Individual Lives Matter


If you think that saying “All Lives Matter” somehow diminishes the fact that black lives matter, you might have a chunk of Marx in your eye.  You might also be a stone cold racist.

Look, the way a Marxist explained it (I got it second hand) is that if you tell someone that your kid is having a really sh*tty time in school, and they say “all the kids are having a sh*tty time” you are somehow diminishing that parent’s experience.

Sure you are. IF the kid is having a particularly sh*tty time, in fact. For instance, when younger son was going through hell with no galoshes, if someone had said “all kids have a terrible time in that school” I’d have said “uh, not all, but you’re right, the school resembles a prison camp, and when I went to have lunch with him, I was appalled.”

I wouldn’t have said “you’re disrespecting my kid for saying that.”

And if in fact, the facts on the particular thing you were complaining about (say, you claim your kid is getting an extraordinary number of detentions) turns out to be not only false but also crazy cakes (no, statistically unarmed black people DO NOT get shot/killed more than unarmed white people, not even proportionately to their numbers in the population. Not that you’ll find that without looking very carefully at this point.) not only am I not disrespecting your kid, I’m telling you to loosen up the tinfoil hat.

I’m sure that Marxist — I don’t talk to him, because frankly 2020 is enough of a problem — would come back citing rates of single parenthood, rates of failing in school and statistics of employment.

And yeah, you can say that black people in America have a really rough deal in those respects. But — and this is very important — do they have a rough deal because no one gives a d*mn or because they’ve been the state’s particular pet project since the Great Society?  Because you know what? I’ve never seen the government actually do something to improve the lot of Americans or in fact anything outside its allotted duties in the constitution that doesn’t in fact result in the exact opposite of what they say it will. Examples? Oh, hell. Radio Free America is a source of anti-American propaganda. The department of education has resulted in generations of uneducated, barely literate children.  The department of energy seems hell bent on making sure that energy supply is irregular, fragile and expensive. The government’s space program, after a burst of some achievement now seems mostly devoted to keeping Americans out of space, at least Americans in their own bodies.  And–  Why go on?

In fact anything beyond protecting the borders (wouldn’t it be a great idea if they actually did THAT) and enforcing the law equally (Wouldn’t THAT be another great idea?) seems to be beyond the reach of the government. Mostly because government is force and it’s at its best when breaking things.

Yes, I know the racists of both sides (Joe Biden “Poor kids are as smart as white kids” Head desk.) will come and say that black people couldn’t achieve or find their way in society without help. I not only find that argument nauseating, I find it bitterly funny.

To the idiots who think that black people are genetically inferior I say that the diet in the poor parts of Africa influences IQ and that the culture distorts the whole thing further, and besides IQ doesn’t mean what you think it means.  Or as a friend who works in the field put it “We don’t know what IQ means, but it doesn’t mean what people think.”

Oh, you mean black people in America?  Yeah. genetically speaking, unless we’re talking about the children of very recent immigrants, the technical term for black people who are American is “Caucasian.”

As someone who was once not culturally American and who has acculturated, let me tell you that the way Americans identify races makes me think of the farside cartoon with the two penguins on the doors of the bathrooms and “only they can tell the difference.”

Not only could the Reverend Wright and Kamala Harris disappear into the general population in Portugal and not even be thought anything but white (not that Kamala Harris pings anyone’s radar as ‘African” or at least I hope not) but it would have shocked me 34 years ago if you told me I looked or could be identified as anything but white. However I recently found a 20 year old picture of myself (I’ll probably be using it for the Jane Austen fanfic pen name’s author page, once I figure out where Dan put the scanner after the office move.)  I’d never thought of myself as anything but white, even then, though people tend to identify me as Latin.  But I was wearing a perm at the time, and the picture is black and white.  And looking at it, I realized, if I saw it now, and didn’t know it was me, I’d assume it was a young black woman.  (Oh, I DO have black ancestry, according to 23 and me, though frankly the total changes back and forth. Probably enough I could claim to be black if I so wished. But it’s not something that would cross anyone’s mind in Portugal. Or here, when my hair is straight.)

As for the racists on the left side…. I was extremely shocked not so long ago when someone told me with a straight face that the government needed to hire black people even for make work jobs, because as technology became more advanced, all these people were going to be unemployed. I didn’t say “Say what?” though I should have.  I mean, seriously? Up until that moment I’d never thought that being able to tan killed brain cells.  Never mind.

Moving right along, it occurs to me that telling these people “All lives matter” is in fact inadequate.

If we’re talking about deaths-by-police, well, you know, it’s not a problem. And if it’s death in life by government, yes, black people have it worse than many — most? — in the US. But how is identifying them as a group and giving them more government loving “care” make things better?

And if its’ crazy cakes insanity like what Bully Lament and Murder as an organized movement do, such as demanding that people just hand things over in reparations?

That’s just the insanity induced by Marxism. And it would work as well as Marxist redistribution does. I.e. total immiseration of everyone.

You see, people aren’t classes. Or colors. or any external characteristic.

People are individuals. Which means whatever things affect them personally they affect THEM not everyone else who looks like them.

While you can make a lot of noises about the generational effects of slavery, let’s be brutally honest, even 100 years ago most people were traumatized in ways we weren’t and ways that would break our kids.  We don’t know how that affects family culture, or individual lives. We just don’t know.

We know in the long run — though it would shock most graduates of American high schools — we’re ALL no matter what color descended from slaves and slave masters, from cannibals and rapists, from the raped and the tortured. There are no universal winners in the human race, only temporarily “privileged” people, and that privilege is often less than it seems.

I recently watched some crazy person tell us that the ability to go the new world and colonize was white privilege.  Let’s look it over: you get in a vessel that will take months to get somewhere you’ve never been, leaving your entire family behind, every tie, every connection, and you get to wrestle a living out of unfamiliar soil  This is an endeavor that killed most people. But hey, privilege!

Then there are the ones who claim death camp survivors have white privilege, something that would make you cry if it weren’t so funny.  Also, nauseating.

One starts to think that “privilege” as defined by the left might be a Marxist mirage.

Anyway, the point is yeah, given horrible schools, broken neighborhoods, and the fact that social programs have destroyed family structure, it is true black people have a harder time in America.

Who was it — sorry, no memory for celebrities, but it’s a black man — who said the way to end racism is to stop talking about race. Just stop it. Stop trying to turn it on its head. Stop telling me — a first generation immigrant, married to a man whose family never owned slaves — that I owe reparations to some black immigrant — say Ilhan Omar — who arrived in America this generation and who — yeah, surely — has slave ancestors, but NOT HERE.

Stop telling women, for that matter, that they should humiliate and mistreat men because women were humiliated and mistreated in former generations.  Sure, some women — not all — were.  But I can guarantee they weren’t mistreated and humiliated by any man alive today.  If a man alive today mistreats women PUNISH HIM, not all males in general.  And anyone who thinks a man deserves what is coming to him because some distant ancestor might have been an abuser, let me point out women can be abusers and tyrants too, and that you undoubtedly also have a lot of those in your ancestry.  All of us are descended from sinners, criminals, saints and martyrs. Of both sexes. AND more importantly, none of us are our ancestors OF EITHER SEX, OF ANY COLOR, OF ANY CONDITION.

Humans are individuals. And individual lives MATTER.  They matter profoundly.  In fact, to other humans they are the most important thing in this world.

I don’t care who your ancestors were, if you tan or not, or if your nose if like mine or tiny and inconsequential like my husband’s. I don’t even care if like me and the boys you have Neanderthal brow ridges.

I care that you are Human (or a reasonable facsimile thereof) and your own person.

It is not the government’s or the culture’s job to punish you for the crimes of people who look vaguely like you, long ago or now.  And it is not the government’s job to compensate you for the oppression of people who look vaguely like you, long ago or now.

It is not the government’s job to decide your potential and give you pity jobs, or chain you to low performing schools, no matter what your color is.

The government’s job is to treat you equally with other individuals under the law, with no prejudice in either direction.

And the government’s job is to guarantee your life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.  The later of which includes securing to you your property legally acquired, the fruit and sweat of your brow, and everything that gives life meaning.

Giving the government power to strip people of their property, either because they got in a stupid panic over a virus OR because they think they should hold you accountable for the crime of long dead people to whom you have no relation will only make sure that no lives matter.  Not mine, not yours, no matter what color the people living these lives are or think they are, or perhaps aspire to being.

Humans aren’t born responsible for the crimes of anyone but their own.

A system that punishes people for things they did not do is called INjustice. It has always been so. And you don’t create justice via injustice.

Stop lumping people in arbitrary groups and pitching them against each other in obedience to the system of a long dead and honestly very evil man.

Individual lives matter. They’re the only thing that matters. Let’s give people the freedom to live them to the fullest.


492 thoughts on “Individual Lives Matter

  1. On IQ: there’s strong evidence that an extra two years of school increases your IQ by 3 points on average. (If, that is, it’s a good school system.) Specifically, in Norway at one point the mandatory school attendance age was increased from 16 to 18. At the same time, all young men were required to do military service after finishing school, and their military service entrance testing included an IQ test. So they had a very large cohort of young men, and the ones coming into the military after an extra two years of schooling averaged 3 points better on the IQ test than the ones who had finished school at 16.

    (And there could be other variables such as age — perhaps 18-year-olds score higher than 16-year-olds regardless of schooling — but allegedly the study allowed for that.)

    My conclusion: if the schools are in Norway, then extra schooling can increase your IQ. But if the schools are in African countries like the one I lived in for a year, where the teachers often weren’t paid because some kleptocrat higher up in the government levels was pocketing the money that was supposed to pay them, then an extra two years of schooling wouldn’t increase your IQ. If anything, it might even decrease it if the schools are awful. And that’s a far better explanation for the African countries where the IQ scores average 60 than the “it’s all genetic” explanation that the racists want to come up with.

    1. Correction: according to the ones with 2 more years of education averaged a bit more than 7 points more, not “a bit better than 3 points more”. So that’s 3.5 points per year. Which means that even if we assume that bad schooling can’t reduce your IQ score, those kids growing up in African countries with terrible schooling systems are missing out on about 12 years’ worth of 3.5 points per year, or 42 IQ points, compared to the kids who grew up in a country with decent school. Which indeed neatly explains the average scores of 60 in certain countries. If you want to buy into a “they’re genetically inferior” explanation, then you have to explain why people of similar genetics who grew up in America average *way* better than the ones who grew up in their home countries. And the genetic explanation just doesn’t have a good explanation to hand; the “oh, they’re mixed race and that accounts for it” one just doesn’t hold up when you run the numbers.

        1. The flip side of this is that the more time and effort spent mitigating “nurture” (odd sort of “nurture” that includes things like the mother’s nutrition during pregnancy, but whatever), the larger the fraction “nature” takes up.

          Which is yet another of the cruel jokes reality has to offer in this subject. It’s pretty much cruel jokes all the way down.

          1. There isn’t research, but there is anecdotal evidence and a very good pediatricians talk with us, indicating that IQ will also mimic that of adopted parents if no impairment exists and you get the kid before three.
            Our pediatrician told us any kid we raised from before 3 (given no massive impairment, of course) would end up testing/performing high IQ.

            1. Parents demonstrate and reinforce patterns of thinking. If Edward de Bono’s theories mean anything, thinking is a process which can be learned, can be refined, and can be improved. (Of course, the opposite is also the case: people can be taught ineffective, even harmful, modes of thinking … but the Marxists have already proven that.)

              Of course, if that is true then ineffective schools are harming students and need to be held to account.

            2. Flip side, kids in ghetto schools perform poorly, not because they’re inherently stupid, but because they’re treated as if they are. And their parents don’t value “education”, nor do the people who are supposed to be imparting it. They’re just warehoused there in public daycare until they reach legal age, and are then turned loose almost as ignorant as when they entered the system.

              1. They are not being taught to think.

                They are being taught NOT to think.

                And they are learning that anti-lesson.

              2. They are taught that getting educated (if that were even possible in their environment) is racially inauthentic. Look over the list of “Aspects of White Culture” and you have to work hard to not see the contempt in which they hold Black kids.

                Wouldn’t requiring an African-American single mom to show up on time for her welfare caseworker’s review constitute forcing her to comply with White Culture? Wouldn’t it be wronggggg to penalize her for arriving three hours late?

              3. To be fair, the ghetto schools also have some cultural problems – in terms of disparaging people who try to learn as “acting white”. Even if the parents value education, their peers in the school are also likely to disrupt learning much like the crabs in a bucket tend to pull down those members who attempt to escape.

            1. High IQ parents are more likely to read a lot to their kids from an early age, for one thing. They’re also more likely to encourage the kids’ curiosity.

                1. *glances at bookshelves to the left*
                  *glances at bookshelf to the right*
                  *glances at books on desk*

                  I… don’t know how to teach a kid to read. Somehow they all ended up doing it.

                  Osmosis. Yeah. That’s it.

                  1. I tried to teach my insanely bright and insanely competitive Kid to read. Phonics books and some games and such. She was utterly uninterested, possibly because 1) getting me to read to her involved cuddles and playtime and 2) she pretty much had all her books memorized. Until I mentioned in passing that I’d learned to read just before my third birthday. “…but I’m FOUR!!”

                    She was reading Clifford books to me before two weeks had passed.

                    1. *laughs*

                      I’ll share my theory– phonics is a magic feather to give you and the kid something to do that isn’t harmful, while you teach them all the words they’re going to have to memorize.

                      It’s not entirely serious, but after four or five “creative” pronunciations/emphasis/wait-I-think-you-dropped-half-the-word situations…..

                    2. I taught myself to read by three and a half. I guess. I can not remember ever not reading. My parents thought I’d memorized whatever book I was reading (“One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish” at a guess because that was apparently my favorite) so they handed me a book that I’d never read, so I read a page or two of “Bennett Kerf’s Book of Logs” which is how my 42 month old self interpreted “Bennett Cerf’s Book of Laughs”

                    3. My parents taught me to read by making bedtime reading ONE CHAPTER. Naturally, not every chapter ends at a good stopping point, so I learned to read in self defense against cliffhangers.

                      And, yes, they did make sure I had access to a flashlight.

                    4. I learned to read slowly. Mostly because I remembered everything they said anyway, I suppose, and reading took too much time. Probably somewhere around four I got the letters and the sounds right, about the time I was learning French for the first time.

                      The first things I read, after those abominable childrens’ books they foisted upon me was probably Hatchet. And then, because I was an idiot, and read slow, I took almost a year to read The Hobbit, and then a bunch of fantasy in “as many as I can get my hands on” terms, some good, some not so much. By the time I was fourteen or so I killed a novel a day. In college I could have managed two, possibly three, but I still needed about two and a half hours sleep between classes and work.

                      The folks thought I might be slow because I didn’t talk and didn’t read until late. Before that bloody IQ test, of course. Mom still tells the story of how I didn’t speak until I could say complete sentences. Of course, she also says I can’t possibly remember being young enough to barely be able to walk, and being confined to the blanket in the park (which I was rather upset with at the time. I had places to go!), so her stories are a bit all over the place.

                    5. Younger son didn’t speak to ANYONE BUT ME until he was 3. Everyone else thought there was something wrong with him. Maybe he was, but it wasn’t being mute.

                    6. I don’t think I could read easily before 6 or 7, though. I think Mom tutored me at home, extensively. But – I could read fluently and everything that I could get my hands on by aged 8 or so. That was when I went through every single book in the house, including Dad’s anthropology textbooks, and read in them until I was bored. Good thing that Lady Chatterly’s Lover had a good few boring dozen chapters before getting to the “hot stuff’ – which likely I wouldn’t have understood, anyway. But Mom did say that I was a very weird child. I think that we all were, but in different and curious ways.

                    7. One of my few childhood memories is that I resisted learning to read on grounds that if I could read for myself nobody would do it for me. So I was probably in first grade before I took it up.

                      By third grade I was a voracious reader, reading pretty much everything available in the classroom’s library – including a book of 1,001 Questions About Birds even though, to the best I recall, I had NO questions about birds and picked up the book because it was among the last I hadn’t read.

                    8. *laughing* Okay… I still should probably spend more time reading aloud, but I will try to stop wondering if I slowed down the little one learning to do it herself.

                    9. I don’t remember not reading. Best guess is I learned it while my older sister was being taught. My mother was surprised when my Kindergarten teacher told her she should have taught me to read “Because she’ll be bored.” as if that didn’t happen regularly, all through school.

                    10. My mother taught me to read by positive and negative reinforcement. If I got the letter (earlier) then word (later) correct, I got an M&M. If I got them wrong, she got the M&M.

                    11. “I taught myself to read by three and a half”–yeah, that was me, as well. Parents thought I’d memorized the books, so they brought out another and I was able to pick out all the words I had learned from my favorite storybooks. I have a memory of reading the Dick, Jane, and Spot books with my father, but I can only think that must have been soon after this, because I was *reading* them, not learning to read them.

                      It also led to things like Dad not being able to fudge bits of my favorite books, and also I’m pretty sure the first words I actually learned to spell were “ice cream” because apparently–spelling it out being a favored tactic of the parents early on–they tried it the last time going somewhere in the car and I immediately declared I wanted ice cream! (Although it’s also just as likely I’d learned to correlate those letters being spelled out with immediately getting ice cream afterwards, because I know my parents, and it’s not likely either one of them would have said “Nah, I don’t want ice cream” EVER.

                      I never did learn phonetics, and all the way through the end of high school I was discovering words I’d been mispronouncing for years, heh. (My AP English Teacher about choked trying not to laugh when she heard me say “macabre” aloud–but credit to her, she corrected me, and then shrewdly guessed that I’d never learned anything like phonetics.)

                    12. Oh, now… I think phonics are to some extent my natural approach — apparently I spent a lot of time asking Mom what sounds different letters made — but while they provide a basis for pattern recognition and educated guesses on how an unheard word might be pronounced, especially once you throw in some etymology, I would never pretend they prevent wrong guesses. I don’t see any reasonable way they’d have rescued “macabre.” 😀

                    13. Given that it’s *French*…no. (Hilariously, I should have twigged to that, having also taken French in high school, but did not.)

                      I like Romanian. You say it EXACTLY as it is spelled, and vice versa. Okay, yeah, there’s some weird letters in there, but once you’ve got that down you’re good to go.

                    14. To be fair, even if you can determine from the spelling where we acquired a word, it’s still kind of up in the air whether we kept the original pronunciation, threw it out and reinterpreted by some other system, or somewhere in between….

                    15. I recall my mother’s phonics flashcards she’d made for us (self and sis), and vague lessons in -H blends (th, sh, ch, wh), but that was two or three. I don’t recall much of the process, but by kindergarten (1987) I was testing as “post high-school” level for reading. What I do recall was that Dad used to read the Bible to us every night, and in the early years, storybooks as well: Narnia, Treasure Island, the Space Trilogy, Tom Sawyer, The Call of the Wild, Ivanhoe … I think I tackled learning-to-read so that I could read those “grown-up” books myself.

                  2. Foxfier, this is the child that I caught sitting on the sofa and inventing Dr. Seuss fanfic at the age of two. She had a copy of “The Cat in the Hat” on her lap and was reinventing it from the fish’s POV. In disturbingly accurate rhythm, if not rhyme. Sadly, I only caught the part I came in on: “…he said ‘I don’t WANT to fall into the pot! Push that cat out the door, I don’t like him…” and then I distracted her. Dammit.

                    1. We figured out younger son knew how to read in third grade. Friends had told us they caught him reading before, but every time we tested him, he did strange stuff (To be sure, he still does weird stuff to get our goat.) We went to the natural history museum and couldn’t drag him out because he was reading EVERY sign.
                      HOWEVER his brother SWEARS “the little monster” was reading (and swiping older brother’s books) by one and a half (I really have trouble with this) and I KNOW he was bringing out and misfiling my mystery books by pre-school.
                      I asked him recently if he remembered The Cat Who books, and he said “Not clearly. I read them before pre-school.”
                      This was, kind of dropped in.
                      I said “Uh…. Hon, when did you learn to read?”
                      Blank stare. “No idea, I don’t remember NOT reading.”
                      In moving we found dinosaur stories written by him when he was… 3? 4?
                      Mind you his spelling was somewhere between atrocious and bizarre (he has hearing issues.) but… well, reading that stuff it was amazing for his age.
                      To be clear I never knew those stories EXISTED (they were illustrated too.)
                      He’s the secretive one. AKA “Why my hair is getting whiter by the day.”

                    2. Aaakh! Your hair has White Privilege!

                      But if you dye it, you’re ‘appropriating’ Hair Of Color.

                    3. ..that sounds like Younger Son, yes. From the stories I’ve heard.

                      I remember, just barely, *not* being able to read, because my mother had found a set of phonics records (this was c. 1977, the records were maybe 1970?) and stashed them under the bed until she could use them to give me a jump on first grade. Except that I was bored, found them under the bed, and played them all, and that’s how my mother found me sitting on the sofa and puzzling my way through Volume A of the encyclopedia.

                      I remember finding the records. I wish I could remember *learning*, because that would be a cool mental shift to see.

