Absolute Truth and the Death of Turpitude by Cedar Sanderson

Absolute Truth and the Death of Turpitude by Cedar Sanderson

Riots, looting, shootings in the street. Get woke, go broke, believe all women except that one, and that one… You’re only black if I say you are…

Where did all of this violence, hatred, and sheer greasiness come from?

The death of truth and morality. When philosophers replaced the concepts of absolute truths with the idea that everything is relative, and it’s all what feels good, man! When those who did not fully understand relative truth began to use it as a justification for destroying the foundations that upheld the concept of turpitude, civilization as we knew it began to totter.

John Macfarlane in his paper, Making Sense of Relative Truth, wrote:

“Relativists often try to meet this challenge by giving a definition of truth that makes its relativity plain. If truth is idealized justification, then it might reasonably be thought to be assessor-relative, since ideal reasoners with different starting beliefs or prior probabilities might take the same ideal body of evidence to support different conclusions. Similarly, if truth is defined pragmatically, as what is good to believe, then it might also be assessor-relative, insofar as different things are good for making sense of relative truth different assessors to believe. But although these coherentist and pragmatic definitions of truth capture the ‘relative’ part of ‘relative truth’, I do not believe they capture the ‘truth’ part.”

He goes on in this talk to the Aristotelian Society to discuss the methods of ascertaining the relativity of an asserted truth, and comes up with a very useful ‘commitment to truth.’

“Here are three things that might be thought to constitute the ‘commitment to truth’ one undertakes in making an assertion:

(Withdraw) Commitment to withdraw the assertion if and when it is shown to have been untrue.

 (Justify) Commitment to justify the assertion (provide grounds for its truth) if and when it is appropriately challenged.

(Responsibility) Commitment to be held responsible if someone else acts on or reasons from what is asserted, and it proves to have been untrue.

Everyone should be able to agree that assertoric commitment includes at least (W). Imagine someone saying: ‘I concede that what I asserted wasn’t true, but I stand by what I said anyway.’ We would have a very difficult time taking such a person seriously as an asserter. If she continued to manifest this kind of indifference to established truth, we would stop regarding the noises coming out of her mouth as assertions. We might continue to regard them as expressions of beliefs and other attitudes (just as we might regard a dog’s whining as an expression of a desire for food). We might even find them useful sources of information. But we would not regard them as commitments to truth, and hence not as assertions.”

He concludes, finally, that “the weakest form of relativism about truth would seem to be true.” So, looking at MacFarlane’s commitments, we can judge just how weak relativism is, against absolutes.

Commitment to withdraw an assertion in the fact it is untrue: fact-driven reality. If the statement is made ‘the sky is green’ and it is backed by evidence, or data, then the statement need not be withdrawn. The statement ‘the sky is blue’ is indeed a relative truth provable only under clear, daytime conditions. Green skies ahead of a tornado also exist.

However, to come back to turpitude… the statement that riots are necessary to effect change is a truth relative to what? That it is demonstrably true, as they have caused change; the statement was ambiguous in that the change was not desirable to anyone who was not enriched by their own looting.

A commitment to justify the assertion if and when it is challenged. If you state ‘businesses destroyed by looting and riots can simply claim insurance’ then you must give grounds for the factuality of that statement as it is demonstrably untrue in absolute terms. And then you must honor the first commitment, to withdraw that assertion. If you state that the President called soldiers ‘losers’ and you expect this to be accepted as veracity, you must be able to produce evidence of your assertion.

Finally, a commitment to be held responsible if someone else acts on what is asserted, and it proves to have been untrue. For a hundred years, it was asserted that forest fires were bad (demonstrably true according to those who live in their path) and everything possible must be done to stop them. In tandem, logging was decreed to be bad because it disrupted the environment and the wildlife through removal of those trees the forest fires also threatened. Good for the woods and wilderness, yes?

As a result of those twinned assertions, wildfires are raging on the west coast of North America. Not only will they kill people, animals, and destroy property. They will also kill the forests the assertions were meant to save. It has been shown (an absolute truth) that proper forest management through controlled burns and logging saves the trees that are killed when an out-of-control unnatural fire burns so hotly as to destroy all life. Even trees that would survive a more controlled, routine burn as they did for long before the environmentalists came along to ‘save the trees.’ However, far from being held responsible for their relativist and untrue assertions, the ‘truth’ being espoused now is that controlled burns are bad (as are the wildfires they cannot control) as they release carbon into the atmosphere and provoke climatic change. Which means the wildfires that are so devastating will continue, and human lives will be lost while forests die.

The crimes collected under the legal term ‘moral turpitude’ have been defined as “acts of baseness, vileness, or depravity in the private and social duties with a man owes to his fellow men, or to society in general, contrary to the accepted and customary rule of right and duty between man and man.”

Leaving aside the ‘squishiness’ of such a broad and sweeping definition, you can see how relativism would be the downfall of turpitude. So what specific crimes are we talking about here? Including, but not limited to: fraud, arson, blackmail, burglary, embezzlement, extortions, malicious destruction of property, fencing stolen goods, bribery of gov’t officials, perjury, counterfeiting, tax evasion with intent, harboring a fugitive, abandonment of a child, assault, bigamy (see comment on adultery below), grow indecency, kidnapping, lewdness… there are more. But you get the drift.

What is notable that we are seeing both in the recent past, and current societal drift (as portrayed by mass media) movement toward decriminalizing, and normalizing, moral turpitude. Adultery, as I noted above, used to be in that list, but has already been legalized and is seen as so normal as to barely cause comment. Movement toward legalizing bigamy (polyamory), incest, and contributing to delinquency of a minor (sexual) is very much in evidence. The attitude toward looters in the current unrest (see burglary, theft, and assault) is one of positive sympathy in the news. Nothing about that societal duty which a man owes to his fellow man comes up. Not even when minority business owners are the victims of ostensibly persecution-based looting.

The social contract, the one once based on the relative truth of “love one another as you love yourself” is being fed into the shredder. The loss of the concept of an absolute truth: “This statement is always true” was only the beginning. Relativism has its place. The statement ‘this is beautiful’ is relative. On the other hand, stating ‘This (riot, fire, logging) is harmful’ may not be relative, and once the assertion is made, if attacked, grounds can be found to justify the true statement. However, if the argument for truth is not allowed, if the assertion is made that all truths are relative, and therefore nothing can be absolute, then we move to the place where duty to fellow men and responsibility to the truth of your assertion can be abdicated. This ground is where we stand with it can be said with a straight face ‘my feelings trump your facts’ and ‘children can consent.’

All manner of evils spring up from what relative truth taught wrongly has sown in this ground.

404 thoughts on “Absolute Truth and the Death of Turpitude by Cedar Sanderson

      1. And all the people answered and said, “His blood be on us and on our children.” Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified.

          1. I am sure he must have. After all, we are taught that “cleanliness is next to godliness” and as he was next to godliness he must surely have been clean.

            1. I promise to be ashamed of myself as soon as I can get to the store and pick up some shame. Sadly, during the current pandemic there seem to be severe shortages; rumours are that the various state and local governments have bought it all up but that seems improbable given how shameless they are.

          2. No, he didn’t. And not just because of the affair that triggered the washing. He privately stated at one point that at least some of the acts that he’d committed against the people under his rule were purely because the locals pissed him off, and he wanted to annoy them.

            1. If we’re talking about Pilate, what records do we have to his life besides what’s in Scripture?

              1. I believe he is referenced in Josephus’ Jewish Antiquities. This is thought to be published c 94AD. Josephus is thought to have been born c 37AD so Josephus likely is getting much of the earlier information from others or other documents now lost to us. All in all pretty good near primary sources for that period .Contemporary with the Revelation of John and Gospel of John. The synoptic gospels predate it by ~30 years. Note I hold with the more traditional scholars on dates for the gospels rather than the spurious late dates (~200-300 AD) of many modern liberal scholars.

                1. Did Josephus report the “private comment” by Pilate that was mentioned?

                  The existence of Pilate is no longer in question.

                  My question is about knowledge of what Pilate might have said.

                  1. Drak I do not know that. There are PDF translations of Josephus, the original is in koine greek rather than latin like much of the documents of that period from outside Rome. It might be possible to search the PDF.

                  2. Unfortunately, I don’t recall my source for that particular comment.

                    The little that we know about him indicates a fractious relationship with the people that he governed. At least one incident he’s tied to besides the crucifixion is mentioned in the Gospels, and it’s a bloody one – specifically, an incident in which some Galileans were apparently killed in or around the Temple by order of Pilate. However, no context is provided for the incident, as it’s presumably assumed by the writer that the reader would be aware of the incident in question. Other sources document other incidents of conflict between Pilate and the locals, though it’s difficult to be certain exactly where the ultimate blame for the incidents might lie.

                    Given the typical Roman attitudes toward subject nations, and the Jewish interest in independence, it’s probably safe to say that there was cause for blame on both sides for any resulting bloodshed.

                    1. Nod.

                      Paul L. Maier’s Pontius Pilate is a fictional look at Pilate based on what we actually know about him and based on what we know of his time.

                      Of course, it wasn’t just the Jews desire for freedom but the fact that there were so many ways a Roman official could unwittingly offend Jewish Religious beliefs.

                      Still Maier points out that Pilate was in charge of Judea for decades and had to be doing something right to be in office so long.

                      While he was “kicked out of office” based on his actions against a possible revolt by the Samaritans, there’s no evidence that he received any serious punishment.

                      Oh, one Roman writer commented that God hadn’t punished the man who “killed the Christ”. (Referring to a legend about what Dionysus did to a Greek King who offended him.)

                    2. one Roman writer commented that God hadn’t punished the man who ‘killed the Christ’.

                      Well, that is what he was put here to do, isn’t it? Only that sacrifice could clean sin from mankind.

                      I’m not sure about not punishing him, however — I suspect Pilate had some very uncomfortable moments in the afterlife.

                    3. Pagans likely won’t have seen it that way. 😉

                      As for him going to Hell, there’s an Orthodox tradition that he became a Christian. Him and his wife are Saints in the Orthodox Church.

                    4. I did not mean to suggest Pilate went to Hell for fulfilling the role assigned to him; it simply seemed likely awkward for him to arrive and fid out that Himself was indeed King of the Jews.

                      Sorta like being at a con cocktail party and discovering the author you’ve been loudly bad-mouthing for the last twenty minutes is the quite amiable person with whom you’ve been drinking.

                1. Again, what ancient Roman document contained the information mentioned.

                  Look, I read Paul L. Maier’s Pontius Pilate and Mr. Maier talked about the limited knowledge that we had about Pontius Pilate.

                  Enough to know that he was a historical person but no reliable documents that would contain his private thoughts.

                  1. The more important question, it seems to me, is: Who was present in the room during that interview, capable of reporting it? Whose purpose would such reporting have served?

                    I suppose the resurrected Jesus, during His post-crucifixion hanging out with His disciples could have regaled them with the account … “So then I told Ponty, “That’s what you say I am.”

  1. The “Social Contract” is a concept that desperately needs some rigorous philosophyin’.

    Because the usual formulations have logical (and moral/ethical) holes in them large enough to drive massed tank battalions through. Yet something in the spirit of the concept appears to be absolutely necessary.

    1. Agreed. The social contract can be fed through a mangle far too easily – hence why I called the definition of moral turpitude squishy. But we do need some connections to our fellow man if we are not to fall into the worst kind of anarchy.

        1. In which case the optimal solution is first do as you would have done to you then do as you’re done to. I haven’t found that arithmetic has improved on Aristotle in any realm outside physical science.

          1. As done onto you at the individual scale. Larger groups, you are aggregating, and you lose information about the individuals.

            Some situations, you can say these groups are honestly party to the peace, and those groups are not.

            It seems that there may be cases with mixed groups where you have to sort at the individual level, and cannot make the broader reprisals result in a peace. Which of course raises the hypothetical of a problem where an individual cannot tell if a broad reprisal is necessary and sufficient to peace, or if peace is best approximated by continuing to persist at the individual level.

            Sometimes peace is simply impossible.

