They Can’t Drag Us to the Past

Earlier this week, I shared this facebook post from my friend Robert Bidinotto on Instapundit. (Link goes to Robert’s thrillers on Amazon.)


I have heard a great deal of despair lately about the state of our culture. Reading self-defined “cultural conservatives” (such as Rod Dreher) wailing that “all is lost,” it is easy to give in to pessimism.

Such pessimism seems warranted if you define the cultural battlefield in terms of *existing institutions.* After all, evidence of decadence and decline is pervasive within our political, economic, educational, entertainment, and social institutions. Most have become captives or accomplices of the left-nihilists.

But is that really the battlefield? History reveals to me different lessons. Such as: how a Renaissance and Enlightenment can emerge from the tribalism and mysticism of the Dark Ages, in which all institutions were hopelessly corrupt and coercive. Or how America itself could emerge from the historic swamp of universal despotism.We can learn from our enemies, too.

The so-called “Frankfurt School” started as a mere school of thought — a bunch of Marxist professors in Germany. Ditto, the Fabian Socialists in the UK. We should study how they accomplished what they did, and take notes.We also should take lessons from what the military calls “asymmetrical warfare”: how a small group of insurgents can fight a much larger, better equipped and supplied force to a stalemate — and even eventually beat them. (Study George Washington and Francis Marion, for examples.)

No, I’m not being literal; I’m arguing that the military analogy applies to the cultural battlefield, too: the battle over ideas and values.But creating new ideas, arguments, perspectives, and inspiring *visions* is not a numbers game. The creators of new ideas are always few, and usually solitary. Yet those few can eventually serve as navigators for an entire society. It was that truth that led Percy Shelley to say that “Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.”

The same can be said of an influential religious leader, philosopher, or narrative artist: think Jesus, Aristotle, Homer.

Throughout history, these visionaries have been the de facto “asymmetrical culture warriors” of the world.Today, would-be asymmetrical culture warriors have access to technology, even at the individual level, that those earlier purveyors of ideas and values couldn’t have dreamed of — technological innovations that the military would call “force multipliers.”

So, rather than gnash our teeth at the reach of mainstream- and social-media giants, or the influence of big corporations, schools, and governmental bodies, we “outsiders” can use technology to “hit them where they ain’t” — to spread our ideas and values in new forms, among receptive target audiences.

This is way too big a topic for a Facebook post. But those of you with individualist perspectives in our collectivist era — especially, those of you in the storytelling arts — ought to think creatively about this. Above all, remember the unstoppable power of a captivating idea or perspective — and the fact that it takes only a single creative visionary to give it life in the world.

Robert Bidinotto, Facebook

If you haven’t come across this quote in your feeds, I encourage to read it now, and pay attention. He’s right even if he doesn’t go far enough in some directions.

Look, I’m always amazed when people tell me that I’m so optimistic about our country and the future. Not only because I’m by nature depressive, and only maintain equanimity and ability to function because I trained myself from about age 8 to look at facts and not follow my feelings (which either stood me in really good stead this last year, or made me despair because people insisted on running around with their heads on fire and giving up their civil liberties. It’s one of the other.)

But in this case I’m not actually optimistic. What we see happening is a case of a faction that hates not only the country but every single American, seizing power over the backs of our broken or suborned institutions, and then using that power to impose clear and obvious insanity on the country.

We’ve seen this before. When Germany went howling into insanity is probably the clearest parallel. First, because despite their insistent they’re totes anti-fash, the current afflictions are trying to play the fascist playbook to the hilt, from the economic system of corporations, taken over and commandeered by the government, to the “superior race” which in the words out of their lips are those who tan, but in point of fact is the same old shite of “whites who adhere to party lines.” But then again, Hitler was not of the subrace he claimed to idolize (I believe in Man in the High Castle, one of the lines was “As blond as Hitler wished he were) and these paler than milk people claim that black people are the superior race mostly as a means to convince them to allow themselves to be ruled. In one case and the other, they’re all full of the rankest shit, and merely trying to divide and conquer.

There are other parallels, but they are not as obvious, because frankly both Russia and China — where the insane regimes lasted longer — were used to insane, autocratic leaders… and even as China devolved to the most obvious fascism, and Russia to whatever the hell they are — I think the corporate form of fascism — the most clear characteristics are “insane and autocratic.”

Cuba, once an “island paradise” takes its governmental ideas from Spain, which ultimately means “from Rome.” Which means they ultimately believe that “good families” should rule. It just so happens this particular “family” is out of its mind insane. I suspect things will work themselves out there, sooner rather than later, because frankly they’ve been papering over the cracks of insanity with tourist money. And considering that the “civilized world” is taking a turn on the insane carousel, they must be hurting more than usual now.

And so it goes. But as far as a sane country descending howling into authoritarian madness, Germany in the 20th century is the closest parallel.

Of course, the idiots driving this train — if they understand the example they’re following, and I’m divided on that, because I think half of them are following China, without realizing that China ended up following Germany — don’t realize the system works in China — sort of. There are already cracks — because China is China. They see the absolute power and they want that. They want that so badly. They can taste that. And (possibly un)like Winnie the Pooh’s shit eating brother, they think they’re building an empire of a thousand years. Oh, wait, so did Winnie the Xi’s model.

Well, his model might have done enough damage for a thousand years, including allowing the idiot Marxists to set themselves up in “opposition” (to the rhetoric, not really most of the practice), blame “nationalism” for the long war of the 20th century, and go stomping into universities, preaching hate of nation, hate of culture and ultimately hate of self to the fractured youth of the 20th century west.

And they created more obvious and in your face damage, in the removal from our midst of probably six million people (or more) and all they could have done and created.

But in point of fact their brief, horrific reign was barely over a decade. And that was in Germany, where most people might not have supported them, but the bizarre eugenics idea was ascendant (in the US too. In fact, all over the world) as well as — it was an industrial era thing — the idea that the future was bigger and bigger governments controlling everything down to the most minute and personal of decisions. In other words, as much as Germany in general did not revere Hitler (partly because he was a parvenu) the ideas being proclaimed from the command tower (as it were) were in fact in accord with the kitchen table ideas.

However, unless you were either exquisitely indoctrinated in school, or you are being a mobi because your bosses were, the ideas of our very woke and completely insane minority are not in any way shape or form in congruence with what’s in the minds of your average American.

In fact, even though our media did their best to hide the fact that the implosion of communism was as bad and revealed as terrible a devastation as the implosion of fascism, you truly don’t hear anyone on the street thinking that the USSR was paradise, or that China is the place to live. You do hear the power-hungry talking about how efficient and great at development they are, but only the power hungry. The idea of crumbling buildings and ongoing genocide has percolated to street level, and what came out during Covidiocy did their image no favors.

In point of fact, in the face of unprecedented — what can only be called psychological warfare — against our own people and heavy propagandizing and demonizing of all enemies intensifying during the Obama years and going off the charts in 2020, not only did the American people not vote for Obama’s “chosen successor” but they voted for Trump in such massive numbers in 2020 that the left were forced to fraud openly and in your face.

Their ideas are insane, and frankly everyone knows it. Even those who were propagandized in college, might mouth the pieties for the sake of jobs and advancement, but they know it’s outright crazy. Their belief in woke religion and branch covidian dogma is in fact of the same order as the decaying nobility of France claiming to believe in Catholicism, while rutting around like insane rabbits, and generally professing atheism in private.

You see, part of the problem is that the left is trying to impose on us a “back to the past” philosophy. At some level, through the fog they’ve tried to cast on history, they know the ideal time for communism (and note that ideal still didn’t make it work) was the early 20th century. They lust particularly after the early 20th century in America. That’s what they’re trying to recreate, and why they reflexively open the borders.

What they want is the masses of immigrants, assimilated into the leftist machine via their unions and kept in the plantation for the next 40 years, because the left brought the money, while the left also controlled the minds of the so called robber barons with the idea they were more ethical and helped the common man, and so ended up in control of those fortunes in various trusts and foundations.

They understand, dimly, through the thickness of granite around their skulls, that to do this they need large cities, ruled by implacable mayors; they need vast masses of dispossessed and ghettoized new immigrants who don’t actually speak the language; they need massive companies that are the source of all employment, against which unions at least pretend to protect the hapless workers, they need a controlled press singing the praises of “Mr. Roosevelt” and his “jobs program.”

They need in fact the early 20th century.

The problem is that we’re not in the early 20th century and that their efforts to replicate it range from “might work, but not the way you expect” to completely out there cargo cult insane.

So, yeah, they can create vast masses of dispossessed and ghettoized workers…. for a time. And as long as the taps of welfare flow freely. Which I expect will close or become irrelevant sooner rather than later. Because frankly, all cash money will become irrelevant at the rate they’re burning through it to try to create a false 1930. And they can break all small businesses in America, hanging over the store to Walmart and Amazon with their supplies from China. For a time at least.

It’s just they don’t follow that to the next step, because they bought into the ridiculous monetary theory that you can create endless fiat money with no actual connection to…. anything, and it will retain its value. Because in breaking the back of the ways people earn money here, it means people will not have jobs. Not even make work ones. It also means ultimately China starves, because Americans are no longer buying cheap shit by the truckload (in fact, though not mentioned, I expect China is already being pinched hard enough to squeal.)

They also don’t get that these are not the Italian and Irish immigrants of the early 20th century, who paid the cost of a mansion for their ticket here, and then had to stay even when the economy went into depression.

The people coming over the Southern border, these days, are coming for the free education and free healthcare, and free everything they have been promised. And they will melt over the border again, like snow in June when the economy goes sour. It happened — unreported — under Obama. And twice as fast if it comes to a butcher’s bill (and I’m very afraid it will. Because we need our institutions back, and the crazy cultists won’t let go.)

They can’t fully control the press. Sure, the control they have was enough to sell the covidiocy, and part of it, honestly, was that Trump went along with it. I still don’t even understand why, but it was obviously a weak psychological point and he caved.

But that’s because for a century people have trusted storm warnings, disease warnings and other seemingly non-political emissions from central government.

That is breaking down now, and I expect the plan of the left to make Americans stop working and all live on welfare and buy Chinese crap to fall apart in the next six months. Already, the reaction to this latest “stimulus” was not, like the reaction to the first “oh, thank you, we needed this,” but more “You son of a bitch, what I want is my life back.” Oh, yeah, the usual hold outs, but not nearly as many, because people are starting to realize this is all a sham. Look, you can’t drive across several states without seeing that with the unequal enforcement, if this were a true plague we’d ALL be dead. And because of the mask idiocy of the airlines, we’re all driving a lot more, and cars are almost impossible to rent.

Because word still gets out. Even with the social media stomping all over. As Robert Bidinotto points out above, we’re not in the early twentieth century. The technology and resources at our disposal are much easier.

In the 20th century if you wanted to start your newspaper, you needed a lot of money. And if you didn’t want to give it away for free, you needed people to trust you enough to subscribe. And you needed to pay reporters to get the facts on the ground, which was a lot more expensive, because both transportation and person to person communication were.

Right now my morning “howdy” includes talking to people around the world. And sure, they’re doing their best to shut down all those channels, but I don’t think they can.

More importantly, just like to try to force us to love Obama and vote for Hillary they burned most of their “star power” and what remained of Hollywood’s glitz, to bring about the Covidiocy and try to do every other thing in their program, they burned people’s trust in schools, traditional publishers (mostly because bookstores are closed), the news (this will become more obvious as people perceive the size of the con, and they are starting to), government anything, elections, our institutions and are in the process of burning the trust in the new tech conglomerates. Oh, yeah, and big cities are pouring out and I doubt they’ll come back. And the new tech trying to be hegemonic is really cute, too. Because, you know, this tech that the conglomerates are built on is something that gives an ephemeral advantage, but likely to change as the tech is superseeded. They’re no more permanent than IBM’s vaunting supremacy.

Now yeah, sure, it’s probably going to get really bad, because they are destroying some institutions that are absolutely needed. It’s particularly going to be tough in spots, and some spots will inevitably surprise us. And there will be a butcher’s bill, both from their idiot over reach and from resistance to it. And don’t get me started on what already-wounded China and Russia will get up to while we’re unseating the idiots.

The entire world is about to get another lesson on “insane regimes, and why encouraging insanity in your institutions in the hope they’ll eat you last is bad, ‘mkay?”

So, no. I’m not an optimist.

But on the other hand, everything is proceeding as I’ve been saying for over a decade, just accelerated due to the branch covidian cult. The institutions are going to collapse, as I told you they would.

Which is why we need to build over, under and around.

Sure, it’s hard not to get discouraged, because even best case scenario, things are going to get weird and confusing, and even a very short upheaval that destroys all the corrupted institutions means I’ll spend what I can anticipate as the rest of my life rebuilding. As will the rest of us. That’s fine. We don’t choose the time we live in, and in many ways I’ve been blessed and got to see amazing things. And I doubt rebuilding will be any worse than the life most people had throughout the end of the 19th century in the west, or still have in most of the world. (Heck our 19th century was better than most of the world now.)

But the ravens crying “nevermore” and “We’re going down forever” aren’t helping.

They might not be on the other side, but they functionally are.

The left would love nothing better than for all of us to plunge into depression, shut up, and stop fighting back.

So ignore the ravens. We have our work cut out for us, and no mistake.

Go write, make, create and build. Get ready to hold up the world on your shoulders when the institutions break. It’s really close now. Get ready to rebuild.

Though I understand Atlas’ disposition to shrug, shrugging would actually enable the left idiocy to last longer Sure, don’t support them. But build your own thing and hold on.

What rests on your shoulders is liberty and the future of humanity.

636 thoughts on “They Can’t Drag Us to the Past

  1. Every so often I find a decades-old paper and if you read through the political section, many of the names are recognizable.

    I shouldn’t be recognizing Congress-critters from when I was a kid, but many of them are still around…

    1. Yup. So many people don’t know that Biden first ran for President in 1988.

      And those people would have no clue what you’re talking about if you mentioned the “Plagiarist in Chief” (which is apparently still accurate).

    2. For two or four months now, I’ve been reading 1910 issues of The Alaska Citizen, a Fairbanks, Alaska newspaper, just catching up on the local news.

      None of those congress-critters still around but a lot of great lessons about what can-do folks can do in spite of them.

    3. I made the mistake of looking at Fakebook the other day and happened to see a post by an acquaintance who shared a stupid meme about how all of the baby boomers should be banned from congress because they screwed things up so much. I found it offensive, being a baby boomer. Sure, some things got screwed up (I blame the sixties for a lot of it) but it’s mostly a function of the fact that the old farts in congress just happen to be of that generation.

      After bitching at him about “othering” people (because that’s the sort of thing the younger generation might respond to) I did pause and think that there might be some benefit to getting rid of Pelosi, Schumer, McConnell… But making blanket statements that “all should be ” is tilting way too far to totalitarianism and I cannot approve.

      1. The reason I loathe Laura Loomer is because the title of her book is akin to “Boomers Are Shiite And Here’s How They Screwed Me.”

  2. Big Cities, or their suburbs, are still around and will remain so. This country needs a variety of people living in a variety of places.

    1. Yup. Cities serve a purpose. But (and I say this as someone who lives in what is quite possibly the largest geographical urban sprawl in the world) that doesn’t mean (as the Great Reset types wish) that they’re the end-all be-all pinnacle of societal evolution. You need both urban and rural communities, as each has its own things that it’s better at.

      1. In the ‘After Covid’ era, what purpose do cities serve? Pre-Covid, yes, there were jobs, there was a variety in dining, shopping, and entertainment. After Covid? I can work from home and I don’t see that changing. If it does change? I’ll look for a job where I can back to my 2 minute commute from bedroom, kick off coffee, to desk.

        The largest reason I’ve stayed in a big city is because of availability of jobs. With that looking like a thing of the past? Why would I stay in a city paying $1k a month rent when I can move someplace and pay half that? Our city council elections are this year and the brilliant plan of the ones running for office is to raise taxes on the people whose jobs they didn’t destroy to pay for the people whose jobs they did destroy. Personally, I’m thinking that idea is going to fail in a spectacular fashion, so I’d rather move in advance and avoid that failure.

          1. I hear you, I’ve been re-evaluating my likely longevity lately and not really liking the picture I’m seeing. I’m still hoping we’re all wrong about how bad this is going to get and we all get together in a year or so for shots and cake.

          2. The hell? I thought you guys were looking at relocating to an undisclosed location in the next year or so.

            Is everyone ok?

            1. Kind of. It’s more that I expect real estate to crash in three months, and we neither can buy nor sell in that time. So we’re stuck for the duration.

              1. If real estate crashes equally in the place you are and the place you want to move to, it would still be possible to move. Unless it crashes you into negative territory. In which case you can walk away.

              2. I don’t know what real estate will do. Right now values are high because of lack of ability to add housing, both single story and multi-unit. Sell high, sell low, the replacement cost of what we have will be equivalent to what we get out the old. Since we’d like to get out of the city, we might net enough out of the old to pay for the new and moving costs (which represents a slight gain), keeping the same amount owed on the housing loan. Required payments would be less, only because of interest rates still lower than what we have, which is saying something because we are barely over 3% as it is. Property Taxes on the OTOH would triple, VS tied to 1992 with max increase of 3% over prior year. Taxable value would equal actual value paid. Where, as of now, Taxable value is way less than government perceived “real” value, which is less than actual value (for now anyway).

      1. Speaking from the suburbs of Cleveland, traffic in Cleveland will continue to be greatly decreased, but a lot of downtown Cleveland was office workers who are now working from home, including Mr. BTEG. The steel mills and the Port of Cleveland are still important, but out here in the suburbs, we also have a lot of places that produce things, like the Ford plant, or the big DuckTape headquarters. We have industry in the suburbs that can drive our local economies. The restaurants in Cleveland are probably hurting, and the Playhouse Square district, but that’s partially because of the Coviodicy.

        1. Yes – the suburb-to-suburb commute has long since been an established trend – and is one of the reasons urban centers were hollowing out. It is also part of the reason underlying mass transit failure, as people no longer need to travel from spokes to hub.

          One factor in manufacturing’s abandonment of cities has been EPA regulations that make reclaiming a factory site nearly impossible, requiring a level of purity that prevents any such effort. Manufacturers wanting a new plant while availing themselves of the extant work force find it simplest (and cheapest) to move to a suburb and build afresh.

          Anthropologists will recognize this as a contemporary version of our ancestors’ slash and burn cultivation, relocating to a fresh plot when an occupied one plays out.

          1. Yes. When we moved to the Chicago ‘burbs in 1960, Dad took the train to a steel warehouse/fabrication place not too far from downtown. My summer job in ’71 and ’72 was the same company, but by ’74 the unit I had been working at transferred to another suburb. My 1973 summer job entailed a suburb-suburb commute, as did my mother’s and stepfather’s jobs until they retired.

            A look at the Chicago map where the steel plant was shows it’s now a big film/video complex. So much for manufacturing. Not much use of industrial chemicals there, but between US policy and some amazing wilful blindness by the American steel industry, the core of steel production went overseas. FWIW, what used to be the parent company for Dad’s job went from Chicago based, to Indian owned (dot, not feather), and now has its assets owned by an Ohio company.

            1. Until I quit having a commute, I was watching that conversion take place at an abandoned auto plant (Ford I think) just outside Atlanta.

      2. Depends on the residents. If enough of them can support themselves without city jobs, then a given suburb will continue on. Otherwise, the residents will move elsewhere looking for employment and income.

      3. Look to Detroit. The suburbs become ring cities.
        Look, should we unseat the crazy people running the cities, and get the homeless problem under control (enforcing laws will, weirdly, do MOST of that) cities will continue, but almost as tourist attractions. The fact that people no longer need to live in the city to have a job is a death blow to cities-as-we-know-them.
        Having a concentration in one place for people to spend vacations, experience variety of cuisine and look at cities as they used to be? QUITE possible. I swear New York City was halfway there before COVID. When we visited 15 years ago, it seemed half the people were tourists.
        BUT for that to happen, you need to knee cap the stupid progs in charge.
        And btw, given that change, I might even consider cities again, since I’m a dork who likes museums, zoos and weird scientific lectures for fun.

        1. Very much this: “Look to Detroit. The suburbs become ring cities.”
          Most of the big businesses moved out of Detroit in the 70s-80s-90s, and the ‘burbs boomed. Even now, even with several companies establishing HQs in the city, there’s virtually no reason to go into the city. Everything I want or need, I can get out in the ‘burbs, often cheaper, definitely easier when you take parking into account, and frankly, likely safer.

          Even some of the suburban cities that were hurting are starting to come back and faster than Detroit (Pontiac comes to mind.)

          So, yeah, I could see “cities” in the future being more a collection of museums, art galleries, sports venues, niche dining, but not a lot in the way of businesses.

          1. When I was growing up in So Cal, in one of the ring cities/distant suburb of Los Angeles, I could count on the fingers of both hands the number of times I actually went to downtown Los Angeles. A Girl Scout excursion to Olvera Street, maybe twice to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion for a concert or stage performance, once on a school trip to the Shrine Auditorium, school trip to Exposition Park … and twice to the federal center to be processed for enlistment in the military. No earthly reason for more than that. The industry (such as it was then) was in the San Fernando Valley, or various sub-cities in the area – Hawthorne, El Segundo, North Hollywood. The suburbs will be small, ring cities, and downtowns will be where the tourists go. The Daughter Unit and I get a giggle out of going to Downtown San Antonio on rare occasions, and are asked where we are from… “Here!”

          2. In the ’50s, Dad worked in Detroit while we lived in St. Clair Shores. He was working for a steel company while most of our neighbors worked in auto plants (modulo the guy who worked for the IRS.) The steel company is long gone, and I don’t know of any auto manufacturing in Detroit, but the suburbs are still ongoing. (A look at Zillow shows our house still there, for a fairly modest price guess.)

            OTOH, Detroit has to do a shitload of work if they want tourism.

            1. I’m pretty sure there’s nothing that would bring in any serious amount of tourism to Detroit…
              Sports? All four Detroit teams currently could suck-start a car, and people who travel to watch a sports team probably only go for the game, then head home.
              Auto show? Might get some tourism from that, but it’d be a once-a-year bump…
              Arts? Yes, the Detroit Institute of Art is a nice museum (haven’t been in decades, it’s not really my thing,) you’re not going to get a lot of people just for that.
              Art shows? Maybe, maybe if some of the more “esoteric” shows caught some attention nationally, you might get people in for those, but again, they’re once a year (If you like interesting art, check out The Dirty Show Detroit)

              So yeah, lots of shitloads of work…

              1. Not to mention you don’t travel to the arena now, you watch the teams play in an nearly empty venue with “crowd noise,” piped in. It was really noticeable watching the NCAA last night:the cheering increased at the same rate for both teams, as each one carried out a particularly exciting play.
                If you aren’t allowed to go to the stadium, you won’t hit the local restaurants and bars.

                1. Yeah, it’s disorienting, to say the least, when the wife is watching the Wings play, to hear “normal” crowd noises, but only seeing the occasional clump of spectators (and even then, the bench side lower-bowl seats are covered with advertising / sponsor stuff.)