                  3. Tell them NOT TO READ THOSE BOOKS, and stay away from those books…and don’t go trying to catch them reading the books,

                  4. I learned not to tell people I could read, when the nuns called my mother in to reprimand her for my being able to read before I started school. Much like Ralphie in a Christmas story, we couldn’t tell them I learned it from Dad. The old October Seuss dictionary. see Aaron, Aaron is an alligator, see Aaron the Alligator in the Airplane. Then The Railway Series by Rev Awdry. Still have my Railway Series books. My boys were devoted to them too.

                    We realized Number one son could read when he started to read street signs to us, I think he was three.

                    1. >> “the nuns called my mother in to reprimand her for my being able to read before I started school.”

                      I hope your mother’s response was along the lines of “And just why the hell is that a problem?”

                    2. in the immortal words of Curtis in the Blues Brothers: “Boys, you got to learn not to talk to nuns that way.”

                      My mother was a descendent of the order’s foundress’ and we have lots of nuns in the family so she knew how to deal with it. I suspect the word hadn’t got down from the Head mistress to my Kindergarten teacher or she would have been afraid of her life.

                      The nuns weren’t that bad. I was fairly biddable at that age and so had little problem. youngest sister was a complete kiss a-s, the nuns loved her. My other sister would run through a glass door simply because she was told not to. They really were very patient with her.

                      I asked one of them, years later, why they were all so mean. She told me that she, as a 17 year old novice, was put in front of a class of 60 hoodlums in Hells Kitchen. You kept order or you went under.

                    3. >> “I got phone call because Marshall quoted Shakespeare in kindergarten.”

                      Oh, please tell me it was along the lines of “My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth!” Because otherwise, I fail to see the problem. What was their excuse for being upset?

                      I was too young to remember, but according to my mother she briefly sent me to a Montessori school a year before I started kindergarten and had to pull me out. They flipped out because I kept playing with toys meant for older children.

                      There’s something seriously wrong when a children’s teacher gets offended over a child being smarter and more educated than normal. You’d think they’d be happy.

                    4. Well…. Let’s say his teacher said they’d do whatever he wanted tomorrow.
                      AND…. Marshall — I should explain here a game in the family at the time, because I was writing the Shakespeare books, which entailed LISTENING to and watching the plays… a lot, was to quote something and have the other family membrs say what play, act and scene (okay, we’re weird, okay?) — let loose with:
                      Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
                      Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
                      To the last syllable of recorded time;
                      And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
                      The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
                      Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
                      That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
                      And then is heard no more. It is a tale
                      Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
                      Signifying nothing.

                      His teacher was VERY upset we were teaching the kids Shakespeare and suspected us of “child abuse” TM (ROLLS EYES.)

                    5. ….?

                      It’s impressive he remembered it, and I’d love to have heard his delivery, but while it’s odd it’s hardly CHILD ABUSE.

                      Good heavens, my kids do Princess Bride.

                    6. Heh. Next time my mother comments on how scary I was as a small child, I’m gonna tell her about Marshall and remind her it could have been SO MUCH WORSE.

                      I was mostly just creepy (started talking in phrases at 8 months, and was premature, so I was a teeny creepy talking baby. Who would get offended when people said I was a boy–I was bald til I was 3–and inform them angrily that I was a girl…). And teaching myself to read at 3 is just bog standard around here 😀

                  5. I was about three when my father asked me what I was reading. Apparently it was something from Reader’s Digest about a Vietnam soldier shot down behind enemy lines. Not sure why my parents let me read something like that, except that I was reading everything I could get my hands on.

                    When I pulled my daughters out of parochial school, I tried to get my Eldest into a charter school for gifted students. It involved an IQ test, and Eldest, who would have been going to third grade, came up a bit short. Many years later, she informed me that she didn’t want to attend that school, so she deliberately got a few questions wrong. *beats head against desk*

                    1. I didn’t read Reader’s Digest that early, but I remember feeling vaguely that it must be good for little kids –because the pages were such a convenient size, and there were pictures. But Time Magazine and National Geographic had much better pictures.

      1. It has been my impression that IQ tests primarily measure ability to perform in academic settings. That’s what they were developed to do and that is what hey were calibrated to.

        While the traits and trained reflexes that result in high performance in academic setting somewhat generalize to broader social attributes, that is more a matter of academia resembling the general society.

        I somewhat doubt IQ correlates to ability to plow a field, herd cattle of hunt a lion. It might not even correlate to ability to maintain and use a rifle.

        1. I was for a while a member of Mensa. The universal opinion among Mensa members is that IQ tests chiefly measure how well you perform on IQ tests.

        2. “Intelligence” is too broad a term for the things we want to use it for. There’s smarts involved in the bubbly blond haired gal I used to know, who could keep perfect memory of all the people, relationships, gossip, and social status of quite literally everyone she knew, which in high school was around eight hundred people. You can’t tell me that ain’t brainpower.

          There’s also the guy I know whose talent with machines I find literally unpossible. Yet he does know the workings of many things just by looking at them, and could tell you what was wrong with your system based on how it sounded (industrial air compressor, at the time. He was a deisel mechanic by trade).

          Then there are the polymaths who speak multiple languages, work with their hands, and do intellectual-type work in office buildings with nameplates on the door.

          Folks have talent and inclination for different things, and I believe there’s more than just raw brainpower involved. A slow kid with enough hard work can do things a smart but lazy one will never manage. Work ethic, and heck, how much you enjoy a task can play a good bit in to real world efficacy.

          IQ test and personality tests I put on about the same level. Yes, you can get useful data out of both of ’em. But a smart kid can absolutely wreck your results if he figures out what you, the researcher, is looking for, and decides to throw you a curveball.

          Of course, ain’t *nobody* around here would do anything like that, now would we?

          *walks away, whistling innocently*

          1. There’s smarts involved in the bubbly blond haired gal I used to know, who could keep perfect memory of all the people, relationships, gossip, and social status of quite literally everyone she knew, which in high school was around eight hundred people. You can’t tell me that ain’t brainpower.

            I’ve got a theory that that’s part of why girls don’t get diagnosed with autism as much– the “social intelligence” covers more of the spots that cause trouble functioning in normal society.

            1. That’s actually an accepted theory. The baseline for girls’ social intelligence is so much higher that autism tends to fall within the “normal” range for boys. I’m good friends with one like that, where she seems perfectly “normal” from the outside, but she has definite sensory issues and was more or less diagnosed as an adult. (I say more or less because—I kid you not—there is no diagnostic method approved for adults. Any adult who has developed coping strategies can work around the tests they have, so they’re not really useful.)

              1. I came up with the theory when I realized that the Duchess’ “issues” were almost exactly in line with the Baron’s– EXCEPT that she uses some of my coping mechanisms and comes across as distracted, not overwhelming.

              2. I’ve got two kids (both undeniably my flesh-and-blood, and I wouldn’t change it!), a boy and a girl. They’re both On-The-Spectrum™ but aside from being both severely un-athletic, the manifestation of ASD between the two of them could hardly be more different. Some of it’s “social intelligence.” Some of it’s emotional trigger-points. Some of it is verbal quirks, fixations, and the like.

                Both of them seem (to me) to have above-average IQs, but I doubt either one would make it clear through an IQ test before either a rage-quit or a boredom-quit.

          2. Waiters and waitresses who can actually remember names and orders intimidate me. I am afraid I couldn’t do it.

            1. Waiters and waitresses who can actually remember names and orders intimidate me. I am afraid I couldn’t do it.

              Or constantly remember repeat customers they haven’t seen in weeks or months?

              FWIW. Me either. I have all kinds of tricks & cheats to remember people I worked in the office with. OMG if I had to remember more than just a few beyond my department. FWIW. I kept a cheat sheet, until I (usually) didn’t need it anymore. Hubby & I worked for the same company between ’79 & ’81 (I did not meet him at work, we were married in ’78, given the industry, yep sore spot). To this day he’ll be talking about someone we worked with back then, who showed up at the monthly retirement lunches he goes to. He’ll say “you remember XYZ”, I’m (uh no) “sure” 🙂 … Heck he’d go to my company annual division meeting and know more people than I did (some because he’d work in the log yard shack with, others because they were in his class in college). I’d only know the small group of people I worked with regularly, the division bosses. That stopped when the division in question went away & everyone scattered, but still … really?

            2. The Dean of admissions at my Alma Mater had an AMAZING memory for people and situations. I interviewed (briefly) with him as the main interviewer had had to step away.
              Second Semester in my freshman year I was coming out of one of buildings and he was strolling along (lunchtime walk?). He greeted my by name and asked how I was and asked if I’d had a chance to visit my high school over xmas break (remembering it by name). I’d seen him do similar with other students. He really was a true Gentlemen very caring for students and beloved by the student body.

              1. Apparently, there’s a trick to it. I could only managed it a little; it was a bit like having mental notecards for people. I haven’t used it in years so it’s harder now. The problem was, for me, I had issues with names, but my internal notecards had faces. So… yeah.

                1. I think it’s great when you can’t remember names and faces. You get to meet new people all the time.

                    1. It’s probably not an accident that I ended up here even though – confession time – I’ve never read a single one of your books.

                      And from what you’ve said I seem to have a few things in common with your #2 son. Let me guess: he’s the one suddenly interested in writing about LPs here?

                2. If it was that trick he was VERY good at it as he seemed to address almost all undergrads by name pretty repeatably. He was a massive extrovert, I wonder if that was part of it.

          3. Re testing, our school in Hawaii tested extensively all the way and I got really good at taking tests. The personality tests were fun to mess with as you could bias the results easily. In 1960 my sat etc scores were the highest in the University of Colorado freshman class, and I was the first to bomb out of AP engineering. I could take tests fine, but analytic geometry, not so much.

          4. Number two son realized just this. He absolutely hated grammar school and figured out that his test scores were being used to promote the school’s quality. It’s a small school and the game here in NJ is to get your kid classified so they get an edge on taking standardized tests— they also delay entry or repeat kindergarten for similar reasons. I hate them. Anyhoo, If you’re classified they don’t count your test scores in the league tables. Number two son came home having gone from 99th to 50th percentile on his standardized tests, thus cratering the school’s rating. I asked him what had happened and he said he did it on purpose. My wife and I agreed that dumb kids are easier and moved on. We ended up home schooling him.

            One of his proudest boasts is that he didn’t get into his preferred HS first go round even though he got a perfect score in both a Reading and Math on the CoOp entrance exam and his older brother had a very distinguished record there. You never know who talks to whom and his grammar school principal is a vindictive SOB. All for the best though, he went in to another school that probably suited him more as a sophomore and absolutely thrived there.

            1. On one hand, I can see the principle being upset.

              On the other– dude, you’re using kids to advertise your school, and you get vindictive when one objects? What are you, four?

              1. I did actually see his point but this was the culmination of a long process. Number two son was not blameless but he was 12. In any case, dumb kids are easier.

          5. The secret sauce of all human advancement, short of Divine intervention, is the responsible exercise of individual initiative. And without that responsible exercise, the tool of intellect simply stays in the toolbox, unused and practically worthless.

            Which is what is encouraged by the soft bigotry of low expectations that has permeated our society … the thinking that the ordinary person’s tool of intellect, along with the tools of common sense and the insights derived from being both close to and most affected by a problem, are inferior and inadequate compared to the alleged power tools held by an elite few, and therefore those elite are the only ones equipped to solve problems in this nation.

            Even though they can’t tell the ordinary individual apart from a statistic. The combination of that blindness, with the license to use their tools on us to “help” us, turns them into the equivalent of bulls in the china shops of our lives.

            Which is why respect for the life and liberty of the INDIVIDUAL is vital.

          6. “But a smart kid can absolutely wreck your results if he figures out what you, the researcher, is looking for, and decides to throw you a curveball. ”

            Then there’s me, I wouldn’t mess with the results because I want to KNOW! The results don’t mean squat, but there’s still the knowledge drive.

    2. And that’s a far better explanation for the African countries where the IQ scores average 60 than the “it’s all genetic” explanation that the racists want to come up with.

      The “it’s all genetic” explanation is silly, as simple hormone disturbances in the womb are enough to wildly change the person who is born. But it isn’t all culture: you couldn’t get adopted IQs reverting to the biological parents without a strong Nature component.

      Besides the racists are drawing incorrect conclusions from “it’s all genetic”. Because that is the defining feature of racism (or sexism, or any of the other -isms).

      If $GROUP has an average IQ of 60 with an SD of 15 it means that sight unseen you would guess that meeting a random individual of $GROUP they will be somewhere in the range 45-75. It does not tell you what a given individual’s IQ will be, or how they behave. The person you actually meet may have an 95 IQ.

      It also doesn’t tell you how functional the person is: someone from a group with an average of 100, who has a measured IQ of 50 has a pretty good chance that Something Went Terribly Wrong in the womb or early infancy to push them so far outside the average, with resulting issues that make them a tragic case. Someone else from a group with average 75 IQ, with measured 50 IQ would be…. fine. Not someone you expect to win the next math nobel, but a perfectly functional human being.

      Spread matters too; “white males” (who are evil) have a wider spread than just about anyone else including white women. So you get more darwin award contestants and more geniuses than would be naively expected. This effect is strong enough (probably with a heavy dose of cultural factors) to override even the 2 SD advantages of many asian populations. When trying to push on the limits of knowledge the extremes matter more than the mass.

      Racists, real racists, cannot make any of these distinctions. They have an almost quasi-religious need for the individual to be irrelevant.

        1. Aside from the usual shunning, I hit a couple of guys who apparently equated, “smart and incapable of hiding it,” with, “homosexual.” That was a very unpleasant three months.

            1. These guys bullied me -spitting, tripping, etc – until we moved out of state. They kept calling me “a queer,” and me, being the innocent I was at 12, kept wondering why they kept inserting that ‘a’. A specific example of “female outlier’s hell.”

              1. My female outlier hell was middle school and the girls were worse than the boys.
                BUT I won’t say people didn’t hit on that too, now and then.
                One of the reasons most of the kids becoming convinced they’re trans are Odd females.

                1. I won’t say I was bullied in grade school (because honestly, the girls at least weren’t into full-on bullying), but I was definitely at the bottom of the social heap. Mind you, this was in a class *full* of GATE kids, so at least it wasn’t because I was smart. I went to a different middle school than everybody else and mentally said “F it” that early. So middle school wasn’t the hell it often is for kids because I already had armor, and pretty soon I also had height and a lovely RBF to go with it.

                  High school, a private girls’ school, actually went really well. I wasn’t popular but neither was I unpopular. I was sort of off to the side, the person who got things done, so people didn’t pick on me.

            2. The logic, to flatter it shamelessly, seems to be roughly “Obviously intelligent=> not feminine=> a lesbian,” and “obviously intelligent=> male trait=> male sexual preferences, thus lesbian.”

              A sort of permutation of the “pretty boy thus gay” logic.

              1. Can be simpler than that.

                Deaf to hints can equal gay, too- male or female. If the guy thought he’d been rebuffed when the gal didn’t even notice the pass he made at her, and his buddies were around to see it, he’d want to save face. Thus, she didn’t reject him because he wasn’t good enough. Had to be a lesbian.

                And the fact that geek guys- Odds, outliers, gamers, nerds, weird kids- can see that, but *can’t* see the signals a female who is interested in him makes is one of the little mysteries that plagues young male Odds of A Certain Age.

                1. They had to violently destroy that relationship.

                  Xander is cute, and sweet, and a horn dog (guy!) but not a user, and Willows best friend.

                  It would’ve been a good, healthy relationship.

                  ….which it appears is like holy water to most of those writers.

                    1. At least that one was unhealthy in a way that made sense for humans– and Spike was AWARE that he was basically a walking “unhealthy relationship.”

                      Unhealthy can work for stories, but for heaven’s sake, make it make sense!

                    2. Hell, the reason I always preferred Spike to Angel was Spike *realized* he was massively unhealthy, and took steps to correct it–and then took it well when Buffy didn’t take him back, romantically speaking. Whedon sucks at many things, but Spike was pretty well written.

                      (Although the actor then had it written into every contract since that he will NEVER do a rape scene–attempted or otherwise–EVER AGAIN.)

                    3. Of course — powerful, effective women can’t have healthy romantic relationships because no man can handle a woman more capable than him.

                    4. I would also point to Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl. Equal partners, their problems arise from his lack of fulfilling employment.

                    5. Healthy is not where the drama lies.

                      It is possible to have drama with it, but that’s harder since the difficulty has to be up to challenging both of them at their peak.

              1. I think Willow simply got the short end of the stick.

                “Marketing says we should have a lesbian character for Diversity. Accounting says there’s no budget for a new regular character, so which one are we going to flip?”

                1. I think the signs say that Whedon wanted hot barely legal girls together, as well as a virtue signal, and was willing to run over his Muse to be able to hit on actresses.

                  1. At least Wheadon wants them legal. That seems to be the exception out there in Sodom on the Pacific

              2. Well they made her Bi. But you have to admit that Buffy with a Main Les or Bi character was a FIRST on TV. And they handled it wonderfully, none of that look how wonderful it is we have a Gay character and look how Gay she is. Willow is Gay, so what, move on with the story. They did foreshadow her being Gay when she played the part of the Vamp from another Dimension or alternate time line. She said the “other was kind of Gay” that was far before she found out she was Bi.
                I believe it was planned from the first that Willow would be BI.

                1. Yes, my objection is that smart girls (TM) are always assumed to be gay or bi. I don’t have a problem with their designing a gay or bi character (NOTE what I write.) My OBJECTION is to their reinforcing that particular stereotype.

                2. The omnisexual vampire Willow was season 3. Tara was introduced season 4.

                  I think he got blow-back for doing the obvious thing of making a chaste character vamp out into vamping on everybody, and the obvious character development was for Xander and Willow to get together.

                  So, being the namesake of Jossing. he not only had to do something different– he had to absolutely slaughter the idea of Xander and Willow, even if he had to Author Anvil it the very next season. Having an excuse to put barely legal lipstick lesbians into a very popular TV show and be praised for it– bonus.

      1. But the groups that count, are often not visible. Groups like “unmarried drug addict parents” “Raised in a Vegan Hippy Commune” “Hard working like her parents” don’t have visible markers for that first assessment.

      2. Before it became suicidal to do so the fact that women have a smaller spread was a bit of a party piece for me in teaching why averages don’t matter very much. I would point out that the smartest person in a large group was almost certainly male, which would get the women’s hackles up until,I pointed out that the stupidest person in the group was almost certainly a male, which corresponded to their experience and so was OK.

        I actually felts sorry for that clown Larry Summers when he got run out of Harvard. Only time in his whole life he was Right about anything.

      3. “But it isn’t all culture: you couldn’t get adopted IQs reverting to the biological parents without a strong Nature component.”

        Elsewhere in this discussion, in a reply to you, Sarah Hoyt mentioned that she’s been told by pediatricians that “IQ will also mimic that of adopted parents if no impairment exists and you get the kid before three.” There are no studies on this, apparently; a cynical person like me would suspect that this is because the people who would fund said studies would not like the results they know they would get, and so no studies are performed. Because if such a study was done and showed that result, it would be a massive blow to the “IQ is genetic” position because and very strong evidence for the “IQ is mostly cultural” position.

    3. I.Q. tests measure a phenotypic expression of something. Genotype? Sure. Teratogenic effects (look up the effects of systemic malnutrition on learning ability.)-? Bien sur . Stress, malnutrition, and raised-by-barely-literate savages effects on the toddler and puberty “brain blooms”-? Oh, hell, yes.

      Are the various I.Q. And I.Q. stand-ins measuring something real? They are. Is part of that going to be genetic? If course. Is a the majority going to be a whole host of effects thing that interact with human genes and determines how they’re expressed? Surely that is most likely.

      None of the above ought to cause fist-fights, retreats to fainting couches, or triggered screeching. And yet it does.

      1. One of the things going for IQ is that it possesses the greatest of scientific privileges;

        Everybody Hates It.

        Which means that endless resources have been devoted towards debunking it over the last century or so. And yet, it stands.

        1. I’ve taken just about every IQ test commonly available, back when California was mad about standardized testing. The tests are usually a mix of math, vocabulary, memorization, and speed. Things that are easy to score. “Problem solving”, which was more difficult for scoring, was noticeably absent.

          The various IQ tests are slightly different and have their own scoring systems, though it’s common to apply a conversion factor to relate them to the Stanford-Binet test. A good score doesn’t correlate much with “success”, which is usually defined as “progress through academia.” Of the others I knew who tested well, it didn’t seem to lead to any great success in the real world, either. Possibly they had the same burning hatred for authoritarian assholes that I developed somewhere in the fourth grade…

          The SAT test was rather interesting. I took that in my late 20s. It was math, detailed history of the origins and religious factors of the Protestant Reformation and pre-Revolutionary colonial American history, and English. My math skills are notably poor; the SAT said I should just skip Cal I and jump right into Cal II. And my English was terrible, and I should go dunce-level remedial classes. Since I’d already sold two books and a dozen magazine articles at the time, I didn’t take it too seriously… Apparently there were entire aspects of English grammar and syntax that weren’t even hinted at in high school; secrets reserved just for college English. Unless it was another aspect of “every set of English texts is the One True Way and all others are apostates who should die in a bonfire.” I ran into plenty of that when moving from state to state.