            1. I think we have gone through a period when too many children and people have been given to understand “I have a problem, it is the Government’s job to cope with it!” or “I have a problem, I will go and get a grant to cope with it!” “I am homeless, the Government must house me!” and so they are casting their problems on society and who is society? There is no such thing! There are individual men and women and there are families and no government can do anything except through people and people look to themselves first… There is no such thing as society. There is living tapestry of men and women and people and the beauty of that tapestry and the quality of our lives will depend upon how much each of us is prepared to take responsibility for ourselves and each of us prepared to turn round and help by our own efforts those who are unfortunate.’
              — Margaret Thatcher

              1. Yeah, earlier today I was reflecting on “Societies are a system? My ass! If I thought that I could foresee in the way claimed possible, I would not have done X.”

                This magical thinking with the reduced order models is not correct and not moral.

      1. Anarchy is just an invitation to new and different order. You would need a population profoundly dysfunctional as social animals not to develop some form of order.

        1. Depends on who’s definition of “anarchy” you are talking about.

          Antifa’s? Yeah.

          AnCap? They will look at you like you have three heads for suggesting that anarchy requires lack of order.

          1. AnCaps are possibly like Libertarians, a philosophy than can function in a society made peaceful by other means. e.g. cultural or religious reasons for wanting to hold to agreements made with the AnCaps, instead of the alternative of impoverishing everyone by taking by force whenever felt like.

            Any societal functioning that can be described in a theory is much too simple to capture the whole of a functioning society that displaces competition. Any philosophy that cannot actually point to a prior historical version is not proven to be physically possible. And the historical examples may have been partly distilled into theory, but if you just go by the theory, you and everyone else may be missing critical details about how it actually worked.

              1. Sometimes here, I am in my right mind, and am trying to talk seriously about something real.

                What I’ve written here today is a distillation of several things I’ve been working on.

                Bunch of malformed prior efforts, or statements never even written and published. Lots of poorly used time.

                1. Ask me for nothing but time as someone, I can’t remember whom, once said.

                  I wanted to write ^THIS^ but wanted to be sure of my ground before I did so. 😀

            1. The natural state of things throughout human history has been to devolve back around family and tribe against other families and tribes. It’s unfortunate that the various flavors of libertarian and AnCaps fail to realize this.

          2. AnCap? They will look at you like you have three heads for suggesting that anarchy requires lack of order.

            While my sample size is fairly low, especially after I remove the ones that are simply incoherent (hey, I do the same for critiquing libertarian as a philosophy!), and your characterization of their reaction is accurate, the systems they described would last days on the far end for any group larger than a few dozen highly motivated and similarly minded people, simply because of things as simple as what counts as unreasonable and what is infringement.

            First time I got blocked and reported was drawing real life examples of water contamination, water use, and what you can do on your own property.
            Then I pointed out that his claimed solutions only had one common theme– everybody doing what he wanted, but of their theoretically free will.
            (It was specifically that everybody down stream got to decide if the guy upstream had to stop “polluting” the water, and they’d socially pressure him to leave water in the river if he used “too much,” and that you can do anything you want on your property so it’s totally OK to buy the lot in front of somebody and block off the view they’d paid for; if they wanted the view, they should’ve paid for it.)

            For what it’s worth, I wasn’t even trying to test the theory, I just wanted to know how it dealt with pretty basic stuff and they wouldn’t give a write-up of the theory, even the standing-on-one-foot version.

            (Which philosophy was “anarchists who still want to get paid”? It predates first time I saw anarcho capitalist, so it wasn’t used for that….)

            1. I wasn’t really talking about the “can AnCap work?” question.

              I was referring to things like “Joe is an expert in X and therefore is teaching other people who to do X”, which for left-anarchists is classified as hierarchical oppression.

            2. Just spent several weeks on a lake with a Methodist camp, painting. And painting. And painting…
              Anyway, I walked a lot by the lakeshore and I suspect the first people to build “lake cottages,” went for the sweeping view. Then later a developer or two came in, bought up a strip of land between them and the lake and built another line of houses. So now folks get to look at the back sides of other people’s places. It’s possible this happened twice. But I feel sorry for those first homeowners.

                1. I knew about the old hedge laws in England, buy spite fences are new to me. And spite houses too! It adds evidence to my assertion that rules/laws increase in proportion to population density. I mean, each of these conflicts takes two parties, one to cause(inadvertently or not) offense and one to perceive it. The more times that happens, the more likely a rule is to be made to deal with the situation.

                2. I remember hearing of a story where a developer put up a fence where he built the road smaller than the original plans that he used to convince some prior homeowners to sell him part of their property, with promises that they could use the road, and put up a fence in the space that the original plans called for to be part of the road.

                  I don’t remember enough details of how that worked, but I’m sure it took a long time in court to get that dealt with.

            3. People I know who are Hardcore Libertarian to Ancap generally fall into two groups.

              Either they are naive people who got sold a fairy tale of no government and no taxes or they are giant douchenozzles for whom Libertarianism means I don’t have to follow any rules I don’t like.

    2. I think it already has been done.

      You can start from the understanding that war, not peace, is the general rule of human societies, historic and prehistoric.

      Peaces ultimately are developed and maintained by individuals, informed by values. Values can be religious, cultural, or philosophical. Philosophy doesn’t scale to the societal scale. Religion and culture do. If you want a peaceful society that is multicultural, you need a significant majority practicing religions associated with peace compatible values.

      If you have a majority with peace compatible values in a society, you can basically have a mesh of peer to peer peace understandings that covers the whole society. But every generation, the population will add a minority that is innately criminal, unwilling to submit to the peace consensus. “Don’t steal” is a refutation of a consensus about property rights, and legal ways to resolve disputes of property.

      If you have a majority in agreement about peace, and a minority determined to bring war, a democratic solution to the dispute is the use of force to remove the minority. This can also be a republican solution, if the force is used per long standing agreements, and not cut to fit the parties in question. Lynching is merely one way of negotiating the terms of a peace consensus.

      Warfare and extermination are ways that societies can approach bordering other societies. Sometimes a peace capable society borders a society that is not peace capable. Sometimes there are two peace capable societies that are neighbors, but their customs do not provide a basis for peace between them.

      If you are living on your own, around other people, they have refrained from driving you off, or killing you. What are their reasons for this? Well, obviously, you haven’t been so obnoxious that it has been necessary. It is some combination of your own behavior, their values, and the cost it would take for them to do it.

      1. I know it has been done. Problem is that like any other cherished idea usually people get ancy when the flaws are addressed, even when the addressing is to save the concept.

        1. Some of the time it will appear that way to you simply because of profound disagreements between you and the other party; what you call fixing may be what they consider breaking.

              1. That whole “different premises” problem gets rather annoying.

                You end up being left with either “let’s compare results” (and hope that both sides agree on desirable results / that results matter (HA! As if)). Or simply hoping that your side can exterminate their side before they do the same.

                1. Eh, sometimes you can just *talk* about them, and identify assumptions that don’t work anymore, and compromises that can work with both.

                  Doesn’t work for “I have a right to your stuff if I want it,” of course.

                  1. And requires that both sides be willing to tolerate the other side’s existence so long as they are peaceful about it. AKA; why all the sects of Christianity — mostly — tolerate each other, despite being a Mutual Hating Society.

                    The slaughterfest got a little tiring after a while. If only certain other parts of the world would learn this lesson…..

                    1. I’d shift it slightly to that both sides be able to survive until the discussion is done– that can be done if one side is strong enough to force the issue.

                      For Christianity, if they hated each other, they wouldn’t bother except for when it got close to someone they didn’t hate.

    3. Worse, it takes good will in trying to understand, rather than (as usually happens) it being a screaming match between mob rule guys and guys who know they’re taking advantage of other folks’ good nature and want to sooth that knowledge by being praised for it.

      Rather than, y’know, “hey let’s try to figure out what the expectations that are here are, what the give and take involved is, identify the situation.”

          1. Allow me to demonstrate my ACME Rocket Propelled Goalposts.


            That is why you start by setting the standards infinitely high. Saves everyone the trouble of thinking they can succeed before having their hopes dashed.



              1. Which might have gone a while back, but most of what they propose HAS been tries, and failed spectacularly. Oh, you can’t persuade the True Believers, but you CAN kill their pitch.

            1. Oh. You mean like some of the “we will require COVID-19 reports to fall to zero for at least six months, no reported cases of teenage acne for four months, and a pony, and then we’ll set up a committee to discuss whether we will let you out from under the jackboot?” standards?

  2. Imagine someone saying: ‘I concede that what I asserted wasn’t true, but I stand by what I said anyway.’ We would have a very difficult time taking such a person seriously as an asserter. If she continued to manifest this kind of indifference to established truth, we would stop regarding the noises coming out of her mouth as assertions.

    Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: “There’s a lot of people more concerned about being precisely, factually, and semantically correct than about being morally right.”

    NY Times: Killian Memos “Fake but Accurate”

    1. “In the end, the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim sooner or later: the logic of their position demanded it. Not merely the validity of experience, but the very existence of external reality, was tacitly denied by their philosophy. The heresy of heresies was common sense. And what was terrifying was not that they would kill you for thinking otherwise, but that they might be right. For, after all, how do we know that two and two make four? Or that the force of gravity works? Or that the past is unchangeable? If both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable — what then?”

      Sorry for the block quotes, but this discussion of truth in these days inevitably ends here.

    2. This is why the Fascist Left is losing power. That nonsense may resonate with THEM, but it makes the Unwashed queasy. Which is why you get votes like Brexit, and then Boris (the latter amounting to “Do what we fucking told you to do, you useless wankers”). Or like Trump…and second Trump.

      1. And the amusing bit is that even some people who opposed Brexit voted for Boris because they didn’t like the idea of elected officials who were blatant about blowing off the stated will of the people.

          1. Second trump, and “red wave”, and Pence, and “Only constitutionalists on the courts! no squishes, no more!”
            And “Having run a X-year experiment, we now conclude this agency has not actually helped the American Public, so we are disbanding it.”
            And “Payroll taxes delenda est!”
            *happy sigh*
            Never mind me, I’m just enjoying this vision.

            1. “Having run a X-year experiment, we now conclude this agency has not actually helped the American Public, so we are disbanding it.”

              X = 19: Department Of Homeland Security
              X = 41: Department Of Education
              X = 55: Welfare, Medicare, Affirmative Action
              X = 59: HUD
              X = 85: Social Security
              X = 158: Internal Revenue Service

              There are a lot more X’s we could do away with, to our benefit.
              If a business tries something and it doesn’t work, they either stop doing it or they will go broke. If the government tries something that doesn’t work, they just keep shoveling our money into it forever.

              1. DHS actually does quite well– the problem is what amounts to in-fighting where DHS is supposed to take over X job, so they have X position which use to belong to (other department), and then (other department) doesn’t want to integrate so the next five ten years are mutual pissing trying to make it work without eliminating a position.

                Something like transferring positions into the DHS might work for fixing a lot– but they did the lazy thing of STARTING a good idea (the stupid fifedome stuff is bad now, it was worse) and then going “oh, it’s fixed, we told them what to do” without the enforcement work.

                Kind of like how hand washing went up, but when the mask fad came out, it went back down.

  3. the statement that riots are necessary to effect change is a truth relative to what? That it is demonstrably true, as they have caused change; the statement was ambiguous in that the change was not desirable to anyone who was not enriched by their own looting.

    The statement’s truth would NOT depend on the riots effecting change, even such change as is noted. Rather, the statement would ONLY be true if no change could be effected absent riots.

    I leave the expansion of that counter-narrative as an exercise for the reader in lieu of writing an entire guest post on the topic. Obviously, I think change can be effected without tantrums and I believe the presumption change can ONLY be effected through riots has serious implications for political order.

    1. Change can come about thanks to riots, but the change likely won’t be the change that the rioters desire. 😈

      1. There’s also a good likelihood that the outcome of riot-based change will be unstable and either become worse than the rioters expected or return to some level of the previous norms.

        1. True.

          Which is why I dislike the “let’s have a civil war” rhetoric.

          Once it comes to violence, the Left might lose but we might not win. 😦

          1. In my grouchier moments I’m beginning to think that the outcome of us both losing might be marginally preferable to the Left NOT getting the kicking they are asking for.

            OTOH I usually feel this way at this point in an election year. I need to go read Mencken’s Convention coverage again…

          2. Your dislike doesn’t change the fact that the Left hates us and wants us dead. Or enslaved and then dead,

            And you’ve just had a six months preview of how that will go without armed resistance.

