The Thing And The Whole Of The Thing

We all talk about what happens to an institution, an industry, or for that matter a city when the left seizes control of it. At this point it has happened often enough that we have a term and a meme for it. “Skinsuited” is the theme and this twitter has become a meme.

But what is lost on most people, and in the meme, is this: They don’t mean to kill the thing they seize.

Seriously, trust me on this. They really have no clue what they’re doing will destroy this prized possession they just got by hook and — most often — by crook.

There is something you must understand about the left as it stands right now (the left of the early twentieth century was a different thing, as they hadn’t yet taken over the institutions, so they were largely the outsiders. Though not for long.)): they are the good boys and girls. They are the ones who went to school and listened, the ones who never questioned the revelations handed down by the teachers, the ones who wanted to dress well — for whatever the values of the time were — and be good. Some of them along the way became bizarre perverted horrors, but in the beginning they were attentive, caring and wanted to do good in the world. Oh, and be admired for it. Definitely be admired for it.

Behind that might lurk unclean lusts for power, wealth and sinful levels of pride, but let’s face it, anyone who is fairly intelligent wants to be rewarded for that intelligence, wants to have the power to order their space and their career, and wants to “do well by doing good.” Yes, all of that has gone astray.

Unfortunately by the time the current left came of age, the institutions had been well saturated with Marxism. All of us, I’m sorry to say, were taught by Marxism, our world view, no matter how much we try to clear it, will retain bits of Marxism, and our idea of history is full of Marxism. So is economics and…. well, everything.

Even more unfortunately the type of person who tends to buy into Marxism wholesale, never question any bit of it, and become enthusiastic foot soldiers in the campaign for Marxist utopia are “people of the system.” There is a post by that name, if you want to look it up, but what it boils down to is this: They like theories that are completely explanatory of everything…. provided you never look outside the theory. I.e. if you just stay with the theory and its explanations, everything works great.

This is characteristic, a form of thinking, a type of human brain. In former times people like leftists were monks who became completely enamored of the theological system and started going down the rabbits nest, till the most important thing was how many angels could dance on the head of a pin, having completely missed the non-corporeal nature of angels, or indeed asking of what importance this was to the outside world.

A lot of academicians and philosophers in the pre-scientific era were this type too. They took what the ancients had said, and elaborated on it, without ever in fact testing the system outside of itself. “Okay, so it is said that things fall faster the closer to the ground they are, like a horse sensing the stable. Let’s test the rate of fall of this hammer. For that matter, if the hammer is sensing its usual resting place, it should fall faster near the toolbox.”

In fact, this type of mind might be the antithesis of scientific. “Everyone says this is so, so it must be so” isn’t just “not science”, it prevents science from happening. Going by history, if you’ve been taught, and everyone says that “when things get bad enough, the people, as one will rise up” and you’re presented with data showing that it’s when repression lifts, and people start having a little more (money, time, health) that revolutions happens, you ignore it. Which is why you do thinks like wreck the American economy, be baffled as to why the people as one aren’t rising up to take out the 1% and, in frustration, create Occupy Wall Street to show the people how to rise up, and they still won’t rise up.

You can count revolution as another of those things that the left has wrecked. And they really wanted a revolution. (Wrecking the economy and the US and the Western world in general is the one exception to “they don’t do it on purpose.” And even that is iffy. Sure, they wreck everything, but that’s because their revealed Theory of Everything tells them if they do that, wealth will become evenly distributed, all over the world, and paradise will ensue. They want what’s best for you, America. You just don’t know what it is, but they’re going to show you (good and hard.)

And the problem is exactly this. They are bounded by a system that doesn’t allow them to see reality. Because reality would be different, and they can’t process that. They live and die by their system.

So when they take over an institution, at first they think they really are going to improve it and make it great. Take education. They have all these studies (and they don’t understand that studies involving humans are iffy, because humans aren’t widgets) that show that people learn best if they’re having fun; that all children hate memorization; that reading is much faster and better if you learn the word as a word, instead of trying to sound it out. So they went into education full of energy, determined to put all this into practice. The fact that this hadn’t been done like that for centuries didn’t matter. They were going to show the world…

We all know the disaster. The left knows the disaster too. That’s why they keep coming up with the world’s stupidest defenses, “But if you sound out the word, you just know what it sounds like, not what it means!” (Well, yes, that’s why there are these things called dictionaries, though a lot of us who went into reading all thumbs and head first often deduced the meaning from the surrounding words we did know. That works too. With occasionally hilarious exceptions.) And “But we don’t teach them that stuff because there’s so much other stuff to learn.”

And then what they end up doing, in “education” is bizarre cathecization. I.e. they end up teaching the system, in shibboleths to kids who are very bad readers, can’t do math, and are in general messes. But anyone can teach and learn a simplistic system. The Catholic Church for years taught a simplified version of its cathecism to people who could barely speak. I watched it being done. It can be done. (And it helped, honestly, since a lot of it had to do with how to live a decent and moral life, which they otherwise wouldn’t be able to. Giving them internal principles helped them and their care takers, even if the individual didn’t fully get it.) Unfortunately Marxism is not nearly as congruent with reality as Christianity. So when the system isn’t making their pupils better people and healing all the ills in the world, the teachers (themselves already cathecized, not taught in any sense of the word) go searching for more extreme things. Non-gender-pronouns for every boy girl penguin or perhaps “let’s make every white kid feel guilty for being born white and inculcate in them hatred of themselves and their whole families.” Because you see, the system doesn’t explain every individual is different. And it pretty much emphasizes that “classes” (now including races, thanks to Gramsci) have collective guilt. So even though you, yourself, never owned a slave, nor did anyone of your country in living memory, you share the guilt of ancestors who looked like you (almost everyone has ancestors of other races. Trust me on this.) Because you’re a class. And if your class is reviled and made to pay for its crimes, voila, instant paradise.

It goes like this with everything. They take over cities, and they implement all the policies that they were told will make it wonderful and flourish. They believe the theories and the system. So they do it. When hell ensues, they’re baffled and can’t understand why it went all wrong. It never occurs to them the system might be wrong. That would be kind of like telling you that you don’t have a body. I mean, you know you have a body. And they know the system is right, and nothing exists outside the system.

Or take publishing. They didn’t set out to wreck salability. They knew that if they told the great Marxist stories people would be enthralled. Why, the proletariat is naturally Marxist. They were going to give them a voice. They were going to tell them they could rise up. They’d lift the shackles of the moralistic Judeo Christian system and FREE people. They would — They would fall flat on their faces, because no one wants to read about horrible people doing horrible things for no reason, and the proletariat in America back when it read a lot, mostly wanted to have fun adventures and maybe fall in love while reading their books.

So the left did what it always does. “Preach louder.” And when that failed harder, they conceived a hatred for people, out there, that they can’t understand, or predict, or force to fit into the system.

Those words that come out of their mouths? “Deplorable” and “Bitter Clingers” and all the rest of it? They really think we’re stupid. I mean, the system is so easy to grasp, and yet we refuse to believe and make it work.

Of course the system can’t work. The system, when it collides with reality is disproved hard. Reality is a bitch, she always wins. And the system takes revenge by making it hell on Earth and sending all those kulaks who refuse to play along to mass graves.

So, why do you need to know they don’t do it on purpose, if in the end they all become bitter, horrible people who hate those around them and want to hurt them?

Well, because it explains a lot of things. Their fury and paranoia (and why DC is now an occupied zone) is the result of the fact they don’t do it on purpose. They’re true believers, and they don’t understand why we don’t play along. They hate us and are terrified of us, because the system has no place for individuals. And yet here we are. And they can’t understand why we refuse to follow the promulgation of truth from on high. I mean, they would.

This is why the more they seize control of, the more things fall apart in their hands. The system can’t encompass complex systems or individual decisions. So things are constantly surprising them, and giving them the impression that the world is out to get them. Mostly because it is. Because reality always wins.

The reason I say the left is like the dog who has caught the car, has its teeth clamped on the bumper and can’t figure out why it’s not winning, is because it’s the most apt metaphor. Having captured government with a potemkin campaign and the most fraudulent election in the history of the US, they can’t understand why we’re not all falling into line, and transporting seamlessly into a socialist republic. In fact the car is accelerating, the dog is getting dragged to its death: which is the best metaphor for how the covidiocy that was part of their grand plan has accelerated the death of the institutions/cities/regions/fields they’ve captured. And they’re baffled, confused and terrified because the system must be true, and the system says this should have worked.

And so we’ve come to this uniquely perilous moment. They can’t see outside the system. They don’t know how they look to us. They feel our resentment, our refusal to believe and do as they say, and they can’t understand why or where it’s coming from.

At some point, like a toddler with a wind up doll that won’t work right, they’re going to try to smash us in a grand fit of rage.

Be prepared. I predict it will go about as well as everything else they try to do. They will distort the economy for maybe a generation, but in the end all they’re doing by ramping up what the system says should work is commit suicide.

And for us, it’s important to remember after. A lot of people, particularly the rebellious young, just turn what the left says they want (which has nothing to do with what they do) on its head and think this makes it all right. But it’s still a system, and systems like that don’t account for individuals, chaos or the unexpected.

And then there’s what the left has done for three generations “hire for ideology” not competence. If you do that, you get people who care more about the system — the ideology — than the thing they’re supposed to be doing.

Industries, sciences, engineering, medicine, writing, selling books, all of them can work very well if the people working on them are MOST interested in the case, the people, the bridge in front of them, and not in how they fall into the ideology and the system.

One thing I noticed in every industry the left takes over, is that it becomes flooded with people who care passionately about Marxism and raising consciousness and fighting for racial or gender justice, and– And not writing/selling a marketable book. Or building an energy plant that will furnish power (real power) to the people to cook with and heat their houses. Or teach the kids the alphabet. Or pave the road. Or build a bridge that doesn’t fall down.

The occupying Junta is a good example of this. Time and again, they hire someone who has no experience for the job and who wouldn’t be competent enough to organize and run a teddy bear tea. BUT when challenged they gush about how this is the first person of x ethnicity/sex/orientation to hold the position. And can’t understand why that doesn’t make it better.

In fact, the whole diversity thing is part of how the left fails to understand… well, anything. There is a weak (note weak) correlation between a group with diverse points of view and better results in a project. Sometimes these points of view even correlate to say sex. I’m tired of being given the example of an airplane seat that was designed for both men and women and they had only men on the team. Then the woman came in and showed them what they’d been overlooking, and why it wouldn’t work for a female. That’s dandy, but that speaks incompetence of the original team. If they were designing it for both, they should have got a woman there to test it on, early on. In the end they were building the seat wrong because they weren’t very bright, not because they were all men.

In the same way, apparently a chip company made a mint from allowing the Janitor to talk to the board and explain there were no chips being sold that appealed to a Latin taste. Great. It was an overlooked market, and it paid off big. But arguably, again, it was incompetence of the board. Why weren’t they test marketing to various sub-cultures?

However, diversity of thought and opinion has some uses (the current drive for crazy “unity” doesn’t. It’s the scream of the dying system.) Diversity of skin color, reproductive organs, or whom you like to sleep with, doesn’t.

The system however says that people that share a large and obvious characteristic, like skin color or orientation, are basically all the same. So the left is enthralled with this faux-diversity and expects it to render magical results, even though it makes no sense whatsoever. Because they’re people of the system.

Which, as much as malice, insanity and a large amount of laughable self-pride explains the Junta. And why they think it’s perfectly ethical to steal an election. After all they’re “the good people” and they’ll bring us paradise. Unless we don’t let them…. Or reality, that bitch, trips them up again.

Stay aware, stay alert. It’s going to get very very rough before it smooths out. People who are interested in the system aren’t interested in whatever the thing is they’re supposed to be doing: feeding people, teaching kids to read, writing readable books, etc. etc.

Some of the industries they’ve taken over are actual science and there their insanity is going to hurt us all.

In the reorganization, remember. Hire people who want to do the thing, and who are passionate about the thing. Not people who want to posture, preen and feel like they’re saints of the system.

Teach science again. Teach that it’s not decided by majority opinion, but by hypothesis, testing and results. Teach art again: all the techniques that have been forgotten. And the same for crafts, like writing.

And teach that there’s no overarching system that explains everything. There just isn’t. And there is no way to control people to play under any given system, because systems aren’t part of reality. And you’re not made smarter and better because you believe in a system: you’re made smarter and better by learning and practicing and not giving up.

There’s nothing inherently wrong to the individuals caught in the system. If they can be brought to believe the system doesn’t work, and care about whatever the “thing” is, be it writing or selling, or teaching, or reporting news or building machines, with the passionate intensity they’ve devoted to the system, they’ll be fine.

Of course, the experience will be akin to dying and rebuilding themselves after. And few will do it.

But we must remember this, so we don’t fall into the same trap.

A civilization can’t survive if people don’t care about the thing they’re supposed to be doing, but only about the overarching system. It just can’t.

So forget the system, and do the thing. Build over, build under, build around, because the left is wrecking society as a hole, and someone will need to take the weight and lift it up again, when it falls.

492 thoughts on “The Thing And The Whole Of The Thing

  1. Hi,
    Didn’t have time to read this, will do if I have access to a computer after seeing knee doctor.

    Looks like the joint is *not* stable, as I learned when trying to step over 16 year old Sara. The brace saved the knee from more damage, though helping me get up didn’t do any good for $SPOUSE’s back, and I know I’ll have round 3 of sciatica in a while.

    We’ll see what the result it. Prayers more than welcome.

    Thanks for those already sent.

    1. (Sara’s a dog.) Good, but half-deaf and annoyed at having to evade my walker. Not up to crutches.

      1. Cool brace already on hand. I have to keep it tight enough to prevent the knee from flexing at all. The doc says the quadricepts muscle tendons parted company with the bone (patella, I think). There’s nothing that will extend the right leg below the knee.

        The fix is open-knee surgery to sew things together, with a roughly 3 month recovery time. Apparently, the arthritis in the knee isn’t that bad, so I should be able to stay with the OEM model for the indefinite future.

        Lab/EKG due tomorrow morning, with preop later the morn. Surgery is day type (both good/bad news; the hospital is basic rural regional, and overnight stays aren’t the best idea. OTOH, they have really good day surgery facilities.)

    2. You need a cool brace like Mel Gibson wore in “The Road Warrior.”

      If my knee gets much worse, I’m going to make one.

        1. [goggles] [saves page to local storage]

          I didn’t realize it attached to his boot; that’s a *lot* more useful than the usual nylon and Velco brace that tries to slide down my leg…

          1. Yeah, makes sense, so it doesn’t slide up or down every time you move. Also doesn’t need to be so tight, since it’s vertically stable.

            My guy’s brace is basically similar, tho not quite as heavy-duty (and only one strap above the knee). Has a sort of ankle harness and strap under the boot to make it stay put. It’s custom, tho, not made from scrounge.

    3. Ouch. That bites. Knee pain is no joke. May himself bless and keep you- from getting any worse off! Heal up soon, man, much as you can.

    4. My knee, just from sheer pain alone, wouldn’t take any pressure, at all. I got off light. Not extensive damage, just some stretching of tendons. So, a bit of hope. Maybe?

      Ouch! Just reading your adventures brings up too recent memories. My sympathy. I hope it is the pain from swelling, bruising, maybe some tendon stretching, and pulled muscles, not actual tearing or breakage damage. The former takes time. The latter takes time, then surgery then more time.

      1. I’m on the fast track. I have to discontinue warfarin tonight, and sometime Monday, it’s go time for the cutters. So it’ll be quick, until a few more months in The Comfy Chair.

        I can stand (carefully!!!) on the straight leg, but God help me if it flexes. Might be a thread of tendon left connected, but after this morning’s repeat fall, not much.

        Thanks all, will do my part and leave the rest to the medical team and Himself.

  2. Remember the box cartoon?

    The zero sum people think that taking away something from someone gives it to someone else. In reality, it breaks it so no-one can have it.

  3. Perfect timing! Just last night I was asking the First Reader if he understood why They are so angry. Why are They desperately hunting for White Supremacist Neo Nazis to hate? They’re holding all the levers of power and successfully destroying the country one executive order at a time… why can’t They be happy with that?

    You’ve clarified it for me. At least partially. If They sense that Their brilliant plans are not in fact creating heaven on earth, somebody or something has to be at fault. And it can’t possibly be that Their plans are bat-sh*t crazy. So it must be that we stupid, deplorable people are sabotaging them.

