Sunk Costs

Our national moment is mired in sunk costs.

And our sunk costs are much worse than normal because humans live longer than they used to, and, thanks to technology (and the technology that started this was poking a stick into the ground and dropping a seed in it. It’s been building up ever since) history moves faster than it ever has.

Oh, add to that some interesting things, like the fact that we’re drowning in story telling of all kinds (which was bound to happen as soon as we had the tech for it, since we’re wired to like story) and that a lot of stories we’re being told and have been told for 100 years not only have nothing to do with reality, but have actual counter-value for survival.

Yeah, it’s a fine mess we got ourselves into.

People living longer is a problem because people are designed to be fairly flexible and knowledge sponges when young, and then we’re supposed to settle in — around our late 20s or so — and run on what we learned then. Not just our profession, but our general picture of the world are pretty much set.

Now, of course, not all our ancestors lived in times of peace. Even Portugal, which was a relative backwater got to be… er…. the reservoir tip at the end of Europe not just because of regular visitors, tourists, sailors doing business, but because it got invaded or had some scuffle going on on the regular. On the regular being oh, once every few centuries.

Thing is most people’s lives were about 40 years or so. Which means that even if you had the really bad luck of living in one of those times, there was 50/50 chance that you’d get hit when you were young enough to adapt. And if you didn’t, well… in a disruption you had a good chance of dying anyway, and if you didn’t, you didn’t live all that long either.

Look, I’m mildly panicked at the birth dearth and have been for 20 years. Other people are starting to get where I am and I no longer get shouted down when I point out most of the figures we get from the third world fall under the highly technical term or “inventive bullshit.” And that what leaks out around the edges shows they’re really, really, really bad at feeding their population or allowing it to thrive, but the birth rate is shrinking along with everyone else’s, and sometimes harder. (And heck, in their case the population might be shrinking too, though they’re also experiencing a substantial rate of increase in longevity.)

But in historical terms our population isn’t just aging, or past its prime. Our population is geriatric.

I first became aware of this when the USSR fell, and communists, after a tiny little moment of surprise, went back to peddling the same rotten communist fish, with the addition of telling us that the “good guys lost” the cold war. And honestly, are now back to publishing articles about how communism was great and sexually empowering for women. (So, in the late eighties, just before the whole thing crashed, a charity of some sort came to talk to a group we were in. I can’t remember details. BUT one of the stories they presented — from people who had lived and grown in the USSR — was of the group of guy who shared a condom. I don’t remember exactly how many there were. It was either six or ten. Because the USSR had caught on population was falling and therefore was making contraceptives hard to come by. So these guys shared a condom, and washed it in between, and when it tore, the guy who worked in a plant that made rubber stuff would repair it. Great for women’s sex lives my poor sore feet.)

At the time I was reading a psychology book about how cognitive function changes and declines, and how after 45 most people have the hardest time changing their minds, and will follow what they heard in childhood.

And frankly, what most people 45 and older learned in childhood was through various kinds of movies and entertainment which were … wrong and slanted. As someone pointed out here, how the world say in the fifties is portrayed in current movies is completely different from what movies made at the time portrayed. And not in the way you’d expect. And this goes all the way down, including, you know, if you read Mark Twain, you find that no, the 19th century wasn’t uniformly racist. Yes, sure, Mark Twain was an oddity, but you know what, he neither died a pauper nor was run out of town. So, no, the nineteenth century was not the wasteland of racism and sexism you would expect.

I honestly think this is the reasons the SJWs and the older idiots who think they’re stunningbrave try so hard to discover problems in and cancel the past. Because if you read older authors, yes, you’re going to find things that rub you wrong (and not always the ones you expect) but you’re also going to find the uberstory you’ve been sold is …. false. And that’s a gentle way to put it. A complete, outrageous and self serving lie would be more accurate.

The problem is that as their control over media and entertainment breaks, these people are being bombarded with information that makes them uncomfortable and — if they were honest, which most aren’t — would make them question everything they’ve ever thought and did.

Heck, guys, just these four years as the masks came off, had enough “what now?” to make me question a lot of the things I believed in and supported. Including most of the GOP candidates. And on the war on terror…. Well, I never supported it the way it was fought. But now? Now I wonder if we really should just have bombed hard from the air, and then let them do whatever they did.

But imagine you’re in your late sixties, and suddenly you’re going “Maybe everything I knew about Vietnam is wrong?” “Maybe people aren’t against communism because they’re racists” maybe….

Even if you’re determined not to pay attention, some things will break through. And they have to hurt and make you uncomfortable.

Add to that that most of our professional lives were in turmoil even before the covidiocy. Being a person of her words, and working mostly in writing, I had no clue until a friend told her that retail was (already) being hit with the same “rapid technological change” stick as writing. Teaching, of course, is on the same train. But so is stuff like…. dentistry. And probably a ton more things where no one pulled me aside to say “Hey, my field–“

And most people in these fields are older than 45. I’ve gone through a heck of a time to figure out how to start again in writing, as the field turned upside down and sideways. And I’m RELATIVELY flexible. Most writers who had as long a career in trad pub would probably retire. (Heck, I considered it.)

Middle-aged-unemployed-man syndrome is a thing. (And it’s man, because most women don’t put their entire worth into a career.) You basically sit and do nothing and can’t adapt.

Well, we were on our way to a bunch of that, already. And it’s only going to get worse. Massively, exponentially worse.

Why? Mostly because the left has the most sunk costs. They’re the ones who still think the world would be a better place if the USSR had won. (And no, they don’t understand without the US being so productive we could FEED the USSR, it would have imploded in a decade or less. Or that most of the USSR achievements were imaginary and existed only on paper. Much less what a bizarre complex horror the place was.) To think otherwise would mean they not only wasted most of their lives, but were on the wrong side for a vast portion of it.

It is human to throw the good after the bad. And not just money. It’s human to try to justify a posteriori our mistakes, so they weren’t mistakes after all.

And the left is trying so hard to do this, they have their fingers stuck in their ears and are repeating soothing mantras to themselves.

Which is why they’ve managed to invent a vast menace of white supremacy where none exists or to make a president that was a little left of center “worse than Hitler.”

Unfortunately it’s getting harder and harder for them to avoid a cognitive reckoning. And because things keep accelerating, everything they do actually breaks the reality — unified media, entertainment, opinion, unified everything — they want a little further apart.

Covidiocy has put a fork into most of the fields they control completely. As in, they’re done. They might still be shambling on their feet, but it’s like a turkey running with the head cut off. They’re done. They had maybe one more generation — 10 or 20 more years — to shamble gently into irrelevancy, but now if they — trad pub, Hollywood, the news, etc. — have five years remaining to them, I’d be shocked.

And it’s strong odds their political shenanigans, obvious “occupation Junta”, attempted purge of the armed services and ridiculous war on largely imaginary “white supremacy” is only going to accelerate things.

A violent convulsion was always on the books. There’s a reason that the industrial revolution (the fastest tech change before today) was accompanied by “the age of revolutions.” (And world wars, as idiots — mostly kings, later well, various “leaders” — tried to create multinational polities. Which is what we should have taken out of the world wars “cultures are different, and shouldn’t be shoved together for no reason”– instead of “nationalism is bad, which was so stupid only communists could have invented it.)

But there was a chance with our geriatric population, and relative abundance, it wouldn’t happen. That the process in place since the mid-seventies would continue, and eventually, sometime in the late 21st century we’d have gone around to a sane-ish society again.

Alas, humans will fight to preserve sunk costs. And the humans who had carefully insulated themselves from reality and who believe fairytales about perfect communist utopias are the ones in the greatest panic and trying to make things go back to a place where they felt comfortable.

Since they couldn’t find reality with two hands, a seeing eye dog, and sonar, what they’re doing is actually destroying the remnants of the things they like

And increasing — almost to certainty — the possibility of violent convulsions.

All the lock downs, covidiocies, green new deals, and great resets are just them covering their ears and screaming “make the past come back.”

It ain’t gonna happen. And they’re not going to win, for one because their ideas have no basis in anything real, including and up to “what humans eat.”

There will be a great reset. Not the one they want.

But on the way there? Things are going to get crazier and crazier.

Be prepared. Don’t panic. Yes, some of us will end up caught in the mess. It’s inevitable.

But over all, I expect only a small proportion of us will get in any real, final trouble.

In the end, we win, they lose.

On the way there? Oh, you haven’t seen interesting times yet. Look to yourself and those you love. And be not afraid.

300 thoughts on “Sunk Costs

      1. RES’s Keyboard; are you really going to back down that easily? You had a golden opportunity to change that to “Carp keyboard” and you abandoned it.

        1. This keyboard has a funky “n” key, prone to not. quite. taking. a. hit. I depresses it only to discover nothing appeared, or a double-strike produced but a single character instead of the desired double-n. Which depresses me. Transposed letters are relatively rare, although some characters will appear multiple tiiiiimes even when but a single strike was intended.

          It’s a laptop, making replacement a problem. I have a wireless keyboard I used until multiple keys were blank and I put it aside – now it is no longer recognized by the wireless receiver, so even with stickers for the keys it is useless.

          I will now stop in order to allow others to observe that anything which limits my comments cannot be deemed useless.

          1. Try blowing out the keyboard with canned air if you have some. Otherwise, try the vacuum cleaner. An amazing about of “fluff” will eventually build up under the keycaps.

            1. Blown and sucked (I’ve even flossed it) – the “n” key clearly needs to be reset as it has a tendency to rock in its place.

              Having read other advice:
              I don’t know where to start o the replacing of keyboard – a personal failing but there I sit.

              A wireless may be cheap but not as cheap as I.

              Non-wireless requires a port I don’t have free without installing a hub which I find offends me.

              My typing instruction was fifty years ago and my skills have degraded nearly as much as my puns.

              I will not deny a masochistic element in my personality: my ancestry is Baltic Jews and I tend to prefer cursing darkness over lighting candles. Nobody ever set fire to his thatch cursing darkness.

              As for paying to have the repair done, my tech guy closed shop shortly before the COVID caused closure and I’ve yet to find a new one.

              1. That’d make a good story by the by.

                Deep in the heart of SocJus-ville (Like Kansas only loads squishier and not really minding the whole “some folks have to be slaves bit), the thing we’re told over and over is that “accountability” = “having a good story” to tell the amenable funding authorities.