                  Used to be, we’d go to a game every so often and made a day of it. Stop at a restaurant for dinner maybe, or book a room at one of the casinos and eat there. Now? Leave aside the teams stink, I don’t feel like wearing a bloody mask for nearly the whole trip…

              2. Doesn’t the Detroit football team played their games in Pontiac?

                The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn is easily worth a couple days’ attention … but it is in Dearborn, so you ladies best wear your hijab …

                1. Nope, the Lions left Pontiac several years ago when the team / Ford / Detroit built Ford Field next door to Comerica Park (Tigers baseball stadium)

            2. Chernobyl has a thriving tourist trade.

              A little marketing, and Detroit could match that…

              1. Chernobyl you’re less likely to get mugged, though…

                There’s some areas in Detroit that could probably do a thriving “disaster porn” tourist trade, except you want your visitors to go home alive (or at least un-mugged.)

          3. You are describing several cities in Connecticut. Towns there voted themselves out of the downtowns as tax-exempt properties were concentrated there: churches, libraries, museums, hospitals, etc. By drawing a line around them and casting them off as unclean the new towns got the same services with lower taxes. Hence the existence of Hartford/West Hartford (town line on occasion runs down the middle of streets), New London/Waterford, and my favorite, Bridgeport which is the combined downtowns of two towns now divorced from it.

            1. This is a big problem in Ithaca, because the elephant in Ithaca is Cornell, with an area almost equal to the rest of the city, 10k employees, and which pays no property taxes. As if taxes in NY state weren’t already high enough!

              1. It’s too bad that Honda doesn’t have an assembly plant in Ithaca. It would be a good place to build their Odyssey minivan.

        2. White collar, sure, you can often work halfway across the country. But blue-collar work doesn’t allow for that. People still need to be on-site to run the machines, and figure out why they stopped working.

          You generally don’t need as many people as you used to in a lot of those jobs, due to automation. But some warm bodies are still required. And employers that need those warm bodies are going to go to the urban areas where those bodies can be found in large numbers.

          1. Waggles hand.
            The thing is most of our factories these days are NOT in cities, but in exurbs. Or in the middle of nowhere, mostly automated, with some guys supervising it.
            I know that sounds weird, but no, most factories aren’t in cities, and haven’t been since the nineties, AT LEAST.
            Most of the warm bodies in cities are either superwealthy or drug addicted and welfare recipients.
            You’re working on a (very) outdated map.

            1. I work in a factory right now, so…

              No, I’m not in Downtown LA. But the Greater LA Metropolitan Area isn’t exactly a “normal” urban area, either. It’s a four-county (I think) sprawl.

              You are right about the people who live in places like Downtown LA. The rent’s too high for anyone else to live there.

              1. Yeah. BUT I also think most cities are less distributed than LA. I know that in CO most factories are in the middle of nowhere. Also in a lot of states in the East.

            2. You’re not entirely wrong. I suspect you could count the number of working auto factories that are still in Detroit proper (not the tri-county area, but I might give in and let you count Wayne County as “Detroit” even though it’s a fair number of ‘burbs) on two hands.

              Why? It’s more cost-effective to NOT be in the city.
              City charges taxes + State + Fed
              There’s virtually no reason to live IN Detroit unless you’ve got lots of money and don’t mind either few grocery stores or going out to the ‘burbs for groceries
              For entertainment beyond bars, casinos, and a few strip clubs (which are on the border of the ‘burbs,) you’re going out to the ‘burbs
              Ditto most shopping
              Your car insurance IS going to be higher (and don’t say “but muh public transit,” SMART bus service is so-so, the much vaunted light rail QLine only goes back and forth along Woodward and not far enough to be useful, and Detroit ain’t got subways, so you NEED a car.)

              So yeah, factories no longer equal city-based…

              1. OK, can’t figure out how to edit a post, so after a moments’ reflection, cross out “entirely” in the first sentence…

            3. That’s what I’ve seen too. Factories get built outside of the cities because the land is cheap, the cost of living is low, and the living is generally comfortable, so it’s easy to bring in experts from outside, and hire locals or near locals for the unskilled work.

              That sets a keystone business in the area which, if the factory thrives, generally turns into a suburb, while the old hands talk about how they wished they’d bought land when it was cheap.

              As long as you have access to a solid enough road to truck in and out the raw materials and the final product, and basic infrastructure, you can build a factory pretty much anywhere you can get the permits.

              1. If your factory requires large quantities of materials, and/or ships large amounts of products, a nearby railroad track helps. For FREIGHT.

                1. Kind of? There is still granted freight by train. But what makes you think it’s only in cities/much less large cities?
                  I was talking to younger son the other day on how, at least in the west, it’s impossible to live more than a few miles from an active railroad. I’m serious. It’s impossible not to hear trains.

                  1. I wasn’t arguing against you, just adding another criterion that can influence factory placement.

                    I swear the Democrats believe they are playing Sim City. If they just build the right things in the right places, the proles will flock to their Utopia and everything will be grand.

                  2. Depends on wherein the West. Yeah, the railroad was nearby until the mid-’70s, but now the nearest is about 20 miles away. No surprise; the heavy industry goes along that corridor. OTOH, logs are trucked now. The old rail line did that until the lodgepole pine stands got more-or-less logged away from the rail line, and the use of pine for boxes (think orange crates) went away.

                    1. Gee, the first thing I thought of was a completely different variety of ‘pine boxes’ — which I suspect will be in considerable demand Real Soon Now. One way or another.

                    2. I don’t think Ewauna box company was doing that kind of box. ‘Sides, Pondo is cheaper than Lodge, and there’s still a lot of beetle-killed Pondo available. Kind of fitting for that kind of box. Though I suspect if it gets sufficiently sporty, more “natural” means (think trenches) of burial will be employed.

                    3. After you verify identity, put ’em in a cardboard box and cremate ’em.

                      Note, the following is purely to maintain my Professional Obnoxious Edgelord Shitposter credential:
                      Use the ashes as confetti at the Fourth of July parade.

                    4. I’m told that human ashes make for a really excellent glaze on pottery…

                      *innocent face*

                    5. Central Arizona, there used to be a railway here, but it’s long gone. Depending on how one defines ‘few’ we’re more than a few miles from an active rail line. One cuts across the top of the state, through Flagstaff, and another the south, below Phoenix.

                    6. Feather Blade: It was the potter’s beloved(?) black lab, who became bone-ash for a (granted, one-off, said he) black-glazed coffee mug.

                      Sorry, that pins the creep meter.

            4. Yeah, take a look at the old steel warehouse/fab plant (FMC had a plant there, too) just west of 16th and Western in Chicago. Movie studios, not exactly manufacturing.

              The place was spooky daytime in 1971, with lunchtime walks* to the park punctuated by a blood trail or two. Can’t imagine it’s any better.

              (*) We weren’t stupid, I think; 4 guys together.

        3. but almost as tourist attractions

          Shades of the end of the first story in City by Simak (and I think the situation in the second, but it’s been a day or two since I last read them).

        4. New York is utterly unsafe. Remember the Taxi Driver/Death Wish days. They are back, except this time around, the city government actively supports it rather than simply allows it through incompetence.

      1. Nor Seattle. I think we’ll be sliding logs down Yessler Way again before all is said and done.

        1. Suburban Dallas works for me. I rarely go into Dallas itself, however I don’t drive, I can’t live somewhere where literally everything is done by car. Living in Eustace, TX won’t cut it

          1. I can’t drive. I flunked 4 road tests 30 years ago. I certainly couldn’t do it today.

            1. I flunked 2 road tests before I passed the 3rd, in a different vehicle. First 2 I had to use the 1970 long box 4×4 pickup. First flunk pulling out of the parking lot swung wide to avoid running over the curb. Second flunk ran over the curb avoiding swinging into the far lane. If I had to have taken it a 3rd time in the same vehicle, I’d have flunked again, blocking the driveway out by angling out of the driveway to prevent the first two “errors”. By the third try the old car, which couldn’t be used for reasons, had been replaced by an Impala. Still a large car, but not as long or as high as the pickup. FYI, pickups, I still either cut into the far lane, run over the curb, or semi-block the driveway when leaving, 42 years later … gee I wonder why.

              1. I think I got Rather Lucky on the first try. I suspect that I was taking the test in a stickshift during a snowstorm might have been influencing factors.

              2. The first test was parallel parking with flags instead of cars. “bonk!” Fail. So much for taking the test in Chicago. The next, the suburban examiner gave me a break and didn’t flunk me for taking a left turn too tight–center of the side street. Guess he was in a good mood that day.

                Upgrade to motorcycle ticket in IL, not memorable. When I moved to Cali, my bike was still in transit, so I borrowed my roommates brand new Honda 550. Doing the parking lot trick, I discovered that the not-worn-in transmission had a false neutral, so I blew a shift. I was lucky, again the tester was in a good mood and gave me a pass. Sweet bike, but I preferred the old 350.

                Didn’t have to do a driving test in Oregon, just written. No problem, though other drivers give me the hairy eyeball when I do the left turn into the left lane, then do the lane change. The law says not to swing wide, generally observed in the breach.

                The Ridgeline isn’t quite as horrible to deal with as the ’03 Silverado was. $SPOUSE prefers her ’12 Forester, but she’s getting a good amount of practice with the Honda. When I can bend the leg to 60 degrees (scheduled for next week), the Forester will become viable again as a passenger. Two weeks after that, 90 degree Range of Motion. Yippie! Not sure when I’ll be cleared to drive again, though I’ll need to be out of the brace, most likely.

                1. Oregon had dropped the parallel parking requirement by ’73, when I took my tests. Washington hadn’t when we took the tests in ’79. First time I’d ever parallel parked. Passed. Guess it was lack of traffic violations and 6 years licensed by then. Still had to take the Oregon driving portion again in ’85 when we moved back. Once around the block … What surprised me was we got back our original driver’s license numbers. The state holds them for 10 years. Great for me. Mine was easy for us to memorize. Washington state licenses aren’t so easy. Not having any problems with clipping corners with Santa Fe, Just the right size.

                2. I once had a *very* irate follower in Wausau, WI that was thoroughly ….offgetticked… that I did *NOT* illegally shift lanes whilst turnings. Evidently he’d been counting on that. There’s a reason Pa derided the turn-and-change-lanes-together as “the Wausau maneuver.” It did not quite come to the point where I was leading him to police station. But I do keep that destination in mind for some folks out there.

                  1. I’ve had a few people try to pass me on the right when I do the left-turn-then-lane-change maneuver. The intimidation factor of an unwashed pickup (the Chevy was horrible to wash…) sometimes meant that brakes were abruptly applied.

                    In the Forester, I’ll get passed.

                    1. Hated driving it (mostly because the seat didn’t *adjust correctly) but in respect to the “intimidation factor” hubby’s ’58 Plymouth Power Wagon (it was named the “Blue Whale” for a reason) was good for that. Especially when I was driving. Pretty sure someone looking in saw someone looking over the dashboard to see through the windshield, through the steering wheel … At 21, I probably did look like a child driving that car.

                      * One of the seat adjustments that didn’t work was the “up”. Other was the forward. I had to use a solid pillow behind me.

      2. Are there well administered cities? Perhaps a few, in the under a million population range (more likely in the under a half million, possibly a quarter.)

        Politicians in BIG cities seem to have the delusion that their cities are bullet proof, that taxes can be raised indefinitely, that rent can be controlled forever, that public-service unions can be appeased eternally.

        They further suffer confusion of essentials with secondary practices. The Arts and Theatre are secondary, only able to exist where there is a sizable and wealthy enough population to support them. Eve New York’s Broadway district prospered only because it was a tourist destination, and tourists are notably easy to overcharge. But tourists can change their destinations very easily.

        Basing an economy on work (Wall Street) that can be easily performed from home is not how you keep a city captive, and city teachers’ unions are destroying the myth that cities provide good educations. People who produce children are essential to a community’s long-term prosperity, and people who produce children have different expectations from their communities than those who choose to remain barren.

      3. NYC reverts to relying on its harbors (its original reason for being). Still got to unload freight coming across the Atlantic, and it has (Or maybe had? Hopefully “development” hasn’t destroyed them.) excellent natural harbors.. And maybe Broadway, if they can remember that it helps to turn a profit.

        But, yeah, the bulk of NYC’s business these days is white collar, and that doesn’t have any reason to stick around.

      4. Atlanta MIGHT.

        It seems to have already recovered quite a bit even though my employer has us all at home for an open ended period (but won’t own we’re not going back).

  3. When I did my re-read of LOTR in December, this stood out to me: “There is naught that you can do, other than to resist, with hope or without it. But you do not stand alone. You will learn that your trouble is but part of the trouble of all the western world.”

    Despair, fine. Hopelessness, fine. Numbness, weariness, and fear, fine. But keep moving anyway. One foot in front of the other, because that is your duty, and abandoning it means abandoning everyone who would stand alongside you.

    So, regardless of my feelings about how things will turn out: I keep moving.

      1. Just so.

        (And part of ‘just keep moving’ is also ‘don’t destroy morale unnecessarily.’ If you can’t say something productive, mouth should be shut.)

        1. It’s not an iron law, and the MAYBE is very much a thing, but this is good advice:

          “Before you speak ask yourself if what you are going to say is true, is kind, is necessary, is helpful. If the answer is no, maybe what you are about to say should be left unsaid.”

          If the answer to those is ‘no,’ you need a good reason to say it anyways.

          1. Good advice, but *extremely* dangerous and easy to misuse.

            It is one of the pillars upon which the Ultimate Expression of Politeness rests; namely the refusal to correct a rude person.

                1. The better it is, the easier it is to pervert.

                  “Do not X” is stronger, and can be easily converted, by flipping to “Do X.”

                  1. Inverting a statement isn’t very subtle. Pushing something beyond its normal boundaries so that it destroys itself is.

                    Hence the politeness example; how often do we hear some version of the idea that you shouldn’t confront someone being obnoxiously rude because it would be rude?

              1. And individual decision.
                Hence why big government getting into increasingly more minute decisions that affect daily lives is a VERY BAD thing.
                While “Eat less and exercise” is generally good advice for losing weight, forcing us to do so by their fiat is disaster. The number of times I’ve been told not to eat meat, for instance, because well, it’s easier to feed peasants on vegetables (there’s no scientific anything for why meat eating is bad) Or the time even people who know me say things like “Try to exercise 20 minutes a day” when my minimum is 2 hours are previews of how bad good advice can go. Because we’re not all alike.
                And the same with rule lawyering, etc.

                1. because well, it’s easier to feed peasants on vegetables (there’s no scientific anything for why meat eating is bad)

                  It also fits with their quasi-religion that — like most aspects of the Enemy — was accurately described by Rand.

                  Anything pleasant or good must be evil. Anything beneficial must be sacrificed.

                2. The number of times I’ve been told not to eat meat, for instance, because well, it’s easier to feed peasants on vegetables …

                  TCM was running Oliver! last night …

                  Mrs. Sowerberry: He’s gone mad, Mr. Bumble, or he wouldn’t dare to speak to you like that.

                  Mr. Bumble: It’s not madness, ma’am, it’s meat.

                  Mrs. Sowerberry: Meat?

                  Mr. Bumble: Meat, ma’am, meat. You’ve overfed the boy, ma’am. It raised an artificial spirit in the lad unbecoming to his station in life. This would never have happened if you kept him on gruel.

                  Mrs. Sowerberry: Gruel?

                  Mr. Bumble: I’ll be glad to give you the recipe.

                  Preparation Time: 2 minutes
                  Cooking Time: 10 minutes

                  This recipe is based on the ingredients used in an 18th century workhouse.

                  1. I can’t imagine the WEF’s “You’ll own nothing and like it” without hearing “You’ll get nothing and like it!”

            1. Sometimes correcting a rude person is a kindness.
              “Those who are kind to the cruel will be cruel to the kind.”
              – Ancient Talmudic Dictum

    1. One of the inventions of the Western World is the shield-wall. Yes, if we have to use it, probably some of us are going to die. Maybe all of us.

      But that’s the thing. A disciplined formation against a mob is stronger than mere numbers. Hold long enough, and individuals in the mob may start to panic. And when that happens… the mob may start running the other way.

  4. They have an obsession, almost to the point of madness, for the turn of the 1900’s. Big cities, especially the cities with the great facades like Chicago or New York or San Francisco. Trains! (Nightmares of how people in the TV industry thought Supertrain was going to succeed.) Or, more accurately, mass transit systems that allow people to be…funneled and aimed like a fire hose. Big, mass movements that handle a lot of things on the basis of economy of scale. It allows them to render a big, crazy world into a lot of atomic particles that you don’t care how battered or bruised they are in the process-as long as the systems run. And, the machinery of the world all Makes Sense to someone and can be broken down easily into simple things to handle.

    …which sounds an awful lot like a religion doesn’t it? It explains the things that we can’t really handle, and it has rituals that might not be effective but provides us with comfort and care.

    The problem is that they need the validation that everyone is with them, and if you’re not…you’re an apostate and need to be…helped. That’s a good way of putting it, helped. And if that help required things like gulags and mass graves….well, omelet, eggs.

    It’s sad. And all too human.

    1. The funny thing is, even out here in Gavin’s Outmigration State, they are acting like they think the people they LOCKED UP FOR A YEAR TO KEEP EVERYONE APART FROM EACH OTHER will for some reason crowd back into mass transit. Nancy Grey Goose even earmarked a gazillion dollars of “relief” for finally extending the 48-year-old eternally subsidized BART train tracks into San Jose.

      They clearly believe that all those empty office buildings in the City and County of SF will magically refill with eternally-mask-wearing worker drones as soon as the gehzundheitpolizei Baghdad Bob spokesdroids change their stories yet again.

      1. I was in SF yesterday and it reminds me of far too many third-wold hellholes.

        Trash EVERYWHERE.
        Permanant-seeming homeless encampments.
        Lines to do anything. I wanted to make a quick stop and check out a few things at a bookstore…and they had thirty-something deep people line for it. On a Sunday.
        More boarded-up places than open ones.
        And, they want me to come back to this place?

        1. We live 40 miles from Northern Cali. Don’t intend to go there ever again. SF/San Jose? No F’n way!

          1. My issue is that if I don’t want to search through Amazon or more sketchy ordering locations, I need a physical location to go shopping for some things. And, those places, I tend to pay cash. Easier not to have a paper trail when there’s no paper to trail and all that.

          2. We live (just barely) south of Silicon Valley for 40 years (I was born/raised in southern California, then central for college for the previous 27) because of work. Now half-way across the continent. With desire to go back, even for vacation. Ever.

            1. Hubby was raised San Diego outlying burg. Last time we were back was ’93, when son was 4. Went to Disney, drove rental to San Diego to meet his sister and her kids. Haven’t been back since. Won’t be back again. He has no desire to go back, ever.

              1. I was born in So Cal, went back a couple of times on military assignments, to visit family, and my daughter when she was stationed at Camp Pendleton. My parents had a lovely retirement home in the hills of Northern SD County near Escondido. Last visit was to support Mom when Dad died suddenly after Christmas, 2010. The Daughter Unit went out yearly, to help my sister with Mom, until this last disaster of a year. We probably won’t go back, ever again. The Daughter Unit says that it’s just too painful, seeing the homeless encampments everywhere, and the sad condition of the roads and public areas. My sister hardly dares venturing out of her own local neighborhood. We’re hoping to convince my sister and her family to move to Texas when bro-in-law retires from his corporate job, but that may be an uphill battle. Mom was a total snob about Texas, and my sister believes every word on the Mainstream Media.

        2. On the other hand, it doesn’t seem to have spread. I was up in San Jose 13 months ago visiting a friend, and I didn’t see any of the problems that I’ve heard so much about in nearby San Francisco.

          1. San Jose is pretty much right in the middle of the Silicon Valley, so they were getting all of that sweet, sweet tech tax money. And, even there, if you got off the main drags you could find RVs pretty much permanently parked and some of the more…parked vehicles there.

            1. Used to live in a couple of neighborhoods like that. Our last was a good neighborhood, but the bureaucracy would drive you nuts.

            2. The tent cities get pushed out of sight, like up in SF. The issue there is they get set up out of sight in the drainages for the seasonal creeks, so all their crap gets washed down when we get a real rainstorm.

              The city is now spending more money building tiny-home setups with a couple of dozen little trailers, and communal bathrooms (that’ll work), intended for families with kids.

              There was also a proposal at the peak of the C19 lockdowns to renovate some abandoned old city office buildings to house the “housing challenged”, but it turns out the buildings were lowest bidder crap barely held together with duct tape and baling wire by the overworked city maintenance staff, and as such will take millions to just stop from leaking, let alone add plumbing, electrical and HVAC to handle habitation by hundreds of the drug-addled.

              Local adjacent city of Santa Clara uses its homeless aid budget to buy one-way bus tickets to ship the “housing challenged” to Elsewhere via Greyhound.

              1. unlike up in SF – up there the tents line city sidewalks. Not so in downtown San Jose, let alone in surrounding suburbia.

              2. It’s a long-standing rumor (I’ve been told that there’s proof) that several places in the Midwest give their more mentally challenged people a Greyhound ticket to SF, enough meds to keep them stable for the trip, and send them merrily upon their way. Thus, numbers are down and budgets are good!

                And, this is something that’s bounced around our family too much. My opinion can be summed up as “we’re going to have to start warehousing people again, one way or another, and nobody is going to like how it looks. But, the alternatives are having these people lying around all over the place.”

                1. Locally it is the Conestoga Shelters, with communal bathrooms and showers. Shelters have bed, storage, front porch, back window, lockable. Conestoga called because shape curve looks like a Conestoga covered wagon, but not on wheels. Still have more than a few tent cities spread around various locations that OMG surprised a vehicle accident hasn’t wiped them out. When the latter places move on, they leave behind a huge environmental mess.

              3. I used to work at the HP plant at roughly First and Trimble. The levee walkway path overlooked the homeless encampment along the Guadalupe river under the 101 bridge. Never got hassled, but that was before Y2K. At that time, maybe 1 – 2 dozen people.

                Some of our fab supervisors had to deal with the encampments near Story Road (Coyote Creek?).

        1. THIS. Like Wile E. Coyote, they always come back to the same mistake. For example, they pass big tax increases and are shocked when businesses restructure their operations to avoid the tax as much as possible. That one is particularly funny because they also are in favor of taxing cigarettes to reduce the amount of smoking, which means that they do sometimes understand that people change behavior in response to taxation. But they always forget that lesson when they pass a tax that is intended to raise revenue rather than change behavior.

            1. Aye.. ‘AHA’ (first ‘A’ my tail…) ‘Obamacare’… PLAN: over 32 hrs/wk is ‘full time’ so more will be full time!

              Reality: Keep as many under 32 hrs/wk as possible. Under 29, just in case.

              “But they wouldn’t DO that! It’s unfair!”
              “it’s now economically stupid NOT to do that. Congratulations, you screwed even MORE people over.”