    Depressingly, the record shows that this kind of “thinking” can go on for a long time and do untold damage before it finally collapses under its own weight of errors. The history of Soviet Russia is not encouraging. I hope you’re right that this regime will fall apart faster than that one did.

    1. This regime will only fall faster if we help it fall. Irish Democracy time. Calling John Galt.

      1. And so we should do. The redonkulous 70 some years it took the USSR to meet reality may have more to do with the external support it received. Will (can?) China do that for the USSA?

        1. My understanding is that the Soviets got a lot of wheat and such from the USA over the years. Whether we should have given them material support in WW 2? I’m happy not to have been forced to make that decision.

          1. The Soviets and their satellites got a *lot* more than WW2 aid and discounted wheat. Stormer’s “None Date Call It Treason” has extensive lists, with source references, for an amazing amount of heavy industrial equipment we shipped there, not just cheap, but often Federally subsidized. As of when it was written in 1963, anyway.

              1. Which is one of the reasons why Trump was winning the trade war with China.

                Over time, the US can diversify its sources for goods to cut China out of the equation. China doesn’t really have that option for some of the most important things that it imports from the US – like food.

    2. There’s a difference between the self destruction of a person developing ever increasing psychiatric dysfunction who is alone, and one who has an enabling support network that can feed them resources.

      1. Look how much “Oh yeah? Try and make me” is already happening at the level of state government. They haven’t acted on it yet, not enough to notice, but they’re bristling up, what with multiple states considering legislation that nullifies the dictator’s edicts.

        1. Oregon has had to resort to OSHA fines. No indication on whether those fined are going to fight back.

            1. They have a plan for that. They control the financial institutions.

              What they cannot so easily do, is *make* you produce.
              It’s like fasting. It hurts, it’s not sustainable, but it kills the parasites, and things are better in the long run.

              Who is John Galt?

              1. They control *some* financial institutions.

                Which is why one criterion when I chose a new bank was that it had to be owned within my state.

              2. The inevitable result of trying to control the people via control of the financial institutions is that the people go with some other financial instruments. There’s always barter, currency from a nation with a sound economy, and other tricks of the trade going back long centuries.

                1. The other problem with using the financial institutions is that you take people’s wealth, they have very little incentive to not go after the thieves. Bank presidents, and government workers are easily identified, and they all have to sleep somewhere, sometime. Although I have to agree with Vlad Taltos, it’s gauche to assassinate a man in his home in front of his family. 😉

                2. Barter works, but only locally, very limited.

                  Even before covid, they’ve been shutting down small business. California had effectively outlawed self employment. Only the multinationals with big lobbyists will remain. All else will be illegal. It will still exists, like the speakeasys of prohibition, but far less selection and far less total commerce.

                  And of course, like prohibition, warlords will emerge, as must be when business is outlawed and outlaws must form their own courts (and enforcers).

                  Not a game for the faint of heart. The gods of the copybook headings are returning.

                  1. no, they really didn’t outlaw self employment. I’ll remind those here that the vast majority of the film industry, down to the third assistant gaffer, is self employed.

                    1. You’re right. It’s not dead yet.

                      They killed much of it through collateral damage in a broad stroke attempt to force Uber, Lyft, etc. to deal with the EDD, but the creative still persevere for the time being.

                    2. ‘deal with the EDD’?

                      no, they’re just afraid Uber and Lyft drivers aren’t paying their ‘fair share’ of taxes.

                    3. ah yeah, i have heard some people making noises about trying to unionize Uber. My prediction is it would kill it…

                    4. I don’t have the impression that they consider that a bug. Better dead than not red seems to be their main principle.

                    5. Oh, and they’ve also force all caregivers to be employees now, which has pushed a fair bit of it off book, with all the additional vulnerability therein.

        2. Already happened. At least one state has already passed a law that requires law enforcement within the state to arrest any Federal agents trying to enforce certain (still potential, afaik) federal gun control laws.

          The howls of outrage on the left are going to be interesting, though this is the exact same thing they crammed down our throats here in California with regards to immigration enforcement.

      2. Good points both, especially the second. They were already accustomed to living under paranoid tyrants. We aren’t, and I don’t think the oppressions the Left is attempting to create here will seem comfortingly familiar to very many people.

    3. I call this the “fallacy of direction/director”. SOMEONE must be directing things, or wrecking things. Whenever I see those ridiculous memes about “living under capitalism” that posit that the system or the bankers or the whomever are making things happen that people don’t like (like making them have to work for a living), it’s this fallacy rearing its head. Because they literally can’t imagine that there IS NO central planner, no spider at the center of the web, no designer of the system. For people who want to use the theory of evolution to score points on “science deniers” they sure don’t understand how it works when it comes to political and social systems.

      1. “It’s the banksters!” I remember that one from OWS back when. Which goes back to the 1930s, and the 1890s, and 1873-5, and . . .

        1. The other standard one being, “It’s the Joooooooooos!” (As an online Jewish friend put jt).

          1. … Oh, the poor folks, hate the rich folks
            And the rich folks hate the poor folks
            All of my folks hate all of your folks
            It’s American as apple pie

            But during
            National Brotherhood Week, National Brotherhood Week
            New Yorkers love the Puerto Ricans cause it’s very chic
            Stand up and shake the hand of someone you can’t stand
            You can tolerate him if you try

            Oh the Protestants hate the Catholics
            And the Catholics hate the Protestants
            And the Hindus hate the Muslims
            And everybody hates the Jews

      2. Remember the French guy we had here? I think you were around. It was like 10 years ago. He kept insisting that SOMEONE was making things happen in the US. “But someone has to be directing it all.” It was absurd and bizarre. And even if he’s a rent boy, it’s weird for an adult to think something so crazy.

        1. They {most of the rest of the world, but a lot of Americans, too} really don’t get random voluntary associations, either.

      3. And / both.

        There are loads of wanna-be spiders, merrily spinning their webs ala Mssrs. Soros and Zuckerberg and Gates. Oh and don’t they want to rule it all.

        And there’s also the 2nd law of thermodynamics, or in the interpersonal realm, sin. Aka human nature, aka Hooman Beans looking for that comfy System of Everything, that Mrs. Hoyt is writing about. That’s going to distribute confusion and failure beyond the reach of the aristos.

        But make no mistake, it is *not* the quality that “this explains everything” (despite the arrested-development of so many of the socjus folks*) that makes The System so desired. Mrs. Hoyt is close, but not on the bullseye.

        What is wanted is a *comfortable* system that ‘splains everything. I want Marxism to keep to my resentment and envy. Feminism to keep my entitlement and self pity. Anti-racism to keep my hate. SocJus to keep my irresponsibility. Atheism to keep all my different kinds of sexy-fun-times, especially with hotties that ought to be off-limits like other folks’ spouses. And..

        The hard system that matched reality which was Judaism and, following on it, Christianity, really does explain everything, and, when implemented, despite the Hooman Bean effect… Worked. Even so, says my heart… There’s just gotta be some other god System that ‘splains everything that lets me dehumanize and slaughter Jews and pinkos and gusanos; or bang 13-year-olds; or steal stuff, and makes everything I screw up YOUR FAULT.

        False gods gonna mess you up. By the numbers.

        (*remember when you were 17 and discovered Ayn Rand? Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Heh. Good times.)

        1. A comfortable system that explains everything and WORKS. It makes things BETTER. And then when it doesn’t (gun control laws don’t stop crime and mass shootings; redistribution doesn’t eradicate poverty and inequality), it can’t be the SYSTEM, which is perfect. It must be the people.

    4. We need a midget and a large coffee maker.

      If you don’t get the reference, don’t sweat it. There are a lot of good lines in the trilogy, but it’s probably not worth fighting through the non-sequential storytelling and the Discordian sexual/glandular woo.
      The salient point is that the vast powerful conspiracies failed because a midget hid in a large coffee percolator, had himself smuggled into information nodes, and jammed up the system.
      Simply because he could.

      Totalitarians and oligarchs tend to get awfully backstabby towards each other.
      We can turn our imaginations towards producing golden apples.
      Or encouraging their paranoia.
      Or spreading entertaining rumors that single one out and make them look vulnerable.
      (Remember, these people thought that it was believable and compelling to spread a rumor of Trump hiring hookers to pee on a bed where Obama had once slept. Who hung out with Epstein. Who fantasize about watching our bodies stacked like cordwood. Subtly isn’t their strong suit.)

      Let’s jam.

      1. You don’t need the midget any more.

        I’ve seen pictures of “classified” meetings with bureaucrats and military sitting at tables, their smartphones arranged in front of them…

        “It’s a secret. Only we know, and the President, and the Russians…”

      1. Why the commie/socialist left hates Nazi’s and Fascist so much is they both felt Marx was wrong on several points and tried work-arounds, but were still socialistic systems.
        They said Marx was wrong!
        Hitler was a “nationalist” who went towards socialism and used it to wrest power from the communists and Benito was a commie who decided Marx was bent on all too much, and tried to redo it in a Nationalistic version.

    5. Apologies if this is a repost, WordPress seems to be eating my comment.

      One of the reasons the Soviet Union lasted so long was that at first, for most people, they brought an instant improvement in people’s lives. For example: The Tsarist regime prohibited serfs from receiving an education. If you were a serf, your father was illiterate, you were illiterate, and your children would be illiterate too. No one was allowed to teach you anything that might allow you to rise above serfdom. One of the first things that Lenin did was to engage young under-employed middle-class men and women to educate the serfs–including adults. Educational societies opened up, evening literature clubs, etc., as millions of people learned how to read. I’m sure it was a lot easier to look the other way as the local kulaks went to the gulag, as one went to one’s night class on Russian literature. All paid for by the State, of course.

      The Soviet Union instantly had a reservoir of good will that was sufficient to last them 70 years, and even that required topping-off by successfully defending the country from the German invasion.

      Nothing like that is going to happen here, as a result of Progressivism. Look around you–are they actually going to make life better for any broad swath of the public? Everything is going to go to heck in record time and as Sarah points out, in some portion of their brains they know it.

        1. Of course that was a necessary condition, but preventing them from starving wouldn’t have been sufficient in and of itself. The commissars were always able to point back at the Tsars and say “without us, you’d still be serfs”. Doesn’t matter whether it was true, it was convincing for as long as there were first-hand living memories of Tsarist Russia (until say, 1980 or so; I heard WW1 stories from a former doughboy while growing up in the 1970’s). Ten years after that, the USSR was gone even though they weren’t starving.

          Our home-grown national socialists aren’t going to have any concrete good to point to. They’re trying to sell anthropogenic global warming as the crisis that justifies repression, but nobody believes in AGW, not even them. They’re going to use ‘rona to prevent people from going back to work–every time someone tries and fails, they’re going to blame Biden whether it’s true or not. It’s going to be awful, and they’re not going to have anything positive to their credit.

          1. Our home-grown national socialists aren’t going to have any concrete good to point to.

            “They’re gonna put you all back in chains” – Joe Biden

      1. I have been taught that, at least under Stalin’s regime, the new born citizens received considerable largesse clearly identified as “From Uncle Joe” until about the age of five — by which time they had learned that Uncle Joe was the font of all things good, and any subsequent deprivation was because somebody in the household had been less than true.

  4. The spicy chips guy wasn’t “just any Hispanic guy.” He was a guy who noticed an underserved market and told his company about it, as opposed to the bodega guys who saw an underserved market and sold an aftermarket spice mix to add to your corn chips.

    That said, hot spice was already an ongoing US trend, and not just in Hispanic neighborhoods. So the company was messing up by missing that.

    1. Yup. In the 70s my parents were introduced to jalepeno peppers (couldn’t get them here) when my Dad was stationed down south and the neighbors were Mexican. In the 90s my roommate brought back habenero peppers after being stationed in NM (couldn’t get them here). Now, you can buy haneneros in the grocery store, and the specialty stores carry ghost peppers in stock, and can order hotter.

      1. Still, nothing quite like the amazing foil wrapped burritos I got in Texas while working outside San Antonio. Delicious. They got the peppers *just* right, so that the heat didn’t completely destroy the flavor.

        You just can’t beat quality Tex-Mex for that kind of taste.

        1. What I wish for is the flavor of jalepeño without the heat. (Preferably with NONE of the heat.) Love the flavor, hate the heat. (Supertaster X4.)

          I’ve grown “Coolepeño” peppers, which produced like crazy, but 1) had no real flavor, and 2) had an afterburn akin to an overdose of tumeric. Fail….

          1. Halve, remove seeds, blanch in simmering water for 2 minutes. Most of the heat goes away, leaving the flavor. Something I discovered when making tortellini salad (although I blanch for less than a minute because I want a little heat.)

          2. Remrmbers trial crop of cayenne. Youch. We had red compost that year.

            Anchos (dried) or Poblanos (fresh) are milder than ‘penos, around 1-2K Scoville. Jalapenos run 5000.

          3. If you’re in a place where you can grow your own, plant them and keep them well watered. The more water they get, the milder they are.

            1. And if you are close there’s a great book by David the Good called Push the Zone I live up along the Cascade Mountains and I have a little 3′ twenty-three-year-old bay tree.

            2. Or live near Second Daughter’s first home on Maui, which had a delicate-looking small tree about 8′ tall next to the lanai. The which produced little red peppers, which I’m pretty sure were Thai. Very tasty, no replanting needed each spring.

          4. I just started some “Habanada” peppers, which allegedly have flavor without burn. For some reason I dislike most peppers, but I like the habanero taste. I will report if I can keep ’em alive. 🙂

          5. As Timothy Harris says, remove the seeds, but make sure to also remove the pith (the white part). Easiest way is to cut off the cap and discard it, then look at the top and slice down the sides with a sharp knife to remove only the cheeks, leaving the pith and seed intact. Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly after you discard the cap, pith and seeds, and don’t use the cutting board for anything else until you’ve washed it.

            I do this, then sautee the flesh for my kids who, try as we might to educate their taste buds, absolutely will not eat anything with any heat to it.

  5. Excellent. But I would also add that in addition to generational ignorance, there is an underlying diabolical element in the rejection of the reality of how the Universe actually works.

    1. That’s at least partially because they think that there is someone (or a group of someones) *making* the universe work the way it does, and if they can only identify and get rid of that person/persons, everything will be fantastically wonderful and paradisiacal. Magically.

        1. Or anyone who worships him. That’d fit the level of magical thinking.

          The of course, if *that* is true, the Gods (and their followers) that don’t need to be exterminated… Are interesting.

          Eh. Needs more thought.

    2. Literally diabolical. Satan is termed “the Prince of lies” in the Bible, and what is a lie if not the rejection of reality? Even if one does not believe that Satan is a singular entity, the ancient Hebrews and the early Church certainly had a handle on Satanic behaviors and the consequences thereof.

  6. I think one reason that “diversity” based on trivialities such as skin color or what private parts they have has become so wide spread in the business world is the inherent laziness of many people (especially the type that end up working in HR departments, but that’s another rant).

    Trying to evaluate job candidates for competence or suitability for a position can be hard work and you might make a mistake that would make you look bad.

    Hiring based on easily seen characteristics according to templates provided by the diversity industry is easy and deflects any criticism about hiring choices to those that created those templates.

    There’s also the benefit that you can call anyone who criticizes your decisions as racist/sexist/phobic and dismiss their objections with no further thought or effort required.

    It’s closely related to the whole “zero tolerance” fashion in schools where there is no effort to identify who is a victim and who is the attacker. Much easier to punish both.

    1. I suspect part of it is that hiring has been largely divorced from the people actually employing said hires, so HR does not have the tools to understand what is needed to do the job, and the manager who needs the person doesn’t have the information to figure out how to find the person they need.

      1. More of this. Stories about HR departments that have requirements completely divorced from the needs of the job are fairly common. I’ve heard more than once about the need to stack a resume with every cert and degree you can think of, no matter how ridiculous, simply so that HR (which is completely clueless about what any of that means) will be impressed enough to forward the resume on to the department that actually needs you.

        In some cases, the department would actually prefer *not* to hire a victim group because they’ve had problems with a member of that group who is lazy, shiftless, and looking for grievances to sue over. Such individuals are toxic for a smooth-running workplace. But firing them pretty much guarantees a lawsuit based on made-up discrimination claims.

    2. Laziness, but also government diktat. You used to be able to give tests and do other things that would help you identify who was a good fit (both competence-wise and socially) within the company. Which you can’t do anymore. And some of that is due to abuse of that system, sure. But the abuses that happened could be, and were, handled on an individual basis. Can’t do that anymore, either.