            1. It may be necessary but civil wars don’t always have the results that the “winners” wanted.

              Wars are not “sure things”.

              1. Better to be the winners than the losers.

                The Leftoids have already started the civil war. If we’re lucky, the government can contain it until it fizzles out. Of course, that would require certain governors (Cuomo! Walz!) and mayors (Lightfoot! Durkan!) to either pull their heads out of their asses, or get voted out of office or recalled.

                If the government can’t (or won’t) stop it, we can either fight back, or lose by default. Not good choices, but those are the ones we have been presented with.
                Always, always have a Plan O — for Oh Shit!

                1. Before you burn down your barn to rid it of rats consider that while you will be (briefly) rid of rats you will also be out one barn — assuming the fire don’t spread.

                  1. The rats are the ones burning down our barn. We put out the fires, and they keep starting more. Does it make sense to just go on putting out fires, or break out the ol’ .22 and deal with those pyromaniac vermin?
                    “Neville Chamberlain was very keen on peace!”

                    1. Let’s also pay some attention to what’s happening around us, eh? Unlike the last American Civil War, this time we’re a world power and a big fat juicy target. If we get too busy fighting one another (and don’t doubt the Chinese, Russians and Iranians will dump weapons, money and propaganda into the mix) not only does the world economy tank but Latin American “refugees” will be pouring through our under-defended Southern border and who knows what is up in Canada waiting a chance at us — it ain’t as if the Canucks have been running vigorous background checks on admittance.

              2. And, as noted, even when you win you often find the cost was greater than you like. We won the last American Civil War and got for our efforts the 14th Amendment, creating the ever-encroaching Federal government, the 16th Amendment (“Federal income tax was first introduced under the Revenue Act of 1861 to help pay for the Civil War.” – Wiki) and lord knows what else.

                And what did we “win”? Reconstruction and Jim Crow and the Democrats still doing their damnedest to exploit race.

                1. There’s always surrender. After all, you’ve just made the case that nothing is worth fighting for; you might lose.

                    1. No. We’re saying don’t go hot too soon and get stomped so no one else will dare go hot.
                      We call that the “militia”option, because that’s what happened under Clinton. (Even if it didn’t but the news cooked it.)

                    2. They’re already claiming the violence they now concede happening at “mostly peaceful protests” is the work of White Supremacists and militia extremists. Just as they claimed the Charlottesville kerfuffle was the fault of klansmen & neo-nazis.

                      The American Right faces the same media and political environment as Israel: we have to let them clearly strike first to avoid becoming cast as opening the ball.

                  1. Oh, gads, not your old “if you don’t do exactly what I want when I want it then you’ve surrendered and simply given up” thing again.

                    You might, possibly, have a slightly easier time getting people to do what you want if you can make a case that doesn’t consist of throwing your hands in the air and pronouncing that all is lost because we won’t fall in line with your conclusions, even though you can’t be bothered to support them to the point of answering even the faintest of counter-arguments.

                    1. The whole point of civil society is that you don’t use violence to settle things. I tell my boys, when they start to go on about going after the lefties, that if it comes to widespread fighting then we’ve lost since the only way the left can win is to cause reprisal violence. The left wants to end civil society, that’s what they want. This is in their bloody books, perhaps we should read them. Why on Earth should we give them what they want? That’s not to say there should never be fighting, and if it comes to fighting we could, maybe, build a new thing, but we’ll have lost what we had and, thus, should be in no hurry to escalate.

                      I have to say that all the people going on about who has the guns ought to spend a little time in, say, Belfast or Beirut before they decide a short, victorious war is what we need. There are no neutrals in a civil war, you don’t choose what side you’re on, they don’t end until all the wackos are dead.

                    2. I’m trying not be influenced by the fact that if it goes hot myself and the boys, under the present insanity where it’s assumed “different race, must be lefty” will be under as much friendly fire as unfriendly. Because we found depending on light and assumption of the other person we present as any of three different races. NO ONE IS GOING TO ASK OUR OPINION OF THE CONSTITUTION or our status as citizens before firing.
                      BUT truth is, it goes hot, we’re not the only ones. Not by a looooong shot.
                      This came to me clearly when I was waiting in line to vote early one morning in…. 2004? And found myself getting depressed because the entire line were professorish guys and artsy women and I KNEW the dems would carry the precinct.
                      And then I realized Dan and I fit right in.
                      And the GOP carried that precinct, for all the good it did us.
                      This doesn’t mean I won’t fight. There is a point they leave us nothing to lose. That MIGHT come after the election. Depending on whether the dems succeed in getting their all cheating all the time one party state. Which they might. But given their general competency I think the chances are LOW.
                      I think they’ll try it, and it will blow up in their faces without us having to do much.
                      Here’s the thing: not saying there isn’t a shitton of work ahead of us, but they’ve just finished burning down the institutions they infested, from publishing to hollywood, to education.
                      WHY are people on our side screaming we must go hot, when the CULTURE is finally turning our way. Sure, shitton of work ahead, but why ditch it for “let’s shoot?”
                      And why has this been going on since the sixteen election and didn’t change?
                      I know Steve (and others) of that POV are NOT agents provocateurs. But I wonder if they’re being wound up by agents provocateurs in other sites? Because let’s face it, that’s something the left can do to win this.
                      Yes, the covidiocy HAS been a sign of what they want and will try to get away with. You might no be aware every governor pulling this sit is being sued to their back teeth RIGHT now. And that most people are furious, and just containing it till the election. And that there is a good chance the left can never get close to pulling these shenenigans again, particularly since they’re burning their own areas and industries.
                      WHICH is a strange time for the right to get shooty.
                      THINK about what’s really going on, not the perception the left is giving you. This is no time to get wobbly. Violence after the election? Attempts at theft? Yeah, tamp them down HARD.
                      But stop with the “let’s shoot now.”

                    3. BUT truth is, it goes hot, we’re not the only ones. Not by a looooong shot.

                      Hell, the same folks who holler to go hot have been yelling at me for– due to being female and under 40/30/25 depending on year– being OF COURSE a hard-core lefty maniac.
                      Even if they just met me via my doing something very obviously none of the above.

                      F no, I don’t trust their judgement!

                    4. I’ve scant confidence there is any way the Dems don’t declare a Trump reelection corrupt; they’re investing too much battlespace prep to not go there. Stacey Abrams is exhibit A on their willingness to run with a false narrative. Hillary’s demands Biden never concede defeat, their judicial efforts to enable vote-manufacturing, Pelosi’s comments cited elsewhere this page ALL support the argument they will never admit electoral defeat.

                      That is when the time comes to go hot: when they are in open rebellion.

                    5. No, Sarah, I’m just looking at the reality on the ground. Pennsylvania and even Texas have just had judges rule that there will be no mail-in ballot signature checks, that mail-in ballots don’t have to arrive by election day, and that will be all that’s needed for a fraudfest.

                    6. Indeed. And?
                      You can’t go hot first. You don’t control the battle space.
                      Leave that to be resolved after the election. Do you think Trump is brain damaged? Do you think he won’t fight?
                      WHAT do you plan to do to go hot in a way that doesn’t get every opponent of the left slammed into a work camp/shot within days?
                      IOW are you actually living in reality? Because it seems to me you’re following a beguiling and deceptively simple fantasy.

                  2. For somebody who’s never yet proposed a viable strategy for such a fight, nor how to optimize the results you are almighty noisy, Nelson.

                    I am undecided whether your misreading of my comment is deliberate or mere incapacity.

                    1. No one is yelling alt-right, Steve? Where the hell are you getting that? Agent provocateurs on other sites, maybe?
                      What we’re saying is that it makes no sense, nor is it practicable RIGHT NOW. Nor do you have a strategy. You have a wish that people would “fight back” in some violent way.
                      Also, I must ask: WHAT has Trump done or said that leads to believe he’s a spineless moron? Or that you see and know more than he does? Precisely?

                    2. Nor do you have a strategy. You have a wish that people would “fight back” in some violent way.

                      Sarah, until J. Wellington Nelson Steve acts he is effectively an agent provocateur himself. He is not putting himself out, merely asking others to fight for him.

                    3. Sarah,

                      That didn’t start with this post. I don’t allow the Left to treat today as year Zero, and I won’t let you do it either. I got accused of being “alt-right” on this blog for literally years for pointing these things out. Certainly in the run-up to 2016.

                      Now, as to whether or not I have a strategy: I actually do. In broad terms, it involves going after the officials who facilitate selective law enforcement, in whatever way seems best. Since our media class has decided they are going to back that practice, I include them. I’d rather get rid of them by voting; I just don’t have any confidence that will work, not least because most of our problems stem from a bureaucratic and judicial class that doesn’t face elections.

                    4. every time someone points out — with cites — that just maybe the rule of law you rely on is a mirage.

                      Well f—, Steve – what are you going to do about it other than demand better men than you risk their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor while you sit at you terminal playing at cyber-war?

                      My plans are formed and my timing is determined and you are the last one to whom I would reveal details.

                    5. To be fair, the rule of law has always been a mirage. And this country has been worse. It’s something we aim for, but the corruption has always been with us. It just didn’t use to be reported.
                      It’s more VISIBLE now. This doesn’t mean it’s worse. When a boil bursts and the corruption comes pouring out it looks and smells worse. It’s ALSO the only way to heal.

                    6. Great, it’s a mirror.
                      It’s also got nothing to do with any conversation here outside of your “helpful” rephrasing of any argument you don’t feel like answering.

                      Every damned time you offer claims with citations, and people go and give you the counter-argument you asked for, you start calling them names, declaring they are some sort of double-plus ungood, and otherwise can’t be bothered to support your assertions in the face of anything but complete agreement.

                  3. “My plans are formed and my timing is determined and you are the last one to whom I would reveal details.”


                    1. You remain pathetic, Steve. You’re forever attacking others for failure to do that which you are demonstrably unwilling to do.

  4. If you state that the President called soldiers ‘losers’ and you expect this to be accepted as veracity, you must be able to produce evidence of your assertion.

    N.B. – “I find it credible, it’s the sort of thing he would say” is not evidence regarding President Trump but rather of your own biases. Try the similarly constructed phrase “It is the sort of thing Blacks/Gays/Jews would do.” and see if it still sounds convincing.

    1. “Nazi theory, indeed, specifically denies that such a thing as “the truth” exists. There is, for instance, no such thing as “Science”. There is only “German Science”, “Jewish Science”, etc. The implied objective of this line of thought is a nightmare world in which the Leader, or some ruling clique, controls not only the future, but the past. If the Leader says of such and such an event, “It never happened” — well, it never happened. If he says that “two and two are five” — well, two and two are five. This prospect frightens me much more than bombs — and, after our experiences of the last few years, that is not a frivolous statement.“

      George Orwell

      I think this makes three block quotes for me, which is enough to be going on with. I would note that Marxist theory makes the same denial of truth as Nazi. They are simply two sides of the same thing after all. Nazi vs Marxist is simply a question of who/whom.

    2. Depending on their views of those groups, they might consider their point self-evident.

      People tend to find what they expect to see, even if it’s not actually there.

  5. As a result of those twinned assertions, wildfires are raging on the west coast of North America.

    This is, of course, a consequence of semantic sloppiness. If I say “Forest fires are bad” I have failed to make clear what is meant by “Forest fires.” Wildfires would be the more accurate term, as “forest fires” would also include “managed fires” which are demonstrably beneficial and even “camp fires” which are arguably harmless (if properly managed). It is this lack of clarity, the careless usage, from which vast lawyers’ fortunes are built.

    1. Every goddamned environmentalist who opposed tree-thinning, removing dead brush, cutting fire breaks, etc, should be forced to have ‘The Gods Of the Copybook Headings’ tattooed (in reverse writing) somewhere on their body where they would see it in the mirror every day.

    2. I would’ve expected you to take aim at the “bad,” honestly.

      It’s a rich vein to mine, things can be bad simply by being undesired, bad by being unpleasant but needed, bad by being evil….