              1. Worse, Orvan, they knew it worked like that in France. So they thought “More free time to go to cafes” not getting that in France they live at a much lower standard They go to the cafe because home isn’t that pleasant.
                So now “Fifteen dollar living wage.”

                1. Instead of, “Now there’s a need to balance two (or more) jobs, have even less time, and….”

                  Oh, Zarquon. I’m feeling… less than charitable.

                  Alright, maybe hold off… until after some pointed deportations.

                  Okay, I should go mix a cocktail and read some fiction. Not from D.C.

                    1. >> “Pointed deportations? Are we talking Vlad again?”

                      Heh. To steal and paraphrase from David Eddings:

                      King: “Deport him.”

                      Aide: “That’s a novel term for the procedure.”

              2. In a story I’m writing, one of the characters gets horribly messed up in a traffic accident. Will take a year or more to recover. Her employer is ONE employee under the 0bamacare limit, SO — in order to hire somebody to do her job while she can’t work, they have to fire her first. Otherwise, providing 0bamacare for everybody would put them right out of business.

                She was working to pay for college, her rent is high due to idiotic housing policies, she’s not poor enough to qualify for government ‘help’ so she’s uninsured. “I could pay for health insurance, or rent. I picked rent.”

                They believe they are playing Sim City. The proles will do exactly what they’re supposed to do, and make all their bright ideas work. Every time. If their bright ideas don’t work out, obviously it’s the proles’ fault because the Plan is Perfect!
                People can make stupid mistakes, but only the government can force everybody to make the SAME stupid mistakes.

              3. … you screwed even MORE people over

                Bug … or feature? What matters is not whether people’s lives are improved but who bears blame for deterioration.

          1. Well, the tobacco taxes are reducing tobacco use, so the response is to increase the tax. Gotta get that income. The last I smoked (quit in ’83), I could buy a pack for 75 cents. What’s the cost now? 5.75 according to a website.

            1. They raised gas taxes to reduce oil consumption, and are now ‘Shocked, Shocked!’ that people are buying less gas, and paying less in taxes. What to do, what to do…?

              1. They also encourage electric and hybrid-electric cars, as well as increasing MPG on gas cars.
                Then they cry that they need to start taxing milage because the gas tax isn’t bringing in what it used to.

              1. South Central Oregon, just east of the Cascades. Our best defense against coastal California Karens (usually) is foul winter weather.

                1. Willamette Valley the foul weather includes just cloudy sky, the period is called the “Black Months”. Sent many of a CA back. Not all because you still hear the b***, but more than a few.

          2. I was working part time at a convenience store (Convenience Store: A cigarette stand that sells gasoline, and few other things, on the side.) when the State upped the cigarette tax significantly. Other tobacco taxes might have also gone up, but not nearly as much.


            1. We’re near a state border, so many that could, did stock up on out-of-state trips.

            2. Place started selling a lot more “roll your own” supplies and not just ZigZag papers. Loose tobacco, cigarette tubes, little hand-cranked machines to fill them, etc.

            3. Vaping took off. Sure, it took off everywhere, but the timing was ‘perfect’…


            4. A few folks did switch from cigarettes, to vape, to… “Hey, I don’t NEED this crap.”

          3. All their actions should have ONLY the effect they intend. Consequently, taxes MEANT to change behavior should do THAT, and those MEANT to raise money should do THAT.

            1. People shouldn’t have minds of their own.

              Only today (a century later) the Left is unironically exclaiming, “At last a perfect citizen!”

        2. They don’t want to get it. Because that would require them to think. And, they fear thinking. They truly do, the same way a zealot fear the loss of faith. If they lose that faith-they don’t have anything to put in that hole.

      2. I’ve been seeing that too, and it’s almost hilarious that they want to use the Japan rail system as an example of how wonderful the New York ones must be. As though one could actually equate the “so clean you could eat off of the floors” Japanese maglevs with New York’s “Just try not to stick to the seat” subway system.

        1. California High Speed Rail: What they want to use to force the proles out of the airlines.

          The thing is, the entire premise of “SF to LA faster than airlines when you include waiting for TSA and your bags!*” is kaplooey – nobody wants to go from SF to LA, or indeed still be in either.

          Well, maybe it’s really for high-speed-“housing challenged” deportation – send the “urban campers” from poop-by-the-bay down to LA and make them Garcetti’s problem. That would be old-school SF politics.

          * As if there’d be no TSA lines or baggage claim delays at the not-so-high-speed train stations.

          1. My cynical, conspiratorial theory is that they want to destroy what little “red” territory there is, and that’s the Central Valley. High-speed rail to send the proles to and from work in the Bay Area will do that.

          2. It also didn’t help when people ran the numbers on an audit released late in Gov. Brown’s final term, and realized that you could buy a brand new Boeing 737 for each mile on the proposed route, for less than the ever-increasing projected cost.

            1. With the cost overruns SO FAR you could buy enough 737s to park them nose to tail the full length of Kalifornia.

              That’s leaving aside the new technology they’re depending on that hasn’t even been invented yet. The whole thing is a horndoggle, er, a boonswoggle. Some combination of hornswoggle and boondoggle, anyway.

      3. I was in Texas last week with my sister’s family (and Mom).

        I worked there every day without issue.

        I miss the office, but if we’re never going back why shouldn’t I move to College Station and watch the little ones grow up (the oldest is not so little at 10 and the twins at 3 are adorable…the two in between are also pretty neat). If I do move and they change their mind and finally call us back, I doubt I’d return.

        1. Soon a number of businesses are going to figure if their employees can work at home… why pay for Americans when they can get Indians or Filipinos cheaper?

          IT, tech support, and some kinds of sales have done that forever, but now… the time will come when management will have to justify using expensive American labor when they can outsource.

          1. And the fools will screech at the Filipinos, instead of the Politicians making American labor far more expensive than it is worth.


          2. Because a lot of the companies that have been doing outsourcing like that have ended up regretting it. You get what you pay for and when you sink a couple years in development time and money then don’t get anything usable back? You’re costing the company more money than what it would have cost to do it at home. *I’ve seen this from tech/network support to software development. The C level folks will look at how much they can save only to spend the duration the contract finding out how much it ended up costing them.

              1. Some people refuse to learn from history. Also have to keep in mind that for many of these companies, making money is now secondary to advancing ideology. I’m still wondering how the tech industry is going to feel in a few years if they manage to help the Democrats push the Green New Steal and suddenly find their previously reliable customer base unable to connect to there services regularly or have the disposable income to use their services.

                It’s anecdotal, but a company I worked at a few years ago had been bought out by a larger company. Fast forward a few years and one of the initiatives was to merge IT functions between the various business units. Initially we all thought we were going to end up with new spots in the unemployment line. Instead, we ended up getting more work because we got things done, fixed things that didn’t work instead of giving excuses, and didn’t fuss with mountains of paperwork prior to doing anything. I had people emailing me upset that I fixed their last issue, but didn’t have the access required in the corporate systems to fix their current issue and they needed to call the consultants.

              2. The “explain it five times and end up with other than you explained” effect ended up driving onshoring in the tech industries that I had contact with. I personally experienced how much money they saved by opening an Indian tech writing team: It took three times as long as the in-house tech writers to produce the previous rev of that document, with a bunch of built in delay due to time zones, and I ended up completely rewriting that whole thing myself anyway to get it to actually be comprehensible to an engineering audience.

                The FPGA company I worked for had the same experience with their “cheaper” Indian IP design operation – we had a great offshore IP dev operation in Ireland with no issues ever, and even after 18 months of “coming up to speed” the Ireland group had to rework almost everything that came out of the Hyderabad group.

                Call centers supporting your credit card inquiries are one thing – actually designing or even writing for a technical audience are another.

                  1. Oh I’ve had lovely chats with several young ladies obviously currently located within the subcontinent – they were first line phone support on my card, and they were well trained enough to quickly escalate me to the fraud folks, who were also obviously in the US.

                    AMEX, which as always given me first rate cardholder service.

                    It can be done and done well, it just does not save nearly as much as consultants tell Execs it will. At this point the only reason todo it in my opinion is to have 24/7 support lines staffed by folks in their local daytime.

                    1. When I worked between ’96 and ’92, there was a French subgroup. It was the company’s way of selling hardware into Europe. When asked about working with the French Engineers, my response was “Their English is better than my French” … I don’t speak French. Spanish I might be able to read if I work at it. But speak it or listen to it, after (mumble) years out of HS Spanish … (took it long enough that immersed in it, wasn’t totally bad), not anymore. I don’t do well with thick accents either. Not deaf. So don’t have that excuse. Doesn’t matter if they are on the phone or in person (like math professors who were English second language, talking about high levels of math (I swear they could confuse me about basic Algebra, which I’ve been able to do since middle school). Put me in a lecture on the same topic with an English as their first language, and I was fine. (True)

                    2. I recall years ago the Wall Street Journal concluding that what they saved in staffing labor they pretty much made up in management expense and irritated customers.

            1. They also forget some crucial costs such as different holidays and time zone ship.

              When I worked at the cabinet company we outsourced a lot of IT work to a group in Houston who in turn outsourced to Vietnam. Chinese New Year, usually in the sweet time between US Christmas/New Years’ holidays and the start of the spring/summer vacation period was a lost 2-3 weeks. Also, there is an expectation of a large bonus (we were told 2-4 weeks pay) for that period.

              Then there is the fact your work is being done 12 hours off your schedule, meaning all issues will wait until the next day to be address.

              1. There’s also the language barrier. There’s nothing like working a problem with tech support at 3 am when you’re already exhausted and frustrated then trying to understand what the person on the phone is saying.

                Even reading some of the documentation is painful due to word choices and the way they try to convey the information. To be fair I’ve given up on at least one technical book written by a native English speaker for the same reason. I made it a chapter and ended up reading some sections 3 or 4 times to understand what he was trying to say and it was topics I was already familiar with.

                1. Ouch. Not work (thankfully) but I had once a HELLUVA time with someone by correspondence (in pre-internet days) regarding astronomical azimuth. Things made NO sense. Finally we worked out that I was using 0/360 North and the full 0-360 range. The other party was using 0 *SOUTH* and +/- 0-180 range. (Or it might have been 0 North with +/- 180…. it’s been a while).

              2. I’ll never forget the 3am PST customer conference call that sales insisted technical marketing had to be on, scheduled that way because the customer had a PI team and a Vietnam team as well as US east coast program managers, and the PI and Vietnam teams never dialed in.

            2. The hilarious thing was Dell (I think) moving tech support overseas to India, I think.

              Except for the corporate tech support, they kept that in the US (Texas, I think). Customers were learning what the corporate tech support contact info was, because the Indian tech support was awful (they spoke the Eeengls!, and they had to be looking the answers up on Google…). So, Dell offered “premium” tech support-for an additional fee…

              Yet, they will keep making the same mistakes over and over again-and if I was a US company, I’d be figuring out how to divest from China ASAP. Definitely making serious efforts to prevent IP theft.

              1. Re IP theft – if the company owned by the local division of the PLA have their factory up and running making your widget, all they have to do is run the line 12 more hours than they tell you, and presto! they have half-again the number of your widgets as you get to sell on the “grey” market.

                And any complaints get routed directly to the local People Liberation Army garrison.

                Enough complaints and your visiting engineers start getting kidnapped for ransom whenever they do factory visits – that latter is why employees of that fruit company whose products mostly start with lower case “i” have to have company-hired armed security “drivers” when they visit the workers paradise Middle Kingdom.

                A major priority of network hardware manufacturers I worked with was figuring out a way to have their widgets manufactured in China and then only made operational once they arrived in the US (by programming the FPGAs on the boards).

                1. Which doesn’t surprise me in the least. Mind you, all of the measures needed to keep security and safety up and running don’t show up in the “production” costs, so the manufacturer still is making a profit (a lot of the security measures are on HR or Admin budgets).

                  It’s like credit card fraud. A guy for the credit card company was talking with my father over drinks and they were talking about things like ID theft and similar. From the credit card company’s perspective, the cost of paying off fraud and a kind of benign neglect of theft issues is massively cheaper than any practical reforms to deal with the fraud.

                  You get tired of this kind of BS.

                  1. If I remember correctly, the cost of a comprised card to a company is around $5. Part of the problem is there are so many ways to compromise a card. Skimmers at gas stations or atms, your server walking away with your card and taking a pic of the front and back, someplace like Amazon having the database compromised, social engineering calls from your ‘bank’, etc. Trying to balance your cards being usable where you need to use them and being secure is difficult.

                    I tend to carry 2 cards and cash, especially when I travel since I had a card disabled trying to fill a rental car on my way to the airport.

                2. Or as I say: “After you give the Chinese everything they need to manufacture your product, what do they need you for?”

                  1. And the PLA has no reason to source the quality components you spec’d out for the gizmos they make officially for you, so they buy crap second failed-QA capacitors and resistors and power components on the grey market, and then when their overrun grey market gizmo fails in service, the end customer calls you for warranty support. When after spending money and lab time figuring out even though it looks like one of yours, it’s not actually one of your gizmos, you tell them their gizmo is counterfeit, they’ll trash you all over social media, so depending on the customer you may end up just replacing their counterfeit gizmo with a real working one to keep them happy.

                    Yeah, that customer was really, really interested in how we could help them short circuit that entire overproduction cycle.

                3. Interesting. I’d known about the rampant piracy from simply running “off-hours” batches, but the kidnapping racket is novel although perhaps unsurprising in hindsight. Do the FPGAs lead to products costing significantly more, or are they merely convenient, minimally expensive hardware chokepoints for protecting IP? Would manufacturing the network hardware in True China (Taiwan) instead make more sense than assigning it to the Renegade Western Province of China, or does the former sovereign nation simply lack the manufacturing capability? Please forgive the ignorant questions. -_-

                  1. An FPGA is a semiconductor that has no pre-set circuitry – you program it to tell it what to “be”, what functions to have and what circuits to connect to which pins, but UN programmed it’s a blank slate.

                    My previous employer made FPGAs that could be effectively tied to a specific program (so that same load could not program another device), and were non-erasably serialized. The use case was the manufacturer would buy sand ship the manufacturer X devices from serial n to n+X, providing a dead-stupid non-functional program to load them with to test completed boards were built right. When the completed boards get back to the US they could then be loaded with programs for full functionality, with each load tied to each serialized device. Even if the board manufacturer keep the line open using grey market parts, they never actually have the “real” program to create working boards, so they can’t really make any that work to sell themselves.

                    1. I’d been aware myself of the nature of FPGAs, but it’s always nice when an explanation is included in the thread! So many threads are otherwise stuffed with obscure acronyms. I was asking about the additional cost (to the customer) of doing it that way — shoving an FPGA into the circuit design to funnel IP (intellectual property) through a hardware bottleneck in exactly the marvelous way you described in order to defeat casual IP theft by mainland Chinese manufacturers.

                      Heck, yeah, that’s great stuff! Other, of course, than the cost of the additional labor required to handle the increased complexity. O_o

          3. This is precisely, exactly my rebuttal to our idiot governor, Phil Scott, a Republican so liberal he’s indistinguishable from Bernie Sanders. He, along with our equally moronic legislature, have spent a bundle of our tax money trying to lure remote workers to settle in the Green Mountain State while working for out-of-state employers. They’ve managed to snag a few. Vermont may be a very blue state, but it is not a rich state; it still depends largely on tourism and agriculture so this was not money we didn’t need for something else.

            One need not drive far around New England to see the hulking corpses of 19th century factories, particularly dotting the many rivers, now empty shells since the owners discovered cheaper labor in other places a century ago, first in the South, then south of the border, now in Asia. Any of those remote jobs that Phil Scott hungers for could be done just as well from someplace cheaper, like India, as from a remote hamlet in Vermont, and I’m quite sure it will come as a complete surprise to him when these jobs, too, disappear. This is what happens when we elect people who do not remember grade-school history.

            Meanwhile, the jobs that would actually stay here? Just you try to get a plumber this month, or next month for that matter. Actually, practically any tradesman. Get in line.

        2. Follow-up: a few years ago I went through the drive-through of a Taco Bell. The person working the intercom had such a thick accent that communication failed; I drove around, parked, and went in. Nobody in there that looked like they matched the accent, nor did anyone inside seem to have anyidea I’d just been in the drive-through.

          The store operates on a “Simon says” system, with employees directed by monitors that tell them what to do. All Taco Bell stores are hooked to a central server in Atlanta; if they lose communication or the server goes down, the stores can no longer take orders. (not by hand, either; policy. I asked) I figure the drive-through is is now connected to a call center somewhere, and orders just pop up on the monitors inside the store.

              1. Being served unwanted tuna maybe should not *quite* be a capitol offense, but I can totally see turning, and walking in with a *BLOODY* axe to make the complaint about it. If the person next to me has a briefcase with a down-counting LED obvious as Hell, that wouldn’t be undesired either.

                  1. I don’t know… Some people around here seem to think carp is a reward given the way they act.

                1. “that wouldn’t be undesired either.”

                  Might as well go whole hog, because making terroristic threats is in fact a reservation at the Greybar Hotel…..

                  There’s not much point in warnings of any kind these days. See also “brandishing”, etc, Go big or go home. At least you’ll put someone out of your misery.

                  And just for the humorless: Yes, that’s hyperbole. It’s also a fair statement of the underlying laws.

          1. I recall learning on that quite some time ago — possibly as far back as twenty years. I thought it hadn’t been found entirely workable and thus quietly dropped. Apparently not.

            I guess it has been five years or more since I saw a report (John Stossel, IIRC) on fast food drive-throughs metrics for speed and accuracy (the importance of that ought be clear to anyone who’s waited twenty-five minutes in the drive-through lane and gotten back to their office to discover the order was wrong) and Taco Bell was the industry standard in both categories.

            It is possible others have claimed that title since then.

          2. And that’s why the in-store order kiosks, as insane as they are, are still better than that.

            Sometimes I wonder if we’re trapped in a Woody Allen movie from the early 1970’s or such. Only then things might just make a tiny bit more sense. Maybe.

      4. That BART section to San Jose hasn’t been done for a couple decades+ because a couple (very) high-income bedroom communities refused to allow passage through their areas, even tunneling through instead of surface transit, with no stops. That’s not likely to change in the foreseeable future, either. (Atherton and Woodside, IIRC. I will be corrected shortly, I’m sure.)

        1. The new BART section is down from Fremont through Milpitas – so it’s only bothering less-affluent bedroom commute areas on the way into the underground section beneath downtown.

          There is no way they will ever connect BART down the west side from SFO down through Palo Alto and Mountain View unless they invent silent quakeproof deep tunnelers – the land values and political pull of Zuckerbook and Gergle and Apple are just too massive.

      5. An alternate — and far better! — use for those gazillion dollars would be to add another lane in each direction to 101 the entire distance from SF to San Jose. Last time I looked, it would cost less than the BART expansion, would serve more people, and would relieve trafiic congestion far better.

        But it isn’t rail, so it’s unthinkable. [insert facepalm here]

    2. Socialism and Communism are rooted in the Victorian world. That’s why leftist sf and fantasy tend to have satanic engines, evil factory owners, and a need for revolution, or they take place in a Victorian utopia with lots of Victorian free love.

      1. …they never really did escape from London or Paris, did they? All of the people that went there for one reason or another and got out…they never really did leave those cities, did they?

        And, it always seems to be London or Paris. Never Berlin. Never Moscow. Never even New York or Chicago. Their hells are the British or Parisan ones.

    3. …which sounds an awful lot like a religion doesn’t it?

      It is their Eden, their Golden Age, their womb to which they wish to return.

      Except it never was what they imagine it, and achieving it will be as ashes in their mouths.

      1. I suppose a more venue appropriate example might be dismissing a debate over the contributions to the SF genre of Asimov versus Heinlein by asserting “I don’t read paperbacks.”

    4. When I lived in zmetro Chicago in the ’60s, all the major railroads went to the city center. (6, maybe). The only one that crcled the city was freight only. By the early ’70s, it was clear to anybody paying attention that the rail/commute model wasn’t going to work. So much for mass transit.

    5. Even viewed from a non-believing standpoint, the aggressive driving out of religion and religiosity and replacing it with a bland agnosticism (atheism requires Nietzchean self-will to power most people are not in possession of) may be the greatest failure to appreciate Chesterton’s Gate in human history.

      Religion, organized religion and folk religion did a lot of heavy lifting in society. Some we can identify to varying degrees, but I suspect there is a lot we don’t even realize it did, and we’ve mostly swept away all but useless “I’m not religious; I’m spiritual” crap.

      The irony on that is the person I know for whom that could be a serious statement of her work on her soul calls the people who do say that “the Disney ride crowd.”

      1. I have a long rant about Disnyland, about how it is the perfect example of these people’s thinking in that the entire front stage area is a beautiful, perfect facade that everything is right and everything works.

        And, they ignore the backstage world, that is dirty, messy, and full of all the wrong people that keep it running for the right people.

        1. And the security is mostly invisible – a few years back I was at Disneyland, next to the teacup ride, on a not heavily crowded afternoon, when suddenly a little one realized they had become detached from parents and started wailing – and all six of the wandering-around-sweeping-up-litter cast members in range sprinted over and launched a hard cordon around the kid with practiced precision, one assigned to comfort the kid and gather info and another on the radio calling in a code whatever at their location with a description of the child.

          Parental units were not that far off so showed up shortly, and once they were happy that things were now good the sweepers ghosted off back to looking for litter, and watching everyone.

          Those sweepers are park security, hidden in plain sight.

          I’ve also seen uniformed park security cast members, specifically there to deal with occasional gang issue, teen hijinx, or crazed upset patrons, and if things escalate people in suits show up really fast. But the invisible security litter sweepers thing was quite the revelation.

          1. The security is mostly invisible and effective, and doesn’t get rid of the illusion of the perfect front stage. Which only works in a walled garden that Disneyland is.

          2. Regular employees do this exact thing when a kid goes missing in a retail store.

            Quick choreographed action: surround the kid and get the info, PA system announcement, immediate presence at all exits….

            Security people cost a lot more than regular people. I don’t think they were security, but you might be right.

          3. Way back in the day, the sweepers were a prime job, paid more than most of the other ‘cast’ members because not only were they expected to respond to those types of incidents, but they had to know everything about the park so that they could answer all the questions.

          4. Disney was referenced in a security class I took a few years ago during the discussion of implementing security during the design of a campus/building. It’s designed in such a way to keep traffic flowing in areas authorized for visitors while directing attention away from employee entrances/exits.

            People see what the expect to see, not what’s there. I used to joke that if I was going to sneak onto a Navy ship I’d put on blue coveralls, wear sunglasses, and have a clipboard. In port there were almost always contractors of some flavor wandering around. There was also plan using M&M’s and laser pointers to take over a small island, but I’m keeping that one in reserve.

            1. So if you need to infil and exfil a high end community in California unnoticed, get a white Chevy pickup and load rakes and brooms and lawn mowers in the back. Nobody ever notices the Lawn Janitors.

              If your operators are swarthy or Asian (or swarthy Asian) so much the better.