                So … What have you lost to the Red China Plague? What skilled support in your community was killed by your governor or county official’s officious paranoia?

                I lost:

                1. My back up G.P. and local doctor (Obama killed the first one). Our community has regressed to “stories my mom told me” as in there is no doctor within a day’s walk.

                2. The local driving school.


                1. My place of employment, Old Tucson, was killed by COVID. More specifically Pima County’s overreaction to it.

                  1st in late March they shut us completely down, even our takeout food business. A couple of weeks later they relented on the takeout food option. Then they allowed us a limited reopening over Memorial Day weekend, but the restrictions they put in place made the weekend a money loser; and since Old Tucson sits on County land and is leased from the county we had to follow the County’s directives. The additional staff we’d have to have for sanitizing made a sustained reopening not feasible, not to mention everything needed to be outide so that wouldn’t have worked in July or August, and the restrictions would have made trying to operate our big Halloween event “a financial bloodbath.” Oh, yeah, that Halloween event was our major revenue generator over the year.

                  So in mid-September the County cancelled Old Tucson Company’s lease to the Old Tucson property. Pima County is in the process of trying to find a new operator for the property, but I don’t have much faith in the County doing it right. The “Solicitation for Qualifications” the County released to start the RFP process included such wonderful things as “Boutique Hotel”, Camping, and “Glamping” as potential operations; but nothing about theme parks or movie making.

                  Oh, and when the press release came out (leaked by someone in County Government, possibly a member of the Board of Supervisors, and before management had a chance to tell the handful of employees we had left.) the County Manager made the statement that we’d effectively broken the lease by not operating — COMPLETELY IGNORING THAT WE WEREN’T OPERATING BECAUSE OF THE COUNTY ITSELF!!
                  Yes, the County’s actions make me very salty, why do you ask?

                    1. Oh, there is more.

                      We had an old Pittman film crane, which used mercury in its hydraulic system. It started to leak several years ago, and the mercury was drained from it. This all happened before I started working there, though I did see some of the old mercury in the shop.

                      Someone at the county found out last month (January, since we’re rapidly running ot of February) panicked, and since was still owned by Old Tucson Company ordered us to get it off property RIGHT NOW! Not given time to find a home for a piece of Tucson’s film history, we sold it to a scrapyard.

                      So Tucson being the World’s Largest Small Town, an ex-employee saw it in the scrapyard, took a picture and posted it on Facebook. Things blew up rapidly, and when the news contacted the county about it, they, of course, denied any responsibility for what happened to the crane.

              2. My spousal unit has successfully replaced keyboards and screens on our laptops. If there are parts available I can guarantee there will be a video. We call her Tech Mom. Then your beloved laptop will find renewed life and we will regrettably lose another point of humor.

          2. It’s not always that hard to replace laptop keyboards. I’ve done it on multiple different laptops. And a new wireless keyboard is pretty cheap :). So I can only conclude that you have a masochistic streak….

            1. Agreed on the laptop replacement keyboard. I’ve replaced a Dell laptop keyboard, and modulo my screwing up the battery latch (need to fix *that* one of these days, but it’s the backup to the backup and not allowed to play on the information superhighway), it recovered nicely.

              IIRC, you need phillips head screwdrivers (#1 and/or #2) and a set of Torx drivers might be necessary. Instructions easily found on Tube of Ewe. (Home Desperate or similar will have a set of Torx, frequently in a multi-driver set. Good for occasional use.)

              My Usoft split keyboard doesn’t like to work the ‘a’ key all the time. However, I have similar issues on a laptop, so it’s more likely the ferfluging left pinky finger.

          3. Clearly your typing teacher was insufficient to the task: Mom covered the keys with tape, so I had to learn where they were without looking.

          4. Bugger wireless.

            Seriously, you can get a basic mechanical keyboard with Gateron blue switches for around 35$.

            If that’s too rich, Goodwill reliably has keyboards for two or three bucks. They’ll mostly be the older “stock” Dell or similar, but older in this case means more tactile, so not at all bad thing. And it’s still a serious upgrade over any laptop keyboard.

            (I know last month Drop was selling off their test run of ENTR TKL boards at a 50% markdown–the contracted manufacturer didn’t lube the spacebar stabilizers. It’s an easy fix, if it even bothers you in the first place. Don’t know if they’ve still got any available, though. I grabbed one. The Halo switches are interesting, but take some getting used to. I’m getting to the point where I’m starting to love them.)

              1. Or using a special adapter, which causes battery drain at an awe-inspiring rate. (I have to use a micro-USB to USB adapter for the school laptop. Battery life is about 95 minutes if I’m in an on-line class or meeting.)

              2. Really? I’ve never had any problem plugging a USB keyboard into one.
                (Granted, I don’t use them on battery power. My battery has been shot for a few years at this point.)

                1. Yeah, I have a wireless keyboard / mouse that plugs into USB. But they don’t have many USB slots to spare, which is why I use the combo.

                  1. That is what I have/had — except now the mouse has been replaced by a newer version of the same model and the keyboard no longer connects to its USB plug-in. I tried exchanging the keyboard’s battery for a fresh one and nada.

                    1. That’s because each little USB plug-in has it’s own ID tag for the mouse / keyboard it came with. Otherwise it might connect to your neighbor’s laptop on the plane etc. and start moving his cursor around. You really have to replace both (or have enough USB slots for multiple plug-ins).

                    2. The plug-in I am using came with the keyboard; the mouse is a replacement for the original partner of that keyboard/mouse duo.

                      Logitech products, all.

                      Strange but true!

  1. I expect that many of them will be euthanized out of their misery, whether voluntary or not…rising health care costs, you know.

    1. There’s apparently a strain of comment running around the left edges of the interwebs along the lines of “Darn, ‘rona did not kill off enough boomers.”

      1. One of the more paranoid theories about the SARS-2 nursing home messes is that the governors responsible had similar motivations.

        1. I’d need more information to understand why states would benefit – the Federal Social Security and Medicare payouts would fall due to a bunch of beneficiaries dying, which would help the SocSec and CMS budget story going forward, but states? The only thing they are on the hook for is Medicaid, but state Medicaid was all funded up by the Feds under O’care, so they are not really spending their money.

          Personally, I think Fredo’s older brother just gets off on making people die.

          1. I think that other people aren’t real to him, so like that meme with the two buttons: “let 10,000 people die” vs “get another positive mention in the press”, except I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t hesitate to choose the second.

            1. That (escaping payment of unfunded pension obligations) is the first explanation that makes sense.

            2. As a NYS resident, north of NYC, I say that you are spot on! A recent trip to my Town Clerk’s office to pay the second installment on my tax bill, I made a remark about the level of taxation. My words fell upon a sympathetic ear. In a hushed tone, she replied that only a small portion of my tax bill goes to current services. The rest go to retirees. Also, Cuomo is well-known for his disdain for Medicaid recipients. IMHO, it’s a Ponzi scheme. The best solution is to teach kids the importance of saving for retirement: 10 cents out of every dollar earned. Under no circumstance should you touch this money until retirement.

          2. There was a 5 or ten year sunset on the federal funding for the expanded Medicaid under O-care. There might be more to that conspiracy theory than just hate hasting.

          3. Unfunded state public pension liabilities. California’s is approaching 1 trillion dollars.

            View at

            And some numbers, a bit oudated:

            ballotpedia DOT org/State_unfunded_public_pension_liabilities,_2003-2018

          4. Inheritance taxes would be my guess. I’d have to look it up and I’m feeling to lazy to do that right now, but aren’t those usually around 40%? Also, since older people trend Conservative, they get a new block of reliable Democrat voters. Win/win! Unless you’re an old person in a nursing home and you’re dead or it was one of your family members, but hey, gotta break a few eggs.

            1. Trivial compared to the chance to duck out of paying all those state pensions. Multiple trillions of unfunded liability (CA alone ~$1T) that’s gonna come due alarmingly soon.

            2. It ain’t necessarily so that older voters trend conservative – it depends. When older voters were by and large FDR Democrats they did not trend conservative. As that cohort has shifted to the heirs of FDR’s policies the trend has been conservative.

              1. BUT the left think all older voters are conservative. Remember one of the precious flowers of sfwa saying she couldn’t wait till we old people all died out.
                She’s three years younger than I.

                1. The Left clings to an idea that is not true??? How could that be? They effing love Science, the way a rapist loves his victim!

                  1. As we all know, to Dems “science” means “that which supports Dem talking points”. So you really do have to get your terms defined 🙂

        2. Considering Gretchen Whitmer has the nastiest smile ever seen (she could scare a pit bull with that), I suspect there’s a certain amount of “let’s get rid of the likely R voters while we’re at it”.

            1. There are plenty of Internet-less people who watch the mainstream and don’t believe, or who believe local news but treat national news like Pravda.

              But I got my Internet-less parents the weekly Epoch Times, she said smugly, and they are really enjoying it. I did explain the Falun Gong ownership thing, but they were always going to ignore the woo-woo bits in the life and entertainment section. The big value is that Epoch Times does a lot of full-length explanation of things that come out piecemeal on the Internet, so they are all caught up on the most important bits of real news.

          1. A lot of people believe there’s some “them”, probably a Federal agency, that assures all the broadcast news is “true.” It should be obvious that the TV or newspapers wouldn’t be allowed to print things that were false.

            Well, NYT, Faceborg, and now Microsoft are all working hard to create a Ministry of Truth…

        3. Not paranoid at all. New York had access to both federal (mercy ships) and private charitable (Salvation Army? Samaritan’s Purse?) FREE care and housing for overflow patients from their hospitals. They INSISTED on sending them to the nursing homes.

          WHILE we had a national emergency that caused a lockdown due to lack of PPE for medical staff (… and nursing homes)

          AND the creature that calls himself* the wossname Public Heath official for New Jersey pulled his mom from one of the target Nursing Homes the day before he made the order public and set her up in a hotel with a private nurse.

          So… Paranoia is assuming that Mr. Cuomo and his assorted flunkies and lickspittles did this merely to stick it to the Orange Man. Common sense says they saw a way, in the face of a looming economic disaster, to lighten the books.

          *Christian duty requires me not to use “it.” God died for him too.

