A badger among kittens by Denton Salle

A badger among kittens by Denton Salle

Certain stories make the rounds about wild animals that get mistaken for pets.  It can be someone from another country trying to pick up a skunk because it looks like a cat, a coyote or bear cub thought to be a stray dog, or a feral dog left alone with a house cat.  The stories never end well.  Once of the worse I heard (and some of these are true) was a young woman who found a badger cub and thought it a lost kitten so she took it home and put it in the basket with her kittens.  Whether true or not, it makes a good model for a multicultural society that has scrapped the idea of a common culture, particularly when that culture ignores the differences between classes and ethnic groups for the simplistic broad groupings of race and sex.  Whether you realize it or not, there are badgers in the basket.

All the above work off the idea that something you think you understand from your world doesn’t extrapolate to an outsider.  It works both ways. If you read any of Rudy Payne’s work on poverty, many of the traits associated with generational poverty do not help one escape from it. Similarly many of the traits that make a middle class city dweller successful do not help them break into the upper class, survive in the lower class, or even be accepted in a rural middle class environment. Stories from the cities in the South with a large Yankee population during the aftermath of storms and hurricanes really highlighted this. One coworker commented that while his Yankee neighbors did their share during recovery from the storm, they did no more.  They didn’t act as part of the community, they didn’t socialize, and they  will be wondering for years why they don’t fit in.  Similarly, despite the belief of most people, the signals aren’t money.  I know one fellow who was told he’s got to be at least middle class because he “makes more coin than I do.”  It’s not true – he’s pure working class who just got lucky in his skill set.  His home life isn’t close but he’s smart enough to hide it. What do matter are the traits and patterns developed in your raising and, to a large extend, in college.  The danger comes when these are misread: it can cost a promotion, a job, or your life depending on how and where you misread things. We see the social cost of misreading how people’s worldviews differ with the failure rates of certain groups at elite universities, in the government programs to extend home ownership, and in the inability of our political elite to understand the whole Middle East mess.  Whether it’s not seeing the lack of certain skills you assume everyone has, the misunderstanding of a result for the traits that cause that result, or assuming all people really want to be liberal bobos, this mistake can be fatal.

Let’s look at some real life examples as we jump the fence and walk outside of the normal world most readers probably live in. All the names are made up but the stories are true.  Some are amusing – others less so.  Sometimes the kitten ends up among the badgers: for example, a young upper middle class woman was dating a biker type.  They meet at a bar near college and ended up in the sack.  He, let’s call him Bob, starts letting her, say Sharon, come with him when he hangs out with his bros.  At one party, Bob is spending all his time talking to some old guy and Sharon is getting a little attention starved. First, she wanders over and tries to get his attention. She’s ignored. After trying a few things and being rebuffed, Sharon gets angry and tries to pick a verbal fight publically in front of the fellows he runs with. Bob first ignores her and then in no uncertain terms to, he tells her to act her age and shut up.  Sharon loses her temper and slaps him.  Without any hesitation, in fact you never even see his hand moved, Bob slaps her back hard enough she’s flipped over the back of the couch and lands on someone’s lap.  Bob returns to his conversation without comment and the rest of the room does the same.

Sharon is shocked – she was always told you don’t hit ladies – and looking at the guys she landed on,  says in shock “he hit me.”  One of the guys guzzled some beer and replied: “you hit him first.”  Sharon was horrified to find out not only did no one care, but they all thought she got what she deserved.

A few observations can be made: the old rule about striking a lady is very class specific and even there assumed certain conduct on both parts. If the whole concept of striking a woman is pushing your buttons, we have just defined your class.  In other classes, letting your woman act like that to you means you’re a weakling. Note the possessive: it is intentional. There is a youtube video that shows an assault that starts with the assailant asking “whose bitch is this?”  This is even stronger in other places where a woman’s value is a reflection of her man’s or her families.  Over reacting would be the same if opposite error. The negligent slap makes it a statement.  Negligent in that she’s just not that valuable. Striking with an open hand – how you discipline a dog or a child instead of a real opponents who require weapons – shows she’s not a serious problem.  It was a nuisance: nothing to get upset when serious matters are on the table.  Longer term implications depend on her response: accept of the correction or continuing to be a “problem” where her boyfriend washes his hands of her.

Another example of assuming your worldview is the only one can be seen with the “rape activists” on campus.  Despite the claims of rape culture and oppression on campus, most activists have no idea of what a society that considers women lesser beings is really like.  Most of them are smart enough not to go to Saudi to hold their “slut walks” or “take back the night.”  There is a very definite belief system at work –these women are sure no one is coming out to beat them or pick them off one by one. That’s not the case in societies with actual rape cultures or where rape is used as a means of educational beat-down instead of killing her.  Similarly a whole set of assumptions on rape and rapists can be seen in false rape narratives at Columbia and the University of Virginia.  The advocates and academics know why all this happens and why women never lie about rape because they know better than we and are better people. The implications of their worldview that women are such delicate flowers they can’t deal with men or with making a decision seems to be invisible to them.  This is inside their safe little yard.  Outside the picket fence, rape can be motivated by lots of reasons and some of them involve an attitude toward women these people don’t or can’t imagine.  In certain cultures, it is a survival trait to shut up and not tell anyone.  In others, it’s a death sentence to end up in that situation at all.  In many, rape can be a fact of life.  Supposedly that why Mark Twain’s last Huck Finn novel was never finished: what happened to women captured by the Comanche was well known.

Another young lady, say Alexis, was studying martial arts to learn to defend herself.  Having done the Woman’s Center self-defense class, she realized she enjoyed it and moved to a more traditional school – traditional as taught classically and not really neither a self-defense school nor a Mc Dojo. A petite and athletic woman, she soon enjoyed herself but was frustrated that often size and strength meant techniques didn’t always work.  So one day she addresses these concerns with her instructor. They had the normal discussion about the multiple reasons for practicing a marital art and the multiple dimension of the whole concept of self-defense. Alexis still had concerns and asked “How do I defend myself physically from a rape?”  This launched a discussion of rational preventive behavior and since Alexis wasn’t a feminist or a liberal art student, he was not accused of victim blaming.  She was, however, concerned about a physical assault.

Alexis: So, if I was going to fight back, what do I need to do

Instructor: Well, it depends…  How are you attacked?

Alexis:  I dunno.  How would you rape me?

Instructor: I don’t rape people. Sex with the unwilling would be boring

Alexis: Well, if you were going to rape me, what would you do?

Instructor: I guess I’d nail you across the back of the head with a sap, carry you off to wherever, and tell anyone we met you got drunk and passed out again.

Alexis: Couldn’t that kill me?

Instructor: “Maybe.  But why would I care?”

Alexis left the school shortly after that. As extreme as that might sound, one has to realize the assumption human life has value is a cultural value, both in the value it as and what the culture says is permissible.  Anyone following the news currently should be aware from both ISIS’s action with captured women and the actions of the refugees in German and Sweden that the Middle East is not a feminist place.   Another example is what a female reporter was told in Saudi when interviewing a bunch of young men about for an article on Saudi life.  A friend of hers brought her and while she didn’t realize it, she was considered “his” and under his protection.  So everyone was very friendly and shared the homemade hooch, and she finished her interview.  Somehow on the end the topic of women came up and she asked what would have happened if she came alone. She was told she would have been raped and probably murdered as there was lot of desert to hide the body in.  This probably explains why feminists don’t go and protest in Saudi. 

