Rage, Rage!

We have a visitor over for the month. Visitor is a weird way to put it. He’s a fan who because a friend, who became one of my forever hyper extended adopted family, in this case a little brother. (Not that he’s little. He’s built much like my kids. Genetics of adoption. If my other hyper extended family adopted little brother reads this, yeah, I know you’re small and slight. I don’t know how you got that from mom’s family but I don’t judge.))

Visitor is a funny way to describe it, because he came over for the express purpose of help me clean, box, paint and help Younger Son carry heavy stuff, so I don’t kill myself. (The plan is to get this ready for staging and selling, anyway, and if nothing shows up, rent in the desired area till we find something. Though hopefully something amazing just shows up. This minimizes our monetary exposure, (aka double mortgage) and is less likely to drive me nuts.) Anyway that’s what he’s here for. That and a lot of book talk and stuff.

Anyway, he’s been commenting on the books lying around the house. (Pretty much every room.) Particularly the ones on soviet science. (Yes, it’s for a book I’m collaborating on with another of the hyper-extended family.)

Soviet science is amazing. Mostly because it wasn’t really science as it was interpreted in the US for the longest time. (Or in much of the Western World since Enlightenment.)

Look, science is a particular thing. A METHOD of acquiring and testing knowledge.

Every year in school, in every STEM discipline, we learned the scientific method the first day of school.

Notice event, effect, or phenomenon; formulate hypothesis that explains it; test hypothesis with experiments; confirm or deny hypothesis; if denied formulate new hypothesis that covers new observations. Test the new hypothesis, etc. ad nauseum.

This scientific methods allows for hypothesis and “known processes” to change. Take the Medieval idea that life could spontaneously generate and that maggots were “created” by rotting meat. It made perfect sense at their level of observation. Except when we got the microscope, we could observe more accurately that the eggs were already there. (I believe before we got the microscope, actually, but it’s one of those days when there isn’t enough caffeine and I don’t feel like going and researching the size of fly eggs. Forgive me. If I do it, I’ll fall down a rabbit hole and still be researching tomorrow.)

Or take things that “moderns” meaning people in the 20th century loved to make fun of, or rail against, like bleeding sick people. Our ancestors weren’t fools. It turns out that in the absence of antibiotics, if you bleed people some amount it kicks the immune system into high gear, and some people can be saved. (Now, the theory of humors formulated to explain it was nuts, but you know, they didn’t have the whole picture. Which meant they were applying the “fix” to tons of things that it could not help) We now know that, through studies made.

There is a never end of this stuff, where the theory and “scientific understanding” of something changes, as our understanding and instruments change. Which incidentally is why “Believe the science” is bullshit. Science thrives on being challenged. And it changes.

One of the most fascinating parts of soviet science was the untold amounts of time and money poured into studying paranormal phenomena.

If you don’t know it, we also had a program that studied things like mind communication and other psi-powers.

It was tabled not because these things don’t occur and haven’t been observed, but because it’s impossible to systematize. There seems to be not just a high degree of correlation to one individual, but what is called “the joker effect” in that the same say far-seer or telepath, will suddenly get completely fluent….. and insane results, with no rhyme or reason.

In the Soviet Union it was never tabled, and they had AMAZING results. I mean, particularly if you read books written early on by sympathizers of the Soviet Union. Why, their mind readers were right every time. They had people who could look inside our secure installations, they–

This is brought up apropos someone in the comments yesterday saying that the early virus released in Wuhan was 100% lethal very fast. Yeah, I heard the same thing a year and a half ago. It was also transmissible for weeks before symptoms showed.

Look, people, that’s like strange ice, and hot snow, okay?

First of all an immediately lethal virus would be about as useful as a bio-weapon as an accordion is useful in an air raid. Second asymptomatic transmission is the holy grail of a viral weapon, yes. Kind of like perpetual motion is the holy grail of mechanic engineering.

So, why would there be reports of this?

Because China is a totalitarian country. When the supervisors, who wouldn’t know science if it bit them in the nethers, tell you they want a perpetual motion machine, it’s not worth your life to disappoint them. Instead, you give them what they want, and swear it works, even if you have to install hidden batteries.

Soviet science had amazing results, not because they had amazing results but because amazing results were reported. Because they had to be, because the researchers wanted to continue breathing.

… and most of it was never checked, because it was what the higher ups wanted.

This is the greatest disadvantage of totalitarian regimes. Every time someone with gape-mouthed certainty tells me that China is going to bury us in blah blah blah, my eyes roll under the sofa and then I have to clean the cat hair off them.

Understand once and for all — which our “elites” can’t and don’t — that even the most powerful person in China has not a clue what is actually working and what they can and can’t do. Hell, like the publishing industry, there’s falsification at every level, because there has to be (in the case of publishing, because it’s almost impossible to get accurate figures. In totalitarian regimes because it’s not worth your life.)

Your rulers dictate that you obtain impossible results, so you fake them. This gets rolled to the next level, where now they want even crazier results, and so on up the line. Which is why the CIA who believed the reports thought communism in Russia was so d*mn successful.

It’s very important that you be aware of this, and keep it in your mind at all times for two reasons::

First, our idiot rulers believe everything they get from abroad. The level at which they are enmeshed with the totalitarians can be measured by their credulity. It behooves us to know when they’re being even more idiotic than is permissible, and why they might be doing crazier things than normal, so that we can extrapolate what they think they’re seeing, and stop them before they destroy our economy by putting the entire country under house arrest (say.)

Second, this method of “science” has been creeping into the US.
I’m not going to say anything about my friends who do science founded by the government. I’m not going to say anything, because for certain levels of science, it is only possible to do research if you have government funding. But I am going to point out this is a massive risk.
We are already seeing that even in the hard sciences most studies can’t be reproduced. Also if you dig, hypothesis that big government wants confirmed are always confirmed. Also, if you dig, there was no possible way to fairly evaluate the hypothesis in the time/with materials given. But failure will destroy careers.
And then there’s “Climate” science where you falsify the numbers so it shows what the bureaucrats want in the finest Soviet fashion. And then that’s used for the next round of “what the bureaucrats want.” (Harry readme) And in the name of this industries are set to be destroyed, impossible methods of propulsion are being demanded, and socialism is proclaimed as the savior of the Earth. Oh, and your children are being terrorized in school.

Western Civilization got where it is, where we banished historical levels of poverty from the world not because of some imagined racial superiority, not because we stole “wealth” from other civilizations. No. What made Western Civilization (And the US) great was the ability to use the scientific method and with it break the teeth of powerful people’s erroneous assumptions.

We retain civilization only insofar as we refuse to give in to the totalitarian “make the ruler happy” bullshit that has pervaded most of human history. And if we perish, it’s dark ages for… well, a very long time.

Refuse to believe lies. Demand the numbers. No. The real numbers. Dig into the entrails of studies. See if anyone tried to reproduce them and failed.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light of rationality.

Hold high the lamp of freedom of thought. Tell the hordes of totalitarian goblins to go defenestrate themselves.

To survive, humanity must know the truth, as close as our minds can understand it.
Anything else is suicide.

344 thoughts on “Rage, Rage!

  1. Elsewhere, somebody thought that China would “beat” the US because of “Central Planning”.

    To me the Funny Thing is that the person is a Russian and has to know that the US defeated the Soviet Union In Spite of the Soviet Union’s Central Planning! LOL 😆

    1. You mean “the US defeated the Soviet Union in spite at least partially because of the Soviet Union’s central planning.”

      1. True, but this idiot thought Central Planning Was Great! 😆

      2. We beat the Soviets because of the Strategy of Technology. Give thanks to Dr. Pournelle for saving our bacon.

          1. Well, the House of Saud made a deal in return for Bush the Elder sending Stormin’ Norman to bail them out that gave Billy Jeff low oil prices for a decade, so it’s possible they made a deal during the Iran-Iraq war as well that’s I’ve not heard of.

        1. That may have hastened it, but the final result was inevitable simply because no central planner, or practical group of central planners can possibly have the information necessary to efficiently run the economy. (See my post “The Nail” on that: https://thewriterinblack.com/2020/03/02/the-nail/ ) In contrast a free market economy is like a massively parallel processing system with each individual not needing all the information. They only need to understand their small part of the overall picture with prices serving as data channels to get resources moved from their least valuable to their most valuable applications from the perspective of society at large. (See Friedman’s description of the manufacture of a pencil for that side of things:


          1. And, for the amazing success of the planned-economy side of the argument, see “Red Plenty” by Francis Spufford. (Click through Sarah’s Amazon Store link to send a tip to our hostess.)

          2. Reagan’s genius was, instead of propping up the Soviet economy with more “aid” to try and buy their friendliness, he correctly identified the fragility and brittleness of central planning and decided to stress the Soviet economy with various expensive challenges, such as having to counter SDI, or build their expensive new stolen-tech titanium hunter-killer subs to counter the 600 ship Navy’s capabilities to force their way in and attack the motherland directly.

            He knew that if enough force was applied economically, they would shatter – which is exactly what happened.

            Various revisionist anti-Reagan writers have attempted to cast this as unguided luck, or worse the secret plan of the experts at State, but Reagan’s papers have this explicitly spelled out before he was elected, and he had to fight tooth and nail to get it to happen.

            1. The establishment resisted Reagan’s program every step of the way. It is no accident that when Obama talked about undoing past policies, the timeframe he provided of policies to be rolled back started with the beginning of Reagan’s presidency.

    2. There was a time when they told us to jump on the great Leninist/Fascist Experiment bandwagon or be trampled by history.

      1. Nod.

        Or at least accept that Central Planning of our own was the Only Way to defeat the Soviet Union.

        1. The Left *had* central planning, for a while. The various “recovery” programs during the Depression, and then the War Resources Board in WWII, which was like mainlining crack with an IV.

          It was *wonderful*. And then it went away. And they got the sads.

          That’s why the Left promotes poverty and war – in their mythology, that’s when they walked like gods and all the world bowed down to them.

  2. There is a reason that Critical Race Theory ideology spends so much time attacking reasoning, the scientific method, logic, and showing ones results and declaring that promotion of such things is racist. To destroy western civilization, they must destroy its foundations.

    1. There is a reason that Critical Race Theory ideology spends so much time attacking reasoning, the scientific method, logic, and showing ones results and declaring that promotion of such things is racist.

      Of course; because white supremacist science can’t explain how the Shaman calls down lightning.

      1. It’s so amazing that those Indian Shamans couldn’t bring down lightening onto White Settlers or White Armies. [Very Big Sarcastic Grin]

    2. You have to hand it to these communists in Academia, they are instinctively aiming at the very essences of Western Civ….i.e..promoting people based on their competence, and the logic of the scientific method…And so far, they are succeeding.

      1. Like hell are they succeeding.

        They have lost, only they do not yet realize it.

      2. You do have to remember that Academia is attractive to people who find the power to say things are as they say they are attractive. For instance, flunking people who say the wrong thing works much better than firing people who tell you it won’t work.

  3. I rather assumed that those videos of a whole street, hall, etc., suddenly dropping dead were real videos. But from a gas attack, or something similar, not the virus.

    1. I only ever saw the “single man drops dead on the street” videos, but I saw several of them.

      It didn’t occur to me until just lately to question why that single man was always in the center of the frame. And why it was always a man.

      (To be very clear, if it were random you would expect to see street scene videos of “people going about their business and then one person off in the left distance keels over, with a red circle added to call attention to the out of focus details” at least some of the time. But no, it was always center frame and in focus. Hmmm.)

          1. A friend of mine was in Wuhan in September of 2019 and he said they were already fogging the streets at that point.

      1. I suspect there are going to be a lot of deaths of Muslim Ugyhurs that the CCP is going to attribute to “a new virus strain”, given that they have locked down the main city in that province now using the the “new virus strain” as their publicly stated reason for doing so.

        1. Also a reminder that the goal of socialized medicine is to save and serve the government, not the patients.

    2. Quite possible it was typical Chinese overreaction: one person has a sickness, so gas the entire building.

      1. Since the ‘rona is a 99.44% nothingburger, that would imply the Chinese had a *different* coronavirus.

        While possible, Chinese traveled around the world without restriction after the “pandemic” was first announced, and the racist gwailo failed to fall over dead in their multitudes.

        1. …aaand now, the news is saying there were outbreaks of two different viruses at Wuhan, but they’re just now revealing the second one.

          I hate it when a casual comment becomes Reality-As-We-Know-It.

  4. Beware the Government/Science Complex:

    “Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.

    “In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

    “Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.

    “The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded. Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.

    “It is the task of statesmanship to mold, to balance, and to integrate these and other forces, new and old, within the principles of our democratic system — ever aiming toward the supreme goals of our free society.”

    Eisenhower’s Farewell Address, 1961

    1. This part of his farewell address is unfortunately generally forgotten when it is not being deliberately overlooked, particularly by the same people who scream about the military-industrial complex.

  5. According the western “journalists” EVERYTHING the USSR did was better, stronger, more adaptable, whatever. It was a huge letdown for many people when it collapsed and so much of it was publicly shown to be nothing more than more, and perhaps better designed, Potemkin houses. I remember telling my students about one such facade in armaments. US intelligence (at least the civilian side) for years believed that the Soviets had hundreds of presumably nuclear-tipped missiles. They believed this because satellite photos showed numerous convoys of trucks wandering around the USSR with long cylindrical, tarp-covered shapes on them. Those had to be missiles, right? Welp. Turned out those were huge tubes shaped to *look like* missiles if they were covered with tarps. I told my students this and had a history professor accost me in the hall and accuse my students of passing on lies about what I said in class. When I explained it was true, she was gobsmacked. How did I know for sure? I told her there were photos and other evidence available with the collapse. She didn’t want to believe me. I left her to it. It’s the same thing with China. Pick any mostly industrialized country…if it’s “Not America” then it must be better. By definition.