      2. Way back when the pandemic panic started, I had a theory that the Kung Flu was created because the CCP wanted to reduce the population of elderly and infirm without the obvious apparatus of state-sponsored mass murder. I still consider it a plausible potential explanation for the origins of the Kung Flu, since while I don’t have any evidence for it, neither do I have any evidence that excludes it, and the CCP’s continuing determination to stonewall about the origins of the Kung Flu make it look like they’re hiding something.

        1. Don’t think that’s why it exists, but now that it’s here, that they’re using it for the express purpose of trimming the economic deadwood? Absolutely. Pretty obvious when the announced no vaccine for anyone over 55 (or 60 depending on the announcement).

        2. The CCP stonewall. It’s what they do whenever they might get embarrassed. The infamous bad baby formula got covered up in part because Beijing let it be known that no embarrassing news was to come out during the Beijing Olympics, and that’s when the company selling the formula learned of the problem.

          Plus, there’s been discussion of lawsuits from various countries aimed at recovering some of the lost wealth due to the virus. If Beijing were to admit fault, it would basically be making itself a target for liability.

        3. If bioweaponeers were working up a bioweapon based on SARS and bats and pangolins, and one candidate disease inadvertently escaped containment into the general population in Wuhan, how would that look different than what happened?

          To my eye, the CCP governmental responses and coverups and crafty leveraging and selective travel restrictions imply more advanced knowledge than a December “Huh, what’s up with these sick people?” If it were a surprise at the end of 2019, I would expect there would have been more surprised behavior along the lines of the flailing about in eth west. Instead they had fleets of fogging trucks and magically fast hospital construction and coal-fired powerplants repurposed to burn corpses all before Grey Goose Pelosi was doing public appearances to try and get crowds to still go to Chinatown for Chinese New Year parades.

          And don’t tell me about the intrinsic efficiency of central planning in a crisis – it has never, not ever, even once been actually demonstrated in an actual surprise crisis.

          If a conspiracy theory fits all the observed facts, is it still a “conspiracy” theory?

          1. Accidental release has been my theory for a long time. And who says only one bug got out? Maybe a nastier version ravaged Wuhan but didn’t get out of China. (Or mutated into something milder).

            1. Alternately, they knew *something* got released and acted under worst case assumptions until it was clear it was only a coronavirus. All the crazy restrictions were in case it was one of the other, nastier diseases they’re working on.

        4. I just don’t think they are that good. It may be a manufactured virus, but the chances of them accurately ensuring it only hits old people? Slim to none.

            1. And it got accidentally got released before they could finish the virus; it was clearly engineered to create excessive immune responses and cardiovascular responses that would be particularly lethal and unrelated to the typical impacts that coronaviruses and other viruses that impact the respiratory system (thus the targeting of ACE receptors). Had they been able to perfect it before release, I suspect it would have been far more lethal.

        5. I think your explanation covers what they did once the bat was out of the wet market.

          My own pet theory is that the combination of things like wet markets and the tendencies of researchers (even in biological research facilities, who ought to know better) to take stuff (including animals) home with them. (This is not based on speculation) AND the historic laxity of Red Chinese biohazard lab protocols (look it up) in Beijing AND the known collusion of Western officials in the U.S., Canada (and possibly elsewhere. I only have documentary evidence for these two) to violate local restrictions on risky/illegal virology research…..

          Led to something escaping the (compared to Beijing) bass-ackward Wuhan research lab into the Chinese population.

          Best guess, they were using gain-of-function to create a vaccine for the respiratory viruses that plague them.

          Because the CCPox sure works like a half-assed vaccine.

          1. Reasonable enough, except “working like a half-assed vaccine” is a general problem with coronaviruses. But that there was some mix of incidental research, aiming at their own vaccine, and lousy containment? Yeah, very likely.

          2. The problem with all the food theories is that there’s really not a huge raw food tradition in China, so the CCP virus would have to get transferred by someone cuddling their sick pangolin before they cut him up for the stew.

            An accidental release, especially given there’s clear cover-up behavior seen in erasing researchers from the virus shop’s website and such, just is a better fit for the known fact pattern.

            1. Accidental EARLY release; there is no question that the virus was manipulated (the Aussies issued a very thorough report on that which needless to say the tech oligarchs are doing their best to censor), and that the manipulations were designed to make it easier to transmit and to create a broad range of very harmful impacts that are simply not typical of coronaviruses, such as the impact on cardiovascular system. Had it not been accidentally released, the finished product would have been able to be released by the CCP at its convenience with far more lethal impact.

              The above supposition fits all of the known facts and the CCP’s ideological willingness to sacrifice large portions of its own population in pursuit of its global geopolitical goals.

      1. No, that’s throwing the elderly out of cave homes or old-fashioned homes, and denying everyone the use of propane to heat their homes. Lots and lots of killing by neglect.

    2. Like all the stories denouncing the Florida push to vaccinate elderly as political theater. Heaven forfend he protect those in most danger. . . .

  2. publishing articles about how communism was great and sexually empowering for women.

    I am not sure I want to take advice on what’s great for women’s sex lives from people who deny there’s any significant differences between men and women … while simultaneously claiming that a person of penisitude who “identifies” as a woman is a woman, nor a person with womb who “identifies” as a prick is male.

  3. Gamblers are firm believers in a variant of sunk cost – the odds have to turn around if I can just keep betting long enough, I’ve lost too much to give up now, and one big win and I’ll be back ahead.

    What I see is the current crop of aristos going all-in on only a slightly advantageous hand after barely “winning” the hand prior, hoping for momentum and a “streak of luck” to carry them through all those fuzzy intermediate steps to “step 4: Complete Power.”

    What they don’t see are the other players at the table loosening hoglegs in holsters. If the game changes from poker to indoor target practice, the cards will no longer matter.

    1. And of course, as they lose more and more, they start getting more and more reckless with their bets to try to get that “one big win” to put them back in the black…

      Witness the election frauding, stacks of EOs in just over a month, “lets impeach the ex-Pres,” etc.
      Eventually, the pit boss will wander over and tell them “time to pay up and leave the table.”

      Hopefully, without too much screaming and crying for “just one more round,” especially as in this case, the screaming and crying will be quite ugly (wait, sorry “mostly peaceful”)

        1. Heh
          I’d say it’s the people who go to work every day, bust their butts to do the best they can, don’t go looking for handouts, don’t expect to support themselves and a family flipping burgers at a fast food joint, and by and large don’t really care what you do in your own house.

          1. There’s one handout I’ve been looking forward to for a little while now: the forgiveness of some or all of my student loans.

            I was told that if I voted for President Trump, I wouldn’t get that forgiveness. And they were right! So far, at least.

            Of course, Democrats will insist that me voting for people who won’t forgive my student loans is “voting against my interest”; what they ignore is the societal collapse that this massive bailout will cause, between extensive federal debt, jealousy from the “suckers” who never went to college, or paid their own way, or paid off their own loans, now paying off other people’s loans as well, and the continual turning of the blind eye towards how federally guaranteed student loans is what put us in this mess in the first place!

            It is my best interest to have a functioning, stable society, and as much as I sorely want a reduction in my student loans, I value society more. Democrats cannot see this.

            Or rather, allegedly they cannot see this. It’s pretty clear Pretendant Biden might be able to see this after all, or at least his Puppetmasters, because he’s reneged on the promise.

            1. Reneged on the promise *SO FAR.* Remember, this is the party that nuked the filibuster, then when the Rs’ took control of the Senate and did the same thing for higher justices squalled about how it was wrong.

              As for the feds saying “you no longer owe on your student loans,” part of me won’t cry about it, and part of me will be rather PO’ed. I’ve been plugging away paying mine down, just signed a 3yr promise with my employer to get another $10k paid off. The PO’ed will be from having (through taxes and higher prices,) to STILL be on the hook for student loans and for a lot longer. Especially loans for people who thought dropping $50K+ would get them a screenwriter job or the like (and are currently asking “do you want whipped cream on your coffee?”)

            2. At the moment “Biden” is a shorthand for whoever’s making his decisions because he’s clearly too senile to do it himself.

              1. I’ve seen some people refer to the mysterious “handlers” as the Politburo. And that does kind of have a nice ring to it. Goes along with Pravda and Izvestia and the gulag references quite neatly.

                1. Have you seen the video of him yet standing at a podium and in the middle of saying something he goes “why am I here?”. If this was being done to anyone else, the people perpetrating this would be charged with elder abuse.

  4. the left has the most sunk costs.

    We’ve discussed ere now the tendency of many members of apocalyptic cults to double down on their commitments to the faith after the prophecy has proven wrong.

    Well, if ever there was an apocalyptic cult the Marxists are it.

  5. Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.
    … snip …
    The darkness drops again; but now I know
    That twenty centuries of stony sleep
    Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
    And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
    Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

    That feels so very apropos. I’m very afraid that we are caught in that ancient curse, “interesting times”. I need to improve my health in order to maintain what flexibility I can. Nothing gives me a harder time with adapting than poor health and lack of energy. I suspect that that’s where a lot of the inflexibility of the old comes from.

    Maybe I’ll brush off some dusty writing projects too. And make another attempt to find a church that hasn’t swapped Christianity for woke.

    1. Get some friends together and start an ecclesia.

      It’s the new thing; a lot of people have no un-Woke churches close enough to attend, so they DIY.

        1. I heard similar a few months ago from someone who has evangelical family ties.

          “Wherever two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

          A related revelation coming from both those and churches who decided to drop the tax exemption is that you don’t have to sing the government’s tune. Deals with the devil to reduce your tax bill are still deals with the devil.

            1. Yeah, “house churches” are a thing in evangelical circles. Obviously there’s a lot of difficulty finding people who can get along and who share theology, which is why it was formerly something for kids straight out of college and their just-graduated friends. But I imagine people have had some incentive to get together at home in the past year.

              Ohio’s not as much locked down, and my mixed-zoning platte has something like seven church buildings in it anyway, not counting the shopping center church spaces. So I don’t think it’s as big a thing around here.

                1. If they can take away the right of people to freely exercise their religion in the name of a “public health emergency” then the people have no rights at all,

                  1. Yes, I know. It’s Canada. We don’t have rights.

                    Technically you can be arrested here for using the wrong pronouns. No one has been yet, that I know of, but you -can- be.

                    But Canadians think they still have rights, or at least pretend they think it, so everything keeps plodding along.

              1. I know. last mass I attended but one was in Ohio, and it was pretty much normal, except for masks.
                Honestly if I didn’t have SADs it would speak well for moving there (at least for a couple of years, while FIL is alive, anyway.)
                We will visit sometime this summer, probably before or after Liberty con.