Consequently most people living within their own picket fence circumscribed by an agenda or social ideology don’t seem to understand is the myriad frameworks and social mores within their own country or with their carefully circumscribed world view.  This is seen today in the US in the disconnection between the cultural elite and political class and the folks living in fly-over country among others.  Comments about “NY City values” may get mocked but they reflect an understanding of different sets of rules in different places. (One could similarly draw from the other side of the political debate.)  Sadly this belief that everyone really thinks the same has international implications too.  Our policy in the Middle East has been seriously screwed up by the belief the people there think like we do. Some of this is being driven home in Europe with the crime problems caused by refugees – a situation to some degree predicted in “Camp of the Saints.”  Historically, people have realized the clash of cultures bring the potential for violence, assault and death.  We’ve lost that.  Even within our country, there is NOT one homogenized culture as is currently believed. Our grandparents knew better.  Similarly the world is not made of people who want to be little bobos or tolerant social justice warriors. It’s big outside the yard.

This essay is part of a book by Marc Mac Young: Beyond The Picket Fence: Life Outside the Middle-Class Bubble

Rules, traditions of the past, and assumptions… all have been swept away by rapid social change. Instead of freeing people this has left us stressed, confused, unprepared, and unable to navigate different environments and situations that can be more than just hostile. Environments outside suburbia can become dangerous — especially for teens and young adults.

“Beyond the Picket Fence” isn’t a self-defense book, but it is very much about what will get you into trouble with people.

Arrests, violence, and rapes often befall young people when they go ‘out to party.’ Originally this book was — literally — about how not to get killed while outside suburbia and in places where it is easy to cross unspoken lines. Yet the best meaning prohibitions usually fall on deaf ears. This book takes a different approach. We’re not telling young people, “Don’t go.” We know they’ll go. Instead we’ll them what they need to look out for when they wander outside their home’s picket fence. We’ll help them stay out of jail or the emergency room.

At the same time, this book is about a whole lot more…

229 thoughts on “A badger among kittens by Denton Salle

  1. I would never imagine my worldview the only one … it is merely the only right one. Right for me, at any rate. Your mileage may differ, objects in mirror may be closer than they appear,, and contents may settle in shipment.

    1. > I would never imagine my worldview the only one

      Let me guess… you read science fiction when you were growing up?

      Jack Vance was once asked how he came up with the more-bizarre societies of his Oikumene. He replied he lifted them from anthropology textbooks…

      1. He replied he lifted them from anthropology textbooks…

        Trust me. Things have gotten only weirder ever since. The Wokidians aren’t even the nuttiest. They just ripped off the cargo cultists, the racists, and have some bizarre (and wrong) ideas about Africa and America and the entire rest of the world, come to think of it…

  2. I took a self-defense class at my private girls’ school. The other students didn’t want to be partnered with me, because “you’re very intense.” Note that I was a scholarship student, one who rode a bike to school daily and watched the ones who came in cars and big puffy coats* and would complain about how cold they were. I also had been in junior high when there was a spree killer who did a few shootings within a half-mile circle of my house, so I was well aware that Things Can Happen.

    *I wore basically my school uniform and gloves to ride, because a puffy coat would have been difficult to transport back every day. I do still have the school-branded sweatpants my parents got me…

  3. Well spoken and so very necessary to understand. Necessary.

    Not one example seemed harsh. Examples were ordinary life. Real life. Anyone who has traveled, lived elsewhere, and paid attention, and returned to tell about it understands this essay.

    The world is a barbaric place. America used to be a shining gemstone of loveliness compared to most of the world. The fact that it’s not anymore isn’t passing unnoticed: the ammunition line at Cabela’s yesterday was a couple hundred strong. People’s moods reflected what’s happening in the nation.

    1. they had ammo? last time in the one nearest here, they had some 12ga, and most of that very high end (those ultra heavy turkey loads and goose shot), and high-end oddball ammo (6 and 6.5 Norma or Creedmore, one box of 25-’06. I was stunned to see .45 bullets in 185 grain and a bag of brass. Otherwise, bare shelves.

        1. I finally decided to comment after lurking for months.

          I’m going to have to get a copy of that book for a co-worker. I work with a young lady who had never left the province growing up in a nice part of the city. She’s only a few years older than my daughters. A couple years back she was talking about taking 3 weeks and going someplace exotic. She’s 5’6″ skinny and blonde, and a friend of gers suggested they backpack across Morroco. I had to point out that the month before 2 young girls had tried the same thing, been upducted, gang raped and murdered on live stream by locals.

          She had no idea, Doesn’t watch news or read any current events. Briliant engineer but not wordly at all.

      1. Sportsman’s Warehouse (AKA not-Cabellas) has been getting exotic-to-me Remington and Winchester short magnum loads, and some shotgun loads. The last time I looked, they actually had 12 ga as opposed to 16 and 28 like a few months ago.

        1. 12, 20, and 28 are out there, as is 32 of all things. 12 online tends to be target and bird then the higher priced stuff that never went away, and that stubby 1¾ stuff ( rather cheap too). .410, 16, and iirc 14 even was all high price/rnd Rifle is high, and commons tend towards Wolf/Tula/Red Army steel case or reloads. Small Rifle primers were $499/1000!

              1. For those unfamiliar with reloading, there are four basic primer types for centerfire rifles and handgun ammunition: small pistol, small rifle, large pistol, and large rifle. And yes there are variations of those, but to keep it simple and add perspective as recent as a year ago I could buy any of the standard primers for three cents a piece in bulk.
                I really should have invested heavily in semi precious metals: brass, lead, and primers.

                1. My last car had a bumper sticker: “Invest in Precious Metals – Brass, Lead, and Cold Blue Steel”

            1. Yep. they’ve hit the point where they last a day or two, now before someone bites. When they hovered around the $229-$249 price range it was hours or less and they went away. One day some small rifles showed at $349 and were on ammoseek for most of the day.
              Midway USA still has .50BMG primers at near the normal price, $299/500
              iirc they used to run (like early last year) $249-$279 depending on who made ’em.

      2. .25-06 shooters are typically either stocked up or handloaders. The cartridge has been “obsolete, will soon be discontinued” for, oh, 75 years now…

        The .25-06 never had the renaissance the .45-70 or .416 Rigby did; it just never quite died out, with a small but reliable fan base that has kept it going despite regular announcements of its imminent demise.

        1. 25-.06 is a pretty darned good deer rifle cartridge, but an absolute crap hog cartridge. Handloads that reach over 3000fps take deer reliably over 200yds with even halfway decent shot placement. Given that, I think it’s most often used by hunters, and a good hunter will hold on to his preferred rifle and caliber until it is pried from his dead, frozen fingers or passed on to his chosen apprentice when his eyes get too bad for it.

          The day 25-.06 officially retires is the day small presses and handloaders start charging for the pleasure of their services. They are ready. They are waiting. And I’d bet the big four know it, too.

          1. That’d be the .257 Roberts, a.k.a. .25×57, which *has* been discontinued by all major ammo makers a couple of times since the turn of the century. Then quietly brought back.

            There are a handful of other .25s, but all of them together probably don’t sell as much as the Roberts, much less the .25-06.

            The fans don’t care, they just stroke their beards, snap their suspenders, and go out to fill their tags for the season…

        1. https://ammoseek.com/ammo/45acp
          the steel case is dropping off again and Brass is back but still lurking under $1/round.
          Some is reman and some is new brass but those who are selling reman making it, at the lowest prices, but names brands are starting to show back up. Between the 6th and the inaug, even Wolf was over $1/ but it crept back down to .80-ish and up not long after. I see Lucky Gunner finally has .45 at .98 and $100/ but boxes of 50, not bulk.
          Some of the places are not holding up well to the loads. Others are doing well enough but any issues can quickly get lost in the rush and tempers are a bit tetchy.