  6. For me it come to, what are the results over time. I’m an agnostic. I am unsure about Religion. However, I observe that, over time, Protestant Christianity (as practiced until very recently, anyway) has generally produced superior societies. Catholicism paid far too much attention to Elites, and treated far to many people like sheep. Islam keeps reverting to 13th Century near barbarism, or worse. Buddhism SOUNDS swell, but societies built on it, like Catholic societies, tend to treat people like farm animals. The Hindu faith is burdened with the awful caste system, which I flatly consider irredeemable. The Hebrew faith has not had a society of its own other than Israel, which while promising is under constant threat by barbarians, and thus perhaps a poor test case.

    Then we come to Socialism/Communism. It would be easy to assert that it is founded on patent nonsense, but what Religion is not? However, it had much of the 20th Century, over wide areas, to prove that it could be a sound foundation for societies, and failed spectacularly. It appears to produce economic stagnation, misery, and mass graves. While it was shiny and new, at the end of the 19th century, and had not been tried on a National scale, it may have been entitled to some benefit of the doubt. But and such benefit has long run out.

    The results over time of the Fascist Left’s hobbyhorses and obsessions have been poor at best. Their proposals for caring for the environment are obvious idiocy that will damage the environment far more than rampant industrialism ever did. Big Government is unwieldy, intrusive, and ineffectual in nearly all cases. The obsession with races makes nobody happy. The new gender nonsense is obvious bushwa that doesn’t help the rare individuals it purports to champion.

    Truth may, in a philosophical sense, be relative, but bullshit is absolute. And the Fascist Left is bullshit on legs.

    As a society, we need to stand up to the trendy, vulgar, emotional Left and say, repeatedly and loudly, “That doesn’t WORK!”. Also, “That CANNOT work. Do the damned MATH!”.

    We also need to revive the idea that there are devastating criticisms embodied in words like “vulgar”. Much of what the Left does should have been stopped long before it reached the levels of evil it operates on now, by opposing it because the results were tacky, stupid, and vulgar…and were being paid for by people they offended.


    1. I’d have to disagree that All religions are based on patent nonsense. I think there is a test, not a definitive one but a suggestive one, regarding the likely truth or falsity of a religion, which includes Marxism and the rest, that question is does this religion require that I repent or does it require that I make other people repent? If it requires that I repent then the questioning should continue, if it is others must repent then it is patent nonsense.

      I’m afraid that definitive tests are only available for relatively simple, trivial matters like physics.

      1. I’d have to disagree that All religions are based on patent nonsense.

        Eh, it’s a pretty decent if flippant statement of faith for agnosticism/atheism that doesn’t go into other major philosophies.

        1. If the statement that all religions are based on patent nonsense is a statement of faith for agnosticism/aetheism then that statement must, ipso facto, be patent nonsense. I’ve noticed that most atheistic arguments collapse on precisely the same horns as arguments for belief and that most atheists, I’m thinking Dawkins or Dennett here but you can pick whom you would, never really contest with someone like Aquinas just second raters like Whewell when not a flat out straw man. If they did their arguments, if not their smugness, would evaporate.

      2. All the creation stories I am aware of, the basis of the right of the Creator to be worshipped, are patent nonsense. They pass only as metaphors for a process the original recipients of the revelations had no way to understand. That theology (by no means universally accepted) is the reason I am an agnostic rather than atheist.

        Yes, it’s an aggressive statement, but my point is that the base assumptions of Socialism are not noticeably more absurd than many other respectable religions. Where it fails (and fails spectacularly) is in application. It does not lead people to improve society, but to make it worse. It is hardly alone in that respect, but it has no noticeable upside.

    2. Finally figured out what bugs me about this theory– you’ve mentioned it before, so I chewed on it– it’s that it’s too short term, or assumes too high of a baseline.

      Without trying to be insulting, it’s kinda like the folks who assume that Christian morality is universal; the very idea that fair dealing outside of the In Group is a thing, much less that being human means you have a worth, is not normal. Even when they’re praising the gains made by groups that violate that in some aspect.

    3. What you are saying is, “Catholicism existed before the Early Modern period, and Catholics did not always have high levels of technology that supported things I like.” Also, “Catholics invented all the laws and legal systems that supported things I like, but somehow that served the Elites, whereas the Early Modern era invented Divine Right of Kings and your ruler heading up your religion, which is totally not serving the Elites.”

      1. Catholicism got burdened with a lot of crap from Rome. Having grown up in the-Roman-Empire-That-Actually-Never-Fell-Though-The-Government-DID: A lot of the countries that remained “faithful, Catholic” have issues that aren’t necessarily inherent in the religion (which fought some of them for CENTURIES) but in cultural habits of the Roman Empire.
        So, it’s hard to tell.
        England remained relatively Catholic, for not being Catholic, and they did all right. (They just replaced the head, until recently. I mean, Dan grew up High Church Episcopal, and it was basically the same religion, save for some more elaborate theological concepts, until the late seventies.)

        1. A lot of the countries that remained “faithful, Catholic” have issues that aren’t necessarily inherent in the religion (which fought some of them for CENTURIES) but in cultural habits of the Roman Empire.

          The first time I “saw” this explained was in the witch hunting culture of Germany. (with evidence going back as far as we can *look* for it!)

          Oh holy mother of crows, whatabuncha crazy, it’s enough to make you wonder about those spirits-of-the-place legends.

          1. There is something seriously rotten in Germany.

            Which is a rather uncomfortable position for an extreme more-protestant-than-thou to be in.

            OTOH whatever it is produces some fine engineering. Especially when tempered with other cultural expectations.

              1. This might explain some of the… weirdness… of German engineers.

                $HOUSEMATE owns & maintains Mercedes and “German engineers, go fig.” is very roughly the same expletive for him as “Humans!” is for me. We’re not *against* them, and rather like them, really (no, not with mushroom gravy – calm down), but they sure can seem quite bonkers.

                1. It’s like “excellent drivers.” Or most any skill where someone spends a lot of time assuring you that that they’re really, really good at it.

                  1) they are generally at least ALMOST as good as they think they are
                  2) they forget that not everything is a nail, even if their hammer is top-notch, and will tend to get angry when hammering in the screw WORKS but not so well.

                  If I remember the last time this went big on the military side, it was explained that German engineers assumed their stuff would be fixed by Engineers, English engineers assumed their stuff would be fixed by craftsmen, and the Americans assumed it would be fixed by grunts.

                  1. German engineers assumed their stuff would be fixed by Engineers

                    They also assume their stuff will be operated by people who have read the entire manual and follow it to the letter.

            1. My experience says that the Germans *think* they are good engineers. Sometimes they are right, but when they are wrong, Lord help us. I made a decent living one year working with their engineers uncovering and attempting to clean up for German engineering. (OTOH, this was an electronics company in Bavaria, but certain vehicles produced in more Protestant areas have been unimpressive.) IMNSHO, of course.

              It was David R. Palmer in Emergence who poked at the German tendency to make things more complicated than they need to be. I cannot disagree with him.

              1. Various Forgotten Weapon episodes have gone into the tendency of the Germans and the Swiss to make their firearms needlessly complex. In fact there is an episode on a briefly adopted Swiss submachine gun designed by a man in love with the toggle-lock system (think of the Lugar pistol). It was insanely complex, and insanely expensive, and got replaced by something much more affordable fairly quickly…but it WAS adopted.

              2. I had the misfortune of working in Germany for several years.

                Germans are generally good engineers. They don’t have elite schools as the idea of elite anything goes against the collectivist grain in their culture. But the average standard of university education in Germany is quite high.

                Their tendency to overcomplicate and overdesign things is real. As is the pigheaded conservatism of “Qe will keep doing things the way we’ve always done things even though it’s convoluted and inefficient”.

                The real problem for me was the attitude. Germans are the most arrogant, unfriendly, self-centered, rude and generally weird group of people I’ve ever had to work with.

              3. It’s a well-known German trait all through the 20th century at least. Definitely from WW2 onward. It’s not just that German engineers get raptured by the $SHINY; the managers and production people all buy in, and spend tremendous amounts of effort, to make it so… even when the overall result is unprofitable or counterproductive. The continual re-allocation of resources to follow the Next Greatest Thing hurt them a lot during the war.

                And, yes, I’ve dealt with German cars and motorcycles. “Because we can!” would be the only justification for much of that vaunted engineering…

                1. I tried to work on a Blaupunkt stereo once. Once.

                  The unbelievable density of the circuits, (in 1978!) the multiple tiny circuit boards crammed into every corner, the recurrent wails of “What the F*K does THIS do?” haunt me still.

                  Even when it had worked, it didn’t do more than a far simpler stereo from another manufacturer. I finally gave it up as just another overrated piece of crap.

              4. German over-engineering is a “thing”. It’s what made the Panther tank – a very good tank during the late war period of World War 2 – a complicated mess to maintain. It’s what caused Prinz Eugen – a German heavy cruiser that managed to survive the War, and was turned over to the US as a war prize – to have malfunctions in eleven of her twelve boilers after the American crew took possession of her.

                German engineers are – by reputation – good at fixing things. But I’m a bit more leery about the stuff that they actually design.

        2. I’m interested in which of these a Protestant countries produced superior societies, Prussia, Hesse Kassel, Sweden? The only ones that did are Holland and England, unless you were Irish. While they were Protestant, they both had significant Catholic minorities and admixtures of other Protestant sects.

          I would say, rather, that both Holland and England were maritime states and were able to ship a lot of their malcontents abroad, where they got rich. In Holland’s case, of course, they had France next door and they had to hang together or they would hang separately, Both countries had very limited monarchies. Giving credit to Protestantism for that requires one to ignore (e.g.,) Venice and other Catholic republics and non-absolutist states and house go a long way to find any state more absolutist than Calvin’s Geneva.

        3. Dan grew up High Church Episcopal

          I grew up Episcopal, during the ’60 & ’70s. Surprisingly most in college had no idea how different or not the Episcopal religion was compared to Catholic. I’d look at them and state. “Don’t deal with Pope in Rome. Priests can be married. Women can be Priests. Otherwise, Episcopal is more Catholic than Catholic.” Don’t know how true that statement was or is now, but it was my perception based on my experience & perceptions from Catholic neighbors. Not sure how true that has changed in the last 50 years. We don’t actually attend any specific church. We’ve been too busy enjoying & cherishing the great outdoors; & the joys of our child and animals.

      2. I considered pointing at the amount of looting they were based on– and that the total failure attempted protestant groups tended to fall back to Catholic, which has the setup for taking not-Christian and making it Christian or at least more-Christian– but it’s one of those really, really, REALLY looooooong conversations.

          1. And just down the road from me in Salem Village (now called Danvers) a set of Brownist/Congregationalists Hanged /crushed witches in rather famous events. The ladies were hanged, one gentleman was crushed. Tradition has it that when asked if he would repent his reply was “More weight”. That’s an old line New Englander for you.

    4. Math is a tool of the White Patriarchy; therefore anything which can be mathematically proven is false.

      Logic and reason are tools of the White Patriarchy…

      I think we can all see where this is going. Any means by which it can be proven how full of shit they are is a tool of the White Patriarchy and so they deny it.
      Dayna: “Don’t you ever get tired of being right all the time?”
      Avon: “No, I get tired of other people being wrong.”

      1. If the economy is stagnant it’s a good bet that technology is stagnant too. Not assured, I suppose, but I can’t come up with a counter example off hand…

    5. I notice you did not address the possibility of a Jewish Society. I am confident this can be assessed if ever we find three Jews to agree upon what it is.

      Sigh – saying that on Rosh Hashanah; I am surely damned. (I probably ought step up the dietary fibre, eh?)

      1. I beg your pardon. I brought up Israel, but noted that a society under Constant imminent threat of invasion by Medieval Barbarians was possibly a poor test case.

  7. The loss of the concept of an absolute truth: ‘This statement is always true’ was only the beginning.

    I suggest there has been no loss of absolute truth, it is merely the core statement which is being changed. For example, in the coming society I expect we will see a return to absolute truth as expressed in the assertion, “The State is always right.” Truth will become “that which advances the interests of the State” — where “the State” is properly understood as “the Socialist State.”

    Other absolute truths will follow from those premises — “The Corps Is Mother, the Corps Is Father” — and woe unto whosoever varies from that straight and narrow defile.