              2. The church I grew up in (which is not, so far as I know, evangelical) has always had meetings in the home. It also eschewed most of the organization and institutional stuff I see people talking about here. No fellowship meetings, no youth groups, no advertising of any kind. No ordination–people “offered for the work” and the ministers are called “workers”. Laborers in the Harvest Field sort of thing.

                Conservative personalities: women wear (long) dresses and have long hair (usually worn up), no jewelry beyond a wedding ring, no makeup, that sort of thing.

                1. “The church I grew up in (which is not, so far as I know, evangelical)”

                  The entire Christian religion is evangelical because of the Great Commission: “Go ye forth and teach all nations…”, unlike, say, Judaism, which has no such instruction to seek out converts (that’s changing in some branches, such as Chabad).

          1. Francis Chan left his megachurch that he founded and started promoting bible study in homes and small groups. Interesting teacher of the Gospel, so it’s worth some time to catch some of his sermons.

      1. Absolutely. A friend had a major theological fallings-out with every church in his town, and started doing Bible study with his family at home. Turned out he wasn’t the only one in his small town who was tired of what was coming out of the Woke churches, and their main problem is keeping the group size down to something manageable.

        It’s working for them.

    2. I feel you (re: woke churches). I shouldn’t have been surprised, given my Pope, but I wasn’t expecting to find the kind of callousness I’ve encountered in the past few months in my personal life. I’m waffling right now over calling it out or just heading somewhere else.

      1. You can always follow the example of Congressman Davy Crockett and do both: “You may all go to hell and I will go to First Baptist.”

        1. I am thinking about sending an email to the senior pastor before I leave, but some part of me thinks ‘even interacting with them is like drawing near to demons.’ I know that sounds hyperbolic, but the experience I had on Ash Wednesday was inexplicable to me except as a sign of evil.

          1. No. I get it. We used to go to the Cathedral in downtown Denver. Last time we went, in…. November? the deacon ranted about our offenses against Gaia, and you could FEEL it.

            1. I don’t think I have your email address… *checks website, must be missing it* Mine is (removed for safety.) though.

          2. Yeah, I concur. Trust your instincts on this.

            At least when it comes to getting away.

            Finding someone else to trust may be worth being more cautious.

            When avoiding someone’s wicked mind games, a human intelligence will have paid some attention to using part of your mind against you. Finding yourself wrestling with yourself is normal, and does not mean you are wrong to be concerned.

          3. Not even close to hyperbolic. And not even close to rare. I’ve seen… a lot. If you want to talk to me as well, heather at dreaming in plot (all one word) period com.

            1. If there is no legit church to go to, or if going to church causes you harm (even to things like severe anger), you’re automatically excused from going to Catholic Mass, just like if you were sick.

              And yes, “my priest is an unbelieving idolater, and I’m afraid God will smite him while I’m sitting too close” is a perfectly good reason to refuse to go to his Masses.

              Legit canon law loopholes are cool, because when you need them, you really need them. Reading bits of St. Alphonsus de Liguori’s Moral Theology was well worth it.

              1. Severe anger: all the ones around me.
                Plus wanting me to put my name and address on line. ME. I mean, we’ve gone to a lot of trouble to NOT BE LISTED anywhere. Sigh.
                But I need it.

                1. Do they just want a name, or do they want you to provide ID too? I assume this is some kind of Chinavirus thing?

                  Does Colorado provide free ID for “undocumented immigrants”? Might be a good time for some dark makeup and faking a Brazilian accent…

    3. I know I sound like a broken record (for those old enough to even know what that means), but look for an Orthodox church. I’m Russian Orthodox, but your chances of finding a church that actually believes all that Bible stuff is probably higher in an Orthodox church in any hierarchy than in any mainstream Protestant denomination.

      1. I found an Orthodox Church about 20 minutes away and will try it out. It looks pretty good. Thanks for repeating your recommendation 🙂

      2. My Orthodox church allows 14 families at liturgy and those by reservation.

        The only ones who didn’t was the local ROCOR parish and they are…prickly…to outsiders.

        I miss my Orthodox church, but I suspect it isn’t just closed, but gone.

      3. Or Lutheran Church Missouri or Wisconsin Synod if you can’t give up some of the Reformation stuff. Also the Orthodox churches are deeply (and in my opinion *sensibly* nationalistic). If you are not up to being a real part of a community of Ukranians or Greeks or Poles or what have you, it’s going to be a hard row to hoe.

        1. Second the LCMS recommendation. I’ve said before that my own church isn’t requiring any sort of face covering, although I’m not sure what other LCMS churches are doing.

          1. Mine has “masks required” services on Saturdays and “masks optional” services on Sundays. At the Sunday service, the only real nods to Covid are that we don’t use ushers and fill the rail with people from multiple rows the way we used to; instead, one pew (almost always one family) goes up at a time when the space has cleared. Congregants are encouraged to sit in the pews so that there is space between families. The pastor and deacons wear masks while serving communion, but no other time. There are trays to deposit the empty communion cups (for those who don’t use the chalice) so we don’t need an acolyte to collect them. And there is hand sanitizer in multiple spots, so you can use it when you go up to the rail and Pastor can sanitize his hands between families.

            Plus, the whole idea behind conservative Lutheranism is that we’re more Catholic than the Pope, granting that that’s a low bar right now.

    4. Yeah. Last summer when the state shut down churches and mandated no gatherings of more than 10 people, our church broke up into house churches of 10 or fewer people facilitated by an on-line pastoral presence.

      And last Sunday night, our pastor related a recent Zoom call he had with the Mayor and other religious leaders of my city. The Mayor asked, ‘What can you do for the community?’ Most of the answers were along the lines of, ‘We have an open-to-the-public food shelf’, or ‘We sponsor an X anonymous program.’ When they finally got around to querying our pastor, he replied, “We don’t have the resources to do all those admittedly good works, but what we can do is to bring the healing and redemptive power of the Blood of Jesus Christ into their lives!” With illustrations. As he portrayed it, all the other priest’s and pastors’ gasters were flabbered.

      1. I think that there was a good reason that good works were supposed to be done privately, and the last few years have made that really clear to me. A lot of this Woke crap is based on very public “virtue signaling”, where the point is to get points to raise your status, not to actually help anybody. They must have had the same problem back in bible times.

        1. There’s a REASON why I call socialists and wokists thieves of virtue. They steal your opportunity to be charitable and to show the love of God. It’s literally a theft of your opportunity to grow closer to the Great Author by succoring His people. And it’s deliberate. Charity is a thing in basically all religions, and socialism is the most jealous god there is. Only the righteous may be charitable and beneficent, and one may only be righteous if one espouses socialism.

          1. I have literally read one claiming that we’re horrible people because we make people want to hold a gun on us to take away what we “hoarded.”

          1. Oh, hey, Scott Hahn (Catholic theologian/popularizer/Bible guy) has a new book (It Is Right and Just) out about the proper role of Christians in politics — ie, bringing the Gospel to everybody, and that means not letting ourselves (and our denominations/religions) get kicked out of the public square. He is on Crisis Magazine’s Crisis Point podcast talking about it, and it sounds like an interesting book.

            What cracked me up is that one of his family members is now doing Steubenville elected offices. Since he has a big family, they must practically be a voting bloc in themselves. Hahns, Hahns everywhere!

  6. ridiculous war on largely imaginary “white supremacy” is only going to accelerate things.

    Every time I read their nonsense about it being an artifact of “White Culture” to insist on there being only one correct answer to a math problem I consider that it would be insane to hire a non-White accountant or take my prescriptions to a no-White pharmacist, nor hire a non-White carpenter, architect nor any other practitioner of a craft relying on mathematical accuracy.

    Yeah, this may mark me as a White Supremacist, but if somebody is taking my blood pressure, measuring out my prescriptions or performing my colonoscopy I want them to be focused on measuring accurately. If that insistence on “right answers” is a White thing I will not deal with non-Whites in anything requiring that focus.

    This is not something that can end well.

    1. I’m just worried about the infrastructure builders and maintainers….

      I already have to regularly cross a bridge which five years ago was listed as in the worst condition in Connecticut structurally and still considered safe to drive over. They were supposed to restore both spans in a three-year time frame. Supposedly the better span would take about a year, and then they could close the other span completely and spend two years on it. It took over two years to do the first one, and after they finished nothing has happened for years. I’m waiting for northbound I-95 between New London and Groton to collapse. Just please, not with me or anyone I care about on it at the time.

      If they hire woke anti-racist engineers to design the work when they finally repair/replace that span, I’m going to find myself doing a 15-plus-mile detour on a regular basis to avoid that bridge.

      1. James Earl Carter decided that 60,000 pound weight limits on early interstate bridges was inconvenient, so upped the limit to (I think) 85,000 pounds. A former CalTrans engineer of my acquaintance is still livid over that decision.

        1. Great. I think that northbound span is the older of the two too, so probably designed for the lower weights. Grrr.

          It has already tried to take out one of our cars a few years back. A chunk of concrete next to an expansion joint broke loose and was knocked up onto the road by the car in front of my husband. A few seconds later our car didn’t have a functioning oil pan. It could have been much worse.

          I just worry that if the road bed is in that bad shape, what does the underneath look like?

      2. It goes back to, “ignore what they say, what are they doing?” Because pushing this line of reasoning absolutely guarantees the “oppressed,” people will remain poor and helpless.

        1. Because obviously a lot of people of every background are smart, careful, responsible, etc.

          They had some PBS program on, at my parents’ house, about Marian Anderson and her concert on the Mall, and how pretty much every event there copycats her concert (and how the NAACP set it up, to give credit where due). But they ended up not doing much about the concert itself, or Anderson’s strategies for setting up her recital songs and their order, or her musical aesthetic goals, or her philosophies as a singer. It was all about how she was used successfully (albeit she did go along willingly), and how it was such a shame that she didn’t spend the rest of her life bragging and obsessing about this one concert (albeit an important one and a great triumph).

          I was very disappointed. I thought it was very clever of her to start her recital with “My Country Tis of Thee,” because everybody knew that song and could sing it, and it was very disarming… but also a power move, because “everybody” can’t sing it like a world famous contralto. I wanted to know more about the exact songs and their order, and especially how she closed it out; but nooooo.