    1. Yes. Can you imagine trying to impress this upon the gum smacking thumb dancing 20-something?

      1. Oh, you’re such an optimist. Those folk are more likely to accuse you of micro-aggression against them or denounce you as racist.

        1. You know, I’m so tired of realizing how long it’ll take to implement practical memetic networks. Instead of waiting until then, perhaps I’ll leak some technically peripheral ideas about political warfare. First, this mewling concept of “microaggressions.” Fight back in kind!

          “Wait, did you just falsely claim that I’m a racist? That’s a viciously offensive microaggression! You need to stop IMMEDIATELY. I can have you arrested for stalking, harassment, and conspiracy to violate my civil rights. Oh, so NOW you’re claiming that truth and reality depend on your skin color and personal perceptions. That’s a truly nasty bit of microaggression right there against my fundamental human right to know what is true and real, completely independent of the arrogant crap floating around in your pointy little head. You’re a creepy stinker who needs to be violently arrested and thrown into prison before you harm any more innocent folks with your viciously anti-human blathering.”

          You get the idea. “‘Black lives matter’ … really? White lives don’t matter? **** you, vermin!” Turn around absolutely every rotten little bit of propaganda on the enemy. Go on the offensive in every possible way, including civil lawsuits and criminal charges. To borrow an oddly appealing exclamation from our dear Mrs. Hoyt … “Arrrooo!!!”

          1. Black Lives Matter!

            Because they do!
            Do black children’s lives matter?
            Of course they do! What kind of a racist question is that?
            Then how come so many of them are aborted?

            Oh yeah. I aim to misbehave.

            1. You totally should create a meme out of your idea. In the first panel, the words “Black Lives Matter” appear over a relevant image — possibly a Marxist-themed logo or flag or else a picture of BLM marchers/rioters. In the second panel, the words “except when they’re aborted by the millions” or similar words appear over an image of a fetus/unborn baby/whatever. Add punctuation and adjust capitalization as appropriate for style. Keep it simple for maximum impact. ^_^

          2. I’ve gone back to using the adult female honorific (old enough now that it could be honesty, these days). If they cannot figure out “my pronouns” from that, that’s their problem. Not that my sex is anyone’s business but my husband’s

  4. Similarly many of the traits that make a middle class city dweller successful do not help them break into the upper class, survive in the lower class, or even be accepted in a rural middle class environment.

    This is one of the longest recurring themes in American culture, probably related to the blended origins of our society. On stage from Abie’s Irish Rose, on the comics pages with Maggie & JIggs Bringing Up Father and in film (It Happened One ight) and television (The Beverly Hillbillies) the butting of culture and class is a long-standing fount of American life.

    1. “Similarly many of the traits that make a middle class city dweller successful do not help them break into the upper class, survive in the lower class, or even be accepted in a rural middle class environment.”

      This is why I can’t or won’t say that I was gender/sexually harassed when I worked at the first district for the USFS. Sure. Anyone over hearing the harassment would presume that. Rightfully so. BUT. It wasn’t not really. Verbally the means, yes. Not the point. It also wasn’t because I was a coed wet behind the ears college school of Forestry sophomore. How could it be when one of their own, coed, had a scholarship to the same school of Forestry the next school year as an incoming Freshman. One of their own is the key. I was not a local. I was not them.

    2. Also the Green Acres/Petticoat Junction arc. From, of course, the New Yorker perspective of, ‘Oh, those rubes . . .”.

  5. Fascinating treatment that clarifies matters about which most people rarely think. I think we’ve all noticed the strange arrogance of the great majority of so-called “feminists” about such unspoken rules across cultures — especially with their ridiculous but incessant whining about a nonexistent “rape culture” in the United States of America.

    BTW, I have a tiny question that arguably veers sharply off track. What is this “last novel” about Huckleberry Finn? I wasn’t aware that Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain) had ever worked on more than the one: “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” Or perhaps the author of this essay is counting “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” as the first “Huck” novel?


    1. There are at least four published books telling of the adventures of Tom & Huck. Per Wiki:

      Thomas Sawyer is the title character of the Mark Twain novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876). He appears in three other novels by Twain: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), Tom Sawyer Abroad (1894), and Tom Sawyer, Detective (1896).

      Sawyer also appears in at least three unfinished Twain works, Huck and Tom Among the Indians, Schoolhouse Hill and Tom Sawyer’s Conspiracy. While all three uncompleted works were posthumously published, only Tom Sawyer’s Conspiracy has a complete plot, as Twain abandoned the other two works after finishing only a few chapters.

      Schoolhouse Hill is a mere 15K word fragment and was one of three attempts at the story, the others being The Chronicle of Young Satan (55K words) and The Mysterious Stranger (65K words).

      1. Oh, brother. Now that you mention it, I vaguely recall having read both “Tom Sawyer Abroad” (1894) and “Tom Sawyer, Detective” (1896) many years ago. Of course Huck would have appeared in both. I seem to recollect balloons and Egyptian pyramids and whatnot.

        Should have at least looked at the Wikipedia entry — not sure why that standard go-to didn’t occur to me this time around. Perhaps a memory of unreliability with hot-button topics such an old-time author who habitually made free with the words “n*****s” and “Injuns” and whatnot? I almost never consult Wikipedia these days for any remotely political topic — no point in these raw days of far-leftist control of Wikipedia and “Cancel Culture.”

      1. So it would seem. As an amusing aside thought, one might speculate on whether the far future will see an adventurous writer working with a superbright A.I. to rewrite the unfinished novel in a manner consistent with how the original author would have handled it had he hypothetically managed to gather his ideas into a coherent vision for a completed work. Perhaps by then, the madness of the Grundies (aka gaggles of Mrs. Grundy clones) will have subsided, and all the original words will strut their stuff for historians and the probably very few other readers interested in such impossibly old-fashioned literature. 🙂

    2. Imgot a begging letter from NOW once. I responded by telling them I’d have a lot more respect for them if they worked to end human trafficking and female genital mutilation.

      I never heard from them again.

  6. There are more and more occasions where you don’t have to go along to get along, instead where you might just have to go along to stay alive.

    Would you raise your fist on demand in a NYC or D.C. restaurant when everybody else does? Me, I’ll readily admit, it depends.

      1. Your choice.

        I’m not at all likely to be in a D.C. or NYC restaurant either, but if I were, with family, maybe a little old lady at the table as well, the 7 or 11 gentlemen demanding raised fist, beer mugs, broken bottles in hand… me, it depends.

        1. They brought beer mugs and broken bottles to a gun fight. Interesting choice.

          (And yes, I would be carrying, More and more I just flat out don’t go places that are Criminal Protection Zones, certainly not commercial establishments. Fortunately these days most government agencies have online services the allow me to avoid CPZs. And when I do have to enter one, I minimize my time there. It also means I will never be anywhere in DC, NYFC, or other centers of barbarism).

    1. It is to be regretted that I know from repeated personal experience that I’ll almost invariably respond to attempted bullying by telling the thugs to **** off and **** themselves where the sun don’t shine. Most non-fast-food restaurants have cutlery, too, all set out on the table within easy reach …and chairs that can be picked up and violently smashed down over a head … just saying. -_-

    2. Violates the rules. I.e.
      “Don’t go stupid places. Don’t hang out with stupid people. Don’t do stupid things.”
      Avoid crowds.

      That said, sometimes you may need to go to enemy territory, as it were. Sometimes you have innocents in your care that you are honor bound to protect (that’s innocents not idiots, mind. The latter can take care of themselves). In such cases where you find yourself in a mob, you don’t stand out like an idiot.