    1. Even after the fall of the Soviet Union and its lies about its “achievements” were fully exposed, those journalists, their successors, and the rest of their ilk, still think the Soviet Union was better because they are convinced it was “fairer”, or to use their favorite term these days “:more equitable”. Thus, we get Bernie Sanders waxing nostalgic about Soviet breadlines while complaining that American consumers have too many choices. They are perfectly fine with “equity” meaning that everyone is poor and near starvation.

      Of course, just like with the Soviet Union, their “equity” (i.e. equal outcomes) excludes from the perpetually poor and near starving the ruling elite, because THEY are entitled to be wealthy and live like gluttons because they deserve it for their beneficent wisdom and glorious leadership of The Almighty State. And yes, this is their mindset.

          1. Well, F*ck you VERY MUCH. Now I have to write it I have the entire structure in my head explaining why none of these assholes will be on top and why they’re digging their own graves.
            Sigh. Sorry for swearing. THat I didn’t need.
            Wonder if I can unload it on younger son.

            1. I wondered where that title came from. I guess your muse had to route it roundabout remotely through me to get it through your muse defense grid.

            2. LOL. LOL. (catches breath)

              Hmm, $SPOUSE didn’t hear the laughter, so I won’t have to explain it to her. FWIW, my SIL’s name is Heather, so it was gonna happen…

              No problem. I’ve gotten myself in trouble with an overly (Great White) apt comment in the past. My Barsoomian is deficient so I’ll not try to dig deeper.

      1. on September 6, 1976 when Lieutenant Viktor Belenko of the Soviet Air Defence Forces flew his Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25P “Foxbat” aircraft from near Vladivostok in the Far East of the Soviet Union to Hakodate Airport in Hokkaido Prefecture of Japan.” we were, or course, very much surprised. Two things about communist country flight ops. One, pilots were very well vetted, just to prevent this from happening. (Note- it doesn’t work all the time.) Two- planes normally don’t have enough fuel loaded during routine flights to get anywhere outside the country.

        The MIG he flew over was the latest and bestest the Soviets had in 1976. The latest and bestest. And was riveted, not welded together. And the radar? Vacuum tubes, not solid state electronics. Soviet apologists actually developed a rationale for the vacuum tubes- “More resistant to EMP than electronics!” No, it’s that they hadn’t stolen the technology yet.

        Almost all of China’s “advanced” technology is stolen. Communist regimes very rarely actually develop something. Sure, Russia had a man in space first, Yuri Gagarin. And several before Yuri Gagarin, but their names are unknown to the world because they died, usually upon reentry from what has leaked. But the beginning of their rocket programs, like ours, were driven by Germans who worked on V2s.

        Anyone in the military in the 1970s who paid attention (me among others) knew that the vast Soviet capabilities that were ascribed to them were exaggerations to Congress to get more money. We developed a PMS (planned maintenance system) program to ensure routine things were done routinely. They copied ours and followed it slavishly. All of our transport vehicles, al of them, are operated routinely. Out of 100 or theirs, maybe 10% would be operated all the time and worked on constantly just to keep them operating. But every 3 months, the other 90% would have all their oil and filters changed. On paper, anyway. Most of them would likely break down within 24 hours of being put in operation. Our ships went to sea- and steamed. From point A to B, with an occasional port call. Theirs went to sea, headed towards their anchorage point, and anchored. And got underway again to return to port. Steaming for 30-60 days straight without a break? With underway refueling without stopping? Didn’t happen. Because it couldn’t. Their ships couldn’t do it. Their junior officers performed maintenance our mid grade petty officers are trusted to do. Their whole ship’s operation structure was screwy.

        1. On the other hand, if it ever came to war, the Soviet Navy was intended to be used once, to disrupt REFORGER until the land war in Europe was won. Unlike the USN, which is intended to be used constantly in peacetime and as a (if not the) major offensive arm in war.

          Similarly, the PLAN isn’t really intended as an instrument of worldwide state power projection. It’s intended to be used — and used up — taking Taiwan. So maintenance and sustained operations aren’t really important; short-term surge capacity is.

          1. I’m going to disagree about the PLAN. They’re building a serious blue-water capability, with the clear intent of making the Western Pacific a Chinese lake.

            1. They’re trying, and trying very hard indeed. But, I think they’re also running up against one of the great issues of China-Chinese history.

              Chinese history has a very consistent cycle of a rising, centralized state that does very well…for a while, then massive insularity and consolidation of power in the ruling families, large-scale corruption and vice, the current ruling clique “loses the Mandate of Heaven” (usually through crop failure or plague, often both), then either civil war or external invasion that topples the current regime and then we have a new rising and centralized state.

              These cycles are in a rough 150-200 year sequence in Chinese history (you have to check a lot of external and secondary sourcing, as there’s also a long tradition of destruction of history in China as well), and there’s quite a few signs that China is hitting the point between “corruption and vice” and “loses the Mandate of Heaven.” And, the ruling families of the PRC (which haven’t changed, mostly, for at least a few thousand years) are afraid of Taiwan because Taiwan aren’t them. They were mostly the middle-and upper-middle-class, and not the members of the oligarch families. If Taiwan remains intact when the PRC falls, the oligarchs could find themselves gone-at best.

              (And, China has so many other issues as well-corruption is a way of life, demographic issues, water issues, an economy that lives on soap bubbles, etc, etc, etc…)

              1. Yes, and you also have the cycle of the coasts getting rich while the interior gets poorer causing the interior, from whence the soldiers come, to … ummm …. put an end to that.

                I don’t fear China, I fear that China has bought American politicians and bureaucrats,

                1. Wait until the people that pay off the politicians and bureaucrats are unable to pay their bribes.

                  I think we’re seeing the start of it, at the very least quite a few companies are looking at moving their production and such out of China (Vietnam and a few other places are getting a lot of orders). Hollywood trades have been publishing “bless your heart” articles that can be summed up as “right now, we need to make money and the cost of doing business in China is not making us any money. So, it’s probably time for us to stop trying to chase the Chinese market and get back to satisfying our other markets.” Also, there’s been a lot of laws passed to keep capital in China-and one of the usual things the upper class oligarchs/clans do when they think things are going bad is to get family and capital out of China.

                  I think when things go bad in China, most people will be “surprised,” and a lot of the “engagement” that we thought we were doing the last fifteen, twenty years will be revealed as all just facade. A fake covering of a country that hasn’t changed in any real way for at least three thousand years, and has not been pushed so hard that it must change.

              2. While this is true, they’re hopeful. Sometimes the dynasty doesn’t collapse when it hits the hard times. Sometimes it manages to recover, and continue on with renewed fervor. The current PLAN carrier navy won’t be ready for a long time yet. And the Chinese don’t have the operational experience to run it anywhere near as well as the USN. But it’s meant as a long-term investment. And if events roll their way, it just might pay off.

                1. If the Chinese navy goes up against the U.S. Navy, they won’t last long enough to learn anything.
                  Bring out yer dead!

                  1. Sure, right now that’s the case. But four decades from now things might work out differently.

                    1. Isn’t China facing a severe demographic problem? Will they even have the people they’ll need for a decent military in four decades?

        2. If you want something to get under your skin, take a look at the engine inlets on the F-35, and every in development Chinese fighter.

          The F-35 figured out diverterless super sonic intakes, and China stole them and are implementing them on every single fighter they’re working on.

        3. The biggest reason the Soviet Union always blinked and backed off when we were on the brink of thermonuclear war was because there was a better than 50% chance that the missiles they would fire would not launch. And of the ones that would successfully launch, most of those would not properly detonate. The things one hears when one was involved with big boomy things in the military.

          1. This also doesn’t cover a factor like launch fratricides (i.e. a boomer launches tries to fire it’s SLBMs and one of them blows up, or an ICBM sort of crashes all over the launch field…), or any additional number of things. I wouldn’t be surprised if the launch failures of Soviet-era missiles was in the 60-75% range without significant upkeep work.

            I think any major nuclear exchange would not be fun, most of the West and America would be badly hurt, but there wouldn’t be a Soviet Union at the end. More of our bombs would hit, they would work, and do more damage.

            1. Given OUR nuclear arsenal has not been updated in many decades, how many of OUR missiles and bombs actually still work and would not end in either simply not working or in catastrophic self-inflicted harm (i.e. the nuke goes off over the USA instead of the enemy).

                1. If our adversaries anticipate that a large number won’t work, we no longer have a nuclear deterrent and they have no reason to not use nuclear or biological weapons against us….oh wait…the CCP just did use a biological weapon against us starting in 2019.

              1. The bombs themselves are pretty simple, but they require regular maintenance. The older weapons were designed for a life of 20 to 25 years, with the idea they would be thoroughly obsolete and their materials would be recycled into more powerful or efficient designs. In practice, much of our nuclear stockpile is twice that age.

                It’s important to remember that the “lifespan” of a nuclear weapon is an arbitrary figure based on when the weapon has deteriorated enough that it will no longer develop the yield it was designed for. The smaller and more efficient a weapon is, the less slack there is on effective lifespan; everything has ot be just so for the bomb to work right. All of the existing arsenal will almost certainly go off, but the older they get, the harder it is to predict their yield. Fortunately, destructive power isn’t closely linked to yield; a 50kt bomb isn’t twice as destructive as a 25kt bomb… but if you’re trying to take out a missile silo or hardened bunker, you might need the full yield to get the job done.

                Even since the 1990s we’ve made dramatic improvements in missile guidance, so it’s likely the decision was made to accept the lower yield in exchange for delivering the bomb precisely where needed. Renovating the stockpile would be expensive and full of political problems; using it as-is has short-term advantages most politicians would like.

          2. You also have the targeting problem. Assuming a successful launch, hitting America was probable, but a *specific* part of America was impossible to predict below an area the size of several counties. We had better equipment, but not *that* much better; discrete-component guidance systems were finicky and prone to failure, making some sizeable percentage of our missiles no more accurate than the Soviet ones.

            The problem was severe enough that the US Air Force announced a prize for whoever could some up with a solution to what they called “the interconnection problem.” Jack Kilby at Texas Instruments managed it, only to see his patent effectively hijacked by Bob Noyce, who founded Intel. The chips in whatever device you’re reading this on, and all of the infrastructure that shuffles bits from my machine to yours, are based on Kilby’s design.

    2. Sometime in the late 80s, I remember reading an article in IIRC Harper’s Magazine (before they went all progressive, irrational and woke) an article called “Ivan The Terrible Soldier” which was pretty much debunking conventional wisdom then about the power and might of the Soviet military. The author pointed out many of the failings of the Soviet draft, and a sketchy training and exercise regimen that admitted of no faults … and meanwhile, the bulk of the Soviet military were badly trained and often drunken and abused draftees. Eventually, it turned out that was the case … Russia was a military paper tiger, save for a couple of highly-trained specialty units.

      1. My father fought and was decorated in Korea. What he said was the kill rate was 10-1 in favor of the US but the Chinese sent at least 11. Quantity has a quality all its own. Of course, you have to be able to get the 11 there, which was fairly simple for China over the Yalu or Russia across the north German plain, but less simple if you have to cross water. Today is a good day to reflect on just how difficult that is.

        1. Many Chinese soldiers didn’t even have rifles, and were poorly trained…Not at all true of the Russian armed forces these days, who are well equipped and highly competent…Even the Russian trained militias in the Ukraine have been a match for the US funded regular army and the neo-Nazi mercenaries…

          1. Neo-Nazis?

            What does that mean beside “you don’t like them”?

          2. https://www.businessinsider.com/russia-leaked-audio-humiliating-defeat-by-us-forces-2018-2
            Bur Russian mercenaries going up against US troops and defenses don’t do so well. I believe this is the battle where the mercenaries had a 100% casualty rate. Not death rate- but 100% were killed or wounded. And beforehand- the Russians duly informed us there were NO actual Russian units in the area, so they were all mercenaries. Had to be- the Russians had said so…

          3. If you believe those are actually militias I have a bridge you’ll snap up.

            1. Don’t you hate it when your totally 100% local militias keep getting caught posting “lol look where I got deployed?” stuff on Russian social media?

        2. Right Overlord was planned out the wazoo with some amazing things (e.g. Mulberries ). And it was still a VERY close thing. If Hitler hadn’t had a migraine so they couldn’t (or wouldn’t) bother him to release the reserves the initial invasions might have failed. And we had much experience (Sicily, Italy, many islands in the Pacific) before we tried this immense attempt. Invading Taiwan across a ~60 mile hunk of sea that is VERY temperamental much of the year is a real challenge.

          1. Yeah, compare Overlord with the (theoretically, at any rate) attempt by the Soviets to invade a lightly defended Japanese island at the end of the war.

          2. Don’t need to ferry lots of troops over if you kill a lot of the population with biological weapons first.

              1. But they have our scientists helping them because that’s how feckless some of ours are. They certainly are not going to stop with the one the unleashed in 2019.

                1. “Helping.” Considering Dr. Falsie’s history of being wrong (if they’re not actually self-serving lies, that is), the value of said “help” is debatable. If nothing else the whole mask masquerade was a decent enough separator. Actual scientists, skeptics, and folks with practical experience, folks who said “wait and see. Something smells off here,” on one side, on the other, fellow travellers and those that allowed themselves to be seduced into “trusting the science.” No matter that isn’t *actual* science.

                  Actual science demands that if the experiment doesn’t fit the proposed hypothesis, the hypothesis fails the test. You’ve learned something that isn’t true, which is still useful, but it doesn’t adequately explain what you were seeking. And if the cannot be replicated, it similarly fails the test. If previous experiments have *already* proven that, say, masks do not keep you from getting a viral infection but instead help prevent you from spreading an infection you already have, then claiming that masks keep *you* safe is disingenuous at best.