              If you need secure storage you can go with a white delivery van with no logos, or one of those work trucks with the ladder rack up top.

              The services people are invisible to the CA coastal aristocracy.

              1. A DoorDash or Uber Eats bag will also work nicely now days. It’ll give you an excuse to be in a companies lobby and get a feel for the security measures in place. Exploiting flaws in human psychology for fun and profit!

            2. There was an escape from a German POW camp in WWII by three British (IIRC, it’s been decades since I remember reading about this) officers who got away by wearing workman’s overalls: two of them got busy with a long tape measure, and the third one had a clipboard and a pencil. They measured and scribbled their way out the front gate, and got clean away through Germany by measuring anything handy and scribbling the figures whenever anyone official looked as if they were taking an interest.

              1. Heh. There was a story many years ago in the LDS magazine “The New Era” (aimed at teens and young adults) about a broke college student and his creative dating ideas. One of them was “the magic of clipboards” which was much on this same idea (Same story was later done as a fix-up novel that…wasn’t anywhere near as good.)

            3. People see what the expect to see, not what’s there.

              This was the theme of one of G. K. Chesterton’s most re-published Father Brown stories, :The Invisible Man.” If you’ve not read it the time is long past when you should familiarize yourself with the series.

    6. NYC is still actively driving people out. Imagine getting a summons for a hearing with a potential $15,000 fines for not having records for a type of business that you don’t even engage in:

  5. Yeah, I guess I’m weepy and useless at the moment.

    But, this definitely isn’t optimism.

    It is knowing that when you follow the fatalistic lines of analysis carefully to the end, you hit points where the old logic doesn’t hold, and the results cannot be foreseen.

    Be not afraid.

    Opposition is behaving according to the magical logic of meat robotism, and we are really immortal spirits who can choose to change our behavior. Maybe the behavioral change sends the fortresses of the enemy crashing down to the earth, or maybe it doesn’t. No matter the worldly events, no one can cut off your path to personal victory if you do not let them.

    The line between democrat and republican runs right through the heart of every American.

    1. I’m with you, Bob. You can borrow my kerchief if you need it. I’m using plenty.

    1. “Their future”?! They have never been interested in the future, except as a scam. To them, the pinnacle of human achievement is the aristocrat/peasant society-as long as they get to be the aristocrats, of course. They talk about the inevitability of history and progress, but they really fear it. Heck, give those d@mn peasants horse collars and moldboard plows, and the might start thinking they have some kind of right to see their children thrive.Who knows where that will end up.

      1. Agreed. That all men are created equal and have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (in whatever form we choose) is like holy water to a vampire to the would-be-aristocrats.

    2. Speaking of their future …

      Oregon Health Officials Propose Making Mask Mandates Permanent
      Oregon state health officials unveiled a new proposal in January which seeks to make temporary mask mandates permanent.

      The current order, passed in November by the state’s workplace safety department, which requires all employers to implement state-imposed guidelines for social distancing and mask compliance, is set to expire on May 4. Oregon health bureaucrats are now seeking to make the rules permanent.

      “Although the rule must be adopted as a permanent rule, its purpose is to address the COVID-19 pandemic,” the proposal reads. “Oregon [Occupational Safety and Health] intends to repeal the rule when it is no longer necessary to address the pandemic.”

      No threshold for what constitutes when the mandate is “no longer necessary” however, is offered in the proposal.

      New COVID cases in Oregon meanwhile, are averaging less than half what they were when the temporary order came into effect last fall. The state saw 769 new cases with a seven-day average of 603 positive tests the day to order was announced on Nov. 6 as they began to rise going into the Thanksgiving holiday.

      On Wednesday however, the state say 264 new cases with a seven-day average of 284. …

      1. They like masks. It’s something I never understood, but they often came up with excuses for future characters to wear masks.
        I really don’t get it. It’s like the thing with trains. Yes, you can say of trains “It’s how you channel people.” Sure. And that’s the rational justification. But this isn’t rational. This is on some back brain level. And masks are about the same.

        1. An autistic friend of mine found people much easier to handle with masks. Stripping away the political aspects I can see it somewhat as well; it gives a certain distance in the same way that wearing sunglasses does.

            1. It’s not autism.

              Perception is partly skill. Writing skill, painting skill, programming skill, engineering skill, all have elements of trained perception. In absence of that perception, trying to do the work just results in a bunch of amateurish blobs that make zero sense.

              Autism is partly biological, and in some cases appears to be a problem of filters and buffers. Filters that don’t, or that get tuned incorrect, or buffers that lose too much information in transit or storage. Social learning doesn’t, and while filling in can occur through concentration on areas of interest, few autists are interested in the social stuff.

              There are several modes to the opposition.

              One is that they are severely miseducated, this hits skills of perceptions heavily, in part because the training can prevent perceiving real things by training perception of imaginary things. This is part of why people grow out of leftism. They have a lot of trouble functioning in the real world until they can perceive real things, and then they can test the different forms of perception against each other.

              Another is an overwhelming interest some of them have in hurting others. Time spent becoming a super expert in manipulating others in order to more productively hurt others bears fruit, but it does come at the cost of the time, energy, and interest for other things.

              Third, not being secure in themselves as individuals, they have a stronger interest in fitting in to group. Which means a great deal investment lost perceiving the monkey noise nonsense of fitting into groups.

              Their leaders are either profoundly abusive manipulators, or are very heavily attuned to appearance and fitting in.

              Anything beyond received ‘wisdom’, and stuff they have personally seen from other people in the past is not something they are mentally equipped to understand exists.

              Walking them through something that is outside of the theory they accept because of peer pressure is building on a huge education deficit. If you could make them willing to listen, you may have to do remedial education back to childhood. It is like teaching a middle aged illiterate to read, or a middle aged innumerate to figure. If you start someone with calculus who needed to be walked through counting and times tables first, even if their brains let them pay fully attention, it is just incomprehensible noise, and annoying. Like playing a loud sound at an autistic who cannot filter it out.

              Comparing to folks here, who are at least partly educated, and possibly a little intelligent, it might look like autism.

              1. Sociopaths. They enjoy the pain they inflict, and they can’t understand why the inflicted don’t like the attention. After all, they are gracing us, the lesser ones, with their attention.

          1. Huh. I know I’m not handling the masks well at all, and neither are some I know. But those autistics I know have problems making eye contact, as I do – meaning when people are masked up, there’s nothing left of a face that’s “safe” to look at and try to read expressions from.

            1. Note: I’m avoiding masks as much as possible myself. (Which is most of the time, though I still need to use the libraries and the librarians are all out of their minds if you breathe near the doors without a mask.) But way too many people are still wearing them, and too many employees are likewise trapped wearing them.

              1. There are people who will wear masks for the rest of their lives, no matter what happens. The masks are now part of their social personas, and they will feel naked and “inappropriate,” without one.

                1. It’s being pushed by the “medical professionals” like this evil jerk, Dr. Cohen:

                  ““I’ve made the decision that, look, I’m fully vaccinated, but I’m still going to take precautions. I think it’s the safest thing to do because the one thing about the vaccine is that it has a significant efficacy in preventing you from getting the illness. It also has efficacy in terms of reducing the severity of your illness, but it doesn’t completely prevent you from getting it,” he said.”

                  Full worthless article from up Seattle-way here:

                  WA will require slave muzzles forever. And circumstances dictate I stay in place for 3-5 years. (And my cat barfed a hairball next to my head at 2 AM, and of course I put my hand directly into the cold yuk when I got up to feed at 4.)

                2. Time to revisit Jack Vance’s “The Moon Moth.”

                  A society that always wore masks seemed right at the edge of “suspension of disbelief” when I first read that story. And now we’re closing in on it…

                  [also, once of Vance’s very best stories; how do you track down a killer in a place where everyone is masked, and the identity of the *mask* is more important than that of the meat puppet that wears it?]

                3. >> “There are people who will wear masks for the rest of their lives, no matter what happens.”

                  They’re going to have a hard time when people go back to the assumption that covering your face is a sign of evil intent.

                  1. They will fully believe that mask are a sign of your care for other people, as well a being the magic talisman that keeps them safe. Yes, it’s contradictory.
                    I’m beginning to believe that at last 90% of this boils down to, “We must make sure that you all obey us completely, all the time, and then we’ll be SAFE!”

                4. Not if we kill them.

                  Also, self sourced bacterial infections will do some of the heavy lifting for that, long term.

                    1. I see runners in masks.

                      Breathing through a mask impairs oxygenation and reduces CO2 elimination.

                      I’m basically at sea level. If someone runs in a mask in Denver or The Springs, I’m surprised they don’t just fall over.

                      If this all made you a better athlete, the Olympic Training Center coaches would have been having the trainees do all their training in masks for decades. They don’t, so it doesn’t. QED.

                    2. Doctor son says it’s from the extra required force to get enough oxygen. Okay, that’s NOT what he said, it’s what I understood. What I got from it was “repetitive stress injury.” Like you can get skin cancer in a spot if you rub it constantly. Like that.

        2. They like masks because they destroy the INDIVIDUAL! You can’t tell WHO is wearing the mask, unless you know them very well and even then the masks put a distance between people, make it hard to talk and listen. How better to destroy individual interaction? How better to keep people from talking to each other? For them it is perfect. Add in that some who have drunk the Kool-Aid are also wearing goggles, you have completely destroyed the individual and turned them into a meat robot. All this while showing the masked WHO is NOT of the Body, WHO is the OTHER, WHO must be destroyed. For the Commies it is perfect, can anyone think of a downside for them????

          1. In other words they aren’t just forcing women to cover up their faces, but men too. They want to make slaves out of everyone.

            Other news. I’m scheduled for both shots, so not Johnson & Johnson version. Otherwise, not sure which one. Through Walgreens. Appointment is in Cottage Grove.

            1. If your appointments are 4 weeks apart, most likely Moderna although could be either, if three weeks definitely Pfizer as it is the only one that can be given at the shorter interval.

              1. Hubby got his last Sunday. He’ll be contacted in two weeks for his second appointment two weeks after that, and he definitely got the Pfizer version (per paperwork gotten).

          2. The Daughter Unit and I have been making a point of going into the grocery store and to the Box Box hardware stores maskless. Alas, not too many others are doing this, and it’s exhausting mentally, expecting a challenge from management or another shopper indulging in a bit of recreational Karenism.
            I was in Lowe’s the other day – and I did have a mask and put it on when I was in self-checkout because close to other people. There was a young mother there with a toddler-aged little girl, who was giggly and charming, and I took off the mask and said something silly, along the lines of “Hi, sweetheart! Whattaya know, a human face!?” I made some conversation with the mother and the female employee overseeing the self-checkout, about the stupidity of masks and what damage it would be doing to kids and babies and their social and speech-learning skills, not to mention the hard-of-hearing who have always depended on a degree of lip-reading. Both the mom and employee emphatically agreed with me, which was quite reassuring.
            (The mom confessed that her kidlet was kind of stressed by seeing strangers without masks in public. This was most disheartening. Won’t someone think of the children?)

            1. I have now cut down to the clear plastic shield over chin, mouth, and end of nose.
              I’m not going maskless because all I need is one more thing to worry about. I’m already (practically) not going out.
              I can see better with the mouth/tip of nose shield, BUT it still stresses my breathing and makes me cough.

            2. it’s exhausting mentally, expecting a challenge from management or another shopper indulging in a bit of recreational Karenism.

              Ugh yes. I miss being able to leave the house without psyching myself up for a fight.

              I miss being able to smile pleasantly, too. I always made a habit of smiling slightly, as my face naturally defaults to “resting bitch”. But, apparently, the slight smile makes me look like a soft target instead, so….

          3. Individuals may be less readily distinguished, but have you noticed that some people have more distinctive masks than do other folks? Speaker Pelosi, for example, consistently wears very fancy, (presumably – I’d not know) highly stylish masks colour coordinated with her outfits (I lean towards masks colour-coordinated with my moods … which is to say, black.)

            So some will remain more equal than others.

      2. > Oregon Health Officials Propose Making Mask Mandates Permanent

        They could experience some downsides to that…

        “I’m not a robot / without emotions / I’m not what you see
        I’ve come to help you / with your problems / so we can be free
        I’m not a hero / I’m not the savior / forget what you know
        I’m just a man whose / circumstances / went beyond his control”

  6. Appeals to history by someone who thinks the ‘Renaissance’ and ‘Enlightenment’ were improvements on the ‘Dark Ages’ don’t carry a lot of weight for me.

    1. Oh, you don’t?
      I’m SO excited for you. You must not have the slightest idea of the difference between the French and English enlightenment.
      Or perhaps you love feudalism so much you want to eat it with a spoon. Which would mean you love Cuba but would like it with religion.
      I’ll remind you I grew up in a place where “first sources” meant going down to the local church or library and reading the archives.
      You “Dark Enlightenment” fools are idiots in love with totalitarianism and poverty, because people sang hymns at their doors at Easter.
      Well, so did slaves in plantations.
      Learn some real history.

      1. Don’t know if I ready to cut him some slack, Sarah, but I’m willing to ponder his assertion. The more history I read the less dark the dark ages seem to have been.

        I found long ago I learn more from listening to folks with viewpoints far different than mine and, hence, reviewing and clarifying my own beliefs.

        1. The real problem with the Dark Ages was that Persia fell to the Muslims (or more likely, to a proto-Muslim group of Arians from Persia and Nabataea, associated with the Central Asian/Armenian group called Saracens, and a few Mesopotamian Arabs), and the Muslims gradually cut off the Eastern Roman Empire from everyone else, and Europe from Mediterranean trade unless it was by slave traders and raiders.

          The economic and security problems messed up everything that excessive Roman taxes and enslavement hadn’t done. It also opened up both Europe and Asia to all kinds of barbarian and steppe groups attacking or taking over. Christianity managed to keep up, sorta, in the West, but not super well, and then there were all the plagues, like the Yellow Plague.

          So yeah, there were places where good stuff happened, but it was a hardscrabble time. Charlemagne was the beginning of things getting back to normal.

          The Renaissance was full of destructive twits who thought they knew it all, as was the Enlightenment. But material and economic security is really, really important, as are things like improved farming techniques and better drainage.

          1. Don’t forget that the Roman Warm Period ended rather dramatically in the mid 500s, causing stormy weather that interfered with shipping ,destroyed a lot of settlements along the North Sea (Fresia, the Netherlands) and led to localized famine because of crop loss. The plagues of Justinian did not help. As the population dropped, erosion increased and ruined older land reclamation projects (terraces and irrigation) even in Iberia and Italy and southern Gaul. Toss in the Volkerwanderung, and if you were in the wrong place, it was really dark. If you were someplace relatively isolated and sheltered, where you could preserve knowledge and access to food and resources, civilization could hold on better.

            So it was BOTH the Late Antiquities and the Dark Ages, depending on location. (Note, I’m looking at physical and bare cultural survival, not human rights or developments in the theology that led to what we consider civil liberties/human rights.)

        2. No. There was knowledge, etc there. But they were still dark when it came to individual self-determination. There were reasons for that, but still.
          No. Sorry, I know the code phrases of the “Dark Enlightment” idiots.
          I don’t have to see the pile, to smell it.

          1. Magna Carta. Not a Renaissance document.

            But sticking closer to the historical events leading the birth of the USA, understanding the importance of why Britain and France differed, why lopping off the head of your king 130 years earlier changes a place, why Absolutism meant less scientific progress, or even understanding the Habsburg empire was a better political solution and lasted longer than our country has, despite our country’s brilliant founding, might be important to figuring out how we get out of where we are. his piece did not convey a seriousness to me with which to increase morale. Being optimistic that hundreds of years from now, humanity will find freedom again is true. But we’ll all be dead.

            1. Okay, guys: this was a face book post not a fricking doctoral dissertation.
              The generality is all you get in those, including allusions everyone will get. Your frigging details would only get an invasion of people like you:Achually people.
              As for 100 years from now? Indeed. And?
              Either you care for the future of humanity, or you’re a slug.

              1. As for 100 years from now? Indeed. And?

                I have it on HIGHEST Authority that we’ll all be drowned by then, so what’s the worry?

                Sure, they say it can be prevented, but with what they’re proposing? Pfui – bailing water with a demitasse spoon (and John Kerry’s the man to do it!).

                1. You get weird stuff. Early medieval Irish law acknowledged caste by birth, caste by income, caste by skill and education… But also individual rights, and social mobility, even for slaves. There was collective responsibility for fines and sureties (your family, clan, lord), but also individual responsibilities. Very much a mishmash, and based on several different kinds of law (Bible, Roman, various kinds of Irish law, and experience with Irish arguments).

                  One law was that, no matter what you got fined or what you put surety, you couldn’t have your minimal personal care items or the minimal tools of your trade taken. (So people were not supposed to accept them as sureties, except as a legal fiction to give them an excuse you stuff). Because if people took all your stuff, you could never pay anyone anything back.

                  And I would argue that Roman law saw people as persons. Ridiculously legally-oppressed persons, if you were a slave on a latifundium, mind you. But yup, they saw you as a person, even if you were collectively punished. They just didn’t think it mattered in that instance. If you left a will, you bet they cared.

                  1. “And I would argue that Roman law saw people as persons. Ridiculously legally-oppressed persons, if you were a slave on a latifundium, mind you.”

                    Slaves were not legal persons. At Roman law, the only lawsuit a slave could bring was a freedom suit claiming to not be a slave.

      2. Um, huh? Real history rarely admits of gross generalizations such as ‘dark ages’ ‘Renaissance’ or ‘Enlightenment’. These particular gross generalizations – that a Renaissance of sweetness and light did away with the mean old Dark Ages of superstition and ignorance, and that the Enlightenment didn’t culminate in the slaughter and hypocrisy of the French Revolution, Marxism, and the nihilist wasteland of modern philosophy every bit as much as it fathered our late, great nation – are pernicious and ubiquitous.

        No serious historian has used the phrase ‘Dark Ages’ to describe the Middle Ages in several generations – using it is a sign of historical illiteracy. Ask the people of the Vendee, for example, about how enlightened the Enlightenment was. The knuckleheaded philosophy that has contributed to the muddleheaded death spiral we find ourselves in is very specifically the product of the Enlightenment, while the good stuff tends to be older – a lot older. Science, insofar as it works, uses the epistemology and logic perfected in the medieval universities, not the naval-gazing solipsism of Descartes and his many lesser spawn.

        Philosopher/Classicist by training; history and science guy by vocation. But hey, what do I know?

        1. Raises eyebrows?
          Are you playing semantic games, for real?
          At which point did I say that Robert Bidinotto was an historian?
          And since when can only historians talk about history?
          And since when — talking grosso modo — must one dissect to periods people never heard of?
          Again — are you for real?

          1. Mr. Bidinotto did choose to jump in, with both feet, using something that he should reasonably have known was … complicated, at best.

            Like I said, the argument would’ve been strengthened if he hadn’t chosen to use that folklore– similar to how I have mentioned that Neil deGrasse Tyson lost all credibility with me when the first time I heard him speak, he threw out well known (but popular) myths as if they were fact.

            If he didn’t care enough about what he was saying to check that, what else did he just assume what he knew, but hadn’t checked, was accurate?

            It works for those who accept a popular misconception– but it greatly weakens them against those who are aware it is at best “more complicated than that.”

            And it tastes like how the Progs act, which is going to make folks even more gun-shy.

    2. That is an absence of an argument, a non-rebuttal.

      It is the response of the evil son at the Seder, adding nothing to the discussion and rejecting everything on a trivial matter.

      One might as well discard a debate over whether the 1927 “Murderer’s Row” Yankees were better than the 1976 “Big Red Machine” by sneering, “I don’t care for red uniforms.” Not being interested in baseball is a defensible stance, but dismissal by triviality is feeble.

    3. I found the whole thing rather glib, too. Not exactly historically deep. But I don’t want to go back to the medieval period. While the Medieval period had many more lights than he noticed, he also seemed to be claiming a 1,000 year hiatus between the peak of society and reaching the ability to even build as competent a road or cathedral again was a reason for optimism.

      But I have made great fun of the idea that 1,000 years from now when some civilization is trying to rebuild what we had, they’re going to be unearthing Chinese language instructions describing American inventions, and they’ll struggle as much as Erasmus and the rest struggled trying to make sense of what the Romans stole from the Greeks.

  7. “It does not take a majority to prevail…but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.” – Samuel Adams.

  8. Man, Sarah, your stuff hits me. All I can do right now is sit here and say “Yes. Yes, I will. I must.”

    Shiite makes me cry a lot lately. The destruction of every single thing I trusted and believed in. Church. Everything.

    What a time of opportunity.

  9. There is another angle for why one should reject Allslostism: it is the central and most sacred doctrine of Orthodox Conservatism.

    Maybe you are one of those people who is too broken to fight for the potential good, but you can still fight to piss off the enemy.

  10. Interesting aspect of the new border mess; apparently the cartels are now shipping people based on loans and down payments. They’ve built tracking networks to uniquely identify the people they are smuggling over so they can put them into lifetime debts, collectables with theirs or their relatives heads of they don’t meet payments.

    I have no idea how this is going to play out over the long term, but a lot of people have made a lot of deals with a lot of devils.

    1. Well it looks like the Cartels have reinvented Indentured Servitude, How long will it be before the Cartels will be renting people to Companies. The Cartels get even more money and just give the people just enough to live on. The Democrats will be back with Slaves! Only this time THEY will not be the OWNERS, they will just RENT them. So much better that way.

      1. That’s sort of how illegal immigration works now, though without the debt servitude part.

        Basically a lot of illegals work under the table for less than minimum wage, which gets supplemented by government handouts. Because they’re getting it tax free, they can live pretty well. However, because they are gray economy, they have none of the normal worker protections, and can be kept in line by threat of report and deportation if they don’t keep their employer happy.

        This was part of how the Cali land holders were able to force their migrant harvesters to work the fields when they were under fire warning during the big California wildfires several years back.

        1. As I have pointed out before in various places, the people making excuses for illegal aliens on the grounds that legal immigration is so difficult/time consuming also are the people not actually making it easier to come here legally. Clearly, then,while they might want people to come here, they prefer that they do it illegally.

          I have been unable to think of any non-nefarious reason for them to have such a desire.

            1. THIS. When I was trying for disability benefits after the death of my husband, I spent two years trying to get them legally. I finally gave up after being denied over and over. They told me that I was disabled– no question– but there wasn’t enough benefits to go around. I would sit in the Social Security office and watch all the the people with names like Menedez etc get benefits and help. I was the wrong race and color– I still get angry because so many of us who should get help — go into debt for medical reasons. When illegals get it all.

              1. So much this, yes. Just the fact that honest citizens are expected to devote a whole productive day every year to figuring out our taxes, and illegals – aren’t required to, and yet get part of those taxes – is enough to make the blood boil.

                  1. Agreed. Put that together with the irrationality of “everyone must mask forever!” and “but we’ll let these illegal aliens, many of whom are carrying Covid (among other nastier things) come right across the border and go anywhere in the U.S…..”

                    Insanity. Utter insanity.