      1. There is also the Tort Lawyer Lobby to blame, as well as corporate legal liability concerns. G-D Forbid a corporation use a possibly biased test to select its hires.

        And we all know that all tests can be “proven” biased.

        Disparate Impact my gluteus maximus.

    3. Also, because using IQ as a hiring criterion was outlawed, because it tended to result in very definite demographic skew. Unfortunately for HR departments, IQ is the single best factor for evaluating whether a new hire can learn and perform the job as required. So it was decried as “too subjective” and here we are today, evaluating new hires by more, ah, objective criteria.

      cf. Jordan Peterson, who goes on about this at considerable length in various of his talks.

  7. “Of course, the experience will be akin to dying and rebuilding themselves after. And few will do it.”

    I am afraid it not up to the sane to re-educate these fools …
    it will be a little like herd immunity … once a certain percentage of them actually die the rest will come around …
    the blood of tyrants is required … and don’t kid yourself, they are tyrants deep down (we all are when unmoored from reality as they are … its reality that keeps most humans from following their baser instincts)

    1. Do you realize you’re echoing exactly what they say? Have been saying, for years?

      How do you check what you say, with evidence, against what they say?

      Death is, if it must happen, a sorrowful side-effect of stopping damage. Not a “but look saint of the state (pause to genuflect) said this, thus you must obey.”

      Dude was making an observation of fact, not a goal or order, much less one that involved reading somebody’s soul.

      1. Death is, if it must happen, a sorrowful side-effect of stopping damage.

        The Enemy is doing their level best to get out of that category and into the one where their deaths are something to rejoice about.

        Arguably a number of them have been there for a long time.

        1. Foxfier is correct on this.

          Their behavior and goals lines up that direction, but assuming that they will succeed in that, and also that we must respond in a collective way is a fallacy of a sort that they believe regularly.

          Testing our own ideas requires that we notice when we make a leap that is not always correct.

          TDL’s comment is the sort of ‘simple model, turn crank’ thinking that we need to avoid getting into trouble with.

  8. It’s like the whole idea of consequences and logical chains of actions doesn’t exist for them. Possibly this is due to non-consequential child raising and spending their lives in schools and government jobs where consequences have nothing to do with how successful you are.

    1. Participation trophies. So there’s no understanding of what it took for the kid who came in first to achieve that. And desire to learn that is squashed because dead-last kid got a trophy anyway.

      1. Oh. You just reminded me of an absolutely infuriating thing that happened to a friend of mine last spring. She’s a single mom (for good reason; the ex is a narcissist who would have been far worse for the kids) and thus doesn’t have much income. Her eldest’s school was going to do the spring camping trip, and her eldest worked extremely hard to earn the money through fundraising to go to this trip. Then Covid happened, the trip got canceled—and the money wasn’t given back, or put into a school account for the kid’s future use. No, it was put into the school’s fund for that trip, with no guarantee it would even go toward some other poor kid’s trip.

        LIVID barely begins to describe my feelings on the subject. That kid not only lost the reward but any benefits of the hard work she put in. It’s the sort of experience that sours all future work-for-reward occurrences.

          1. Literally today I was discussing our family response to the Annual Catholic Appeal.

            Because they include funding Catholic Charities (TM or USA, not “charities which are Catholic), which both work with groups with intrinsically immoral goals, and have taken up licit but I-would-never goals such as the theoretically fluffier “social justice” goals.

            ….there is no way in hell I am going to sacrifice the poor of Des Moines in support of my parish having a higher response rate.

            So tryign to figure out how to send back a letter saying “No, no money, that’s evil, we’re giving to the retired priest fund WHICH MEANS YOU NEED TO SPEND IT ON THEM BY CIVIL AN CANNON LAW.”

            1. List the intrinsically immoral groups, itemize the catechism points against each, add in that social justice is a worldly idol, not something that ties to legitimate hopes for a Christian to pursue.

              Possibly comment about the socialist or communist heresies.

              You cannot be compelled on spiritual grounds to voluntarily financially support evil.

              The organizationally preferred charities have shown that they cannot be trusted to properly judge what acts are evil and what acts are good.

              Therefore, your donation goes to a fund that is legally obligated in ways that limit spending on evil, and will still tend to be spent to good ends.

              I’m definitely not familiar with the specifics, so there is probably a flaw in this outline that I do not have the ability to notice.

              Comes to mind, that they are only formally bound to the retired priest fund restrictions so long as one of the civil or cannon courts are not corrupt.

        1. Do. Not. Get. Me. Started. Disclaimer. We are now out of scouts (BSA, but bottom paragraph applies to ALL youth groups).

          When our child was participating in scouting activities (10 1/2 to 21, so scouts and venture, not cubs), group fund raising worked like this. All net funds were split in half. Non-council product sales, half went into the Troop Equipment Fund, with a fixed amount or percentage, voted by troop adults into High Adventure Fund. The other half distributed to Fund Raiser participants scout family account on per hour rate. Per hour rate determined by total net divided by total hours. (Family because parents got credit too. No parents, no fund raiser.) Hourly rates went as high as $15/hour tax free. Accounts could be used for anything scout related. That list was: Annual Fee, Annual Gas Fee, Boys Life, Monthly Dues, Summer Camp, their portion of any High Adventure Camp, Any equipment needed for scouting. (New sleeping bag, backpack, boots, clothing, uniform, etc., own *tent was discouraged except where anyone could “earn” it.) Troop half of council product sales went to additional *prizes (anyone involved with youth product sales knows what I’m talking about). Starting with water bottles, good small pocket knifes, on up to top prize choices of *tents, sleeping cot, fishing pole and reel, etc., depending on different levels of product sold. If a scout changed troops then the balance of their account followed them to their new troop. If a scout quit scouts with an account balance, the money was absorbed into the general fund, except any parental direct down payments (not enough scout account funds) for upcoming events that were prepaid and non-refundable, those funds would be (obvious to me) refunded. Under the above, any scout participating in product sales and group fund raisers, could, pay 100% of annual scouting activities, including first year (because we let incoming Webelos participate in largest annual fund raiser just before they crossed over), with the exception of some High Adventure or National Jamboree Contingent costs. If parents participated, a good portion of the latter could be covered too (ask how I know).

          Now? Scouts can still grow their scout account from product sale commissions. That is considered an individual activity. BUT all troop group fund raisers any funds must go into general fund to benefit all enrolled participants in that troop. Troops (2) I know are paying the annual fees, dropped gas fees and monthly dues (they just reimburse the expenses that occur those fees used to pay). No way for scouts to earn money to pay for equipment their families may not be able to afford. What as been the result? Participation for group fund raising is down! (Um. No kidding?) This was brought about because court ruling. (No one has cited which case. It had to have been brought about because someone whined “it isn’t fair”. Naturally if asked “did your scout work at the fund raiser?” the answer is “No”.) How has that affected overall participation for those who otherwise can’t afford costs? That I don’t know.

          1. Word we got from our BSA district folks was that the IRS was looking at any ‘youth’ organization (scouts, sports, etc) that individually ‘compensated’ (in any way) the youth for working a fundraiser. They (IRS) considered it wages and the usual issues with wages and minors.

            Never mind the education in effort vs rewards and such that the youth now lose out on.

            1. Good intentions fairy rearing its ugly head again (the IRS). Same thing with people trying to barter services (cleaning up facilities in exchange for free or reduced price gym/yoga classes, or babysitting co-ops, or any of a variety of other things) in order to save money. Clearly people are just being exploited for free labor. Can’t have an informal network that doesn’t include the government getting its slice.

            2. IRS was looking at any ‘youth’ organization (scouts, sports, etc) that individually ‘compensated’ (in any way) the youth for working a fundraiser.

              That is probably it. We found out accidentally. As stated, we’ve been out of troop management since our son graduated HS, ’07 (went away to college). We stayed registered with the troop, as an active resource, until 2010, but stepped out of active management. We strongly believe that parents who have scouts involved need to be the active leadership, at least at the troop level. Others disagree. We have no ambitions for district or council level leadership, volunteer or paid. Note, we still remind the neighborhood troops that we are a still a resource (Merit Badge Councilor, backpacking expert – sometimes need outside expert for new parents), and are willing to register, if needed. They haven’t asked.

          2. Interesting—the only fundraisers our troop participates in are definitely on a per-scout basis. (Like Camp Cards, which is a local discount card program. $5 a card, half goes to the scout who sold it.) The only “group” fundraiser I know about is the garage sale specifically for troop equipment, and that’s been delayed until this fall (tentatively; it was supposed to be last spring.)

            As for individual equipment & camp fees, we have a couple of discreet donors waiting in the wings if a kid isn’t able to afford things. I wish that sort of thing was more universal.

            1. Council has camp scholarship program.

              There are scout uniform banks, used uniforms.

              Most troops have at least backpacks that have been scavenged from garage sales, St Vincent’s, Goodwill, Flea Markets, etc.; especially smaller ones that young scouts are going to outgrow. Sleeping bags are a little more of a problem. But troops do help parents find good ones through the same sources.

              Equipment, especially car camping versions, generally supplied by the troop. Plus backpacking stoves and water filters. Personal eating is on scout. Ditto rain gear, and other clothing. Tents may or may not be supplied by troops, but even if not, again good tents available through same sources listed above.

              Non-council product sales, troop level that occurs with different troops (and other groups, not just youth, locally):

              1. Stadium clean up after games.
              2. Game parking. Including Stadium but also including other parking around the stadium, including the council office parking lot.
              3. Christmas swags, either make and sell, or pre-sell, or in the case of one troop, was approached by business to give out to their clients. Bonus, because no cost to troop to make them (supplies donated).
              4. Christmas Tree sales
              5. Christmas Tree pickup and disposal.
              There are others. Just can’t think of any off the top of my head.

              The above are a lot of work, but they can bring in **big money for the groups doing them. The one big fund raiser our troop did regularly was the Christmas Tree pickup. Did the swag build for 4 years, until getting tree part of the supplies became a problem (had a order from a business). Tree pickup has a lot of groups doing now, so the money is being spread out some. Interestingly enough a lot of groups try it, but don’t stick with it. It is a lot of work to do right. The other part of it is the fund raiser has to be treated like a business. And people working tree pickup have to go above and beyond. Just picking up the trees assigned via pickup requests in should be the starting point, 1/3 of the daily intake at the height, slightly more than 1/2 when starts to slow down, only reaching 100% the last day. Rumor is those doing this for fund raising aren’t taking advantage of the not-claimed-asked-for trees. The other secret is to have one big scout, and one tiny scout (which is where the 10 year old Webelos help). Mom driving helps too. Send the tiny scout, bundled up and wet to neighboring houses not on the pickup list, to ask while the tree scheduled gets picked up. See cold enthusiastic scout, with the *mom and another larger scout loading scheduled tree, and if tree is ready to go, you can get a full load to dump from the neighboring houses just with that scheduled tree. Warning, must get to all trees scheduled that day … After last dump of the day, drop scouts at homes, stop back by “office” for accounting with cash, checks, and (gas and dump fee) receipts. (Second scout is always driver’s son, FYI.)

              Then there are the Garage Sales, Car Washes, Bottle Collections, but those typically don’t bring in much more than Product Sales, and are a lot of work.

              * In my case, another short person, is what the see. Even works with one little scout and two big scouts, and I didn’t have to do anything except drive. Just stand there overseeing the loading.

              ** Relatively big money VS product sales. ($16k net, was a small year, FYI).

              Our participation in the fund raisers paid: 8 years of scouting fees for son, two adults registration fees, son’s 8 years of camping fees, son’s equipment, and clothing, a good portion of son’s Philmont trip and son’s 2 National Jamboree trips. It meant a lot to son to know that he paid his own way; he earned all this.

              Sure. We could have footed the expenses. That isn’t the point. There were other scouts whose families couldn’t. Do you know how many times one of us was in the pickup with 3 scouts without our son because those 3 scouts needed the fund raising hours, and their parents couldn’t afford to foot the bill? On dang cold and wet days. Sure the scout drop off was usually a scheduling challenge, but planned for. There were also times when it was just one of us and our son, because not enough people showed up to do the work. (Under current rules … Oh Heck No. I’m not that altruistic.)

              Now? This is all gone.

        2. That is infuriating! I’d be on the phone taking it as far up the chain to get that kids money back! Tell the kid, the moral isn’t not to save money, it’s read the fine print and always check the refund policy. That this is screwed up! I knew a kid doing something similar asking for funds to go through some approved website. I read the TOS and said what a load of CRAP, as it was similar. Instead gave the kid a 20 and said hang on to it for during the trip. With last year lost touch with the parent, so I guess same thing happened. Yeesh!

          1. I would imagine that the fine print had a clause in there about not refunding the money if the kid didn’t go on the trip. This would have been aimed at kids who were last-minute no-shows, and then demanded a refund after the district had already paid the expenses for the kid. It certainly wouldn’t have been intended for keeping the money if the district flat-out cancelled the trip, but I would be very surprised if that’s not the excuse that the district is using. And since no one would expect the district to cancel the trip (or, at least, the district wouldn’t care about it), there’s certainly not going to be fine print about handing the money back if the kid can’t go because the event is cancelled.

            1. That’s probably the case. But IMO, that money should be in a fund for the kid, who moved up to junior high but is still in the same district.

              Incidentally, kids who paid cash got their money back, so this is BS.

    2. *points to old books*

      Lack of consequences, maybe, yes; but it’s not new. Bombeck told me about it when I was reading her books as a child, and inter-war Brit mysteries have the same report.

      They’ve been here a long while. Not sure on cause.

      1. Love the band. The Daughter product and I used to sing “Come and I Will Sing You” to each other in every the car. Haven’t looked them up to see recent stuff, she once barring a miracle they’ve gone the way of Joss Wherein, John Scalzi, and Steam punk Giraffe.

        God’s love and mercy are infinite and universal, but the longer you spend is sting that you want Nothing To Do With Him, the more likely he is to agree. And then you’re all alone against the stuff (some of it your own poor self) that wants to destroy you.

        I’ve always liked this song. It describes a real feeling. A *dangerous* feeling. But, Lord love a duck, do I get it. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil

        Here’s the opposite song. I like it even better (and just not because ponies)

        (Not the GBS version – that’s blocked. Heh.)

  9. The thing is, I’m in that group that is likely to get SLAPPED with the costs – I’m retired, and if Social Security and my teacher’s pensions go, I’m dependent on my (small) savings, and my kids (thank God I had 3 of them).
    I hate to think about those poor souls that have no family – they will likely be like those babuskas of the former Soviet Union, who lay on the streets, and begged for food.

    1. I’ve been thinking about this as well. We don’t have kids, so we could get screwed. My husband has four siblings and in all likelihood we’d get taken in by one of them if the situation became desperate. But the other idea I had was finding roommates and pooling resources. It’s something I’m going to keep in mind as I have a number of friends who are also without children and in some case spouses. Beats begging…

    2. We’re in the middle of trying to persuade my folks to move closer.

      Roughly a year and a half after it was affordable, but a year after it was a Really Good Idea.

      1. We’re trying to move somewhere affordable, where hopefully both boys will be close-ish. Getting a house large enough that their evac plan can be “run to mom and dad with what supplies we can take.”
        I hope it’s not needed, but if it is….

        1. Friend got what’s basically a mansion in a 30k-town, Central Kansas, for $180k. Already set up for two households, on half an acre, in a relatively new neighborhood.

          There are small towns in the farming midwest that will GIVE you a house, if you’ll start a business there. Or pay you a moving bonus. Or give you a lot, if you agree to build on it.

          Here’s the one that has the most info out there (bonus: it’s 5 hours from Denver. I’d go by way of McCook so you can see the nearest larger town. If you know Donze on YT, he lives there.)

          Curtis, Nebraska
          curtisnebraska DOT com

          from a couple sources:

          Like Lincoln, Kansas, the city of Curtis, Nebraska offers free lots to build a home on. If you can construct a single-family home within a specified time, the lot is yours. All lots come with paved concrete streets and utilities so that’s two hassles you won’t have to worry about.

          One attraction to living in Curtis is the annual pageant held on Palm Sunday. In fact, this pageant is how Curtis got its nickname, Nebraska’s Easter City. Learn more about the Roll’n Hills Addition here.

          And in Curtis, it’s the more the merrier — and more lucrative. The family incentive program awards $500 for the first kid, $750 for two and $1,000 for three more children who move to the city and enroll in the Medicine Valley Public Schools.