                  The “scientists” that are “helping” do one thing well, though. They help show you who has drunk the kool aid- and who actually paid attention in grade school science class.

                2. Yes, sure, but they still have to rely on Chinese and our scientists are stupid enough not to realize the issues with the culture.
                  I wouldn’t worry too much. The Flu 19 was all smell and propaganda.

        3. The PLA during the Korean War was “Go gather all the peasants and put them on a train to Korea” – many who participated in those mass charges were not armed, almost all were not trained, and all of them were very poorly equipped and fed, even with Soviet aid. You have to remember that Mao only pushed the Nationalists to Taiwan a year or two before, and he certainly was not going to expend his best units on supporting his Socialist Korean brothers because Stalin asked him to. Those mass charge troops were only running up the hill into the machine guns because of the machine guns behind them.

          1. I’m going to note that I’ve heard all sorts of things that disagree with what you wrote ranging from “not really massed charges, the press was up to its usual military ignorance” to “trained troops; they were former Nationalist soldiers that Mao wanted to liquidate”. Unfortunately, I don’t have reliable sources on it either way, so I’m going to leave it with the thought that it’s certainly believable.

            1. Punishment units are part of Soviet doctrine, and there were a whole lot of Soviet “advisors” working with the PLA, so I’d believe that. The Red Army used punishment units to lead frontal attacks and to clear Nazi minefields during the Great Patriotic War. Kind of like mobile gulags.

            2. Massed charge is what it says in my father’s bronze star with v device citation so massed charges it is. It doesn’t matter how many of them are armed if they keep on coming, and for whatever reason sometimes they did.

              For the rest of this thread, I rather suspect that the proportion of highly trained Russian soldiers with strong morale now is about the same as it was during all of Russia’s history … low. If you treat your common soldiers badly, and Russia always has, you don’t get motivated soldiers. What the Russians have always had is troops who could take punishment. Don’t invade Russia and you should be OK. Invade Russia and be sorry. Frederick the Great is a possible exception, but the Russians seem to have treated their soldiers better than average under Elizabeth and Catharine. They let them wear summer uniform for example.

            3. “Is it real or is it propaganda? Not even the talking heads know for sure…”

      2. The USSR sent a lot of soldiers into Afghanistan, blamed them for their failure to properly implement the unrealistic plans of a bunch of swivel-chair generals at the Kremlin, and then treated them like dirt when they got back home. After that, all the new draftees knew what was going to happen if they were ever deployed. It would be hard to imagine a more effective destruction of Red Army morale. The Afghansi were Soviet untouchables; theoretically they still got housing and jobs under the Soviet system… in practice, not so much. And they were everywhere, living examples for the current and future draftees.

    3. The Soviet Union is, like, the textbook case of denial&deception. Sun Tzu may have been Chinese, but the Soviets really took his observation that all warfare is based on deception to heart. Their problem was that they were also deceiving themselves. As Elliot Spencer says in Leverage, “You don’t con your crew.”

    4. The Soviets were always very skilled at over stating their capabilities. The Americans were always very good at under stating them.

      I’ve heard at least one of the causes of the Cuban Missile crisis was the Soviets discovered we really did have the capacity to do a true first strike, and they didn’t. They’d been bluffing about it, and thought we had been too.

      1. Yes. Also, Khruschev didn’t think Kennedy had the guts to challenge him. In his eyes Kennedy was too young, plus, the Bay of Pigs fiasco was, to the Soviets, a clear indicator of the ineptitude of the Kennedy administration.

        1. In fairness there is no doubt that HarrisBiden are too gutless to challenge the CCP, Russia, Iran or anybody else for that matter.

        2. There were a lot of balls in the PacRim, Middle East, and North Africa that the Kennedy Administration dropped as well. JFK posed as a super-hawk in the 1960 election, but he followed through with almost none of the militaristic policies he campaigned on. From where Uncle Nikita sat, it was a good time to apply some pressure.

  6. There’s at least a couple of writers over at PJMedia that are driving me NUTS lately, because they seem to really love to write about how China is beating us at education, and science, etc etc.

    Look, that’s not to say that the state of education (and sciences) in the US isn’t in a sorry state, and in dire need of several very spiky cluebats. But the wailings of doomy doom doom from journalists of this ilk is because…they’re believing what China is claiming about their test results, etc? Really, guys? USE YOUR BRAINS. Of *course* they’re claiming to be the best. It’s practically hardwired into their worldview–they HAVE to claim this, because they believe they are the superior beings. And you believe them?

    The credulity of people never ceases to amaze me. Or depress me, heh.

    1. I don’t doubt their kids could beat most of our kids on tests, if only because they’re still required to actually ingest their subjects via rote learning, which has fallen out of fashion in the West.

      But understanding beyond scoring well on tests? Nope. Because China is all about appearances.

      It’s like being able to spell any word but unable to read.

      1. There are folks trained in the PRC worth something.

        Issue is, totalitarianism cripples scientists and engineers. The staff of the tyranny spend a long time terrifying anyone from thinking or acting on their own.

        Which impacts the engineers and scientists, limiting the amount of creativity developed. They carry spears as cog in the bureaucracy, but nobody really learns to make sure the attempts at something new work.

        1. Yeah, like how there’s always a political officer in every unit. It’s all about enforcing the party line, and if the bridge falls down, finding some lesser unfortunate to blame.

          Gonna be real entertaining when some of those slapdash Potemkin cities start falling over.

      2. Bingo. Rote learning does not grant understanding. Can’t remember the story well enough to search for it and find the source, but years ago I heard a story about an American engineer working with a Chinese engineer on a project involving optics of some kind. They needed to reduce glare, and the Chinese engineer wasn’t coming up with the idea of using polarizing filters. When the American engineer asked him about the details of polarizing filters, the Chinese engineer had all those details memorized (and they were correct), but his rote learning of polarization hadn’t given him the concept that polarization is good for reducing glare.

        1. The late Richard Feynman, in his autobiography, “Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feynman”, wrote of his getting into an impromptu contest with someone demonstrating the capability of a Chinese abacus. Feynman “won” that particular contest on, I believe it was extracting the cube root of some number, 1729 or something like that, a number that he recognized as just a bit larger than 12 cubed. If I remember correctly, he “solved” it by doing a Taylor expansion in his head. This let him write down a digit or two every couple of seconds, and, in fact, I think he was deliberately taking his time in order to play with the audience.

          Upshot of all that is that the abacus user asked him afterward how he was able to do it. Feynman started with noting that the chosen number was close to 1728, which is twelve cubed. The abacus users fiddled with the abacus a bit and agreed with that. On this, Feynman noted that the guy using the abacus didn’t understand math. He could manipulate the beads of the abacus, but he didn’t understand math. This is why I have become very, very skeptical of the various “tricks” that people ooh and ahh over (“finger math” or that thing where you draw lines and count intersections, etc). They’re no substitute for learning the math.

          Rote memorization has its place–there’s really no way around it for math facts for example–but it’s the beginning, not the end.

          Some might make the argument that most people don’t need to actually learn the math. That tricks/gimmicks enough to get them able to make change or calculate a tip is all they need. Well, maybe, but how do we tell which people? I flunked math and English in second grade. I was in remedial math classes through Junior High. But long about High school things took off. I now have a degree in physics and work in some pretty cutting edge science (Atomic Force Microscopy) in my day job. Oh, and I also happen to be a published author (which should address the “flunked English” thing). Who would have predicted that of the kid failing at learning sums and differences in second grade?

          Heinlein once put in the mouth of on of his characters that if you can read and understand math, you can learn anything you really want to. When it comes to academic subjects at least, he was very nearly right. Neither of those will help you in landing an Axel, but Academic subjects? Oh, yes.

          1. I don’t understand math. I use it, I can do it faster than my students (which is a very low bar, alas), bit I never internalized it. And it shows.

          2. On the rote thing: agreed. Memorizing the multiplication tables, and similar? Very useful, for getting the basic concepts down. But other stuff requires that you actually know how it WORKS. I suck at math (largely because discalculia, and not knowing I had it until it was much too late–ie, I was in my mid thirties before I realized it was even a thing), but…I have an art degree (which is largely useless, but that’s another story, heh). So taking something I know very well indeed…it’s like….memorizing color theory, but not really understanding how to apply it beyond paint-by-numbers kits. Nothing wrong with paint by number, but you’re not actually grasping how art works. Just…rote following of instructions.

        2. Task: build a house.

          The guy with only boring rote learning has a pile of bricks, but no idea how to put them together.

          The guy with only the fun-and-interesting learning has a blueprint, but no idea how to make bricks.

    2. I think there are a couple of factors there. Yes they believe China’s numbers, but the bigger issue is our schools are churning out students who cannot think or reason when they come out the other end.

      So, even though China’s not as far ahead as people think, it doesn’t change that our schools are turning out kids minds into shredded bird cage liners. That needs to be stopped.

      1. The CCP at least recognizes that teaching children that 2+2= 5 is counterproductive and is thus a bridge too far, even for its totalitarians. The US aspiring totalitarians on the other hand, think that having students believe that math is racist and that 2+2=5 whenever The Party demands is a goal to be achieved.

        1. When two 2s really believe in equity then they can come together and either one of them can make a new little 2 who can almost from birth decide whether they identify as a 2, a 3, a 4, or a 5.

      2. Its worse than that. There is a STRONG movement afoot to remove ALL advanced Math in middle school. Currently the more advanced students get moved into pre algebra in 7th grade, Algebra in 8th and so on ending up at calculus Senior year (perhaps AP level). However you need to do some selection in 5-6 grade. How you do that (usually grades or a standardized test) is viewed as prejudicial to some of the population. In addition there are arguments (mostly from non STEM fields) that you’re pushing them too fast, calculus is a college course. Same argument is used to pull the AP calc. My own experience is without some exposure to Calculus in high school I would have gotten my ass handed to me freshman year at an engineering school. My younger daughter managed to place out of MOST of freshman Calc in engineering and was able to use that time for other courses. Its not enough that these idiots use 1984 and Brave New World as examples, Now they’re using Harrison Bergeron.

        1. It’s as if the left believes in, promotes and is attempting to inculcate “Ignorance is Strength”….oh wait, they are.

        2. Yeah. I’ve also heard if you teach people algebra based physics it actually holds them back. You have to build is a whole bunch of incomplete frameworks to do it without calculus. They have to unlearn all of that to use the real calculus based physics.

        3. ” …calculus is a college course”

          It is better for the introduction to calculus to be handled by a good high school teacher, who will be able to take *time* with the concepts.

          of course, I am presuming good high school teacher.

          1. Calculus nearly blew me up my Freshman year of college – with all the other stuff involved in getting started at the college level, and the chaos of very low selection priority for courses, it would have been a lot easier for me to have taken exactly the same course the year prior when I was a cruising-to-the-finish HS Senior than when I was a dumped-into-the-icy-river Freshman.

            It being a 6am MWF class at a commute university where I didn’t live in campus didn’t help any.

            I never could figure out where I got bumped down one track in math so I finished up with Analytical Geometry as a HS Senior. I took the next class each year, but unlike in English I ended up not on the AP track – which had to drive over to another HS to take Senior year Calculus.

          2. Calculus is one of those subjects that can benefit from repeated introduction. There is just so much “Huh, What, WTF?” going on that seeing the subject matter again in perhaps a slightly different way helps.
            And yes a decent high school teacher is critical. Mine was a really interesting gent but had done WAY to much wacky weed if you know what I mean.

            1. I had a high school calculus class that was nothing more than rote “do this” for things like the power rule and the chain rule. No building on why those rules worked that way. I got…mostly…C’s in that class.

              While I was in the Air Force, I got a book “Calculus the Easy Way” which did three things: It started with actual applications of various ideas, it worked out the “whys” of the various rules, and it used humor through the “framing device” of a fantasy story to keep things interesting. Later I went back and got “Algebra the Easy way” and “Trigonometry the Easy way” to fill in some of the foundations that went into “Calculus the Easy way.” As a result, I breezed through the first two semesters of calculus when I went into college for my physics degree.

              I can highly recommend them.

              1. Oooh, thank you for the suggestion– that sounds like it will work really well for my kids, especially the “here is WHY we do it” stuff.

                Bought Algebra, we’ll see.

                1. For a lot of university level STEM, calculus is early mathematical foundation. So, I think most homeschool should at least try it. Post calculus should be possible in homeschooling highschool, but would depend on student interest, and maybe having a clear idea of where they are going to go.

                  You’ve mentioned EE. Part of EE is hands on practical understanding like you have from your tech experience. Part is mathematics, such as calculus, discrete math, analysis (which is sort of calculus plus), and linear algebra (not the same at the secondary topic of algebra). Part is mathematical models, using the pure mathematical skills, and married to the hands on understanding. Physics, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, industrial engineering, and pure mathematics all use a slightly different lower division mathematical foundation.

                  ‘How to Lie With Statistics’ is also pretty good, most people need at least that much in statistics.

                  There are basically three levels of primary/secondary level mathematical prep goals. 1. Adults need this. 2. Adults should have this, so they can do stuff if they want to. 3. Adults who want to do cool things at the university level should have this. I don’t know the full list of topics for these categories, or have a good collection of titles to study. One of the wrinkles is our current mad technocratic would be overlords. There’s a basic mathematical foundation for understanding that they are overconfident, and may be profoundly misunderstanding the mathematical tools they are using. I do not know how essential it is that an adult have this understanding as an intellectual.

                  Anyway, getting a good foundation in algebra and trig cannot be stressed too much. My foundation was/is weak enough in trig that I have regretted it. Geometry is useful for a bunch of things, and trigonometry has a few important applications outside geometry.