          I also wanted to hear more about her being a contralto, which is one of the rarer female voice ranges, and which set her apart almost as much as being black; and of course some contraltos (dramatic contraltos, not usually lyric ones) have to work hard to “sound feminine” in daily life, as well as missing out on a lot of song settings, and they are often miscategorized as altos or “female baritones” or stuff like that, which can hurt their voices. But OTOH, they often have very broad ranges and amazing vocal qualities, so there’s a lot to be said, and which I would like to have heard.

          She fought when she could, she made decent money, she made everyone respect her, she married a rich guy who loved her and they were happy, she had good kids, and she closed out her career with nothing to be ashamed of. But nopers, that wasn’t good enough for the documentary. (Or for the Sixties generation of the NAACP, apparently. Bleh.)

      3. You just have to get your mind right on whether it is more important for engineers to be woke or numerate.

        1. All your management will be Woke and all the engineers will be outsourced at a consulting firm in Bangladesh. None of the management will know enough about bridges to know if the Bangladeshis are competent or just faking it, but their lawyers will have the contracts drafted so management won’t take any blame if they screw up.

    2. White supremacy: Is there anything it can’t do?


      TL;DR the perps were black.

      The Oregon legislature is going hog wild in trying for full-woke jackboots, between woke math, nullifying a bunch of concealed carry and other things near and dear to the hearts of sane people. I know there has been some low level sanctuary county activity, greeted by shrieking from the same people who pushed anti-fed sanctuary policies on illegals and such.

      I’m 68 and intend to stay here, so long as the body repairs let me do so. Still, it’s starting to feel like 1774 or 1858 or so… (OK, 1937 for the Europhiles.)

      1. Same – my family is staying here as long as we can. We were raised here in Oregon, and by God, I will not let them take it away.

        I just hope that this doesn’t end the way of 1798 or 1916….

    3. Indeed. And that insisting on correct answers to mathematical questions, correct punctuation, correct grammar in speech and writing, punctuality, loyalty, logic, etc … all those boring so-called “white” standards … does it mean that “True Blackness” is laziness, slovenly speech, carelessness in just about every human interaction …? Yep, absolutely, that will make things better all the way around for our fellow humans with darker skin pigmentation. (Need I apply the deep-sarcasm tags? Suppose that I ought to.)

      1. I’d love to have the Woke activists try to do business in a market or souk in Africa and discover for themselves how mathematically sloppy the merchants there are.

        1. You don’t stay in business long if you don’t have at least some basic number sense.

          Supposedly even the primitive tribes in the Amazon who don’t have words for numbers higher than three still have a surprisingly sharp sense of quantity, enough to make sure they aren’t cheated when trading with neighboring villages or nearby tribes.

              1. Not at all…if a whole population is dumber than your toddler then you have all the justification you need to seize power to “care for them”.

                1. They always project. I recall there was some Dinosaur(s) TV show (never watched it myself) with the Big Everything Company named “Wesayso”… gee, project much?

      2. I had not previously noticed how White Thomas Sowell, Larry Elder, and Armstrong Williams are.

        But then, I never realized how Black Bill Clinton was until they told us he was our first Black president.

    4. I’ve thought much the same sort of things. I prefer older doctors when I absolutely have to go, because it’s less likely they were marinated in Woke at med school. So far the wokiness seems not to have infected the local veterinarians, so there’s that.

      1. For a while the primary care physician assigned me by my clinic was Korean-American, which I found reassuring as it indicated his MCATs were probably in the top one-half of the top one percent.

        Alas, he took quite ill and had to take a couple years off (that’s the story his replacement peddled) and I’ve cycled through another since then. Fortunately, they’ve not assigned a Black doctor because while it may be White Supremacist of me to say so, it does matter where they stick that thermometer ad I am determined it be in the right aperture.

  7. Sunk costs: There is a tendency of people, when they get caught in a lie or an obvious contradiction to reality, to double down on stupid rather than admit they were wrong and pay the penalty in shame and defeat. For a few examples, the transgender thing, or the assertion that only white people can be racist, or that the Muppets need a trigger warning.
    The next stage, when their arguments have crossed so far into the surreal that no one believes them anymore, is to resort to force to compel people to act as if they believed. That’s when Salvor Hardin’s aphorism, “Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent” is most applicable.

    1. With all due respect, “Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent” only means that when they resort to violence the rest of us put them down, hard. It doesn’t mean they try everything else before going kinetic.

      1. Aphorisms and erudite quotes and such are all fine and good, but in the end regarding kinetics, F(net)=MA is the only rule that’s always relevant.

    2. Violence as a persuasive technique is much overrated. Since I don’t have either the physique or temperament to resort to violence as either the first resort or the last, and since I believe those who are so invested in denial that violence is their argument of last resort are blinkered and blinded in other ways, I prefer techniques of outmaneuvering and outsmarting to direct confrontion.

      1. I don’t consider violence a method of persuasion.

        It may be sanitation, defense, or just a way to generate some silence.

        But never persuasion.

  8. Years back (the ’90s maybe) I remember reading about how an American spending a year studying in the USSR was told that they could be spotted as an American from yards away, not because of how they dressed, but because, unlike everyone else, they walked around with their head up and unafraid.

    I felt a bit like that in Walmart yesterday, since once again I was the only one without a mask. Even my husband has bought into this idiocy to at least an extent. That he is 66 and had open heart surgery a few months before the mess started and has probably at least subconsciously realized that I’m right when I say if his problems had started after February last year he’d be long dead by now, maybe part of it. He’s also retired, so it’s not like the lockdown has really affected his life much.

    As for bombing things instead of our current “War” on terror? I was working in a hospital during 9/11, and one of our doctors, a Lebanese or Syrian Christian expat, told me that they should have just turned Kabul (and a few other places) into glowing green glass. Of course having lost many family members to Islam in just the last century might have affected his judgement, although I took that to mean he probably just had a much better idea what we are up against.

    1. I knew a professor who left Hungary in ’56 who told me the same thing about Americans and how we walk. If a guy without a mask at Wal-Mart waves at you, it might be me.

  9. I am reminded of the hysteria on the left about “Cecil the Lion,” who was poached on an Africa preserve in 2015. This was just a week or so after the horrific Planned Parenthood videos came out, where officials bragged about selling baby parts for profit. The left was desperately trying to spin this as false, though it was tough since you could look at the videos yourself.

    Then Cecil was poached, and the left lost their minds in grief over the lion. I remember a clip of Jimmy Kimmel crying about Cecil. But he wasn’t crying about Cecil. He was really crying over the murdered babies that he still supported but that his heart knew was evil. So a gigantic pivot was made to Cecil, and down the memory hole the videos went.

    This is what they’re doing now, by hysterically claiming white supremacism and an “insurrection” at the Capitol. They know they have done evil, and their hearts are black within them, so they desperately turn their rage and grief towards us.

    Yes, it’s not going to end well.

    1. One of the few really good sermons I ever heard was on the “Sin against the Holy Ghost”. The pastor interpreted that as the sin of Pride. It would never be forgiven, not because it couldn’t be – God will forgive anything if one but asks and truly repents – but because the Proud would never admit even to themselves that they might possibly be wrong, and would therefore never even ask, never mind truly repent.

      Pride (with envy a close second) does seem to be the most common Deadly Sin amongst the Woke.

      1. Marxism is a Religion of Envy, but Pride is intrinsic in the “planned economy” concept of prescriptive planning via SCIENCE!

        If the heads of the Ministry of Direction of Things were to admit to fallibility or uncertainty or “we’re not sure, but we’re trying this”, that “scientific governance” conceit would be obviously a lie, and they can’t have that.

        That’s why the scientific governance stuff is not what Bernie ran on – he just ran on handing over other peoples stuff to the envious, and the China Joe Muppet Show, Now With Content Warnings!, had to service that expectation while retaining the unions – though as the pipe fitters and welders and teamsters working on the pipelines learned to their regret, the REAL unions that matter are the government employee unions.

        The ruling coalition now is the public’s employee unions, the hard left radical race baiters, and the permanent bureaucracies in Domestic Regulation, Domestic Law Enforcement, Diplomatic, and Intelligence Community constituencies.

        Anyone else is a subject.

        1. … as the pipe fitters and welders and teamsters working on the pipelines learned to their regret, the REAL unions that matter are the government employee unions.

          As Power Line noted, not even all of them. In Van Buren County, Iowa, for example, civic employees are apparently going to get the shaft:

          An NFL quarterback who has made over $200 million during his career has petitioned President Biden to shut down Van Buren County’s largest property taxpayer, threatening the Van Buren County School District with a loss of $394,000 in property tax money every year, according to information provided at the February 17 school board meeting.

          More than 200 celebrities sent a letter to Biden to have him close Dakota Access pipeline while a court orders an environmental review. Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers also signed his name to the petition. The pipeline goes through 18 counties in Iowa, including Van Buren County.


          1. And of course, how many of those 200 “celebrities” actually live in said county?
            /me looks at one hand
            Maybe 1?

            To bad too, if most of them lived in said county, or even a handful of them, the county could pass a tax to make up the difference from said “celebrities…”

            1. … if most of them lived in said county, or even a handful of them, the county could pass a tax to make up the difference from said `celebrities…`

              Perhaps the affected counties could pass a law taxing celebrities who presume to have a voice in their communities? “If they want a say in our governance they can damned well pay to play!”

              Call it the “Shut Up And Sing Act”?

    2. Then Cecil was poached, and the left lost their minds in grief

      Beggin’ your pardon, but one cannot lose what one never had. Say instead they lost their [expletive deleted] – which they were full of and remained so after their loss.

    3. Walter Palmer paid the fees and got the permit to take a lion. He hired a professional, nationally-licensed guide, as required by local law. The guide, one Theo Bronkhorst, pointed out Cecil and said “that one.” You generally don’t get a choice on safaris, you only get to shoot what your guide designates.

      Palmer did everything correctly and committed no crime; he just wound up taking the heat in the (mostly) American media.

      Palmer took the lion old-school, with a freakin’ bow and arrow. Which took big swinging stones, even with a guide and armed bearers backing him up.

      1. Yes, Walter Palmer was correct and did everything by the book. His guide was the poacher. But that didn’t matter to the left, who wanted him crucified because they had to have a sacrificial goat for their sins.