      1. Or when those running the State are not affected by the consequences of their actions. When they can make decisions that are stupid, short-sighted, self-serving, even downright corrupt and evil, and just continue on their merry way without paying any sort of cost for the damage they do. When they have the power, but are allowed to evade responsibility for what they do with it.
        John Sheridan: “If more of our so-called leaders would walk the same streets as the people who voted them in, live in the same buildings, eat the same food instead of hiding behind glass and steel and bodyguards, maybe we’d get better leadership and a little more concern for the future.”

  8. “Where did all of this violence, hatred, and sheer greasiness come from?”

    Government, I do believe. I was thinking about this today in regard to JK Rowling, who is getting her shirtstorm lately for daring to object to… whatever they call that. Doesn’t matter, that’s not what’s important.

    If you look back at the history of Lefty uproar as I was, it becomes clear that the only reason they ever make a fuss about anything is to increase the size and scope of government. Use to be that hippies screaming for free speech was the lever to increase government. These days, Antifa shutting down free speech increases government.

    The one thing that doesn’t change is the direction. Government getting bigger is the direction they want. The one thing that will get you in trouble is resisting the increase in size.

    That’s why they hate Trump. He’s not with the program.

  9. > “love one another as you love yourself”

    They hate themselves. They’re losers with no past, no future, and no commitment to the present.

      1. As i’ve observed (and, in slightly different words, so had Tom Wolfe, from whom I got the idea) they are driven by the horrible fear that they are bourgeois, and this driven to abandon any position that is widely accepted, even if they MADE it so, for something they are pretty sure will Shock the Squares. They MUST be avant garde, or admit that they are basically no different from the common herd, and thus unworthy of the superior airs they give themselves

        1. What you’ve described sounds pretty much like the textbook definition of reactionary: they’ve no principles or values except in contrast to others.

            1. Proto-trolls. I get this image of some sort of larva, like a giant grub. Ewwww!

              Hope I’m not out of Mental Floss…
              G’Kar: “Weep for the future, Na’Toth. Weep for us all.”

        1. It’s a reference to Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.

          Early in the game if the player joins the Dueling Arena on the first planet the Hutt in charge comes up with “Mysterious Stranger” as a stage name for them, leading to the above quote from the announcer.

          The name is there because they can’t voice act every conceivable string of letters someone might enter. And also an early hint that everything is not as it seems.

    1. Something I’ve been groping towards and piecing together from bits of Peterson / Sargon / Hoyt / etc is the apparent* human need to be woven into a culture, nation, and some sort of extended family-oid.

      Which reminded me of something else: The Greek myths of how fate works are *explicitly* the thread of a person’s life woven into the tapestry of time. This is correct, in an allegorical sense.

      [*]: “apparent”, because dammit this shouldn’t be necessary reeeeeeeeeeeee

              1. 12 Rules is basically a listing of all the different types of Gramascian poisoning.

                I should list them out and see if I can find one that doesn’t apply.

                  1. Hmm.

                    Gramscian march through the institutions obviously results in a lot of opportunities for various forms of socialist propaganda/religious evangelizing. See, forex, APA support for decriminalizing and normalizing homosexuality, and attendant PC insistence on both of the ‘homosexuality is always innate, and can never be acquired’ and ‘gender is a social construct’ models.

                    It should be possible to classify each of the flavors of these arguments. Forex, ‘gay rights is why Christianity is Evil’ has two or three flavors entangled. First, is the general socialist cheating on judging a wrong according to a certain set of values, then relaxing the set of values when it comes to their proposals to right the wrongs claimed under their strict oppressor/victim model. Second, you have a incorrect historical model of values, that confuses results of Jude-Christian influence with universal principles of human societies. Third, takes ‘society does not disapprove of homosexual acts’ as also being a society that will not tolerate someone who enjoys torturing people to death, and would not permit a powerful man to kill homosexuals if he really wanted to. Many societies claimed as being more permissive in the specifics of interest appear to also be more permissive generally.

                    The third type here would perhaps be the same as someone who in a discussion of grounding in history, would specifically describe the society of 19th century America as particularly sexist, instead of going “Wait. Why isn’t this considered egalitarian, even if predating the pill, washing machine, vacuum, etc? Does it really belong in the same category as, say, Classical Athens?” It’s a Gramscian poison specifically because you can find it in someone who thinks of themselves as conservative, is reasonably sound in doing so, and does not believe the leftist shibboleths that only a leftist can purport to believe.

                    Gramsican poisons are like the case of a militant atheist who still believes enough in Christian flavors of religion that they ascribe importance to claims of final destinations.

                    Is this definition improved enough to work with?

                    1. Gramsican poisons are like the case of a militant atheist who still believes enough in Christian flavors of religion that they ascribe importance to claims of final destinations.

                      The other day I had the insight “Sufficiently Advanced Fundamentalism is indistinguishable from Gramascian Damage”.

                      Get far enough out — especially if taught by a person lacking in any positive experience with humanity — and both the fundamentalist and the gramascian will agree: Life is horrible, People are horrible, Any institution is horrible, Country is horrible, Everything is horrible.

                      They even agree on the Truth vs Narrative problem. The only difference is that the gramascian pretends to think that no narrative is correct before sneaking their own in. The fundie is a bit more honest.

          1. Damned Right!!!! He also needs some corned beef, Swiss cheese, some well-drained kraut and a good brown mustard.

            Or maybe some thin sliced roast beef, horseradish, and lightly melted Swiss.

            Or maybe a nice M.L.T.; a mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich. Where the mutton is nice and lean and the tomato is ripe.

          2. Strictly speaking that verse doesn’t work in this context, because it continues “but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”. This would be entirely compatible with a philosophy that says human contact is unnecessary, especially if cast into a “will corrupt / distract you from the Truth” format. Hell, you don’t have to twist the verse by much to justify the most whacked out anti-life philosophies imaginable.

            A better argument can be constructed from the descriptions of what happens to a newly converted believer; who leaves their old friends and huants to join with other believers. The implication being that even in a case where the stakes are so high as to justify abandoning the strongest relationships* there is a need to provide something in place of those relationships. Though that raises an additional problem if there simply are no other believers to be found….

            * Notably this explicitly does not include marriage.

            1. No. Think of it in the context of Judaism. The Word of G-d is a system for living, one that integrates you in the context of His people.
              Geesh. Things don’t appear in mid-air, kid.

              1. Think of it in the context of Judaism.

                That is decidedly unkosher.

                Geesh. Things don’t appear in mid-air, kid.

                I mean…. that’s kind of the point of Christianity; that it is something that cannot be approached from ground level without divine intervention, and that it is at odds with everything “the world”.

                *gingerly attempts to lift his foot off the landmine of the banned topic*

                1. It can’t be completed without help.

                  We can approach it.

                  Otherwise, there’d be no way to object to folks without Revelation who do obviously horrific things– there is a natural morality, stuff found by reason applied to nature.

                    1. On the other extreme there is the position that if a man who isn’t saved feeds his family it is a curse onto him (IIRC because it isn’t done onto God, I can’t remember for sure), true it would be a worse curse if he didn’t feed his family, but there is nothing whatsoever that isn’t tainted.

                      Obviously this requires a split between spiritual [good/evil] and everyday-functioning-in-the-world [good/evil] for a person to not immediately shatter their mind. Alternatively “when everything is evil, nothing is”.

                  1. That descends into the irredeemably troublesome topic of which sects are correct / wrong but tolerable / outright heresy.

                    This question is one of the Great Divisions after all.

                    1. Aim a bit lower– things like cannibalism, which even the tribes that practice it recognized as being really different from eating other meat, sense of property, duty to parents/children/neighbors, lying is bad, etc.

                      Aspects of the moral law that can be figured out simply by going “OK, what totally doesn’t work?”

                    2. Heh, now define horror. /wry

                      Reminds me of the old joke– scientists called to God, look we do not need you any more. We have learned to make life ourselves, in the lab!
                      God says, AH, SHOW ME.
                      The scientists reach over and grab a handful of dirt to start.
                      God says, OH, NO YOU DON’T. GET YOUR OWN DIRT.

                    3. Awful lot of definitions that could be given here…..

                      But for the question you are driving at, there are also a number of answers. The most basic answer (and the one required) is the verse about “the Law written in their hearts”.

                    4. And now define the ‘law written in their hearts’ in a way that doesn’t mean “all the stuff I was raised to think was bad, except for the stuff I want to do.”

                      Which is part of how natural law got going.

                    5. duty to […] neighbors

                      Didn’t see this one until after clicking send….

                      Duty to…… neighbors….?

                      This is either something I’ve never heard of, or something really banal like “don’t route your sewer into their bedroom”.

                    6. You’re still aiming too high. In this case, it means “well, you’re not ME, but you’re probably also a human worthy of some sort of respect.”

                    7. That is the stuff that tends to trip people up– THEY do it, so of course it’s alright and obvious.

                      And if it can manage well enough to survive for a bit, a small society can be shown to survive while breaking it, thus the “MOST cultures” and “CAN be reached by reason” part.

                    8. Yes, but the thing is I keep coming across parts of….. *searches for category name*…. howto-human? that I’ve never encountered, at least not under a given name.

                      It splits between “yeah, I knew that, isn’t it obvious to any civilized person?”, and “this is completely outside of my experience”. And the only way to find out which it is is to have the description explicitly stated no matter how simplistic it might be.

                    9. Oh, hell.
                      It’s actually strictly enforced outside of religion, by tradition.
                      At the basic level? Don’t kidnap their kids, or make them do your work.
                      At the elevated level that means they help?
                      Help them when they need it. Share your hunt. Lend your work animal. And they’ll help you. This is what taxes try to replace. Ans when it happened naturally people helped from what they COULD spare, not from their essential. Also, people who were useless and didn’t reciprocate got cut out.

                    10. At the basic level? Don’t kidnap their kids, or make them do your work.

                      See my other comment; I never would have categorized that as a “neighbors” thing, as opposed to an “everyone” thing.

                      At the elevated level that means they help?
                      Help them when they need it. Share your hunt. Lend your work animal. And they’ll help you. This is what taxes try to replace. Ans when it happened naturally people helped from what they COULD spare, not from their essential. Also, people who were useless and didn’t reciprocate got cut out.

                      On an intellectual level that all makes sense, and I hear people say things which imply a neighbors-as-friends model. But it isn’t anything I’ve ever seen.

                      Under that definition I’ve never had “Neighbors”, only “people who live next door”. Most of the time that cashes at the same way as someone who works at a store you frequent, with associated level of politeness.

                      Though for some extended (and formative) periods when my family was living in a small town every neighbor was a potential enemy. A small town busybody can bring a heap of trouble if they see a child who isn’t in school when schools are running.

                      Also, huge difference between “duty”, and “if you do reciprocal things they do reciprocal things”.

                    11. If it helps clarify where I’m coming from on this: I am fully adapted to living alone. If for example I were trying to carry in a heavy or bulky object I will figure out how to do it (and yes; there is always a way), asking someone for help wouldn’t even enter the equation. At best, for all the trouble and difficulty of dealing with the problem getting help is now imposing that on them. What could possibly be more rude?

                      I expect this attitude to cause serious problems whenever I find a wife. Hell, it already has. I’ve nearly ran projects into the ground when dealing with conflicting goals and refusing to ask for help figuring it out. I’ve gotten better, but the foundation remains: this is about an alien a concept as you can get while still being able to recognize it.

                      by tradition

                      Eh, I grew up in an anti-tradition family. All the pro-tradition people wanted “traditions” that were outright poison. So while I’ve started to recognize that there is value in such things, it isn’t a word with much argumentative force.

                    12. Moved the rest down to the bottom– but I trust you’ve realized that the adapted to living alone can only hold while you are young and healthy, not for either reaching that point or continuing onwards?

                      You do at least have a strong grasp on the idea that other folks are worthy of respect as persons (that’s what the “I can’t ask for help!” thing boils down to, and I assure you it pisses my husband off extremely, even while he recognizes it’s rooted in good things like a desire to be fair and respectful) just a little gun-shy of anything that is powerful that’s been used against you. Misuse does not rule out proper use, although heck if I can spell that in latin.

                    13. In theory I know of the not-long-term-stable problem, but in practice it is eclipsed be something else. I have the Petersonian “Hell to run away from”, which is never marrying or having kids.

                      As evidenced by the instant nuclear rage when I see the Having Children Is Evil crowd.

                    14. It seems to me that any workable morality must incorporate one single, irreducible axiom:

                      Life Has Value.