                  It is exactly like practicing drawing/painting, music, and writing.

                  Anyway, many of the mathematical models used in engineering can be solved in three ways. Analytically, graphically, and numerically. Analytically is like y=ax+b. Graphically isn’t used much these days, but was big during the 19th century, and has a great deal of significance in the history of mathematics. It is still used in things like Mohr’s circle (solid mechanics, within mechanical engineering) and the Smith chart (radio frequency, within electrical engineering). Graphical calculations tend to not be very precise, so people use them less now that more precise techniques are available. Numerical techniques start from an analytical equation, modify it certain ways, then do a bunch of iterations to reach an answer that has an error estimated to be lower than a bound. Many of the answers provided by computers are numerical. Modern computers are nice, because they can provide us with many answers easily, but a lot of people are misusing these answers. The computers provide the answers very easily, but if you don’t have the foundation to understand how, you are left with trusting the people who wrote the program, and who used the program. It is very easy to screw up programming, or using a mathematical program.

                  If you don’t have a deep mathematical foundation, well beyond rote, it is hard to have the appropriate level of distrust for the self-proclaimed experts. If you are weak in mathematics, you are relying on your foundation in strength of character. And teaching someone to have strength of character is at least as difficult as teaching them to understand mathematics.

                  Note, this raving has been focused on mathematics, but I do realize that there are at least five or six areas of learning, that are as important, and as difficult.

              2. Are those the books with the goblin that thinks he’ll somehow take over the kingdom if he poses a math problem no one can solve? If so, I’ve got those boxed up somewhere! Gotta dig ’em out one of these days.

                1. The Gremlin, yes. He presents “threats” that the leaders of the kingdom of Carmorra must answer by solving math problems that just happen by amazing coincidence to be the current lesson in the book. It’s fun, silly fun, but fun. And the basic math foundation is solid.

                  1. Right; gremlin, not goblin. I remember the essence of it but it has been many years since I read the books.

                    Did they ever write more of them? I remember the ones on algebra, trig and calculus but nothing beyond that.

                    1. I think that’s it. There are other “the Easy Way” books on other subjects but only the math ones, those three, used the Kingdom of Carmorra conceit.

    3. I’m going to have to find the link but there was an interesting piece on Instapundit last year about university performance. The kerfuffle was around Black and Hispanic performance, but what was interesting to me was the poor performance of Asian students in university given their above average performance in HS and standardized tests. It struck me that craming for an exam is a poor way to learn.

      1. Cramming is particularly a failure in a STEM subject where item builds upon item and the homework is for building skills. My wife teaches chemistry and she always has a few freshman who did well in high school chemistry so they ace the first exam (which for them amounts to review). But come the second exam they’ve hit new material, or have strategies based on rote recipes to tackle problems (instead of seeing WHAT the problem is about) and can get an ugly comeuppance. It doesn’t help that often this is the first time Mommy/Daddy hasn’t been riding their posterior to do the homework so they ignore the homework.

  7. As well as dropping the classics. I’m reading Plutarch, and his depictions of Greek (particularly Athenian) politics is amusing and depressing by turns. The more things change…

  8. Science is a method and a process for figuring out how the universe works. Science is a tool for finding facts, and determining how those facts are related. Like any tool, it can do great damage when misused.

    And science is being grievously misused.

    Politics perverts science. Scientists are rewarded not for finding and reporting the truth, but for telling those in charge of doling out the money whatever they want to hear. Play the approved tune and you get government grants, you get consulting fees, you get published. Make the wrong waves, and you don’t. Such measures do not produce good science, or good scientists.

    Far too many of today’s self-proclaimed ‘scientists’ do not even understand the most fundamental principle of science: When reality fails to conform to your theories, it’s not the universe that’s wrong.

    Pretending that your pet theories are unquestionable Ultimate Truths, denying inconvenient facts, and silencing people who disagree with you, is not science. A dishonest scientist is a failure and a fraud. A theory which can’t withstand criticism is worthless. We must always question what we think we know.

    Forcibly silencing dissent does not prove that you are right; such behavior strongly indicates that you know you are wrong, and just refuse to admit it.
    Frederick: “Whose brain was it?”
    I-Gor: “Abbie somebody.”
    Frederick: “Abbie who?”
    I-Gor: “Abbie…Normal.”

    1. The problem is that too few people understand that Science is a blood sport – in many ways you can only get ahead by disproving your mentors / the great people of the past. (In a way that cannot be currently disproven.) And that Science was invented by Christian monks seeking God and looking for Truth.

      I suspect that Science is much more difficult if you are neither a Christian nor a monk, nor seeking God nor the Truth.

      1. I’d say rather Academe is the blood sport as described, but science is inextricably embedded in academe, so that’s a difference without a distinction.

        1. “Fights in academia are so vicious because the stakes are so very, very low.”

  9. “The Empress gives, every other year, this lecture about the illusions of top-end control to various of the . She keeps trying to keep the number of examples down to a half dozen and it’s hard. She can give nearly two dozen examples from the 20th Century alone, let alone the later half of the 20th century,” Amya shrugged. “Her biggest point about top-end control is this ideal that the entire world is a clockwork that you can fine tune to run perfectly. That you can run everything, predict everything, and anticipate everything. That you can make the world,” and here Amya sneered,”perfect. ‘Perfect is a transitory illusion,’ she states in the final part of the lecture. It’s actually quite fascinating and she tries very hard to be a good example.”

    “I saw her yelling at a senior minister a few days ago,” the assassin pointed out.

    “Theodora lets herself have a couple of ‘cheat days,’ and keeps careful track of them,” Amya shrugged.

      1. I still have to write it. Little story snippets for a novel sometime in the future of the series I’m writing, nearly a couple hundred years in the future. But, the lecture is there and it’s sometimes fun to consider it.

        Well, that and the idea of a very confused assassin that was there to kill the Empress-and is now living in the same house with her, on the same floor, and everybody knows that the assassin is an assassin.

        And, the assassin has spared with the Empress. The assassin knows how good they are, but they aren’t that good.

          1. I only got the two hands and so many hours in the day. And, those hours are taken up by things to let me do things like eat and such. And, I can’t hire household help at the rate of a Taco Bell meal a month…

  10. When the supervisors, who wouldn’t know science if it bit them in the nethers, tell you they want a perpetual motion machine, it’s not worth your life to disappoint them. Instead, you give them what they want, and swear it works, even if you have to install hidden batteries.

    I’m reminded of a Dilbert comic. The boss has demanded Wally and Dilbert do something particularly dumb. Dilbert and Wally have essentially the same thoughts:

    That’s a stupid idea.

    He’s so stupid he doesn’t understand why its a stupid idea.

    He’s so stupid that we could spend all day explaining it to him, and he still wouldn’t understand why it’s a stupid idea.

    He’s so stupid that he’ll never know if we did it or not.

    Dilbert: “No problem, Boss.”

    Wally: “We’ll get right on it.”

    1. At one point in my career I lived that meeting. In my case the pointy haired boss was the Chief Technology Officer for our sector. I was leading a development project that eventually resulted in the latest radar for the F-16 (APG-83 – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AN/APG-83 https://www.northropgrumman.com/what-we-do/air/sabr-scalable-agile-beam-radar-apg-83-aesa/). He insisted that we change the approach in a way that would have crippled the system for future growth and that we didn’t have the technology to do anyway. I responded exactly the way Dilbert and Wally did above and went back to the team (who knew I was having the meeting) and told them we weren’t changing anything. Today that product is one of that sector’s biggest money makers.

      BTW, the Wikipedia article contains several factual errors. Even though I’m retired, I can’t correct them based on all the security paperwork I signed before I left.

  11. The thing you’re talking about is this:


    This is an interview of the woman who gave a talk called: “The Psychopathic Problem of the White Mind.” It was delivered at the Yale School of Medicine’s Child Study Center. The author of the talk is a New York-based psychiatrist, and it was given as part of Grand Rounds at YSM.

    I know somebody who graduated from Yale Medicine, and it (at the time, early 1990s) was no walk in the park. But what we have here is two -wildly- unsupportable assertions just in the title of the talk. First, that there is such a thing as a “White Mind.” Presumably as opposed to an Asian Mind, Black Mind, Indian Mind and what have you. Second, that the White Mind is psychopathic.

    Part of the controversy is that the staff and students of Yale are being strongly encouraged to A) watch the video and take notes, and B) do so uncritically with their mouths firmly shut. Which they seem to be doing, given the distinct lack of hellfire denunciations of this appalling racist horseshit.

    Jordan Peterson warned on TwHitler today that the Canadian Psychological Association is going Full Woke, coming soon to a hospital, medical journal and/or courtroom near you. Another news story has the Ontario Civil Service branded as systemically racist in a study distributed by the Ontario government to all it’s civil service employees.

    So yes, they are going all-in with the anti-science hysterical fruitbat-ery. The obscene racial hatred of the crazy psychiatrist bitch in that link is in fact what passes for mainstream thought this year, 2021.

    On the bright side, Jon Del Arroz won his lawsuit with WorldCon. The CHORFs folded, apologized and paid him money. Because the facts of the case were not in dispute, and not on their side.

    They aren’t that smart, these people. They can be beaten. But first you have to have the guts to stand up and take a swing at the bastards.

    1. I read the article. I seriously wonder if the woman has ever interacted with any full-blown psychopaths. I mean, it’s obvious she deals with narcs, hysterics, and the like. But I honestly wonder if she’s met any true, no-compunctions-against-killing-you psychopaths, outside the one she looks at in the mirror daily.

      Because I have.

      If she really, honestly thought this was the “White Mind”, she ought to be too terrified to leave the house.

      1. She may be one herself, probability is very high. She’s certainly a malignant narcissist

        1. Per what little I could find on her background, she’s an Iranian immigrant, which means most likely Muslim, with all the anti-Western baggage that implies. And now I’m wondering if she’s being funded by that China/Iran nexus.

      1. The interviewer says that in the article. The psychiatrist’s answer is… interesting, shall we say, in it’s utter lack of self-awareness.

        Besides, Jews are White. Just ask her, she’ll tell you.

        1. Whites, non-Hispanic whites, Hispanics, non-European Hispanics, Jews, black Jews, white Jews, non-non-Aryans… I need to find a downloadable scorecard so I can keep all the categories straight.

          1. It’s automatically changed as soon as you download it, to delude you into thinking you have a chance and ensure that you don’t.

    2. “The obscene racial hatred of the crazy psychiatrist bitch in that link is in fact what passes for mainstream thought this year, 2021.”

      It is also what passed for mainstream thought in 1930s and 1940s Germany, and unless fought against will end up in the exact same place.

    3. She certainly said the quiet part out loud.

      “I had fantasies of unloading a revolver into the head of any white person that got in my way, burying their body, and wiping my bloody hands as I walked away relatively guiltless with a bounce in my step. Like I did the world a fucking favor.”

      1. The disturbing part is not that she has fantasies of unloading a revolver[1]. There’s that Mencken quote “Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.”

        The disturbing part is the target of her fantasies. It’s no better than “any darkie who got uppity with me.” But then real-world villains are not monstrous because they want to punish the innocent, but because they have monstrous ideas about what counts as guilt.

        [1] Why a revolver and not a semi-auto pistol, or a shotgun, or some other firearm?

        1. Here amongst Hoyt’s Horde we have already decided that our ensign is the Grumpy Roger. 😛

          1. Perhaps something Freudian about taking the tool of Western (and western) male dominance and colonialism – the cowboys’ weapon – and turning it against the very culture that produced it? (Or something Islamist, like Bin Laden’s justification for using weapons and tech not in the Koran.) Or, as the Phantom says, she’s aware of the quirks of semi-autos as compared to revolvers.

            1. Well, there was no Beatles album called “Semiautomatic” or “Self Loader” – she’s consciously appealing to the literati, so using a Beatles album name is extra points.

            2. Or maybe she just thinks that ‘revolver’, ‘pistol’, ‘automatic’, are all just completely identical and interchangeable synonyms for ‘gun’.

              1. This is not unknown among the “educated” set. I’ve met quite a few doctors that didn’t know the brass part of the cartridge stays in the gun. They thought the whole thing was fired out and hit the target. One of them was an MD/PhD big-cheese researcher. Not shy to lecture the rest of us on gun control, of course.

          2. Probably she thinks “automatic” means something with a pintle mount and spade grips. Or at the very least, has a shoulder-thing-that-goes-up.

        2. Perhaps she has at the back of her mind “Never trust a woman or an automatic pistol” 🙂 Although reports of attempted actual use of British Army revolvers in WWII are pretty negative.

  12. What you’ve just written is why social science isn’t. Such a waste of time. On the other hand, a Feynman talked about the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something and how hard it was to know something — how careful you had to be. Our quick study elites know lots of names.

    1. This is -medical- science, BGE. The same Yale School of Medicine that trains the next generation of great surgeons, clinicians, infectious disease specialists, the guys who design vaccines, all that stuff.

      I’ve known they were full of shit about guns since 1991, when I went and looked up the studies that were being quoted so freely at the time. Assault Weapons, you know. Tools of Satan!

      Well, thirty freakin’ years later they haven’t backed up even a step on guns despite having been debunked and stomped on by every thinking human being out there. Now I’m hearing “The White Mind” being spoken of in all seriousness, as an excuse to start treating all those White people like dangerous psychopaths.

      This is like whacking on the fuse of an unexploded bomb with a pipe wrench. White people invented nuclear weapons and went to the fucking MOON. That’s who she’s screwing with.

      I don’t really think she’s considered what might happen if she and her little Ivory Tower friends piss the crazy White people off. Historically, it never ends well.