      Sure if you are armed you could take down a few. Depending on setting, you could even escape. But remember. The enemy gets a vote, too. The goal is not to kill idiots. That would take forever, and there will *always* be more. The goal is to get done what needs doing and get back to home base.

      Combat is what happens when you have failed at all the other means. This does not mean “never engage in combat,” it means winning without bloodying your fists, as it were, is the better option when it exists. The enemy always gets a vote.

      1. That would take forever, and there will *always* be more.

        There will always be more, but you can thin them out so long as you outpace the idiot spawnrate.

        1. Duration is key. If you thin out, say, 5-9 idiots then get swept up and stuck in legal for months or years, that reduces your rate of loss of idiots locally and globally. Best case long term?

          Make the stupid uncomfortable. If being stupid carries a price tag, it becomes less attractive. Right now, stupid is encouraged and *funded.* That absolutely guarantees more stupid will be drawn to it, and more stupids will be born because it becomes popular.

          For maximum pain, turn off the welfare taps for stupid. Tough to pull off, but *man* would that be satisfying- and effective. Private groups- think Christian charities, the non-woke kind- don’t merrily hand out cash and canned food to people that have no desire to do anything more than sit on the couch and collect free money for weed and junk food.

          Outpacing the idiot spawn rate without creating an environment *less catering to their kind* is impossible. Think about if zombies could procreate with each other. There aren’t enough bullets in the *world,* man.

      2. I would point out that the progressive left seems bound and determined to turn everywhere into stupid places. And believe in their heart of hearts that once they redefine self defense into unarmed submission (except for them and their operatives of course) things will be ever so much better and more peaceful.
        Just look to the former Great Britain as the poster child for civilian disarmament. Firearms are right out, and have now focused on heavily restriction of knives. Expect clubs and rocks to follow shortly thereafter.

  7. It’s mentioned as an incomplete novel.

    I don’t remember any Comanches (or members of any other tribes) in Huck Finn, so the scene described might be from an unpublished and incomplete novel.

  8. This also has a lot to do with Trump’s success at bargaining with the Middle East. We are used to the rules for Europe but those don’t work with the Middle East. Trump understood that coming from a place of power works better than being polite and a gentleman.

    1. We are used to the rules for Europe but those don’t work with the Middle East.

      To be honest, they don’t seem to much work in Europe.

    2. Can’t offhand find the cite but there’s a dictum in Islam to the effect of “When strong, attack. When weak, negotiate.”

        1. Chapter 1:

          18 All warfare is based on deception.

          19 Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.

          Rather famous passage. Your instincts are correct.

        2. No, the one I’m thinking of is definitely from Islam. Basic cultural background type thing. Not that it’s an exclusive concept.

          1. No. But since Sun Tsu was from about 550 to 500 BC, whereas Mohammed was about 570 to 632 AD it seems likely Mohammad rediscovered the concept on his own, or somehow came across a portion of Sun Tsu’s philosophy of war. I don’t think the Art of War spread very far prior to 1200 AD; and Mohammed wasn’t reported to be that big of a scholar.

      1. I don’t know of a specific aphorism, but that’s the concept of hudna. If you’re losing, sue for peace. Once you’ve built up your forces, attack again.

    3. I wonder if The China Joe Muppet Show openly demonstrating utter contempt, disdain and neglect for the US relationship with Israel while sucking up to Iran will drive the Saudis to go ahead and sign a peace deal with Israel.

      I understand President Trump and Jared Kushner came this close to getting the Saudis officially on board (the Saudis have been cooperating with Israel unofficially for a long time), and if DJT had not “lost” I bet the House of Saud would have announced joining the Abraham Accords before the end of last year. But now that they can clearly see how China Joe is taking sides against them with the mullahs, so a public deal with Israel might be a way to both connect with a strong ally and poke 篡位 扒殿周 in the eye.

      1. Or we find out if the rumors about how fast the House of Saud can become a nuclear power are true.

        1. Embrace the power of AND.

          A nuclear power bloc of Israel and Saudi Arabia against nuclear Iran. Talk about a metastable diplomatic environment. Thanks, China Joe.

      2. CAUTIONI: Disney+ has determined the Muppet Show to be problematic and possibly unsuited to unaccompanied children. Your use of it to describe the current administration may qualify as a Hate Crime and result in loss of privileges at some future date.

        You Have Been Warned!

        1. ‘ve heard it too many times to ignore it
          It’s some place that I’m supposed to be
          Someday we’ll find it
          The rainbow connection
          The lovers, the dreamers and me.

          Disney can bite me.

  9. When I was in university in Germany. the culture shock took a few days to set in (jet lag), but it certainly was there. Things looked sort of familiar, but weren’t. Behavior codes were . . . different again, and in ways I didn’t suss out until years later. I ended up being shunned to the point of complete isolation because I had to leave a party (that I hadn’t wanted to attend) after an allergic reaction. Leaving early without a “good reason” but after trying the food was seen as beyond the pale by enough of my fellow dorm residents that I was a non-entity for the rest of the term.

    Being in most of Europe and not drinking alcohol is another way to attract attention, not always positive. It helps to look very sad and lament that “my [idiot/unreasonable/terrible] doctor says I can’t.”

  10. The adjustment to cultural difference is even harder when certain cultures believe things that just aren’t so, such as that a 110 pound woman can defeat a 200 pound man in a fight.

    The feminist position on historical (and current) cultures is really warped by their refusal to acknowledge the reasons for cultural practices in the treatment of women. I also sometimes wonder whether there are some slight genetic tendency differences too. Northern European cultures have had more equality between the sexes than most other equivalent cultures going back a long time. That would be awfully hard to determine though, I suppose.

    1. Although the influence of Christianity was competing with remnants of Greek and Roman culture on the one hand, and Germanic tribal culture on the other, one may observe in the New Testament that Jesus was remarkably favorable toward women, compared to other men of the period. Followers such as Paul began to adopt this attitude, although the European record is decidedly mixed. In contrast, Mohammed seems to have been more of an old-school “women belong to their fathers/husbands and are more property than people.”

      1. My father tried that “argument” that women stayed with their father until they were handed over to their husbands. Unfortunately my poor father had a weaker will than his daughters and his wife. It is a tough lesson when the wife is competing with the daughters… the man learns that it is better to let his daughters feel the nest. haha

      2. Erm… If he was a real person, he was worse than that. First, because his first wife Khadijah had all the money and the business, and he was essentially her boy toy VP after her first husband died. No businesses for women, quoth Mohammed after she was safely dead.

        Second, because not only can you have as many wives as you want (if you’re the Prophet, because al-Lah says so), and not only did he encourage sex slaves, and not only did he decide that adoption was forbidden for everyone so that he could sleep with his adopted son’s wife…. He also made it a rule that a man’s illegitimate kids were not his biological kids in a legal sense, so it was okay for men to sleep with their illegitimate daughters, granddaughters, etc. Sex slave kids weren’t their kids, raped women’s kids weren’t their kids, adulterous affair kids weren’t their kids.

        Mind you, this isn’t a “permission” that most Muslim men want to use. (Even Iran really has a lot of Persian ideas about marriage and monogamy, so a lot of Sharia law on marriage grosses them out.) But it’s in Sharia law. Yay.

        Oh, yeah, and pedophilia for both sexes is okay too, because Mohammed did it! Totally fine!

        1. I certainly don’t dispute that Islamic culture has its toxic elements. Then again, Western secular culture has *its* toxic elements too. The hedonistic “free-love and drugs” lifestyle that gets a wink and a nod from the so-called elites and powers-that-be and is only deplorable if one is fool enough to get caught in public doesn’t impress me as any better.