          As of today, Youtube is apparently shadowbanning NTD and Epoch Times. Can still be found via search but otherwise coming up blank.

    3. Truth be told, I worry about that too. We have substantial savings, some investments and a paid for house but my get out of California plans do include Social Security as a factor. Without it we may have to learn to like ramen noodles again 🙂 but we can probably make it. We are not wealthy by any reasonable measure but we probably won’t starve.

  10. Sure, they wreck everything, but that’s because their revealed Theory of Everything tells them if they do that, wealth will become evenly distributed, all over the world, and paradise will ensue.

    I think that would turn out like entropy — if energy is evenly distributed in a system, no work is possible. By analogy, if all wealth was evenly distributed, no significant economic activity could take place. (I hate the word ‘wealth’, by the way. In my experience, any time somebody says ‘wealth’ they’re running a scam. Keep your hand on your wallet and back away slowly.)

    It takes a concentrated lot of money to do certain things, like build a bridge, or a fleet of 747’s — or a hospital. If that money is evenly distributed amongst the proletariat, how will the big things get done? In the communist states we’ve seen, even the small things don’t get done. Like putting food on store shelves.

    Any system that fails to put food on store shelves is irreparably broken. Those choosing to support such a system are broken in the head, and they don’t want to be fixed.
    Nobody has so little that some asshole doesn’t want to take it. And the government is full of assholes.

    1. Wealth is a useful shorthand when talking with NPCs about Income Tax.
      They have a really hard time understanding that it’s a tax on people trying to *become* rich, not on those who already are.

      Raising income tax rates doesn’t distribute wealth, it cements it.
      (A feeling that plutocrats have been manipulating you into eliminating potential rivals is nearly as useful to us as an actual red pill moment. It also doesn’t require the individual to radically restructure their belief system, so it’s easier to cause, and easier for them to accept.)

    2. or microchips. I’ve asked several ‘anti-corporate’ people (many of whom i went to film school with) how a mom and pop proprietorship, or a partnership, is going to get the capital to build a chip foundry to make the CPU for their iPhone. No answer.

      A surprising couple of them were also anti-copyright. When i told them i wanted to take their work without paying for it, they then explained they were only against *corporate* copyright, to which i asked them exactly what compensation was a corporation going to get for putting up the money for their $100 million epic about the plight of the *insert trendy downtrodden here*

      And yes, they usually had iPhones.

  11. This is characteristic, a form of thinking, a type of human brain. In former times people like leftists were monks who became completely enamored of the theological system and started going down the rabbits nest, till the most important thing was how many angels could dance on the head of a pin, having completely missed the non-corporeal nature of angels, or indeed asking of what importance this was to the outside world.

    Recognizing that
    1) This was for rhetorical effect
    2) you probably already know this,
    I still wanted to share:
    The “how many angels can dance on the head of a pin” was made up as a parody of the application of rationality to theological issues.

    Because human, it has likely Poe’d, besides the extremely well-worn answer of “Angels are beings of pure spirit, as many as want to can.”

    1. Wasn’t the argument over how many angels could dance on the point of a pin? The size of a pin head being mostly arbitrary, that would have to be specified. The point is always pointy.

      1. *shrug* Been ages since I saw the quote, didn’t memorize anti-Catholic propaganda that well, honestly. Beyond stuff like finding out that “Iron Maidens” were an invention of an over-fevered imagination that makes one wonder about the liar rather than the target, meh.

        1. Iron Maiden-“Excellent” as Bill and Ted would say 🙂 :

          (Couldn’t help myself with this one).

      2. The point of the “angles-pin” metaphor, is that they had reached a societal point that they had lost respect for empirical measurement in general. They believed that all truth could be derived by thought alone, and that experimentation was therefore moot. This is what happens to those who “find the truth”, and therefore stop looking for it.

        “Reality isn’t stranger than you think it is, it’s stranger than you *can* think it is.” — Richard Feynman

        1. And I’m not sure how much truth is in that observation , when smack in the middle of Dante’s “Paradise,” you find Beatrice saying, “Perform the following experiment,” to prove (or in this case, disprove) a theory.

          1. Societal norms have never really applied to outliers. (I suspect Dante was one) They apply to the orthodoxy.

            There can be only one orthodoxy. Only one norm. The fringe weirdos go off in all directions from there, and share little in common save their distance from the norm. Also, I have personally witnessed the phenomenon of using “the answer” to kill “the question” (as if there could be no other answer).

            This much I know empirically, but the truth is that my knowledge of that point in history is quite limited, and about it, I could easily be full of shit.

      3. I was told … college philosophy lecture maybe … that the whole discussion was more of a metaphysical one, That angels were an idea, something ephemeral, so the question was – could they or a number of them occupy actual physical space?
        Put that way, it seemed slightly less pointless (hah!) a discussion.

      1. Only slightly related:

        Dear God in heaven, thank you for letting me live in The Future.

        Y’know how many years I’ve lived without a clue what ‘gavotte’ meant? I knew it was a dance, yeah, but…..

        *runs off to look up the foxtrot because she’s forgotten*

        1. Remember when World Cons had balls? And you danced The Congress of Vienna waltz at them…

          Good times. (Yes. I know. Rack, hitting thereof. Work to go to. New set to draw.)

        2. “You walked into the party / like you were walking onto a yacht.
          Your hat strategically dipped below one eye / your scarf was apricot.
          You had one eye in the mirror as / you watched yourself gavotte…”

        1. I used to know all the ballroom dances– in some cases I could do the men’s part as well. It helps to have been a TA for it once upon a time. Course, one needs a partner to do ballroom, and since my divorce partners are hard to come by– not that the ex was particularly keen on it when I was married, but I could drag him out once in a great while. I’m not sure I could do samba or some of the more complicated swings without a refresher course these days, but I could at least do basic steps of most of them still. Probably not in good enough shape to do more than one or two dances in a row, though, without needing to sit down.

          Fun hobby, assuming you can find a partner who agrees that it’s fun.

          1. Have you looked into one of the dance clubs/classes?

            My little brother joined one to meet ladies– turned out to be 30 years younger than anybody including the teacher, but had fun, especially because we’ve got classic manners and he’s very much not hard to look at. (Think of a made-to-be-bald version of Booth in Bones, but a bit shorter.)

            1. When I was living in Oregon, the next big town had a bar that ran country dance lessons on Thursday nights. Never lacked for partners, as most of the guys there had been dragged there kicking by their SOs and even so there were usually more F than M in attendance. Fun times. A little less fun, occasionally, when said ladies (or I) had to explain to disgruntled male halves in this or other venues on actual dance nights why their ladies knew/were friendly with me.

              I was told by the instructors that I needed to get cowboy boots to do ‘real’ country dancing. My reply was that I wasn’t a cowboy, had never been a cowboy, and had no intention of ever becoming a cowboy, and if I went out and got cowboy boots I’d look like every other yuppie cowboy wanna-bee who’d come down slumming from Portland on a Saturday night.

              1. Cowboy boots may not be necessary, but they do change how you walk and move. Dancing in regular shoes doesn’t look the same, which I expect was what they were getting at.

            2. I realized a few years ago that not knowing how to dance with a future girlfriend/wife was Not How Things Should Be.

              So yet another item for the Someday-hoprefully-not-too-far List.

              (and meeting someone is just a welcome bonus!)

              1. *waggles hands*

                I am not sure Halfelf knows the box-step.

                …for too long of story, we didn’t have a fancy wedding. Also, I have no rhythm.

                I would seriously suggest the honest-to-god friend route, rather than the “date” or “friend thus you must fuck me” route.

                1. I would seriously suggest the honest-to-god friend route, rather than the “date” or “friend thus you must fuck me” route.

                  Oh yes. Definitely.

                  I want kids.

                  Though I do have the dubious blessing of coming from what appears to the diametrically opposite direction that most people do. Where they might occasionally hear “you should like them as a person, not just their cup size”, that is the only thing I ever heard.

                  So the idea that looks might be a factor (though far from the only one) is a huge and wonderful revelation for me.

                  1. Though I do have the dubious blessing of coming from what appears to the diametrically opposite direction that most people do.


                    Seriously, 90% of his thing was comign around to teh right side by the long way.

                    …I’m.. uh…decade and change… and my first “looks” was ‘wow, he’s kinda scary’. But I AM a chick, so different.

                    1. Eh. “People can fantasize about all sorts of cool dishes, and read books of recipes. But at the end of the day, if you have an egg sandwich, and it’s done right, that’s wonderful.” Also Pratchett. 😀

              2. The advantage of traditional dancing for men, like learning to ride or learning fencing, is that your posture and core musculature improves. And a man with good posture and some kind of regular exercise will be happier, more self-confident, and hence more attractive. (Also you get a boost in dexterity points.)

                Women too, but self-confidence and feeling strong are the big thing for men.

                1. “True ease in writing comes from art, not chance,
                  As those move easiest who have learned to dance.”

            3. Tip: Being a personable young man in good favor with ladies thirty years older is a great way to be introduced to girls of suitable age and personal habits.

        2. Mr. BTEG and I tried to learn this so we could waltz in the aisle at an Andre Rieu concert. Unfortunately, neither of us are good dancers, and Mr. BTEG is amusical and has no sense of rhythm besides.

        1. Love that goofy song and vid… and here’s something interesting from the comments:

          “the name of the song is safety dance, the lyric is safe to dance. they interviewed the guy. it was a protest against a dance ban on certain dances like pogo in the UK during the 1970s and 1980s. the mayday pole was a tongue in cheek way of comparing the decency laws in the UK at the time to soviet communism.”

          Hmm. I sense a theme song for the modern era.

    2. I will admit that I don’t know what it started out as, but my school always used it as Rhetoric practice.

      A nice, meaningless resolution that you can get a bunch of teenagers really excited about arguing over in front of an audience to show their progress in learning Logic and Rhetoric.

      And since the resolution has no practical application, you never have to worry about someone getting ~deep feelings~ about the subject matter that would bring mood down.

        1. Exactly! Fantastic practice for everyone involved, especially at that age.

          It did tend to mean that the girls in class got to get irritated by the boys debating, for example, “pre-destination vs free will” between classes, instead of “Which superhero could beat which other super hero”

            1. It isn’t so simple.

              Deadpool can directly address the reader, and is thus equipped to persuade the reader that he has won in their eyes. Superman automatically has a superability that ensures an effortless physical victory. Akuma-Batman would lose to Ladybug, even if it requires some plan left by true Batman. Batman only beats Goku by avoiding a no holds barred fight. Izuku requires a young Batman to prevent it from being a senior bullying a junior, and young enough Batman does not have his planning maxed out yet. Rorschach gets a moral victory by saying no. Beyond that, Batman’s invincibility in seven directions holds.

                    1. Okay, he’s a Brit and an actor, so liberal as heck, but if you haven’t tuned in his podcast, “David Tennant Does a Podcast With…” put in your mouth guard and check it out.

        2. Yes, that was a big part of instruction at medieval universities and Scholasticism — public debates and public questioning sessions of professors (quodlibet, meaning whatever you want). Sometimes serious, sometimes silly.

          Alexander of Hales has something like 2000 pages of quodlibet transcripts in Latin from his sessions at the University of Paris. A very popular prof.

    3. My favorite answer to “How many angels can dance on the end of a pin?” came from a British YA book my uncle sent us from Germany in the ’90s. I recall the title was Bullies and the protagonists had fairy help dealing with same, but that’s almost all I recall of it.

      But the answer to the riddle of angels and pins was As many as can see the point!

  12. Sure, they wreck everything, but that’s because their revealed Theory of Everything tells them if they do that, wealth will become evenly distributed, all over the world, and paradise will ensue.

    Mogadishu is just such an example of the resulting post-wreck-everything paradise on Earth. Surely all right thinkers want everywhere to be like The Mog.

  13. The All Unifying System (AUS) removes the necessity of making choices. They’ve been catechized *know* that making a choice is a BAD THING. Making choices is the scary part because you know you have to live with the results of those choices. And if you are making choices about your life you have no-one to blame but yourself when/if those choices go sideways. Enter the All Unifying System. It makes all the choices, therefore it’s not your fault…it’s the fault of the system. You’re just moseying along and BAM! the system got you. Not your fault.

    The hedonism of the 60s-70s counter-culture movement was pushed by the idea of the AUS and it strengthened the AUS at the same time. After all, how could you let it all hang out, do it if it feels good, and otherwise follow your passion to the exclusion of all else if the AUS didn’t take care of all the nasty little details for you?

    That’s my current working theory.

    1. That’s why you have to trust and believe in The Science ™. It will tell you what you need to do. No need to make choices and trade offs, especially moral choices. Trust in The Science and know it will never steer you wrong.

      Interestingly, this is also an issue in Islamic countries. “Islam is the answer” to every and all questions.

      1. What the left seeks is basically Star Trek TOS “Return of the Archons”:

        You must believe and act as Landru dictates. All must be “of the body”.

  14. Sarah: most of what you say above is either right or close enough that it’ll do.


    Given current events in Canada, and the movement of real estate prices in Ontario, plus a few other things, I begin to suspect an arrangement. Too many government and private large-to-huge private enterprise officials doing too many things which are obviously insane, and doing them all at the same time, and doing them -faster-.

    Net result of 2020, people are leaving Toronto and flooding into the surrounding areas. Money is moving, in huge volume, and it is moving very quickly.

    Therefore, since this has happened so many times already in the USA that I can’t even list the cities, I suspect an arrangement. Let’s just say starting with Detroit and currently getting along to San Francisco, it is a long list. They’ve tried to do it to NYC at least three times, but it seems too big to die so far.

    Somebody has figured out a way to make money by killing cities. The process is always the same. Install Leftist city government, jack the taxes, crime rate spikes hard, middle class leaves, city dies. Corpse stays infested by vermin, keeping the thing dead.

    I think there’s money in it.

    I hypothesize something that operates like a naked short in the stock market, but applied to a whole city. Maybe even a whole country. Canada has this same thing happening -everywhere-. Toronto, Calgary, Montreal, Vancouver, all the same. Huge spike in crime, -followed- by “criminal reform” that lowers criminal penalties. Exactly the thing that will make everything worse, and we know that because in every other city they’ve done the same thing. Reduce penalties to “solve” the crime problem, rinse and repeat until you get Detroit.

    It’s a theory. Sounds a little nuts when written down, but given the last 50-60 years in North America it seems pretty congruent to what happened. But at some point we have to sit down and think about economics and wonder where all that MONEY actually went. It didn’t evaporate, it’s still out there working. Just not working in Detroit. Or Philly, Cincinnati, DC, Indianapolis, Hamilton Ont. etc.

    Because while stupid people do exist, and we all know some, -most- people are not stupid. They are very smart about the things that matter to them, and money is very definitely one of those things. Nobody would voluntarily kill the city they live in because it would destroy their own money. Unless there was a huge profit to be made from killing it. Then they might.

    So yeah. It’s a theory. I’d welcome some hearty disproofs, because it’s a bit disturbing. I’d like to go back to the “Leftists are stoopid” theory, I like that one better.

    1. The exodus from SF is similarly driven by enlightened self-interest – regular people have twigged to the fallacy of desirable leftist urban centers, and don’t want to be caught in a tiny apartment under the insanity of leftist urban politics during the next riot season or close-everything lockdown – and unless Fauci does jail time, there will absolutely be a next lockdown, and the only thing that will stop future riots would be encarcerating the BLANTEFA folks en masse, including the funders.

      I’m looking at the urban exoduses as pretty much a ‘wisdom of crowds’ effect, as well as the law of unintended consequences striking yet again.

        1. Depends on which declension it is.

          Second declension would be “exodi”.
          Fourth would be “exodus”

          (Watch me have forgotten my declensions)

    2. Honestly, I have been wondering the same thing, with regard to New York: what’s the profit in it, and who is benefitting? Scooping up properties now worthless … and expecting eventual urban renewal and making a killing after decades? Someone has to be benefitting materially from all this wreckage.

      1. There is an effect of New Yorkers, Californians, etc., fleeing their native spaces: they’re carrying their Marxist infestation to new areas. Florida, Texas, and Colorado are among the states affected by the left-wing locusts.

          1. (spoken wooingly)
            Come to Texas … you know you want to, in your deepest heart. Texas – the home of natural rebels, malcontents and nonconformists. With guns. An additude.
            Sorry about the lack of serious mountains, though. But as of last week – we got snow!

            1. We have many jobs for engineers and doctors. Texas is quite varied in terrain, climate and lots of other things.

            2. I’ll try to only say this once, because I know it upsets folks:

              But your gun laws are worse than Washington State.

