.

                    In principle, you could be asked to go either to the left or the right of the third cone, but in 1981 Delaware County, you always went to the left side of the third cone because it was up against the building and you could only go to the left.

                    In Texas, they still do parallel parking, but it’s optional at the discretion of the examiner. I’ve heard that you definitely will do the parallel parking test if you drive a large vehicle and probably won’t if you drive a sort of tiny car that I drive. Texas also has a deal where the driving school can give you the test.

                    1. For the uninitiated, the maneuverability test is done in an area that has a set up consisting of three cones. Two are set about one car width apart and one is set about a car length ahead of those two and exactly in the middle. You pull through the first two cones and then to one side of the third, stopping when your rear bumper is lined up with the third cone. Then, you back up between the first two cones, exactly reversing the way you went forward, stopping with your front bumper on the line between those two cones.

                      When I took it, it was five cones, not three. There were an additional two cones at the back corners of the car. You had to come straight through the rectangle of four cones, swerve around the one ahead and in the middle, then reverse it all going backward. It was one of those cones to the rear that I knocked over when backing into it.

                      When I took the test the first time, I war driving a friend’s Pontiac Bonneville. Second time I was driving the car from the school, a much smaller car, which made it quite a bit easier.

                  2. Heck. I can barely see out the rear view mirror of our pickup. Three back windows will do that (canopy). Let alone anything on the road closer than say 8 to 10 feet (height). I’ve learned how to compensate. Much maneuvering backward? Forget it. Backing up? Very carefully, very slowly. I know what is to either side & approaching. I make a point of walking around pickup before getting in to drive. I avoid parking where backing up is a requirement like the plague. Right now pickup is not needed for general driving. Not for the last 18 months. Just towing trailer.

                    Really wanted backup camera on pickup when we got it in 2010, just a very expensive option and not needed per hubby. Sigh. Really love the one in the Santa Fe. Not only see what is going on, but get warned about what can’t see. Granted in 2010 was thinking more about issues hitching the trailer than other backing chores, but still. We won’t discuss the fun helping hubby backup & place the trailer. And I’m not the one driving. He’s good at it. He just needs direction from me for where he can’t see … and he can’t hear me yelling directions … sigh; radios don’t work either (well they might if we can keep from losing them). We keep it? It is getting a tow camera on the back of the dang thing. Then all I have to watch is low hanging heavy damaging branches …

                  3. Ah. I also have massive issues with reverse and knowing where my sides are. This translates to “I can drive anywhere. I just can’t park.”
                    Might be genetic. My brother endures teasing for parking a mile away from his objective, so he can park in an uncluttered parking lot.

                    1. My mom never went in for close parking spaces given a choice. She can park in close quarters just fine if she has to — better than I can — but she doesn’t like being crowded, whether it’s her person or her car, and really doesn’t like crawling around the busy part of the lot to hunt something closer.

        2. I will trust myself in a ‘self-driving’ car the day it is reliably reported that He’ll has frozen over. And I am not a great driver. Self driving cars will be a fad of the Planners, right up to the morning a software bug makes its presence known in the middle of rush hour. Then the finger pointing, blame shifting, and distancing will be epic.

          It doesn’t even have to be a bug. Some nitwit sending out an ‘update’ at the wrong time would be plenty .

          1. How about the first time somebody cracks into a self-driving car and sends it somewhere the driver didn’t want to go?

      3. Knee replacement? Heck, they’re doing freakin’ shoulder replacements now! That is one complex joint to replace.

        A lot of advancements have been stymied by regulatory sclerosis, a lot don’t occur where we particularly notice, a lot occur where we take them for granted (back in the Nineties you paid $1 per megabyte of hard drive memory, now a 256 gigabyte thumb drive can be picked up at Walmart for around $30.)

        We’re wasting resources (brains, money, materials) on BS R&D (thank-you, AlGore!) but there is still enough to spare for a real space program and, if that doesn’t get shoved aside (Vote Trump 2020!*) we’ll be mining asteroids in a few decades.

        *Think a Biden Administration will allow that kind of environmentally risque development? Not even if they put Hunter on the Board.

        1. Okay – I stand corrected; thanks to an Instapundit link I see Amazon is offering a free-standing Western Digital 12 TB hard drive for $219 … on sale from $250. I did a quick calculation of how that compares to the dollar a megabyte price of twenty-five years ago and got about two microcents per meg.

          Feel free to check my math.

          1. 12TB?

            Damn, I need to pick up a couple of 2TBs but can’t find for less than a couple hundred bucks.

        2. The 90s? Heck, in 1982 you were paying over $1000 per megabyte. I know, because I have a 1982 Byte magazine advertising a 5 megabyte Winchester hard drive for only $6,000. Ad took up the whole back cover.