      1. Well, take with a grain of salt, but at least some psychiatric researchers poking cluster B disorders, especially narcissism, seem to have found that narcs in particular can’t conceive of someone finally having Enough of Their Bull and doing something about it.

        It seemed to be consistent no matter how they asked the question or what kind of narc they were talking to. The narcs simply could not imagine that someone would dare say, “This far, no further.”

        1. Hm, I wonder how that connects to the tendency of mass shooters to kill themselves when someone stands up and offers an effective defense.

          1. Shooters are (probably) a cultural thing. Same general idea as “running amok” which was first described by Captain Cook in SE Asia. Going out in a blaze of glory, taking as many with them as they can, finally proving they are the badass they always wanted to be. In Japan they use knives, guns being generally unavailable.

            Women are almost never mass shooters. They go for poison. The western style is the Avenging Angel thing. Some of the most heinous mass murderers have been nurses. They quietly kill 50 or 60 people over the years, and nobody ever finds out. Less flashy, so less media coverage. Again, probably cultural.

            It always makes me wonder if they really did have some form of incapacitating physical/chemical mental disorder, or if they simply chose to pursue evil. I must say that the body of research I’ve read is GARBAGE for the most part, useless for making policy. Mass shooters are a phenomenon used to push whatever hobby-horse the researcher is riding at the time, usually gun control or censoring video games/TV/comics etc. Garbage similar to the racist “White Mind” doodoo I mentioned above in its sweeping generalizations and distinct lack of measurable, repeatable evidence.

            About the only useful analysis of them are the tactical ones. Usual choice of weapon, usual pattern of attack, etc. And those boil down to: “It’s a gun fight. Bring a gun.” So helpful. 😡

            1. Just a quibble, modern military and police shoot at man shaped targets rather than bullseyes. This is based on a fair amount of measurable evidence and it does seem that soldiers are now more likely to shoot at the enemy than fire in the air. It’s called desensitizing. It’s not a human, it’s a center of mass. Colonel Grossman in On Killing discussed this and there is a fair bit of literature around it, for and against. Grossman defends his position well, with a great deal of evidence. I believe it’s on the Marine Corps book list so it’s not airy fairy stuff.

              First person shooter games desensitize ones’s shooting at a man shaped target too, just saying.

              1. Thanks to having a suspicious nature and really hating Karen in all her forms, I’ve read quite a bit of the “Video games are evil!!!” studies. There’s been no -evidence- presented that video games do anything. This is despite all the Karens of the world trying to prove that they do. Once you dig past all the bullroar, there’s nothing reliable and repeatable. It’s just another moral panic.

                The Army and Marines train to shoot at movement, if I remember correctly. They use pop-up silhouettes. It is interesting to note that in combat, most soldiers still don’t fire their weapons even with all that training. Someone with better memory than me can correct, but I think the numbers were on the order of 10% fire at the enemy, up from something like 2% in WWII. That’s my vague recollection, anyway.

                1. I didn’t say video games are evil, I said first person shooter games consist of shooting at human shaped targets, which is the same desensitizing technique used by the army and police forces to desensitize their members. These are simple facts and there is a great deal of literature around this.

                  The number who fired in combat in Vietnam is estimated to be more like 90%, but it doesn’t matter, since even the 20% shows that training to fire at human shaped targets increases the proportion of people who will fire on a human target. I do encourage you to read Grossman and the debates around his findings. These are adults talking about adult things in an adult way.

                  I don’t think that first person shooter games cause mass shootings, I do know that many mass shooters have been spent a lot of time with first person shooter games and violent videos prior to the shooting and I find the people that produce violent games and movies who are all for banning guns but deny that their profitable product might contribute in any way to mass shootings vile.

                  What I did was forbid first person shooter games in my house, I did the same with rap music and certain bits of heavy metal because I won’t allow violent misogyny or satanism in my house, though to be fair I find both of them tiresome. I’ve relaxed that a bit now that they’re adults, but I still don’t like it and I still ban certain ones to this day. What they do in their own houses is for them to decide, what they do in mine is mine.

                  Should first person shooter games they be banned? no, for the same reason guns shouldn’t be banned or movies, or songs, or books, or any other damned thing — it’s not the state’s business to ban much of anything. Did I ban them? Yes, yes I did.

                  1. Personal choice is personal choice. I cut the TV umbilical a long time ago, there’s no TV, newspapers or radio at Chez Phantom. I watch Korean fantasy soaps on Netflix, because of the low incidence of annoying politics in them, and because I can fast-forward the boring parts.

                    All I’m saying is that there have been researchers trying to blame mass shootings and juvenile delinquency on media since the Comics Code in the 1950s. First comics were evil, they’d rot your kid’s brain. Then it was transistor radios and rock & roll music. Then it was television. Then it was violent movies. Then it was video games. Lately the new panic is “screen time.” Looking at a phone or iPad will rot your kid’s brain. Because studies say.

                    And every bit of it is of the same scientific rigor as the “White Mind” malarkey I listed above. As in, zero. Nada. Yes, mass shooters are known to have been playing a lot of video games. Mass shooters are known to have been drinking milk too. Does anyone check to see if milk causes mass shootings? Because I’ll bet you more of them drank milk than played video games.

                    I know a little about Grossman’s findings and the reasoning behind the change in training methodology. One of the things that happened was a huge increase in PTSD cases, blamed in part on guilt for following their training and shooting the enemy in an unthinking manner. Turns out, that’s probably bad for you. So the training makes them shoot better (or more, anyway), but it eats them up after the fighting is over. “Desensitization” isn’t really what happened, it was more complex than that. If video games really did do that, we’d see the results out here in Realville. And we don’t. “If you can’t measure it, it ain’t science.”

                    Hilariously, cannabis turns out to be the Number One go-to medication for treating PTSD. Another moral panic turns out to be amazingly, fantastically untrue. I don’t support the recreational abuse of weed. It’s a medicine. Do we take aspirin for fun? No, we do not. But does it make you turn bad? Rot your brain? “Researchers” have been trying to prove it does since 1912, and so far no one ever has. And they tried -really- hard, I’ve read quite a bit of it.

                    You look at opium and its derivatives, the long term damage is well documented, the chemical pathways in the body are well known, they know the dosages that are safe and the dose that will kill you. They know how many uses it takes to get hooked, and how to wean addicts off it. They know a lot. Great painkiller, very fatal habit.

                    You look at cannabis, none of that is apparent. There are no obvious harms like what you see with opium. So what did they do back in 1912? They called it “marijuana” and blamed the Mexicans for contributing to the moral decay of the nation by poisoning the youth with the Demon Weed. It took a hundred years to work through that particular lie.

                    Reefer Madness. Comics Code. Video games. White Mind. What’s the thread that joins them? Scientism and the charlatans who practice it. Similar to the burning of witches, but without the satisfying bonfires and crowds of lookie-loos. 😡

                    1. Besides the way that people can recognize “potheads” quite easily even without training, the old justification for the idea that pot use was harmless was that really everybody was using it, so the people with psychotic breaks or who became potheads were only noticed because something went wrong. (Sort of like mass shooters playing video games.)

                      The problem being, every time that they have gotten samples looking at pot use that could be compared to mental health issues, they found that 1) most people had never tried pot, 2) most people didn’t keep using it, and 3) the repeat users did in fact have significantly higher rates of serious mental issues, even when you corrected for a family history of mental issues and removed anyone with mental issues before they reported using pot. Multiple countries using their national healthcare data found the same pattern. As other folks here have mentioned, the earlier the use started, the more likely there were to be serious mental problems.

                      Not surprising, since pot has some 200 known psychoactive compounds in it. (Last time I was researching it, they were still finding them in threes and fours.)

                      I have seen a lot of people claim that pot is used for treating PTSD since..well, stuff before I was born, really. Right up there with glaucoma and “generalized pain.” It’s usually backed up with the “everybody is doing it” argument, now with added appeal to Injured Vet. There is a known issue with people making their PTSD worse with pot use, because of the known side-effect of triggering paranoia and anxiety, which has been documented. (My uncle was one of those who made his worse that way; when he got basic VA treatment and had to stop using pot, his symptoms reduced. He was pretty strange BEFORE Vietnam, mind you.)

                      Now, non-THC CBD oil (a single, specific compound where the dose can be controlled, as you do with medicine) has had some success in stress management in PTSD symptom treatment. This may be at least partly a fad, but the lack of major side-effects makes the risk in trying it much lower. One of the theories of how it works is that it can help lower your body’s stress response to the pain that has been going on so long you don’t even realize it’s there anymore.

                    2. Obama is one of America’s most destructive criminals.

                      His criminal tendencies could be inborn biological, family upbringing cultural, communist cultural, and heavy pot use during highschool biological.

                      If you have a hundred pot smokers, ninety nine don’t kill anyone, and one kills two hundred, how should that data be processed?

                      One school is to discard the killer as an outlier. There are a bunch of schools.

                      You can definitely cherry pick examples of pot smokers who are not murderously insane. The question is, how representative are they?

                      Fundamental assumption in this should be that the government is lying to us about the data. We know that they are lying in other things, and that this touches on things that major factions have been lying about for decades.

                      So the using but sane and well behaved population is basically not well understood, statistically. I’m pretty sure that there are very few people who have watched two hundred active users for decades, with full knowledge of dosing.

                      Which leaves us guessing from the higher profile criminals like Obama. W has publicly admitted to cocaine. I have been told that marijuana tends to also be used where cocaine is used. So W’s collaborationist criminality may also be comorbid with past use.

                    3. In Canada, Holland and particularly Israel there’s been, finally, some work done that wasn’t designed to prove harm. The consensus that seems to be forming from clinical results is that about 1/3 of patients have quite good benefits from cannabis oils (CBD, combination CBD/THC and high THC) for sleep, inflammatory processes and anxiety, including PTSD. Those are the three big ones. From Israel there have been some very good studies demonstrating good results with seizure patients (particularly kids) epilepsy and diffuse brain injury patients.

                      Another 1/3 experience minor benefits, and the final 1/3 don’t notice any difference. The hypothesis is that the last 1/3 are the people whose problems do not stem from inflammatory issues, but that one hasn’t been demonstrated properly yet.

                      There’s a very great deal we don’t know, basically. Thanks, Social Hygiene Movement.

                      As to pot heads looking like pot heads, that’s a thing for sure. But, as usual, the difficulty is in showing that it’s -cannabis- use that’s making them look and act like that. Pot heads don’t usually restrict themselves to one substance, the pot they’re getting isn’t actually -pot- a fair amount of the time, small sample bias, self-selection bias, mental illness is prevalent in the pot-head population, etc. Chicken/egg problem, all sorts of issues. But the problem is that the studies are generally done dishonestly, on the same model as gun control studies. Correlation is taken as proof of causation, and that ain’t science.

                      It has been noted that the patients taking cannabis oils on a proper dosage schedule don’t end up looking like pot heads. Cannabis has been legal in Canada since 2001 for medical use, and generally legal since 2017, it has been long enough that we would have noticed by now.

                      Therefore, one suspects there’s something other than just pot going on with the pot-head population. Pot abuse plus alcohol abuse is a good possibility. But we’re not going to be able to find out what it is with the correlation = causation “gotcha!” bullshit currently being pursued by the mental health establishment in Canada. (They really grind my gears. So much money wasted!)

                    4. In Canada, Holland and particularly Israel there’s been, finally, some work done that wasn’t designed to prove harm.

                      Nope, I recognize this song. I’ll pass on that chorus. Been a few years but I know that dance has been done here a few times, even.

                      Usually starts with the “nobody was allowed to do research,” then when you give a long list of US studies going back over half a century it becomes “nobody was allowed to do research that didn’t prove it was evil,” and when you again give study after study trying really hard to find an upside it becomes “the regulations are too tight because they hate pot”, and it just keeps on going and going, song unending.

                      I’ll pass on the unfalsifiable dance, thanks.

                    5. Opiate addicts who became addicted through medicine use frequently don’t act like the stereotype either. Most hold down jobs, for instance.

                    6. Most people who didn’t smoke pot when it was illegal don’t smoke it now that it’s legal. I don’t think actual consumption has changed all that much.

                      Leave it to the Canadian government to lose millions of dollars selling legal pot. 😛

                    1. I have seen the claim made, in all seriousness, that violent video games are responsible for “the rise in violent crime” enough that I had to address it in a blog post. The whole problem with that is that violent crime hasn’t been rising (or hadn’t been as of the time I first addressed it–recent political violence might have changed that trend. I don’t know). In the post ( https://thewriterinblack.com/2019/08/07/the-rise-in-violent-crime-has-been-caused-by-a-blast-from-the-past/ ) I track reported violent crime rates with the release dates of quite a few violent video games starting with Mortal Combat through Grand Theft Auto, Hitman, and Saints Row IV.

                      If it has any causative effect at all, it’s so small as to be totally swamped by other factors.

                2. Part of the problem is that the studies are so horribly designed….

                  Video games have been shown to be good for reaction time, even in adults; you can do practice driving on even ’80s style video games to practice the basics of driving, and police have been trained on video games (shooting courses with projectors) since the 70s.

                  Mass murders are really, really, really rare, though. So it doesn’t matter if video games can help with the “cannot shoot at that, it looks like people” if they have the basic “don’t try to kill people” stuff in place.

                  1. Here is another angle: if video games were able to have an effect in the 90s at X market penetration, then they could be causing that many more problems at several times the market penetration.

                    1. Also if we don’t have an easy boogeyman then we might have to look into a particularly deep nietzschian void.

                      Much better to pick out whatever the damn kids are up to these days as the universal source of all problems (isn’t it always?).

                  2. I speak on boys in public schools, because of few female spree shooters, and that I was a boy, and in public school.

                    The media push conservative straight white male, and the closest was Dylan Roof, who was pretty clearly drug use/pre existing mental condition.