              That was a serious reason my family was upset to move there, and why I am glad to be gone.

              There should not ever be a case where a sign makes it so my basic self defense laws are gone.

              Yeah, Washington State jumps on them five ways from friday.

              They do not deny them, out of the gate.

              1. Having been to NYC and TX, I recommend TX. Can’t say about Africa, but suspect it’s an… exciting… place to visit, but living there would be… problematic for creature used to First World comforts and (even fading) First World thought processes.

              2. Hmmmm … which is the more dangerous environment: NYC or the African Jungle?

                I guess the jungle gets points on being unlikely to get worse.

                1. About Arizona, this breaking news:

                  Judge rules Maricopa County must provide 2020 ballots to Arizona Senate for audit under subpoenas
                  Maricopa County will turn over ballots from the November general election to the Arizona Senate and provide the Senate access to its voting machines so it can conduct an audit, after a judge’s ruling Friday.

                  Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Timothy Thomason said that the subpoenas issued by the Arizona Senate are valid. He said he disagreed with the county’s arguments that they were unlawful and that the county legally could not hand over the ballots.

                  In response, Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jack Sellers said in a statement Friday afternoon that the county “will immediately start working to provide the Arizona Senate with the ballots and other materials.”

                  “We hope senators will show the same respect and care we have for the 2.1 million private ballots and use them in service of their legislative duties,” Sellers said.
                  [END EXCERPT]

            3. You know, if Texas wanted some serious mountains, they could just pilot a asteroid down to a “soft” landing somewhere in the panhandle area. Have to put up with a few earthquakes as the mass settled into the crust.

          2. Nearly moved to Idaho. (could still, I guess, but…)

            Bought a tiny place to base out of while looking for something sustainable through what will be.
            Prices tripled while looking.

            That’s what’s happening where you *are*, I’ll guess.
            Careful that where you’re moving to isn’t about to do the same. (california influx)
            Unless you’re prepared to just do it again, then maybe it’s a good “investment”.

            Personally, I’m concerned that what’s coming will make moving too risky.
            Tribalism will emerge, and we’ll be the new folks.

            Predicting’s hard.

              1. None where I live either… or rather, if there is, it will eventually learn who I am and kill me. C’est la vie.

                I’ve never known community, myself, and was becoming convinced there is no such thing, at least for me….
                Then Idaho… went mostly just to prove myself right and check it off the list… but the people… I began to feel hope… quite disorienting really. Damaged my whole world view.

                Now I just feel a bit lost. Here, I’m dug in, well prepared, at least for what I know. But it’s an ugly plan. Idaho offers more hope. I’m old, and so jaundiced that I’ve lost respect for hope.

                Maybe if we get deflation, just before the hyperinflation, I can afford somewhere with community. (if that’s not an illusion, when you want something enough, it’s hard to tell)

                I strongly suspect that what’s coming will demand preparation of substantial resources, just to buy a ticket in the coming lottery. This is a resource collapse. No where will be pretty. But perhaps somewhere will be less ugly.

                As always, the devil is in the details, and predicting is hard.

                  1. Not despair really, more like profound resignation.
                    It’s what little I can be relatively certain of, what I know.
                    Dark, but acceptable, doable, and not without joy or humor. 🙂

                    Dark humor is like food, not everybody gets it.

                1. Nothing wrong with community, communism, or socialism, per se. That is the structure of most families. It is the relationship between the cells in your body. It is among the most successful systems for any group who’s individuals share nearly identical values, objectives, genetics.

                  It’s a bad idea in the big picture, the long run, as life must diverge and diversify into every nook and cranny that can sustain it, in order that SOMETHING will survive the massive purges that the future always brings.

                  But socialism can allow for a division of labor, greater complexity, to permit a group of cells to find sustenance in a place that would kill any single cell. This means it can ADD to diversity at the grand scale.

                  But when it forms monocultures, as it is wont to do, (infection must be fought) the next purge will kill it.

                    1. Stipulated.

                      We are not ants or bees. We do not share identical values. We dissent. Attempting to apply socialism to this country would be evil, *even* with our consent, WHICH THEY DO NOT HAVE.

                      But it’s worse than that, what they demand is far *worse* than mere socialism, they demand that we submit whole, body mind and soul. They *demand* that we defer to their “authority”… that we defer our REASON to them. The ultimate “call to authority”. They *DEMAND*… *EVERYTHING*, while they *DENY* REASON, and hence cannot be reasoned with. There is no non-violent defense possible against such a thing. The only way to win is not to play, yet: “You might not take an interest in politics, but politics might take an interest in you.”

                      So what more can be done save working to ensure that when we lose, they lose more?

                      Maybe I’m stupid, but try as I might for the past four decades, this is the best that I have come up with.

                    1. You know O RES of the marsupial magnificence, that might just work. I’ve always used “pinko” as a synonym for “damnable bloody aristo*.

                      Just drop the “benevolent” bit and Bob’s your uncle: You’ve got your dog whistle. (SJWs always project). Add it back in and you get “Democratic Socialism”; the good rulers who will let you finally relax into happy (!) protected serfdom.

                      Maybe some people are born wanting a saddle on their back.

                      Maybe “No King but Jesus” was a pipe dream.


                      (*I’m working on it, okay?)

                2. People don’t have connections with their neighbors. Mind you, I kind of prefer it that way being aggressively introverted, BUT the times that are coming are going to require knowing “a guy” or a lot of them.

                  1. People don’t have connections with their neighbors.

                    “That’s a good thing!” — Bernie Sanders

                    For you see; it sayeth here in the Book of Strawman Libertarianism, Chapter 37, Verse 10: “Thou shalt not commune.”

                    BUT the times that are coming are going to require knowing “a guy” or a lot of them.

                    I wonder what the percentages are of people in this country who are completely isolated in that way……

            1. Everyone hates Californians, so I can’t move anywhere.

              Maybe Hawaii – Hawaii politics appear to be so far left that CA expats would probably drag them right.

              1. Everyone hates Californians, so I can’t move anywhere.

                They can go fuck themselves.

                Says one of a pair of Californians who lost.

              2. Everybody hates Californians who act like they’re still in California, and whine about how these hicks in Backwater State don’t know anything and how it’s done so much smarter in California.

                Californians who act like natives of their new home, not so much. Sell the BMW, buy an F150, join the gun club, and congratulate your neighbor about the deer draped over his hood, and you’ll fit right in.

                — signed, Montana, where we have much experience of this.

                1. Likewise, anyone from Noo Yawk or Noo Joisey who moves to Florida, then whines about how hawt and hoomid it is in Flaaaraadah, and how much better things are back north.
                  Happily, most of the Michigan refugees are smart enough to leave the Big Democrat nonsense behind.

                  1. …as they scuttle from the air-conditioned house to the air-conditioned car to the air-conditioned store and back again.

          3. Californians are moving to Texas, too.

            But you assuredly do not want to be the last house in the neighborhood to sell to Californians.

          1. Though one does start to wonder if what they’re actually importing is corrupt fraudulent elections. There is some evidence that there was high enough levels of fraud in Virginia to change the results.

              1. Trump is *popular* with Federal employees. The ones who do their job, not the Grievance Studies twits.

                That’s probably why they frauded the guy I told y’all about in Virginia, the friend who was informed he’d already voted with same-day registration elsewhere (when he was already registered).

                When they’re scared enough to be stealing federal employee votes…well, they were correct that they’d have to steal his to make him go D…..

                1. Trump is *popular* with Federal employees. The ones who do their job, not the Grievance Studies twits.

                  The ones in Virginia are from D.C., and thus presumptively twits.

                  1. Based on what? Getting stuck working in the DC blob?

                    One of the popular things DJT did was shift stuff out of the area— was hoping he’d manage to get entire departments moved out, but even just moving the positions that didn’t have to be there was well received. Sure, there’s a paydrop, but cost of living and quality of life is insanely better.

                    1. Didn’t say they were proven twits; only presumptive. They can prove their innocence.

                      Based on what? Getting stuck working in the DC blob?

                      Yes, actually. The probability that a given person is a twit rises the closer they are to a capitol or other high population area. It rises exponentially as they get closer to D.C.

                      Case in point: the screaming that ensued when Trump started floating the idea of moving people out of D.C..

                    2. They’re more likely to offer you a double dose of “I’ve got a finger,” the ones I know would blend in here.


                      Why on earth would you believe what the media says about what federal employees’ response is, over what those employees say? The only time they bothered to ask was the, what, dozen folks in one office who threw a tizzy? Vs the several families that I know who were over the moon to escape.

                    3. the several families that I know who were over the moon to escape.

                      Proving themselves non-twits in the process.

                      Why on earth would you believe what the media says about what federal employees’ response is, over what those employees say?

                      Because what the media had to say comes after the default position, which is that government workers have their standard of guilt flipped purely because they choose to work for the government.

                    4. So you believe the media over evidence, which you know lies to you, because they say something that fits your existing bias….

                      *shakes head* No, thanks, not up for this again.

            1. Ah…you DO remember Bloomborg bought the Virginia state government in 2018 and they’ve been trying to ban guns ever since?

            2. THIS

              California legalized ballot harvesting, and Orange County turned blue, to the great surprise of everyone in Orange County.

    3. Short selling is a screwy idea. It only exists in certain venues, since it’s prima facie absurd, like negative interest rates, or selling debt.(which finds a borrower now in a less than consensual “contract” with someone he’s never met and doesn’t trust) I can’t think of any way to sell a city short, but I wouldn’t underestimate the “creativity” of “financial” folk. That’s a mighty interesting theory there. I’ll be stewing on it.

      1. It is screwy, right? Take something that’s working, bet that it will fail, and then poison the shit out of it so it does fail. Gamestop. Then resist all efforts to keep it alive by beating up the people trying to save it.

        Like the entire Canadian oil industry, for example. How does it benefit -Canada- to let a foreign nation (America) screw over the Canadian pipeline system? It doesn’t, obviously. But they’re DOING IT. The federal government of Canada is -doing it-.

        It’s like that line in Captain America where Arnim Zola says the Red Skull’s crazy plan to rule the world isn’t crazy “because he can DO it!”

        So, -somebody- is making money. And that somebody is either politicians, or they are paying the politicians. As Dorothy Dimock says a couple of comments down from here, the people making the money probably don’t live here. Nobody with a brain soils their own nest.

        1. Short selling is “supposed” to be a bet on the future. But as you point out, the future is subject to influence from involved parties. There are supposed to be rules, but they have become so vague and unenforced as to be “arbitrary and capricious”. So NOBODY respects them, and it’s somehow not cheating if you don’t get caught. Only now, successfully avoiding consequences by “any means necessary” is considered “not getting caught”. Without respect for rules, there is no rule of law. Without rule of law, a “contract” cannot even be defined. A New Dealer, a New Deal: It’s catch as catch can. Might makes right and everything’s wild. Hedge your bets. With actual hedges.

        2. Who’s making money?

          Middlemen. Doesn’t matter what it is, so long as it can be moved on paper, they make money.

        3. Hang on a moment. Are you sure you’re not making the same error that those who say “There MUST be someone behind it all, running everything!” are making? Bad policies, despite any and all good Intentions (A Few Good Intentions?) would seem to do the same thing. Being blind to or rejecting Reality (yes, mythical creature saying that.. so much irony…) well, would it look any different?

          1. I’m with Ox on this one. After all, aren’t unintended consequences a common and expect result of most Leftist policies?

          2. Not really. I’m not assuming a Someone, like Hydra. I’m more looking at the repeating pattern, and seeing that it unfolds exactly the same way every time, and hypothesizing a profit motive.

            Just as all shady stock brokers love them some naked shorts, and all real estate flippers love them some juicy Zeckendorf action (flip it before the loan for the deposit comes due), maybe there’s something that makes money out of breaking a city. If there was, a lot of people would be doing it.

            1. Then again, consider all the former cities that were once thriving metropolises, and are now deserted ruins. Sometimes it’s just the human stupid at work.

            2. Don’t forget that most people don’t really do good with the long term plan thing- even the mythical Chinese of supposed generational planning*.
              If they’re not making money right this instant, it’s not intentional.

              To hit on the earlier point, the idea that something HAS to be planned and controlled is so programmed and ingrained that it’s hard to shake.

              *What emperor came up with the idea of implementing the Great Leap Forward or Cultural Revolution?

    4. Are there neat, clean, well-policed cities with an authoritarian bent? Well, yes. Are the people killing our cities moving to those cities where they can be openly part of a ruling class? Are Doha and the other Middle Eastern playground cities really paid for by oil revenues?

      1. Old San Francisco, before the hippies and to some extent the beats, was one of those – make trouble and the police would apply corrective kinetics on the way to the slammer, the DA and judges were on board, and getting officially run out of town was still a thing. LA was like that once too.

        More recently some of the smaller Silicon Valley towns were still doing things like using their homeless assistance budget to buy them one-way Greyhound tickets to Somewhere Else, but the political pull of the victim advocate groups has been growing everywhere, and the spring and summer 2020 riots spooked all of them into parroting the defund line (though notably not much of this defunding has actually been implemented down here).

        But all of this operates underneath the general aristocratic leftishness and watermelonism of California state-level politics – at least until the money runs out. Ask Elon how long he’ll keep Tesla Fremont running once his Gigafactories in eth middle of the country are up and running, and how long SpaceX Hawthorne will be there. He won’t say, but he’s made it clear what he thinks of California as a business venue.

        Outside The Golden State but still antispinward, I hear that Reno NV is a pretty locked-down city.

        1. Sorry, not clear: victim advocate above used in the approved victim category social justice advocate sense, not advocates for the rights of victims of crimes.

    5. Coincidentally, a lot of newly-wealthy Chinese are using American and Canadian real estate (and they pay top dollar, in cash) as a way of moving their money out of reach of the CCP. Meanwhile, every realtor gets to drive a Mercedes. There’s your motivation, plain as day.

      Where I used to live in the SoCal desert, watched downtown get slowly killed by high costs and bad policy… then sold cheaply to friends of the mayor and renovated using Obamabucks.

      1. I know a bit about this. Chinese investors prefer to buy in Canada because its SAFER here to their eyes. The political and social climate is China-friendly, and the cities are pretty stable. They can leave a house sitting empty in Vancouver/Toronto/Montreal and nobody will mess with it.

        So those investors want a stable environment, rising real estate prices and a low crime rate.

        Therefore, I postulate that this “induced middle-class flight” thing is something else.

        1. There are at least two houses (1963 tract homes, 1,100-1,400 sq ft 16k sqft lots, so worth $1m+) here in Silicon Valley on the route of my walks that I have been told by local realtors are Chinese investment homes, bought with cash via international money transfer, for which weekly garden janitor and maintenance & upkeep services continue to be paid but which have never been occupied for the past five or so years. They stand out here only because there are never any cars in the driveway.

          1. That’s not really a surprise. Both the Bay Area and Greater Los Angeles Metropolitan Area have very large Chinese immigrant populations. So you’re going to see a lot of rich Chinese people moving to those areas. In many cases, the people moving in will likely be moving closer to family. And the US is still generally a nicer place to live than anywhere else on the planet.

            But there are flies in the ointment. For instance, there are the recent stories of “white supremacists” (who happen to have *extremely* dark tans, apparently) who have been attacking – and even murdering – asians, particularly senior citizens, out on the streets of American cities in broad daylight. Incidents like that will cause some Chinese to reevaluate the idea of moving to the US.

            1. When a reward was offered for one murderer, someone actually posted on Twitter about the wrong of offering money for a black’s body.

              1. Never mind that the New Black Panther Party has been openly and vocally targeting Chinese Americans and has been doing so for some time.


                They ramped this up after the virus hit and endorsed violence against Chinese people in retribution for the virus.

                Needless to say, the Democratic Party and its media arm ignores this as it goes against “the narrative”

            2. Sort of related:

              ‘Hateful, divisive, manipulative fraud’: Chinese American organization denounces critical race theory
              The oldest Chinese American association has denounced critical race theory as “a hateful, divisive, manipulative fraud.”

              The Chinese American Citizens Alliance of Greater New York criticized the theory, which argues that the law and legal institutions are inherently racist, in a statement released on Tuesday.

              “From its very roots, CRT is racist, repressive, discriminatory, and divisive,” the organization wrote, noting that the school of thought is “heavily influenced by such hate promoters as Marx, Lenin, Gramsci, Schmitt, Marcuse, Foucault and Freire.”