          One of the tests I took in junior high was something like 500 questions, all variations on three themes – homosexual fantasies, stealing, and religious fervor. (“How often goes God speak to you directly?”) (“How often fo you look at the private parts of people of your own sex?”) (“If nobody sees you take something, is it still stealing?”) The phrasings were often ambiguous, and the color-the-dot answers varied between yes-no-always to always-no-yes, probably in the hope of getting their desired response by trickery. There was a time limit to put additional pressure on the testee. Mostly, I wondered about the motives of the people who designed the test; it was supposed to be a general personality profile. Their ideas of “personality” seemed oddly limited and specialized…

          1. I don’t think there are “secrets of college grammar,” given I CLEPped right out of college English (the 5 on the AP English test didn’t hurt either) and never noticed a difference.
            OTOH, I’m grateful to the (forcibly integrated) black English teacher who ran us through diagramming sentences three times in 9th grade.
            The Jacksonville, Florida school system “integrated,” its faculty in the middle of the school year, TWICE. Yep, let the kids get used to/fond of their teachers, then swap them out for a stranger of a different color. What could possibly go wrong?

            1. > I don’t think there are “secrets of college grammar,”

              No textbook I had ever had mentioned the word “gerund,” as one example. There were a couple of other terms in the test that I’d never encountered before. At least half of the test was on those not-taught-in-high-school things.

              As far as I was concerned, it was all a farce created specifically to force incoming students into cheap-to-teach remedial classes. And that’s probably why *half* of each year’s intake had to take them. I presume the ones that didn’t had some kind of college-prep tutoring or were from a different school district that used different textbooks.

              1. I vaguely remember learning what ‘gerund’ meant in high school. In 45 years, that knowledge has been of so little use to me that I completely forgot it. I’m not even going to waste two minutes looking up something so useless now. I have enough clutter in my head already! Seriously, it’s like a hoarder house in there! Half the time I can’t find what I’m looking for as it is.

                Does knowing the word ‘gerund’ improve one’s ability to write literate sentences, or to understand them? I haven’t noticed any lack.

                1. It gives you language in which to discuss and describe them. Knowing a thing’s Right Name ought to be a virtue, and why stop learning?

                2. You learn all that stuff in Latin unless you went to a really old fashioned parochial school when you learned it in English and in Latin.

              2. *looks it up, because she remembers the word but not what it means*
                Nouning a verb! IE, loving is the gerund of love.

                There’s a word for those two-letters-make-a-different-sound thing, too, like sh or oo or ir. (My kids know those as “cheater sounds”.)

                Not so much secrets, as technical terms most folks don’t need. It’s like how most people don’t need to know “bovine” because they know “cow” or even “cows and bulls.”

                1. Flat ask me a definition of a word & you get a blank response, probably a “huh?” to go along with the face. Use the word in a proper usage sentence, then ask me to compare it to a list of words, either similar or contrast, I’ll probably get the answer correct. Just don’t ask me to spell it. I did well on both the math & English sections of the SAT. I’d have done crappy on the new essay section. College (right or wrong) cured me of my perception of any ability to write, anything. Not true. I know that. Can I get over it … heck no.

                  1. I’d have done crappy on the new essay section.

                    *pained expression* Is it the same one they were testing about 2000, where they wanted you to do a five-paragraph essay in one paragraph?

                    1. Probably. I took it ’73. Son took it ’06. His overall Sat score was high in standard SAT, average in the essay; which is something since his handwriting is, uh, challenging, at best (yes, lets call it that … more like “Oh, hell no, average score” no matter how well the essay was actually written or not).

                  2. *giggle* At one assignment (I was working as the production librarian) other members of the unit would come in and ask me the definition of a word. And I would give it to them – I think they were working off the Readers’ Digest feature. I never was stuck for a word. I think there may have been a bet on about this. Wish I could have had a share of the winnings, whatever it was. But yeah – I was “Library Lady” at Hill AFB Combat Camera – I knew everything! (For certain definitions of *everything*)

            2. I got a 5 on the AP English Comp, and it wouldn’t have gotten me out of English 101 at my college. Only 20 incoming froshlings got to skip that, and you’d better BELIEVE I pushed hard to get into the Honors Program when I found that out.

              If I’d had to take English 101, somebody would have died. Odds are strong on it being another classmate.

          2. my first I.Q. tests were heavy on the puzzle compared to the later tests. I think I ran into one test somewhat like your last one referenced, and I stopped answering by the second question as a waste of my time. It was less homosexual-centric, but then I wasn’t that far in before refusing it, but the first few questions were religion based (it included the “if not seen is it stealing?” in the few other questions I looked at). I do wonder if refusing to take it because it’s nonsensical is part of the processing data.

          3. THIS is why I said IQ tests are …. they measure something. No one knows how it applies to life, though.
            Son who is gifted writer tested highest in math…. where he transposes digits, as I do. Son who dreams in math and has since he was in pre-school and who often mangles words tested highest in …. English. Freakishly high, really.

            1. Jordan Peterson talks about how to create an IQ test in several of his videos. The way you do it is you generate a large pool of questions that all have something to do with cognitive ability. You give a number of people several tests composed of subsets of those questions and you throw out the ones that don’t show predictive ability. Eventually, you have a set of questions that tests something reliably, but nobody quite knows what, and we call that something “IQ”.

              He says that high IQ correlates to success, although I think it’s more likely that low-IQ correlates with failure. There are other personality factors that are also important.

                1. No doubt. I was once given a test to determine if I should skip second grade and go directly to third. It may have been the CAT (California Achievement Test, which we were given the beginning and end of every year until grade 5 or 6, as I recall) for second grade. Anyway, the delay was so long between the end of one section of the test and the beginning of the next that I zoned out and completely missed the instruction to begin which meant I got that entire section wrong. So, the proctor of that test eventually became my second grade teacher. She was an ancient witch who told the parents of three members of her class that we were slow and so needed to be in special ed.

                  Each set of parents had a different reaction to that news. Scott’s parents believed her and so he basically lost a grade while they figured out he didn’t belong in special ed. Bob’s parents weren’t sure so they had him tested. He had a “genius” IQ (145 as I recall) so they declined to put in in special ed. My parents just laughed. Third grade was better.

              1. Eventually, you have a set of questions that tests something reliably, but nobody quite knows what, and we call that something “IQ”.

                Technically, we call that G, which IQ is supposed to be an indicator of.

                He similarly points out that the Big Five personality traits didn’t come from any theory; they showed up in the date and (like G) refused to go away no matter how much anyone tortured the data or hated their existence.

              2. The correlation is spurious and is caused by people with very low scores. if you remove the low scores there’s no correlation. High IQ does not correlate well with success as there tend to be other factors. ,

                The creation of tests is called psychometrics. I did a fair bit of work in that when I was younger because the education and psychology majors tended to be bad at math. It was a superb way to meet pretty girls but the results tend to be BS.

                1. [Psychometrics] was a superb way to meet pretty girls but the results tend to be BS.

                  Wait – psychometrics was BS or meeting pretty girls was BS?

                2. “High IQ does not correlate well with success as there tend to be other factors.”

                  I was (theoretically) the smart one in my family. (My siblings are no slouches!) My nearest brother is the rocket scientist. And I say that, and people respond, Oh, he’s smart? and I have to say, He is, but I mean that his job is literally to design rockets for space probes.

                  I’m a stay-at-home mom. Now, you can argue about how intelligence applies to various situations, but my brother decided he wanted to work in aerospace and he made it happen, which is called “drive” and is a much better indication of success than his intelligence. (Though it doesn’t hurt.)

                3. A clarification, please. Are you saying that the correlation of high scores with success is spurious, which is what I said, or are you saying that the correlation of low scores with failure is spurious? Would your other factors be similar to the other factors I mention in my comment?

                  You seem to be agreeing with my comment, but your words don’t quite mesh with that.

                  1. What I was trying to say, and failing, was that studies that find positive correlation between IQ and success, however they define that, are driven by the lack of success of people with very low IQ. If you remove the very low IQ people, there is no correlation.

                    If we define success as income, we’ll see that intelligence is only one factor. Unless you inherit money or are very beautiful, success requires a minimum level of intelligence but larger factors are drive, willingness to take risks, and luck. Also, very high IQ people have tended toward fields that do not pay as well.

                    I’m a perfect example. I suspect that I’m toward the bottom in IQ among the commenting community here. I also suspect that I’m toward the top in income. I got my first job on Wall Street because my father knew a guy and my father knew the guy because my father worked on Wall Street. I had a high enough IQ to function and the rest came from drive and luck, mostly luck to be honest.

                    I’m toward the top in IQ among my Wall Street peers and toward the bottom in income because I didn’t have the risk tolerance to make large, concentrated bets and I’m not sufficiently ruthless.

                    In short, there is a minimum level of IQ below which the person cannot function fully. If we remove that population from the population there is no correlation of IQ with success. Since that population can be identified without a test, the IQ tests are useless.

                    1. above a certain IQ you visualize the dangers too well and the rewards of high income don’t mean the same.
                      I’m not going to claim to be very high, and besides, I’m broken, but I realized I had a problem when “What would you do if you won the lottery” was answered with an unequivocal: get someone to cook, clean and deal with petty stuff and WRITE MORE.

                    2. I don’t understand why that’s a problem. My response to “what would you do if you won the lottery” involves various elaborate plans to divide the money up in various ways to do various things so as not to run out of money before the year is out. That’s just because I know my own spending habits, and because I like elaborate plans.

                      So you’d spend the money so you could spend more time doing what you enjoy. So what? I know a guy whose plan was to buy a new bass boat, a truck to pull it, and a house by a lake. How is that any different? That sounds, well in this crowd it might be odd, but that sounds normal to me.

            2. I never took a formal IQ test, but on the SATs, I scored much better on the verbal section than the math. I think that’s because the math questions were so trivially easy that I couldn’t force myself to pay attention to them and thus got tripped up by stupid things.

              On the GRE, I had perfect math scores and lower verbals. I don’t know if that’s because I cared more on the GRE or because the problems were harder enough that they forced me to focus.

              1. The whole family was tested for different reasons.
                Younger son — the reason my hair is going whiter than white — has the highest.
                NONE of our friends would believe that. I refer to getting him to talk as “pulling out words with a corkscrew.”
                He’s actually fun with a subtle sense of humor but deeply introverted. Suddenly disappearing from a party to hide in the least used room is in his range of behavior, for instance. And if you put him near strangers… well, he’s Mr. Darcy….

                1. That- the words/corkscrew thing- can be a problem. Especially if he has the symptom of words or phrases from other people causing thought cascades to distract in the middle of a conversation. That makes it stressful. More likely to mean that anything you say causes a blank, uncomprehending stare. It takes effort and practice to pay attention to even short conversations, and then, formulate non-weird replies.

                  If *that’s* the case, it can become much easier in adult life, where a handful of rote responses and memorized phrases can suite a wide range of common social interactions.

                2. People disappearing from parties and winding up in other rooms is pretty common in our family. The whether they disappear to a rec room or activity room (kids) or to watch TV or read books (various ages), or somewhere else. And whether they are up to no good (kids). So there are usually moments of party patrol, when people get rounded up or somebody checks in on people. But often different people wind up in the same rooms, which is solitude together.

                    1. My husband thinks it’s weird that I used to wander off to the bookshelves at family get-togethers because “Don’t you want to see these people?”

                      To some extent, yes, but I saw them! We talked! I don’t want to talk all day!

                    2. I mean…examining other people’s bookshelves IS in part how I get to know them! Or decide if I want to get to know them more! (In the rare event I actually get dragged to someone else’s house, that is. Since getting out of college, my interest in “hanging out” with other people–even good friends–has waned a lot. Though that’s mostly because I live in the middle of nowhere and have to drive at least an hour and half to visit the nearest non-relative friends. Where I live is *great* for the hermit-inclined, heh.)

                    3. when we hosted a lot of parties — BC aka Before Children — Dan and I used to decide whom we wanted to know better by “who went over to the bookcases and started looking at our books?”

                    4. Right?? That, and who approached me when I was in public reading a book (paper books then, alas now people tend to think you’re just on FB or something reading on your phone, sigh) to actually *ask* about the book, not “I’m going to annoy this person reading.”

                    5. I had a friend early on – my professional mentor in Greenland, I think (he was a Vietnam vet, Air Force SP, the senior NCO at the time and place) who pointed out that you got get a good lock on people’s characters by looking at their shelves of records. (Or later, CDs) If they had all one genre of music – all rock, or jazz, or only classical, or show tunes … probably sort of monomaniacal when it came to tastes in anything. But someone who had a vintage swing next to jazz, next to show tunes, next to classical, next to rock … that was someone with eclectic tastes and likely an open mind. Worth cultivating as a friend. I think that he was right about this.

                3. While going through my late mother’s papers, I found a copy of the IQ test that she had me take at age 5 or 6. I laughed and *laughed*, mostly because of the increasingly-frazzled notes from the test administrator (“I asked her to draw me a dog. She drew two horses and informed me that a baby horse was a foal.”) but also because most of the notes sounded like things I had thought about *my* kid.

                  1. “I asked her to draw me a dog. She drew two horses and informed me that a baby horse was a foal.”

                    I am seriously laughing so hard I can barely type, and it hurts, ow….


                    1. My beleaguered aunt once said that I crabstepped to the beat of a different drummer. Apparently it runs in the family now.

                  2. >> “I asked her to draw me a dog. She drew two horses and informed me that a baby horse was a foal.”

                    Okay, I really want to know what your thought process there was. Were you just deliberately messing with them?

                    1. Going off of my kids, and what I remember from back then?

                      I’d guess roughly:
                      “Drawing is for fun. I don’t want to draw a dog. But he asked me to draw a dog, so I should try to be nice. I’ll draw him a horse. Horses shouldn’t be alone, I’ll give him a friend– I like horses. I know something neat about horses, I’ll share it!”

                    2. This was my 4th grade exam. You know, the one that decided what level of schooling I’d go to? I told the guy all sorts of things, including that computers worked by 0s and 1s.
                      FORTUNATELY the examiner was PATIENT or perhaps amused by ADHD, so I had an A instead of a “Dear Lord, get her out of here”

                    3. The very, very vague memory I have of the whole occurrence ran along the lines of “Horses are much, much cooler than dogs. I know this because we have a dog but Mom will let me have neither an Actual Horse nor a My Little Pony. 1) Why draw a dog when I can draw a horse and 2) why draw a horse when I can draw TWO horses?”

                      From what I know of my mother, she may have been reassuring me with “you don’t have to answer any questions that you don’t want to”, and I took that and ran with it.

                  3. I lost points on a paper in first grade because instead of B for Bird I wrote in F for Finch. (MomRed says the bird was probably closer to a cardinal, but anyway.) This led to a note from the parents-who-went-overseas-on-birding-trips.

                    1. Part of why we don’t do flash cards is because the kids spend more time memorizing what the picture is supposed to be than memorizing the letters. 😀

                    2. My kids have once or twice written the whole word so that the instructor would *know* their thought process. (They don’t really grade the papers that young anyway, mostly look through to see if there are major problems.)

                  4. Heh. that sounds like something I’d have done, although in my case and at that age, it probably would have been a unicorn (although likely I’d have drawn the dog first, if only because I was a weirdly well behaved child).

                    About all I recall about my test is something involving shapes and patterns. But I was also reading on a post high school level by the time I hit first grade (Mom had an interesting time finding me stuff to read that was a challenge but also not too wildly inappropriate–pretty sure that’s how I ended up hooked on fantasy and, at least through high school–largely Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms, which never got too worryingly “adult”)

                    I think I vaguely recall being bored and getting done with the test really quickly, because I had time to BE bored (a lifelong problem with me and tests…)

                    1. In high school, we had three hours for each final exam and HAD to be looking at our paper and nothing else for two of it. I tended to fill up the back sheets with poetry about how bored I was.

                4. I refer to getting him to talk as “pulling out words with a corkscrew.”

                  And presumably the words come out in a torrent once the conditions are right to extract them?

                5. >> “Suddenly disappearing from a party to hide in the least used room is in his range of behavior, for instance.”

                  I do this too. I once accidentally ended up right next to a dog that was doing the same thing and was rather surprised at how quickly she bonded with me over it.

          4. That 500 question sounds like the MMPI, the Michigan Multiphasic Personality Inventory. It was used for a variety of things, including as part of applying for high end security clearances (e.g. Interviewing at NSA where Top Secret Compartmented is the starting point). It is DARNED weird and yes lots of strange questions. I think the questions are intended to attract people with specific issues. It’s so transparent that I can’t imagine it is particularly useful as most folks can give the “bland”/ right answers and those that can’t hide their tendencies have a tendency to stick out anyways These days its computerized instead of a booklet and a multi page bubble sheet or so I’ve heard.

        2. “And yet, it stands.”

          Defined “stands”, please. Is taken seriously by everyone? I don’t think that’s true. Is taken seriously by a small subset of people? Sure, but that’s true of lots of things — even astrology is taken seriously by a small subset of people, which doesn’t mean that it’s true or useful. As someone else mentioned, Mensa members (all of whom have to score high on IQ tests to get in) tend to be of the opinion that IQ tests measure the ability to score well on IQ tests. There is some useful correlation to academic ability in developed countries, where the academic system used to be set up in a way similar to what IQ tests measure (I say “used to” because now, in the US at least, the academic system is set up to reward expressing the right political opinions, rather than being intelligent). But if that’s the definition of “stands” that you’re using, it seems to be a not very useful definition. So could you expand on what you mean when you say that it stands?

          1. Defined “stands”, please.

            The people with a vested interest in proving that it doesn’t exist and/or has no meaning have not been able to do so. Despite having all the resources they could hope for. After all; not only would they gain the accolades of the people who want to build the New Socialist Man, but also of the people who become nauseous at the idea of quantifiable human traits.

      2. I mean, yeah. If the IQ test they’re giving folks in Africa is like the IQ test I vaguely recall taking when I was 6 or so (and which told my parents I had a genius-level IQ–but yeah, okay, turns out that is ONLY genius level in language/reading, and not, for example, science or math where I am terribly average and possibly worse thanks to discalculia)…then of COURSE it’s going to skew “low.” These aren’t kids (or adults) that had access, most likely, to anything like consistent or halfway decent education. So why the hell would they magically know whatever it is on those tests? I’d argue that those tests ARE racist/classist/something deeply un-useful. Heck, my mother pointed it out back when she was a teacher, simply because the IQ test then was asking something that had to do with where meat (beef or chicken or pork, doesn’t matter which) came from, and then counting the CITY KIDS that answered “the grocery store” as having answered wrongly. Except, by their lights–having never seen a farm or encountered a living pig, chicken, or cow–that WAS the correct answer (and a perfectly reasonable one). Meat came from the grocery store in their world and experience.

        So yeah. Those tests are almost certainly bunk on a number of levels.

        I hate standardized tests. They mean diddly squat. Including IQ.

        1. One of those test design flaws that you get when the folks writing the test haven’t been around kids enough recently.

          “Answering what you asked, not what you meant” is basically perfect Kid Logic.

          1. I was sent for testing because someone thought I was on the low side, but the tester noticed I tended to reread the questions and figured it was a mild dyslexia issue and possibly changed to a slightly different test. When thinking anything over I tend to reread and rereread, and rererereread . . . The later portions of it were more puzzle and having the queries read to me. I know that first time, the tests were boring as all get out, but they did decide I needed glasses for some reason . . . certainly not so they could soak Dad’s insurance policy. (other kids would put my glasses on and say “Hey, nothing changes!”), but the main reason for my lack of school performance was my shear boredom all through school. Drove teachers nuts that I’d do poor note taking, hand in shoddy homework or uncompleted work, and then near Ace all the tests and exams. Low test grade were usually from missing the class, or not reading too much extra if the teacher was one who covered little in class. I missed one day and the next day’s test was my lowest test score for that teacher, who tried to back handedly (it’s a word!) wheedle me, “Why did the smarted person in class get the lowest score?” I answered “Because I wasn’t here yesterday for the answer session and didn’t read the chapter at home or in study hall.” So after reviewing the test I retook one (This was American History. He had “answers” sheets with multiple tests to the answers, say 50 answers, but with 200 or so different questions, over several different sets of test questions), and he gave me one of the other tests for that set of “answers” and I got above my normal grade.

        2. Two tales of correct answers not graded as correct:

          A kid in Harlem, asked in which direction the sun sets, replied “125th Street.”

          A girl, asked the difference between a fish and a sub replied, “With a fish comes with mayo, a sub gets oil & vinegar.”

            1. Wow, a two-fer! Stupid question AND stupid answer.

              Clocks were powered by water, wind, hanging weights, falling balls and spring tension for CENTURIES before the first electric clock was invented in 1840. (Yeah, I looked it up)

              Should a sundial count as a clock run by the Earth’s rotation?

              ALL of those answers should be correct.

      3. None of the psychiatrists and other doctors are as sure as you are that it measures something real.
        Because above a certain IQ you see the same issues as below a certain IQ. And no one knows what IQ is good FOR except schooling achievement, but see that problem above even with that.
        Have you ever attended a Mensa meeting? Been a member in several cities?
        After a while you see patterns.
        IQ MIGHT measure ODDNESS more than anything else.
        A Mensan with a functional family and a decent career is a jaw-dropping oddity.