              2. I don’t understand this. Are you talking about Social Security Disability Insurance benefits in the United States? If you’re clearly disabled, then you shouldn’t have been denied at all. This bit with “not enough benefits to go around” sounds like total bullshit from a racist worker who simply didn’t like whitey. The law doesn’t remotely work that way. You should immediately contact a lawyer who specializes in Social Security issues. :/

                1. For whatever reason one needs a lawyer to deal with the SSDI. I haven’t had to deal with them, but part of a private FB group I belong to a lot of members do. Every single time someone mentions they are stressed about applying for SSDI, multiple someones chime in that they will be denied, doesn’t matter how valid, what verification one has. After first denial, do not wait to contact a lawyer who specializes in SSDI claims. Then the stories on how others tried to handle it on their own and failed. The only example I had was my dad who was disabled due to a stoke at age 50. He didn’t have any troubles, but his office and a friend of my parents (a lawyer) were working on it as soon as it was evident he was never going back to work. Financially the transition from pay check to SSDI was smooth, mentally not so much … OTOH this might have been when he was disabled too, 1986.

                  1. I’ve seen an amazing amount of confusion over the basic difference between SSI and SSDI, so for the sake of casual readers who’re just passing by in the night, drawn in by a quick Google/DuckDuckGo reference, behold:

                    SSI (“Supplemental Security Income”) is federal welfare benefits, supported directly by general tax revenue. It’s meant for severely disabled folks who otherwise would have great difficulty surviving financially without ending up on the street with a battered shopping cart and various cardboard boxes. It’s the ultimate low-paying government safety net, especially for disabled folks who’ve never worked on the books.

                    SSDI (“Social Security Disability Insurance”) benefits are technically paid from the “Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund,” which admittedly is more or less an unsupportable Ponzi scheme primarily funded by the Social Security part of FICA taxes (which include funding for the federal Medicare program). But the long-term financial viability of the SSA’s programs is another story for another time. In general, SSDI is for people who’ve worked on the books and contributed thereby through FICA taxes to the Social Security “trust” funds (the “Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund” is the other, much better-known “insurance” scheme).

                    The rules for these two quite different programs, notwithstanding many commonalities in defining “disability,” are hideously complicated. Many applicants give up rather than struggle any further in an apparently hopeless battle against bureaucratic stonewalling. Legal representation can make all the difference. Many lawyers specialize in SSI/SSDI disability payment issues and will agree to fight on your behalf in return for a quarter or more of any final award of back payments. See the SSA’s own website for the exact terms of allowable lawyer payments.

                    (Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice. Consult a qualified attorney for specific advice on your own situation.)

                    1. Plus many of the Social Security agents do not recognize Vasculitis as a disability even though it is in the manual. Yep– they have discretion. If you can walk in– then you are well enough to work. Anyway, I don’t want to go further. It just stresses me … but it is a BIG reason why I am not happy with supposed benefits and especially the welfare state. The people who need it are not helped and the people who are able-bodied scam it. The welfare benefits get scammed a lot–

                    2. Ah, yes, the contingency fee, which Alan King once defined as, “If you lose the case, the lawyer gets nothing. If you win, you get nothing.”

                    3. SSI VS SSDI = Thank you. I always figured they were the same programs. What do you know. They aren’t. Same result to the one who finally gets the benefits. Source of money is different. I wonder if it is administered by the same people?

                  2. I once visited (due to Pa’s business dealings) a fellow paralyzed from the neck down. He had a framed letter on the wall (wife hung it..) stating he was NOT sufficiently disabled to qualify for any aid or benefits, His comment: “Unlike the bureaucrats, I’m only paralyzed from the neck DOWN.” And he did still run his business… from bed. (Running a business from sound good, unless….)

                2. Other patients with Wegener’s Granulomatosis have gone through the same in other States. It’s considered a disease that usually affect whites. Although I’ve met a few who were of other races.

                  1. My dear Mrs./Ms. Cyn Bagley — I do wish you’d not give up so quickly. One lawyer isn’t the same as another lawyer. I’m not unfamiliar with the process myself — extended family members have gone through much the same agonizing bureaucratic crap with the Social Security Administration (SSA). If you’re willing to accept that the process might take years more yet, then what the hell. What have you got to lose but some time and effort? If the SSA wasn’t going to pay you otherwise, then why not take a chance on having to fork over a quarter or more of the final and hopefully hefty award to your lawyer? Remember the Serenity Prayer!

                    I’m not suggesting the following agency as a source for your chosen legal representation, but I like the way their website page briefly explains the implications of your specific condition. As I understand it, your first priority is to find a doctor who can accurately record your disability and its effect on your ability to work. You need that formal medical declaration of inability to perform substantial gainful activity (SGA) as defined by the SSA! And be prepared for much personal note taking on what happens when you in fact try to perform SGA. The administrative law judge who handles the appeal will want to see that as well, at least as encapsulated in a summary letter that you send to the SSA as part of your determined campaign to compel the agency to recognize your medically undeniable disability. Yes, it’s a huge pain in the ass. I empathize with you on this. -_-


                    1. Hey there– it was two years.. I went through three different agents and one lawyer. It was causing me more problems by the stress. And I was pretty sick at the time. I’ll be 60 in August so disability benefits would be taken away anyway… I’m not to happy with them since I was forced on Medicare due to dialysis. I think two years is NOT giving up too easily.

                    2. “How the HELL do you do $JOB3? I’ve done it when you aren’t here, and… and.. it’s a soul-sucking dehumanizing hell!”

                      “Being a soul-less inhuman monster does sometimes have some benefit.” }:o)

                    3. It is also a dehumanizing process.

                      Somehow I just don’t think that’s unintentional.

                    4. That’s a damn shame, Mrs./Ms. Cyn Bagley. You deserved better. Much better. It is to be hoped that widow’s benefits from Veterans Affairs later on will finally relieve your stressful financial situation in respectful recognition of the military service of your late husband. Please be at peace. -_-

                    5. TY Grim Leaper– I’m actually in a better place right now. At the time I didn’t know if I could survive. I have TG.
                      Imaginos1892 I suspect it is designed that way.

            2. Illegal aliens are trespassers that the legal owners are then required to feed, and not allowed to boot out.

              The 3rd Amendment should not be limited to soldiers; the government should be prohibited from quartering ANYBODY in private property.

              1. I remember a few years ago making a comment on Instapundit about how some city’s (IIRC, Seattle’s) proposed rule on homeless people amounted to a Third Amendment violation. I can’t recall the details now. Was it something about not being allowed to kick them out of your business? Or being forced to let them use the toilet if they ask (with the lawmakers being blithely, deliberately ignorant of the hygiene issues involved with cleaning up discarded hypodermic syringes)? I think it was something along those lines, but I really can’t be sure.

                1. The Supreme Court might be considering classifying such as a Takings violation:

                  A SCOTUS Case That Could Shape Property Rights for Years to Come
                  California growers Cedar Point Nursery and Fowler Packing Company pride themselves on treating their employees with dignity and respect. Neither company’s employees wanted to unionize. Perhaps that is why the United Farm Workers invoked a California Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) regulation that grants union organizers the right to access the property of agricultural employers for three hours per day for 120 days per year for the purpose of encouraging employees to unionize.

                  At Cedar Point, the union organized a protest at 5 a.m. during the peak of harvest season, invading the property with bullhorns and disrupting work. Because the union organizers were there under authority of the ALRB, the employer could do little to stop them — other than filing a lawsuit. That case reached the Supreme Court of the United States, where argument is being heard today.

                  The growers’ theory of the case is quite simple. The Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause prohibits California from taking property without just compensation. Long ago, the Supreme Court confirmed that the clause not only applies to traditional takings through the eminent-domain power, but also instances where the government physically invades private property in such a way as to effectively take an interest in the land for itself.


                  Ultimately, the Court must determine whether an easement is an easement, no matter how small. A ruling in favor of California would open the door to significant impingements on property rights, potentially allowing governments to decree public access to desirable private property limited to certain times to avoid takings liability. On the other hand, a ruling in favor of the growers would protect a fundamental element of the property right — the right to exclude trespassers from private property — and lay down a clear, workable rule governing the taking of access easements. The Court’s resolution of this question will shape the nature of property rights for years to come.

          1. They’re also the same people who simultaneously argue that we mustn’t deport illegals because they keep the price of food low because they work for so little, *and* that we must pay everyone a living wage.

          2. I’ve been saying for years that we need to crack down on illegal immigration and also fix the broken parts of our legal immigration system. For example, my cousin married a man from Argentina. She was a US citizen from birth, but the hoops he had to jump through to get his US citizenship were ridiculous. I understand wanting to make sure a marriage is real and not a fraudulent “paper” marriage for citizenship purposes, but several years, during which they had two children, would be proof enough for any rational system, yet that wasn’t enough for them to be able to prove their marriage was real. I understand Sarah’s point about not wanting to make things *too* easy because immigrants need to want to adapt, but what we have now (as I understand it) is so far beyond that as to be ludicrous.

            So I hold pretty much the exact opposite of the position you’re mentioning here.

            1. My boss. The Owner. Wasn’t a US Citizen (he eventually did get citizenship). He traveled up and down the west coast a lot. Including taking the Ferry out and back to the San Juan Islands. Normally he remembered to take the Ferry routes that didn’t originate from Canada. If he did, he had to go through border control, which was extra time. Not long after I started with the company (within the first year), got a call from Border Control. He didn’t have his passport or green card on him and had gotten on the wrong ferry route. Upshot of the conversation, overheard on our side was “My FIL” (true), “Wife and kids are American” (true), “Can we please have our boss back so he can sign our pay checks this week?” (Fudging, the wife generally signed them, but still …) He started making sure he had both documents when he was out of town even when not near a border. San Juan County wasn’t the only border county the company dealt with. He was not only the on-site trainer, but the sales rep for the company too.

      1. Interesting. This was the first I’d heard of it, so I’d assumed it was new, or at least the level of organization was new. On the otherhand, it mostly relies of cell phone contacts, so the material has been there for at least the last ten or so years, so it makes sense that it would have already been going.

        1. I mostly know about it because I grew up in a very illegal heavy area, and my husband is a total force protection/ terrorism/ threat geek.

          Speaking of, Borderland Beat is back up again!

          Usual warning, THEY SHOW DEAD PEOPLE. Including the disassembled in coolers type dead people I’ve mentioned before.

          1. Fun. Don’t know if you follow him, but Michael Yon is also doing the illegal immigration beat. He’s focusing on the flow up from South America. Apparently the Darian Gap eats people, and a lot of the immigrants are just being told it’s camping.

            The ramifications for pretty much every country involved are just appalling, but apparently so long as the pols get paid, they’re perfectly happy to keep shoveling their children into an meat grinder.


            1. I am aware of him, but not actively following.

              Nothing at your link is unexpected.

              Horrifying, hell yes. But not unexpected.

                    1. I am seriously spooked on what will happen in Washington when they DO NOT have the cops to protect the illegals from the citizens.

                      I had classmates whose family moved because of assaults by the illegals at school– the last white boy at Brewster, for example.

                      When they are not protected by the law?

                      ….dear God above, please be merciful.

                    2. Dear Husband is Italian.

                      We already have to deal with “sorry no we don’t speak Spanish” in stores and etc.

                      I am with you.

      2. The Asians used to do this as well.. Many many years ago. They still do (Chinese found in shipping containers–sometimes alive and sometimes dead).

                1. There are suspicions about the women who were working at the massage parlors that the gunman attacked last week.

                  1. Listened to Bryan Suits on the Joe Pags show pointing that out.


                    I do not wish for Rush to have left us at all, but his timing is amazing; between folks filling in for him because he was ill, and now folks filling in because he was dead, there is AMAZING cross-pollination of right-of-actually-center pundits going on, as folks shift to fill in and are thus exposed to new markets who now take up their podcasts.

          1. It ties in as a major plot element in the fourth Longmire novel, Another Man’s Moccasins, published in 2008, except with Vietnamese women. The descriptions are vivid.

        1. John Ringo used that for the introduction of the bird flu to the USA in The Last Centurion. Illegals owing craploads of money to the coyotes and their bosses was more-or-less common knowledge for a couple of decades around here.

          There were signs of it in San Jose a bit earlier in the form of safe houses in good neighborhoods, with sheds and garages turned into living space. The (cartel rep?) guy that wanted our house wanted us to do the (illegal) conversions on our dime. We found a better offer before they could apply pressure. I’m sooooo happy to be out of that shithole.

          1. A more suspicious mind than mine might wonder whether the admission of large numbers of infected aliens through our Southern border mightn’t provide cause for continued lockdowns.

            As an “unfortunate and unforeseeable” consequence of the “mess the Trump Administration left” at the border, of course.

            1. I was saying that the biological war aspect, and the lockdown aspect, implied a real need to take border security and control seriously.

              If the lockdown is serious enough to make me wear a worthless mask, it is serious enough to be gassing, napalming, and machine gunning these conveys from south america. And killing off the domestic drug users, the most reliable way of eliminating the market and shutting down the cartels.

              1. If the homeless in the streets and tent cities of urban areas aren’t dead in substantial numbers, I can’t take Covid seriously. But maintaining control of our borders is very serious. Lose the borders and you lose control of security, population makeup, and physical boundaries. Funny the wire is still up around the Capitol.

                1. Indeed – if the Commie Crud were anything like the 1918 Pandemic I would have expected mass burials in trenches of dead homeless in every major city. I would have expected everyone I know to have known personally someone who had died of the Commie Crud. Instead – only a handful of friends of friends. Instead … basically, the seasonal flu.

  11. Then there are those of us who have already gone Galt. I spent 40 years working as a design engineer, the last 27 of them working for a Fortune-500 MegaCorp in a small division, and held 4 different jobs in that time. I was renowned as a royal PITA, but an extremely competent engineer, so they kept me around. For the last two years there I was on 80% pay and working only 40-45 hours a week rather than the usual 55 to 60 hours that I’d been doing previously, but on full benefits. They gave me that when I told them it was cutting back to four days a week, or zero.

    When the next downturn in the business came it was obvious that the writing was on the wall and they were cutting technical staff as fast as they could (funny how they always seemed to need the same number of managers, though). My turn came when my boss and his boss called me in, and told me they were going to have to find a position for me somewhere else in the company. I basically said, “I’m too old a dog to learn a whole new bunch of tricks. How about I just retire and we call it a day.” They looked at each other, and told me they couldn’t offer any early retirement package, and I said I was just fine with that. Then I asked, “How soon do you want me gone? I can give you two weeks notice…” You should have seen the horrified look on their faces. Turns out that they needed me to train in my own replacements, while still doing the same amount of work. I laughed, said no, and we started to negotiate for a “bonus” for training my replacements.

    6 people later (two quit after learning what and how much I did) I had four newby engineers lined up to do (poorly and slowly) what I’d been doing for years, and had written a 270 page set of instructions on how to do the most important design functions for a couple of the product lines. Then I walked away. I guess it was still cheaper for them to hire 4 people right out of school than to keep me around.

    My wife and I had been living well below our means in a small house in the middle of the Hive of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Minnesota. We bought a house in a small town in Wyoming (less than 10,000 people), moved here, and sold the place in the Twin Shitties just about 2 years before the manure hit the spreader with the burning, looting and murders (BLM). We’d seen it coming for decades, and knew that retiring in that state was not a tenable solution.

    We’re living in one of the freest states in the Union, where a lot of people still never lock their doors. Crime is low, we have Constitutional carry (gee, I wonder if there’s a connection there?), there’s no income tax and the sales tax is relatively low, and the local gendarmes are polite and neighborly. I fish and hunt, and the overwhelming majority of people have basically very (small-L) libertarian beliefs.

    We have zero income except for our SocSec (from which I’ll never get back what I put into it over the years) and our retirement savings incomes. We haven’t paid a dime in Federal income tax and won’t until they require (!) us to start drawing more from our retirement funds. We’re doing our best to starve the ever-voracious beast of government of funding, and having a blast in one of the prettiest parts of the country doing it.

      1. Because of the ‘Rona foolishness the government is hurling cash at me, way more than I’d have made at my retail job.

        I plan to stay on the ‘Rona dole as long as the fools keep shoving it at me. Officially, at any rate.

        1. We’ve pulled exactly $0 in taxable income this year. They keep shoveling money at us we won’t. Not that we won’t have income to pay taxes on as we get both SS and pensions (mine is too a pension, a whole $121/month, but it is a pension).

          Not one person in our household has been harmed by this mess. We’re retired, no change. Son works “essential service sector” (construction industry). Ask us how much we’ve spent extra because of the payments (nada, nothing). Mom hasn’t been hurt either. Although her income is such that the payments do help her save extra for that rainy day fund that she’d not have otherwise. Still benefit to the economy? Zip to nada.

            1. That too. We did do takeout. Where it made sense to us. A lot less than normal, and spent a lot less. As dining in opens up we’ve been making up, somewhat, for our favorite restaurants. We can’t make up all the dinners we would have otherwise eaten out. But we can help.

            2. The Chinese place never reopened the dining room (current as of a month ago–$SPOUSE hasn’t been there), while the taqueria got whipsawed (shut down last March for “two weeks”. Reopened in May, got reshut in September, now open as of Jan/Feb.

              Because of logistics, it’s been takeout lately. OTOH, if I have to get a breakfast in town, I know the place. Best diner around.

      2. So, I recently decided to get a Nintendo Switch, and being me, I’m getting the games on cartridge.

        I made a list of all the games on the system that I’m interested in getting and set it up as a favorites list in one of the online retailers I use. When I made the list, the prices were $45 a game. Now they are $50.

        That’s over about a three week period.

        Also, the cat food I ordered still hasn’t shown up. I gather it finally shipped today.

        Yes, I am a touch concerned…

        1. Cat food and dog food are ….. elusive right now. Which means human food is about to be.
          And electronics are getting very expensive. If you can find them. Because husband works in the field, he paid attention and we bought new computers all around last December, because.

          1. Even the human food. At the supermarket, I amuse myself by noting which items have been carefully arranged to hide the fact that the ten-deep shelf only holds the two items in front. Or doesn’t even have any items in it at all. Or perhaps a particular brand has suddenly had its frontage on the shelf massively expanded (it’ll be back down to the normal amount of shelf space next week) to take up all of the frontage that would ordinarily be used by other brands – that are now missing.

            That’s not a conspiracy by the stores. They’re doing that because it’s good business to look like their shelves aren’t bare. But it is a tell.

            1. Yep. Kroger No-Salt-Added (sigh) black beans were off the shelves for 8 weeks or so. NSA green beans are spotty; usually have to buy Libbys. The Oregon brand another store carried is pretty much gone (Santiam), but they got clobbered when the antifa fires started last year.

              Dried beans were iffy all last Spring and Summer, though a lot of that was Gorebull Warmening and flooding.

            2. Costco. Look how they’ve rearranged the center aisles. Look at dairy and eggs, that aren’t stacked two or 3 deep into the room. Look up, way up, where there are empty shelves.

              1. The plan was to do a Costco run April 16th when I had a medical appointment. That’s on hiatus until I can drive and do the necessary walking. (I’m guessing latish May or June.) OTOH, Smart Food Service (now Chef’store since they got bought out) has been a godsend for a lot of the stuff we use. We don’t need 5 dozen eggs, but 25 pounds of rice, rice flour and beans are on the shopping list at times. (The independent grocery mini-chain gets eggs from Willamette, and once they recovered from the Antifa tantrum fires last fall, they’ve been steady with supply. So far. Their biggest uncertainty is their house-brand mozzarella cheese; that seems to disappear frequently.)

        2. Also, the cat food I ordered still hasn’t shown up. I gather it finally shipped today.

          Appetizers, chicken specifically, it is shredded canned chicken. Couldn’t get it locally. Ordered off Amazon until couldn’t order it anymore (10 cases each order, 100 1.1 oz containers). Ordered it from Chewy. It is out there too. There are other types, but picky eaters, all 3, won’t eat the others.

          1. Our neighbor’s Lab-Aussie Shepherd refuses to eat kibble, and has trained her “masters” to cook a special meal every day. Makes the specialty ultra-lowfat canned plus kibble and rice we feed to our very senior girl look simple. Who’d have thought that a half-lab would be a picky eater? Not our Sara.

            1. They, the cats, have kibble 24/7 available. Prescription special easy/fast to digest, because TJ, one of the kittens throws up anything else. (We know what fur balls are, it isn’t that.) They eat it, but they really like their daily dose of canned raw, as long as it is the chicken, and to a lesser extent the salmon; won’t touch the tuna or beef.

              Dog won’t touch her kibble either, unless she is “starving” or she is hand fed (which she then thinks is treats). She’s suppose to be losing weight (aren’t we all). Ironically I can make her “raw” (cooked), but unless it off our plates, it doesn’t count … sigh.

    1. I’m looking to do some fishing in Wyoming. And I want to look at houses, aiming to move either to north Wyoming or SE Montana.

      Where are you? If you don’t mind me asking. Please feel free to not reply.

      1. Do you grok -40 F? Because if you never have experienced it, I suggest you try somewhere a hair milder. N. Idaho might suit you well: friend in Couer d’Alene shared pictures of cute anti-antifa guns with men attached last summer. Er, maybe the other way around. Anyway, other than Moscow, not much liberal-facism up there. And the racism you hear about in the news is not locals: my husband (black) and myself (white) had no problems.

        1. Which I know to be impossible, or else the lifestyle furries would be doing it, even if it meant shelling out the price of a new house to a dodgy clinic in Uzbekistan…

          1. In the online rpg Champions, one of the villains that you fight was a furry who jumped at the chance to get surgery to turn herself into a catgirl (courtesy of a less than ethical medical organization, of course, since this is a comic book universe). She was forced into crime afterwards in order to pay for the surgery..


        2. Local record low for us is -28F. The insulation got knocked off the water cutoff the day before, before it got cold enough to destroy the valve.

          It’s actually been fairly mild this winter. I don’t recall any sub-zero mornings, though we’ve had a few in the low single-digits. On the downside, not much snow, not that I could do anything about cleanup. Definitely *not* looking forward to fire season.

        3. Lowest temperature we’ve had on our mountain in southern-ish Vermont is -30 F. Because of our location there’s always a stiff wind – except in summer, of course, when it would be welcome – so it usually feels a great deal colder than the thermometer admits. Summers, on the other hand, are wonderful. No a/c necessary, the mountains are gorgeous.

      2. Responding to Kathy Leicester:

        We’re located in Cody, just 50 miles east of Yellowstone NP and 50 miles south of the MT border. While it’s a great little town, there are still a few things that we end up having to buy at the big-box stores in Billings, but that’s only a 2-hour drive away. We usually make a run up there every couple of months, and our MN carry permits (don’t need one here in WY) are still valid there.