        I pray that our new fascist government doesn’t drone Mar A Lago, to the cheers of the press. And I would be shocked it it happened… but not too shocked.

          1. I expect them to have the FBI and DOJ raid CPAC and arrest the attendees and speakers for “inciting insurrection”, “treason” and a whole host of other absurd charges all of which amount to expressing thoughtcrime.

  10. Heinlein’s comments in the Afterword of his essay “Inside Intourist” implies that a birth dearth has been an issue in Russa for quite some time.

    I can’t remember details. BUT one of the stories they presented — from people who had lived and grown in the USSR — was of the group of guy who shared a condom. I don’t remember exactly how many there were. It was either six or ten. Because the USSR had caught on population was falling and therefore was making contraceptives hard to come by. So these guys shared a condom, and washed it in between, and when it tore, the guy who worked in a plant that made rubber stuff would repair it.

    I’m reminded of a joke about a Scottish soldier representing his regiment who was shopping for condoms. He asked the store owner questions about the various brands and features available. Then went back to his regiment and promised to return with their decision.
    The next day, he comes in to the store and hands over this shredded piece of rubber.
    “We’ve voted to have it repaired.”

    1. I remember a news special from the USSR, about the same era. Seems birth control for women could not be found at any price, so the usual method of birth control was… abortion. While awake, no painkillers. But it was either that or find some way to shoehorn yet another person into a two-room apartment already housing two families, with no money for an infant’s care, so they’d grit their teeth and have the abortion. In a facility that looked like what we see coming out of Cuba today.

        1. And demoralizing, which the Party would regard as a feature, not a bug. What I remember most about the documentary is how *defeated* all these women looked.

          1. And yet, believe it or not, the Soviet constitution had a medal for (Russian) women who had 10 or more children.

        2. When DadRed was working with medical groups from behind the firmer Iron Curtain and USSR, I got to hear some snippets. Like the pastor’s wife who’d had nine abortions. Dad said that she looked haunted when she mentioned it, and she wasn’t the only one.

          1. … the pastor’s wife who’d had nine abortions. Dad said that she looked haunted when she mentioned it

            That’s just due to all the horror stories fed her by evil Republican pro-lifers, I’m sure.

  11. But imagine you’re in your late sixties, and suddenly you’re going “Maybe everything I knew about Vietnam is wrong?” “Maybe people aren’t against communism because they’re racists” maybe….

    My dad was a vet and did a tour in Vietnam. About 10 years ago he wrote an essay for Veteran’s Day. In it henmentioned that one of the worst things he saw here, in this country, was the insistence that the US withdraw and in his words, allow the Vietnamese people to be mired in Communist oppression simply because the oppressors were also Vietnamese.

    He taught me about sunk costs. He left an Army career with only 7 years to go before retirement. But he was frustrated, bored, and going nowhere. He resigned his commission and took a job across the country in San Diego. He left that job a year later to start his own company (while supporting a wife and 2 children). He refused to let sunk costs prevent him from improving his situation.

    1. I worked to help resettle Vietnamese refugees, in 1975 as a community volunteer. It was one of the formative experiences of my life – and also the one where I learned that practically everything I had ever seen or read about the Vietnam War on TV or in print … was wrong.

  12. I’d just finished reading at about the ‘extremist stand down’, the breast beating and confession sessions now required for all our armed forces.

    “As public servants, we took an oath to the Constitution and we will not tolerate those who participate in actions that go against the fundamental principles of the oath we share, particularly actions associated with extremist or dissident ideologies,”, -Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. John Nowell

    I suspect a democrat party card will soon be a requirement for military service, we can’t have Republicans, Libertarians, and others of that ilk, polluting the purity of our Guardians of the Capitol!

    1. Silly Admiral needs to have a good teacher (TXRed?) explain to him that the Founding Fathers *were* extremists and dissidents.

      1. I was lucky enough to have a remarkably subversive teacher in AP American History in the late ’70s. In California, no less! We spent… I think it was a bit more than a semester covering the period from the run-up to the American Revolution through the early Republic. With very extensive readings from the works of our Founding Fathers. Both the Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers. Jefferson on a citizen’s DUTY to rebel when (not if!) a government becomes intolerable. One thing that came through loud and clear is that the FF were wild-eyed extremists and dissidents.

        Even at the time, I thought it was brilliantly done — What American parent could _possibly_ complain about readings from the Founding Fathers? (That was THEN, of course…)

        Oh yeah, we also had a week near the end on how to spin what we’d covered to appease the graders on the AP exam. Pretty much the entire class wound up with 4s and 5s on the AP exam, which were then the top two grades and were sufficient to place out of college level American History.

        1. What American parent could _possibly_ complain about readings from the Founding Fathers? (That was THEN, of course…)

          Of course – before we discovered those Founding Fathers were white males and that many of them owned enslaved people … and before it was discovered that Slavery was bad.

          Well, bad when the enslaved are private property, not so much when it is the State that owns them.

          1. The new formulation of “enslaved person” bugs me. Even if I’m charitable and grant that it’s used with good intentions to avoid legitimizing slavery, it still strikes me as denying the evil reality of what the victims experienced. They were made into slaves legally and socially, and it was not just an arbitrary, socially-constructed thing that they could choose to ignore because it had no actual reality behind it.

            1. I share your ire at the term.

              Use of it is to sharpen the stake of idiocy on which they ought be impaled.

              1. Apparently the real point is that only the Left gets to determine how words are used and which words can be allowed to define people. One of the things that I really resent about the GOPe is that they let them get away with it. All. The. Time.

    2. I saw that the navy is going to require everyone to retake the oath of enlistment, along with all the struggle session Maoist crap they’re going to have to do. I wonder if this might make some people who never actually thought about the oath before to examine it and think about what it actually means. There’s a good possibility that this won’t have the effect they imagine it will have…

      1. I saw that, my answer to that would have been a typically Naval string of f-bombs. I’d have taken a BCD before swearing that oath. Or maybe taking it with my fingers crossed and honoring it exactly as much as Democrats honor their Oaths of Office.

      1. Like Uncle Adolf said about the Treaty of Versailles when it became inconvenient; “It’s just a piece of paper.”

    3. I’ve still never received a definition of “center” against which the extremists on any side can be measured, but man, is that a popular word among a certain segment of society. Most of whom wouldn’t be able to define “extremist” as anything other than “disagrees with me”. And many of them would be absolutely astounded to learn all the ways in which such so-called extremists DO in fact agree with them.

  13. The hardest thing to learn is to know when you just have to walk away. “But I’ve tried so hard to get to this point” is difficult to overcome, though “is the goal worth future effort?” is a good starting point. I once asked someone facing a major life decision that would walk away from six years of effort if he could do that work again if necessary. And he decided that yes, he could, and he made the decision to walk away. (Juuuussst as well. Subsequent events have shown him really unsuited to the life he walked away from.)

    1. That happened to me. I got turned down for promotion to full professor. I knew it was internal politics that could likely be overcome, but it would take a few years and a lot of stress and extra, unnecessary work. It was also a genuinely sexist decision on their part. I had 20+ years of sunk costs at that point. It was a hard decision to make at first (I balked when our initial plans to move didn’t pan out…I didn’t think I could leave without the excuse of moving out of state). But then I realized no matter the outcome of the promotion kerfuffle, I was still going to be stressed and unhappy. I walked away. I feel great.

    2. I walked away from the military at 20. Just long enough to get the pension at a minimal level. I looked around and realized that the most able, skilled and ambitious of my peers in the career field (who was a total mensch and a good friend and buddy) wasn’t able to make the next promotion tier. If he couldn’t make it – with all of his talents, experience and qualifications – than I had no chance at all.
      OTO – that last year was kind of fun. I had no reason to pull my punches, when asked for my opinion on something. Don’t screw with an E-6 who is on the way out. They’ve got nothing to loose and don’t care.

      1. I’ll be retirement eligible next September. My current contract runs through October of the following year. I might try to stick it out until January or March after that (COL increases mean some finagling for extra money), but even if I make Chief, I’m not planning to stay THAT much longer. A bit more money in the pension is nice, but the real money (or savings) is in the health insurance. I can work at a “regular” job, or piecemeal stuff for 15 years or so, if needed. But that health insurance is worth sticking around to 20 for, and it doesn’t really get better with more years in, unlike the pension, so not as much point to sticking around.

    3. I’m looking at doing exactly that. After over 20 years in IT I’m thinking about walking away from it and doing. . .whatever. Best idea I have so far is to setup a company doing disaster recovery consulting for families. Thing is, at this point, I don’t care. All I need to do is make enough to pay bills, rent, and food. Going to take a month or 2 off later this year and see what I can come up with.

  14. I believe you’re right. I think things are accelerating. The TX freeze I think opened a lot of eyes to the fact that renewable energy isn’t all that stable (there were other problems there as well that cascaded into a catastrophe, but it really started with the renewable energy sources going down). The covidiocy, where we’re now told to double mask (because two ineffective things are even better!) and the bleating that even with the vaccine you won’t be able to unmask or open the economy up, is starting to get to even the leftists. Now we see more evidence from SCOTUS that we’re no longer a republic (file suit before the election, oh but it’s too close to the election right now so we’ll look at it afterwards. Now that it’s before us it’s too late, this needed to be done before the election) and I think we’re rapidly approaching the hot zone.

    1. Oh, yes – this. People in Texas will not soon forget how they spent almost a week, freezing in their own homes, and without water. A lot of us got by, with what we had in the prepper closet, or by doing things … like setting a bucket to collect water (to flush the toilet with) under the gutter downspout, or collecting snow to melt over a propane BBQ unit. There are people dead of hypothermia in their own damn homes because of the Green Energy BS…

    2. It doesn’t help that apparently the feds were ordering ERCOT’s producers not to increase generation lest it exceed greenhouse gas caps.

      1. It seems to me that there is a way to balance the scales of justice in this situation.

        First, we tally up the people who died in Texas because of this. There is no need to exaggerate with marginal cases (unlike Xi’s Disease), the open and shut cases will be enough.

        Then we arrange the ERCOT and Federal authority chart so that it is in order of descending authority.

        Then N officials from the authority list are executed, where N is equal to the number of deaths.

      2. Abbott should have told them to crank it up to “11” and let the state’s lawyers deal with the Feds later.

        His responsibility was to his people, not paper-pushers at the Fed.

        Every one of those deaths is his own personal responsibility.