        1. Aptitude testing like the IQ test was originally a military draft intake screen for who gets sent to what school or assigned to what job. Eventually, industry adopted aptitude and intelligence testing to screen new hires – Back when internal training and career advancement were the norm they were committing to a new hire potentially for their entire career, so companies wanted to try and make sure the new junior manager or trainee draftsman was worth the investment. So of course pre-hire testing was made illegal in the US. Since they were forbidden to test to see if job candidates had the aptitudes and learning ability they wanted, corporate hiring moved to credentialism, requiring college degrees and such, basically outsourcing that forbidden screening to the college admissions, matriculation and degree granting process.

          Using something originally designed to determine who pushed a broom and who became a clerk to measure some vague undefined overall “intelligence” is a classic “it was never intended to do that” problem.

          1. My Mom was in Mensa for a few years. Hey, cool, I really do have a Smart Mommy! As if I ever doubted.
            Anyway, she quit after a few years. I asked Why and she said the meetings are boring. Pay your dues and sit around and talk about how smart you are.
            Oh, you mean like when I tried Boy Scouts and it was pay your weekly dues and then sit inside learning how to tie useless knots while everyone else was outside playing what ever…. I don’t know what, I never got past the knot tying nonsense.
            I still have my Scout’s manual. Come the Zombie Apoc, it’ll be handy for stuff like knots I may need. Nooses, mostly. 🙂

            Anyway. In high school I scored like 98 on the ASVAB test. It was easy. I did an on-line IQ test a few years ago and quit at the “what die matches what mirrored and upside down die” part. Yahtzee? Boring. Still scored 130 without finishing the test and four beers into a 30 pack.. Shrug.

            1. ASVAB was interesting. turns out that I was perfectly qualified to be a clerk typist or some such since I didn’t know anything about cars when I took it. Since I was still competitive at that age, I went out and learned everything I could over the next couple of years until I could break down the old Dodge Dart straight six. I still have my timing light and feeler gauges but I’m too lazy to do anything with them.

            2. *agrees on ASVAB*
              I don’t remember if I was in the 98.9th percentile, or the 99.8th percentile, just that family peace depends on my nodding when my brother is being proud about having beaten me (I have no idea if he did) and that I really shouldn’t mention that the percentiles don’t match at all, since mine was before 9/11 and his was after. I was the only person in my class that felt that if I was going to take the test, I should treat it respectfully.

            3. I’m on the committee for my son’s BSA troop and one thing that comes up a lot is engagement. Of course, right now there’s a big hole in the program, but they usually go camping ten times a year and try to do epic adventures as well.

              1. BSA troop and one thing that comes up a lot is engagement

                Definitely. Regardless of level, cub, troop, or venture, those that don’t do, don’t last.

                Car camping used knots & lashings every trip, once a month. Every few years the old poles used had to be replace with greener/newer ones. Old dried out ones got sectioned for firewood. Mostly made the cook platforms. Regularly made campsite gates by patrol, bigger gates troop gates at the district & council events. Pumpkin chunkin’ devices were popular … Lots of backpacking trips (no lashings generally). Activities were monthly. Yes it was hard on those adults who could do, because at least in our groups it fell to 4 regular people, with occasionally a couple more. Harder on us as our son was also doing sports. Easier until HS because dad was coaching (easier to complain about conflicts when coach has the conflict). Son Eagled his sophomore year. We started backing off & other incoming parents eased in (how it should be). Now? Troop is doing same things. They have to have lots of active parents because they are taking multiple groups different places. (Philmont, Seabase, MN Canoe Waters, etc., were suppose to head to Hawaii for “regular” camp but CV killed that).

                One problem we have locally is a troop can’t just take a large group into the wilderness for backpacking. Limit of 12 in most wildernesses, around Portland (Hood), it’s 6. They mean it. Caught & it is $100/person over the limit. Only a few places where camping is designated or limited. If they put in the financial controls they are proposing for permits (currently free, just fill one out on trail head), plus per day/person usage, it will get to be financially challenging for troops (volume). Plus it will add additional challenges for high througher’s on the PCT.

                1. They’ve gone and made pumpkin chunkin illegal for Scouts! At least we had enough warning that our fall campout last year (now known as Webelos Recruitment) was able to bring in sports balls to use instead. (Can’t do water balloons unless you want to clean up every scrap afterwards.)

                  I’ve signed up to be a Hiking merit badge counselor. The usual one for my troop said I should take on Backpacking as well, and I told him no, since the main reason I’m getting on the list is for the new girl troops in the area, and backpacking isn’t nearly as likely. (He surmised it was because it takes a while for most girls to break the 100 pound minimum, and I let him think that. It’s more because early puberty SUCKS for girls trying to do wilderness things.)

                  1. 100 pound minimum


                    It’s more because early puberty SUCKS for girls trying to do wilderness things.

                    Won’t argue with that. Tell me about it. Never failed, doesn’t matter when the trek was planned …

                    Not that I had a choice, knew any different, or even considered not going as an option, ever. I grew up, as oldest, with two sisters, with a father who hunted & fished. We car camped & backpacked. I chose Forestry for a career (ended up writing software along with a lot of other ex-foresters; stupid owl). Married someone who backpacked. Plus hubby could take weekend or winter backpack trips, but extended trips during summer season he could only go if he took LWOP; his work could deny it 24 hours before they took off. I could use vacation. Hubby did take two weeks for the Philmont trek he & son did. Told work it was happening. Contingent had to fly down & back. All 4 adults going were on unpaid leave to take the boys. No time to take extra time going down & back. They did take a couple of days to acclimatize before the trek for safety. Locally we’re at 400′. Our possible high spots 6000′ were still covered in snow at the start of their trek.

                    1. The “100 pound minimum” is the size of the kid in question. You can only carry so much of your body weight when backpacking, especially if you’re growing, and kids under 100 pounds have a lot of trouble being able to carry enough to do a backpacking trip.

                      And yes, the reason I wanted to be a hiking instructor for girls’ troops is that male instructors would either not think about certain complications or there would be vast mutual embarrassment talking about it. On the other hand, I have NO problems being blunt about TSS and why you really need to schedule regular bathroom breaks on hikes.

                    2. The “100 pound minimum” is the size of the kid in question.

                      Figured. Didn’t know it was a general BSA rule. At least for weekend troop jaunts. Maybe for High Adventure like Philmont, etc.

                      male instructors would either not think about certain complications

                      Understatement of the century. FWIW, neither will the girls, believe it or not. They will go unprepared because “it isn’t scheduled”. Yea. Right. Good luck with that.

                      Still you could sign up for the backpacking merit badge. As councilor it your job to point out if a youth, male or female, is ready for the task. It’s not like there is a specific amount of time the badge has to be completed once started (other than 18, naturally).

                    3. It’s not an official rule, more like a rule of thumb.

                      And to be a Backpacking merit badge counselor, I’d have to a) get wilderness first aid training (acceptable) and b) actually go on backpacking trips (and I don’t wanna.)

                      I’m OLD* and CREAKY and I love my super-heavy camping cots, TYVM.

                      *Okay, 43. But I really have trouble sleeping on the ground even with mats nowadays, and my cots can BUNK. And I can even easily get into the top bunk. It’s the sleeping that stiffens me up.

                    4. actually go on backpacking trips


                      Sure. You really need to know about backpacking, which implies you’ve been on them before. But actually go on one with the group the youth doing the merit badge is going with? Since when? Wouldn’t surprise me they’ve changed something up.

                      I’m OLD* and CREAKY and I love my super-heavy camping cots, TYVM. *Okay, 43. But I really have trouble sleeping on the ground even with mats nowadays

                      Understand that one too. I was 44 when son crossed over. I just figured little to no sleep, except from exhaustion, eventually. I need a vacation from the vacation, comes to mind. The Z-Rest pad I use is also for a tall, which means, being short, I could double it up. It helps, a little (very little).

                      I remember being part of the conversation where it was stated by multiple people that their spouses considered the Hilton as barely acceptable, let alone camping, or backpacking. Had a couple of gals in our troop whose spouses, their husbands, were that way. I got laughed at by my folks by stating “that means I don’t have to go on all the campouts”. Ultimately I didn’t go all the time for reasons. Had to step up & be the one who went for other reasons. But the first time I didn’t go the troop (his dad was there) temporarily missed placed my kid (and 4 others).

                      Older ranks were sent on a mission to allow some of the younger leadership work with younger new scouts. At the end of the mission they were suppose to be at the setup site to help finish up, if needed, and report on what they’d observed (be “scouting” the area). Area they’d all been in dozens of times. The route was a counter clockwise circle around the meadow at the edge of tree boundry. They lost the map & took a right over the ridge. They did not get credit for their 10 mile hike. They got themselves back to camp, with help of the household of the first house they found (who knew exactly where they were suppose to be). Everyone had been called (you know the “emergency procedures”), but searchers had not yet been dispatched (called, not dispatched). The call I got? “There are 5 boys missing from the campout. Your son is one of them. Emergency proceedures have been implemented. (Hubby’s name) says you are Not to drive out!” It was close. But I didn’t drive out.

                      Taught a lot of people that even with planning something simple isn’t always simple. Won’t even say it was luck that all 5 showed up safe. The only thing they did wrong was not stop & stay once they realized they were not where they were suppose to be (everyone else calls “lost”). They were dry (March in Oregon, it was raining), they stayed together even though they disagreed on how to proceed. Found a road. Found a house. Admitted the messed up and asked for help. All I can say about emergency procedures, is never say never. This was the first time.

                      Second time emergency proceedures might have come into play wasn’t realized until we were out of the backpack. Half way through an 80 miler, had a thunder storm hit the Cascades (2003). Not over us, between Hwy 126 & 242. Trek pulled out following Sunday … Monday all heck blew up with a major wildfire, from lightening struck stump that smoldered for 5 days, that eventually jumped hwy 126 and running through the entire area we’d been backpacking. Most lightening caused fires in the Cascades don’t smolder for 5 days before taking off & blowing up. Put a new definition on “fire safety awareness”.

                      Are we backpacking now. Well if I have too. OTOH we’re now 63 & 68 … Forget the Heavy Duty Cot, I take the kitchen sink, shower, & queen bed (TT). We still dry camp. But we do it with wheels. Headed for YNP in 10 days, fingers crossed.

                    5. I’d have to go along because the number of wilderness first aid-trained FEMALE adult leaders is low enough that if I had the training, I’d be one of the few available. And you can BET that the actual scoutmasters and ASMs of the troop wouldn’t have that certification, or they’d be “busy”.

                    6. That’d do it.

                      Kind of where I was at late 2003 through early 2005. There were 4 people who could go backpacking, for any extended period, at the best of times. Hubby & I were two of them. Already mentioned he couldn’t go Summer/Fall without taking LWOP. Preference was to have at least 3 adults. So I got to go summer extended trips (10 days, non-Philmont type). Hubby took the winter trips (typically at most 4 days, I don’t do snow). Until period mentioned above (I still didn’t do snow) … when hubby’s company transferred him to Randle, Washington, you know, almost 1000 miles round trip from home … Which meant he lived up there & was home on weekends. Meant that mom had to step up (more) with scouts & school interactions.

                      Actually you’d get a kick out of the 2003 summer trip. Had 1 adult who could go the entire 10 days. Had one more that could go first weekend, another 5 days. Had two scouts at a program that didn’t join until Sunday after trip started on Friday. Hike started late Friday afternoon, with 3 adults. I drove up with the two scouts being inserted, one of which was my son, picked up the adult leaving. Wednesday drove up with two other adults. We hiked in to meet the group, one of the adults that came up, left with the adult who had to leave, I gave keys for them to take the vehicle back (adult leaving was hubby). Group now had 3 adults again. Only time that was done. Pulled it off. But it was a PIA.

                  2. They’ve gone and made pumpkin chunkin illegal for Scouts!

                    WTF, O? Pumpkins are biodegradable! Raccoons and possums would appreciate the free meals. If some of the seeds sprout, they ARE native to North America. My neighbor, long ago, had ducks and when his yard got pumpkin’d he just threw the pieces to the ducks. Happy ducks!

                    I don’t see what good that law does for anybody other than some obsessive-compulsive wannabe tyrants.

                    1. If kids are raised in bubbles, they never grow up. I’ve seen some examples lately…

                    2. *sad* Oh, those kids would assure you, they weren’t raised in a bubble.
                      They got all the fashionable perversions, bright and early.
                      Can’t imagine why they’re unhappy….

            1. *chuckles like a loon*

              Oh, my, I don’t know which flavor of awesome you went with for that, but I can think of at least three. (understated, obscene and creative, basically)

              1. I kept a copy of my responses, at least the essay questions. I don’t know how awesome they are, although I appreciate your kind words. I’m certainly not going to be obscene and I don’t think I would choose understated. Direct is what I was trying for, with a minimum of exaggeration or understatement. When I got the membership, I was hoping I would meet interesting people, so I really wanted it to work.

                I said a lot of things. I said that Mensa is expensive and that membership provided no benefits to me. I also said that I met more smart and interesting people at an EAA or a local ham radio club meetings than I ever did at Mensa, and I didn’t have to drive an hour each way to get to those meetings. I said that if they would consider holding get-togethers that weren’t downtown or otherwise inconvenient I might consider rejoining, but that I had no idea how I might find out about them because you have to be a member to see the calendar.

                At least this survey didn’t limit their answers like (to the question “why didn’t you renew”) A: Because you forgot. B: Because you’re too lame. C: Because we’re too awesome. Okay, I’m exaggerating (and I hope that would be obvious) but if you’re asking people why they didn’t renew a membership you should probably provide some way for people to say things you didn’t think of. It’s unlikely anyone can think of everything, especially if your perspective is as a happy member and their’s is as an unhappy nonmember.

              1. At least, having been a member, I can offer to show someone my Mensa membership card, should they imply that I’m not smart because of the opinions that I hold.

          2. I had a go, about 1998 – using my ASVAB results from 1976, and certified by having the original printout notarized. Nope. In spite of the website for the local chapter asserting that that would be acceptable. I decided that I didn’t want to bother joining a group that couldn’t handle their own processes without stepping in it.
            Don’t think that I missed all that much, candidly.

          3. It is *highly* likely that you don’t. Just saying.

            I used to *think* I was socially awkward. I don’t anymore. Not so much.

        2. >> “IQ MIGHT measure ODDNESS more than anything else.”

          I haven’t taken an IQ test since I was a kid, but I seem to recall it was primarily stuff like logic and pattern recognition. If you’re right, that would suggest that being able to handle logic and pattern recognition is what makes us Odd.

          I really hope that’s wrong, because I don’t like the implications for the general populace…

          1. We did regular academic testing through gradeschool. One component was pattern recognition and logic which was plausibly rumoured to be IQ. The thing was that when I looked back at my spread the score varied by (I’m going to say) 20 points because I finally learned to do all the obvious questions first and then the trick questions and finally finished the whole thing in the time allotted. I developed the skill of test taking! How much of logical thinking is taught and how late is too late to learn? Maybe all is not lost if the answer is “a lot” and “never”

            Second anecdote, at some point I took an intro class in engineering drawing and that is the point at which I developed the ability to visualize an object and rotate it around in my head. So that’s also, for me, a learned skill. Not sure how common it is to deliberately learn that.

            1. I took drafting class. About a quarter of the class was unable to make an isometric drawing. Many of them claimed they couldn’t “see” them, which I thought was specious.

              At the time I thought they were just lazy, but when I worked in a machine shop I ran into people who couldn’t “see” an ordinary three-view drawing until they turned it in a particular direction. Later, I saw people do that with maps, so it’s not entirely a 3D visualization problem.

              1. I can’t find it now, but I remember ESR talking about a programming aptitude test that simply asked people how to transpose the values of two variables (it was a multiple choice question). The people with aptitude gravitated to the right answer intuitively without knowing a thing about coding. The people who couldn’t grasp it intuitively were never able to get good even with training; they just couldn’t learn to think the right way for it.

                This sort of “you either got it or you don’t” division might apply to a lot of things.

                1. I remember taking a symbolic logic class in college and breezing through it because the steps in writing out a symbolic logic proof felt so much like programming, which I’ve been doing since I was a kid. You have a goal, a starting condition, and some very small steps you’re allowed to take to get from point A to point B, and you have to put together those small steps in the right way to get to your goal. So my brain was already well-trained to do symbolic logic. Didn’t help me explain it to the students who were struggling with the material, because how do you explain step by step the answer that you grasped in a single intuitive leap?

                  1. First, there was the intuition.

                    Step 2: Spend months turning things over, figuring out how the logic fits together, testing things rigorously to make sure it is sound, and then maybe years putting it into words.
                    Step B: Maybe capture the same idea in some analogy, perhaps one that is mostly trolling.
                    Step II: Get real angry when whatever one blurts out in the heat of the moment fails to lead others to any reasonable approximation of the same understanding.
                    Step Beta: Think very carefully about the audience, and try to find an explanation from their background that best explains things, but succeeding only if one has been thinking over the relevant field and related issues for some time.

                    Of course, many, many, many times, my intuitions are wrong.

                  2. What I ran into trying to help my college roommate with Algerbra, while I was taking Integrated Calculus … didn’t go well. I could give the correct answer, I couldn’t break it down into the correct steps so she could see the answer. Sure I could do that NOW. Then? Not so much.

                    1. Isn’t the real problem that algebra is boring while Calculus is fun?

                      Seriously though, my limited experience with tutoring a peer in math I also found explaining algebra tricky when I was in calculus.

                2. There are several “gates” within programming that people seem to either understand without being taught, or can’t be taught no matter how many attempts are made.

                  This includes such bog-simple concepts as “pointers”.

                  1. It was jarring how some seemed to outright fearful of pointers. They’re no big deal. Admittedly, seeing them in the illustrations for the 1802 helped.

                    1. This includes such bog-simple concepts as “pointers”.

                      When I understand how a tool (Delphi/VB/whatever) is hiding “pointers”, then I’ve learned how to manipulate and visualize.

                    2. OTOH, any language where you’re working directly with pointers is probably a language where you’re doing your own memory management with malloc() and free(), which is so easy to get wrong* that I’m very happy that all my work is now in garbage-collected languages (primarily C#, Typescript, and a little bit of F# in my own time) where I don’t have to worry about whether I own that pointer and should free() it, or whether someone else owns it and free()ing it will cause a Heisenbug later on when that code tries to write to the memory space it thinks is still there but that has been reassigned somewhere else.

                      * And where getting it wrong means a Heisenbug in a completely different part of the code from where the mistake was.

                    3. But all languages use pointers, even C#. They are just hidden from you. Knowing they are there & how they are used by the languages/tools is the key. True, rarely does the programmer have to explicitly create or destroy them, but knowing what is happening has always been key for me.

                    4. Yes indeed, and you do need to understand the concept of pointers to understand how C# references work, and why the default implementation of Object.Equals() does what it does (it compares to see if two objects are *the same object*, that is the two references are pointing to the same target). And if you’re doing C interop, then you really need to understand C# references in more detail, like the fact that they are pointers-to-pointers so that the runtime can rearrange the memory location of its allocated objects without invalidating your references (it changes the value of the first-level pointers, but your second-level pointers are still pointing to the same location so they’re still valid). Which is why you have to tell the runtime “Hey, I’m about to hand this pointer to a runtime that doesn’t know about C#, so please don’t rearrange it until I tell you that it’s safe to do so again, kthxbai.” If you haven’t understood pointers, you won’t understand the necessity of doing so and you’ll get Heisenbugs that you’ll probably unfairly blame on the C library you’re using.

                      But I suspect this is veering off into far too technical territory for most people’s interest, so I’ll leave it at that so as to not spend too long on a discussion that only a handful of people here will follow.

                    5. I never had trouble with pointers.

                      Of course, I learned to program in 6800 assembly, monkeyed a bit with the Z80, then moved on to the 6809 and those four marvelous Index and Stack registers with 26 addressing modes. I remember doing some seriously nasty tricks with those. I learned about re-entrant and position-independent programming, which were all but impossible on a Z80.

                      The 8031 and 80152 were tricky little devils, but I got them to do some impressive work as controllers and timers.

                      The 68000 was vastly superior to the 8086, and for a long time the ‘IBM Personal Computer’ was the ONLY thing using the 8086 for anything. Unfortunately, that was all it took. Business computers were bought, not by engineers, but by bean-counters that knew nothing about them except the name on the front.

                    6. > The 68000 was vastly superior to the 8086,

                      Which led to 8086 or 8088 computers connected to printers with a 68000 and more RAM than the computer had…

                      > for a long time the ‘IBM Personal Computer’ was the ONLY thing using the 8086 for anything.

                      IBM’s PC development team originally planned to use the 68000, but Motorola didn’t have the fab capacity to meet the required numbers and delivery time, and Intel did.

                      Sometimes major design decisions have depressingly ordinary reasons…

                  2. On gates…For whatever reason, some things took a while to click for me. I can program. Probably not brilliant at it, but I can do it. Pointers didn’t click immediately. Some of the other abstract stuff really didn’t take. But when I found microcontrollers and walked through the setup again and again… Then I got it, including pointers, and I started to feel comfortable creating code for a PC. But I had to get to a place where the first step wasn’t “And perform magic” and do that many times to figure it out. I came to programming pretty late too, despite computers and programming being dinner time conversation. I just kinda tuned it all out because stories are way more interesting. Bet that’s real unique around here. 😉

                    1. >> “What’s a pointer?”