        I see Sarah made a point about weather, but we don’t really get long spells of the truly cold stuff we had in MN where -40° (F ‘n’ C; Frickin’ Cold) was not unusual. The recent polar vortex that trashed TX gave us our lowest temperature of -23°F, and we stayed with below zero highs for a couple of days. We got an initial dump of 8″ of snow, and that whole week of cold weather gave us another 4″ to 6″ of snow every night. Usually it’s warmer than that, and the snow that falls is almost always gone within a day or two. Right now there’s nothing on the ground here at 5,000 ft; all of the snow is on the upper elevations. Heck, I spent New Year’s Day in the back yard in a lawn recliner with my shirt off getting some sunshine and natural Vitamin D.

        The single biggest weather thing to get used to around here is the wind. When that vortex finally moved off we had two days and nights of high winds, with sustained winds of 70 to 80 MPH and gusts of up to 100 MPH. Yup, supposedly “hurricane strength”, but we laugh every time we hear that. It took the 3 feet of snow on the ground and scoured it right down to nothing. I dunno where it ended up; South Dakota probably. The wind is something that must be experienced to be believed, but it doesn’t blow all the time either. This is just a heads-up that if you don’t like wind, don’t consider WY for a new place in which to live.

        It’s also very dry here and we’re defined as a “semi-arid” climate. Summers get very hot during the day but there’s usually no humidity at all, and it cools off in the evenings. Daytime temps of 95°F with a low of 55°F are very normal and we always sleep with the windows open. If the house is well-planned you don’t even need A/C, just open up at night to cool off, and then shade the windows during the day to keep from heating up. But bear in mind that NOTHING grows unless you pour water on it, so irrigation and water rights are important even if you’re in town. The only things green in the summer are either painted that color or stuff that people put (expensive) water on.

        1. This is so helpful. Thanks very much!

          I lived in Oklahoma for about four years. Went running in -10 and didn’t much care for it. 🙂 Below zero temps are fine. Winter, real winter, is my favorite season. It would take adjustment, but much better than Alabama (or Key West) in August.

          Thanks again, really.

    2. The classic layoff cycle strategy I experienced while I was on the semiconductor industry rollercoaster out here was “RIF a bunch of people, but don’t cancel anything – make the fewer remaining employees keep doing all the prior list of projects and tasks. Repeat.” You wanted to be zapped in round 2 or 3, as the layoff benefits package usually mysteriously shrunk each round as well.

      I’ll never forget the first time I got caught in a major layoff *. I had ridden through several semiconductor business cycles with attendant layoffs in the 15ish years that I was at that company, but when the rumor mill said another round was looming and I had not been included in any planning, I told my group “Either we’re all safe or I’m on the list.” They zapped me and my entire 10-person team save one poor guy who had to try and keep all the production software, databases, and software deliverables configuration control servers all running, plus one hourly person to do all the shipping.

      I walked out the door with my box of stuff feeling less bad than I had feared, and as I was walking to my car I realized none of the huge list of projects and responsibilities which had been on my plate was my problem any longer, nor was I responsible any longer for any of my team – all I had on my list was “look for a new job.”

      From what I heard that one poor guy worked 75 hour weeks for most of a year to try and customize the new “off-the-shelf system” do what our group’s 3.5 million lines of in-house code did.

      I found a new better-paying job in spite of the main post-Y2K silicon valley downcycle in a little over a year. And none of those major problems and open issues I left behind followed me out the door.

      Whenever a company decides to lay someone off, they repossess all the employee’s work problems as their problems. Which they then dump on the “lucky” RIF survivors.

      Sometimes it’s better to be on the list.

      * OK, it was the second layoff if I count getting laid off from my one and only startup adventure over the white courtesy phone in the airport because the guy who was supposed to do it before I left for my flight was playing golf instead. They were already in the startup death spiral, and went under in less than a month.

      1. I was first wave laid off when Agilent started to bail out of the HP semiconductor business. (HP didn’t want it, and TPTB at Agilent didn’t either.) Got a nice consulting gig while we were fixing up the house to sell, and when the client went bankrupt, we had (just) enough cash to finish. And we got the hell out of California.

        Yeah, the RIF bennies sure made up for the sting of being first to go.

  12. …you truly don’t hear anyone on the street thinking that the USSR was paradise,…”

    Y’all need to listen to some of the people Vladimir Jaffe (“Former Soviet Citizen” on Youtube) interviews at street protests. Some really DO believe it was paradise, at least enough to assert that in public.

    1. mostly the recently indoctrinated, mentally ill activists (but I repeat myself) and of course the staff of the NYT who, unfortunately, are not on the streets.

      1. He’s been doing this 15-20 years… but yeah, that’s his point, that they’re in the range of deluded to mentally ill. He just gets ’em started and they make it obvious.

  13. Trump went along with it. I still don’t even understand why, but it was obviously a weak psychological point and he caved.

    I recall several years ago a refutation I saw of one of the many wild accusations about Trump was that Trump was a germophobe and so would never have done what he was being accused of (something kinky involving bodily fluids). If the germophobe part is true, that would go a long way toward explaining his going along with the Covidiocy.

    1. He is, it’s in his books. He thinks the Japanese custom of bowing is what we should do rather than shake hands.

      1. Yes, and it makes sense that a hotel developer would have a particular loathing of epidemic disease (as well as bed bugs.

        I suspect that the father’s requirement that young Donald collect rents was a particular stressor.

    2. –Muslims gradually cut off the Eastern Roman Empire from everyone else, and Europe from Mediterranean trade unless it was by slave traders and raiders.

      But it was the fall of Constantinople that thrust the learned Greek speakers and their books into Italy for the Renaissance.

      And the Vikings going around a-viking were a threat for a hundred years. History is really fascinating. So much in is interwoven. That’s the good thing about it–history is actually changed by choices at points in time at the scale of individuals. That’s the part we should hold onto for our morale. Individuals change history. Drastically. And unpredictably.

      If history were actually predictable, as Marx suggested, Germany would have gone communist. Didn’t happen. Because individual choices matter.

      1. A-c-chually! Yeah. Lean into the A-c-chually. Go for it.
        Otherwise people might look up and realize everything isn’t desperate, desolate and lost.
        Caw, caw, caw, details, details, details, NEVAHMOHE!
        Seriously…. pfui. you’re not a regular. I don’t care.

  14. The idea of socialism bringing prosperity and happiness died back in the late 1960s to early 1970s. Before then, there were Progressives who still believed in progress. But c 1970 the party line changed to “Learn to live with less, your greedy hate-filled bastards!”

    1. Peter Drucker (Austrian, lived in various European countries till the Nazi era, when he moved to the United States) wrote that prior to WWI, socialism was about *hope*, afterwards, it was about *envy*.

      He specified that he was referring to European socialism and the American version…which perhaps is following the same trajectory on a delayed timeline.

      1. American socialism is pretty obviously about envy and resentment. Those are its two greatest weapons, envy, resentment … and identity group conflict. Their three greatest weapons are envy, resentment, identity group conflict and class struggle.

        Should I come in again?

        1. >> “Should I come in again?”

          Well, we haven’t managed to keep you out yet, so… 😛

        2. envy and resentment are the root. the particular guises on top of them are minor. it’s wise to watch for when they drop identity politics for a new weapon.

  15. If I remember the evidence we’ve gotten now that we can shed light on the “dark ages,” the characterization he uses for the dark ages turned out to be a myth.

    They were “dark” because we didn’t have information– now that we can do stuff like digitize records and make them available world-wide, rather than depending on official sources from much later that turned out to be largely propaganda, which of COURSE said that Those Guys were horrible and bad.

    It mostly matters because it weakens the general point that we do know that things can go from bad to better, as well as from bad to worse.

    1. They were dark in a ton of other ways. Feudalism existed because the West was under constant attack.
      And yes, we’ve found a lot of innovations from Rome, etc. subsisted. But that’s not the point. On the personal level, between difficulty of travel and petty tyrants on the local level, it was almost impossible to have individual discovery and free thought (of course it varied by locale) but–
      Basically it’s where the “progressives” are taking us back. The idea the collective matters over all, and the individual doesn’t matter.
      The dark enlightenment people think that’s SWELL because most people SHOULDN’T rule themselves.
      Weirdly, they’re apparently the ones intended to shepherd us to this darkly enlightened future.
      I want them to gaze lovingly upon my middle fingers. All of them I’ve come across have a desperate lack of historical knowledge and think turning Marxism into Marxism plus tradition fixes everything.

      1. It was not that bad because of what it replaced.

        It would of COURSE be bad, now, because of— what it would replace.

        Sacrificing a greater good for a lesser– decent definition of evil.

        1. The thing they should keep in mind is that, no, we didn’t lose all scientific achievements in the dark ages, and yes, some of it was invented in the dark ages. Which means they can’t erase technology because they say so. But the “Dark Ages” thing is still deserved. The constant state of war made travel and information at that time required travel, very difficult.
          On top of that, a stressed society made the family, bloodline or even village the important unit. Hence why Romeo and Juliet was such an inovative idea. (And also a cautionary tale, TBH.)
          Heck, I grew up with the remnants of that “endarkment” in which women as in Islam carry the “family’s honor” and must be “obedient” (no, it didn’t work well) and in which the family is paramount, which allows your parents to come into your house and dispose of things, or demand you use your bank account on their behalf (not that my parents would do the later.) Ask Holly Bambolo how well that works in Africa.
          The enlightnment (English style) brought about the idea that humans are self-determining units. no matter how bad their decisions, they’re theirs. Which also erases collective guilt. No matter how much the proggies scream.

          1. “Islamic” culture is weaponized tribalism, with enough chunks of Christianity or even just not stupid stuff to kludge along. Don’t blame it on the middle ages. *shudder*

            The enlightnment (English style) brought about the idea that humans are self-determining units.

            *eyebrow raise* There are an awful lot of Virgin Martyrs from the first few centuries arguing otherwise.

            1. *eyebrow raise* There are an awful lot of Virgin Martyrs from the first few centuries arguing otherwise.

              Ever hear the phrase “exception which proves the rule”?

              1. When one of the big outrages of a faith is exactly that offspring do not belong to their parents, examples of that cannot be said to be a deviation from the norm.

                If there were only one or two examples, that saying may work, rather than being special pleading.

                When it is normal for saints to have disobeyed demands of family in favor of the greatest Truth, it cannot be so easily dismissed.

                  1. And?

                    It still is the individual being the one who makes the choice– not their family/tribe/Group being the one who chooses what will be True, and Good, and done.

                    1. Sure, but it’s a limited instance.
                      I will remind you that I neither have a vocation, nor would I have liked (almost) anyone mom would choose. So if I’d been born even 100 years earlier….

                    2. Sure, but it’s a limited instance.

                      Of course it is, but it’s an expansion on what was previously there– moreso, it’s a change in kind from the prior assumptions.

                      Moreso, it’s an assumption that is mandatory for any individual choice.

                      The goal of a well ordered life is the truth.

                      Of COURSE the Universal Church honors those who exercised their individual choice in the correct direction.

                      The faith explicitly demands recognizing that you can exercise it in the wrong direction.

                      But we HONOR those who chose the right one.

                      What, you think the Church should be honoring those who used the power that philosophically must exist, but did so evily?

                      That’s like the guys who say that any gun owner must honor someone who abuses guns to do immoral things. Recognize it is a possibility, fine. Since it’s one of the main reasons for proper use of guns, kinda obvious.

                      But of COURSE the ones that are honored are those who used their power correctly.

                      look at those we honor in our history for America!

                    3. I will remind you that I neither have a vocation, nor would I have liked (almost) anyone mom would choose. So if I’d been born even 100 years earlier….

                      Then you still, by Church law, could say no AND MAKE IT STICK.

                      Even if you weren’t going to be a nun.

                      Just the celebates were the most likely to be killed for refusal to put out on parental order.

                    4. And yet, it took millennia of continuous hammering to get people to sometimes accept that even when it was inconvenient for them.

                      You don’t take a millennia long process and say it is complete when the first step is made.

                    5. Teach your grandma to suck eggs, Ian.

                      Since the explicit theology is slowly nurturing humanity up to where they can even sort of grasp what they need, to be dragged up to the post-second-coming perfection, NOBODY is saying “oh look it’s all done.”

                1. That assumes the religion and the culture are the same thing, while also using them as separate entities.

                  Until the religion rewrote the culture with a new one that most certainly was the norm. If it weren’t you wouldn’t have those martyrs in the first place.

                  1. Religion is *philosophy*. Which forms culture.

                    For the rest of it, you’re talking nonsense.

                    Seriously, go look at the first few century’s virgin martyrs. They were not in a Christian culture, by any measure.

              2. It has been my understanding that the saying you cite relies o an archaic meaning of “proves” that equates to “tests” — thus a more accurate expression of that adage might be “The exception that tests the rule.”

                Much as I dislike negating an extended butting of heads …

              3. >> “Ever hear the phrase “exception which proves the rule”?”

                That phrase comes from a time when the term “prove” had a different meaning and was never updated. In modern parlance it’s a self-contradiction.

          2. Imposition (reimposition) of collective guilt, collective debt, collective virtue, and collective vice is pretty much the central tenet of the progleft. I presume that’s why the commie-voting “former” CIA guy Brennan ran the “libertarian = extremist terrorists” thing up the flagpole a few months back. Can’t have any individual rights adherents in the great reset inevitable arrow utopia.

          3. I had to go digging– it’s part of the anti-collective guilt thing I’ve been researching– the individual being judged by themselves is older than that, too.

            Ezekiel 18, with the talk about how you can’t punish the son for what his father did.


            For that matter, Leviticus 19:15, talking about not perverting justice by changing your judgement because of who you are judging.

          4. The so-called Dark Ages happened mostly because Islamic pirates destroyed the formerly-robust Mediterranean trade, leading to widespread starvation (Egypt was formerly the breadbasket of urban Europe, and this was also a cold period with numerous crop failures) and made living within a day’s march of the seacoast far too risky (because you’d be carried off as slaves). The appellation originally referred to the relative dearth of documentation surviving from the period, not to how “dark” it was to live through; after all civilization mostly just moved east from Rome to Byzantium.

              1. After they’d finally started recovering from (and in many cases being resettled by) the tribes coming in from the East.

            1. >> “The so-called Dark Ages happened mostly because Islamic pirates destroyed the formerly-robust Mediterranean trade”

              That’s one theory. There are others:

              1. The Dark Ages started well before the birth of Muhammad, so blaming Muslim Pirates for cutting off Mediterranean trade fails basic history. It should be noted that there was a drastic cooling of the Earth during the late Western Roman Empire that contributed not only to its final collapse, but also resulted in very harsh living conditions after its fall. It is theorized that several very large volcanic eruptions (including if I recall correctly. Mount Tambora) erupted and caused the cool period.

      2. Incidentally, I think they’re aiming more for what Feudalism replaced– the tribal level junk.

        Which, of course, they think they’d be in charge of.

        1. They want people isolated and tribal, sure, but since they have no concept of how feudalism really worked, with interlocking rights and responsibilities running both ways, they latch on to their misconceptions and are certain they will be the guy in the nice clothes sitting on that big chair up in the castle who owns all the armor and weaponry, with droit du seigneur and comely servants and such.

          If you look at how the actual USSR or NSDAP higher-ups actually behaved, that pretty much covers it.

          1. If you look at how the actual USSR or NSDAP higher-ups actually behaved, that pretty much covers it.

            See! That proves it: socialism wasn’t “done right.”

      3. YES… you were owned top down from the royalty to the serfs. Everyone had a place and there was no free thought. Even in the Enlightenment people lost their lives if they were do dogmatic about their “new” knowledge. Plus there was the thought “as above, so below.”

      4. The dark enlightenment people think that’s SWELL because most people SHOULDN’T rule themselves.

        Ironically, I agree with them in principle but entirely disagree as to solution. People who think individuals incapable of self-rule should leave this country as our form of Constitution is ONLY suitable to governance of “a moral and religious people” and thus they are ill-suited to life here.

        It isn’t as if there were an insufficiency of nations compatible with their principles. Fortunately, there is NO door for the exit, so they need not worry about bruising of their tucchus on their way out.

      5. >> “I want them to gaze lovingly upon my middle fingers.”

        And THIS is why I always think of you first when the subject of upraised middle fingers (or shocked faces) comes up. So you can stop being jealous of Orvan now. 😉

  16. Not sure what he means by ‘solitary,’ either– because Jesus did say new stuff, but He did have his followers around Him for it, ditto the two ancient philosopher/teachers/storytellers. Which the author recognizes a few sentences later.

    The idea is frequently formatted by one person, yes, but they win folks over– if they were solitary, then the idea would die with them.

    Since my reaction to “visionary” is to start humming an Eminem song, I may not be a good source at the moment….. (It’s visionary! The vision is scary; could start a revolution, polluting the air waves)

    1. It is possible that you are being too literal. In colloquial usage “Solitary” can also mean someone who just isn’t a social butterfly.

      By many people’s standards much of this blog’s population would count as “solitary”.

      1. Most of the really good ideas come from interacting with others, though.

        Which is exactly why sites like this are total crack to those who aren’t social butterflies– we get the meat of exchanging ideas, with limited amounts of the social stuff that is so tiring.

          1. Man is a social ape.

            reeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, it ought not to be so because $REASONS, therefore it shall not be so regardless of consequences!

        1. >> “Which is exactly why sites like this are total crack to those who aren’t social butterflies”

          Does that make Sarah a metaphorical crack dealer? This could be a solution to her money problems – let newcomers comment for free for a few months and then require a paid account. “First hit’s free, kid!” 😉

          But on the subject of “sites like these,” are there any others you’d recommend?

          1. All depends on what your mental hungers are– besides various blogs of folks who comment here, like TXRed’s history and landscape posts, Riders of Skath’s Frazetta Fridays, or CrossoverQueen’s series on world-building, there’s the American Catholic (politics and culture), and roger-pearse dot com for some of that “it’s now so easy to do research” stuff, I’ve linked him before when Mithras came up. (He recently did an article on umlauts that’s a hoot.)

            1. *Thumbs up*

              Speaking of – Worldbuilding rough draft is now hammered into where I think everything should go, and did the first fine-scale run of edits. You know, catch embarrassing typos you somehow missed the past 6 times you read the same text….

              Now I’m fighting imposter syndrome. “Surely no one would want to read all this lumped together!”

              *Rueful G* I think I’ll have it out about the middle of next month? Going to take some time to do at least one more edit run, and then try to format everything right. I do have a back cover blurb roughed, but need another sentence or two to end off the epilogue!

              1. Surely no one would want to read all this lumped together!

                If people will read Fifty Shades, Twilight and some of the other dreck out there, why not your work? Why beat yourself up when so many others are willing to do it at no charge?

                  1. [groan]

                    Anybody know if they make carp big enough to bludgeon a minotaur to death with?

                    1. Six door down the third corridor. The one that looks like a single fish scale. Remember you have to bring the minotaur to the carp on account of its size.

                      Also remember that if you get any of the water in the corridor, the aardvark will make you clean it up.

                      It may not be worth it.

      2. … someone who just isn’t a social butterfly.

        I am not a social butterfly, I am a social wallaby.

        I don’t even talk to myself.

        1. Now you’re just tempting me to sneak up behind you with a funny butterfly hat, slap it down around your wallaby ears, and run away cackling with glee. Mua-hah-hah-HAH!

  17. Thinking about it I guess I went Galt over 25 years ago. My last, gainfully employed, job was working for Big Oil on the North Slope.

    Speaking of RIFs (Reductions in force) I went through 3 or 4 on the Slope before deciding to cash out.

    The first one had an interesting cap on it. The guy the company chose to tick off the names of those who had to go, pass the news along to them and assure they were escorted to the plane, manfully finished the dirty job with a sigh of relief. A sigh of relief only to find the company felt his services were no longer needed and he was required to clear his desk and his room and board the plane with the other excess personnel.

  18. … as far as a sane country descending howling into authoritarian madness, Germany in the 20th century is the closest parallel.

    While less well-versed than I would like to be on the French circa 1770 – 1815, it seems a comparable parallel. Not a very heartening one, especially given the subsequent stability of that people, but a comparable one.

    1. France has an interesting set of problems, similar but different to what the US has now. Fundamentally, they had an aristocracy that retained the rights but not the obligations of the feudal aristocracy, and had developed a completely separate, and equally autocratic shadow government that actually ran things.

      In many ways, the French ‘Revolution’ was that shadow government throwing off the remnants of the old regime.

      de Toqueville wrote his other great book on it. It’s a bit nightmare fuel, actually.

      1. As far as the US (and other countries today), note how the same people who spend so much time disparaging religion (except the one that is more equal than others) are the same people who proclaim what is essentially the divine right of “experts” to rule over society.

  19. And they created more obvious and in your face damage, in the removal from our midst of probably six million people (or more) and all they could have done and created.

    Best estimates of the Nazi extermination camps is twelve million culled, as they were not especially finicky about who they sent. Gays, certainly, although there were probably not there in significant quantity, gypsies, probably amounting to a million or two, and several million random Poles, Slavs, Balts and others.

    Oft overlooked in the toll of WWII victims are the tremendous numbers of DPs, Displaced Persons, dislocated and disrupted families whose home villages had been destroyed and who had gotten shunted about the continent for several years — too many of them shamefully sent to live behind the Iron Curtain where the West could forget about them.

      1. Six million refers to the number of Jews killed, and that’s what most are taught.

        1. I always worry I’ll sound like a Holocaust denier when I point out that for every Jew killed by the Nazis, they killed a gentile civilian as well, in addition to all the military casualties.

          1. Tons. I know. Basically anyone who stuck out.
            I had an Ukranian friend both of whose parents had been in concentration camps with forced often killing labor, and then fell in Russian hands, before somehow escaping to the UK.
            And I think John Paul II spent sometime in a labor camp.

            1. Stepdad was Ukrainian, captured by the Germans and sent to work as slave labor in Czechowhatever. The farmer was told not to feed the workers, but he still had a soul, so Stepdad lived. He got to the US as a refugee, because going back to the Ukraine was a death sentence.

          2. My grandparents coming from Baltic Jewry I reckon I had some relatives who got baked, but saying Twelve Million butchered does not lessen the evil of six million being Jews, it enhances the corruptness of the Nazis. The fact they didn’t stick to just the Jews does not make it somehow wronger.

            There’s no point in getting into arguments over who suffered worse, nor comparing disparate impacts. This was evil, as were the Holodomor, the Armenian genocide, Mao’s Great Leap nor Cambodia’s Killing Fields.

            Not even Vlad Tepes was so excessive in pointless slaying of people.

            1. Vlad Tepes killed criminals, and his country’s enemies. Downright enlightened, for his time.

              1. “Not even Vlad Tepes was so excessive in pointless slaying of people.”

                Vlad Tepes… pointed slaying… You might say he only had a big point with his executions, yes?

                1. You might say he only had a big point with his executions,

                  He certainly had a stake in them being properly done, yes.

    1. Twelve million is the rough figure that I have read in various histories – half of that Jews, the rest various Roma, Slavic, and other undesirables, to include gays, mentally-handicapped and political enemies.

    2. Imagine you’re a Free Pole, fighting against the Nazis in Italy. And then news about the agreement to put Poland on the Soviet side of the demarcation line reaches you.

      The Poles weren’t happy, to put it mildly.