              CACAGNY singled out critical race theory’s treatment of Chinese Americans as a cause for concern, arguing that Chinese Americans have “come into CRT’s crosshair” by virtue of their status as “white by adjacency” as a result of the minority group “overcom[ing] discrimination and achiev[ing] upward mobility,” particularly in the field of higher education.

              “For top colleges, CRT uses the ruse of multiple-criteria holistic admissions, which allows Harvard to reject Asians with better academic and extra-curricular credentials than those of admitted applicants. … If smearing Asians this way isn’t hate speech, then what is? Call it diversity, equity and inclusion,” the statement continued
              [END EXCERPT]

              I doubt they’re eager to have the CCP managing things over here.

              1. Saw that.

                There’s been some pushback in the Asian-American community against racial preference policies at universities because the Asian community tends to put extremely high value in getting a university education. And the racial preference policies in place mean that it’s usually more difficult for an Asian to get into a given school than it is for a white person. But the Democrats have been ignoring them.

                This appears to be roughly the same general complaint.

                But so far, I don’t know that the concern over university admissions has been enough to convince noticeable numbers of the Asian-American community to switch their votes from the Democrats to the Republicans.

                  1. There’s been some evidence of support for the Democrats by Asians here in California – turn out at rallies, meetings, and such. Or in other words, public displays.

                    And, again, note my very careful choice of words that I picked – I said that I didn’t know whether the concern has been enough to convince noticeable numbers of Asians to switch their votes. I did *not* say that they hadn’t done so. I said that I didn’t know.

                    1. Let’s not forget how many Asians in CA work in the tech industry, which requires public display.

                      Here in Plano, the Asian community is pretty different, and by my experiences as a poll worker and who’s running for local office they trend Republican. The cultural and occupational profile here is very different. And by cultural, there are multiple congregations of the “Formosan Baptist Church”; neither myself nor my father (Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Class of ’58) had ever heard of it anywhere else.

                1. How do we know that they actually voted for the Democrats?

                  ^^ This ^^ … I voted Republican … not that I’d tell a pollster, or media, if I was asked. Did the media, wouldn’t-know- the-truth-if-it-bites-them, tell us Asian-Americans are voting democrats in block?

                  Unless volunteered, votes are private. I don’t remember marking “Caucasian elderly married-vote-controled-by-husband female” on my ballot. Granted probably marked down that way in registrars office and linked with the outer mail in ballot, but even that is suppose to be divorced from how I voted after envelope is validated in Oregon’s-vote-by-Fraudmail … don’t you know.

                  1. In 1995ish, The internet didn’t have a World Wide Web (unless you were at a university on a Sun workstation), but it did have the Usenet Newsgroups. In one of these groups, a pasal of libertarians had begun publicly lamenting their lack of political power, and got the notion that they could pick a libertarian leaning small state somewhere, and just MOVE there, en mass. So they made a pact to do so, created a porcupine flag, and began the task of deciding where, and the “Free State Movement” was born.

                    Years later, then picked New Hampshire, and a huge number kept their word and moved there, mostly north ‘o the nock.

                    So, come 2008, Ron Paul is running for president, and looks like he has a chance, and the movement gained momentum. Yet come the election, whole counties north of the nock managed not a *single* vote for Ron Paul, to the great surprise of the people there who voted for him.

                    This has been going on for a *very* long time.

          2. There are so many empty million dollar Chinese houses in Vancouver that the local housing market is massively disrupted. Same in Toronto. They don’t rent them out, they keep them empty and sit on them, just as you describe.

            So it becomes increasingly hard to buy a house and impossible to rent one. Average house price in Toronto this week is $1.3 million. That’s the middle of the bell curve. The bottom is about $900,000 for a tear-down. I haven’t seen anything under $900K that was inhabitable.

            BUT, the current Covidiocy unpleasantness is driving house prices -down- in Toronto and -up- everywhere else, thereby devaluing the Chinese investment. So they probably wouldn’t want that. Unless they have a way to make money by driving down real estate values?

              1. I lived in Toronto for 10 years after I left the nest. Pretty fun as a single, plenty of parties and girls, but I starved there. Jobs hard to get, harder to keep. TAXES!!!!!!11! Housing SO expensive, holy crap. Zero chance of ever buying a house. Shit life, really.

                Moved to Arizona. Jobs, plentiful. Taxes, low. Houses, affordable-to-cheap. Back to Canada, eventually, and I did -not- return to Toronto. No, no, no.

                But everybody else in Ontario, up until March 2020, was -desperate- to go live in Toronto. “Everything is right here!” they enthuse. “This is where it’s all happening!” they say. “Condos are great, there’s no grass to cut!” they proclaim.

                But this year my dorky house deep in the sticks is looking pretty good to all those Toronto-lovers. Because pestilence is no respecter of class or wealth. They watched the federal, provincial and city governments drop the WuFlu ball, and I think many, many people realized they were living in a fool’s paradise.

                I can tell, because there are -zero- acreages available anywhere within two hours drive of Hogtown. Any that pop up on the listings are gone in a day or so. Detached homes in pretty much any condition are over $700K most places, and there’s no inventory.

    6. I was thinking of the Curley effect, named after James Michael Curley, mayor of Boston around WWI through the Great Depression. What he did was deliberately flush his city down the toilet via weath redistribution schemes in order to drive out his affluent detractors, reducing the overall population but leaving his poor, welfare-addicted base a larger portion of the reduced population demographics, thereby cementing his continued reelection.

    7. Then again, it could be the real estate equivalent of Chernobyl- where a disaster that could and should have been foreseen happens because the people who really should know better… didn’t.
      Under normal conditions, the Progressive polities could count on the woke wealthy to offset their policies.
      But, when Covid happened, and the rioting, it was enough to start a runaway reaction and kablooy.

    8. The “profit” is increased political power. The rotten borough doesn’t produce much money, but it serves as a base from which the Leftists can work upward to higher levels of government, and raid the revenues of other towns they haven’t taken over yet. Every zombie city is another bloc of voters who live off of State largess and can’t even contemplate doing otherwise, who vote and fight for any smooth talker who promises to keep the dole money flowing. Victims who have to be helped, forever.

      1. But, a shrinking population also means shrinking representation. The reason cities have such a big say in federal elections is because the population is big enough to offset the interest of the rural areas.
        Right now, New York City is looking at losing one Congressional seat (and it will probably be AOC’s), and it’s probably not the only one.

      2. See also the “Curley effect”:

        James Michael Curley, a four-time mayor of Boston, used wasteful redistribution to his poor Irish [Catholic] constituents and incendiary rhetoric to encourage richer [WASP] citizens to emigrate from Boston, thereby shaping the electorate in his favor. As a consequence, Boston stagnated, but Curley kept winning elections.

        We call this strategy—increasing the relative size of one’s political base through distortionary, wealth-reducing policies—the Curley effect. But it is hardly unique to Curley. Other American mayors, but also politicians around the world, have pursued policies that encouraged emigration of their political enemies, raising poverty but gaining political advantage. In his 24 years as mayor, Detroit’s Coleman Young drove white residents and businesses out of the city. … Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe abused white farmers after his country’s independence, openly encouraging their emigration even at a huge cost to the economy.

        Click to access curley_effect_1.pdf

    9. I am surprised nobody Soros-dropped in this sub-thread. WHO has funded many of those Let-wing DAs and Mayoral candidates? WHO is so expert at short-selling that he became known as The Man Who Broke The Bank Of England?

      I am NOT saying Soros is behind this, merely expressing surprise that the thesis has gone undiscussed.

      1. I’m less interesting in who than -why- it is being done. What is the profit mechanism? How do they PROFIT from it?

        Once you know that, it doesn’t matter who it is. You can put them all out of business the same day.

        1. i used to wonder the same thing, but it’s become clear to me that people are not always looking for financial profit. People will do and say things for status reasons that are quite destructive of their financial position. Or maybe nobody “profits” at all, it’s just the toxic intersection of politics, bad policy, and the fact that nobody is actually in charge.

          1. Intelligence services refer to the motivations of turncoats as MICE: Money, Ideology, Compromise/Coercion, and Ego.

            The people destroying cities are getting rewarded for doing so, but the rewards are at least as likely to be Ideology and Ego as Money.

  15. Mike Kupari said it best in a comment over at Larry’s blog:

    “It seems like hypocrisy but to them, it’s not. You’re the bad guy and they’re the good guy. Don’t forget that.

    “Sure, those books got burned, but they were FASCIST books!”

    “Why is the Army occupying DC? To stop FASCISM!”

    “We have to force those news networks off the air to stop FASCISM!”

    “This merger of governmental and corporate power is necessary to counteract FASCISM!”

    How long until “we need to round these people up and send them to camps to fight fascism”?”

    1. And further down he made a point I’ve made and seen others make, here and elsewhere:

      “The Balkanization of American society continues apace. This isn’t going to go the way they think.”

      They have no frelling idea.

      Hey, Federal Monitors: Go find a coworker who served in what used to be Yugoslavia, take them to lunch offsite and ask them how that went for the people there. Then consider what your contribution to things these days, like monitoring these comments, is in aid of.

      1. The real problem is that it won’t end the way that anyone thinks.


        ILOH laid it out in an essay that he wrote and published on his blog quite a while back. If this country cracks up, then no one wins. And that applies to everyone, in the entire world. It’s just that some of us won’t lose as badly.

    2. “How long until “we need to round these people up and send them to camps to fight fascism”?”

      “How do you deprogram 30 million Trump supporters?” is an actual quote from actual television.

      Canada is ALREADY arresting people and sending them to “Covid-19 quarantine facilities” aka “Covid hotels”. Police are reacting to this by -not- arresting people who walk past their screening checkpoints at the airport. Because as of yet, it is not an offense to refuse to talk to police. Yet.

      Of late, Canada has become the testing ground for what they’re going to do to America next year.

  16. Just a small point, but perhaps worth noting. Some of us in Europe are old enough to remember the consequences of post-WW2 Marxification amd the promises that were made. Here in England we had rationing of some foods for years, not because there wasn’t enough to go rround but for ideological ideas of ‘fair shares’, and coulcn’y get rid of it until the 50s under a new Government. But when we reminisce about those days we’re ignored as ‘old f’s’ who don’t understand how the ideal system works.

    1. I have a collection of old “Model Engineer” magazines. There’s a “letters” section at the end of each issue, which has been interesting. I was astonished to find that coal was still rationed in some areas of Britain into the mid-1950s, and that there were still sizeable areas not on the electrical grid in the early 1960s.

  17. Our “enlightened, compassionate betters” (who are actually none of those things) in “the establishment” (government, big business, academia, and much religion) are going about trying to enforce “wokeness”. Every day, there is some more elaborate, reality-defying explanation for opposition to their policy proposals that rapidly becomes the conventional wisdom, and there are more threats to enforce it anyway.
    So, for instance, Barak Obama was opposed, not because he was anti-American, two-faced, and arrogantly incompetent, but because racism. Neera Tandem’s nomination for OMB is in trouble, not because her twitter feed showed her to be a partisan bigot, but because sexism. Black kids fail at math, not because they have a culture that claims mastering the material is “acting white”, but because the very idea of correct answers is racist. There is opposition to transsexuals competing in women’s sports, not because sex hormones cause real differences in physique between man and women, especially after puberty, but because of prejudice. There is opposition to “green energy”, not because the most vocal prophets of anthropogenic global have been spectacularly wrong about their predictions and the numbers for alternative technologies don’t hold up, but because science deniers. People cling to their guns, not because they fear being disarmed and helpless before a government that is becoming increasingly tyrannical and divorced from the will of the people, but because bloodthirsty. People distrust the established media, not because they have become so blatantly partisan and careless of fact, but because deluded by misinformation. People oppose the “woke” agenda, not because it is nonsensical and divorced from reality, but because haters. And so on, and so on.
    I confess to none of these political sins, I am not ashamed of what I believe, and I am not to be intimidated into anything unreasonable. Make of that what you will.

    1. deluded by misinformation

      Yeah, CNN and MSNBC and all the rest of the officially blessed three-letter media shouted full throat for three years about “Russia Russia Russia”, The Dowager Empress and others are still shouting that “Russia” misinformation, all conclusively disproved by official government agents, so clearly the real misinformation problem is…Fox News.

      Also, gee, Fox News sure bought a lot of respect by their changing sides, didn’t they?

      1. About the need to suppress misinformation:

        Police brutality against black people happens way less than public thinks
        … A new survey commissioned by Skeptic Research Center reveals the extent to which the public is misinformed on the issue of police violence. Participants across the political spectrum in the nationally representative survey were asked how many unarmed black men were killed by police in 2019. The results were revealing. Overall, nearly half of surveyed liberals (44 percent) estimated roughly between 1,000 and 10,000 unarmed black men were killed whereas 20 percent of conservatives estimated the same.

        Most notably, the majority of respondents in each political category believed that police killed unarmed black men at an exponentially higher rate than in reality. Over 80 percent of liberals guessed at least 100 unarmed black men were killed compared to 66 percent of moderates and 54 percent of conservatives. But, according to a close database compiled by Mapping Police Violence, the actual number of black men killed by the police in 2019 is 27.
        [END EXCERPT]

        In other Misinformation Today news, riots are scheduled to erupt in Minneapolis as the city prepares to put Derek Chauvin on trial on March 8 for murder in the death of George Floyd. The fact Mr. Floyd was so overdosed on Fentanyl as to define the phrase “dead man walking” will be widely disbelieved by the public and any jurors honest enough to accept that and vote for acquittal will likely be not just committing suicide but also condemning their families.

        Assertions of the officer’s guilt by the Mayor and Governor ought be grounds for mistrial and impeachment of the political leaders. At least in the olden days lynchings were not given official imprimatur although they often had official sanction, aka “a wink and a nod.”)

        1. I’m betting even without the prepositions pallets of bricks, the riots will still get rolling, and then will be mercilessly crushed by Federalized troops using armor and deadly force.

          The election is past, and FLOTUS China “Wait, what am I doing here?” Joe* is not President He Who Shall Not Be Named, so the press will dutifully cheerlead any permitted reporting of the blood running in the streets of Minneapolis as riots are suppressed.

    2. “Neera Tandem’s nomination for OMB is in trouble, not because her twitter feed showed her to be a partisan bigot, but because sexism”

      And also racism. Rep. Swalwell put up a post about how the problems with Tandem’s nomination would discourage the young Indian girls in his district from trying to achieve great things. This, of course, immediately drew snarks about how well acquainted he was with asian women (or at least a particular asian woman).

  18. Puts me in mind of a story from an automotive engineer I know.
    He’d been sent to Soviet Russia in the seventies in a goodwill gesture to improve their automotive manufacturing.
    Well, it was as backward and antiquated as everyone claims; and any idea he posited had to be authorized by the Commissar. Any change in manufacturing protocols had to be vetted for “Anti-Revolutionary Ideas”.
    By a Commissar who had no experience at all in automobile design, manufacturing or anything outside of being a loyal Party member. But he had to review any changes before implementation.
    That’s where we are heading now; we already have people in charge who are ill suited to run anything, let alone a country. But they WILL run it, whether you like it or not!
    The inmates haven’t just taken over the asylum, but the country as a whole. And we’ve forced to listen to their insane ranting, while those who’ve drunk the kool-aid just nod knowingly and mutter about truth and justice.
    I’m gonna go get an antacid.

    1. Or as Z-Man puts it, rule by the managerial class.. those people who have never been anything but managers.

      1. That’s a disaster! You have to do something be knowledgeable in something (non-governmental and non-academic) or you’re an empty suit.

    2. Already happened last week in Texas. Today in Austin they all pointed fingers at each other, while we watched and took note of their names.

    3. In Khruschev’s autobiography (*) he talked about being a young Party commissar, put in charge of a factory making automobile tires. His description pretty much agrees with that.

      (*) there was some dispute as to whether the author was really Khruschev, noted in the foreward

    4. I once spend ten minutes arguing with a manager with no technical background about how we should do it this way, not that, because of its many superiorities — him just insisting on that way — and finally when I was leaving, he said we might do it this way some day, but for now we had to do it the easier way. I said, “Then we do it this way because it’s easier.”

      He learned his lesson. The next time he forced us to use a bad design, he didn’t give us any reason. Then, when he stopped me and told me he wanted to explain to the customer why we did it that way, I said, “Because you forced us to. There is no other reason.”