                      I don’t know how much you already know about programming, but it’s essentially an object that’s used to store – or ‘point to’ – an address in memory.

                      If x is a normal variable associated with memory address 1000 that has the value 5 and I say “x = 20,” then address 1000 get its contents changed from 5 to 20. But if x is a pointer that has the value 5, and I tell it to change the value to 20, the change will be made to the contents of address 5 rather than the contents of address 1000.

                    2. “What’s a pointer?”

                      Imagine a city block, with houses and house numbers. A regular variable might be the actual house.

                      The city (or once upon a time, phone) directory is a collection of pointers. Nothing in the directory *is* the house, but it has entries that _point_ to the houses.

                    3. For a computer, you can view memory as a collection of pigeonholes, each of which contains a slip of paper. Written on that paper is some value. What is written could be a number like 57, a bit of text like “You are here” or, well, whatever someone wants to write on it.

                      Each of those pigeonholes is numbered. From 0 to, well, as big as you want. Many current computers have billions of the things. A pointer is a pigeonhole, could be any one, that contains piece of paper with something like “pigeonhole 7000” written on it. If you look at that paper, you know that you need to look in pigeonhole 7000 and read what’s written on the piece of paper that’s in there.

                      Oh, look. It’s a recipe for blondies. Yum!

        3. I know I took an IQ test some time in elementary school, but the packet of old grade reports I got from Mom never included the results. OTOH, a long ago Sunday newspaper magazine said the Mensa people also used SAT scores. On that basis, I should have been eligible, though the article didn’t give me much reason to bother to sign up. (SF newspaper, in the mid 1970s. Plenty of “yikes” about the people therein.)

          I found HS performance to be a loose match at best for college at U of Redacted. One of the AP chem guys from High School flunked out, while the guy who went to a so-so high school did well, largely by working his butt off. I had a bit of trouble freshman year because of Life (AKA Shit Happens), but as I dealt with the issues, things settled down.

          1. Our class valedictorian, class clown, flunked out of college sophomore year. Enlisted in the army. NOW has multiple PHD’s ….

        4. My dad was a Mensan with a functional family (mostly because Mom is exceptionally strong-willed and patient) and a decent career, but holy hell was he the exception. I spent way too much of my childhood dragged to Mensa functions because 1) no money for sitters and 2) everyone though dad’s precocious genius daughter (Hi!) was mildly entertaining.

          He dropped out after about a decade because the politics in the DC groups skewed so far left even in the early 80s (we’d relocated from the rural South), and mostly because he is Odd, but functional (as am I) and it was just too Odd of an Oddness even for him. Both of us tend to express Odd as an almost terminal introversion, so that probably played into it too, neither of us are by nature joiners.

          Me, I qualify by multiple means, but have never tried to join. Maybe that’s why I’ve managed to stay married myself.

          1. Question-
            have you watched the Deep Space 9 episodes (Statistical Probabilities and Chrysalis) with the “Bashir is the high functioning one” group?

            1. No, was never more than a casual fan, so I have only seen sporadic episodes. I was much more a Classic Who, Red Dwarf, and MST3K nut. Also, I spent a good chunk of DS9s run stationed overseas back when AFN was only one channel 🙂

          2. Politics were far left in NORTH CAROLINA.
            Husband and I have managed. But yes, exception. Younger son, the genius, never joined. Being violently introverted and all. I THINK we signed older son up, to impress the school in the middle of a battle.
            BTW that’s the one use I found for a membership and might make use of it again: “Woman with funny accent and foreign credentials? Weird resume? What’s this under hobbies? Past editor of local Mensa Newsletter? Uh. Let’s call her in for an interview.” Works. Every. Time.

            1. By the standards of the 1970s where I grew up, my dad was moderately liberal (i.e. at that time he truly believed in racial equality and had a black legal partner at a time/place that that was still highly unusual) but he was never a leftist/Marxist, so DC still came as shock to his sensibilities. We all tend to the ‘classically liberal’ (i.e. [l]ibertarian) vs ‘conservative’ mindset as a family.

            2. To be fair, you were in the Charlotte area.

              Also, Left-Wing politics are often a social signifier for intelligence. Not because smart people are inclined to be Left-Wing but because people with a need to be perceived as “smart” are inclined to don Left-Wing politics as a display. In this particular instance, the chickens definitely precede the eggheads.

              If you are highly intelligent and Right-Wing it often isn’t worth the hassle of participating in such groups. Not only do you spend excessive time arguing with idiocy (some tenets are so absurd that only the highly intelligent can sustain them) but your rewards for doing so are very slight.

              1. Agreed. Female artisans seem to go the same way, maybe to compensate for their “old-fashioned,” avocations. They tend to greet nonconformity of opinion with shock and disbelief.

            3. Actually…. reading through this thread I’m first of all not at surprised that so many people have no use for Mensa. But also confused about why everyone also seems to implicitly agree that it is the place for high-IQ people?

              Never had contact with it myself, but the impression I get (and semi-confirmed from friends I know are well the range where “genius” is a serious option) is that Mensa is a place for moderately bright people to stroke their own ego.

              Or put another way: Mensa is what muggles think brights are.

              1. Rolls eyes. OF COURSE it is a place for high IQ people. For the simple reason you have to score high on IQ tests to be let in.
                If I rolled my eyes any harder, you’d HEAR it.

                1. To be quite clear: We ALL agree it is a place for high IQ people, we just never found it a place for smart people.

                  1. Yep. But to be fair, everyone I know in the very highest reaches, regardless if members of Mensa or not, tends to be not particularly successful and often startlingly unsuccessful.
                    Mid-to-high brows seem to do best.

              2. What I said about my opinion of typical Mensa members in the survey I mention elsewhere is “Reasonably bright, but not terribly wise. Many Mensa members can’t get over how smart they are.”

                The thing is, Mensa is the easiest to get into of the high-IQ societies. The last time I looked into it, oh more 20 years ago now, there were easy a half-dozen such things, including one or two I don’t think I have a prayer of being able to join. Sometimes I ponder whether or not my lack of desire to even try is sour grapes.

                1. There’s a group called Intertel. They didn’t have a chapter near me at the time, so I didn’t enquire further back then.

                  According to their web site they were supposed to have had their 2020 get-together in Denver this year, but it got canceled due to the ‘rona. At 1400 members worldwide, that would be “reserve the conference room at Steak ‘N’ Shake.”

                  Their site says they go by 99th percentile instead of raw score, with a list of tests they accept. Looks like it works out about the same as Mensa.

                  I can talk to people just as smart or smarter right here, about things that interest me (usually), without having to deal with emos, autists, and outright weirdos. There’s a minimum socialization level required here; you have to actually participate in a coherent manner, or you’re just invisible.

                  1. K, my misreading of that was good enough I have to share–
                    “There’s this group called The Internet-”
                    in the place of your first sentence.

                    ❤ ❤ ❤

                  2. Heh. All this talk of Mensa reminds me of an early Stargate: Atlantis episode when Major Shepard casually lets drop in McKay (the arrogant, albeit mostly very competent omni-scientist) that he qualified for Mensa. McKay had a comedic response along the lines of “WAIT WHAT” because up to that he’d been treating Shepard as “dumb jock pilot with authority issues”–which, in all truth, was an image Shepard embraced and encouraged. (Probably why O’Neill liked him so much: he spent a lot of time playing dumb too, so that everyone underestimated him.)

                    I always thought it was telling that the expedition’s civilian leader never once appeared to buy into the dumb-jock-pilot image…(And she was pretty much the only authority-figure Shepard was content to take orders from without too much arguing.)

        5. None of the psychiatrists and other doctors are as sure as you are that it measures something real.

          I haven’t followed the literature, etc. to be able to be “sure”, or give a properly rigorous argument in either direction.

          What I do know is that listening to a psych or doctor about it is like asking a college professor about capitalism. Maybe you will get one of the few who understands. More likely they either don’t know anything, or are ideologically poisoned.

        6. I have similar observations re: Mensa, but… Isn’t that a specific self-selected subset of high IQ individuals (I’m giving the Mensans the benefit of the doubt that their means of determining high IQ are legit). So… yeah?

          Intelligence is real. But Intelligence tests measure not intelligence itself, but its expression in given circumstances. And even those tests, aren’t some kind of useful standard, but a variety of assays, usually to check for some problem. Worse, most of the things people think of as IQ tests, are approximations or stand ins for a more rigorous battery of tests. But… They still manage to have some predictive power (SAT mis-matches screw over black kids who are being used as diversity props by garbage narcissists),

          None of this is rocket science. And it shouldn’t get people having conniptions over writing about it. Seriously, it’s not a hill anyone needs to die on. You could convince me that there’s no such thing as intelligence, nor is it measurable, and there’s no (effective*) genetic component, and I wouldn’t care. Why should I?

          And yet… Here we are. I think it’s because we decide whether or not should be allowed to live or die, whether you should be allowed to run your own life, or have a say in how your community is run, based on how smart you appear to be.

          Which is stupid.

          *Down’s syndrome, other abnormalities, sure, but no more or less than good temper, or tidiness

    4. I’ve never taken an IQ test. I’ve looked at a couple of them online when bored out of my gourd, but they all seemed idiotic. A few of my friends in high school had taken them, and given how they did in school compared to their scores I’m guessing I would score in the 130s somewhere as most of those who scored in 130s did as well as I did in class. It does rather amuse me that one of the kids who skipped a grade and claimed to have scored 150 something bounces around as a short order cook, but that’s only because he was a bit of an assclown and I’m a horrible Christian.

      1. one of the smarter physics folk a few years back was a bouncer in a bar. Myself, I worked in bicycle shops for years, then auto parts delivery driver, sales for same place, warehouse worker again same place, then aircraft refueling, satellite TV installs, and finally the chemical work I do now.
        Consistently test above 145, as high as 180+ that I know of. There are a LOT of people like that I have run into. Even with degrees ferinstence a coworker with an mechanical engineering degree and took a years worth of Electrical Engineering in a summer semester to have something to do, also very odd, and she is a “blender” making fire fighting foam. Some of them though, are also assclowns, so ther’s that (~_^)

      2. Online tests are bunk anyway. I’ve taken all of one proctored test in my life, when I was in first grade, and I don’t know what the conclusion was because they stopped when I was obviously *done* (well over an hour, possibly two), and by that point they’d gotten the info they were looking for anyway. (GATE classes, though it was called Rapid Learner at that point.)

      3. The higher reaches of IQ, whatever else they are, are TERMINALLY odd. Short Order cook is kind of high end, actually. Most have truly bizarre professions.

        1. My next-younger brother and I got tested in … second or first grade? Sometime after Sputnik, when the powers that be were trawling through the public schools, looking for geniuses. I remember that some of them involved spatial visualization … anyway, I don’t remember anything more than that, other than I think I was alone with the proctor for the most exacting tests, but it seemed that we both tested out as “gifted”. Mom resisted having us advanced a full grade or two, or so she said later – because it would really fracture us socially, being with kids two or three years older.
          I think that the thing that has remained mostly with me, is that I can “see” and understand matters that appear to be opaque to most of my peers. Mildly frustrating, at times – but a good thing when it comes to being a writer.

          1. The best way to describe intelligence is, I think, being able to come to solid conclusions with less evidence. As in conclusions that can be proven with more evidence, you just get to them quicker.

            I’m a natural intuitive. This confused the heck out of some teachers when I took a skills class and it listed me as strongly methodical, because they could tell that wasn’t my natural mode. I’d just been trained very well. So well, in fact, that it took until after college to occur to me why I could write a decent position paper but I was dreadful at live debate. I could see things, but I have to work to explain them in terms everyone else can understand, and papers give me that extra time.

              1. By ‘people who are not in your head’ you mean they don’t have access to your thinking processes, right? Not literal imaginary people in your head?

                We all have internal references and idea associations that others probably wouldn’t follow. Nobody under 40 would probably remember vacuum tubes, for example. I learned electronics on vacuum tubes and one-watt resistors. Today’s components just look like flyspecks!

                1. I meant the former, although the latter is a non-zero issue, too.

                  I know vacuum tubes! Up until about ’04, the most advanced radar in the US Navy required them to function. (Not for the radar itself, but for the gear that made sure the gear that made them work was working correctly. We raided the museum on base! They finally fixed it.)

                  1. I remember inside a certain piece of comm gear there were tiny little vacuum tubes just over an inch long and 3/8 inch in diameter, with eight wire leads soldered to the circuit boards. The AN/USM-207 frequency counter/timer was fully transistorized, but the display was a row of 10 Nixie tubes.

                    I still suspect that the AN/URC-9 UHF radios were relics from World War 2. They were a pain in the ass to maintain.

        2. …or go Kaczynski.

          Or worse, the authorities of Nuremberg tested the defendants at Nuremberg. They might as well has been a German Mensa chapter.

          Schacht, Hjalmar 143
          Seyss-Inquart, Arthur 141
          Dönitz, Karl 138
          Göring, Hermann 138
          Papen, Franz von 134
          Raeder, Erich 134
          Frank, Hans 130
          Fritzsche, Hans 130
          Schirach, Baldur von 130
          Keitel, Wilhelm 129
          Ribbentrop, Joachim von 129
          Speer, Albert 128
          Jodl, Alfred 127
          Rosenberg, Alfred 127
          Neurath, Konstantin von 125
          Frick, Wilhelm 124
          Funk, Walther 124
          Hess, Rudolf 120

          No scores are available for Goebbels, Himmler, or Hitler, though all three were considered to be extremely sharp by most of those listed above. (though some discount must be figured for “sucking up to the boss.”)

          I suspect the main factor here is that you had to be sharp to survive in the National Socialist crab bucket, because like at Unseen University, the main path upward was via “dead man’s shoes.” Amorality and viciousness will only take you so far, particularly when that’s just ordinary behavior in your peer group.

          1. Actually, Kaczynski wasn’t just “mathematicians are weird.” He got groomed by a professor pretending to be his friend, and then put in one of the long CIA experiments with LSD, and then dropped like a hot rock by his professor friend. Over the next few years his ensuing mental illness got worse and worse, and he had to drop out. He had been the pride of his family, so he stayed away from there.

            So as horrible as he was, his actions had direct correspondence to his wrongs. But he should have just gone after his traitorous friend.

    5. The biggest one would be whether they would have tested the same at sixteen. Low IQ might correlate with willingness to leave school early.

      1. Boring make-work accomplishing nothing was why I dropped out of high school. In all the years since, nobody ever asked to see that oh-so-valuable high school diploma I never received…

        I have an idea I’m not the only one; I’ve encountered quite a few forms that carefully phrased educational questions as “where did you attend” instead of “where did you graduate.”

  2. This racism of the left is called the soft bigotry of low expectations. So said 43. He’s smarter than people give him credit for

    1. What?! You mean someone who can fly one of the most difficult aircraft to fly with the canopy whited out, using just the orange ball radar screen and instruments to get from a base in Texas to a base in Florida might be an intelligent human being? Inconceivable!

      1. I recall several articles pointing out that Bush, who was supposed to be stupid, had better grades in college than Gore, who was supposed to be brilliant.

        Not that it surprised me.

          1. I got my best grades my junior year of college, which happens to be the year I played poker five nights a week, so I am not so sure that taking it too seriously brings any benefit.

            1. I got lousy grades my first degree (2.33, I refused to quit). Overall GPA after a two year degree 2.99 (program GPA 3.98). By the time I was done with the second 4 year degree, overall GPA is around 3.5.

              Guess which program I worked the hardest; studied the most/all-the-time? Plus, the two year (highest of all the grades) I missed two weeks, with no coarse work to keep up with (not an option). I worked while also attending classes, more the second 4 year. FWIW, it wasn’t the higher grades/GPA programs. It wasn’t because the topics were easier.

        1. First, Gore was smarter than Bush; he held all the same superstitions as the “smart” crowd.

          Second, getting good grades in college is not necessarily a sign of intelligence. Attending a school like Yale or Harvard it is unlikely your grades will matter, merely that you got that diploma. This is especially true for well-connected scions like Bush and Gore. What really matters is the networking you do, the connections you form. So the key is to do only such classwork as is needed to get the “Gentlemen’s C” and befriend the smart classmates who will be stepping stones for you in later life.

          Good grades are for hirelings, not those hiring.

  3. …diminishing that parent’s experience…

    Something I’ve noticed:
    when this notion comes up, it almost always means that one side wants to ignore objective evidence in favor of their story; at best, it means “look, we disagree, but the polite fiction we’ll have for mutually exclusive claims is waving our hands about not diminishing someone’s experience when they’re making an emotional argument.” I can see some very limited reasons to have that tool– but they’d also rule out using that emotional argument as a foundation for action. By definition, the source is responding from pain, and not thinking. That’s just setting someone up.

  4. OK, let’s say a very long time ago you were an African just minding your own business when some very unfriendly neighbors raid your village and capture you. You are then sold to Arab slavers who transport you to the coast and resell you to a slave ship captain, like as not British. You manage to survive the voyage despite horrific conditions and eventually find yourself on the auction block somewhere in America. Years pass under conditions we today can only imagine until you or more likely your descendants are freed by President Lincoln towards the end of the ACW. Not to mention the sacrifice of hundreds of thousands of Union soldiers in that ugly and terrible war.
    Fast forward to today where your descendants find themselves citizens of the richest, freest nation on Earth, a situation many in other nations are willing to risk life, limb, and fortune to join.
    That involuntary sacrifice of your many times removed ancestor along with the grace of a nation willing to correct previous inequities has given you a golden ticket to life as an American citizen with all the benefits and opportunities that entails.

    1. Yeah. They could have ended up with the Dahomey who would just sacrifice you over the ghoulish blood-encrusted tombs of their ancestors.
      Count your blessings. Or at least have your DESCENDANTS count theirs.

    2. I am minded of Washington Post reporter Keith Richburg

      He is the author of Out of America: A Black Man Confronts Africa, which detailed his experiences as a correspondent in Africa, during which he witnessed the Rwandan genocide, a civil war in Somalia, and a cholera epidemic in Democratic Republic of Congo. Richburg’s book provoked controversy in the African American community due to its perceived criticism of Africans.

      Who had the insolence to say he was sorry about slavery but he thanked G-D his ancestors had “escaped” Africa.

      Are these really my people? he wonders. Am I truly an African American? The answer, Richburg finds after much soul-searching, is that black skin is not enough to bind him to Africa and that he is an American first, foremost, and singularly. To those who would romanticize Mother Africa as a black Valhalla, where blacks can walk with dignity and pride, he regrets to report that this is not the reality. He has been there and has witnessed the killings, the repression, the false promises, the horror. And in his darkest night of the soul, Richburg looks into his own family’s past and concludes, “Thank God. Thank God my nameless ancestor, brought across the ocean in chains and leg irons, made it out alive. Thank God I am an American.”

      Following his 1997 book Richburg another sixteen years working for The Washington Post, retiring in 2013 He is currently director of the Journalism and Media Studies Centre of the University of Hong Kong.

      I wonder how that is working out?

      1. And in his darkest night of the soul, Richburg looks into his own family’s past and concludes, “Thank God. Thank God my nameless ancestor, brought across the ocean in chains and leg irons, made it out alive. Thank God I am an American.”

        Muhammed Ali said the same thing and didn’t need a book to do it.

  5. About the quote ” the way to end racism is to stop defining people by race” or words to that effect, I recall being said publically by at least two people: Martin Luther King and Clarence Thomas.
    And from R.A. Heinlein: “Is one potato worth less that two potatoes? Men are not potatoes.”
    If the government will not protect the rights of the individual, then the individual must protect himself from all intrusions upon his rights, even if those are made by the government.

    1. Supposedly Morgan Freeman also said it to an interviewer, but I’ve never actually SEEN the interview, only the meme–so it’s entirely likely that it’s a false meme with something someone actually said, just not the person it’s attributed to.

      Although it does SOUND like something he’d say.

    2. *Especially* when those are made by government. A man may take your life. A government is far more than any one man. This is but one of *many* reasons to set hard limits on its actions.

  6. Racism is just another form of collectivism, and trying to solve it with even more collectivism is like trying to extinguish a fire with gasoline, with similar results.

    1. I’d say it’s more like trying to extinguish a sodium fire with water. If you don’t know anything about sodium, throwing water on the fire seems reasonable, even natural.

      Normal people would try it once, jump back in shock and say, “Holy Shit, that made it explode! Don’t do that again.”

      Leftoids would say, “It’s a bigger fire! Dump more water on it, RIGHT NOW!!”
      My grandpa voted Republican until the day he died — but he’s been voting Democrat ever since.

  7. >> “Who was it — sorry, no memory for celebrities, but it’s a black man — who said the way to end racism is to stop talking about race.”

    You’re probably thinking of Morgan Freeman:

    A good sentiment, but unfortunately he hasn’t been consistent about it. He assumed the Tea Party and the GOP wanted Obama out because of his race.