    3. Also overlooked are the Soviet PWs who upon repatriation were thrown in the Gulag due to their letting themselves be captured and subsequent forced war work, and then worked to death by their own government. The official released records show hundreds of thousands of returned Red Army PWs being sent to the gulag, but that’s okay because Zhukov got 253 who had somehow survived released on time served in 1956.

      And of course, this does not include the ~1 million plus German military PWs (and an unknown number of German civilian captives taken by the Red Army) killed in the USSR during their post-war captivity.

      Estimates of total deaths from WWII are more than 85 million people.

      1. I saw an article on Mad Mike’s Facebook a while back about some Soviet troops who worked with the SAS. The SAS were told to load them onto the train and send them home, so they did. Of course, the orders said absolutely nothing about making sure the door on the other side of the car unlocked after they loaded them…

  20. [The American people] voted for Trump in such massive numbers in 2020 that the left were forced to fraud openly and in your face.

    Not only “openly and in your face” but requiring their playing the “Who you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes” card afterward.

    1. And now there’s the guy trying to blackmail every US business into claiming that the 2020 election was as pure as the driven snow. Yeah, like in Gary, Indiana circa 1955, downwind of the steel mills and the refineries. it was red.

  21. … completely out there cargo cult insane.

    I feel compelled to rise in defense of the actual cargo cultists, whose limited knowledge led them to erroneous but not insane conclusions. From their perspective their explanation for arrival of goods made sense. That they lacked access to greater knowledge of the means of creation of wealth is what distinguishes them from our modern Left.

    1. The modern left seems equally ignorant of the sources of wealth, as they are so eagerly destroying them.

      1. Worse than ignorant. They know many things about the sources of wealth that aren’t so.

  22. … though not mentioned, I expect China is already being pinched hard enough to squeal.

    Although I cannot recall where, else I would provide citations, I have seen reports of “problems” with food supplies in China and predictions that Winnie is racing against a five-year plan that results in societal collapse.

    Actual time frames are always susceptible to stretching and shrinkage, and unforeseen events (e.g., massive deadly flu outbreak) can alter the timeline. In support of the thesis I observe China’s unwilling negotiations with Trump over importing American food, China’s naval build-up and threatening of Taiwan, the Philippines, Japan, India, and other adjacent nations.

    It might (might) even explain heavy-handed intervention in America’s 2020 elections. There was considerable “dark” money invested and Leftish accusations of right-wing dark money is likely the usual pot denouncing the kettle’s darkness.

  23. … Look, you can’t drive across several states without seeing that with the unequal enforcement,

    See: Texas, and Florida, where people are not dying in the streets, nor are hospitals filling up.

    CONTRARY to predictions.

    1. Ah – here ’tis:

      Still Waiting for the Maskless Texan Apocalypse

      … The day before the mask mandate ended, March 9, Texas had 5,119 new cases of COVID-19, and the seven-day average for new cases was 3,971. On that day, the state had 126,404 active cases of COVID-19. As of March 9, the seven-day average for new deaths was 104.

      As of yesterday, the seven-day average for new cases in the state of Texas is 3,010. As of yesterday, Texas had 109,197 active cases of COVID-19, and the seven-day average for new deaths in the state of Texas is 114.


      Meanwhile, the state of Colorado is relaxing its mask mandate starting April 4, lifting mask requirements “in Level Green counties for everyone except for students 11 to 18 years old through the end of the school year. Private businesses and local governments still could issue their own mask mandates. For Levels Blue, Yellow, Orange and Red, the mask mandate would remain in place for that same group of students and for any indoor public places with 10 or more people present.”

      We’ll see if President Biden denounces Colorado’s Democratic governor, Jared Polis, for so-called “Neanderthal thinking.”

      [Emphasis added.]

      1. I’ll point out that in CO the only counties that are “green” are those that have almost no people. Two of them.
        I’ll also point out it’s time we tell Polis to stop modeling his Hugo Boss uniform.

        1. I’m fine with Polis modeling his Hugo Boss uniform. “Male model” might be the right career for him. Certainly he has an intelligence that would not be out of place in the movie Zoolander.

  24. … you needed to pay reporters to get the facts on the ground,

    Whereas nowadays you need only pay reporters to fit acknowledged facts into Teh Narrative.

    See anti-Asian-American hatred, mostly practiced by Ivy League universities and African-American demagogues.

    The media’s new truth
    By Andrew Sullivan
    The massacres at three massage parlors in the Atlanta area this week, leaving eight human beings dead, others injured, and their families scarred, were horrifying. Read the deeply moving story about the son of one of the women killed to remind yourself of this. It’s brutal. The grief will spread and resonate some more.

    But this story has also been deeply instructive about our national discourse and the state of the American mainstream and elite media. This story’s coverage is proof, it seems to me, that American journalists have officially abandoned the habit of attempting any kind of “objectivity” in reporting these stories. We are now in the enlightened social justice world of “moral clarity” and “narrative-shaping.”


    … Well, you know what’s coming. Accompanying one original piece on the known facts, the NYT ran nine — nine! — separate stories about the incident as part of the narrative that this was an anti-Asian hate crime, fueled by white supremacy and/or misogyny.

    Not to be outdone, the WaPo ran 16 separate stories on the incident as an anti-Asian white supremacist hate crime. Sixteen! One story for the facts; sixteen stories on how critical race theory would interpret the event regardless of the facts.

    1. It’s purely amazing, from the view of an amateur historian. The American establishment media are doing of their own free will what the Soviet Russian media establishment did out of fear of the gulag and a bullet to the base of the head in a Cheka HQ basement somewhere.

      1. Thing is, these worthless cargo cultists may already be in “clap harder for Stalin” mode.

        You and I understand that there is a bit of work to be done before the shiny new cheka lasts longer than a drop of water on a hot griddle. And that the griddle is slowly warming.

        But the opposition’s missteps show a clear pattern of assuming everything was in the bags. Their media disinformation op has no reason to be immune to that mistake.

        They’ve been playing an emotionally manipulative game with covid. They, personally, could be entirely screwed up enough to both a) want the new tyrannical regime b) fear it.

      2. C. S Lewis understood this. From Screwtape Proposes a Toast – “You remember how one of the Greek Dictators (they called them “tyrants” then) sent an envoy to another Dictator to ask his advice about the principles of government. The second Dictator led the envoy into a field of grain, and there he snicked off with his cane the top of every stalk that rose an inch or so above the general level. The moral was plain. Allow no preeminence among your subjects. Let no man live who is wiser or better or more famous or even handsomer than the mass. Cut them all down to a level: all slaves, all ciphers, all nobodies. All equals. Thus Tyrants could practise, in a sense, “de-mocracy.” But now “democracy” can do the same work without any tyranny other than her own. No one need now go through the field with a cane. The little stalks will now of themselves bite the tops off the big ones. The big ones are beginning to bite off their own in their desire to Be Like Stalks.”

  25. They’re no more permanent than IBM’s vaunting supremacy.

    They’re no more permanent than AOL’s vaunting supremacy.

    FTFY – IBM’s lasted longer and had a better foundation.

    1. The biggest lessons I took from IBM fiascos in the last century was that greedily trying to own 100% of market share in an explosively growing market will blow up in your face (the IBM PC clone wars) and that Thou Shalt Not Let Thy Competitor Control the Platform (the OS/2 Warp 3.x disaster). These basic lessons have been amplified by similar cautionary tales from other companies, high technology and otherwise.

      To this day, notwithstanding past failures, IBM remains a very interesting company with disparate business and development activities. O_O

  26. Did you know there’s an ad campaign out there with a slogan like, “You Deserve some Denver? ” Lots of phoos of open space, one dark (and frankly creepy) photo of a museum with masked people, well-lit photos of masked, probably smiling young ppeople, and so on. It turns up in game ad slots.

      1. The Amtrak commercial. Open skies and landscapes… And masked people sitting alone in seats. (Not totally bad, as that goes against the smaller seats. But days of wearing a mask, only alleviated by getting a solitary sleeping room at night? Nooooo.)

        The one for visiting DC is so ridiculous that even normies and Karens laugh.

  27. All that free stuff. I remember in the early 80s when my generation was told that there wouldn’t be enough Social Security to cover us. So we were told that first. If they can’t cover me who is 59 and on dialysis, I do not see how they can cover the people who slip over the border. Lies. Lies. Damn lies. and statistics.

  28. I was yelled at for not wearing a mask today by a Mr. Karen in the dollar store.

    I yelled right back. “The masks are a lie. They were always a lie. After being lied to for a YEAR, why do you still believe? What’s WRONG with you?”

    “You have to wear a mask, it’s The Law!”

    “Bullshit, it’s a DECREE by the governor. It’s unconstitutional. This country is not ruled by decree.”

    And so on.

    What I didn’t think of in time, but will remember:

    “Last time I checked, this was a free country. It’s neither communist Russia, nor Nazi Germany, although the Democrats are doing their worst to change that.”

    1. I think I’m going to shorten your last sentence to the Mr/Ms Karen’s to “Nazi/Comrade go home to the Reich/Russia!” I’m tired of being masked.

  29. In 1965 we drove to Leningrad and Moscow in a VW van, camping along the way. Whenever we stopped in a sheltered place a cloud of customers would appear out of nowhere. “I buy all.” Stocking up on chewing gum in Stockholm, $1 became 5 rubles (4x the “legal” exchange rate). I sold most everything I had, including the Beatle boots I was wearing. (I got the buyers’ shoes as part of the deal.)

    6oz glasses of vodka were on sale in the streets for 1R. Lots of drunks. Passers by kept their heads down; no public visiting. Huge lines for bread, Nasty potato beer. Cold and dreary. But the Russians survived.

    In 2007 Lithuania some of my young friends’ grandparents missed the communists! “Everyone had an apartment, a job, and food.” They still hate the Russians. The president then had lived in America. The government/upper class was primarily composed of ex communist strongmen who just appropriated the infrastructure after the Russians left. The streets are reminiscent of the old USSR. Lots of drunks. Many businesses are like the restaurant scene in Everything is Illuminated. It’s like a third world country.

    Vietnam in 2009-11 was the most free country I have ever lived in. It’s run by 2 gangs — the communists and the viet mafia. But they pretty much leave ordinary people alone! The “regulations” are easily avoided by paying the right handlers. The rulers make their money from the booming international manufacturing and business sector. The population is a huge matriarchal family (“tribe”) — 40% have the same last name. Only first names with a status title are used. They are the friendliest people I have ever met.

    1. From what I’ve heard, how free Vietnam is depends to a large degree on which side of the country you’re in. The South might have lost the war, but the US left its touch on the culture there in contrast with the North. Ho Chi Minh City is reportedly much more open to free market attitudes than Hanoi.

      1. After reunification the North colonized the South. I never got further north than the DMV. I visited several truly Southern towns, and lived in another one (Vung Tau) where most of the population had relocated there from the North. Knowing lots of people in 3 years, except for their accent, as a foreigner I couldn’t distinguish people’s origins. They are all extremely “Vietnamese!” I did meet some solid “freemarketers.” They were refugees returned from the US, who played a huge role in economic renewal there.

  30. The whole current situation reminds me of a Retief story. The elites present a “reality” that has no sway outside their narrow worldview. Try going to a biker bar and saying some of this shit.

  31. I raise this question here because I know no better place for the inquiry; all this natter about the “racist roots” f the filibuster has prompted me to wonder about the origins of the Senatorial “Blue Slip” by which home state senators block appointment of federal judges. Doesn’t it seem that began as a way for Southern states to prevent appointment of Yankee judges who might disrespect their peculiar traditions?

    If the filibuster is racist so, too, it seems, would be Blue Slips. Can’t shed one but not both.

  32. “But the ravens crying “nevermore” and “We’re going down forever” aren’t helping.
    They might not be on the other side, but they functionally are.”

    This is the Bill Kristol Conservatives, the weak sisters who say “all is losssst!” like frickin’ Gollum. They’ve been screaming it since Regan was in office. F- ’em. They’re morons. They are, in fact, the other side of the same “people are stupid” coin that the Left is made of.

    So yes, in a culture war you move the CULTURE, and screwing around trying to save corrupt institutions does not move the culture.

    For example, WorldCon. They can’t even get a hotel this year in NYC. They are shedding volunteers like a sinking ship sheds rats.

    Does anyone still take WorldCon seriously? Yes! Communist China does. They would very much like to have WorldCon in Chengdu, the same city in which the USA closed their embassy in western China, kicked out by Beijing. Coincidence? Hmmm…

    Saudi Arabia also takes WorldCon seriously. They would very much like to host WorldCon as well, and for the same reasons. Which have nothing to do with science fiction, or fandom, or anything else WorldCon was founded to promote or stand for.

    When they come up to you wearing the stinking, rotting skin and demanding respect, you point and laugh.

    What to do instead? Make up your own characters. Think up your own philosophy. Write your own book.

    One of my characters is a fat, unpleasant middle aged woman from Texas who works as a security guard for the FAA and bullies anybody she can. That’s how she starts out. Then some things happen that require her to rise to the occasion, and she does. As things keep getting crazier and more dangerous, she just keeps on rising to the occasion.

    That’s the type of thing that moves the culture. That’s why you never read anything like that
    from Dead Tree Publishing anymore. They hate that stuff. They want the sneering nihilist who does sh1tty grubby things because Everybody Does It.

    Why should we play along with their game? They are assholes, and their game sucks. We should do what -we- want to do.

    1. For example, WorldCon. They can’t even get a hotel this year in NYC. They are shedding volunteers like a sinking ship sheds rats.

      Only in this case the rats have taken over the ship and everybody sane is jumping off.

      1. I’m waiting patiently to see if the Chicoms can buy them this year at the “business meeting”. Wonder how many Puppy Kickers take the red pill after that?

        Meanwhile, as you say, any contributing SMOF with a functioning brain and an ounce of self-respect is ditching their volunteerism. Who the hell would carry on in the eye-wateringly Woke(TM) environment now in force?

  33. The Left is a party of Karens, and nobody likes Karens. They’ve become the self righteous, sour faced, hypocritical moral busybody villains from an 80’s teen comedy. They’re the ones with the absolutely vast fields of fattened sacred cows. They’re the old and stale establishment.

    In short, they are perfect mockery fodder, and they are getting mocked. And because they are so absolutely self righteous and self important, it honestly sells the joke even better. That they are stupid enough to try and quash it is even better.

    Right now, we’re at the Terry Southern/ Lenny Bruce state of our comedic insurgency against the Left- subversive and dangerous- which makes things that much more attractive.

  34. Highly relevant YouTube video from today:

    On a different front, I gave serious consideration over the weekend to starting a new APA about storytelling in any form: games, fiction, film, TV, radio, theater, any form.

    And I wanted to call it Talking Stick just to appropriate culture.

    Would there be any interest among the Huns for an old-school APA like that?

      1. An amateur press association is a way to distribute zines. Members produce their individual zines and send a set number of copies to a central mailer who collates them along with some front matter. The collated copies are then distributed to all the members.

        A common part of most zines is “mailing comments” where you make remarks on prior zines and even prior mailing comments. Mailing comments were the source of a lot of appreviations and phrases we use today online, having cone over via Usenet.

        Alarums & Excursions, the oldest D&D APA now does pdf distribution as well as print. It also allows non-members to buy issues. I’m open to electronic submissions and non-member issues, but would like to focus on physical distribution.

        I think the closed nature and slower pace allow for better discussion. It also helps prevent trolling.

        The okay if short wiki article

          1. APA was the tool of the hard-core fans back in the Forties & Fifties, when the people attending World-Con could be reasonably assured of having read more than ninety percent of mainstream published SF and a good bit of the other stuff. It probably tapered off once Compuserve and AOL manifested. I never got onto any of the mailing lists myself, coming to fandom around 1969 or so, so I’ve no idea who you had to kill to get on them.

            Of course, reading ninety percent of mainstream published SF was a good deal easier back when it mostly just meant you read Astounding, F&SF and perhaps one or two other pulps.

  35. They’re no more permanent than IBM’s vaunting supremacy.

    Arguably less permanent. IBM understood its business; it just didn’t allow itself to change with the business.

    Most of the tech giants don’t understand what business they are in. Amazon seems to be the one that understands the best. It is in the logistics business. It got big by getting the old Sears catalog to mate with the web and got that offspring to mate with FedEx. Even AWS represents a logistics view (or a repeat of the IBM idea of renting you the computer and charging you for service).

    Apple kinda understands their business. They did under Jobs, but Tim Cook and his “not censoring bad people is a sin” method of managing his gated community. I know at least one person ready to move to the Apple ecosystem wholesale, with cash on hand, who was stopped by that one speech.

    I won’t even reconsider it until he’s gone for five years.

    Google and Facebook don’t even seem to know. In the case of Google’s unit YouTube, it misunderstands, thinking it is Comcast et al. without realizing why it grew, I could get stuff there, mostly by independent creators, I couldn’t get on cable. Every year it pushes cable stalwarts from CNN to ESPN over their own independent creators.

  36. Sorry for going off topic, but I think I have a chance to wake up a lefty in my family if I strike while the iron is hot. I want to crowdsource something.

    My mother is one of those who only trusts sources like CNN, and when I’ve tried to point out what they’re not telling her she immediately cut me off and dismiss it as “bullshit” or “right-wing conspiracy theories.” But thanks to Governor Cuomo I think I just managed to get a foot in the door. When she was screaming at me last year for not wearing a mask everywhere and going on about all the people who supposedly died from COVID, I tried to tell her about Cuomo forcing known COVID patients into the nursing homes and got shut down as usual. But now that even CNN is reporting it I was able to show her the advisory order and convince her it actually happened. Thanks to the fact that I knew about it a year ago while she had never heard of it I even got an apology from her for assuming that the people I read are all just loony conspiracy theorists.

    The other thing we argued about in that conversation was the election; not only does she believe Biden won fair and square, but she doesn’t think there’s any credible evidence of fraud at all. If I can convince her that there is strong evidence and that, once again, CNN et al kept it hidden from her it might be enough. I sensed an opportunity and offered to send her some links, and that’s where I need your help.

    I don’t want to give her an exhaustive list and make her eyes glaze over; I want to stick to a few strong pieces of evidence. And I don’t even need ironclad proof that Trump won, just enough to show that he deserves his day in court and make the SCOTUS look bad for ducking the case (and make CNN look bad for not reporting the evidence). But – here’s the catch – I can’t use anything she can easily dismiss as right-wing conspiracy talk. No bloggers/Youtubers that she’s never heard of, and CERTAINLY no Alex Jones or Q-Anon. I need stuff like government records, clear video evidence and so on.

    So I’m asking for a few strong, clear pieces of evidence from sources that she can’t just casually blow off. What do you guys recommend?

    1. You will have to look them up yourself, in order to cherry pick the optimal sources, but IIRC Federal judges have ruled that Michigan and Virginia illegally changed their election rules. J. Christian Adams is an election lawyer who served in the Voting Rights Section at the U.S. Department of Justice, has had some recent PJM columns that might be sourced to something she will accept:

      Who Actually Broke the Law Regarding the Trump-Georgia Election Phone Call?
      New Data Show 92,367 Mail Ballots in Nevada Went to Wrong Addresses—in a Single County

      A quick check turns up this from March 17th: Judge Rules Michigan Secretary Of State Violated State Law With Absentee Ballot Order (The Federalist, so find a better source)

        1. “To point out that it will play straight into the right’s class-based grievance-fantasies requires only a little more sophistication.”

          Yes, folks, the bad thing about tyranny is that it causes us to believe that tyranny is real when it’s obviously not. . . .

          1. Speaking of you not digging stuff up…

            You said recently that about 2/3rds of the country thinks there was election fraud, and you didn’t respond when I asked for your source. If that’s an actual poll number I’d like to know where it came from as it may be useful to point it out to my mother. The highest number I recall seeing was 47% from a Rasmussen poll.

            1. I believe that number comes from Rasmussen polling:

              That 47% figure was, IIRC, the percentage of Democrats expressing doubts to the polling.

              I don’t know how much of their archive is available, but enough sites cited their poll that you ought be able to search it out. Likely your mum won’t accept Rasmussen as a reliable source, so be prepared to look for other sources.

        1. It’s interesting that if you type ‘fuckery is afoot’ into DuckDuckGo, Larry’s November 5 post is the first result. Type the same words into Google, and it’s buried in the second or third page.

          Maybe somebody else can think of the perfectly innocent explanation I have somehow missed?

          1. Chinese programmers trained the google algorithm using the ‘approved by the state media censors’ Chinese language website data harvesting?

          2. Huh. I just looked and tried a few search engines (ddg, bing, ecosia, goog) and all but Google had the MHI post first. But Google did it have second. Not saying you’re wrong nor even mistaken, but something is… off.

    2. Can you find the _Time Magazine_ Article about the election that laid out the fraud and funny-business? It was in an issue from last month, if I recall correctly.

      1. Based on what I’ve heard, that Time article never discusses actual election fraud. It purely sticks to how the news media and social media sites cooperated to suppress anythig that might help Trump and/or hurt Biden.

      2. Oh nonsense, they “fortified” the election so it must be okay! (Wow, I can see the insides of my eyesockets and still type. Multitasking!) 😉

    3. Wikipedia confirms that Bradford Jay Raffensperger is/was the Georgia Secretary of State in question.

      Do an engineers/land surveyors search for Raffensperger. Has two results, for Bradford J Raffensperger. Civil Engineer and Structural Engineer.

      Bradford Raffensperger’s Structural Engineering PE license was issued on the basis of affadavit on 1/12/2021.

      He is also licensed in Civil as a Professional Engineer, from 7/17/1984, renewed on 12/14/2020 with an expiration date of 12/30/2021. With no other documents or public board orders listed.

      Look at 2., Engineers shall perform services only in the areas of their competence, and 3. Engineers shall issue public statements only in an objective and truthful manner.

      The security of an electronic voting system falls under the area of competence of an electrical engineer. He is not licensed as an EE in Georgia, where he made his public statements about the security of the electronic voting system. Nor does he appear to have fully disclosed conflicts of interest. He also does not appear to have an EE degree, per wikipedia, when I check some weeks back. It mentioned only a bachelors in civil, and not one so recent that exposure to computing would be routine and mandatory.

      He has been a professional engineer (PE), for over 35 years. Either he knows better than to make the sort of statement he did, or that professional career is littered with verifiable lapses made in ignorance.

      Anyway, since he has an active license, he is subject to being disciplined by a board.

      1. My error, I was a little bit interrupted/hurried. I’m pretty sure I miswrote the civil expiration date as 12/30/2021 when it was 12/30/2022.

        Basically, maintaining a PE license often has a continuing education requirement. Every two or three years, you have to show a certain number of credit hours to keep the thing active in good standing.

        Practical engineering knowledge can get outdated. Relevant bit here for an active EE is the tech for making multilayer boards, and how many contractors are available to do the work. China has/had a lot of companies able to do the work.

        Civil would definitely need to keep up with changes in codes and standards, and I don’t really have a good feel for structural engineers.