          1. Try again. One says YOU SHALL BE THIS WAY (Islam) the other says we don’t care if you are that way (Western secular culture). Islam “Kill Homo’s”, “It is alright to rape infidels”, “Slaves for Sale”.
            NO, there is NO Comparison between Islam TODAY and Western Civilization, however decadent.
            Islam wants to control EVERYTHING and EVERYBODY and will KILL you to get what they want.
            Islam is incompatible with Western Civilization, Islam wants to destroy Western Civilization and will never stop trying to do so. Western Civilization really doesn’t care about Islam (that also infuriates Islam).

            1. Islam is totally okay with drugs, too, unless you run afoul of the wrong people with the wrong drugs.

              The West has problems and hypocrisies. But the more one learns about Islam, the more one learns that their hypocrisies are the part that works, and the actual religion part is the problem. Most other religions are much more of a mixed bag.

            2. Try telling me that “cancel culture” isn’t a reflection of what Western secularism has become. Try telling me that the late unlamented Harvey Weinstein wasn’t just the tip of the iceberg of how Hollywood and New York publishing treat people. Tell me how much real freedom of dissenting opinion there is anymore in American academia. I’ll try not to laugh in your face. It appears to me that Western secularism is abandoning the things that made Western civilization admirable and successful, and becoming openly totalitarian with frightening speed I have suspicions that it is not entirely an accident that the left is so openly friendly to the bloodiest, most bigoted, most repressive regimes in the Middle East. If your object is to inhibit mobility, soft cotton rope works nearly as well as iron shackles.

      3. Just as the woman who was dating the biker didn’t understand that in MC culture of the 1%er variety, women are considered property (thus the shirts you see biker women wearing that say “property of _______”.

      4. The Sons and Daughters of Abraham and Sarah gave us ethical monotheism. Which means we every last one of us ultimately belong to The Supreme Being. Unmoved mover. Creator of the Universe.

        Rather puts a pall on notions of who women belong to.

        Credit where it’d due: This one is on the Jews.

        1. Well, I would say that the Jews didn’t invent ethical monotheism, it was given to them, but Christians got it from the Jews, (And Jesus was a Jew and constantly quoted the Torah in support of his teachings) so credit where credit is due.

          1. Yeah, well, speaking as a Jew I don’t see where that has helped our popularity in this world.

            Expectations for the next are not sufficiently confident as to hasten that journey.

            1. Eh. In a backwards sort of judge you by the quality of your enemies, I’d say the Jewish people are pretty alright. I mean, look at all the people that hate you! That’s some quality advertisement right there, innit?

              In all seriousness though, even if you *should* become sufficiently confident, some books I read say your life is not yours to, er, terminally hasten, as it were. So no skipping out before the party is all done.

            2. The Jews have received precious little thanks for their contributions to the world. Thanks instead of abuse is long overdue.

    2. A 110 lb woman struck even negligently by a 200 lb man, “oh, sorry, didn’t see you there” is going to feel it. A 200 lb man hit on purpose by that same 110 lb female might not notice it. There aren’t many 110 lb women to be found on construction sites and roughnecking in the oil industry.

      1. My first wife made that mistake only once. She got mad enough one day and hauled off and hit me as hard as she could.

        I got her back, right where it hurts… I laughed. I know I know, it was mean of me, but she had it coming, dancing around, bawling, holding her poor hand screaming at me about how much it hurt. I was less than a year out of Marine boot camp at the time. I was swol as the kids say… or is that “so last week”? She hit pretty hard for a girl her size, but I outweighed her by… well, a LOT… and I grew up pretty rough, so one (somewhat soft) punch to the chest wasn’t going to do much.

      2. There’s a video of Arnold Schwarzenegger (at a fitness event in South Africa, iirc) getting kicked in the back. In the video, he takes maybe a half-step forward. Later, he said he had no idea he’d been kicked. He’d thought it was just someone jostling him.

        Big, strong people don’t notice the unarmed attacks of smaller people.

        1. Once upon a time I was walking with a friend in New York City. Broad daylight, minding my own business. Some random older woman stiff-armed me, because I was in her way. And she fell flat on her back, even though I wasn’t paying any attention to her. Just me moving at a walking pace put her on her ass.

          That was the day I decided that New Yorkers were all insane, and all incompetent idiots. I’m sure exceptions exist, but generally that seems to be the thing with them.

  11. I have ordered that book. And while I may not get my girls (biological and adopted) to read it, I can try to pass along the lessons.

    1. I would really like my youngest (13) to read this, although I worry a little it might be too rough for her. She’s in the “why don’t we teach boys not to rape?”, and the “boys and girls are the same” camp. I worry about her and would love for her to find the truth without having to get hurt (she definitely won’t listen to me).

      1. This is something that worries me. Some people simply will not learn unless they, personally, are made to feel pain and then connect that pain to what actually caused it. The ones that do not fear fire until burned. That is a lot of human evil that will be absolutely needlessly created.

        In a lot of ways, and for a lot of people, it will get much, much worse before it gets any better.

        I’m sure the predators and criminal opportunists will be delighted in the mean time. There are folks out there working towards waking up the ones that can be saved. The ones that can escape and manage not to bring their ideology of oblivion with them are welcome on the side that values liberty and freedom, not the slavery of “equality.”

      2. Ask your daughter why we do not teach girls not to lie.

        Seriously, find her an activity where she cannot miss it. Co-ed sports and Math Club will wake her up, unless she is ‘way off on the far end of the bell curve.

  12. This applies to micro-cultures as well. My family culture was different from my church culture, which was different from school culture, which was different from job market culture, When I lived in Latin American culture, that was still different from anything in the United States. In my case, I didn’t fully assimilate to any of these. No matter where I went, I was something of an outsider. Because I have (often unconsciously) absorbed and internalized elements of all these and consciously rejected others, I may never properly “fit in” anywhere, even among other Odds and misfits. (Each of those who are Odd have their own unique variety of Oddness). This is one reason I have enjoyed science fiction and even particular authors within the SF field, because of their treatment of the alien. It’s also one reason I wound up in this place, about the time the Puppy Wars were raging, because the cultural values and themes evidently favored by the Powers in Publishing as reflected in the works they chose to publish no longer appealed to me.

  13. There are a variety of cultural blinders in effect. Your average middle class American can’t fathom how sheltered they really are, even when completely different, violent cultures exist in close proximity. They wander around in their little bubbles and consider the few interactions they have with such violence as unfortunate incidents, never realizing that it’s the daily life for many people, and that for some other cultures, violence is the normal, expected path of behavior. They’re taught a certain mode of behavior, especially politeness, and don’t realize that that behavior is seen as weakness and a sign of prey by those from more violent backgrounds, so when they encounter the violence, they will proclaim it “came from nowhere” because they missed a dozen signals that it was approaching.

    This is particularly difficult teaching females self-defense – middle and upper class backgrounds teach girls from a young age to be “nice”, not to make a scene, not to hurt someone’s feelings, certainly never to actually HURT someone. This often manifests as weak and/or submissive behavior, especially if raised in religions that emphasize women being subservient to men. Getting such young women to actually strike opponents requires getting them past that cultural conditioning, the same for getting them to actually pull the trigger on a firearm when facing a threat. Having modern culture pushing the concept that stressing situational awareness and risk mitigation is somehow “victim shaming” exacerbates the problem.