    1. It’s also worth quoting Frederick Douglass

      Everybody has asked the question, and they learned to ask it early of the abolitionists, “What shall we do with the negro?” I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us! If the apples will not remain on the tree of their own strength, if they are worm-eaten at the core, if they are early ripe and disposed to fall, let them fall! I am not for tying or fastening them on the tree in any way, except by nature’s plan, and if they will not stay there, let them fall. And if the negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall also. All I ask is, give him a chance to stand on his own legs! Let him alone! If you see him on his way to school, let him alone, — don’t disturb him! If you see him going to the dinner-table at a hotel, let him go! If you see him going to the ballot-box, let him alone, — don’t disturb him! If you see him going into a work-shop, just let him alone, — your interference is doing him a positive injury.

  8. I’ve often thought that the true national anthem of the US needs to be “Get Over It.” In particular, get over whatever happened to your ancestors. It doesn’t matter if they were slaves, slavers, kings, peasants, saints or pirates. It doesn’t make you special, it shouldn’t make you feel guilty. We’re the country full of people who are no longer obsessed with what happened in 1066 of 1492 or 1619.

    Being interested in history is one thing, but you have your own life to live here in 2020. So get over it.

    1. It’s, at best, mildly amusing to know what your ancestors were up to.
      Oh, and I WISH I had my own life to life in 2020. Unfortunately Polis has sequestred it.

    2. My favorite couplet from that song:

      “You bitch about the present and blame it on the past
      I’d like to find your inner child and kick its little ass”


      1. That one’s good but so is:

        “You don’t want to work, you want to live like a king
        But the big, bad world doesn’t owe you a thing.”

  9. You are preaching to the choir , Sarah. I’m on board with you.

    Unfortunately even having the discussion in 2020 is pointless. The people you are arguing with can’t be moved. Their belief system is absolute in its rejection of anything outside it.

    As soon as the words “diminishing that parent’s experience” are uttered the discussion is over. You’re talking to a Critical Theory zealot. The only thing that could move that person is a near-death experience, one which makes them realize their entire world-view is poisonous. A simple beating isn’t going to penetrate their mentality. They need the “car crash with gross bodily injury-died on the operating table three times-permanent disability” experience.

    I’ve been watching a couple of videos about this thing, and it finally makes sense. Not the critical theory part, that’s gibbering insanity. No, what makes sense is the stuff they do.

    Powerful example, deafness. A few years ago there was a great uproar where a successful treatment for deafness was being denounced as a attempt to erase deaf people from history. Yes, you read that right. Because if you take a deaf person and give them back their hearing, they are not part of Deaf Culture anymore. They are “erased” because now they can hear again, they’re just a Normie. And this is a crime because Deaf Culture. Okay?

    Therefore, according to these idiots, a successful treatment for deafness is a crime against humanity.

    And you can’t talk to that idiot, even in sign language, because he/she/xee is CONVINCED that reason, logic, scientific evidence, are weapons that you use against him/her/I don’t care. You are erasing deafness, you are a demon, you must be defeated.

    The fact that a formerly deaf individual is now healed, and can hear things like Mozart or a car horn, and their life is amazingly better… is immaterial. The individual does not exist. The only thing that’s important is the power dynamic between Deaf Culture and Normies (who are despised and reviled haterz, by the way.)

    How to deal with that idiot? You run them the f- over on your way to get your ears fixed.

    The correct answer to #BlackLivesMatter is “Get off my lawn, skinny white kid.”

      1. I’m assuming one-on-one situation in polite-ish conversation. When the zombie horde comes you magically vanish to an undisclosed location. You can’t fight off a mob by yourself with nothing but a broom. Maybe with a minigun, but there’s a waiting list for those and somebody has to be loading belts for you.

        One million people have decamped from New York so far since Corona Chan started kicking up her heels. Meaning everybody who could easily leave, left.

        The next million will be the ones who have to sell a house or a condo, have to sell a business, or move a business, etc. They’re packing their U-Hauls right now, after the rioters broke every single window in downtown Manhattan and looted all the stores.

        The next million after that will be the ones driven out by roving mobs when the welfare checks bounce. That’ll be roughly 2023 if Trump gets re-elected, April 2021 if the hair sniffer gets elected. Biden will be a drooling door-stop by then, Heels-Up Harris will be running the show.

        And of course the rest will leave when scrappers start stealing the water mains and power lines right out of the ground.

        Personally, when I lived in NY I used to sit around making bug-out plans with my gunshop buddies, for the day when the excrement truly met the air circulation device. My evil plan was to canoe up the Hudson. Its a hard pull against the current, but you can do it. Abandon everything, toss a tent and some goodies in the boat and paddle out of Dodge.

        This was in the 1990’s when the handwriting was on the wall already. In neon. That handwriting is now written in flame in the sky. “Get Out Now Before They Kill You And Eat You.”

        1. I know every way off Manhattan Island including where the boats that can be “borrowed” are. I actually had to use that knowledge once. Trouble is that in a real SHTF situation you have to go a long way to get to anywhere resembling safe and you have to go through places that are sketchy at the best of times to get there.

          1. Yes, you have to go a hundred miles or more, farther than the zombies can walk. And you have to do it through hostile territory.

            That’s why I picked the Hudson. On a good day in Westchester/Putnam counties the highways are stop-and-go. In a SHTF the highways would be no-go. Parking lots full of cars with no gas in them.

            The Hudson doesn’t freeze over (usually) so its a 4 season escape route. Its wide enough that yahoos aren’t going to come out and mess with you in the middle. With a power boat you can get all the way up past Albany before there’s a dam, with a canoe and a bunch of walking you can get into the St. Lawrence and the Great Lakes. Going the other way you can paddle/sail all the way to Florida down the inland waterway. Neighbors in Canada used to do it all the time, take the single-mast sailboat down to Florida.

            1. North River surely. It isn’t the Hudson until Tarrytown where the estuary ends.

              If you got the tide right in the canoe trip as far north as Tarrytown would be a doddle. From there north it’d be much harder. You could portage your canoe and get to Lake Champlain but if the US has zombies then Canada will have them worse. I’d go south through the narrows or north through Hell’s gate and get out to the private islands.

              1. Ours was a “get out of Dodge City” plan, and being a Kanuckistanian, I’d want to get home. So a canoe trip to the St. Lawrence was worst-case, really all I wanted was a way to get out of the danger zone of mutually assured destruction around NYC, and do it faster than gang-bangers can walk. The scenario was “collapse of services in NYC” not “T-Virus event Raccoon City.” Being able to get to Dutchess County when the highway was crushed was the general goal. Once you make it past the traffic jam Mom and Dad can drive down from Kanuckistan and pick you up.

                Friends in the Dutchess County area reported assholes stealing gas out of their vehicle in their suburban driveway during/after Hurricane Sandy in the blackout, so SHTF is an awful lot closer to the surface than people generally think. The gasoline thieves were “encouraged” to leave the neighborhood, which worked pretty well for Sandy, but would be harder to do if the Masses of Asses were fleeing fiery doom in NYC.

                In one of those things, IMHO your only hope is to stay ahead of the wave, and don’t be on a main route. If you’re trailing along after the big wave goes through, all the good swag and consumables will be stripped.

        2. They’re packing their U-Hauls right now

          I’ve been vaguely wondering when somebody will put up comparisons of U-Haul rentals into and out of NY City. I suspect there’s enough data to calculate a correlation of that ratio and broader civic health trends.

          I doubt civic leader would like knowing people are tracking that ratio.

            1. There was an article in the Wall Street Journal. NYC u Haul rentals are up 150% year over year and 30% month over month in July San Francisco’s similar. I saw an article about U-Haul prices between Texas and Cali that showed a huge gap but not one for NYC.

              House sales out here by me within commuting distance but beyond rioting distance have rocketed.

          1. Find out how many empty U-Haul trucks they’re having to drive back into the New York area.

    1. The only thing that could move that person is a near-death experience, one which makes them realize their entire world-view is poisonous. …

      Were I minded to make movies (and were Hollywood minded, period) I would now be working on an updated version of It’s a Wonderful Life in which the woke protagonist gets to experience the world as he thinks it ought be.

      Too dark?

      1. Currently we have e-books, so you can write that screenplay and push it out to the masses. It will never be a movie. It might get to be an anime, if you have connections in the biz over there. They do things like that sometimes.

        I won’t read it, because I’m not a grimdark fan. It would be too depressing.

        But hey, you might get a Hugo if you make it distressing enough. >:D

  10. “I’ve never seen the government actually do something to improve the lot of Americans or in fact anything outside its allotted duties in the constitution that doesn’t in fact result in the exact opposite of what they say it will.

    The government rarely ever improves anything, even the stuff they are supposed to do. As you’ve said before, the left wants the glory days of WWII to come back. But even then they screwed up most of it. They just screwed up less of it than our enemies, though it wasn’t for a lack of trying. Price controls, employment controls, rationing, etc., are still problems we’re dealing with to some extent 80 years later. And whenever .gov steps in to provide stewardship of some group, it results in that group stagnating and usually diminishing unless they get out from under the thumb of .gov. It doesn’t matter what the group is, Indians, Blacks, the poor. If they want to thrive, they have to become individuals and get out of whatever .gov program they fall under.

    1. In general, government (and not just ours) is good for two things; brute force and bean counting.


      Historically, there have been many cases when government involvement in the building of various sorts of networks greatly increased National wealth. The building of canals, while usually done by private companies, usually required government assistance, if only in the matter of rights of way and grants of monopoly. Could the canals have been built without those? Possibly. The railroads are another case. The United States government granted huge amounts of land to the railroads, which were the basis of the majority of the railroad fortunes. The railroads themselves were often so-so profitable; the trunks made money, but the feeder lines frequently didn’t while at the same time being necessary to the profitability of the trunks. Rural electrification was a huge boost to the wealth – measured in general level of comfort – of rural America. The monopoly granted to AT&T made it the best large phone network in the world for decades. And the internet has created vast wealth – again in level of comfort as well as simple piles of cash – and was a government creation.

      Looked at closely, what these networks tend to have in common is that, absent government largesse, the rates necessary to build them were higher than the customers were willing to pay. Yet history seems to show that the value of the networks would have justified the high rates.

      The problem, of course, is that governments tend to continue to ‘support’ networks they have supported before past the point of the networks utility. The governments of the United States and Britain are still pouring money into keeping canals open (sort of). Amtrak not only loses huge amounts of money, but interferes with the cargo railroads, which are still vital.

      If it hasn’t already been done, I expect there are several PhD dissertations worth of history in the relationship between governments and networks.

      1. If it hasn’t already been done, I expect there are several PhD dissertations worth of history in the relationship between governments and networks.

        I’d love to see the university that would give such an honest hearing (I know, some exist, complete with demonization), but with the Long March, University of [Generic state]’s history department would at best ignore it, or more likely, cancel the Wrongthinker. And the progs claim that conservatives are closeminded. Just how open is a prog’s black hole of a mind?

          1. Some of them will even admit that Big Government has fucked up everything it ever touched in the past — but they can make it work perfectly THIS TIME because they’re so much smarter than everybody else. Those losers were just not as enlightened, so they did it all WRONG.

            Which is exactly what those unenlightened losers thought about the ones that came before them…
            Ma Lemming: “If all your friends jumped off a cliff into the sea would you…oh…um…nevermind.”

              1. I won’t be coming home tonight
                My generation will put it right
                We’re not just making promises
                That we know we’ll never keep

                That one?

                1. Why yes, that is exactly the verse I was talking about. What makes Mr. Rutherford (wikipedia says he’s the lyricist) think that his generation is any different from all the ones that came before and all the ones that will come after?

    2. Read any honest history of the Home Front and the industrial build-up for our victory and you will learn how American industrialists like Andrew Jackson Higgens (designer of the Higgens boat, basis for American landing craft that put our boys ashore at Normandy, Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa), William Knudsen and Henry J. Kaiser succeeded in arming our forces in spite of the best efforts of Washington, New Dealers and “experienced military men to guide and direct their efforts.

  11. Black Lives Matter unless the Black Person is killed by a Black Criminal, then that Black Person’s Life doesn’t Matter. [Sarcastic Grin]

  12. I’m going to shamelessly stea… er, adopt this phrase, “Individual Lives Matter.”

    The two problems I have with “All Lives Matter” are (1) it’s anodyne, and (2) it’s vulnerable to the Animal Farm style addition of “…but some lives matter more than others.”

    (In return, let me float “It’s OK to Act White” as being both more principled and more subversive than “It’s OK to Be White” – or any other “It’s OK to Be…” formula.)

      1. ‘Act white’ seems to mean ‘follow the rules that make people and society successful.’

        1. That is one thing to get me spitting mad. “Acting white” involves every thing that can be done to make a man a successful, productive, honest, hard working, and moral person. It’s an excuse for brigandry, laziness, poor character and lax morals.

          There is no good in it, only a deep and ugly evil that seeks to steal the futures of every young black man and woman who *can* do just fine on their own, without the mafia-minded “help” of those who “care” so bloody damned much.

            1. *ponders*

              Maybe if they started replacing Confederate and Founding Father statues with the pitchfork-and-horns type? Like the discussion of the Bee going around, its getting tougher to say what *isn’t* on the table for the Brigand-Larceny-Malefactor and friends crowd.

            2. I suspect the same people go with, “Jesus wasn’t white! (You bigots!)” types of stories.

          1. It’s not an excuse for laziness, poor character, and lax morals, it’s actively teaching laziness, poor character, and lax morals for the specific purpose of keeping Black men and women down and dependent. After all, what fun is a neo-feudalist utopia without serfs?

            1. I turned on the telly to clear some of the DVR and got caught up watching a portion of Laura Ingraham on FNC, talking with panelists Victor David Hanson (whom I recognized right off), Sara Carter (who I sort of recognized) and this very melanin-endowed man who I hadn’t seen before

              It turned out the guy was Vince Everett Ellison, author of The Iron Triangle: Inside the Liberal Democrat Plan to Use Race to Divide Christians and America in their Quest for Power and How We Can Defeat Them.

              Per Amazon:
              To save America and the world, Conservatives must first answer this one very important question: Why do the vast majority of Christian African Americans vote for the Atheist/Anti-Christian, Liberal Democrat Party?

              This book answers that question. Why is this important? The answering of this question and the implementation of the suggested remedies will greatly improve America’s chances of ushering in an enlightened era of freedom and prosperity, while critically damaging its primary source of evil: The Democrat Party. This evil party could not survive without 90% of Christian African American vote.

              Conservatives wonder: Why would African Americans forsake their children, spouses, communities, lives, freedom and GOD for the Democrat Party? Presently, Democrats control every Black ghetto, every failing Black school, every drug corner and every prison in America. Amazingly, the majority of African Americans love them for it. Why? This book explains it.

              This book argues that falsely accused White Christian conservatives have nothing more for which to apologize. Despite slanderous accusations of racism and hatred, this book reassures Conservatives, and encourages them to press forward. The real oppressors are now unmasked. To control African Americans during and after the Civil Rights Movement, White Democrats organized and formed an unholy alliance with most Black preachers, Black civic organizers and Black politicians. I call this trifecta the “Iron Triangle.” It has worked perfectly.

              This book exposes the greatest continuous betrayal in history: The betrayal of America in general, and of Black America in particular by the Democrat Party and the Iron Triangle. It utilizes lessons and anecdotes from my life experiences in the Jim Crow South, in the Black church, as a correctional officer, leading civic organizations, and involvement in politics to illustrate these facts. It traces the origins and explains the rationale behind the Black community’s fatal attraction to the oldest and most prolifically evil organization in history. It further explains how liberals have used this deadly infatuation to take over the Democrat Party and America.

              This book explains why undermining Christianity and inciting racial discord between Black and White Christians is essential to Democrat Party survival. It explains why Democrat Party leadership believes the gospel of Jesus Christ is poisonous, racial reconciliation is catastrophic, and atheism is necessary. This book explains how their plans can be countered. It is a primer, designed to teach Conservatives how to communicate with a Democrat who has been indoctrinated with a lifetime of lies. This book teaches history, psychology, religion, philosophy and truth. So let’s talk to and reason with our brothers and sisters in Christ, and our fellow countrymen. Then, lets dismantle this Iron Triangle and save America.

              [END EXCERPT]

              I don’t guess he gets many calls to appear on MSNBC.

          2. You are pretty close: the cipher is that “white” means all those cultural and individual traits that make western civilization work, and which lack thereof has left everyone else still crawling around in the dirt except for what they could trade.

            In their own twisted way the Progressives have transcended skin color. Unfortunately they have done it with an entropy worshiping philosophy.

          3. As Thomas Sowell has argued, what is here called “Black Culture” is in fact the culture which produced White rednecks.

            Besides, talking about “Black Culture” as if all Africa was a single cultural identity is not just dumb, it’s insulting. Almost as dumb as combining British, Irish, Greek, German, Polish, Danish, Norwegian, Ukrainian, Czech, Rus French, Walloon, Basque and all the rest of European ethnicities into a single identity and calling it White Culture.

    1. Eh, my quibble with “Okay to act white” is that, well, again–not all white people act the same, just as with not all black people or purple people or whatever act the same. How about “It’s okay to act like an individual”?

    2. Actually, I have the growing feeling that an honest answer to the assertion by the Fascist Left street thugs that “Black lives matter!” is “You live clearly DOESN’T matter”

      1. After the thugs beat the guy in Portland, it’s starting to look like the most rational response to a scream of “Black Lives Matter” involves something starting with a “four”.

        (Last I heard, the victim is still alive, but unconscious. The 4chan anons ID’d the field-goal head kicker, though. If the DA tries to pass on that one, Oh My!)

        1. thugs beat the guy in Portland

          When I first heard/read the incident my thought was “Wait! How’d they get a trucker to deliver into that area of Portland?” Word is among the truckers is they have not forgotten Rodney King & will not deliver anywhere near riot areas. Period. End of discussion. Then I realized it was a pickup, not delivery truck. Someone took a wrong turn accidentally. Somewhere someone said “just because you should be able to drive the areas in question doesn’t mean you should”. I don’t think that was the guys intent, or he’d been packing, he wasn’t (I doubt he’d just be unconscious it he had been packing). I think it was a case of “took a bad turn and got into the wrong neighborhood, at the wrong time” then saw something he couldn’t unsee & stepped in to help, got in over his head. I’m already hearing the thought process “I’m sooooo screwed”, “Oh C****”, “Well I’m already screwed, maybe …”, all in about 2 seconds or less.

          1. The word from the DA is that he’ll actually prosecute Kick’em Thugman, though I fully expect some kind of weaseling out of that pledge. There seem to be a lot of people who identified the creep, so that will be hard to bypass.

            I have to go to Medford this week. a) I’m using the Subaru as camouflage (never liked bumper stickers, so safe there), b) I plan to be safely holed up in the hotel after dark, c) I’m taking appropriate precautions. Both $SPOUSE and I are somewhat nervous. I got this appointment instead of one in late October, but I’m not sure it will make any difference.

            Is anybody going to a big (ie, Blue) city now unless they absolutely have to?

            1. I live about 30 mikes S of central PDX, and am currently working in Milwaukie. No issues yet. BUt we will see where the next project I am on is…

          2. Somewhere someone said “just because you should be able to drive the areas in question doesn’t mean you should”.

            I understand the reasoning behind it. But too often you simply don’t get a choice.

            And I’m also loathe to tell people that they should cede territory to barbarians.

          3. Oh yeah, from what I’ve read, the professional truckers have vowed to not deliver to any area that defunds the police. One assumes Portland is pretty much abandoned by owner-operators and companies with common sense. Still leaves the drivers working for clueless companies, but I suspect a combination of Murphy and some careful donations to the fleet mechanics could make rig availability problematic for destinations like Portland. Either that, or the Teamsters will have a say. Last I heard, they preferred to have living union members…

            1. I think Instapundit, a few days ago, linked to a report that they were suing the DOT for allowing highways to be obstructed by protests. Apparently there’s a law against that, given those highways are federally funded.

          4. I saw a brief news item on it on, I think, Bret Baier’s show. According to the reporting he had driven in to attempt a retrieval of a white woman who was being beaten in by a mob.

            I expect future Good Samaritans will be packing. Of course, they’ll have to let the thugs beat on them for a bit before drawing down.

            1. On another site, someone commented that the way things are going, the eventual ROE for anyone encountering BLM/Antifa will be “shoot on sight”. Think ISIS in Garland, Texas.

              I hope it doesn’t go that far, but my kumbaya is all worn out.

              1. Just let a couple of suburban houses be burnt down in Portland, and you’ll see some “shoot-on-sight” action.

                It’ll be like an avalanche. Nothing, nothing, nothing, WHOOSH. But you never know which little noise it’ll be that sets it off.

            2. Additional reporting:

              Portland man beaten unconscious by BLM mob tried to stop mugging, witness claims
              The man who was viciously beaten by Black Lives Matter protesters in Portland had been trying to intervene in a mugging before he was kicked unconscious, according to a report.

              Drew Hernandez, a YouTuber who filmed the episode, said the man — identified by another witness as Adam Haner — was defending a transgender woman being beaten and robbed by protesters Sunday before the group went after him, Fox News reported.