                    Whites are told that they should feel bad for being white. Not-white are pretty heavily hinted that they should feel bad for being not-white, and because of the systemic white supremacy. Boys are told that they should feel bad for being boys.

                    If one has a non-toxic family, they will help one develop the confidence to metaphorically tell the public school teachers to take their ideas and pound sand. If one does not feel bad about being a boy, one is unlikely to feel bad about being of whatever ethnicity. This decreases the chance of developing the self hatred that I suspect is one cause of spree shooting.

                    1. As has frequently been pointed out, the non-demographically representative things spree shooters tend to have in common is a lack of a father in the house and a tendency to have previously been treated with medication for behavior issues. (Not, “were taking their meds,” but had been on them and now were not.)

                      Which scares the ever loving heck out of me when I think about how many guys are shoved on medication to get them to not fuss the paid educators.

                      It’s still too tiny of a sample to get much useful information, but it’s less bad than “played video games” or “watched violent movies.”

                    2. I’m super scattered today.

                      There’s a natural rate of broken ‘other people are human’. If one has the potential to see others as human, then extreme self hatred is a mechanism that can break “don’t kill others” anyway.

                      Someone from a horribly abusive home environment and from a horribly abusive school/outside environment may still manage to grow up, and not be awful to others.

                      But you will get /some/ few who come out of that, and decide to be awful people.

                      It isn’t simply the abusive school environment, and throwing psychiatric medication around willy nilly.

                      There have always been some very bad home environments, but the big change in recent decades is how horrible the schools are also.

                      So we can be extremely confident that the quality of public education is a much stronger influence than video games, access to firearms, etc. Self hatred can cause a false positive for trans, and so the horrible schools combined with the trans push probably explains also the apparent increase in trans.

                      Basically, I wanted to reiterate my usual trolling of ‘common sense education control’, and forgot to do so.

          2. That, and I think it’s the power fantasy. “I’ll kill everyone, and no one can stop me!” punctured by the reality crashing in that yes someone CAN stop them.

            That reality is the thing that kills them, IMHO. The rest is just… details.

            1. As a generalization based on years and years of media coverage, it seems to me they tend to wuss-out and kill themselves before they get wounded or captured. They have no conviction in their “cause,” they just want to kill a bunch of strangers and then escape punishment at the end, when they get tired.


            2. Julie Cochrane had an interesting model/observations.

              Depressed people who a) hate themselves b) don’t really believe that anyone wants to live c) have a fantasy life about the spree for a long time prior to the spree.

              Yeah, sure broken families and leftwing philosophies. Intact families and Christian teachings tend to mitigate the level of hole a young man works their way into.

              Probably some of the activist/scholarly left are also manifestations of this same personal nihilism.

              Anyway, there is obvious cultural influence; a lot of stuff is copycatted, and the ideas would not have spread so infectiously without media raising the profile of the killers. See lyrics for Disturbed’s Legion of Monsters.

              Public schools are also to blame. a) They are very much not nurturing places for a young man. Frankly, given leftwing ideas on anomie (sp?), and the lockstep on CRT, might well be deliberate. At least one of the shootings seem to have been a result of deliberate teacher sponsored bullying. b) Inconsistently with their theories of gun control, and of poverty causing crime, they still at least go through the motions of teaching people to read, write, and cipher. These dysfunctional boys would be a bit less dangerous if they were entirely illiterate and innumerate.

              1. Public schools aren’t a nurturing place for anybody. Give the guys Robert E. Howard, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Edgar Rice Burroughs. It’d have to have a better result than what they’re forced to read these days.

              2. “Probably some of the activist/scholarly left are also manifestations of this same personal nihilism.”

                *nod* I believe they are. The nihilistic, entropic tendencies of CRT, the climate cult, transgenderism, and infanticide are pretty clear. *Everything* is about race, is about us destroying the *entire planet,* is about sex, and speaking of sex is about the “right” to kill the innocent unborn. That particular cocktail cannot but manifest nihilism.

                And it is constantly pushed further and further from normalcy or sanity. How many Twiddler meltdowns have we seen in the last five years or so? How many times has satire come true within weeks or even just days? A constant feedback loop of outrage and assertions that the world is *literally* ending, that political figures are *literally* Hitler, and are *literally* putting x,y, and z groups into concentration camps (proof of Hitler, right there) means things only get worse. Rates of mental illness on the left keep going up. The current crashing economy, a result of democrat policies, means prices are going up, business are failing, and we are getting both an unemployment crisis while jobs are going unfilled, causing yet more stress, suicide, and mental illness.

                None of these things are positive, life affirming actions. Quite the opposite.

                1. If you’ve ever wondered how it was the wars of religion went on so long and killed so many, look around.

                2. Note two SF/Fantasy authors who are not rabidly woke (Miller and Lee, Stirling) have written stories where more or less supernatural beings want to destroy all life so their universe will be quiet and peaceful, without those noisy life forms. And yes, the nihilist “gods,” are the Adversary in the stories.
                  But that means the concept is in the collective unconscious. Ych.

                  1. Stirling – “Dies the Fire” … not that the survivor’s know who destroyed means for high tech civilization until book 6 or so. They did have a name for the agency “Alien Space Bats” … Something did something, even if they didn’t know how.

                    I might have picked up the book because, at least the first 3, mostly take place in the Willamette Valley, and got hooked.

                  2. I’m playing with that myself right now. How DO you get the attention of a super being who finds Life generally inconvenient and untidy?

                    My solution, confront him/her with the Consequences of their actions. People talk about this type of thing in the abstract. Make them see it in the particular. -This- life. -This- species. Your actions made -this- bad thing happen to -this- person.

                    You make them eat the whole shit sandwich.

            3. And how do narcissists react to finding out people will say no?

              Not even sure if figuring out if it’s connected or a similar pattern will help anything….

              1. Rabid fury. Sometimes they hide it until you’re alone with them. But it’s there. And it is flat-out terrifying. The things they will say. The things they will threaten to do. The things they will do, if they think no one will catch them at it.

                One “no”, and they will do their best to ruin your life. Lie, cheat, steal, even go down in flames if it will bring you down farther.

                  1. *Wry* Hopefully someone can learn from my experience.

                    Yeah. Psychiatrists use terms like “ego wound” and “arrested development”. What it boils down to is you’re facing down people with adult mental capacities and ability to do harm, but the emotional self-absorption of someone between 1-5, max. And a gaping hole inside them that knows they’re a horrible person at the same time they claim they’re the most perfect hero to walk the planet. So everyone else must be worse, and if you don’t give them what they want (because they’re perfect!) you’re the Enemy to be obliterated by. Any. Means. Necessary.

          3. I think some of the mass shooters build up a fantasy in their heads beforehand about how awesome it will be to kill everyone they see. And then when they actually do it, they realize how wrong they were, and how badly they’ve screwed themselves over for something that was ultimately a disappointment.

            1. There are a lot of security camera videos on Youtube, where robbers entered a store, pulled a knife or gun, and things didn’t go as they planned. They ran away. What percentage of robberies that happens in, I don’t have any idea… but it’s interesting to watch.

        2. Could be something to that. We see it writ large in Antifa, they really don’t seem to think anyone will ever come after them. Leftists generally have no insight into the notion. They just keep turning the screw, as if it will go on forever and nothing will ever change.

          1. Narcissism, and consequences. Too many of them have never had real, “if you screw this up it is life or death or at least serious pain” consequences.

            Me, I learned the hard way pretty early that some people would deliberately tell you something was safe when it wasn’t, just so they could point and laugh while you were bleeding.

            …Persons, I can deal with. People? Not so much.

            1. I learned the “nobody’s got your back” lesson in maybe Grade 3-4. Sucked, but upside, betrayals have been few since then.

              But some people, such as the Antifa knobs, seem to slide along on a frictionless rail. We don’t get to hear much about when the rail comes to an end and the ride gets rougher.

              1. Heh.

                Yeah. Kindergarten sucked, but grade… I think 2, when someone said, “sure, you can learn to skip rope right here on the asphalt, we’ll help!”

                Yeah. I have some impressive scars from that, but the laughter hurt more.

  13. I think I have explained before that I am an engineer by training and by inclination so “science” is important to me. The perversion of science — especially for political reasons — is as close to a bete noire as I hope to ever get. Skip the rest if you don’t want to read one of my rants.

    Science, as conventionally defined, is the only way humans have discovered so far that works to discover the rules underlying the universe we inhabit. When someone decides that he doesn’t have to pay attention to the empirical data, he passes from justifiable insights to pure prejudices.

    The evolution of intelligent life has blessed the Earth with creatures that play and learn from experience. Humans amplified this ability by using language to pass knowledge from one individual to another. This meant that knowledge no longer was lost when an individual died and could accumulate over generations. However, incorrect knowledge can be passed along just as easily as correct knowledge so another step — a filter — was needed. Galileo and his contemporaries began by questioning the truth of what was passed down and investigated to discover what the real situation was. This was the beginning of the filter that I call “science”.

    The filter does not always work quite the way people expect. Even as far back as Newton, most science was steered by its benefactors. The notion of science as the “free play of free intellects” is a pretty founding myth but no more true than the Biblical Exodus story. In reality, scientific knowledge advances more quickly when it is directed toward solving tangible problems. Especially those problems related to technological innovation.

    At some point we have to build an airplane, turn on a light, or save a life. Technology is what links science to human experience making it real for people who do not understand the underlying principles. A jet aircraft, a light switch, or a polio vaccine are tangible cause-and-effect machines that turn phenomena described by science into technological outcomes.

    Still, the underlying scientific phenomena must be real or the technologies will not work.

    Americans used to understand this.

  14. When I check, try to get an overview, of the day’s news, often from instapundit, etc., anytime I end up reading something that starts with “A study says…”. I’m sure to end up cussing loudly by the time I finish the piece.

    1. In the same vein, “linked to” are the great weasel words of science “journalism”. Usually used to instill FUD.

    2. Or when I see ‘A number of scientists support our position on…’

      ONE is a number.

      1. Give credit to the Hindus … or maybe it was the Cambodians … or maybe the Mayans:
        ZERO is a number as well.

        1. As i was reminded here recently, zero as a number (rather than a symbol for “no number”) is an innovation of Syriac Christian subjects of the Caliphate, which appropriated it as they did most things attributed as an innovation of the religion of peace.

    3. > a study

      …often without giving a link to it, or the name and author so I can look it up myself.

      “A study… of the opinions of my fellow reporters down at the bar, BS’ing at lunch…”

      1. Reminds me of “un-named government source”. 😈

        1. “A source close to the White House”

          A rando spouting off on the Pennsylvania Ave. sidewalk is physically close to the White House, so it counts, right?

          1. I’ve thought of a janitor working in the DOJ building becoming a “source in the DOJ”. 😈

              1. I’m suddenly reminded of an Alan Dean Foster novel trilogy in which the not very bright aliens who did all of the janitorial work for the alien alliance turned out to be running a secret organization under the noses of everyone else, and no one suspected them because everyone knew that these particular aliens were not very bright.

                But toward the end of the novel, when the organization is revealed, one of the members of the secret organization noted that as with the other races, they had members of their race who were smarter than others. And that meant that they had some members of their race who were as smart as the average member of the other races. Or in other words, not all of them were stupid.

                And since they served as janitors pretty much *everywhere*, they overheard all sorts of interesting bits of information that they could collect and pass on to the smarter members of their race.

                1. The Fun part of that species was that they were also immune to the Mind-Control of the “Evil” Alien Species as well as immune to an off-shoot of Humanity (Good Guys) that also had Mind-Control powers.

                  Interestingly, a female of a third species got the other two groups to ally. 😀

        2. “un-named government source”

          So, that could be a clerk at the DMV.

      1. Yep but I must admit I didn’t cuss once upon reading this, ‘several studies say’ over at Ann Althouse: “Several studies suggest education is detrimental to critical thinking. As students progress through their degrees, they get better at supporting their own arguments but don’t improve at looking for evidence that might undermine their opinions and help them come to a more balanced point of view.”

  15. Science is not Consensus. Every scientific advance has been made by someone who said “You’re Wrong! And I can prove it!”

    1. If science happens by consensus we could solve all our problems by wishing at them really hard.

    2. I though those things usually happened when some guy spills something in the lab, then looks at it and says “that isn’t supposed to do that.” This is where Teflon came from. ~:D

      1. Charles Goodyear. “Oops, I dropped the rubber and sulfur mix in the hot frying pan. Very Interesting!” Vulcanized rubber and a new industry.

    3. If you can’t question the science, then it’s actually religion and not science.

  16. In a couple of weeks we will mark the anniversary of the day Galileo was forced to recant heliocentrism before the Roman Inquisition.
    The earth has revolved around the sun 388 times since then.
    “And yet it moves” … and still does.

    1. That’s the Myth about Galileo. Not the facts about Galileo.

      1. no proof he said it – but high probability he thought it.
        … like George Washington’s apple tree story … apocrypha that illustrates the rarity of the kind of man he was

        1. No, the account of his trial was what’s wrong.

          He was a Jerk toward other scientists of his day.

          He called his Patron a simpleton in a publicly printed document written in Italian (not Latin). Oh, his Patron was the Pope at the time of his trial.

          I’d also note that plenty of the scientists of his day (not just the Church) had problems with the heliocentric system.

          Oh, plenty of his scientific thoughts were correctly seen as wrong and he didn’t like hearing other scientists disagree with him.

            1. Nope.

              He wasn’t the only scientist in Europe at the time (and some pre-dated him).

              He was a loud-mouth who couldn’t prove his theory and pretended that his theory Was Fact.