                      Everything else proceeds from there.

                      Note that there is no claim that life has infinite value, or that all lives have the same value. What you do with your life, how you live it, affects its value. Criminals that destroy innocent lives can reduce the value of their own lives below zero, meaning that their deaths would make the world a better place. Doing something great, something that makes life better, increases the value of your life.

                      Time is part of Life. If you waste someone’s time, say by stealing or destroying something that represents a week, or a month, or a year of their life, that is a crime. If you create an invention that saves people’s time, or makes their time more pleasant, that is a positive contribution to Life.

                      Most people don’t commit atrocious crimes, or achieve magnificent accomplishments. Most of us muddle along in the middle, doing ordinary productive work and treating the people around us decently. The proper goal of morality, and law, is to get as many people as possible to live their lives that way, while providing opportunities for the few who can do something great.

        1. No quantity of air-tight logic or observable consequences will convince deep seated beliefs that state otherwise.

          And it takes time to shut off part of your mind once you’ve figured out that you need to.

        1. What!? Are you implying that “leave so little mark on the world that you could have been a Soviet Unperson” isn’t a viable strategy for existence?

            1. sane people who don’t hate themselves

              Ah, but that is the $64,000,000,000 (inflation…) question isn’t it?

              It isn’t mine! The memory it isn’t mine and I shouldn’t have to carry it it isn’t mine!

              — River Tam

              1. Ah, but that is the $64,000,000,000 (inflation…) question isn’t it?

                Actually that is unfair….. being ill prepared for life, and then failing to ever have things work out resulting in putting a zero or negative value on everything most people value is somewhat different from insane.

          1. It is interesting how many ideologies push “stop caring” as the answer to that problem. Or in more sophisticated form “care in this special way (that cashes out as don’t care)”.

  10. “I haven’t found that arithmetic has improved on Aristotle in any realm outside physical science.”

    *Any* realm?

    I nominate the realm of inductive reasoning. We can’t answer all possible probing questions starting with “how does a newborn baby figure out how to do things?” But we have made real progress, and in particular we have satisfyingly good answers to a few of the probing questions. I expect Aristotle would agree that it is worthwhile to ask and to explain how “somehow you and I can classify and recognize human faces after seeing them for a few seconds… yet how can it possibly be done?” Not only do we moderns understand how it can work in principle, we are pretty good at implementing it in a computer so that the computer can do it automatically. If you went back to tell Aristotle how it is done, perhaps it might not take him all that long to understand it, because he was very clever indeed. By the time he understood it, though, he would probably know more than a semester of math that the historical Greeks didn’t know, notably probability with Bayesian inference, some statistical abstractions such as overfitting, some linear algebra, some numerical algorithms such as gradient propagation, likely at least a bit of calculus to understand some of the numerical algorithms, and perhaps some other foundational concepts at the level of “function” and “algebra” and “algorithm”.

    If you only wanted to convey a philosophical understanding in principle, not a practical efficient implementation, you might be able to get by with less math by starting from Solomonoff induction. That is like an industrial-strength generalization of Occam’s Razor, and it is less explicitly mathematical than the more practical techniques I referred to above (at least as long as you don’t go on to try to get a practical answer out of Solomonoff induction, which would tend to land you in some algorithmically hairy problems like “minimum description length” optimization). But even Solomonoff induction, even in principle, is grounded in twentieth-century basically-mathematical abstractions which would be new to Aristotle, notably computability and (admittedly very elementary) information theory. And as it happens, I once got a poor grade on a philosophy of science paper because I underestimated the difficulty of communicating those two abstractions to a modern philosopher, so I might be a little cautious about communicating them to an ancient philosopher.

    1. I’m afraid I still hold to any realm. I will grant that arithmetic, and I include modern logic in arithmetic as you seem to do also, makes certain calculations more efficient but our understanding, again excepting physical science, hasn’t moved on a jot since Aristotle and I don’t think we understood it well in Aristotle’s time. I suppose what I’m saying, badly, is we really haven’t progressed very much. I suspect we are still much the same as Ugg the caveman, with more stuff and better tools.

      I do waiver about Math since It is cumulative and modern logic does help us there.

      I studied a great deal of logic and I’m afraid I concluded that it was a very elaborate scholastic game filled with sound and fury, signifying nothing. My education was mostly in England, where they have an unfortunate tendency to reduce everything to cryptic crosswords any
      D that may have soured me.

    2. I know, the term is meant differently, but ‘inductive reasoning’ always makes me wonder about ‘capacitive reasoning’ and what would be the conductive plates and what would be dielectric. That’s dielectric, NOT dialectic.

      1. Most Leftoids put up a great deal of resistance to any form of reasoning. 😛

        Maybe we need to step up the voltage.
        Facts do not depend on opinions. Unfortunately, for far too many people, opinions do not depend on facts, either.

  11. Logic is only as good as the premises. Man is a social animal, it’s part of the definition, the essence if you will, of what man is. This one or that one can live a solitary life but it is our essence to mingle, to cooperate, to truck and barter.

    I will grant you the victory of not arguing this any further. It would be pointless because, as you say, it is as difficult to shut of part of your mind as it would be for me to shut of part of mine.

  12. Everybody got their seatbelts?


    May her soul rest in peace.

    This is 2020 so a Supreme Court nomination fight on top of a Presidential election is par for the course. Much, much more to follow. The picture at the top are Justices Scalia and Ginsburg riding an elephant. The Justices were close friends. At the death of Scalia Justice Ginsburg recalled him as her best buddy. Such friendship across partisan lines seems now as if it were from another geological era. More is the pity.

    1. The picture at the top are Justices Scalia and Ginsburg riding an elephant.

      I… am going to admit here that before clicking the link, my first thought was some kind of strange political cartoon. The actual photograph of them on a real live elephant is ever so much better.

    2. I don’t like popcorn myself but I might just buy some.

      My lefty sister is in the midst of a crying jag (just got off the phone). My righty sister is celebrating. I refuse to speak ill of the dead so, as you say, RIP because, as my mother used to say, she is before God and we are before sin.

      1. Oh, the Democrats are of course going to say– justifiably– that they won’t allow Trump’s pick through.

        So how is Trump going to use THIS to make them look bad? Offer a centrist, female, African-American justice?

          1. Amen.

            I do pray for her repose, with more ease than I really should be able to muster given the harm I know she did.

            I also pray for our country, with a lot more hammering in re: the “I have no idea how this is going to work” way.

            1. Agnostic me, but should that not be Your grace, rather than Your duty? Real question, not trying to put you down.

              1. Indeed. Probably. I was talking of noblesse Oblige, since well, He obviously has it, which is why I’m not a crispy critter….
                I’m still not functioning particularly well, though it’s getting better.

              2. I’ve been doing the agnostic prayer lately. This entails glancing upwards (not to be mistaken for eye-rolling) and saying: “You know, You could do something . . .”

                1. I thought it started, “If there is anything out there that can hear me, and gives a shit…”

                  1. Not sure Yahweh has the same sense of humor as Crom, but this always comes to mind for some reason…

                  2. “Oh, Great Boccob, who is up there, rightly not giving a crap…”

                    – Stolen from the “Stop Worshiping Me” page of TVTropes

                2. The problem is, He gave us Free Will, which leaves things up to us. Demanding He solve our problems is like demanding government solve them … although there is NO EFFING WAY He could make such a cock-up of affairs as government can.

                  But when He steps in we cede Free Will. He’s already told us what to do, after all, and if we won’t do it then He has to make us do it?

                  What? You think He likes drowning Pharaoh’s armies? Those were His children too.

                  1. Ah, but (pardon potential pun) is Deep Interference. It is also possible to be far more subtle with a slight nudge here and there, now and then… and that might perhaps more effective.

                    Angel 1: But.. they don’t thank You for it.
                    Angel 2: Not much, anyway.
                    Deity: That’s how how good I am. I get them to believe they did it. Maybe someday they will.
                    Angel 1: You desire them doing it themselves?
                    Deity: I could use a holiday.

                  2. Well, not asking for the parting of the Red Sea. Just . . . a missing nail somewhere. You know?

          1. If Trump doesn’t nominate a woman, then we’re going to be overrun with screams about “giving up a woman’s seat!” or similar nonsense.

            Justice White? Who’s Justice White?

            (note – I read a biography of Byron “Whizzer” White quite a while back, and it’s still in my bookshelf. I have a fair amount of respect for his tenure on the court.)

          2. Wait, I’m getting a signal:

            “…ttend the swearing-in of new Supreme Court Justice Thomas Kratman on the steps of…”

            Nope. I think it’s from one of the non-dystopian alternates. Sorry.

        1. I believe that, thanks to the Democrats ash-canning the filibuster, they is no legal way they can prevent the Republicans from approving a new Justice while Trump’s first term is still in effect…assuming the Republicans have the guts to do so and are willing to pay the political price.

          1. The problem is the usual squishes. Senators Murkowski, Collins, Romney, and Grassley. Rumors have already started to circulate that one or the other of them have publicly stated that a nominee shouldn’t be voted on until after the election. But in each of the instances that I’ve heard about something like this, a spokesperson for the senator in question has publicly stated that the senator has made no such statement.

            IIRC, Collins got pretty pissed off by the actions of the left during Kavanaugh’s nomination. So she’s probably a safe vote. Romney will likely have serious problems back home if he doesn’t vote for the eventual nominee. Grassley I’ve no idea of. Murkowski, though, is corrupt as all get out, and has already been successfully primaried once. It didn’t stop her from getting reelected. She’s probably the most likely to get squishy if worst comes to worst.

            The odd thing is that four years ago, part of me seriously wondered whether something like this would happen after McConnell stalled Obama’s final nomination.

      2. I refuse to speak ill of the dead

        She choose to hang on to the bitter end when she had every chance to not do so.

        Historically when the outer wall of a city was breached the defenders could surrender honorably and be treated fairly well. But if they forced the attacker to go through with the grueling meatgrinder of a fight all the way through the Keep they would be given no quarter.

        She made this coffin; she can be buried in it.

        1. Slots in the Supremes’ docket are limited, and cases may wait for years before they’re heard.

          Ginsberg held on to her gavel for years after she was no longer able to carry her full workload, and another year after she was unable to function at all. This not only put more load on the other justices, it delayed justice for the citizens who were waiting to have their cases heard.

          That was self-centered, irresponsible, and unjust. Which probably shows her opinion of the people she forgot she was working for…

          1. I am seeing multiple reports that Pelosi is saying the House will impeach Trump if he nominates a replacement justice, so maybe they’re dialing it up to 25.

            Yeah, that’ll work out swell. Whip you party for a unanimous vote to impeach Trump on grounds he’s a big poopy-head who’s doing what two-thirds of the electorate want him to do.

            1. The question isn’t about 2/3 of the electorate; the question is the absolute absurdity of impeaching the President for following exactly the process laid down in the Constitution.

              Rule of law my a$$.

              1. I noticed the Speaker spewing “Well, we have our options. We have arrows in our quiver that I’m not about to discuss right now, but the fact is we have a big challenge in our country,” Pelosi said on ABC News’ “This Week.”

                “This president has threatened to not even accept the results of the election with statements that he and his henchmen have made.”

                He and his henchmen? Nice comity there.

                If there isn’t time to nominate and confirm a new justice I doubt there’s time to impeach. Anybody recall Senate rules for impeachment? Do they have to drop everything or can they schedule it?

                Of course, they could simply vote on it the day it arrives without spending time on hearings. Oh, give every senator five minutes to orate; I’ll put up with five minutes of Schumer intoning about the “grave seriousness of our duty” in exchange for Cruz and Kennedy ad Graham snarking about the inaity of impeachig days before an election and what that says about Democrats’ agenda.

                  1. Did he suddenly start sporting a goatee?

                    Absent an emissary from the mirror universe, it speaks to the Dems’ incompetence that they radicalized Lindsey Grahamnesty.

                    1. Because it was a farce? I don’t know?! Why are you asking the Mick?

                      I think the question would be – who isn’t on the list I heard about a few months ago – the list of senaters, etc, who were on payroll with the CCP – and contact them. Light a fire.

                      Whoops, too soon

                  2. I don’t think he’s one of the good guys but I do think he’s human. That separates him from Chuckie, and Nancy and all the rest of them. They’re all psychopaths and he’s not. Simple.