              “They were physically assaulting her like crazy so when they were doing that … he actually started defending her and then they shifted their attention on him,” Hernandez told the outlet.

              Hernandez said it started “getting violent,” so the victim got into his truck and attempted to escape.

              “He starts revving his engine because I think he feels threatened,” said Hernandez, who has claimed he has a full video of the incident but has not released it.

              “I think he was just trying to scare them because, to be honest with you, if you really wanted to run someone over, he definitely could have done it.”

              The man then drove away but the mob continued to follow him, Hernandez said.

              “They just went nuts and they started following him up the street,” he said. “He would stop and kind of pull back, just trying to get rid of him, but he didn’t hit any of them.”

              The crowd chased him for a few blocks before he crashed his vehicle and got out, Hernandez said.

              “When they finally caught up to him, they went nuts. One of the BLM militants pulled out his own baton, started hitting him, telling him to get on the floor,” he said.

              “They start punching him in the face, physically assaulting him. Then out of nowhere one of the guys comes out of nowhere and dropkicks him from behind.”

              Jorge Ventura, a Daily Caller reporter who also posted videos of the melee, said Haner appeared intoxicated during the violent episode in Downtown Portland.

              “He kind of seemed like he may have been drinking earlier in the evening,” Ventura told the Oregonian. “He was really discombobulated.”

              Sam Pape, who works at a Northeast Portland bar named Church, told the paper they are “absolutely certain” that the driver and a woman also seen in the video from the melee were outside the watering hole earlier in the evening, around 7 p.m.

              Pape said they saw the pair quarreling and the man drinking several cans of Miller Life for half an hour, before getting into an argument with another guy.

              No arrests have been made in the attack, though the district attorney condemned the actions of the mob.

              “The actions depicted in these videos are universally rejected as wrong — and the actions are illegal,” Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt said.

              “Assaults will not be tolerated in our community.”

              The victim was taken to a local hospital with serious injuries, police said.

              “The incident is under investigation and no arrests have been made,” authorities said.

              [VIDEO AT LINK]

              1. As is to be expected, early coverage of this is running confusing; as the saying goes, “Early reports of the action are always wrong.” But whatever this guy may have done to “deserve” this, these protestors would be outraged if cops did what they’ve done.

                BLM mob beats white man unconscious after making him crash truck: video
                A mob of Portland Black Lives Matter protesters forced a white man to crash his truck, then punched and kicked him unconscious, disturbing footage shows.

                A series of clips on social media shows the victim being surrounded in his white Ford truck at 10.30 p.m. Sunday as others attacked a woman he was with, who was punched and even tackled to the ground during the violent melee.

                “He didn’t do nothing!” someone could be heard calling as others punched the driver as he sat in his truck, which was also repeatedly kicked.

                The unidentified driver eventually sped off, with the mob chasing him — with some heard loudly laughing when he crashed into a tree and then a building, according to the clips.

                He was dragged from the truck and tackled to the ground as he begged for help — getting repeatedly punched as he tried to call his wife while pleading with his attackers as he sat on the ground, the videos show.

                “I ain’t tryna hurt no one,” he told them, with the only unexplained accusation heard in the clips being that “COVID is real.”

                “I was trying to get out the way,” he insisted of crashing his truck, as several of the group punched him in the face and repeatedly called the white driver the N-word.

                As the mob dispersed to watch another fight, the main offender circled back around — kicking the defenseless driver in the face from behind, instantly knocking him out with his head cracking on the road.

                “What the f–k is you talkin’ about n—er!” the attacker — wearing a shirt with “SECURITY” on the front and back — screamed after the thud of his victim’s head hitting the ground.

                The victim was then shown bleeding from a large wound in the back of his head as he appeared unconscious throughout another almost 2½-minute clip. The woman was shown sobbing nearby as the mob held her back and appeared to rifle through his truck.

                “Black live matter, n—er!” one man continually ranted as other people checked the victim was still alive. Even as he remained unconscious, a woman was heard taunting him, “Get your b-tch ass up!”

                Police in riot gear had to assist ambulance crews helping him as they were confronted by “a hostile crowd,” Portland police said in a release.

                The victim was taken to a local hospital with serious injuries, police said. “The incident is under investigation and no arrests have been made,” the force said.

                It was unclear what sparked the confrontation, but some witnesses tweeted that he had tried to intervene in an altercation between the mob and another person.

                Police said that “protesters were chasing the truck before it crashed, and they assaulted the driver after the crash.”

                Kalen D’Almeida, the co-founder of Scriberr News, who shared one of the videos. tweeted: “A man accused of trying to run over protesters crashed his vehicle. BLM & Antifa militants then pull him from the car and violently assault him.”

                He claimed that it was “specifically a militant #BLM group that left the #BLM protest to intentionally incite violence tonight.”

                The incident came days after Seattle BLM members marched through gentrified neighborhoods and demanded white people give up their homes.

                And it came a day after Portland officials once again declared a riot as mobs once again brought violence while claiming to protest the death of George Floyd, as they have done nightly for almost two months.

                Two cops were hospitalized overnight Saturday after protesters hurled a 10-pound rock at them during the 79th night of clashes in the City of Roses, according to reports.

              2. Waitwaitwait. The ULTRA WOKE “mostly peaceful protestors” were beating up a TRANSGENDER woman??? And the guy they beat into a coma was trying to help her.

                Good grief, that needs to be shouted from all the rooftops. “Hey, dumba**es, THESE PEOPLE ARE NOT YOUR FRIENDS. They aren’t interested in helping LGBT people, they aren’t interested in helping black people. They are criminal thugs, full stop.”

                1. They aren’t all that concerned about Black Lives, either. The audio makes it clear that they are thugs, hoodlums and opportunists. DO NOT PLAY it when children are around.

    1. The age distribution of deaths has been known and consistent since April, May at the latest.

      There’s an estimate that 20% of nursing home residents in NY died. Cuomo the Killer and his mini me Murphy the Moron continue to take victory laps and the press continues to champion them.

      if people really knew what was going on there’d be a revolution, so people will never be allowed to know what’s going on

      1. There’s “overwhelmingly over the age of 65,” and there’s “people under 50 are more likely to die from traffic accidents than the Kung Flu.”

        I’d expect there to be more than 150 disabled folks with serious health issues who are under 50 and in nursing homes, for starters!

      2. For comparison’s sake, Iowa (which is very heavily retirement aged folks, never had a mask order, never had a shelter in place order, etc) has about 1/8th of the total deaths that Mass does. (A quarter of the deaths per million.)

        We have about 100 deaths under age 50.

        That is… unimaginable slaughter.

      3. Governor Andy “Death To Elders” Cuomo reputedly is writing (having written for publication under his name) a book extolling his “beautiful” response to the Wuhan Flu. Book stores will struggle whether to place the book in Fiction or Fantasy and finally settle on Remainders.

        I expect it will be a best-seller that is read by nobody except a few opposition researchers, with crates of the book sitting in Democrats of New York warehouses to be given as premiums for donors. Some may go to NY PBS stations for Pledge Months: “Pledge $150 and we will send you two> copies of Governor Cuomo’s book about his heroic performance during the 2020 COVID Crisis! For $250 we’ll send one copy of the book, and for $500 we will send an autographed copy to the enemy person you select!”

        1. Iowa has 300 deaths per million. Florida, which the largest retirement age population in the country, 400 per million. New York, 1689 per million and NJ da da daaa. 1797 per million. We like to excel at all things.

          If you ended up in a public hospital in NYC, you died. 41% of WuFlu patients at Coney Island Hospital died compared to 17% in Mount Sinai. 41%.!!

          The only thing Cuomo can be proud of is the at he’s not DiBlasio. Upstate NY looks much more like the rest of the country than NYC Cuomo and Zucker, his health commissioner who used to be #2 at WHO, have comprehensively lied about the nursing home thing. Cuomo did manage to kill the mothers and fathers of a fair few people who have the money and time to go after him though. I’m hoping they crucify the murdering SOB.

          Der Gauleiter Murphy continues to be proud of his response, but then he’s proud of the mail-in ballots in Paterson where 1 in 5 ballots was disqualified and at least 4 arrests have been made.

          They’re all a bunch of psychopaths.

          1. Minor number geeking note–

            Iowa is really handy for comparing to other numbers, because it’s in the middle of the country so gets hit from both sides, but in muted form; it’s 1/100th of the estimated US population, and 1/10th of the Canadian population, and 1/20th the UK, and there’s a couple of other countries where the math to compare numbers is easy to do in your head.

          2. They’re all a bunch of psychopaths.

            That is implicit in they’re being highly placed Democrat politicians.

            Contemplate the condition of New York State’s budget if Cuomo had allowed fracking in Upstate. Okay, he’d probably have promised even more generous benefits to the state’s interest groups and dug a deeper hole, probably by some idiocy like using anticipated proceeds to underwrite bond issues, with those proceeds calculated at unrealistically high levels (as if the oil produced wouldn’t affect the price of oil so it would remain above $100/barrel.)

            1. BTW – long and depressing (especially if you’re a New Yorker, whether you’ve lived there or not):

              New York City is dead forever
              I lived three blocks from Ground Zero on 9/11. Downtown, where I lived, was destroyed, but it came roaring back within two years. Such sadness and hardship — and then, quickly, that area became the most attractive area in New York.

              And in 2008 and 2009, there was much suffering during the Great Recession, and again much hardship, but things came roaring back.

              But this time it’s different. You’re never supposed to say that, but this time it’s true.

              If you believe this time is no different, that NYC is resilient — I really hope you’re right.

              I don’t benefit from saying any of this. I love NYC. I was born there. I’ve lived there forever. I STILL live there. I love everything about NYC. I want 2019 back.

              But this time it’s different.

              One reason: bandwidth.

              In 2008, average bandwidth speeds were 3 megabits per second. That’s not enough for a Zoom meeting with reliable video quality. Now, it’s over 20 megabits per second. That’s more than enough for high-quality video. There’s a before and after. Before: no remote work. After: everyone can remote work.

              The difference: bandwidth got faster. And that’s basically it. People have left New York City and have moved completely into virtual worlds. The Time-Life building doesn’t need to fill up again. Wall Street can now stretch across every street instead of just being one building in Manhattan.

              We are officially AB: After Bandwidth. And for the entire history of NYC (and the world) until now, we were BB: Before Bandwidth. Remote learning, remote meetings, remote offices, remote performance, remote everything.

              That’s what is different.

              Everyone has spent the past five months adapting to a new lifestyle. Nobody wants to fly across the country for a two-hour meeting when you can do it just as well on Zoom. I can go see “live comedy” on Zoom. I can take classes from the best teachers in the world for almost free online as opposed to paying $70,000 a year for a limited number of teachers who may or may not be good.

              Everyone has choices now. You can live in the music capital of Nashville, you can live in the “next Silicon Valley” of Austin. You can live in your hometown in the middle of wherever. And you can be just as productive, make the same salary, have higher quality of life with a cheaper cost. …

        2. Another use for the book will be as evidence. Whether it’s criminal, wrongful death, and which party introduces it in evidence will be left as an exercise for the student.

          1. Think of it as Cuomo;s GoFundMe for people like Janice Dean. She’s going to put him in jail and then break off New York’s “Son of Sam” law in him.

  13. Here’s another unwanted fact – we are all the children of rape. Every single one of us has an ancestress who encountered a conquering soldier of whatever type. Viking, Sioux, Hun, whatever.

    1. Yep. Or were enslaved by them.
      So what? We’re also the children of those women. And females are no less children of rapists than men are.
      (And I’m not shouting at you, but at the idiot feminists.)

      1. But the people they’re angry at are long gone. What do you expect them to do, forgive them and move on?

          1. This isn’t about racism, or sexism, or environmentalism, or Antifa-ism. On the highest level, this is about holding onto fading power. And on the street level, this is about severely inconsequential people metaphorically shouting “Look at Me!”.

            I mean, how DARE all the ordinary people in the world who actually make things and do things that matter ignore the raving twits who are good for little more than messing up your fast food order.

            Or compost.

      2. Who have no children or hate the ones they do have. They f-ck you up your mom and dad, they may not mean to but they do. I think Larkin’s May was prescient. So much hatred of life.

      3. And the fact that taking revenge on the children for the actions of the parents is evil… THAT is why the people saying “Abortion should be illegal except in cases of rape” haven’t thought things through. Because why should the child be killed for the crime that his/her father (or, more rarely, his mother) committed? Rather, what should happen in cases of rape that gets the woman pregnant is that part of the rapist’s punishment (besides the jail time) should be to have to pay all of the mother’s expenses for the hospital and delivery, and so on. THAT’s how you avoid victimizing her twice, without creating a second victim (the child) who was entirely innocent of the crime.

  14. “The way to stop racial discrimination is to stop discriminating.” I think that came from SCOTUS, probably Thomas, but maybe Scalia.

  15. If individual lives mattered, our government wouldn’t categorize people by race, economic class or other modes of suppression of individual identity. If individual lives mattered, our institutions of advancement — colleges and universities, primarily — would not “diversify” admissions by ethnicity.

    If individual lives mattered, a party nominee for president could never dare suggest that voting for him was a signifier of racial identity, nor select a vice-presidential candidate on the bass of gender and racial identity rather than absolute qualification.

    While I, and many others, may believe individual lives matter, our culture clearly does not.

    1. The words you use, “our culture”, I think that’s the problem. It’s not “ours”, we’re just stuck with something imposed.

  16. I wouldn’t have said ‘you’re disrespecting my kid for saying that.’

    No, you would say, “you’re disrespecting my kid by saying that,” because you learned proper grammatical English.

    More seriously (the crowd gasps, “Can the Wallaby get more serious?”) this response typifies the mindset of people who have not learned to distinguish fact from feeling. The child’s feelings are in no way diminished (I suspect that is what they are using “disrespected” to mean) for being common to others, and are even justified by being representative of common experience instead of uniquely held.

    The only way in which the child is diminished by being part of a shared experience is if the child’s status requires unique victim status.

    Facts, on the other hand, do not depend on individuals’ status. They lend themselves toward solution because the approach we take to the problem is different if the experience is unique or universal. Indeed, only if it is universal would an approach to a systemic solution make sense.

    If it were only your child having a shitty time at the school the probability is high that the problem is you child, not the school. In that case it would be absurd to alter a system that works well for the majority. The appropriate response the might be along the lines of, “Sucks to be your child” — which is probably not the response the speaker seeks.

    Although one ought not discount the possibility of the desired response being, “Poor, poor, pitiful you.” Because a good song always perks people up.

  17. One starts to think that ‘privilege’ as defined by the left might be a Marxist mirage.

    Or that the word “privilege” serves the same purpose for them as the word “fascist” – the actual dictionary meaning is irrelevant because they are using the word as prior generations of their tribe used the n-word: to inflict injury, to diminish their opponents, and to curtail discussion.

    Their goal is not persuasion, it is submission.

  18. Giving the government power to strip people of their property, either because they got in a stupid panic over a virus OR because they think they should hold you accountable for the crime of long dead people to whom you have no relation will only make sure that no lives matter.

    Why, it is almost as if the Founders of this nation had some experience of tyrannical government and wanted to keep it limited in order to prevent its abuse.

  19. It seems as if the Black Lives Matter movement has had its (inevitable) Reginald Denny moment:

    Black Lives Matter, Antifa Crowd Beat Man Unconscious in Portland
    A crowd of Black Lives Matter and Antifa rioters in downtown Portland beat a white man unconscious Sunday night after dragging him from his truck, video footage of the incident shows.

    The crowd surrounded the man’s white truck around 10:30 p.m. near where he crashed into a light pole at Southwest Broadway and Taylor Street. At least one individual punched him as he sat inside before he was pulled out of the vehicle.

    The rioters punched the man and forced him to sit in the street as he tried to answer a call from his wife. One man in the crowd wearing a “security” vest delivered a kick to his head from behind that appears to have knocked him out cold and caused his head to bleed after it hit the street.

    The rioters can be heard accusing the man of attempting to run them over in his truck, but video clips on social media appear to show the moments just before the attack, when the man attempted to help a person the crowd had previously robbed and beaten. When the crowd turned on him, he attempted to drive away to escape, but ended up crashing his truck. …

        1. The California decision was written by Stephen Reinhardt’s replacement, Ken Lee. About that decision:

          Judicial Winning: Ken Lee
          In a decision issued Friday in Duncan v. Becerra, a challenge to California’s recent ban on ownership of large-capacity magazines (LCMs), Judge Lee stood up for Second Amendment rights as he reminded California state officials that “even well-intentioned laws must pass constitutional muster.” To determine the constitutionality of California’s LCM ban, Judge Lee applied “strict scrutiny,” the most exacting standard of judicial review in constitutional law. This is truly significant. Judicial application of strict scrutiny in gun-control cases constructs a long fence for states seeking to do an end-run around the Second Amendment’s protections.

          Writing for a 2-1 panel, Judge Lee acknowledged what everyday Americans already know: LCMs are common, not “unusual.” Indeed, half of all magazines in America would be banned under this law. Judge Lee also wrote compellingly of the importance of gun rights for women, minorities, LGBT Americans, “those who live in rural areas where the local sheriff may be miles away, law-abiding citizens trapped in high-crime areas, communities that distrust or depend less on law enforcement, and many more who rely on their firearms to protect themselves and their families.” And because the challenged law posed a substantial burden on the “core [Second Amendment] right of law-abiding citizens to defend hearth and home,” Judge Lee noted succinctly: “Strict scrutiny applies.”

          Ultimately, “California’s near-categorical ban of LCMs” did not survive strict scrutiny. Upholding a lower court ruling that invalidated the Golden State’s blanket prohibition, Judge Lee held that this expansive law was “not narrowly tailored to achieve the compelling state interests it purports to serve.” But that’s not all. Judge Lee also wrote that he would have found the LCM ban unconstitutional under the less-rigorous standard of intermediate scrutiny, if the court had chosen to apply it. …

  20. OT: As if this year wasn’t dumb enough, The Babylon Bee has been banned from Twitter. Officially, the reason is “violating our rules against platform manipulation and spam”. Officially.

        1. Twitter has narrowed things down:

          1. Unlike the democrats, squirrels have the patience and sense to delay their uprising until it will inflict maximum damage on Trump.

      1. The Bee got restored, but a number of other satirical accounts like Titania McGrath have been yanked.

      2. Well, they’re TRYING, but they just can’t find anything too insane for Leftoids to do any more.

        1. When faces with the phrase “Of course truth is stranger than fiction, fiction has to make sense,” 2020 is saying “Hold my beer”

          1. Fiction must be plausible. Reality just has to happen.

            So far, this year has NOT been plausible. Anybody writing it as fiction would have been laughed at. Hell, writing just HALF of what has happened this year would not be plausible.

            Okay, China deliberately spreading a nasty cold/flu virus around the world I would have believed, but THAT’S ALL.

    1. Yeah, but the Bee won’t have officially arrived until the Southern Poverty Law Center declares they’re a hate group…

        1. We should take up a collection! If thirty Huns each contribute a piece of silver…

          [curiosity] Cripes, there’s a lengthy wikipedia entry: Somewhere between $65 and $315, depending on which particular coins the “pieces of silver” were. Judas’ price was about that of an expensive pair of sneakers…

          1. It was enough to buy a field, which would be an investment in a long-term source of wealth depending on the size of the field, so I suspect that’s an underestimate of the value. (Unless the Potter’s Field was so named because its soil was full of clay and nothing could grow there, in which case the field was being sold cheap because it was worthless for farming — but even so, I suspect that $300 or so is a serious underestimate of its value).

            1. The commentary I’ve seen is 30 pieces of silver was the going rate for a male slave.

            2. I can’t find anything on the going rate, but the slave thing is in Exodus.
              When an ox gores a man or a woman to death, the ox must be stoned; its meat may not be eaten. The owner of the ox, however, shall be free of blame.
              But if an ox was previously in the habit of goring people and its owner, though warned, would not watch it; should it then kill a man or a woman, not only must the ox be stoned, but its owner also must be put to death.
              If, however, a fine is imposed on him, he must pay in ransom for his life whatever amount is imposed on him.
              This ordinance applies if it is a boy or a girl that the ox gores.
              But if it is a male or a female slave that it gores, he must pay the owner of the slave thirty shekels of silver, and the ox must be stoned.

          2. That’s modern value of the silver.

            Try this:

            It says that a “mina” in the 1st century is 100 day’s wages, and there’s 50 shekels in a mina, so a shekel is 2 day’s wages. (Which means the temple tax was a single day’s pay, which is wonderfully poetic.)

            As shekels were used to pay the yearly temple tax, that’s probably what the coins were, so two month’s wages.

            A modern accountant (what? All I remember is Judas kept the books, so it’ll do as a profession!) gets between $2k and $5k a month, so the Son of God was sold out for about $5k in cash….

      1. What I’m waiting for is the Bee article “Southern Poverty Law Center Declares Itself to be a Right Wing Hate Group.”

        1. BTW I don’t mean to imply that the Huns are any more hatey than Ringo’s Roughnecks, Williamson’s Wreckers or Webers Wallopers.
          They’re all good outfits, mean and thorough, and a glory to the mobile infantry.
          WHAT? Geesh. I’m on ONE cup of coffee.