    The harsh reality is that for most of the world, and even for some cultures within the US, a woman on her own is seen as “fair game” for any male who decides to overpower her. If a man isn’t willing to step up and fight if needed, or is physically weak, any women associated with him will similarly be seen as prey. The veneer of civilization is very thin, and largely exists primarily in middle and upper class areas. Ask any cop about the differences in policing in different areas, an experienced cop knows which approach to take with different groups. There’s a reason they adopted the imagery of a thin blue line – it’s supposed to represent being the thin line holding back the forces of darkness to protect the average citizen (and cops I know get VERY frustrated when politics requires they stand back and let certain groups run wild, whether it be the rich and powerful, political groups, or certain demographics).

    1. Yeah, well, they had to choose between their oath and their paycheck.

      Their decision tells us what we need to know.

      They’re just another gang, except with uniforms and a pension plan.

      1. They’re just another gang, except with uniforms and a pension plan.

        A gang would be smart enough to back the side that might actually pay said pension.

    2. The battered women who consulted Theodore Dalrymple were safer with a batterer (and protector) than as a fair game for any man.

  14. It’s interesting. I’ve been to many different countries and the countries that I didn’t feel safe traveling by myself were Panama and the US. Even in South Africa, I was exotic enough with blonde hair and blue eyes that I was noticed… and in a way it kept me safe. However, as I have gotten older, I don’t travel in the US by myself except in my own city. I’ve becoming more paranoid. I’ve noticed that there are certain highways and byways that seem to have more people go missing than others. These same roadways seem to disappear one or two women of the age of 50 every year— (one is the freeway from Reno to Sacramento during the early fall and winter).

    Anyway, even when Otto and I traveled, we noticed that particularly Cali and Oregon that there were small towns that seemed to have turned dark. as in needles in the street, toothless and dirty residents who watch where you stay the night. It was creepy… usually small towns around small military bases.

    Oh and I was in Alabama with Otto once. I was treated like I was Otto’s property. I was smart enough to keep my mouth shut.

    1. You’re not wrong about that. There are a lot of suspected serial killer hunting grounds along highways, although some of it might be falling afoul of the cartels, or just general scum bandits.

      1. Also don’t take a lot of cash– we had one sheriff deputy using the cartel steal (saying you were transporting drugs) to steal cash from charities that used the highways to move the money. He was finally caught and put in prison, but he operated for a decade before someone sued him… and then criminal actions were brought against him.

      2. Many of these disappearances have the same details. For instance, there is an exit from Reno going East (same freeway other direction) where every two years an abandoned car will be found there. They will find the information of who owns the car with the registration, but there car is clean and no people. The people are never found.

        1. I’ve mentioned it before. 2010 we took I-5 south through the Grapevine, then cut east across the upper flank of Shasta to Eastern CA. Headed to the northeast high country Yosemite entrance. At dusk, at a long pullout (>42 feet, because truck towing trailer), where forest was flat with thin underbrush, we pulled over so I could take our 4 year old English Toy Spaniel out. I had a flashlight. Wasn’t super dark yet. But when it hits, it hits suddenly. So Taylor and I are 60 or so feet from the truck and trailer, when a state SUV patrol vehicle pulls in behind the trailer. Hubby had just come out of the trailer, because he’d gotten Taylor setup for water after getting new Pepsi refills for us in the truck. So he waited for the officer.

          Why did the patrol officer pull over? To check on the rig stopped on that stretch of the highway. He then discussed with hubby about how dangerous it was to stop on that section of that highway. For anyone. But especially for the young, older couples. It was suggested, strongly that we hurry up. (One of the reasons I keep water container and cup in the cab now for Pepper. Still might have to stop, but we weren’t getting in/out of the trailer. Pepper is also trained to go potty on command so the need to stop on any-stretch-of-a-road is lessened.) We never thought about it. We both had worked in the woods. Even that work has changed now.

          When we were working there were times, at least the crews I was on, that you were on the way to the work area, walked in for hour or two, on barely marked proposed road, only to turn around and walk right back out, before reaching work area destination, because of illegal grows, or old labs (not working labs, that would imply someone was there, we’d likely not get a chance to walk back out). While by 2010 neither of us had worked in the woods for at least 30 years, we’d heard the tales, how most timber employees went armed in the woods. A lot of government timber (permanent, not that there were many seasonal anymore) employees were deputized so they legally could open carry when in the woods on duty. Not that they were expected to do any enforcement work. The years I worked at the first district, the crew leads would occasionally carry back then. Supposedly because of “wildlife”. It wasn’t legal for them to do so; not then.

          The officer waited for us to get back on the road. Followed us until we were out of the danger area. It was nerve racking.

          I suspect the route is still dangerous. Sure the illegal grows may or may not be occurring now, because why, since they can legally grow now. But still a drug trafficking corridor. That hasn’t changed. Reasons for people disappearing hasn’t disappeared. Not all were related to illegal grows.

          1. North Alabama is different than points south of Montgomery. North hs industry and research (Redstone Arsenal, Marshall Space Flight Center, Space Camp), while south is the timber belt, where education and employment are lower (and the state Constitution was originally crafted to make sure the people on top stayed that way).

  15. It is shocking to learn that United States cultural norms are not the same all the way around the world.
    In the United States life is cherished and preserved.
    In Asia human life has very little value. Save the chicken but not the little boy.
    In the Middle East human life of females has very little value.
    These are just from my personal experience and observations. I can’t speak about other cultures, Africa, Eastern Europe, etc.
    So please be observant when you are traveling outside of the United States safety zone.

    1. Yeah, saying Moslems treat women like cattle is derogatory. They’d never treat cows that bad.

        1. Muslims are said to have invented the prophylactic by using sheep’s intestines.
          The British then improved on the idea by removing the intestine from the sheep first.

  16. Some valuable advice. And equally valuable for those of us on our side when we must venture amongst the new, sophisticated savages in blue areas.

    I still remember the dawning horror I felt when I said to a newly-graduated Bernie supporter “Tax the rich and the rich, will leave, then YOU’ll be ‘the rich’ and have to share your car/apartment/refrigerator with anyone who has less.”

    The Bernie bro was just fine with that.

    There’s no anticipation of owning anything of their own. Property? Not even on their radar. Perpetual renting? Owning nothing and being happy? That’s a sweet deal.

    Living in a pod and eating bugs? For a lot of urbanites, that’d be a step UP.

    And should you need to walk amongst them, keep your head down and your privilege checked, and you may need to take a punch or two. The social cost to defending yourself isn’t worth it.

    1. The Bernie bro was just fine with that.

      Yeah…. Some of them might really believe they’d be fine with it, many may not think they’ll ever be called on it (either because their policies will make everything good for everybody, or because they’ll never get enough implemented), and regardless they have to say they’re fine with sharing all their stuff and horrified at the idea of anybody getting paid less than they are, or they’re Selfish.

      1. You have to personalize it. “And then I decide to leave for another job, and I take your gaming console and gaming chair with me.” Alternately, “I take your puppy because I love him more.”

        Ohoho, suddenly they like property.

        1. Oh, too, they have this genius distinction between personal and private property, where private property is anything a person or business can “exploit” or use to exploit others, like an apartment building or mineral rights, and personal property is anything they figure the people they’re trying to fool might have and want to keep for themselves, like a toothbrush or smartphone.

              1. Well, certain politicians. Until they tire of you. Mme Guillotine is always thirsty for blood, you see. And when the Right folk are few, a Democrat will do.

      2. Yet if you take something from the Bernie bro, he’ll utterly blow up. HOW DARE YOU. Um, for someone who wants no property, you’re awfully possessive…

        1. When “There is no private property” really means “I can take your stuff” there are a lot of folks who will sign right up.

          Marxism: The Religion of Envy.