              He had been asked to prove it before talking about it as Fact.

              Instead, he started insulting people who thought differently than him including his “friend” the Pope. 😉

          1. If being a jerk was an criteria for rejecting a person’s hypothesis, then the Principia would have been dropped into the memory hole. Isaac Newton was not the flower sniffing, apple munching, contemplative person your elementary teachers might have portrayed him as. He was, in fact, cold, calculating, cunning, quick-tempered, and could be downright vicious at flaying his academic rivals. He just was not a nice guy.

            1. Yes, but he could prove his theories. Galileo couldn’t.

              1. How many times a day does the Sun go around the Earth?

                Actually Galileo did have evidence the accepted models — including geocentrism — were wrong. His observations of the Moon, the phases of Venus, satellites of Jupiter, and sunspots (to just name a few) cast serious doubt on a whole raft of notions about how the Universe (AKA God’s creation) worked.

                1. As I said Copernicus’s idea was also wrong (because of circular orbits) and couldn’t be used to predict planetary movement.

                  In Real Science, it doesn’t matter if “other systems have flaws”, you have to prove your system is correct.

                  Yes, the “accepted system” had problems and plenty of others saw the problems, but others (besides Galileo) were able to show that the current sun centered with elliptical orbits was correct.

                  Galileo never was able to do so but others were able to show that.

                2. How many times a day does the Sun go around the Earth?

                  With proper choice of coordinate systems? Once. That’s why Brahe’s model of the solar system was an improvement over the the Ptolemaic system. It would be a while yet before concepts of inertial reference frames and the like (which is why a frame centered on the Earth and rotating with it is…less than optimal on interplanetary scales although its more than adequate for laboratory work, just like “flat Earth” is a perfectly adequate model for building a garage but not for building a highway system). Likewise, Galileo predates a lot of the developments in science that render his views on the solar system’s structure “obvious” to us. Those developments were not available to him or to his contemporaries.

                  Galileo’s work was best in his smaller things. His experiments, real and gedanken, about falling bodies was much more valuable. The telescope was perhaps his biggest contribution. But when it came to planetary mechanics it was his contemporary Kepler who really made it work. Indeed, it was the combination of Galileo’s laws about falling bodies and Kepler’s laws of planetary motion which formed the basis for Newton’s Principia–his realization that both were manifestations of the same thing.

                  1. Well, yes, I know that Kepler and Galileo were two of the chickens 🙂 on whose shoulders Newton stood.

                    I just found the hostility some here have toward Galileo baffling. Galileo did have observational evidence the Copernican description of the solar system was less wrong than the Ptolemaic model. That such evidence was insufficient to convince the Inquisition, does not negate the fact it existed. Their main objection seemed to be that his evidence was insufficient to cause a reinterpretation of Holy Scripture.

                    On the bright side, it only took 359 years until Pope John Paul II officially declared that Galileo go it pretty much right.

                    1. So, by that measure, the Church should be ready to accept Charles Darwin sometime around 2218.

                    2. It’s not so much hostility toward Galileo, as recognizing that he wasn’t just put on trial “because he said the earth moves”.

                      Although given his personal life and how he treated his illegitimate kids, he was also a jerk.

                    3. I think it’s not so much hostility toward Galileo as it is hostility oward his modem epigones. The narrative of Galileo and the fact of Galileo are not the same. Observations are theory laden and the scientists of his day didn’t believe he had proved his case. E pur si muove isn’t proof. Ask yourself how the observations would be different were the sun to revolve around the earth. I’m being quite serious, this is basic philosophy of science stuff. Essentially, accepting Copernicus led to accepting Galileo and not the other way round.

                      As for Darwin, the RC church accepts Darwinism in its essentials and Perhaps one should address just how little science and how much handwavium there is in Darwin. This isn’t helped by so many of the neo Darwinian synthesis crowd being communists and making everything into dogma. The modern non physical biologist crowd could give lessons to the inquisition. The inquisition was often lenient where the political situation allowed, and if you read through their procedures, tried to get to the truth. You can’t say that about commies.

                      Too much of what is said about the church comes from her enemies. True, her friends are often no more reliable, but you’re more likely to get a balanced view from a friend than an enemy.

                    4. I just found the hostility some here have toward Galileo baffling.

                      You might consider a reaction to the rather unjustified hagiography of Galileo.

                      Galileo did have observational evidence the Copernican description of the solar system was less wrong than the Ptolemaic model.

                      In what way? The Copernican system had no more allowance for the moons of Jupiter than did the Ptolemaic. The Copernican system was every bit as much wedded to circular orbits and “epicycles” as was the Ptolemaic. Copernicus himself eventually gave up on it as he ended up with more epicycles than the Ptolemaic system (and why he did not publish until he was practically on his deathbed and at strong urging from his friends).

                      Really, entirely too much is made of Galileo claiming that the Earth revolved around the Sun instead of the other way around. With the evidence that he actually presented that’s of little more significance than Velikovsky “predicting” Venus’s retrograde rotation. Yeah, he was right but…blind squirrels and all of that.

                      But people go on and on about “religious suppression of science” when that was not what was behind his trial. After all, other folk were out there making quite similar (and better supported by evidence–the Earth, for instance, fit very nicely into Kepler’s laws of planetary motion) arguments without running into the problems Galileo ran into. A whole mythology has grown up around it. And so, circling back, is it really any wonder that people might be a bit…vocal…in opposition to that mythology?

                    5. And yet they stick to him like glue. It’s almost like their evidence of hostility is so weak that they can’t think of another case.

                    6. That sounds like the current* woke/grifter method of dealing with the shortage of white-on-black hate crimes.

                      (*) Tawana Brawley is the first one I can think of, circa 1987.

      2. Yeah, I’ve heard that Galileo was put on trial more for being an insufferable asshole than for disagreeing with ‘Teh Authoriteez’.

        1. or being an insufferable asshole *while* disagreeing with ‘Teh Authoriteez’? 😉

          1. Notably, just because you disagree with the authorities doesn’t mean you’re right.

            Especially when you disagree with them because you are teaching a theory as fact, and they want to see your evidence.

            1. I seem to remember that one reason that it was very hard to prove the correct theory is that Everybody (including Galileo) was thinking in terms of true circular orbits.

              The planetary orbits (including Earth’s) are elliptical orbits.

              1. C.S. Lewis wondered (in The Discarded Image, IIRC) if one of the issues with Gallileo was him saying “It is” rather than “It seems”, which all the other models used.

                With the epicycles the models used to make things work, you actually needed less in an earth-centered system than in a solar system. So, the math was easier. Why complicate things needlessly?

                1. And the Math (with the sun-centered with elliptical orbits) matched reality better.

                  IE You could predict the path (appearances) of the planets better.

                  Oh, Copernicus’s system since it used circular orbits didn’t match reality and Galileo assumed that Copernicus’s system was the Right Way without real evidence.

            2. One thing that many people don’t realize is that Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler were near contemporaries to Galileo. Brahe had a model of the Solar System that was actually pretty close to being merely a coordinate transformation away from being correct. He had the Earth at the center, with the sun and moon going around the Earth but the other planets went around the Sun. Brahe just had trouble figuring out the orbit of Mars so he assigned that task to _his_ protégé, Kepler. And it was Kepler who both adopted a heliocentric system and discovered that Mars (and by extension the other planets) had an elliptical orbit, Mars being the one planet where the orbit was more eccentric than most (only Mercury’s, of the planets known at the time, having a larger eccentricity) and had observations accurate enough that the variation could not be explained as measurement error.

              Kepler published his theories in 1618-1621, more than a decade prior to Galileo’s trial.


              Clearly, without even knowing the details of Galileo’s case, it is pretty clear that there had to be more to the case of Galileo. Yes, Keppler was one of those icky protestant types (being German at that time and place) but he was also a corresponding member of the Accademia dei Lincei in Rome, so clearly some people there found him worth listening to.

              1. I’ve always thought Galileo was one of those folks who integrate subconsciously, so he could just see that heliocentric explanation fit the observational facts better, but his personality (unlike, say, Brahe or Kepler) was not set up with the patience and work ethic to go back and build a proof of the steps that constituted his internal “leap” in sufficient detail to convince others.

                Combine large ego with intuitive problem solving and a degree of laziness, then bounce it agains a bureaucracy, even one that was to some degree sympathetic, and you get “If your proof consists of insulting people in power, you need to just shut up, G.”

          2. Galileo was finally put under house arrest to silence his harmful speech. This, undoubtedly, saved thousands of minds from corruption. It was a win for humanity and a reminder to always follow the science!

    2. He was forced to admit he didn’t actually have the evidence to support his assertions, and got in trouble for still teaching it as supported fact after promising not to, plus publicly calling the Pope– an old friend who hired him to write a book about the theories, an idiot. In the book he was paid for.

      Guy ended up being correct, but the claim of it being supported was false, and he was a jerk about it.

      Here’s a truly exhaustive series of blog posts on it, with lots of details so you can verify independently:

      1. It’s like the people trying to make Giordano Bruno a martyr for Science!!! when he died in prison for (allegedly) seducing a nun and for (documented) denying the concept of the Trinity and other Church teachings. When he was a member of the clergy. Who happened to support the heliocentric theory.

        1. He also thought it self-evident that blacks belonged to another species.

          You can get interesting reactions if you bring that up.

          1. The reboot of ‘Cosmos’ and a few other recent pop-sci things have added him with Galileo as a Martyr for Science. Ignoring the whole “unrepentant heretic” side of things.

      2. Yep. But people like Wells found it easy to ignore all the politics and make him a martyr for Science and Progress, valiantly fighting the forces of Primitive Superstition and Priestcraft, ad nauseum.
        Wells’ spiritual descendants are still using those themes, as something “everybody knows.”

  17. For a little bit of humor, the US paranormal programs were mostly there to launder intelligence information from sources we didn’t want exposed.

    Basically, let a quack psychic alone in a room with some strategically placed into for them to spot. Then they’d, of course tell their handles about visions of a strange building in a forest, or a downed airplane by a forked river, etc etc.

    Then their handlers would report up the chain that their psychic had found a thing, it would get checked out, and lo and behold! they found a thing that they couldn’t have known it otherwise! Clearly, we used psychics to find ot, no?

    It eventually had to get shut down because a reporter spotted it in the budgets and started asking questions they couldn’t public ally answer.

    That’s the other half of why the Soviets put so much time into their paranormal stuff: they actually thought it was working when we used it…

    1. I have long thought you could do a really good SF-ish story in which the heroes are part of a highly classified Psionic SPECOPS unit. And are continually involved in a shadow war. The CIA’s program was a cover…and a money-laundering system. But the politicians got involved and started using it to fund their dim-witted spouse’s astrologers.

      1. There’s a lovely Steve White book called “Forge of the Titans” that y’all might like that has that as a premise. Here’s the first part of the blurb “When Derek Secrest was suddenly pulled out of the Naval Academy to take part in a top secret government project involving telepathy-because tests showed that he had a strong latent talent for psi powers-he thought things couldn’t get more weird. He was wrong.”

  18. In 1986, the Soviet Union seemed gigantic and a major threat.

    Five years later, it imploded.


    I strongly suspect part of it was the US Army absolutely crushing the Soviet style, Soviet trained, and Soviet equipped Iraqi army.

    Suddenly, it wasn’t going to be a Soviet walk-over to the coast of Portugal, but a likely steamroller to the streets of Moscow.

    China is no more than 20 away from a major convulsion, possibly a breakup into multiple warring states.

    And 20 is the high end. It might be 10. If Trump had been sworn in a second time, it might have been in that second term.

    Carter couldn’t buy the Soviets enough time to fix their unworkable system. Biden won’t be enough for China to undo the fatal botch of “one child”. They may go out ” messy”, but they are self-doomed.

    Reagan saw the open grave of the Soviets. Trump saw China’s.

    One good nudge….

    1. Speaking of Trump, he’s supposed to be on stage at the NC GOP conference Any Minute Now (6pm MDT); Right Side is carrying it on the TubalYou.

    2. My biggest worry is in what they will break in the process. Even an accidental strike of Taiwan could cripple the world economy for years.

      1. If I were Taiwan looking at all the rockets stations along the coast facing them by Emperor Winnie of West Taiwan, I’d be on the phone with the Israelis asking how many Iron Dome installations they could deliver how soon and would they be willing to sell a couple Arrow installations as well.

        With China Joe, there’s no use trying to buy any Aegis ships. Once January 2025 rolls around if it has not kicked off yet, I’d be on the phone with President DeSantis asking for a few of those, and renewing their prior dropped request for some F-35s (I’d ask for the STOVL F-35B just because of the vulnerability of fixed airfields), as the F-35 systems reportedly have the capability to shoot down boost phase ballistic missiles.

        What use is all that tax income from TSMC otherwise?

        1. Huh. That hadn’t occured to me. They might even be able to negotiate some of that tax into “at cost” front of the line hardware delivery too.

          TSMC appears to be more than a bit worried about this too. They’ve been trying to establish comparable fabs outside of their core Tawainese plants, but haven’t been able to make it stick yet. But they’re putting a lot of work into it.

  19. It’s interesting in a morbid sense to see personal political beliefs trump facts and scientific rigor. Jonestown was nothing compared to todays world-wide madness.

    A close friend of mine works for a corporation that hires and celebrates analytical minds and solutions. However they are “nads deep” in Wokeness and false narrative. We discussed how many people actually believe the shtick vs how many people are just going through the motions to get through the day with minimal fuss.

    My theory is that the “system” has work well enough for a critical mass of the population without too much effort that the masses are ignoring all the warning signs. Or as long as the power is on, the food is plentiful, entertainment is mind numbing and the beer is cold, nothing will change.