        Civil engineers learn techniques very different from what electrical engineers learn. Of what mechanical, electrical and chemical engineers learn, civil is closest to mechanical. Civil engineers learn a bunch of things about concrete and stuff that mechanical engineers can be pretty clueless about. The overlap between civil engineering and mechanical engineering includes structural engineering.

    4. The Time article on the election, that admits just about everything. National, recognized, been around for ever, Trusted (well by people like her). This sets the stage for the other things to show exactly HOW it was done. Time already said IT WAS DONE.

    5. You should be able to find videos of nonsense that went on at polling places, like the ballots pulled from underneath the tables, shutting observers out, ballot handling chicanery, truck driver reporting driving thousands of ballots from NY to GA, etc.
      You could also gift her a My Pillow, then have Mike Lindell call her.

  37. “how a Renaissance and Enlightenment can emerge from the tribalism and mysticism of the Dark Ages”

    How the West Won by Rodney Stark. Worth a read if you like history. He makes a pretty compelling argument that the Dark Ages was a myth, that the only difference between the Roman Empire, the Dark Ages, and the Renaissance was that people had more freedom to innovate once the Roman’s weren’t doing all the work with slaves, leading to an increase in productivity, and that people stopped writing stuff down once it wasn’t necessary for the central government to keep track for purposed of taxation.

    1. Something dark happened: There was some massive population decline and people fled the cities into the countryside. Writing, literature, and invention took a nosedive. Sure we’re generalizing when we talk in general about a span of 500ish years across an entire continent, but I don’t see what the point is in whitewashing the dark ages. Late Rome was an outrageous tyranny that had beaten its own people into slavery, but what followed was a world of peasants and masters, sans writing, communication, trade, and industry, in many places across most of the span.

        1. For the average human being, things got massively worse. And yes, people were more ignorant and less able to communicate.
          Don’t call it dark years. Call it dumb year, if you wish. But it was what it was.

          1. And there was a hell of a lot of knowledge lost between the Roman Empire and later periods.
            How to make concrete, for instance, is kind of a basic, but a biggie. Losing the knowledge of something so essential not the sign of a healthy time period.

            1. Part of why concrete was lost was because they didn’t know how they were making it. They knew what to do, but not why.
              And why would someone remember what to do when you can’t get the materials anymore?
              Then you finally can get the materials…and it doesn’t work.
              Because you’ve got some assumption that doesn’t match what they actually did, but didn’t write down because they didn’t know it was important.

              Kind of like that bunch of scientists who kept trying to make an ointment from an old recipe book, and kept getting black sludge.
              Then someone went “wait, didn’t they use copper pots? Not glassware?”

              1. I experienced this early in my engineering career. I got tossed into trying to figure out why a microwave widget (technically a dual polarized feed horn for a dish antenna, i.e. widget) that we had a spares order for wouldn’t pass spec. We had one old one from the 50s (this was 1979) that was as close to perfect as an RF device can be. I couldn’t tell the difference between the ones the operator were building and the good one. I started asking around the graybeards and couldn’t find anyone who knew anything until one of them told me the name of a retired operator who had worked on them. I called him up and he was happy to come in and show the current operators the ‘tricks’ involved in building them. With that help, we got the shipment out the door but it is worth noting that we didn’t build one anywhere near as good as the old sample.

                1. Ran into this was code. Took serial interfacing code, PC side. Same development tool. Same code that made the connection and grabbed the file. The *change made was what happened to the file that was retrieved and saved. It was the negotiating the connection that failed, when it failed, that code wasn’t changed. Naturally the original developer was not available for advice. Worked fine for me, every time. End users it was a tossup. Won’t discuss what happened when transfers were serial to USB; that never worked. Never so glad to get away from serial transfers to USB on PC and device both.

                  * Old method. File transferred to PC used same name every time. If user didn’t rename it or move it, file got appended to. If file had been imported already, but not cleared, then data was duplicated. Or append failed because file was locked, or … Change renamed the file to date and time retrieved. If by chance filename existed, then it incremented file number. No chance of data duplication.

                  When transfers, serial or USB, worked the support calls dropped to nothing.

              2. Fox, seriously.
                I’ve visited ruins of cities, in which the later walls look like they were built earlier and possibly by monkeys.
                A TON was lost. For one in Europe, they were invaded. People got killed. Knowledge was lost.

                1. The problem is that is a far cry from the ‘how a Renaissance and Enlightenment can emerge from the tribalism and mysticism of the Dark Ages‘ myth that folks are objecting to.

                  The supply chain fell when Bad Weather hit hard enough to crash the gotta-expand-to-survive empire fell, they rebuilt it enough to get that stuff back from the records that those ‘mystics’ had held on to Because, while civilizing half the tribes that helped trip it, and the folks who did the rebuilding are evil because…what, they didn’t have the fruits of the work that hadn’t been done yet?
                  They went and created alternatives that were no-longer available with materials on hand?
                  How is that any different from the usual complaint about the past not taking advantage of modern equipment, even if they were in the middle of developing that very equipment?

                  We have war-castles from the 800s still standing, so we know that they were able to build. That cathedral Charlemaine built is from then, too.

                  As you’ve frequently pointed out, your area had a big influx of standards from the Middle East, and almost everybody who comes back from there today has a story about how they put their hand on a stone wall and their hand went through, because it was just that cruddy of a building job. (Theory is it has to do with not being sure if you’ll be inside of it tomorrow if you do too good of a job– Someone Bigger will come and take away anthing you make TOO nice.)

                  Plus, sometimes folks just build really cruddy walls.

        1. But Crusader Kings II tells us that there were much more possibilities for upward mobility for minor nobility than during other periods. World conquest type video games cannot possibly be an unreliable guide to actual history. 😛

          1. <rolls eyes.
            In general I'm really really really leery of revisionist history. You know "the enlightened vikings" nonsense.
            BUT in Europe? Holy shit. I know what the middle ages were like. Trying to make them this amazing time of invention and improvement is borderline insane and discredits the whole thing.
            Sure, things were invented. They moved VERY slowly through vast areas though. And they were things like better plows and mills.
            improvements, but not amazing ones.
            Without the black plague triggering a whole lot of structure-breakdown, we'd all still be living in shit.

            1. Trying to make them this amazing time of invention and improvement

              I haven’t heard people try to take it that far, only the idea that it wasn’t 100% disaster in all possible ways.

              1. Ah. That book the guy referenced….
                Sure it wasn’t 100% disaster, but it hadn’t broken, we’d be… China. That’s where human civilizations head, apparently.

            2. Without the black plague triggering a whole lot of structure-breakdown, we’d all still be living in shit.

              I had thought of raising that point but didn’t want to do the typing required.

              Once man power became in short supply sticking to the “Tried ‘N’ True” was merely a slow way to die.

              Also, there is an argument that the abundance of rags left by the plague made printing much more viable. Check Connections, Season 1, episode 4 “Faith in Numbers” (IIRC).

          2. And CK3 tells us that an aristocracy that adopted a religion with enforced nudity (yes, you can do this) wouldn’t quickly die out as it’s adherents all quickly caught chills and died.


            1. I had actually forgotten that CKIII was out.

              I’ve never actually played any of the paradox games.

        2. When I was…scratching my itch regarding the history of medieval Europe, the “Dark Ages” generally referred to the time from the fall of the Western Roman Empire to the Carolingian Renaissance. Charlemagne’s reign, unifying most of Central and Northern (at least non-Scandinavian northern) Europe, marked the beginning of rebuilding that eventually lead to the Renaissance. That it fell apart once Louis the Pious (Charlemagne’s sole surviving legitimate son and heir) split the empire between is sons, did not completely undo the progress made.

          At least, that was what I gathered from my reading at the time.

          1. That is exactly what Stark is pushing back against. I get all the “revisionist” and “trying to make a name” arguments and don’t discount them. But it is a well sourced book and does make good points about the ongoing craze for “any time there was a strong central government things were good and any time there wasn’t was a disaster for the human race from which we barely recovered”. Charlemagne, like the Romans, put significant controls on people and took a fair amount of their productivity in taxes, because that’s how you run an empire.

            And “better plows and mills” not being amazing improvements? That is sort of the point. It was only when the Romans finally went away that people were able to look at what they were doing and what they had and say “oh look, here’s a better way that no one has thought of in thousands of years of agriculture”. Better plows and mills revolutionized food production.

            Anyway, I’m not arguing that he is right, but most of what I’m seeing as rebuttal is “that’s not how it was”. I think it is worth reading alternative viewpoints and following the evidence provided to see if they make sense. I read a lot of history and many of his arguments make sense to me. Read it or not, just thought I’d bring it up as it is well written, well sourced, and interesting. And sometimes a new theory turns out to be true.

            1. But it is a well sourced book

              If by “well sourced” you mean “cherry picked to present a narrative. By the same token Zinn’s “People’s History” is “well-sourced.” Yes, he has lots of sources, most of which actually say the things he says they say. It’s the careful leaving out of things that provide context that turns it into falsehood.

              Case in point: Cities. You said in another comment that folk fled the cities because they were no longer needed to serve a Roman bureaucracy that no longer existed. That’s horribly underselling the importance of cities (we may be moving away from that now but then is not now) as trade hubs, facilitating long-distance trade, of increasing the “cultural horizon” (at term I got from Sowell, though I expect it’s not original with him), of spreading knowledge and ideas as well as goods. Sowell, in what I consider his “introduction to economics” trifecta (Basic Economics, Applied Economics, and Economic Facts and Fallacies–read these books if you haven’t already; and if you have, then read them again, digest them thoroughly), goes into that in some detail. “Cultural Horizon” and the existence of cities are two of the many reasons why some regions excelled economically and others simply did not. So, the decline of cities and the drastic shrinking of the cultural horizon (not necessarily in total extent, but rather in the narrower pipelines) could not help but shrink the economy.

              In my own case, I did a pretty thorough study of Carolingian Europe and its immediate predecessors. (Part of the motivation was I was writing an RPG set in that mileau–I’d been reading the comic Arak, Son of Thunder and, well, it seemed like an interesting setting for a game. In the end, nothing came of it except, well, my novel The Hordes of Chanakra started from that point but that’s another story.) The changes were truly profound. Europe at the end of Charlemagne’s reign was a vastly different place than it was before, and even that fell short of what it had been under Rome, at least during its height. Little things like repairing and bringing back into use Roman roads (memes about the Via Appia compared to a modern road aside, most Roman Roads do fall into disrepair if not maintained), re-establishing broader and more extensive trade, establishing law that was more than just the local lord’s whim, with systems of sheriffs to enforce it. The changes started under Charlemagne’s father, Pepin the Short, but they went into full steam under Charlemagne.

              1. This. And again, I spent my early years walking through museums where you’d go “The heck, am I going backwards?” because artifacts were cruder, and obviously more fragile.
                And there is a ton less writing. Many prish priests couldn’t even write beyond a few simple sentences and memorized the Mass so they could do it. They actually didn’t know LATIN.
                Why? Because smaller communities couldn’t support the learning. The monastical revolution was partly to support learning in Europe. Without monasteries there would never be a renaissance.
                OTOH those monasteries took a while to spread and were under attack all the time. So….

                1. In addition to trade and cultural exchange that I mentioned above, cities were also centers of learning. Learning is strongly facilitated by having a bunch of people skilled and knowledgeable in a bunch of different areas all in one place. Historically, that has required cities. We may be getting away from that need to a large extent now, thanks to modern communication technology, but said modern communication technology is itself a result of that kind of environment in the first place. And while the fall of the Western Roman Empire didn’t completely end that, it did curtail it to a severe degree.

                  “Not ended completely” means that over the course of a millennium (or the next thing to it) it’s not really that difficult to find enough examples of learning and invention to fill a “well sourced” book if that’s what you’re looking for. (Example: the horse collar, a truly major invention, appears to have come out of the Carolingian Renaissance with the earliest depictions around 800 AD). It was the “Dark Age” not the “Pitch Black Age.”

                  1. I hope we’re not going to have that sort of thing, because for now, the cities are somewhere to flee from judging from my house hunting.
                    And seriously, I’m a city person, happiest in a sea of strangers. So, I hate this.

                  2. Oh, I think some of the things people are reacting to is the MARXIST definition of “Dark Ages” which, duh, like everything else from that side is wrong.
                    BUT that’s not what Robert — or I — were saying.
                    Yes, Marx thought that religion was the opium of the people and the dark ages were dark BECAUSE of religion.
                    That was bullshit.
                    In fact, a lot of saints were part of the renaissance. St. Thomas Moore comes to mind. Francis…. was weird. More of a romantic and back to nature type, even if a saint, which is why a pope naming himself Francis raises my hackles. But to an extent, he was also standing up against well…. patriarchal oppression, economic exploitation, etc. (It’s just that looking for those in OUR time is far more stupid.)
                    A lot of the well written, well reasoned documents that brought about the renaissance were written by believers.
                    And when I talk of most of Europe being a theocracy in the middle ages and that being oppressive, I’m not talking of true faith and learning. I’m talking of the tyranny of the religious Karens, many of them egregiously wrong on doctrine, who flourished in isolated populations and did a lot of harm to both religious and secular learning.
                    And that isolation was the result of technological collapse, (Though knowledge was never completely lost, but often couldn’t be applied in small populations, etc) which resulted in loss of learning. NOT from people being religious as Marx thought.
                    OTOH like all societies under stress, middle ages Europe became conformist, cultist and …. well…. dumb. With exceptions because over 1k years and a land mass like Europe nothing is uniform.
                    And against that a lot of secular people sure, but also a lot of religious people struggled. And not in vain.

      1. People “fled” because there was no reason to be in a city. The cities were designed to house the Roman bureaucracy. Invention didn’t take a nosedive at all, in fact the opposite. If you look at the records available, Europe came OUT of the dark ages with windmills galore, because they came into popular uset after the fall of Rome. Writing and literature, sure, but not necessary. Population decline perhaps, but the people who were around got bigger, which suggests that there wasn’t widespread starvation. Define “sans trade”. To give an example from the book, historical conclusions regarding trade tend to focus on things about which there are records. Shipments of olive oil to northern Europe declined dramatically. Conclusion: dark ages with poverty and famine in the north. Other possible explanation, olive oil was a southern European staple and was exported in great quantities for the Roman occupiers and their hanger-oners. When Rome was gone, the northerners went back to using butter, which they liked better anyway.

        You say “whitewashing” but is it really, if the historical record suggests otherwise? I’m not arguing that he is right, but if you haven’t read the book then suggesting that it is a whitewash is a bit disingenuous. Feel free to read and rebut.

        1. Oh, dear Lord.
          GUYS, unless you walked through the ruins and looked at artifacts and seen the decay in ability to do ANYTHING in the day to day stop, just stop.
          Yeah, Rome was terrible in many ways, but a great deal of ability to do things and cope with real life was gone in the middle ages. Invasions, actual climate change and population loss and plagues account for it. BUT IT HAPPENED.
          And early Christianity, while eventually working itself up to where it pulled the world out of the morass it had fallen in, was…. faltering, weird, and often partook a lot of paganism.
          Having read early medieval stuff, the …. oppressive theocracy comes through LOUD AND CLEAR. Yes, a ton of it was in reaction to Islamic incursions. So? It was still oppressive theocracy.
          So, please stop. Revisionist history, let’s leave it to the left, okay?

    2. Sigh.
      And he was full of shit for most of Europe.
      Sorry, These revisionist histories are “fun” but I LIVED in Europe, where the signs are still on the ground.
      No. Also no.

      1. The way for an “Academic” to achieve fame and recognition is to “prove” that those who went before were oh, so wrong–even if that requires massaging, twisting, ignoring, and outright fabricating the facts on the ground.

      2. I had a chance to live in Germany for a few years, and to travel throughout Europe.

        The Dark Ages left a big fat stain everywhere. They were real.

        1. *eyebrow raise*
          Germany was stained by the ‘dark ages’?

          That’s where missionary saints up into the 800s were working to convert those German tribes that hadn’t immigrated, and getting folks pissed off by defending accused witches (yes, this was a major issue– lynch mobs are not fun), and telling tribal chieftains that no, they couldn’t convert while they were still married to their father’s sister, even if she WAS their favorite wife.

          There’s some room for confusion because of those Germanic tribes that moved into more Roman controlled areas and generally blended in after a generation or so, but area-that’s-Germany-now was in a pretty bad condition for reasons that had nothing to do with the Middle Ages.

          Similarly, when discoveries from post-1000AD are looked at, they’re often found to be popularizations rather than discoveries– it was invented, and known, elsewhere. But they had somebody talking about it and measured from there– basically ‘this is where we have records, even if we haven’t actually looked for earlier records.’ (Similar to how ‘Islam invented the _____’ investigations go.)

          In fairness, as I hammer hard on– checking records was incredibly hard up until very recently. You couldn’t tell if the guy you were reading HAD actually gone to the Vatican Libraries and looked at XYZ book, and if he had he may have written it down wrong.
          Now, those archives are scanned and online.

          And that’s before things like being able to x-ray/MRI/techno-scan a book whose pages are melted together, without opening it, to pick out the letters written on it. Or scan the scraped leather and see what was written on it before it was reused.

            1. Guys — rolls eyes — look, if Suburban isn’t siding with you, you’re way OUT in the left field.
              You’re conflating moral progress with material progress. WTF? Are you Marxists?

  38. Note, my response to DGM has been moderated because of the two links. Georgia licensure look up, and the NSPE code of ethics.

    1. I was pretty happy with my write up expanding on those links.

      The line of argument is a little bit more straightforward, and less reliant on reasoning than showing the PDF of the law school dean letter.

      Would appreciate some feed back when it gets approved.

  39. Something dark happened: There was some massive population decline and people fled the cities into the countryside. Writing, literature, and invention took a nosedive. Sure we’re generalizing when we talk in general about a span of 500ish years across an entire continent, but I don’t see what the point is in whitewashing the dark ages. Late Rome was an outrageous tyranny that had beaten its own people into slavery, but what followed was a world of peasants and masters, sans writing, communication, trade, and industry, in many places across most of the span.

    (WordPress ate previous comment?)

  40. The race superiority I see, at least as it’s presented, is that the left sees whites as the superior race still and that all those melanin enhanced peoples need help. It’s still White Man’s Burden to them. Voter ID is racist because black/brown/Indian people can’t figure out how to get a free non-driver ID if they don’t already have a driver’s license for driving/banking/alcohol & tobacco purchases. Cops are racist for arresting young black men for assaulting other blacks. Schools are racist because white folks (this includes Asians and West Indies immigrants) because blacks/Indians don’t spend time reading to their kids and helping them with their homework. But never fear, white liberals are here to ‘help’ all the poor downtrodden people who tan. Nevermind that the outcomes they purport to advance never actually materialize.

    1. I’ve noticed that as well. Critical Race Theory is basically just Compassionate White Supremacism.

  41. Was gonna C4C, but have an actual comment! Woot!

    Trump went along with it because he is an actual germaphobe. This was probably the one angle they could take where he would buckle immediately.

    1. He seems to have initially thought it was serious, and slowly realized that it wasn’t, but by then figured that executive ordering it away was suicide.

      He correctly estimated that he would have won re-election. Then he issued that executive order that would’ve let him sack Fauci with the start of the new term.

      Then he could bring in different spokesmen, and get people calmed down.

      1. Isn’t it FUN that Fauci was the one who spent US Money to have Bat virus studied and worked on at the Wuhan Lab? Isn’t it GREAT that the US is STILL FUNDING the Wuhan Lab to do research?
        Why isn’t the research being done in the US? Easy, the research and work is ILLEGAL in the US.
        Isn’t Fauci a WOUNDERFULL man? We owe him a great debt. How will we EVER repay it?
        The Cross I think, yes that would be best.

        1. >> “The Cross I think, yes that would be best.”

          Are you suggesting we put one on Fauci or put Fauci on one? 😉

        2. AND THEN appointing Peter Daszak, the conduit for the money, to ‘investigate the origin of COVID19’! Like assigning Al Capone to investigate organized crime in Chicago.

        3. Akshully, the Romans would have used Tarpiean Rock.

          Surely there is an appropriate sheer cliff somewhere in the US?

  42. I would like to reblog this on my website. I pushed the reblog button, nothing happened. So, made me think maybe you had that turned off, or maybe it has more to do with how I have my site set up. Regardless, asking permission to link here from my blog. Thanks,

  43. So today the Covid thing went to max stupidity. I had loaded my groceries on the conveyor belt and tried to find a stick to put between my groceries and the person in front of me. There wasn’t one so I left a big space. the belt ran my stuff to the cashier and she started to put my stuff on the first person’s bill. She had already put three of my items to the other person before we could stop her. When I asked her where the stick was… she said– “Oh we got rid of it because the shoppers all touched it.”

    Stupidity… and she had to apologize to me and the other shopper. BTW she wasn’t that apologetic. just an oops.

      1. No sticks here but it didn’t register for a while. Then I noticed the other day when I had the same problem. My stuff running into someone else’s. So I had to stand close behind them to hold my stuff back. 😊

    1. But they likely still have the hand baskets – that everyone touches, and likely are not put through the cart sterilizer if there is one. They make potent dividers. Bulky, sure, but effective.

        1. Aye. I did notice the local Wal-mart now has the normal sized hand baskets back, instead of the the super-tiny (“useless”) ones. And a local supermarket (regional chain) is allowing reusable bags again. But the rest of the theater is still there, aside from the directional arrows on the floor. The (anti)social distancing Transporter Pads are still there… and just freshly waxed over.

    2. My favorite is the cashiers that wear masks and hide behind those big plastic shields, but then don’t even bother to wear gloves. Um, dear, you’re handling items and money touched by your customers throughout the day. If you’re not worried about THAT disease vector then why are you even bothering?

      1. Theater staged by Upper Management. The cashiers are stuck with it. And some (too many) seem to be happy/relieved that the theater is done. But they don’t ponder – how many have touched that can of tomatoes? The first stocker putting in the the shelf. If it’s been there a few days, how many customers considered it and put it back? How many store workers pulled it forward to make the shelf look pretty/organized? But the masks, the plexi-pseudoshield, and in some cases, the belt cleaning (between each customer) are seen as worthwhile. Riiiiight.

        1. My favorite is how when you’re sitting at a restaurant table eating a meal for more than an hour it’s okay to not wear a mask, but to take 4 steps from the table to the front door you have to put one on. Because reasons.

          1. Ate out one night. Got up. Forgot to put my mask on before picking up the left over box. Oh well. What is some Karen going to do? Tell them I’m not masked, I have to leave? Got news for them. Leaving! Or hey, they can glare when I sneeze into the mask, for whatever reason, I sneeze less than minute after i put one on.

        2. Back when I worked the hotel night shift I found effective a strategy of agreeing with customer complaints about a policy, then noting that if upper management paid any attention to my views I wouldn’t be sitting there at two in the morning to hear the customer’s complaint.

        3. Yep… I’m surprised they don’t want shoppers to wear gloves to shop *sigh I did at the beginning, but then at the beginning I was also getting surgery for dialysis.. So I really was at risk then.

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