  21. So, if you believe in the concept of ‘reparations’ how do we determine who owes what? Yeah, my mother’s people were tobacco farmers and *did* own slaves, although they were always cash-poor and certainly bankrupted by the war. My dad’s people were honest to god hillbillies (Scots-Irish Appalachian Hillfolk, if we are being polite, but why? they never were) who wouldn’t have been able to afford a slave if you’d spotted then 90% of the cost. It also turns out (which we only recently discovered) that the half that weren’t Presbyterians were Quakers, and so opposed to slavery that they would have been disenfellowshipped had they even thought about owning another human being. Do I get credit for the Quakers to counterbalance the slaveowners? What about the African and Native American ancestry that 23 And Me is pretty sure I have (and some of which is also family legend) despite my Irish pale skin? Does that give me an offset?

    The whole concept is so ridiculous as to not bear serious consideration, and yet…

    1. Yeah, we’ll need universal DNA analysis and a hierarchy of victimhood, determine everyone’s points, plus and minus . . . except as the various companies get more data in on the smallest minorities, they’ll re-access everyone’s scores . . .

        1. It’s way too objective, and objectivity is white. What we need are expert administrators with advanced degrees in resentment studies along with lawyers, consultants, lobbyists to make sure that only the right people get them. You know …. morons.

      1. Culture is relative, recognition of common humanity is culture, and there’s no reason to suspect that a society which needs a genetic test to decide who to oppress is going to beat one that goes directly to eliminationist white supremacism.

        The real answer is that we are having a breakdown in the ability to practice reciprocal religious tolerance, because we aren’t charging the offenses of the left against the budget for tolerating their religion. We consider when the pinko asks us if Jim Crow is an indictment of Jesus.

        Maybe the Judeo-Christian traditions can no longer participate in that recent historical ceasefire to which we are accustomed, and maybe they can. We should no longer be automatically assuming that the socialists take part in that peace, we should reject moral appeals that carry the sulfurous stench of their arguments, and we should respond with violence to those who cloak their violence in those appeals, or who support the violent.

        Problems can be solved without needing to first understand the solution in some neat and articulated theory.

      2. Piffle! I can readily predict how it will go:

        The majority of payers of reparations will be Republicans. The majority of recipients will be Democrats.

        Details only as needed to obscure the division.

        1. I’ve never gotten anything but a bunch of exploding heads when I ask them how a law requiring reparations wouldn’t fall afoul of both Bill of Attainder and “working corruption of blood”.

    2. My mother came here in 1958 kinda hard to say they she’s responsible, Opium to China and a little palace looting, yeah they did that, but there’s no record of any of them being slavers.

      My father’ family had one come before the civil war, we have his records of service in the old 77th NY. Seven Days, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg. Cold Harbor.

      it takes a certain level of, call it stupidity — I have other words — to destroy the monument to them, but they did. Skidmore College students and junior faculty is what I heard.

      On a positive note, there’s reports that a bunch of Antifa/BLM tried it on in the Bronx. The neighborhood people discouraged them. Baseball bats, guns, and knives is what the reports say. I know the neighborhood very well, it’s near where the wife grew up — very good pizza and cannoli. I was delighted to see at least some of the old NY spirit.

      1. Me family came over the waves in 1912 running from the British Army. How we survived the Hunger in West Clare, I don’t know.

        1. My family almost certainly oppressed your family. We’re Anglo-Irish from Limerick and East Clare. Britain’s junkers. Belvedere College, Sandhurst, and the Guards.

          1. Hell, looking at my family tree, I’m pretty certain ALL the sides of my family oppressed/robbed/looted all the other sides at some point or another.

            Or as a great line from Return to Snowy River goes: “My lot used to HANG your lot.” (I don’t care what anyone says, I liked the sequel almost as much as the original.)

            1. I used to work for an Indian guy who went on and on about the “Britishers.” I told him that my ancestors blew his ancestors out of cannons and were better men for it. Amazingly, we got along really well.

    3. Depends, what tribe?

      Most tribes had slaves, but some (like the Cherokee) had black slaves, so that might make it worse….


      1. Mine were Powhattan, so pretty much done as a going concern before it was more than a moot point.

        But the consistent Cherokee refusal to give tribal recognition to the descendants of their AA slaves certainly complicates the narrative, does it not?

        1. Minor quibble, wasn’t refusing to give tribal recognition– it was the yanking tribal recognition to those who’d already had it for generations.

          A family friend’s head is still mind-broken on that, although her dad never did the paperwork so she doesn’t have to deal with accepting that she doesn’t have the cool Cherokee ancestry, she has the not-so-cool officially black Cherokee ancestry. (Even though– cough trying to be delicate here cough– a few seconds thought would suggest that there’s Cherokee ancestry either way.)

            1. Blood quantum was a federal law, so technically it wasn’t the Cherokee doing it. (Blood quantum was also a method of making the tribes as small as possible and eventually having them disappear, so Black Cherokee would definitely have been left of the federal lists by design.)

        2. Doesn’t seem much different than Thomas Jefferson’s descendants not wanting to recognize the children he had with Sally Hemings. (last I heard, DNA analysis indicated one almost certain, one not so certain, and four nopes, but the results were being disputed) Heck, having an ancestor as a transportee was bad juju in Australia until not that long ago. Same for hifalutin’ Yankee families that try to paper over the ancestors who were slavers or pirates.

          I guess if they don’t have any particular pride in your present or future, they try to shine up the past as much as possible.

          1. Same for hifalutin’ Yankee families that try to paper over the ancestors who were slavers or pirates.

            Or bootleggers? [cough]Kennedy[cough]

            Or wound up with tens or hundreds of millions of dollars after a few years in political office without any reasonable explanation of where the money came from?

            Or got bailed out from disastrous business failures by mysterious ‘investors’?
            I used to live on a farm. I know what bullshit smells like.

          2. Turns out thing was a hit-job. The evidence (including the names of the kids whose descendants actually have the same Y as Jefferson) fits better with the widowed uncle who was known to hang out around the slaves having fathered them. The boys were born after his wife died but before he remarried, named with his family’s names, and he was around.
            The promoter of the “Sally was TJ’s concubine” theory was pretty damn careful to avoid being clear that the kid conceived in France did not have any tested descendants with the Jefferson Y.


          3. Sorry, TJ’s brother. Got mangled because TJ’s nephew (well, like half a dozen nephews, but there was a specific one that fit well) was another option.

            Quote if anybody doesn’t want to click the link, or it gets vanished:

            My study indicates to me that Thomas Jefferson was NOT the father of Eston or any other Hemings child. The DNA study along with historical information, indicates that Randolph is possibly the father of Eston and maybe the others. We do not know. Randolph, named for his maternal Randolph family, was a widower and between wives when shortly after his wife’s death, Sally became pregnant with her first child, Harriet I. It had been almost six years since her arriving at Monticello from Paris, thus, we can see that there was no “long term love affair” between Thomas and Sally. She continued having children until 1808 when Eston was born. Randolph Jefferson would marry his second wife the next year, 1809, and would have a child, John, born about 1810. Three of Sally Hemings’ children, Harriet, Beverly and Eston (the latter two not common names), were given names of the Randolph family who had earlier owned Randolph’s plantation, “Snowden”, and who had received it as his inheritance.

            Randolph was invited by Thomas to come to Monticello to visit him and Randolph’s twin sister, who had arrived one day earlier. This was in August 1807, exactly nine months prior to Eston’s birth. Randolph was also present at Monticello on May 27, 1808, exactly six days after Eston’s birth on May 21, 1808. He may have come to see his son, Eston and Thomas even drafted Randolph’s will on that date.

            These facts must get out before the public in order to counteract all the media coverage that Thomas Jefferson was guilty of fathering Eston Hemings, based upon the original misleading Nature article headline.

            (Note: the comment about first child is because there’s some argument on if Tom Woodson was actually her son or not, while the others are well documented.)

          4. Part of the reason they don’t recognize them is that there is no proof they’re his, and not his cousin’s, who was known to sleep with Sally.
            Please, listen not to the idiocy of the left, who will leave no founding father untainted.

          5. The thing is, Thomas Jefferson had a brother who was notorious for hanging out with blacks. (As in, would bring along a fiddle and play so they could dance.) The child that was descended from a Jefferson male was born when he could have been the father. Things get complicated.

      2. Melungeon. Often put down as “Cherokee” if white enough to possibly own land, so they wouldn’t call great-grandma “black.” Even if she was. Especially if she was.

        Also the reason for many Appalachians who try to do geneologies to get highly frustrated, because there’s the “official,” on paper family, and the other one. No, you can’t court that gal. Y’all’s related. Yes, that was a thing back in the day.

        There are several wild tales that put ancestry everywhere from Turkey to the Lost Colony. Short, dusky skinned folk with curly dark hair and blue or brown eyes. Too dark for Scots Irish. Too curly for Amerindian. So we were unpeopled for a time.

        Might’ve mattered a bit to some. Not so much these days.

        1. Some of the Cherokee were dark enough to pass for straight haired blacks. I have an old photo of my great-great grandmother (paternal grandmother’s grandmother) who was a full blood Cherokee and the contrast between gg grandpa Sanders and gg grandma Sanders was amusing

      3. The Cherokee are claiming that one of the treaties from back in the 1800s promised them a seat in Congress, and they’ve been demanding Congress recognize their elected delegate. I haven’t tried to track down the details, but I kinda hope it’s true…

        1. *snrk*

          *Never* bargain with a Cherokee without proper preparation and a *lot* of good common sense.

          “Hubris.” If you can buy a thing with another person’s guilt, well… The Democrats have been milking this one for a long time since, but they didn’t invent it.


      4. One of my registered Cherokee friends once quipped that her ancestors didn’t care what color you were, they’d make a slave of you regardless.

    4. Slavery has been universal since before we were human, 300,000 years or more. It wasn’t until the 18th century that some people started to seriously consider the notion that owning other people was wrong. There were only a few objections to slavery before that, which did not gain much traction.

      My family is from Michigan, always a free state. None of them ever owned slaves, were related to anybody who owned slaves, or even knew anybody who owned slaves. Several of them served in the Union Army. I do not owe any ‘reparations’ to anybody!

      Nor do I claim that they owe me anything for my ancestors’ contributions to setting them free. I was not there. I didn’t do any of those things.

      I refuse to accept any blame for the world I was born into. I did not make it what it was.

      I refuse to accept any blame for the actions of others, whether they are superficially similar to me or not. I have no control over what they do.

      I reject the Leftoid delusion of ‘collective guilt’ in the most absolute terms.
      The Democrats are willing to burn America to the ground, so long as they wind up squatting on top of the ashes.

  22. We are living in a time where distinctions are being sharpened.

    Leftists are seeing the fruit of the seeds they sowed: a generation determined to actually live by and for what they have been taught.

    Conservatives, by contrast, are still mostly giving lip service to their principles. They haven’t realized there is little to no common ground anymore. And they have contempt for the “skinny little white kids”.

    But those kids are being both bloodied and blooded. Despite themselves they’re learning to fight and take a punch. They’re watching, experiencing, and learning.

    C.S.Lewis spoke of this sharpening of distinctions over time. It is and will increasingly lead to violent conflict. Mere words aren’t sufficient to stop this. But there is a way, a point of contact that will not fade. Every human being is made in the image of God. As such every human being is vulnerable to the gospel of Christ. I say vulnerable because each of us fights God until we are slain and raised in newness of life by the gospel.

    We have many weapons to use: discourse, voting, financial, and others. But the only one that can win this without mass bloodshed is the gospel.

    1. Sigh. You’re missing something. An ideology on the ascendant does NOT use cancel culture/silence people.
      I think you have those reversed. Because of the price of speaking up conservative/libertarians (not the politicians) are fervent.
      The left? Most of their support will melt the minute they can’t give benes.
      I will remind you I TOO was indoctrinated in socialism/communism.
      It didn’t take. I suspect it didn’t to most of this generation, too. The ones you’re seeing are outliers, and many are being paid.

      1. I don’t think they’re on the ascendant. I think that a cadre are being sharpened into fanatics: willing to kill and be killed. In that they are similar to Islamists: they believe and act on their dogma. Losing won’t necessarily make them quit, it will make them more irrational and violent.
        Look, we talk about the inability to reason with these people all the time, and it’s getting less over time, because they are sharpening their core beliefs.
        For all of us our core beliefs only change when something rocks us to our core and we have no choice but to examine those beliefs. Otherwise those core beliefs are what we examine everything else with. Some, maybe most of these kids are going to get a bloody nose pretty soon and that will rock them. Others are going to continue on and get more set in the mindset of revolution and violence.

        My overall point is that as time goes on distinctions get sharpened and as they do non-violent interaction gets less and less possible.
        We should neither fear, nor underestimate these people, realizing that we have failed to safeguard western civilization and we have hellish fight on our hands. It will not be easily won. Only the grace of God will minimize the casualties.

    2. But those kids are being both bloodied and blooded. Despite themselves they’re learning to fight and take a punch. They’re watching, experiencing, and learning.

      They are “learning to take a punch” because up until now, they’ve been fairly secure in assuming that those they punch will not be allowed to punch back.

      The kids they grew up making bloody? NOT impressed.

    3. “But the only one that can win this without mass bloodshed is the gospel.”

      Did you actually write this. Religion from any side and of all types will always bring the MOST bloodshed.

      But go ahead, argue with Christ. I’m getting the beer concession:

      Matthew 10:34-36: “34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. 35 For I have come to ‘set[a] a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; 36 and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’”

      1. Religion from any side and of all types will always bring the MOST bloodshed.

        Oh, bullshit.

        Ahistorical bullshit with ignoring obvious facts on top, and a big fluffy pile of conflating what he actually wrote with generic “religion.” The only way it can get even a hint of validity is by focusing on locations that are mostly Christian, and refusing to look at things like were the actions blamed on religion in keeping with that religion.

        We are literally just days past a huge public to-do on if a war action was justified where the entire argument boils down to “which action would avoid bloodshed the best.”

        Even the very idea that avoiding bloodshed is a good thing is from a religious tradition. (Not one that many faiths recognize, and definitely not one the atheistic regimes we can examine share.)

        You want to be agnostic or whatever, have fun– but don’t expect others to play along when you flip out on them because they aren’t playing along with what makes you feel better.

        1. I am not agnostic, and when someone distorts the Gospel as I read it I’m going to say something. No matter whose panties get bunched. End of discussion,

          1. The thing about the gospel is that you have to read all of it.

            The Lord said many things that taken in isolation would mislead (e.g., from Sunday’s Gospel) Suffer first the children to be filled for it is not good to take the food of the children and feed it to the dogs. This Is followed by Yea Lord, for the whelps also eat under the table of the crumbs of the children. Since I’m not one of the children (of Israel). I suppose I am just a dog.

            It seems to me that you are distorting the gospel by selective quoting of it.

            I’m am mindful that the rules of this site discourage arguing religion so I’ll stop doing so; but I would ask that you cast out first the beam in thy own eye, and then thou shalt see to cast the more out of thy brother’s eye.

      2. All men act according to their religion, because all men have something or someone in which they trust implicitly. So saying wars are fought over religion, my response is duh. Communism us a religion: its god is theoretically the proles, but practically the state. Atheism is a religion, it has faith in either man the individual or collective man. Religion is inescapable, it’s simply a question of what religion, not if.
        Christ is a divider: you either accept the gospel of free redemption and forgiveness or you insist you have no sin or you insist you will judge your own sin. Those who insist they have no sin are terrifying because they make themselves gods. Those who insist they will take care of their own sin, hardly less so, because they generally see their sin as far less than thise around them. Human pride makes us most often choose to believe we have no sin or to judge our own sin. Only when pride is broken do we see that we are wretches in need of mercy and forgiveness.
        Part of the gospel teaches that being recipients of the grace, mercy, and justice of the Lord, we are to bring to bear grace, mercy, and justice in every situation.
        And we are definitely in a situation where we need the grace, mercy, and justice of God and we need to offer grace, mercy, and justice to those who will accept it.
        So yeah, Christ is quite polarizing and offensive to our pride, cutting to the core our vastly overblown and overweening self-concepts. And that can, does, and will continue to separate people who reject their pride and arrogance from those who exalt it.

      3. Religion from any side and of all types will always bring the MOST bloodshed.

        You know, every time I’ve asked for the actual calculations that show religion was the worst in wars I’ve never gotten anything.

        Except for the people who tried to claim that a person practices a religion shows that a war he engages in was caused by it which is — weak.

  23. “some black immigrant — say Ilhan Omar — who arrived in America this generation and who — yeah, surely — has slave ancestors”

    And likely, as noted above IIRC, slave-owning or -trading ancestors* . . .

    Also: “The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.” Ayn Rand

    For some reason (probably my fubmle figners), that originally came out as ‘abcestors’.

    1. Number two son has several friends who are African African — Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe. They have a very interesting view of it all especially as they well knew who sold whom.

      They’re also all very high achieving and they would compete with each other to see who had the most “tiger momish” parents. The one from Ghana usually wins.

      Nice kids.

      1. It has been a while since I saw the chart of average Household Income in America by ethnic group (IIRC, it was in a Power Line post) but I believe that at least two of those ethnicities, if not all three, earn more than the average American household beneficiary of White Privilege.

        Of course, a number of those White Households live in Appalachia

    2. Jamaica? Sure did:

      Kamala Harris’s Ancestors Owned Slaves, Her Father Says
      Presidential hopeful’s Jamaican father wrote about his slave-holding ancestor

      Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) is the descendant of an Irishman who owned a slave plantation in Jamaica, according to her father’s lengthy ancestral summary of his side of the family.

      Donald Harris, a Stanford University economics professor, revealed in 2018 that his grandmother was a descendant of Hamilton Brown, the namesake of Brown’s Town in northern Jamaica.

      “My roots go back, within my lifetime, to my paternal grandmother Miss Chrishy (née Christiana Brown, descendant of Hamilton Brown who is on record as plantation and slave owner and founder of Brown’s Town),” he wrote in a post for Jamaica Global.

      Hamilton Brown built the town’s local Anglican Church, which is where Prof. Harris says his grandfather is buried. It is also where he himself was baptized and confirmed.

      A research archive of Jamaican records indicate that at one point in 1817, Hamilton Brown owned scores of slaves. The majority were brought in from Africa, though he also owned many Creole slaves.

      The Harris campaign has not commented on her father’s claims. It did not respond to a request for comment.


      I heard it claimed on the Fox convention coverage that her ancestors owned five plantations, with two hundred slaves. Snopes strongly suggests this is a trap for conservatives.

  24. Every soul is precious to Christ. I need to be better at remembering that when current events enrage me.

    1. Which is why I will not ever actually wish for the eternal damnation of -anyone-, no matter how wicked. The worst I can pray for is justice-and even that may be wishing ill, because God’s mercy is greater than justice. But greater is not less.

      1. Very much agreed. But the distinction is in love. It is not love to pamper a child who disbehaves- and we are all Himself’s children- to spare those lost souls the opportunity of repentence is no good deed. At all.

        Repentence- true repentence, not sullen acceptance of another’s mastery over oneself- is a hard thing. Also a rare thing, *because* it is hard. And the only path to get there is to realize that one has erred in a fundamental way. Badly.

        It is a lonely path, because it *must* be walked alone. Support is nice to have, but ultimately immaterial. The choice to walk the path of repentence must be made every day, without fail, else you slip backward.

        The reward at the end of the path is wisdom. And self control, for without it you won’t get there. These are valuable things to have.

        I would not deprive anyone of such rewards.

        But first and before all, a man must admit he’s done wrong. As we have pride, we humans, this is a hard thing to recognize. Often, someone else must point it out. If one holds tightly to his beliefs, and I do think they do- they need to have some sort of shock to jolt them out of familiar and deleterious patterns of thought.

        Losing a fight, for men who never really fought as boys can do it.

        As can getting arrested. Put on trial. Convicted, put in jail.

        Losing an election did it for some. Well, that, and the reactions thereafter.

        I believe it behooves us to do our utmost to bring those young men the opportunity to redeem themselves. It is the only thing I can think that would *actually* do them some good.

    2. Maybe somebody should offer the leftists the opportunity to go see Chrit now rather than waiting around?

  25. I’ve given up trying to explain to people.

    “All Lives Matter” means that we should be zealous about all abuses of authority. It doesn’t matter what color the skin the uniform is wearing, as long as the truncheon is mahogany (or painted aluminum).

    “All Lives Matter” means that we need to help those that need help. No matter what. But, not foolishly.

    “All Lives Matter” means that we only consider skin color as a descriptive adjective (and a few rare medical conditions).

    But, if you don’t cry out a racial exaltation that would see you lynched if you said “White Lives Matter”…

    Believe me, if I could edit this world with a wave of my hand, I would. And no “Lathe of Heaven” editing…I would do the hard work of filling in the potholes of the human soul. As much as I could.

  26. Technically EVERYONE is a winner!

    Their ancestors lived to breed and pass their genes along the line.

    Too few folks actually consider what their life might be like if their ancestors hadn’t found a place where they could survive, have a family, and live a decent life.

    I’m a 2nd generation American on my mother’s side… Some First Nations blood on my fathers.

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