          1. What is yours, is mine, anytime I want. What is mine is mine, how dare you insist I share.

            They have an absolute meltdown when you take something of theirs to distribute. Then meltdown more when you point out “Duh. Rights matter. Even Property Rights.”

    2. It’s always worth it.
      Their ideas are out of order. THEY take a few punches until they rearrange.
      Also it’s bullshit, btw. THEY DO EXPECT TO OWN THINGS. They expect to be in charge. THey just pretend.

      Shutting up and keeping our heads down is how we got here. Bringing them in contact with reality SHARPLY is how we get out.

      1. Exactly. If you don’t say anything they assume they’ve won and that they’re right. I did have to explain several times to classes that “personal property” i.e. your precious iPhone, and “private property” were one and the same. They really didn’t get it. When it did get through to a few of them…massive light bulb. That’s how I know I changed some world views.

  17. Been a while since I started an argument.

    If one’s home culture is something of value purely because it is the home culture*, then what am I to do with complaints of the form “American businesses / culture / language is replacing my own and I don’t like it!”?

    * because someone will inevitably go there: I am not talking about cultural relativism. This is about “ew, McDonalds!” not burning widows, comprende?

    1. Back when, Dr. Demento played a tune “My Stereo Comes From Japan” by Darryl Cherney & The Chernettes. The singer goes on about how all his stereo gear is from Japan… and then thinks about the “Japanese man”… who has a Coke at McDonald’s and listens to the Beach Boys, etc.

    2. I’m fine with”Ew. McDonalds” even though I quite like McDonald’s because they brought humane killing to the beef industry. And because of their programme of *we’re your first foot on the ladder for useless potential welfare lay abouts*, by which I mean teenagers (The food mostly sucks, mind you). I live in “Ew. McDonald’s”. We successfully beat back a land grab regulation by the City Dewberries (entitled wankers) because that went hand on hand with the hatin’ on the franchise.

      If it’s yours, you should keep it. Change what you want, but not because someone sticks a knife at your kid’s throat to force you. If that culture is total garbage, you’ll end yourself. Cultural success is an *anomaly*. We live in an entropic universe.

      (And yes, as long as the U.S. is rich enough to keep the parasite class in glad rags, the previous paragraph is pure unicorn fart level wish-fulfilment.)

    3. If you don’t like McDonald’s coming in to your culture/city/region/country, perhaps a word to the franchisee in your town who opened that McD’s. S/he may disagree with you. Time will tell whether that McDs is successful I’ve never seen any McD employee forcing customers in the door at gunpoint, I’m going with if it’s popular it will survive and become a part of the scene, if not, it will go out of business. McDs is extremely flexible when it comes to local dietary restrictions. They work with franchisees to generate a locally acceptable menu.

      I know this is more detailed about McDs than your broader comment, but I think it stands. As Orvan noted, the importation of culture and ideas goes both ways. Additions to culture in this day and age happen because the host culture *accepts* alterations and changes. Note, I am not including abrupt cultural change/destruction via an invading force (like Mongols or Huns), and even there, the local culture flowed through and around the invading culture.

      Ideas are also a part of culture and they’re even more difficult to keep out. It’s been tried and failed.

      1. I’ve always gone with the “culture is just what all the individuals are doing” position in response to such complaints…. but that no longer holds if culture is a thing in and of itself, and one so important that damaging it wipes out individuals.

      2. History Channel is running Season 2 of it’s Food That Built America series; a recent episode covered the competition between McDonald’s and Burger King for burger supremacy. I noted one of the talking heads was author of a book with the interesting title: Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America
        “From civil rights to Ferguson, Franchise reveals the untold history of how fast food became one of the greatest generators of black wealth in America.
        “Often blamed for the rising rates of obesity and diabetes among black Americans, fast food restaurants like McDonald’s have long symbolized capitalism’s villainous effects on our nation’s most vulnerable communities. But how did fast food restaurants so thoroughly saturate black neighborhoods in the first place? In Franchise, acclaimed historian Marcia Chatelain uncovers a surprising history of cooperation among fast food companies, black capitalists, and civil rights leaders, who―in the troubled years after King’s assassination―believed they found an economic answer to the problem of racial inequality. With the discourse of social welfare all but evaporated, federal programs under presidents Johnson and Nixon promoted a new vision for racial justice: that the franchising of fast food restaurants, by black citizens in their own neighborhoods, could finally improve the quality of black life. Synthesizing years of research, Franchise tells a troubling success story of an industry that blossomed the very moment a freedom movement began to wither.”

        Great title, tells you exactly why the book is worth your interest and why certain sectors of society despise McDonald’s.

  18. Your stories do show how some of this can be invisible to people who act more “traditionally.” If the girl was hanging with the biker and wasn’t under the illusion that it was okay to hit the man for talking (which would be pretty standard manners for most American women in the past), she wouldn’t be aware that getting backhanded for such a thing was even a possibility. (Although I’m sure she’d eventually discover other ugly behaviors.)

    The Saudi thing — well, taking a sex slave who’s not Muslim, or killing the sex slave, is not really against Sharia law. And doing whatever you want to somebody who’s not a member of your tribe — also not against tribal law. The only thing that would have made it iffy was formal hospitality (and frankly, Sharia law doesn’t seem to believe in formal hospitality and sanctuary for guests, even if the tribes sometimes do). But her friend taking on the role of her guardian? That made it different. They had ties to her friend.

    1. That’s why the surge worked in Iraq: The US coopted the people with some power who had ties to the people who were doing the actual fighting out west. In a low-trust relationship-based society, that’s the schwerpunkt.

      For a solid dissertation on high-trust vs. low-trust societies (re)read Centurion.

  19. Spent a year in Saudi. Don’t let anyone tell you that women are Second class citizens in Saudi, they don’t rate that high. The son sits in the cab of the truck with his father, the wives and girls ride in the bed.

    Todays Victorian Feminism. Young women after one drink are NOT responsible for their actions, the Men with them no matter what are 100% responsible. Women going to a Party (Frat or not) and getting drunk at the party. Then complaining that they went with some guy back to his bed. How stupid is that?? What young woman doesn’t KNOW that getting DRUNK at a party will get her *&*&Ked??? I mean there are movies from the 50’s about that. Yet those women are NOT responsible. They are not responsible for their OWN actions. It is NEVER the WOMAN’s fault. So back to the Victorian Age when women were the responsibility of some Man, who protected them from their OWN irresponsible actions because they could not be trusted to be act responsibly. I am waiting for the Women that argues that because of the Drink she had a lunch the contract she signed after that is void because she was not responsible because the other party got her drinking at lunch.
    Victorian Feminism – Going forward into the PAST.

    1. I’ve never understood why people fall for the New Fecklessness. It’s designed for predators to take advantage, and for nice guys to get in trouble for what the predators do, and for women to be freely victimized or taken advantage of — but then to take it out on every other guy, forever.

      The one I love is when girls start calling the guy they live with and have had kids with, who will never marry them, their “fiance.” You may wish he was your fiance, but he’d have already married you if he was going to. (I know some exceptions to the rule, but only one or two.)

      1. The one exception to that included the couple quietly sneaking to the courthouse with witnesses and registering a common-law marriage. (The man’s ex wife was . . . psychotic, and threatened to do horrible things to herself and any of their kids that she could catch, if he dared to remarry, because he was HERS. I heard the story from his middle daughter.)

          1. I recall the story (true? who knows…) about the fellow who couldn’t get his wife to the USA from post-war Germany as there were NO RECORDS… finally telling someone, “We couldn’t risk going to anyone and simply declared it to G*d on our own.” AND being met with the reply, “If you had only TOLD US!” And suddenly… Things Happened.