          1. Hopefully the voters of Texas will remember that, next election.

            Though Dominion is trying *very* hard to get its nose in that tent.

            1. Don’t-minion and Smart(Not!)Matic are foreign corporations. So election fraud by them would be foreign interference in our election, wouldn’t it? With serious consequences for those that received payoffs to ‘recommend’ them?

      3. It is surely just coincidence that the people pushing Zero Emissions today were recently pushing Zero Population Growth — thus the deaths of people is effectively a feature, not a bug.

        The real inconvenience is the public need for them to cry Cuomo-tears rather than dance their glee at advancing multiple goals with a single event.

  15. }}} Middle-aged-unemployed-man syndrome is a thing.

    This is HR as much as it is “men who can’t adapt”.

    I’ve been steadily learning new things all my life — going (in IT) from Development, to Internal & External Support, to QA, to Automated QA (less intense than full Dev is, but still writing code).

    But there have been times when it’s been exceptionally difficult to get past the “He’s old and can’t learn/do anything new” BS that pervades the business (it also tie into a business notion that they only want to hire ex-employees, since those are the only people who could possibly get past their inviolable Skills The Hire Must Possess.

    I’ve done Physics/Math, History, and Economics. I’m as close to a polymath as you get in this world. But finding jobs as I get older is ridiculously hard.

    It was once a matter of, “They can learn the job”. Now it’s “They can already do the job”. And that last is ex-employee territory, not rational new employee territory. I have news for you HR peeps: If they are ex-employees, either you are sick of their shit, or they are sick of your shit.

        1. 25, has 10 yrs experience in program language (that is 2 yrs old), and most importantly is cheap and almost indentured servant

      1. Which has been there for decades. I got my MLS back in ’91. At the time the library in Oneonta, NY was looking for a reference librarian. They were looking for someone with at least three years’ experience (preferably more!) and were offering $18K a year. Even for that location, at that time, it wasn’t even really entry-level wages. They couldn’t understand why the only people applying were those straight out of library school with no experience and the position stayed vacant for years. It never crossed their minds that they were asking for God and not even willing to pay for an Angel, never mind something a little higher like a Dominion.

          1. To a degree. I have been wondering how long before all new business construction will include Faraday shielding of the restrooms. That might shorten a lot of time that some spend “perched on the bowl” as it were. It’s not everyone, but it’s well above the detection threshold.

        1. I had been taught that a big part of HR’s job consisted of bench-marking salary levels, to ensure pay levels were competitive enough to attract qualified applicants.

          I had also been taught that our media businesses are dedicated to accurate and minimally biased presentation of events, with attention to the perspectives of all major parties to any event and sufficient context to understand the full picture.

          I had also been taught that if I leave recently fallen teeth under my pillow overnight I would receive a stipend from the Tooth Industrial Complex.

          1. I always love it when someone requests a raise, is denied and then leaves. And the employer then has to offer even more than what was being asked for in order to entice qualified applicants.

            1. I always love it when someone requests a raise, is denied and then leaves. And the employer then has to offer even more than what was being asked for in order to entice qualified applicants.

              Or (will even consider AND) original employee is asking for simple accommodation (cough, work from home) even when living in same city as office (commute wasn’t arduous, other reasons). Long term employee (or short term depending on “definition” of employment term – 10+ years, 35 years experience in industry, say … okay old). Hmmm. Five, 7 replacements, in the last five years. Two, hired in the last 2 years, might (?) last. OTOH one of the first 5 made it almost 5 years before throwing in the towel (don’t know why quit, history of company says quit, not let go. Late career change. Someone who would have difficulty, by age alone, replacing the job.) … Now they are down another 2 programmers (retired, they did turn 70). Rumor is TPTB are hinting at finding overseas programming group to write the code … Oh that should go over good with the clients, software does include (or can) SS#, testing is done with real data. (Clients that if this happens, who should bail, but government, so …).

            2. Part of that happened to me. I worked for Cornell as a programmer, which was in the habit of underpaying programmers because there were plenty of “trailing spouses” and not many high tech employers. I asked for a raise, but there was a salary “freeze” and they would have had to reclassify my job to a different level. I left for multiple reasons, but one was that I couldn’t afford to continue at that salary. So I got a remote job paying $30k more. And my boss had the nerve to be angry that I left. I don’t think they were able to fill that position so they just told other programmers to learn the stack.

              1. my boss had the nerve to be angry that I left.

                You too? Seven weeks isn’t long enough notice? Only required 2 weeks by owner written employee manual. Granted almost half was vacation/holiday. Still more time than required. My benefit was I didn’t require references …

        2. Oh yes, I remember the back in ’99 the university telecom dept was advertising for a position (they already had a non-benefited employee in it, but had created the new benefited position essentially for him) with requirements like 10 years experience in X, ability to program in 3 different languages and experience working with Y, for around $30. Never mind that someone with that type of experience could move 4 hours away and easily start at several multiples of that. Even accounting for cost of living differences it was a very low ball figure. That person was also the only one ever in that particular position, as it was eliminated several years ago during budget cuts.

      2. The classic example being refusing to hire someone because they lack 10 years experience in the latest programming hotness which first saw light of day 5 years ago.

        The frequency of ads requiring X years experience in $FOO which even the creator of $FOO lacks because he invented it X – 2 years ago is appalling.

        1. The Feds get bad that way, too. Been a while since I checked listing, but it wasn’t uncommon to see a GS-9 position requiring a Master’s degree as a minimum. (I got in with a Batchelor’s, but as a GS-5, which at the time was $10K per year. Even in 1978 in Alabama, that wasn’t a lot of money).

        2. I vaguely recall this being a common tactic by human resources to permit the company to say that they’d made the effort to hire Americans but that few or no applicants were able to meet the requirements, thus justifying bringing in overseas talent to fulfill their business requirements. The fact that such overseas imports are typically paid considerably less than Americans would be in similar positions is, of course, not mentioned in polite society.

      3. It’s the people who want 10 years of experience with a specific program released three months ago who are truly amazing.

      1. And then KEEPING the deadweight, as finding anyone to replace such means having to do that dreaded work thing. That is screws over others is unimportant. *GRRRRR*

      2. Simple pain avoidance process: HR can be blamed for bad hires but cannot be held responsible for not finding qualified applicants.

        1. So much this.

          Same issue in the foster/adoption system. Permanently place a kid with the wrong family, big problems for the social workers. Leave kids bouncing from foster to foster, little to no consequences. As a result, the rules just get more and more ridiculous.

      3. Also they CANNOT hire until the person has left. I was haired in for a programming position where the person was retiring after 35 years with the company. I had 3 days overlap. When I was hired in there were 10 people in the programming department, 6 of them with almost or over 30 years with the company. About a year later the company offered retirement for those who wanted it with a 3 year add to the number of years. 5 of them took it. All were retired and NO ONE was hired to take their places. I have over 10 years with the company now, they STILL don’t think there is any reason to hire anyone to learn from those who are retiring. All that company knowledge just thrown away because the higher ups don’t think it matters.
        God how can companies be that stupid?

    1. But there have been times when it’s been exceptionally difficult to get past the “He’s old and can’t learn/do anything new” BS that pervades the business

      Either that or they are afraid of being shown up because, at least with programming and software design, experience counts.

      Not just “He is Old”. “She is Old”, is a thing too.

    2. Sure. But part of it is that a lot of people can’t learn after 45.
      And you’re not going to get me to defend HR. They’re insane. I don’t deal with them, but family does.

  16. They are accelerating alright.

    Democrat Congressmen Jerry McNerny and Anna Eshoo are essentially demanding contracts with right leaning outlets such as Fox News, Newsmax, and OANN be terminated and therefore, deplatformed.

    1. And their media arm are declaring the entire Republican Party to be terrorists:

      Sadly civil war appears to be inevitable at this point. The Democrats appear intent on instigating one as they are going all in on creating a totalitarian tyrannical CCP style one-party state with the requisite mass persecution and mass graves.

  17. I will also point out the Left’s mania to recreate both Watergate and Vietnam, first with Iraq, then with Trump.

    Those were defining moments for them, where they were “The Good Guys” and their opposition were the Bad Guys.

    The fact that Vietnam — which the USA had won by the Tet Offensive — the Merdia’s endless carping forced America to abandon people — millions of them — who had staked their lives on our following through on our promises — is lost on them. They refuse to remember our helicopters airlifting people off from rooftops with people desperately trying to hang on, and falling to their doom, one way or another. Not for nothing were there millions of “Boat People” who died trying to escape the Hellhole the Left Made.

    And then they did it again, in Iraq — a war that was mostly won by the USA, but the opposition was fed a steady diet of American Media support for hanging on until the American populace stopped supporting our mission there, and now, Iraq is a total basket case… when it might have become a shining example to all the world was an Islamic nation was potentially capable of.

    The Left never cared about the people, all they cared about was “Winning”, having their side “be correct”… and damn anyone who that harmed.

    1. The documentary “Last Days in Vietnam” is largely about the people trying to leave, and is heart-breaking to watch.

    2. Vietnam seems to have been a war built on betrayal.

      [insert rant about how the people running the Armory syndicate should have been executed for Treason]

    3. Try reading Tip O’Neill’s “Man of the House”, where he talks about how he and senior Democrats conspired to de-fund the Vietnam war – that *his* party started – to make Nixon look bad. It moves from “dirty politics” to outright treason, as legally defined, and he *brags* about it. In his autobiography.

      If you take blood pressure meds double up before reading, lest you burst an artery.

  18. I’m more flexible than most and I am still having problems with the technology especially the work at home technology. I was also an electronics tech for ten years etc, etc. I think I would be more flexible if I had been less sick the last eighteen years.

  19. On the idea that any of them want a return to a real or imaginary comfortable past, I wonder if you could get some cranial detonation by musing, “Gosh, that’s awful consevative.”

  20. Catholics in the Denver area might want to contact Padre Peregrino. Might not be what you’re looking for, but might be, too.

  21. Question for Orthodox: i heard somewhere that the mutual excommunications with the Catholics were lifted some decades back. Does that mean we can attend and communicate at each other’s parishes? No, I don’t have practical access to an Orthodox parish, just for reference.