          1. Generally, you had to buy a hard disk controller, which wasn’t cheap either.

            I bought a 1Gb Fujitsu SCSI drive for $1900 in 1992, and another $600 for a Future Domain controller, and then another $125 for the device driver for the controller, since the cheap $600 SKU didn’t come with the software. Yes, i cheered when Future Domain bit the dust…

          2. You know, I just built a CP/M computer because I always wanted one, but never could afford one. It’s built up from a printed circuit board that I bought on eBay for $8 and I spent maybe $50 for the rest of the parts on the board. Mass storage for this computer is a $5 SPI microSD adapter intended for use with an Arduino that has a 32 GB microSD card in it. I bought 5 of those microSD cards, each with an SD adaptor, for $26 including shipping.

            I’m mostly limited right now by the fact that I can’t really transfer files to it without turning it off. I guess I need to do yet another XMODEM implementation.

            1. I *liked* CP/M. Though since I was very familiar with the innards of MSDOS, it seemed quite familiar to me.

              if Gary Kildall hadn’t snubbed the Suits from IBM, the PC might have shipped with MP/M or Concurrent CP/M instead of Tim Paterson’s workalike, and we would have had a multiuser, multitasking OS running on a 128K PC with a cassette port…

              1. I had a multiuser, multitasking OS running on a 64K computer with a cassette port (and three 5 1/4″ floppy drives) in 1985.

                OS-9 on the Radio Shack Color Computer. I had to rewrite the disk device driver, though. The one that shipped with OS-9 was hard-coded for 35 track single-side drives. I wrote a much better one in under 400 bytes. The Motorola 6809 has impressive code density.

                1. OS/9 really wasn’t multiuser. Not in the same way that Unix is. To be sure, it’s comparable to what CP/M’s multiuser capability is, but don’t think of CP/M as a multiuser OS, either. I had my old gray-case coco running OS/9 and did some stuff with it, mostly some programming because I had all the languages (C, Pascal, and BASIC.)

                  I even sent a letter to a columnist at, oh, I think it was Rainbow magazine describing how you could run the OS/9 C compiler on a single disk drive. I tried to do serial programming in C on OS/9, but there was a library bug in the version I have. The “is a character ready to read” function in the C library always returned true. Nowadays I’d just make the appropriate OS call directly, but I didn’t think of it back then.

                  I also tried to patch the disk driver to deal with double-sided 40-track drives (because I had one) but I couldn’t get it to work. It would have been a lot easier if I’d had the source to the existing driver, or some sort of instructions about how to write an OS/9 device driver.

                  1. I wrote the replacement disk driver in assembly, then posted it at comp.sci.os9 on Usenet. I started by disassembling the existing driver, using the Motorola 6809 databook as a reference. I managed to dig out all the necessary information for writing a device driver from the manuals that came with OS-9.

                    Whaddya know, I’ve still got ’em! OS-9 Commands, OS-9 Technical Information and OS-9 Program Development. They’re kind of falling apart after 35 years but all the pages are still here.

                    I remember I also had to rewrite OS9Gen so it would write the kernel and I/O modules onto only the front side of double-sided disks, because the Color Computer’s boot loader could only handle single-sided disks. I wrote an improved Mkdir that took parameters, such as setting the initial segment size to something other than 8 sectors.

                    I sometimes daydream about the world that could have been if IBM had used the 68000 instead of the 8088. But no, they picked the shittiest CPU they could find so that those silly toys could never, EVER threaten their mainframe business.

                    1. But no, they picked the shittiest CPU they could find so that those silly toys could never, EVER threaten their mainframe business.


                      and … How’d that work out for them?

                      LOL

                2. I read about OS-9 in Byte, I think. It sounded great. There were some ads for the x86 version in places like Dr. Dobbs’, but the pricing was far beyond what I was willing to pay, ($395 comes to mind, but I can’t find anything on the web to confirm it) and the only compiler they listed was for C, which was a language I greatly disliked and hoped would go away. Ah, well…

                  It looked to me like they were trying to position OS-9 as a “vertical market solution platoform” to compete with Microsoft’s Xenix, which was also more expensive than I could justify.

                  I wound up using DR-DOS and DESQview while managing Slackware Linux servers at work. That was back when Linus was still in school in Helsinki; after a dispute over “Linn-ucks” vs. “Lie-nucks”, I emailed him for the correct pronunciation. He replied that he pronounced it “Lee-nooks”, but either of the others was fine with him, so I continue to use “Lie-nucks”, which seems obvious; long U in Unix, long I in Linux…

              2. I never got to use CP/M except for a couple of hours on my boss’s computer at the radio station. I just mention it because people were talking trying to compare common today with common way back when, and this is more of an apples-to-apples comparison. (8 MHz Z80 with 128k of RAM and the aforementioned 32GB microSD card for mass storage.) The I/O processor, an ATMEGA328, is arguably more powerful than the Z80. At least it clocks way faster.