                    1. Grahamn, like many lawyers, is an institutionalist, he tends to bend over backwards to be fair. The undeniable evidence of Demaignancy in the treatment of Kavanaugh removed the blinders that his friendship with McCain had held in place.

                      TL:DR version – he got fed up with their BS.

            2. Then Trump should definitely go ahead with the nomination. Let them show everybody how unhinged they have become over Orange-Man-Bad.

              Plus, if MaligNancy ties the House up with another bogus impeachment, think how much other mischief they won’t have the leisure to get into. Might even interfere with their campaigns! How sad it would be if a lot of them don’t get re-elected…
              Why do so many idiots believe that the way to solve our problems is to go on voting for the same shitheads that caused them?

              1. I fully expect Trump will. He hasn’t spent four years trolling Dems to stop now.

                What the Hell’s he got to lose? Nearly two-thirds of Democrats support it (although I fully expect that to drop significantly now it is no longer merely theoretical.) Over seventy percent of independents supported it — an amount likely to increase in the face of Dems showing their red asses. Even if the vote doesn’t occur before November 3rd there ought be committee hearings and those haven’t worked well for Dems, have they now?

                I can well foresee McConnell declaring that the nomination depends on the election; if Trump wins the Senate will proceed to the vote (and certainly confirm), if Trump loses the nomination can be withdrawn, and if the election results remain in doubt they will confirm the nominee in order to have a fully present court for the impending election challenges. (Although I can imagine a quiet conference with Roberts and Schumer* to hold off the vote provided Roberts agrees to adhere to strict interpretations of law in any decisions instead of his all-too-typical waffling — protecting the Court’s legitimacy is pointless with the dump-truck load of [feces] about to hit the fan.)

                *Nooooo, I trust Schumer no further than I can piss into a ninety-mph headwind, but even he should understand the type of fire explosives they’re toying with. If there’s a “red mirage” and a flood of “late” ballots turning things blue Schumer will become “majority leader” of an ex-Senate. I’ve seen reports of protest mobs outside McConnell’s house; it might be time for some protesters outside of the houses of Schumer, Pelosi and a few others.

                1. My guess is they have no clue what they’re toying with.
                  BUT I’m hoping the initial reactions to their attempts are enough to make them backtrack so fast they leave skidmarks.

                  1. Dang you, Sarah Hoyt! Now you’ve planted an image of little Loki & Thor riding in the back seat of Odin’s carriage, with Loki constantly prodding, provoking and Thor (as brothers are oft wont to do) and no [expletive] clue how close to boiling over Odin is becoming.

                    1. No, no, no – Thor had his carriage with Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjóstr, Odin has Sleipnir, the spider horse.

                    2. Chuckle Chuckle

                      And if we go by the “Old Stories”, Loki was a contemporary of Odin not an adopted son of Odin and not a foster brother of Thor. 😀

                      Of course, Odin’s horse was a son of Loki. 😉

                    3. You’re thinking of them as grown.

                      I specified Thor & Loki as children.

                      Didst never a brother have not see?

                2. Chuckie boi said everything is off the table. Was anything ever on? Why anyone trusts that vile POS goniff I don’t know.

              1. I find myself wondering if anybody’s surveyed the public’s opinion on court packing expanding the number of justices on the Supreme Court.

                That might prove verrrrry interesting … if the MSM doesn’t bury the results.

                It might also be interesting to poll the MSM membership as a separate demographic, see how well they correspond to the public.

                1. Sigh.

                  … the public’s opinion on court packing expanding the number of justices on the Supreme Court.

                  Stoopid WP lack of preview option. Stoopid keyboard. Stoopid wallaby for not having learned to be more attentive ad a better proofreader.

      1. The Babylon Bee posted exactly one word in what was almost certainly a response to the news.


    3. Just saw this.

      Things will be “interesting”.

      While I didn’t always agree with her politics, she was a much better person than many modern Liberals.

      1. The cult of personality that she frankly encouraged to be built about herself was not becoming of any judge, much less a Supreme Court Justice. And that cult of personality that she reveled in is going to make the political fight about her replacement that much worse and damaging to the county.

        1. Mh, well, I’m not sure – given the content of the latest Minnesota rally – that the Right has stones to throw about personality cults, but perhaps we can just leave it with “Personality cults are bad, mmmmkay?”

          I for one, look forward to not watching endless hagiographies about her, since I don’t have TV.

          1. Not a fan of cults of personality, but Trump has always been a celebrity and promoted his name as a “brand” for commercial purposes long before getting into politics. And the modern presidency, especially to get elected, is very heavy on personality as a factor in elect-ability. Indeed aside from the Democratic vote fraud shenanigans, the only thing that stands in the way of a Trump landslide is the fact that he can be utterly obnoxious when he doesn’t need to be.

            The role of elected officials, however, such as the President, is very different than the role of judges and Supreme Court Justices, whose only credibility and thus respect for their decisions comes from the appearance of neutrality and fairness. If people don’t respect the judges or believe their rulings are impartial (even though there is a lot of “myth” to impartiality, the rule of law fundamentally breaks down.

            1. But then how do you explain this year’s Democrat candidates? If Comrade Joe Biden ever had any personality, there’s none left now, and Kamela Harris has the winning personality of a snapping turtle. (Apologies to any snapping turtles I may have offended)

              Maybe Trump could nominate Hillary Clinton? I know, I know, a truly repellent idea, but watching Leftoid heads explode while they crucify one of their own because Orange Man Bad…

              The popcorn concessions would be worth millions!

              1. Hillary has announced she wants a Supreme Court appointment. Several times. She’s old, crooked, crazy, borderline senile, and has massive Pary cred; a perfect choice. And as a sitting justice, she could make a lot of impending trouble simply go away by refusing to hear the cases.

          2. Who are you calling a hag? 😛

            Just because she was ancient and spent the last three years dying…

            But there are so many other Leftoid females that would have improved the nation far more just by ceasing to breathe — MaligNancy Pelosi, Kamela Harris, AOC, Ilhan Omar…

                  1. Don’t worry – Jolted Joe has promised – promised – a “Black Woman” for his first court appointment.

                    While it is reported that Hillary “don’t feel no ways tired” it is unlikely she offers the age profile desired in a SCOTUS nominee — typically no older than mid-fifties, ensuring a long-term presence on the bench.

                    OTOH: “Only five black women are now on U.S. appeals courts, and all of them will be 68 or older this year, according to data compiled by NBC News from the Federal Judicial Center.”

                    It is likely that Biden had Senator Harris in mind when he made that pledge in February … although it is even money that Biden’s mind was empty and he was simply pandering. It is possible he would dip below the appellate bench for a nominee, even though that is rarely done. It probably doesn’t matter as a Democrat controlled Senate would probably agree that Hunter is a Black Woman and confirm xir if nominated.

    4. I’m sure that your politicians will handle this with all the grace and sensitivity we’ve come to expect from them.

    5. As if this election wasn’t so much fun already … wish I was watching from the free state of Venus or something.

      1. Prediction; a Trump nomination of a replacement for Ginsburg will be met with threat by Democrats of having Biden skip the debates of Republicans move forward on it in the Senate as they try to use it as their pretext for having dementia Joe skip the debates.

        1. Elsewhere there was a comment that with the Senate’s scheduled recesses that it would be nearly impossible for a Trump nominee to be submitted before the election.

          Of course, that’s without a massive fight from the Democrats.

          1. McConnell has publicly stated that there will be a vote for any nominee that Trump submits. I suspect that the recesses will be rescheduled as needed.

            Elsewhere, someone noted that just last week Trump had revised his list of potential Supreme Court nominees. The news media ignored it, of course, but it was something that apparently did get mentioned. The person noting the revision observed that the timing was an interesting coincidence given Ginsberg’s death a week later, and there was a very good chance that President Trump had quietly been informed that Justice Ginsberg didn’t have much longer to live. Thus the revision was his way of getting ready. If that’s the case, I suspect he gave McConnell a quiet heads up to get ready.

            1. If Cocaine Mitch is very good at his job (I hope so!), he has been updating contingency plans for RBG’s death for the past 4 years, minimum.

              1. Murkowski has announced her opposition to confirming a replacement; Collins has said she doesn’t think it proper to appoint a new justice before the election. Which is not, I note, the same as saying she would vote against a nominee if the vote took place on oct. 30.

                Which has me wondering whether, if those two and Romney all abstain, the nominee is confirmed with 50 in favor, 47 opposed and 3 abstentions?

                OTOH, if no nominee is put forward we miss the fun of Senator Harris* acting out in the committee hearings, testing the patience of Sen. Graham and Sen. Feinstein and offering a target for Senators Cruz, Sasse, Hawley, and Kennedy.

                *I frankly don’t care what Senators Booker, Hirono, Klobuchar or the two Dicks, Durbin & Blumenthal do. They just don’t matter, not the slightest, and I want them to sit through those hearings knowing that.

                1. If Harris is participating in the confirmation hearings, then she can’t campaign. And Biden campaigning is… risky.


    6. The Leftoids have already announced that if Trump nominates a replacement for Ginsburg, the riots will commence. They will burn our country to the ground rather than allow Orange-Man-Bad to perform his Constitutional duties.

      “Trump can’t select a new Justice before the election! We must have a new President! The People must have a Choice!” they screech.

      The People did have a choice. They chose Trump. They chose 53 Republican Senators. Those choices are still valid.
      “Oh, no. You can’t-a fool me. There ain’t-a no Sanity Clause!”

      1. The Leftoids have already announced that if Trump nominates a replacement for Ginsburg, the riots will commence.

        …where the hell have THEY been hiding, the last three months?

          1. The Leftoids have already announced that if Trump nominates a replacement for Ginsburg, the riots will commence. …where the hell have THEY been hiding, the last three months?

            Right? How would we notice?

            My initial response was: “This is different? How?” Oh. Wait! I know! They are going to burn the suburbs & outlining areas! Um. Wait …

            No official news of arson, or accident (electric lines), on fires in Oregon, at least, …. but they aren’t saying they are natural either.

        1. Those riots were heavily white college educated women burning down poor black neighborhoods. These riots will be MS13 bombing abortion clinics. Which will surely terrorize the American people into voting Biden.

          Republic is dead, fighting is pointless, doooomed, etc.

          In all seriousness, there are things that they haven’t done yet, which the conventional wisdom would suggest are insanely counter-productive. That doesn’t mean that they won’t do them, or that it won’t be stressful for the rest of us.

          I’ve only this morning convinced myself that I should not be worrying about Black Lives Matter starting rural fires; Unless the deep state is in on the conspiracy, and salting the satellite data with false evidence to make the pattern look natural.

          1. I can’t speak to the satellite data, but I know the folks I’ve spoken to in the area found the pattern of starting to be…notably different.

            Considering what an unspeakable mess Oregon’s forests are, and how many of my mom’s family are or were involved in fighting those fires, I favor their intuition about the fires starting when they say things Look Odd.

            1. I think I may be in a part of the country where there are not arson gangs active. I looked at the distributions briefly, and if the nearer fires are set, perhaps the criminals would be traveling long distances through red states.

              My thinking is/was a combo of “why aren’t things worse” and “why hasn’t anyone got caught if they are doing it?”

              I’m feeling like I may have been pretty stupid today.

              1. You might just be looking at a different sample– there ARE usually fires, it’s just that the ones in Oregon, and some of those in Washington, “happened” to show up in places that bloodied AntiFa’s noses, when there are not usually fires in those areas to that extent or in the situations they showed up.

                1. Oregon/Washington Fires – Deal is. If a fire starts near a road, with no lightening in past (which can be a week or two) then arson or accident is strongly suspect. Accidents, someone usually comes forward fairly quickly. Difference in charges when someone dies in these big fires, even if the accident is due to negligence.

                  I don’t know that is happening. But to have as many E/W routes affected, in areas close to where the protestors were stopped from rioting, before rioting got started … It defies logic. Could still be natural. IDK

                  Lightening can hit & smolder in PNW forests. Then when conditions are right, blow up into a raging wildfire. That is what happened in ’03 with the B&B complex. It’s happened with “let it burn” in wilderness, again lightening caused. Only to have the smaller wilderness burn blow up when unexpected conditions trigger (wind). Thing is, until two days ago, there hasn’t been any lightening in the area.