    1. TL;DR: No. There is no intercommunion for Catholics and Orthodox.

      In 1965, Pope Paul VI and Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras lifted the mutual excommunications between the Holy See and the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople in 1054. This was a step forward but did not mean the 1,000-year schism was over, as it was mostly symbolic and applied only to the events and persons in 1054. Indeed, other Orthodox patriarchs were much opposed and consider Athenagoras a traitor to this day. (By custom the patriarch of Constantinople speaks for all the Orthodox churches, but it’s a loose custom, and woe betide him if he gets out too far in front of the rest.)

      Catholics are permitted, by *Catholic* canon law, to receive the Eucharist at Divine Liturgy under certain limited circumstances (e.g., being in a country where effectively there are no Catholic churches). The Orthodox, as I understand it, do not allow Catholics to receive, period.

      1. One hears that there is a certain amount of intercommunion on small isolated Greek islands with maverick-ish geezer Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic priests. This does not mean that everybody is doing it, or that it’s hotsy-totsy and legal according to the respective canon laws. It also doesn’t mean that every geezer priest is doing it, either.

        Danger of death is the usual one for Catholics letting Orthodox commune, with no problema.

  22. I hope you had as much fun writing your dark ship books as I’ve had reading them (actually listening to them). They’ve been a wonderful escape during these disturbing and paradigm shifting times. Thank you so much.

  23. OT but related:

    FBI Seized Congressional Cellphone Records Related to Capitol Attack

    “The FBI is “searching cell towers and phones pinging off cell sites in the area to determine visitors to the Capitol,” a recently retired senior FBI official told The Intercept. The data is also being used to map links between suspects, which include members of Congress, they also said.”

    Gee, can anyone guess which members of Congress might be getting this special treatment??

    1. I wonder how much they could discover if they did this in Portland. In particular, if they compared that data to the other cities with riots.

  24. I think you’re right about the great reset not being the one counted on. What I fear is that the end result is going to be a hot mess of devastation to society. I don’t live in fear or let it make my decisions for me, but I have a hard time thinking there won’t be serious damage to society from the next convulsion/revolution, and how it will ultimately settle out.

  25. I just want to take a moment and observe that, surprisingly, one field that you can expect to be cutting edge, is in many ways also extremely conservative: software development.

    I am currently trying to learn a computer language — Common Lisp — that was around before Python (my current language for data analysis at work) and PHP (the evil language that my work — and many other places — uses to generate web pages), that’s just as dynamic and flexible as those two, and perhaps even more so, and yet can perform considerably better as well — with a certain amount of determination, it can rival C and especially Java in performance.

    Yet computer programmers (and more especially their managers) resist languages like this. There are arguably good reasons for this, to be sure, but as I’ve studied various topics in computer science, I have despairingly come to accept that most of the great computer stuff was discovered by the 1970s, and all the “latest greatest hotness” is merely a rediscovering of this old stuff.

    I think it was Alan Kay, creator of Smalltalk, who observed that computer science was more like pop culture than science. He observed that computers have had several cycles of “resets” where the new, smaller computers weren’t as powerful as the big mainframe-ish computers that came before, so new generations of computer programmers had to start from scratch, and rediscover the important things from their fields as computers grew in capabilities.

    That, and network effects are certainly important. Common Lisp struggles to have the libraries and documentation that more modern languages have, because not as many people use Common Lisp; similarly, a company that started out with a handful of little PHP scripts back when PHP was really the best option for web development, but has since developed their system into a huge behemoth, isn’t going to throw everything away for the next fad!

    But it’s nonetheless depressing to see all the great ideas out there, such as Lisp for expressiveness, actors for concurrency, object capabilities for security, and so forth, lingering on the margins for the curious who want to learn from them, never really getting into mainstream because no one uses them, and there’s already too much legacy to deal with too!

    (Incidentally, as I’ve been working on a new project recently, I’ve discovered that lack of documentation might not always be the hindrance I was led to believe it will be: it can be just as effective, and even a little rewarding, to delve into the source code of something, to work out just what it’s supposed to do! Time will tell, of course, but then, the end result may very well be me who ends up writing up some of this documentation….)

    1. I’ve been doing software for around 40 years and it is clear to me that “software engineering” is just as susceptible to fashion and fad as all other areas of human activity. And I’ve never seen an adequately documented codebase. It’s an oxymoron.

      I’ve also observed that being able to read and understand a complex codebase is a different and more valuable skill than being able to write the same code. Some people can write new code but struggle to understand the existing code.

      1. Well, of course! Your code is clean and efficient and logical; everybody else’s code is a jumbled mess. 😛

        Where I used to work, the company’s founder had written a circuit design and schematic capture system in ELisp with functions I haven’t seen since. Easy to learn, easy to use, with extensions that handled production kitting and inventory management.

        The company was bought out, and the new management proudly rolled out the expensive ‘professional’ design packages they used — which sucked rocks compared to our ‘Stanware’ ELisp system.

        In the end, it didn’t matter much. They had bought the company to eliminate a competitor. I got sacked in the third round of layoffs.

        1. A similar thing happened at a previous job. An employee had written a deployment script which ran off of configuration files, was easy to understand, and worked really well. This was not acceptable. The new CTO ran him off by continual complaints and carping, then insisted on upgrading to the latest shiny thing which had been touted on fashionable software engineering blogs.

          Several years later they still hadn’t gotten it working properly, there were no improvements in the process that I could see (granted it wasn’t my area), and the entire tech team was demoralized because of all of the stress and disruption. Not to mention the idiot CTO blamed the programmers because they hadn’t “self-organized” into “dynamic mission driven teams” to solve all of the problems the technology switch had caused. Apparently actually doing the work of managing the effort was not required.

        2. Well, of course! Your code is clean and efficient and logical; everybody else’s code is a jumbled mess.

          “I can always tell your code. It has a distinctive style, even within company style requirements.”

          Not sure this was meant as a compliment or not. (Depending on situation. Probably AND.)

          Note code changes were always dated, in the code. Company requirement. Date tied to comment at top with date, and initials of who, with ticket that generated change, with brief explanation; also required. So, not like person couldn’t lookup who changed it. More complicated, based on these tags alone, if multiple people made changes on the same day to different sections of code (not at same time, that was impossible). Apparently “my style” was obvious without these tags.

      2. adequately documented codebase. It’s an oxymoron.

        Yep. Even my own. I tried. But …

        being able to read and understand a complex codebase is a different and more valuable skill than being able to write the same code.

        Especially when the complexity is hidden behind code simplification generated by a tool. I used to say I had a job because the code generated by tools never quite did the job needed. There is a phrase that applies, to quote “Must be able to work through, over, around, under …” generated code to accomplish what is needed.

    2. LISP’s big problem is all those parentheses. In class we used “paren” for left parenthesis, and “thesis” for right and it sped up conversations enormously, there were so many.

    3. lack of documentation might not always be the hindrance I was led to believe it will be: it can be just as effective, and even a little rewarding, to delve into the source code of something, to work out just what it’s supposed to do! Time will tell, of course, but then, the end result may very well be me who ends up writing up some of this documentation

      Yes. Delving into undocumented code is rewarding to work out what it is suppose to do. No doubt. Just wait until you have to delve into complicated inter-related code for the 5th time … You bet you’ll document it.

      Properly documented code tells future you (or someone else) what the intent for the code is. Then later when it has to be changed or something is broken, the code is still delved into, discover (thanks to experience/different perspective) that oh gee, it isn’t quite doing what it was intended. Real example: Three K buffer setup to keep most recent used in memory, but was instead swapping out most recent used for what was wanted, horribly slowing down the program … Actually documented for once.

      Regarding “Future You” … trust me, you will have to delve into code you’ve written. You will exclaim “Why in the H E double toothpicks did I do this?” Trust me. You will. If you documented it, you’ll know why. Or if someone else did the code, you’ll know why. Sometimes something is done that wouldn’t normally be considered because it has to be done that way, if changed, means it is now broken or more complicates the system. Or “Well this is tight brilliant elegant code. Now how do I fix or change this?”

      Or there is a reason the convert characters to ASCII and back, that requires, which code page is being used, + string being converted, buried deep in standard C++ library, not documented functions were found and used. Instead of just using the “documented” function that presumes the computer OS code page setting. That there is also a reason the information was passed to the library the way it was too … prevent changing the library interface. Change library interfaces at your peril. Thoroughly documented.

      There is a reason the “one file one functionality” was broken by tagging EOF functionality one and tagging start of functionality two, should have just defined a second file type or added to massive client system definition file … yea, no … broke the “rules”, but made more sense to keep it where it was only used. Anything that applied to multiple files, did go in client system definitions for the program involved. Okay. Should have fully documented in code, but this was in a LOT of programs. Documented, thoroughly, in a Word DOC, with examples. Should have noted the .DOC file in every program it applied to. Live and Learn. Right?

      None of these may make any sense because they are out of program/system context, likely need a lot more explanations. But they are real life experiences.

      1983 – 2016 in career of Design/Programmer (programmed what I designed), as well as worked on what others have written (either taken over or as part of a team). I’ve done all the above and more. Never worked with Lisp or Schema (which is similar). Have worked with … Fortran, Cobol, RPG, C, C++, C#, Pascal, and a variety of package wrapper/libraries for each of the above, against databases, and flat or propitiatory files on DOS, Xenix, Unix, and Windows.

      System conservation? In spades. First job after finishing CSBS 1990, Cobol code was at least 30 years old … talk about tangled undocumented code. Then there was the system I took over in ’96, only 6 months old, but OMG … I know why the contractor wrote it the way it was and had to be. It was a required no choice upgrade to tools that triggered the fixes (two level jump). Then when I started in ’04 with my last employer, they were 4 years behind in tool upgrades because “it was too hard and there were too many programs and libraries involved” … when I retired in 2016, they were 16 years behind, one Windows upgrade from Oh S* … my mole says they are starting to convert now to current tools and protocols, you know, in 2021 … Depending on how much each program or library requires changing … Well it took 5 years to convert to the new report options; a subset. Another 2 years into changing out report forms to allow form preview, plus incorporating all the custom claim programs into one claim program … and counting, when I retired. Given staffing, and (lack of) new staffing experience, then, that was all dropped … I was 1/3 through the list … This was 75% of what I was doing … I was at the stage where I could get two or three done a day depending on, interruptions, and “How really custom” a client’s program and forms were … Or were they “made from” another client setup. Although if claim integration completed, then there is One program to fix VS 100 or so.

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