  19. Stick with me here, it’s on-topic.

    When I first heard of the D&D Order/Chaos alignment, I was fascinated by characters who are personally aligned with one side, but make use of the other.

    We often see that in fiction with a villain aligned with Order using Chaos to throw a society into confusion so that the Order-aligned villain can step in and institute…order (Hydra in The Winter Soldier is an obvious example).

    But it’s occurred to me that the opposite can also work: if a villain were aligned with Chaos, what better way to destroy society than by designing an ordering system that had absurdity as it’s premise, and would result in suicide and destruction wherever it was implemented and among whoever adhered to it?

    1. “When men think of chaos, they think of fire and blood, of whirlwinds and earthquakes. And so it is in the beginning. But these aren’t chaos themselves. They’re only the first steps toward chaos. Chaos itself – perfect disorder – is flat and tepid and gray.”

      Raphael Ordoñez

      Or to put it simply: entropy sucks.

      1. That which cannot continue, will not continue, even if what replaces it sucks.

        Let all the poison that lurks in the mud hatch out.

        When you’re going through hell, keep moving.

  20. I’m tired of being given the example of an airplane seat that was designed for both men and women and they had only men on the team. Then the woman came in and showed them what they’d been overlooking, and why it wouldn’t work for a female. That’s dandy, but that speaks incompetence of the original team. If they were designing it for both, they should have got a woman there to test it on, early on. In the end they were building the seat wrong because they weren’t very bright, not because they were all men.

    Well, reality test the just-so story.

    I can think of lots of examples.

    …problem being, they’re all “they had Designated Women on the team, and NONE of them designed for a woman that wasn’t them.”

    So you run into things like (SKIP IF YOU’RE BODY FUNCTION SHY) women whose cycle isn’t regulated by the Pill. Or who, horrors, aren’t totally down with pumping themselves full of even MORE hormones.

    1. I had to explain to a younger chorister why “I can hit the high notes now, but my range will be lower the week of the concert.” She’d never, ever heard about operatic “grace days” in the pre-Pill era, and what that means for a woman’s voice. (Not a big deal for most choral music, but for Beethoven and some others? It does make a difference if you are a Soprano One or Alto 2).

      1. I no music.

        Had no idea.

        So this is cool to know.

        (I swear, it feels like “hi, I have a female cycle, not it’s not mechanical” is some kind of magical system rather than basic biology that should be taught in…gosh, maybe sex ed?)

      2. What?! There are range effects? Never heard that. Never even heard the term.

        Thinking…. Well, must not be significant in my case, but I can see where progesterone might make a difference. I mean, the vocal apparatus is mostly muscles, so I guess….

          1. Oh, and of course the emphasis is on “this is bad, hurry up and take pills for it” and not “this is a thing, learn to understand and use it.” Freaking annoying.

        1. Muscles can be funny, can’t they?

          On one of the bonus tracks on the CD reissue of the original cast album for How to Succeed In Business Robert Morse tells the tale of originating this role on stage and telling Frank Loesser that there was no way he could reach that high note at (about) 1:29, on the “I take heart” phrase — and being assured by Loesser that with a full house he’d reach it.

          I wonder how he reached it for the original cast recording, but maybe practice had helped. I notice that his reprise for performance on the 1991 Tony Award broadcast does not include that same high note.

      1. If not for so much malpractice, there would be more.

        I spent most of the last decade pregnant. With panic attacks.

        Still beats the times I was put on therapeutic birth control pills.

        And I HATE panic attacks.

        1. I didn’t realize until a friend had the same problems that my SUICIDAL periods coincided with times I was on the pill (for acne. At 19? 17? No, not joking. Then again for a year after first son’s birth, because they wanted to be sure the water cleared — I was retaining water everywhere, including my bones, from the pre-eclampsia.) In retrospect the first was a bad idea because well… yeah, it cleared the acne, but…. the second I should have risked pregnancy Probably couldn’t be worse than UTTER crushing non-functioning depression.

          1. I can believe that. Depression… well, I can’t find words family-friendly enough to describe how much it sucks. This past year-plus has been so stress-loaded….

            Upside, we may have finally gotten the last legal hurdles crossed, which will hopefully free up time and brainspace for actual stuff that makes money. *Knocks on wood!*

              1. It at least feels like things are trying to boot up.

                Although found a new howler in the Amazon royalty paperwork for the IRS. This year their 1099 says to report royalties using Schedule E. You look up that form on the IRS website, it specifically says writers don’t use that form, it all goes on C (self-employed) instead. Oi…..

                1. That’s nothing like the utter crazy of my trad pub this year and thier reports to the IRS and their trying to tell how corporations work. (Which we studied in detail when we started it… 15 years ago.)

                2. Haven’t you heard? Correctness is an artifact of White Culture, so check your privilege, racisssss.

                    1. It isn’t our fault we’re simply adorable, nor that you were created silly-looking.

      2. I do not like the side effects of hormones on my body. They are not psychological, but they are TMI—and I had to have them for a solid month for pre-surgery prep. Boy, it was so nice to throw the extras in the medication disposal kiosk.

    2. I’m going to have to look up this airplane seat thing, aren’t I.

      It’s been years since I last attended a “You should have more women in your design team and here’s why!” seminar (probably having to do with all of the architecture classes being evenly split between the sexes) so I don’t think I’ve ever heard it.

      1. I honestly haven’t heard what Sarah reports, but I can see it.

        I have had stuff based on “we had women so you must comply” stuff that doesn’t match any functional woman I”ve met.

      2. Architecture doesn’t necessarily need women, but it does need people who have used houses. Like the rental house I was in right after college, where no windows opened on the ground floor except for one tiny one in the former pantry, and which had no cabinets or closets on the ground floor, and where you couldn’t open the front door 90º because the stairs were in the way. Or our current house, which doesn’t have towel bars (or room for them) in the bathrooms. WHO DOES THAT.

              1. Will you throw them out eventually, or are you waiting until they crawl out on their own? 😀

                1. We hear some subdued rustling at the back of the shelves every now and then, but so far nothing has escaped.

                2. George Carlin, on finding something forgotten in the back of your refrigerator: “What is it? Could be meat. Could be cake. Could be…meat-cake!”

          1. Ours are tiny, but it’s mostly that there’s no possible place to put towel bars, though there would be if they’d made some smarter design choices. And it’s not like our house is so big that we can have moving racks. (California. 1500 square feet, three kids, space-taking hobbies, and of course the necessary thousands of books.)

            1. How sturdy is the shower curtain bar? Could hook a layered bar hanger over that.

              Over the door, too.

              If you’re not using storage over the toilet– not likely, but it could happen!– that’s another spot.

              Our shower-bathroom was tiny, and then it was remodeled by someone who as you say apparently does not live in a house nor realize that the stylish sink would’ve been better replaced by somethign that doesn’t take up a good 1/8th of teh total floor space.

              1. I remodeled the second bathroom in my relatively tiny place (1,100 sf, two bedrooms, 2 baths, a third room which could have been a bedroom but was a den opening off the living room instead) and saved an enormous lot of space by removing the sink vanity cabinet and replacing it with a free-standing pedestal sink, and having the Local Handy Guy construct a set of shelves on another wall to hold all the stuff that had been inefficiently stored in the cabinet. This makes a much more livable and attractive small bathroom.
                Pedestal sinks – a boon to a small space.

                1. I am working on selling this to The Husband. I could probably basically turn the entire wall it’s on into shelving, biggest issue is identifying if we can get the pipes set up right.

              2. Shower curtain bar is a spring-loaded bar. I want to replace it, but the only things I can find with fixed ends at the local home disimprovement stores are clothing rails, too big for shower curtains. (It used to have horrible sliding doors.) There is storage over the toilet, medicine cabinet next to that, mirror behind the sink. All remaining wall spaces are a foot or less wide.

                1. Have you looked at the curved brackets?

                  Our shower is a tiny formerly horrible slider shower, and they found a solid but curved bar that bolted in……

                    1. Ugh.

                      That’s getting into the “build a frame across the dang bathroom that will incidentally also hold up the curtain rod” zone.

                    2. A straight rod will probably suffice, since there isn’t the off-center motion. My dad put one up in the shower of the house I grew up in, so I know such things exist—or existed—but boring “home improvement” stores are not hardware stores, and don’t think about anything but builder-basic products.

  21. They don’t mean to kill the thing they seize.

    An insight of surprisingly little comfort to that which they’ve seized and those who’d come to rely upon it.

  22. When someone is far enough removed from a subject, all the details pretty much run together.
    For example, many non-horse people can’t really tell the difference between a Clydesdale or a quarter horse. And, inevitably in centrally planned economies, these non-horse people are in charge of horse allocation, and allocate quarter horses to pull wagons, and Clydesdales for races.

    1. For example, many non-horse people can’t really tell the difference between a Clydesdale or a quarter horse.

      Geeky diression.

      I had to explain “what size is a mule.”

      … I grew up knowing Goliath, who was a half-Clydsdale mule. He was freaking AWESOME, the forest service used him to great social effect in our area.

      He was… the size of a Clydsdale.

      It really screwed up the GM who assumed all mules were Mexican tiny mules. 😀

        1. The half-war-horse mules are oddly common, in modern times- I think because they sprekain’ huge and photogenic- and there’s no money in half-warhorses these days.

          We had a couple with two quarter-horse-mules bigger than anything we owned, for that reason.

          They’re basically ginormous horses you don’t have to neuter.

        2. BTW. Goliath was a sweetie that they had hang around the rest to keep them from being morons.

          Methow district, if you can search for it.

      1. I was going to ask how his mother survived giving birth to him, but I looked it up first and found out that I had it wrong way round in my head. He was a mule, which mean his mother was a horse (a Clydesdale, in this case) and his father was a donkey. If his mother had been a donkey and his father a horse, he would have been called a hinny, not a mule. (And if there is such a thing as a Clydesdale hinny, then I really do wonder whether the mother donkey managed to survive the birth). I had the definitions of hinny and mule swapped in my head, and couldn’t remember the word hinny until I looked it up.

        Also, I had not previously considered the effect of different horse breeds on mule offspring, but it makes perfect sense now that I know about it. Thanks for broadening my education today!

        1. Birth, hell. If it were natural insemination, the poor donkey might not have made it.

          (A friend had a half-Clydesdale. Not as big as the pure breed, but medium huge.)

      1. The “dog-car” metaphor really is pure genius.
        we got the brass ring! how come we’re not winning?

  23. They like theories that are completely explanatory of everything…. provided you never look outside the theory.

    Thus the emblem of the New Democrats is the self-licking ice cream cone.

  24. “Hat tip: Sarah Hoyt” ??????

    At National Review???

    A Must-Read Post on ‘Progressive’ Mind Control
    By George Leef
    February 25, 2021 7:41 AM
    Richard Bledsoe, on his Remodern Review blog, has a razor-sharp piece entitled “COVID, the Arts, and Our Skin Suit Wearing Establishment.”

    He is particularly incensed over a recent USA Today article where the authors claimed that America needs to look to science and the arts for healing. Bledsoe calls out the bait-and-switch tactics in the piece. The “science” they want people to follow is “Establishment Science, which is arbitrary, factless, incoherent, and nonsensical. We had to shut down the world for a virus with a 99.98% survival rate….The death counts are wildly inflated by claiming anyone ‘with’ Covid died ‘of’ Covid, which is not the same thing at all — let alone all the cases of flu, pneumonia, cancer, and even accidents, fed into the cooked Covid stats.”

    As for “art,” what they have in mind are politicized displays that Bledsoe accurately calls “poorly camouflaged leftist activism.” Bledsoe provides several distressing examples.

    Read the whole thing.

    Hat tip: Sarah Hoyt

    George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.

    Well done, Sarah, well done.

  25. “They really have no clue what they’re doing will destroy this prized possession they just got by hook and — most often — by crook”

    Cf. women who try to seduce married men away from their wives on the grounds that “He’s faithful and committed”.

    1. more genius…
      like catching the car, if you succeed, you lose.
      *chasing* the car, like “flirting” in old movies where no one expected it to go anywhere, is supposed to be a sport, for entertainment, if you actually *catch* the car, it completely defeats the purpose.

  26. when that failed harder, they conceived a hatred for people, out there, that they can’t understand, or predict, or force to fit into the system.

    N.B.: “You’re the reason we can’t have nice things.”

    Poll: While Republican Voters Care About Issues, Democratic Voters’ Top Concern Is Absolutely Ridiculous
    By Matt Margolis
    The priorities of the Democratic Party have always been hard for me to understand, and a recent survey from Echelon Insights once again has me scratching my head wondering how Democrats’ priorities can be so out of wack.

    What do you think the Democrats’ number one issue of concern is? Jobs? Poverty? COVID-19? The environment? Health care?

    Pfft. You’re not even close. According to Kristen Soltis Anderson, the cofounder of Echelon Insights, Democrat voters’ number one issue is none of those issues. Nor is it police brutality or LGBT issues. In fact, the number one issue for Democrat voters isn’t even a public policy issue at all. Democrat voters are more concerned about “Donald Trump’s supporters” than anything else.

    I kid you not. According to their survey, a stunning 82 percent of Democratic voters are Extremely/Very Concerned about “Donald Trump’s supporters.”

    Emphasis added.~

    1. If we assume this isn’t a complete fabrication, it would make sense if there are few actual Biden voters. A, if all the sane people, and the more sensible crazies, voted for Trump, the residue of Democrat voters would be expected to be mostly extremely insane. B, if they realize what they have done, it would be rational for Biden voters to fear being brought to justice.

  27. In the end they were building the seat wrong because they weren’t very bright, not because they were all men.

    Studies have found that the average man devotes considerable thought to women’s seats.

  28. Looks like Biden is launching airstrikes against Iranian-backed militia’s in Syria. Good thing you guys don’t have a Republican warmonger in office, huh? Man, I remember how obsessed the media was with the prospect of Trump starting a war with Iran, right from when he got into office. And of course they had their “WW3” meltdown before COVID-19 took over the news cycle. But at least the antiwar movement can rest assured that since a Democrat is dropping bombs, they have nothing to protest.

    1. I am sure the decision to drop those bombs is completely unrelated to House Democrat efforts to wrest the nuclear football from the President’s hands.

      1. Meh. They tried to get it away from Trump a couple of times. I would make a small wager they at least ran the idea out for comment during the last Bush administration.

        The “football” is power. That’s better than crack for politicians.

    1. Fellow extremist, I am reliably* informed that this was disinformation used by the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy to smoke out that Rush was a mole for the libertarian sewer flukes.

      That said, a former commander of the SGC whose current Air Force command is undisclosed is collaborating with the acting Secretary of Energy to nuke the Pentagon in order to remove control of rotary wing vehicles from the Army.

      The head of Carter’s security detail is planning to frame the BATF for it.

      *I’m actually constipated. The DEA is controlled by the Gnomes of Zurich, who are a front group for a collaboration between Delta Green, the Lion King Agency, and Celestial Being.

        1. Lion King Agency is from Strike the Blood. I forget if it was a public or private organization, but it sent a magical girl Sousuke Sagara to be the main character’s first waifu.

        2. In all seriousness, I did realize something.

          Pelosi has an SS security detail.

          If the SS had long ago been compromised by a foreign power, have been threatening their protectees into compliance, and Trump’s ability to pay for his own security means that he alone is immune, what would occur that would actually be different?

    2. I’ve read that the SOTU speech was supposed to be given Feb 23, but * didn’t bother to show. The usual suspects are hiding that tidbit. Take with the appropriate grains of salt…

  29. National Review found a perfect example of the Fallacy of Systemic Thought:

    An Unthinking Effort at Dismissing Florida’s Success
    What’s an antonym for Occam’s Razor? I’d like to use one to describe a piece from Alex Shephard over at The New Republic. Its title is “Andrew Cuomo Wishes He Were Ron DeSantis.” That’s probably an apt assessment, but things go haywire in the subtitle:

    The two governors both botched their states’ responses to Covid-19. The Democrat is paying a political price. The Republican is being touted as a 2024 presidential contender.

    Hmmm. Cuomo’s state is nearly pacing the nation in COVID deaths per capita. DeSantis’s comes in at 28th if you count the District of Columbia — and that’s with a larger, older population than New York. Shephard says that DeSantis responded to the crisis by making “a show out of doing nothing.” This is demonstrably untrue. Florida has had a comprehensive, well thought out pandemic plan, if a less hysterical and fawned over one than Cuomo’s.