                  1. Just thought of something– for some of it, could be the professional protest types camping by the road on the way between riots. Not like they’re going to get hotels, and the cops are more likely to be going “oh, thank God, the morons are off the road and NOT rioting.”

                    1. could be the professional protest types camping by the road on the way between riots

                      Which points to negligence VS arson. But is it enemy action if the enemy is negligent VS purposeful? (Not that Oregon is going to consider them enemies because Oregon governmental bodies lack a backbone …)

                    2. *IF* it happened that way at all– that was a WAG that could also fit the facts, I don’t know if anybody was actually car-camping on the side of the road at all, or if they’d have camp fires.

                      If it was undercarriage fires, their cars would still be there.

                    3. Agree.

                      Huge IF.


                      But it would fit the fire profiles.

                      What is the saying? “Don’t presume enemy action, when stupidity is just as valid explanation” or words to to that effect. Especially when shouldn’t be looking for enemy action. Which is what the PTB will not be. Doesn’t mean it isn’t enemy action. But, still.

              2. So / hwæt!

                People have been caught. So far, there do not seem to be (publicly acknowledged) links to anyone other than assholes. Which is, frankly, a pretty wide swath of society. Some of the publicly admitted are homeless wankers (including one who tried to set clothing on fire in a Fred Meyer because a lady wouldn’t talk to him) and just generally stupid dumb s#!ts who are merely fulfilling their role in life as stupid dumb s#!ts.

                However, I have heard of multiple other issues, including a firefight out by Welches, an attempted arson of an orchard by Hubbard (ended up with arsonist being shot), arsonsist being held at gunpoint (that one is one social media)… etc. But what twigs my ever-increasing paranoia is the very blunt statements all over social media to “stop spreading rumours”, etc, and the fact that a very large swath of people are seeing similar incidents… Along with the tweet from Scarsdale NY ANTIFA about arson and working with PNW ANTIFA –

                I’m unsure – but my powder is dry.

                In the words of Cmdr Quinlan, an tArm, “We will hold out until our last bullet is spent. Could do with some whiskey”

        2. I have it on the solemn authority of the Chair of the House Judiciary Committee that those riots are a myth.

        1. Maybe this time it will kidnapping and rape. Or terror attacks on schools.

          They are trying so very hard to make me look reasonable and sane.

    1. She fought for her beliefs until her dying breath, horrible though they are and she did it while remaining someone who could be close friends with one of the most conservative justices on the court. The country is better off without her, but I hope that she finds both correction and forgiveness for the evil that she did.

      1. Agreed. She tried hard to do what she believed was right. I can admire that, and all the years of work she put in elsewhere. May the Most High show her (and all of us) mercy.

      2. This reminds me of a thought that I keep having, about the *horror* of being John C. Calhoun standing before his Lord and Savior …

    2. As the tradition is “De mortuis nil nisi bonum”, Of the dead say nothing but good. My maternal grandmother said “If you can’t say something nice say nothing at all”. Given those admonishments I am done…I don’t want to look like some Tranzi/SJW type.

    1. Such cynicism.

      At the time, I think I argued that we have as much reason to think that Garland is a pederast.

      Currently, I am suspecting that the pederast scenario is more credible than I had assumed.

      And we haven’t even gotten to the October surprises.

  13. Amy Barret Coney (?) would be a very interesting choice, as she’s already gone through a confirmation process once under this Senate. I’m thinking the worst thing the D’s could come up with was worrying about her “excessive,” religious fervor.

    1. Mayhap that fervour would prod Roberts to be something other than a total milquetoast.

      The Wanker.

      1. One might hope so. However, the times he has gone rogue have far too much of a chicago black sox feel to me. Either he is totally without any principles or someone has him over a barrel and uses that leverage, shall we say, judiciously.

        1. Isn’t there a list of people who are owned by either the CCP or other anti-American interests? Having never read it, I am curious if he was placed there.

    2. I’ve got it! Trump should nominate Judge Jeanine Pirro for the Supreme Court! She’d be great, and Leftoid heads would explode all across the country. That’s what I call a win-win!

      1. A: Which judge would help get rid of the NFA and associated infringments, and –

        B: If all you want is head asplode – they sell specialized freedom pills for that. Hard to get right now, but likely out there.

        1. Ah, but it’s SO much more fun when their heads explode from the sheer internal pressure caused by being forced to know what they have spent inordinate effort trying to deny.
          Some folks can be taught. Others can learn by example. The rest have to piss on the electric fence for themselves.

      2. Since I’m functioning on minimal sleep. (*Might* start a contract tomorrow, though I suspect Tropical Storm Beta is going to delay that a bit.) I found myself reminded of this blooper from the dub for Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.

    3. It’s the WaPo and paywalled, so no linkage, but:

      Who is Amy Coney Barrett, the judge at the top of Trump’s list to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg?
      At the top of President Trump’s list to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court is U.S. Circuit Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett, a jurist in the mold of the late Antonin Scalia who fulfills nearly all criteria on conservatives’ wish list.

      At 48 years old, Barrett could hold the lifetime seat for several decades. Trump’s first two nominees to the nation’s highest court, Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh, are in their 50s. Trump’s justices will potentially represent one-third of the Supreme Court for generations.

      Why is she at the top of Trump’s list?
      A devout Catholic who is fervently antiabortion, Barrett appeals to Trump’s conservative base. But Republicans also hope that for moderates such as Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), her gender makes her a more palatable replacement for Ginsburg, a feminist icon who spent her life fighting for gender equality.

      Trump considered Barrett in 2018 to replace retired justice Anthony M. Kennedy, but reportedly said he was saving her for Ginsburg’s slot.

      What is her judicial background?
      Trump first nominated Barrett to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit in 2017. Previously, she’d taught law at the University of Notre Dame for 15 years, so she had no previous judicial record to scrutinize. Democrats balked at her nomination, questioning whether the academic could be an impartial arbiter because of her deep religious convictions. Republicans accused Democrats of applying a religious test in their questioning.

      However, Barrett wasn’t a total novice to the judicial system. Out of law school, she clerked for Scalia, who she considers a mentor and with whom she shares a belief in originalism, which is the idea that judges should attempt to interpret the words of the Constitution as the authors intended when they were written.

      What would be the impact of Barrett’s religion on her rulings on issues such as Roe v. Wade?
      During her confirmation hearing to the appeals court, Barrett said in that role she would “follow all Supreme Court precedent without fail” and would regard decisions such as Roe v. Wade as binding precedent.

      “I would never impose my own personal convictions upon the law,” she added.

      But Democrats pointed to comments she had made at Notre Dame years before about being a “different kind of lawyer.” She said we should always remember that a “legal career is but a means to an end … and that end is building the Kingdom of God.”

      She has previously written that judges shouldn’t be held to upholding Supreme Court precedents, such as Roe v. Wade. In a 2018 Washington Post article that examined how Barrett’s beliefs would affect her decision-making, experts who had studied her writings concluded that she would join other conservatives on the court in supporting overturning Roe v. Wade.

      1. From the Daily Mail:
        President Donald Trump on Saturday announced that a woman is in ‘first place’ to receive his Supreme Court nomination to fill the vacancy caused by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death.

        He named two conservative women who he has elevated to federal appeals courts as contenders, a move that would tip the court further to the right.

        Trump, who now has a chance to nominate a third justice to a lifetime appointment on the court, named Amy Coney Barrett, 48, of the Chicago-based 7th Circuit and Barbara Lagoa, 52, of the Atlanta-based 11th Circuit as possible nominees.

        He praised Lagoa, in particular, as an ‘incredible person’.


        According to CNN, a source said that the announcement of the nomination could rely on when Ginsburg’s burial takes place.


        A Barrett nomination would likely ignite controversy, as her strong conservative religious views have prompted abortion-rights groups to say that if confirmed by the U.S. Senate, she would likely vote to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

        Lagoa has served on the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for less than a year after being appointed by Trump and confirmed by the Senate on an 80-15 vote. Prior to that she also spent less than a year in her previous position as the first Latina to serve on the Florida Supreme Court.

        She previously spent more than a decade as a judge on an intermediate appeals court in Florida.
        Another candidate Trump has considered previously is Amul Thapar. He was a district court judge in Kentucky – the first federal judge of South Asian descent – before Trump appointed him to the Cincinnati-based 6th Circuit in 2017.

        [END EXCERPT]

        As far as a Barrett nomination igniting controversy … does anybody think that any nominee from Trump wouldn’t stoke controversy? Chuck Schumer said “nothing is off the table” if Republicans move forward — but is it likely anything is off the table if the GOP holds back? Or might that not embolden the Dems? Did GOP calls for restraint deter Harry Reid from eliminating the nominee filibuster to help Obama pack the bench?

        A Marquette University Law School poll (conducted between Sept. 8 to Sept. 15) found 67% of respondents believed confirmation should proceed in 2020 while just 32% said the chamber should hold off. … The poll did not suggest a strong partisan divide over the issue, with 68% of Republicans and 63% of Democrats holding that a nomination vote should take place. Independents supported going forward by a 71% margin.

        Relying on restraint from the Left is akin to starting a land war in Asia or going against a Sicilian when death is on the line.

  14. Not that it matters, but Jimmy Carter nominated Stephen Breyer to the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals, from which he was later elevated to the US Supreme Court, on November 13, 1980 (five days after his bid for a second term was defeated) which nomination was confirmed December 9, 1980.

    The Dems probably do not want to argue brisk confirmations, however.

  15. Strange phrasing during Judaism’s Days of Awe.

    “To jam this nomination through the Senate is just an exercise in raw political power, and I don’t believe the people of this nation will stand for it,” Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said Sunday in Philadelphia.

    “If we go down this path, I predict it will cause irreversible damage,” he continued. “The infection this president has unleashed on our democracy can be fatal. Enough, enough, enough.”

    [Emphasis Added]

    Well, what the heck; History has proven it a persuasive message.

  16. Moved down from above, because I think philosophy is cool:

    Ian Bruene
    5 hours
    Also; I would have never listed that as “duty to neighbor”. That suggested something special for neighbors.

    If you’re looking at it from inside of a mature, functioning morality, yes; if you’re starting from nothing, well– *looks over at Middle East and some very blue cities* — it’s an assumption that is not universally shared.

    Recognizing anything outside of yourself and/or “mine” is slightly more advanced, even though it only pops it up to a clan that is beyond your immediate family.

    When Jesus answered the “who is my neighbor” thing universally, He was asked because the folks asking could tell the literal “guy right next to me” answer wasn’t right, but His answer was revolutionary– beyond what people had already established, but it works, logically.

    1. One of the ideas on slatestarcodex (or maybe it was lesswrong?) is to read philosophy backwards. Because otherwise it seems like a bunch of “obvious” things.

      For the particular problem I’m having here go look at the exchange between Our Hostess and I on today’s post.

      All of my foundational outlook is based on the idea that America is 99% corrupt and evil, and there is no reciprocity; only getting screwed again. Yes, severely exaggerated by the problems my parents were dealing with, but not a completely insane outlook for the time.

      1. One of the ideas on slatestarcodex (or maybe it was lesswrong?) is to read philosophy backwards. Because otherwise it seems like a bunch of “obvious” things.

        *Slow blink*
        I suppose that is some kind of a manner to get somewhat close to the philosophy… although I’m not sure why on earth you’d do that, rather than reading the philosophy.

        The vast majority of it related to this discussion is not just out there, but will try to corner you to explain from starting assumptions and basic definitions what their reasoning is, or from whatever conclusion you’re interested in and walk it back, step by step, through their reasoning.

        That would get in the way of one’s own starting assumptions and thus of easy dismissal of the theories based on equivocation, so it’s not too very popular.

        1. I may not have conveyed the idea…

          The idea is to read in reverse chronological order, and glean the lessons of “oh, there was a time when people didn’t think X”.

          Because otherwise a huge swath of philosophy seems incredibly trite and pointless to anyone of above average intelligence.

          1. It’s not a matter of intelligence, it’s a matter of the fish learning to see water and understand the concept that there may be something not-water– maybe even lots of them.

            You don’t have to be smart to do that, you just have to have the humility consider that it’s possible you’re wrong, and then try to figure out why you find it so trite an observation. Obviously it was worth mentioning for SOMEONE, so find out why.

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