                The way I always heard the CP/M-86 vs MS-DOS was that IBM wanted to keep their meetings with OS vendors secret and Mr. Kildall didn’t want to go along with that. He refused to sign their NDA so they went to somebody else. The thing I don’t know is what would have happened if they had gone with CP/M. Microsoft refused to give IBM an exclusive license for MS-DOS, which made IBM clones a lot easier to make, but would have Digital Research done the same thing? Who can say?

                1. There are various stories about what happened between IBM and Digital Research, some of them from people who claimed personal knowledge of what went on, but they are wildly different. As far as I know neither the Suits nor Kildall told their version of what happened. It would be interesting if the Suits would speak up; they’re probably long-retired from IBM now. Kildall made the mistake of walking into a biker bar wearing the colors of a rival gang, and he didn’t survive the mistake. (though, as usual for anything to do with DRI or Gary Kildall, there are various conflicting stories…)

    2. Technology (with the much ballyhooed exception of computers) has been pretty stagnant

      The universe is entirely hydrogen (with the much ballyhooed exception of heavier elements).

      1. Snark aside; those irrelevant computers are what is driving SpaceX. From initial design and simulation, to CNC fabrication, to finally giving the rockets the precision controls which allow them to fly the trajectories they fly.

        You would do well to learn how much difference “trivial” changes make. You will have a reduced chance of making a public fool of yourself.

        1. Fancy complicated controls systems based on modern digital architectures aren’t necessarily an improvement if the design/maintenance techniques aren’t up to providing the reliability that the techniques for the older controls systems could provide. Okay, the 737 Max issues are probably more organizational and a matter of forgetting correct techniques which aerospace engineers knew of at one point.

          This is may be an area where you know what the hockeysticks is going on with program complexity, and you hang out with people who know what is going on, and that may blind you to the idea that others might be seeing idiots using stuff for serious business without any idea of what is going on inside.

          Machine learning and artificial neural networks are a hot topic in engineering research. Which may be safe enough, even if the internals are opaque. But what if not all the researchers are aware of the limits of the technique, and good enough engineers to ensure that conservative decisions result? These people are working in two different fields, and may not have the background to do adequate work in both.

          Do you really think that someone whose programming skill is at best BS in computer science level is going to be as trained and experienced as you are?

        1. akshully, don’t you think that you could get published if you proclaimed it was mostly composed of systemic racism? It’d be a little interesting to see how many of the physics journals would dare refuse.

      1. Saturday’s not over; they could come up with something stupider in the next few hours.

            1. I’m going to apply for a grant to use machine learning to generate stupid ideas.

              1. You’re trying to use Artificial Intelligence to simulate Artificial Stupidity?

                Why? We’ve already got way too much of the natural kind!

          1. I could trip and fall in the shower tonight. Maybe I need a post-doc in shampoo to prevent that. I would need to get the more basic degrees though. Any suggestions for fun majors? Are there any fields at universities which aren’t insane?

            1. Don’t encourage them. We don’t need degrees in telephone sanitizing, hairdressing (oops, we have them) and commandibg a fleet from the bathtub.

                1. Be fair: the job also entails sweeping up after haircuts.

                  At least they aren’t required to also get a Janitor Sanitation Engineer license.

          2. You know what is really disturbing about this? The FIVE Hundred hours of class time they want to require is halfway to a Cosmetology degree/license!!! That means half the required study covers lather/rinse/repeat and sweeping up the cuttings and the other half is spent on the trivial stuff like cutting, styling, bleaching, dying, permanents, spotting diseases (ringworm, anybody?) and proper procedures for handling biological hazards* & toxic chemicals. And whatever the heck else gets covered in a cosmetology degree — I am sure I have scant idea.

            But I would think the shampoo technician could achieve adequate professional training in sixteen hours, twenty-four at most (I can understand professional legislators having trouble grasping Theory & Principles of Application of a Push Broom.)

            *principles of sanitizing equipment between clients, for example.

                1. Fredo the older is busy begging “Da Rich” to “Come back please!”, He’ll take them dinner!
                  gotta pay for all the paint they need to touch up the graffiti in from of Trump’s place.

                  1. Andy has some challenges on his plate, especially with Bill deBlowhole as his interface with NY City.

                    Selected headlines:

                    NYC will die if we don’t allow indoor dining in Midtown ASAP

                    With a defanged watchdog, NYC’s fiscal future is dicey

                    NYC moms fleeing Upper West Side amid crime and chaos

                    I’m going out on a limb but I doubt the people Cuomo’s trying to woo back are the types of people moved by a free breakfast.

                    Now, if Andy were offering to lick their boots …

    1. It takes more “hours of training” to get a Nebraska cosmetology license than the FAA requires to pilot a jumbo.

      It’s not quality of service, it’s regulatory capture.

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