    Nevertheless, Shephard speculates that it must be “the warm weather” that explains the disparity, since DeSantis had refused “to back the science” and insisted on “scrapping with the media.” It’s an odd supposition since cases spiked in the Sunshine State during the summer.

    As for his quarreling with the media, I can’t imagine why DeSantis would be inclined to do something like that!

    It is obvious that the New Republic‘s Alex Shephard cannot comprehend that The System was wrong and by thinking outside that system Gov. DeSantis achieved superior result. No, it can ONLY be that DeSantis was lucky!

      1. It sort of depends on which reality your base is in, don’t it?

        Via the NY Post commentary roundup:

        America is supposedly divided along race and gender lines — yet, ­observes Joel Kotkin at The American Mind, the conflict might really be between those who primarily make a living manipulating “incorporeal” information and those who toil in the “tangible world of making, growing and using real things.”
        [END EXCERPT]

        Not to brag on myself, as publication is a prerequisite for claiming credit and I never published, but I’ve said for decades that the Democrats consist of the symbol-manipulating professions — advertising producers, lawyers, journalists, professors — who are prone to believe that reality is malleable to their goals. It is nice to see the idea carried by somebody with credentials.

        1. The story about people using adhesives for things like hair or fake fangs, and being surprised that it stayed stuck has brought about an epiphany. These people have been taught all their lives that enough directed anger will make any inconvenient scientific truths go away- from gender to physics.
          Which isn’t so, but they’re personally privileged enough to keep the hard reality of consequences at bay for a long while.

        2. >> “I’ve said for decades that the Democrats consist of the symbol-manipulating professions”

          That’s unfair to the programmers among us.

          1. Manipulating symbols affords you the ability to separate from reality, but does not require you to do so.

        3. Maybe a better distinction would be that conservatives tend towards jobs manipulating the physical universe, and Democrats tend to manipulate people.

  30. You recall how I’ve been saying that Helicopters are too costly for the effect?

    I’ve not been searching for the best alternative, but I may have found a cheaper possibility.

    Obviously, zip ties to attach the felon to a fence, overpass, or telephone pole.

    Post a sign reading:

    “Scientists agree, the spread of covid hysteria can be completely halted by placing the heads of journalists in a plastic bag, and sealing at the neck with tape.”

    “Scientists agree, the spread of covid hysteria can be completely halted by placing the heads of Democrat leaders in a plastic bag, and sealing at the neck with tape.”

    “Scientists agree, the spread of covid hysteria can be completely halted by placing the heads of covid ‘experts’ in a plastic bag, and sealing at the neck with tape.”

    If you disagree about the signs, you hate science, want grandma to die, and are uncultured. 🙂

    1. Go green. America has rich natural resources and an extensive highway system connecting people to them. No need for wasteful Helicopters with their gaia-hating carbon emissions. Electric trams to the Grand (and similar)/Canyons use Sustainable (TM) gravity.

  31. At a convention a few years back I was listening to an art acquisition editor talk about how she chose covers. I was confused by her because she talked about aesthetics, connections, tone, but never talked about marketing.

    The cover is marketing. It is purely marketing. A piece of art that grabs the Reader’s attention and gets them to pick up the book and read the back cover copy. An aesthetically pleasing cover that doesn’t attract the attention of the reader who the book is aimed at is a bad cover. No matter how nice the art is.

    This is obvious, I know, but for some reason the primary purpose of the cover (selling the book) was not even a real consideration.

    1. [cough, cough]

      Signet paperbacks in the 1970s.

      “The publisher’s kid can make us a cover with some GI Joes and a Polariod” era.

  32. The old proclamation “if we can put a man on the moon, we can (insert goal here)!” comes to mind.

    The US space program engaged 400,000 tough-and-competent engineers and technicians, at a cost of around $20 billion 1960’s dollars … to put TWELVE men on the moon … using hardware with a useful life of weeks, days, or even minutes.

    Compared to the System objective of detailed management of 330 MILLION individual lives over their individual lifetimes, going to the Moon is an exercise in LEGO® assembly.

    Yet the devotees of the System fail to perceive this, and insist upon submission to the System as The One True Way and Our Only Hope … and in the process, disconnect the distributed, proximity-informed intellect of those 330 million from the problem-solving process, all but assuring System failure.

  33. It was such a small thing. Accu-weather had an ad up from the 1630 Fund spewing leftist crap and attacks. So I sent Accu-weather a complaint saying I found their ad offensive. Now they’re trying to get me to tell them how I got the ad, what browser I’m using, all kinds of identifying information. In the words of Khan, “Let them eat static.” They’ll have to look at ALL the places they put that ad.

    Give them enough complaints, and they’ll probably pull it.

  34. Reading this essay and comment thread has given me insight and inspiration for the coming days. I really appreciate Sarah and her audience of very very verrrry smart people. Thanks.

    1. To clarify an important point, it isn’t a matter of people here being smart, it is a matter of people here being informed. I’d take a dumb, informed people over smart, ignorant ones any day.

      Smart and informed is best, of course.

  35. I made the mistake of reading John Ringo & Linda Evans’ “The Road to Damascus” last summer, before the election. (Oohh, a new Bolo book. Shiny! And yes I know it’s from 2004.)

    I haven’t slept soundly since. Seriously, thoughts keep coming back to it. True believer red diaper babies coming to power. School system that only teaches “System Woke.” Media that lies with the best intentions. Everything failing and no one in charge able to figure out why. And normals that EVERYBODY hates because you’re supposed to hate them. Their farms are hoarding your food!

    Sarah, you know John, right? Could you ask him to take a break for a while? His worlds are leaking into this one. Can he make it stop?

    1. He is on a break. I actually blame the mess of these two years on that. I need to get him writing again. You see, I think when he’s writing the demons go into the books, not into reality.
      Look, it’s as good an explanation as any.

        1. I have this theory that his muse is the bitch goddess of the universe.
          While he was writing and showing her how her plans could go awry, she would not inflict her plans on reality>
          Now he’s stopped, the wheels have come off.
          Yes, I HAVE sent him a message to that effect, two hours ago. I’m waiting for an answer that says in effect “Sarah? Take your fricking meds.” 😀

      1. Laumer’s “The Last Command” made a big impression on me when I read it as a kid. I’ve seen combat vets get choked up reading it.

        Unit LNE had been buried in a sarcophagus of radiation shielding for three-fourths of a century. It was too badly damaged to repair, too radioactive to scrap, and had been buried where it stopped.

        A shiny new city rose where the enemy fortress had once been.

        The Highway Department really should have known better than to start blasting without checking those old ordnance disposal maps. Because there was something out there, and waking it up was a *really* bad idea…

      2. Don’t many of Laumer’s diplomats seem to be the models for many contemporary political leaders?

        Lawsy, don’t I wish we could trust Hollywood to make a movie out of one of the Retief stories without buggering it.

  36. A lot of this brings to mind ‘The Peter Principle’. People promoted into positions beyond their abilities, motivated folks doing their last job well- but just not suited to the new role. Since they can’t do the job and want to feel productive– they focus on something else.

    It’s hard to teach kids, particularly in inner cities, reading, writing and math. Much easier to teach SJW theory, theory which more and more provides an excuse as to why they can’t successfully educate their students. Racism, sexism, blah blah blah. Bottom line- folks in charge aren’t competent.

    ” In the end they were building the seat wrong because they weren’t very bright, not because they were all men.” No, they were bright, competent engineers designing to the requirement they were provided.
    The folks that were incompetent, as they often are, were the ones who were supposed to define the requirements for the engineers to meet.

    1. I tend to think Scott Adams is right: the Peter Principle has been replaced with the Dilbert Principle. People are promoted not because they were competent at their current level, but because they weren’t and it was easier to promote them than fire them.

      1. That concept is actually part of ‘The Peter Principle’. In the book it discusses having to ‘laterally promote’ people who’ve been promoted beyond their competence, including creating a new position for high level folks. Firing them being seen as unacceptable as it would be an admission that the folks who’d recommended for their previous position had made a bad call. Kathleen Kennedy at Disney/Lucasfilm perhaps being an example.

        1. Dick Francis made a lengthy comment in one of his books about the difference of how rank worked in the civil service and military, between America and Britain. In America the rank went to the person, and it was theirs forever. In Britain the rank was part of the job; they assumed it with the job, and let it go when they moved on.

          [comment was from a work of fiction, from memory, simplified for blog posting, some settling may have occurred during shipment, sold by weight, not volume]

          I don’t know how true it was, but it was an interesting difference between organizational cultures.

        2. You see that in federal employees a lot, especially at the GS 14 & 15 levels. Didn’t do such a great job at managing 100 employees, even though they were ok with 20? Fine: create an analyst slot and let them work from home.

          1. 20 people were fine for me. Course I retired at E-7, MSgt Hard to get that superintendent slot when you get passed up to attend SNCO Academy by a guy 3 rungs down the queue because he’s poking the 2Lt OIC, and the Commander decides to send you to the desert for 6 to 12 months when you complained to him. Andrews AFB and Washington D.C. That’s not a swamp. It’s a God Damn, 10-mile diameter cesspool.

        3. I will posit that we have moved beyond the Dilbert Principle and into the Psaki Principle- where people are promoted just because they’re a visible minority, and the first blank of blank to hold that position.

  37. “They have all these studies (and they don’t understand that studies involving humans are iffy, because humans aren’t widgets) that show that people learn best if they’re having fun; that all children hate memorization; that reading is much faster and better if you learn the word as a word, instead of trying to sound it out.”

    I started in the education world, and now continue in the Social Sciences and I can tell you that it’s actually a lot worse than the confusion of people not being widgets. Social science research is supposed to measure group trends (i.e. when new system is tried, the control group has x, but the experiemental group gets to X+10). The bigger problem is that the fields are knowningly building weak to bad studies and then treating it as if you’ve demonstrated something HUGE! Common examples include: “how does this make the student feel” and then implementing it because it will “improve outcomes” or using a very small sampled, non-randomized group and calling the drop outs of the study “control” and then using that to come to some conclusion. Worse, when others read the study rather than saying, “This is garbage, and why did the journal even allow this to be published?” or at least, “Huh, I wonder if I can reproducee this result.” they go, “cool, we should do this” and new policies are made. It’s been an open issue for years, and yet colleagues of mine LEAP into things and when I point out that the “research” they are claiming backs up what they are doing is absolute garbage, I’m ignored.

    1. There was a blogger who had participated in a DoD run prediction market attempting to investigate the replication crisis in the humanities. His personal conclusion was likewise that people are deliberately doing studies that they know are flawed.

      Leaves me some concern about the hard sciences and engineering.

      Though, ‘humans are not widgets’ is partly human complexity, agency, and the difficulty of measurement. This drives up the cost of truly valid measurement. If you train social science measurement experts in the same numbers and money spent as hard science measurement experts, you would expect the social science measurement experts to be more accustomed to cutting corners. It is possible that this could result in an entire field quietly ignoring that most ‘work’ done in the field is invalid.

      Another thing about widgets, there are reasons why tools of engineering can be valid for specific widgets, and if one really understands those reasons, it is clear that some tools are invalid for humans.

      1. > His personal conclusion was likewise that people are deliberately doing studies that they know are flawed.

        That’s believable. Most people just skim the abstract; very few read the whole paper, and even fewer will try to get copies of the data the author(s) used, but didn’t bother to include…

        Got some whack-a-doodle scheme you want to advance? Write a paper, send it to one of those pay-to-publish “journals”, and then both you and the paper have credibility. Use the paper to show that your ideas have been “peer reviewed” *and* are in print with a “respectable journal.” $WIN

        1. That’s believable

          Especially when you read the abstract and notice that the evidence they lay out supports exactly the opposite conclusion of that which they draw.

          1. A distressingly high percentage of papers published by the Society of Automotive Engineers are like that. And, of course, “standard textbooks” in the field are full of references to papers to supplement their information… and many of those directly contradict the textbook.

            “Who are you going to believe? A third-generation textbook, or the guy who actually did the research?”

            Obviously, they’re not going to bother to look up the references…

        2. It might be an interesting idea for somebody(ies) like the Kochs to fund a foundation for the express purpose of “replicating” or at least reviewing published results … and publishing the results of their work, as well.

          Powerball jackpot, I’m calling your name! (But not one ticket will I buy. I may be a wallaby but my math is good enough to understand those odds.)

      2. I KNOW in at least one of the hard sciences, the title of the paper and first paragraph often contradict the actual results. Yep, most professionals read the title and first paragraph only.

    2. Most studies in most areas are garbage, but it is worse in some than others. I find diet/nutritional studies among the worse. I read a study and almost always can point to huge omissions or other hypotheses that explain the results as well or better that they don’t even consider.

  38. Said it before, will say it again. These types of essays need to be collected in a non-fiction book and published. Not kidding. This is real stuff, good stuff, useful and portable (through situations and experiences). I send them to the Kid, and tell her to read them. Please consider it.

    1. She certainly has enough material. And I even gave her permission to use any of my posts if she wanted, even if it was “get a load of this doofus!”

    2. The problem is the work of collecting and editing. I started that, but narrow topic, and it takes FOREVER.
      People have volunteered to do it, but never did it.
      My guess is it will wait until/to the time I can hire an assistant.

      1. Maybe Jack Carr is bored. Lean on his patriotism and see if he thinks your ramblings have merit. Your regulars are definitely hooked.

      2. People have volunteered to do it, but never did it.

        WP’s archival function is a hemorrhoid, and you’ve one heck of an accumulation of material. If you hire an assistant do not force it to delve through the mess that is WP, both for the sake of the assistant and your payroll cost.

  39. Let’s see… you’ve written somewhere around 1,500 blog posts just since I started hanging around. Shouldn’t take you more than, oh, a couple of evenings.

    Seriously, if you can tell me what you want, I’m willing to help. You have my email address.

  40. @ Margaret Ball

    Re:”You’ve clarified it for me. At least partially. If They sense that Their brilliant plans are not in fact creating heaven on earth, somebody or something has to be at fault. And it can’t possibly be that Their plans are bat-sh*t crazy. So it must be that we stupid, deplorable people are sabotaging them.”

    You’ve hit the proverbial nail on the head. Communism is inherently atheistic, but it does not then follow that communists believe in nothing at all, for their creed is de facto a secular religion. As the great G.K. Chesterton is supposed to have once said, When a man stops believing in God, he doesn’t then believe in nothing, but in anything.” Communism prohibits belief in God, and substitutes man in his place. Marx and Lenin termed this god-like man the “New Man.”

    Utopian movements brought to life here on earth all fail for the same reason: They seek to create a perfect human, when the human-being is inherently flawed. Christianity says that the fallen human being can only be made whole again through his belief in God, but since communists are ideologues, a.k.a. “true believers,” it can’t be their world-view which is flawed, or God – since to them no higher power exists – which leaves only man himself as the problem.

    Josef Stalin – “The Breaker of Nations” – the iron-fisted tyrant who ruled the USSR for decades, is famous for having said, “One death is a tragedy, one-million deaths is a statistic,” and “Man is the source of all problems. No man, no problem.” Such an outlook is why communism always ends in the gulag and the firing squad. Since their search for the “new” and “perfect” man is doomed to failure, they eventually blame the imperfect people around them for that fact, persecuting, imprisoning, and ultimately killing them for that reason. Once that lust for violence begins, the only way to “prove” one is a good communist, is to be willing to go to greater and greater lengths to attain its (impossible) goals.

    Such spirals of fanaticism were not unique to Soviet (or Chinese or Cuban or Cambodian) communism; they were also seen during the French Revolution, particularly during the reign of terror.

    One of the most-lethal of the effects arising out of the abolishment of God and Christianity from public/private life under communism, is that such removes one of the most-reliable brakes upon the worst and most-sinful impulses of human-beings – namely, the belief that they re accountable to a higher power for their actions. If no such being exists, then human existence becomes Hobbsian in the extreme, the law of the jungle writ large – where the strong prey upon the weak, and the devil takes the hindmost.

    The great Russian novelist Dostoevsky dealt with just that theme in his novel, “The Brothers Karamazov.” In it, Ivan Karamazov claims that “If God does not exist, then everything is permitted. If there is no God, then there are no rules to live by, no moral law we must follow; we can do whatever we want.” In the end, this is why Godless communism must end in the gulag and firing squad, as indeed it always has where and whenever it is tried.

  41. Thanks for another knockout punch, Sarah. If I was on Twitter or Facebook, I would share it there. I do read your essays to my wife, out loud. If we had the time and dedication to write as well, we would. But we don’t, so we’re glad you speak for us.

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