    2. Yep– and they don’t see it. My experience is that most of the young women of my acquaintance should have had keepers. I didn’t need one because for some reason I had “awareness” and responsibility.

  20. I don’t want to live under those rules. How to work against that is something I don’t know.

    1. Spreading the Gospel is a darned good way to change the rules. But it does take some time.

      A lot of people around the world are seeing that there are better ways to think and to act.

      1. You are right. Thank you for reminding me.

        “A lot of people around the world are seeing that there are better ways to think and to act.” I think the contrasts are growing greater as well.

          1. Banshee.

            If anyone wanted to raise vast sums for charity, they’d find the people responsible for creating cannot-turn-off auto-correct and offer to put them in the stocks. $1K per throw of rotten veg.

            1. The spammers. Get the spammers next. I don’ t mean the worker drones that just need a job. I mean the idea guys, the marketing guys, the management. Anybody who had a hand in thinking up and perpetuating that nonsense needs a good squishy tomato to the face.

              1. Do the phone spammers first. Maybe a gofundme to hunt them down? I’d contribute to that – even subscribe.

                And yes, I’m talking about the money people, not the boiler room leaf-node American workers that John F-ing Kerry thinks should just go get “green jobs”, apparently at the solar panel plants in Nanjing.

      2. This. There are good and proven ways to live right and gain comfort and happiness. They require sacrifice, but in many ways it is far, far less than what is sacrificed daily to the Wokidian Intersectionalists.

  21. I grew up with a police father and tended to be around other police officers, fire fighters, and the like. Where I lived was fairly white bread, very nice, not a true suburb but definitely not in the “big city,” per se. And, I know that my family did their best to not let me become a victim.

    I heard enough stories from my Dad, and his friends to know how bad it can be.
    I was a bullied kid up until high school.
    I had issues growing up-what would later be diagnosed as ADD, had to do speech and hearing therapy, a temper (still do, even if it’s aimed inside far too often), always being “weird” to people, etc, etc, etc.
    I was a voracious reader, and I had read enough history to know that people do things differently in far too many places for good reasons…for those times and places.

    So, every time I see far too many people (often white, often middle- or upper-middle-class, often never had truly been hungry overnight) thinking all of these stupid things I just want to slap them so hard upside the head with a stick. Or thinking that they are guilty for all of the world’s mistakes.

    God, sometimes I wish therapeutic waterboarding was a thing.

  22. Trying to get even some of this across to a couple nieces and nephews has made me the family racist. And I didn’t even get really serious about details. My ex husband is not the only person I know who has done time in Saudi Arabia. The “civilized” part. And I flat know that he left stuff out.

  23. I don’t think “Why would I care?” is necessarily cultural, since in any culture, the sort of person who commits crimes is likely to not care.

    1. I had a similar thought. It may have been different in person, but from the excerpt here, it seemed that the instructor was roleplaying as someone repulsive to him when he made that comment.

      Although even with that context, there might still be a bit of a cultural clash there. We do tend to think that most criminals aren’t murderers. Even those who have thrown off some of society’s taboos still hold to that ultimate one that says you don’t take a life. This may be a view that, once you have thrown off being “one of the law abiding,” there’s absolutely no reason not to violate every other one.

      1. I took the instructor’s statements as indicating the mindset of such people was beyond him. He didn’t dey they existed but had no interest in occupying their headspace for even a moment.

        1. Hmm? He showed an excellent grasp of their character: they simply do not care. In particular, they can freely apply moral considerations to other people’s actions, especially to them, but the idea that those considerations apply to them is simply gibberish.

      2. I tend to think that all violent criminals are making no particular effort to see to it that they do not kill the victim.

        1. Violent criminals have made the choice to consider their crimes more important than somebody’s life. Defending yourself against violent criminals simply means that you consider your life more important than their crimes.

    1. UK badgers are not US badgers, either.
      But yeah. Some (okay most of the legal ones) of us immigrants also came here to be Americans. Doesn’t mean we should open the borders as the halfwit is doing.

      1. Miss Hoyt, you are an American born on foreign soil. There are those out there- some of the Hong Kong protesters, for example- that we absolutely *should* steal. Peter Grant, for another.

        There exist people out there in the world that help make our country *better.* Freedom loving Cubans that fled Castro. Asylum seekers fleeing the heavy fists of the Soviet empire, and came here to become Americans.

        As I’ve said in the past, America the Beautiful also has a voracious hunger for other cultures. She swallows them whole and keeps the good bits, the food, the clothes, the music and such, and spits back the old nasty racist bullcrap. The folks that come here to become Americans are Americans in the truest sense. In their hearts and souls.

        Those coming here for a handout and free sheep can turn around and head right the fork back. We don’t need any more parasites. Got too many already, all full up. If as temporary dictator of the US, I could cut a deal with Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea, China, and the rest, I would trade them ten to one for their political dissidents that simply wanted to live free. Ten democrats for one free soul.

        I think it’d be a fantastic deal.

        1. A pair of European badgers have a significant role in C.S. Lewis’, “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.” So nyone who’s read that sees the nice badgers.

          1. Brian Jacques should have been receiving stipends from the Badger Benevolence Association for his depictions of them in his Redwall books.

            1. It is long since I’ve read Wind in the Willows but I recall it’s portrait of badgers as quite benevolent.

              Mr. Badger: a gruff-but-benevolent soul, Badger embodies the “wise hermit” figure. A friend of Toad’s deceased father, he is uncompromising with the irresponsible Toad, yet hopes that his good qualities will prevail. He lives in a vast underground sett, part of which incorporates the remains of a buried Roman settlement. A brave and a skilled fighter, Badger helps clear the Wild-Wooders from Toad Hall with his large stick.

              per Wiki

              Mike Baron’s comic book superhero series, OTOH, was a different kettle of weasels.

          2. There’s also the character in “The Wind in the Willows”.

            “Watership Down” has a very brief appearence by one. One of the rabbits notes that badgers *usually* don’t bother full-grown rabbits (kits are another matter…), and the badger that they encountered had just killed something in any case.

        2. UK Badgers are not cuddly. I had a run in with one when I was a boy. Nasty, sharp, pointy teeth … and TB. that incident is the basis for my primary family nickname. Admittedly, they’re not aggressive like the honey badger, but cornering one is a bad idea.

      2. In fact, I saw a meme about that just a few days ago. There was a photo of a neat and proper-looking black and white creature who looked like it had just stepped out of a “Wind in the Willows” illustration labeled “UK Badger”. And there was a photo of a vicious, scruffy-looking *thing* next to it labeled “US Badger”.

        There were no photos labelled “Honey badger”, though.

        1. The Honey Badger doesn’t like people who try to take his picture. 😈

  24. I grew up in Baltimore and learned all this from a young age – such that the book ‘the city & the city’ by mieville made absolute perfect sense to me, how there could be completely separate existences intertwined with each other and both doing nearly subconscious gate keeping to maintain that. except its bigger than that. I no longer live there, and at times I have been baffled by the naivety of others I know who have not shared my experiences. I think part of what is going on at present is that the old boundaries are being strained and broken, and what you could count on before as how the world works is no longer the case. Mass movements care not about the individual.

  25. This book SHOULD be a must read for anyone who is going to travel, either in country or outside the US. I can say, based on my years overseas, every point he makes is on the money. Life IS cheap in many parts of the world, especially women’s lives. That is fact.

  26. “Some of this is being driven home in Europe with the crime problems caused by refugees”

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali has just published a new book: “Prey: Immigration, Islam, and the Erosion of Women’s Rights”. She mentions the problem of Westerners who will not admit that the problem exists.

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