    But then again there are an extraordinary number of new gun owners, internal mass migrations and a growing number of folks recognizing that the “conspiracy theorists” aren’t the wack-a-doodles anymore…

  20. That psycho psychologists reminds me of this quote:

    “Projection is human nature. So while leftist spittle-spewing sociopaths project their own shriveled morality when they shriek about how we’re all racist fascists of fascist racism when racist fascism is actually their jam, we Normals tend to project our decency when we assume that our opponents are just confused friends who are in the throes of a grievous misunderstanding about us that we can remedy with facts and evidence.”

    1. Thing is, some of the problem behavior here is not projection.

      It isn’t entirely commies being commies either.

      If I thought it worth my while to get a degree in ‘whites are awesome’, I would be a loser.

      People doing scholarship in African-American Studies are largely a residue that has nothing better to do with their lives. Then, at best, they spend those lives reading about some cruel historical nincompoops.

      Cops deal with a lot of criminals, and that unusual experience with the cruel and the insane can make police think out of step with others.

      For some of the vicious morons of CRT, the obnoxiousness is a learned behavior.

      I started to figure this out when I realized that I was learning unpleasantness from a very small number of insane leftwing academics being echoed by media and tech.

      1. Back in the mid 1990s, when College #1 made Women’s Studies into a major, several of us joked that it qualified you to either go to grad school or run a feminist book store.

  21. Your rulers dictate that you obtain impossible results, so you fake them.

    Been listening to Solzhenitsyn’s “The Gulag Archipelago” on Audible. He talks quite a bit about various “work norms” assigned to them in the camps. The “norms” (what one is supposed to be able to produce) were made up. The actual output was also made up. They had every incentive in the world to fake output. The difference between a punishment ration for failing to meet norms and a reward ration for exceeding them was literally (and I mean “literally” literally) the difference between life and death.

    Now apply that principle all up and down Soviet society.

    I see no reason why it wouldn’t equally well apply to China or any other totalitarian regime.

    It’s only when the wheels come off so badly that you simply can’t ignore them no matter how much self-deception you engage in that they’re forced to accept things. As the story goes, Boris Yeltsin (who appears to have given at least two kopecks for the lot of the Soviet people–something rare among leaders in such systems) knew that they had lost when he visited an American supermarket.

  22. I looked into the remote viewing program that was fictionalized in “Men Who Stare At Goats.” The movie is hilarious btw. Anyway the reason we had remote viewing program is because the Soviet Union had one. BUT the reason the Soviet Union had that program is that they heard a rumor that the US had one. And so it begins. Something to laugh about.

  23. This is brought up apropos someone in the comments yesterday saying that the early virus released in Wuhan was 100% lethal very fast. Yeah, I heard the same thing a year and a half ago. It was also transmissible for weeks before symptoms showed.

    That is what you have to conclude, if you assume that the reports are reasonably accurate.

    So, when they go from “mild cold symptoms” to “thousands dead,” you pretty much HAVE to assume that it masks as mild symptoms, and then goes horrifically deadly.

    …because noticing China disappeared several doctors who rang the bell about there being a nasty infection out there is Not A Thing. Nor noticing that Taiwan was yelling about hey, there’s a known nasty infection.

  24. Second, this method of “science” has been creeping into the US.

    Like that horrific nonsense that went “K, so mask skeptics look at the evidence, pay attention to the details, are making logical arguments supported by the evidence, but BAD BECAUSE NOT TRUST SCIENTISTS!”


    2. Oregon’s lockdowns and restaurant closures were based on solid science. Just ask Despicable Kate Brown and she’d assure you it was. Ask for the scientific evidence to back up the assertion, and it was either crickets or “How Dare You Dispute Our Science!!!!111eleventy!!!” All this while in direct opposition to CDC rulings.

      That got old really quickly, which is one of the reasons why certain stores now refrain from enforcing the OR-OSHA/OHA mask orders. Of course, they’re still threatening stores, so the small businesses have more to lose with the fixed ($8900 fine for being caught) noncompliance fine. IMHO, the compliance inspectors might match Portland PD for the most thankless jobs in the state.

      My week was made when [redacted store name] went from prominant signs demanding customers wear masks to 1/3rd of the customers and employees not wearing masks. That took one week. (And yeah, before then, there was about 1/3rd of the customers already not wearing masks. And yes, we’re in a county that TPTB says must wear the face diaper–face shields discouraged.)

      1. What I’m seeing (both at home and on the road) is somewhat the opposite. Relatively small businesses are relaxing, franchisees of corporations are clinging to “CDC guidelines,” and wanting face diapers. Not sure the Aveda salon with the detailed guidance and the jingle was a franchise or the owner is just anal.

        1. I saw small business nervousness at one restaurant (another kept the dining room open through the lockdown, regardless of fines) when they posted signs saying they had been reported to OR-OSHA too many times to let maskless people actually walk in the door. At that point, rather than dealing with the Karen-harassment, they closed the dining room. Again.

          Maybe not so much at non-food places, though one electric/plumbing supply place (small regional chain) had extra warning signs (blaming the governor–as is common for a lot of small business mask signs) and I was told to mask up. The sporting goods store still has a gatekeeper, though it’s clear that TPTB will use any excuse to try to shut down any business that sells Evil Black Rifles or anything more dangerous than a Nerf gun. Curiously, not at the farm and ranch store, though their firearms counter still has the social distancing ropes.

          I haven’t looked at the rules lately. The taqueria I frequent (tiny chain–3 stores plus catering) has in-house dining, but the local fast food joints (MacDs, Burger King, Dairy Queen) have closed dining rooms. MacDonalds has been open for inside dining occasionally, as has BK, but Dairy Queen shut their dining room at the beginning of the lockdowns and never reopened. They still have the seats. OTOH, the newer MacD in town redid its dining section, made it smaller and installed a couple of the $15/hour-FU order kiosks. No remodel at the one near the hospital. Yet.

      2. We don’t normally go to Sports Bars, or Bars in general. One exception, Game Day, on Hwy 99, only because it is “attached” to Putters in Gilbert Center. Same owner as the Center. Share a kitchen, etc. We like Putters Pizza. Putters can’t open because it caters to children, ages toddler to HS, and they can’t open the specific attractions. Game Day could open. Went in Friday. Sign at bar: “By CDC Guidelines, those who have been vaccinated, do not have to wear masks.” Really, tiny print under this “We aren’t asking if you’ve been vaccinated.”

        Take that would-be-czarina Brown.

        OTOH, while technically small family business, it has been in the same family now for 4 generations, with the 5th generation being raised now.

        This is a business we’ve been supporting weekly since they’ve opened, and ordering out when they couldn’t. I don’t do well on Pizza, but make an exception for them. Their Chicken Cesar Salad with Bacon is my alternative.

        1. There’s only a couple of places we can safely eat at, and both were hurt by the lockdowns (and the taqueria, by the fire in Medford). We got weekly takeout during the lockdowns and occasionally got lunches. Juggling lunch and a Kindle in a car is doable. Barely.

          Now both are open at reduced capacity, so now that I’m back driving, I’ll stop at one or the other for lunch. The Chinese place has a very mild* take on Kung Pao Chicken, while the taqueria’s cooks do a killer Adobada.

          (*) Green bell pepper for the “heat”. Not what I ate in Silly Valley, but it works in its own way. OTOH, their Cashew Chicken is really good.

        2. If Democrats get their way and change the tax code to hike estate taxes and to change how capital gains taxes are calculated by making inherited property be taxed at the original valuation rather than the inherited valuation, this and most other family businesses will have to be sold or closed because of the Federal tax bite.

          Its as if they want to destroy the middle class.

          1. Pretty sure the business is incorporated, so assets are tied to the company and not inherited. How it works beyond that for inheritance IDK. But yes, between the Feds and the State, they are taxing families out of business.

            Cousin and her husband are incorporating their farm. Started out as a hobby for their kids. Oldest took it as a living. He and his wife now manage that property as well as her parents small farm (don’t know what her parents are doing, suspect same). Her husband is an electrician, and they have that company too. The electrical business will probably eventually be sold, once he retires.

            I am aware of what the feds and state do and how difficult it is to by pass either, even with family trusts. Aunt and Uncle tried with their assets. Uncle’s estate still wasn’t settled when Aunt died just about 3 years after him. She was very upset that she was paying estate taxes on assets she helped build (well half of it anyway). Now cousins are in the middle of it all. Business was sold a long, long, time ago. Part of it to the son. Don’t know that the Fed Estate Tax was involved, but the estate is well over the State of Oregon estate.

            1. It would still be impacted because if it is incorporated, the shares of stock would also be subject to the new method of calculating the base year, forcing the stock to be sold to pay the taxes if other liquid cash is not available. Additionally lawyers and accountants to handle all that stuff will be even more expensive as the complexity increases which is yet another burden on the middle class.

          2. Agreed on the last bit. They think Middle Class Delenda Est.

            I haven’t heard pushback on the estate tax portion of MCDE, but I *believe* that senior Dems might have convinced TPTB in the Fraudulency that it needs to be abandoned. Something about fearing for their future, not only political, but corporeal. (You can cheat all you want, but if the people are pissed enough, it doesn’t matter.)

          3. Well, of course they want to destroy the middle class! An independent and secure middle class in a position to demand their rights is a clear obstacle to the model of subservient serfs/proles and lords/nomenklatura that they wish to establish.

  25. I severely doubt that China would beat us. They can do a lot of damage to us on sheer numbers, but their system is rotten to the core as you describe. Their geography is also a serious weakness. I believe we would prevail because they would mis-gauge their own abilities in much the same way that the provincial leaders constantly misreport their population stats, or their covid case counts. The vast majority of construction in their country is basically Tofu Dregs, every level siphoning off money and cheaping out every way possible.

    But it is imperative that we keep Taiwan out of their hands because that would strengthen their hand significantly, and make it even more painful for us.

    1. As long as the political and corporate elites are beholden to the CCP the CCP can do a lot of damage to us, much of it through their collaborators and appeasers in the USA.

    1. “late stage capitalism” is a profoundly stupid phrase but I couldn’t resist this picture.

  26. “The Ring must be destroyed,” said Elrond.

    And our only hope is that we remember Rome was not conquered by Christianity through force of arms but by insignificant people, often slaves, living as the Savior commanded, sharing the Gospel, and even dying but never denying the faith.

    And these were teaching young people about the truth.

    We can’t kill our way into restoring America. We need to destroy the enemy’s tools of hate and oppression.

    May God defend the right.

    1. Money is fungible, so funding new trash cans at a place that does bioweapons research frees the money for bioweapons research that would otherwise have had to be spent on new trash cans.

      “I promise this will only buy new trash cans” is thus irrelevant.

      1. Which is the same problem with the funding that goes to groups like Hamas “for civilian infrastructure” that goes to helping Hamas in its campaign to destroy Israel and commit genocide of Jews/. Trump put an end to the insanity and got denounced by the Democrats for doing so, and unsurprisingly one of the first things HarrisBiden did was restore the funding and increase it, even though US statutory law enacted during Trump’s first tem specifically prohibits most of the funding they are providing.

  27. Anyway, interesting thing about the masking and other ‘safeguards’, they really only ‘make sense’ as a countermeasure to a viral weapon.

    However, then they also make us more vulnerable to bacterial weapons, which have some more effective qualities compared to viral weapons.

    A possibility is implied by certain things endorsed by the PRC assets at American universities. The demand for the current ‘countermeasures’, and the refusal to consider countermeasures such as restrictions on movement of persons across borders fits a pattern. That being, this fall when conditions again favor colds, make a push again about viral countermeasures, /and/ use grad students from the PRC to spread the bacterial weapon that is intended to do the real killing.

    Which makes actual countermeasures to this scenario, such as blowing up international fllghts, killing university administrators, killing graduate students, and killing collaborationist government officials, look almost in throwing distance of sane. The remedies may be insane, the justification may be insane, but the amount of deliberate falsehood widens the range of reasonable speculation, so it is no longer outside the Overton window.

  28. Speaking of safeguards, there’s this judge who overturned California’s “assault weapons” ban. Here’s the decision (abnormally readable for a legal document):


    It concludes: “Government is not free to impose its own new policy choices on American citizens where
    Constitutional rights are concerned.” Perhaps this should be more broadly applied….

    1. Guaranteed to be overturned by the leftist 9th Circuit; it will undoubtedly be assigned to a panel with at least two appointees from Obama and Clinton, and if not and the panel upholds the case, they will then hear it en banc in order to overturn it, as they have done with so many other rulings by non-leftist panels (and what the stacked leftist DC Circuit now does).

      THIS is why they are so anxious to pack the Supreme Court-so they can ensure that cases like this that go up to the Supreme Court are either rejected once the left gets the ruling they want or the Supreme Court will use it as a vehicle to eviscerate individual liberties guaranteed by the Constitution that the left abhors so much.

      1. Plenty of gun cases have made it past the three judge panels in the 9th Circuit. It happens quite often, actually. The problem is the en banc hearing. In theory, it’s supposed to be made up of judges from the circuit selected at random. And yet, somehow, the “random” selection of judges *never* has a majority of justices who aren’t gun-grabbers of the worst sort.

  29. Or take things that “moderns” meaning people in the 20th century loved to make fun of, or rail against, like bleeding sick people.

    Ah, the “I love fucking science crowd”.

    Like those who celebrate Gallileo while dumping on those who were convinced the Earth was stationary while not knowing:

    1. Gallelio had a more complex and less predictive model than Tycho despite Tycho having a geocentric model although all the planets orbitting the sun.

    2. Why Tycho and others thought the Earth was stationary much less how to argue against that with period observations.

    But they are so much smarter than Tycho who made the observations that made a better understanding possible. I mean they had to do the hard work of reading centeries old knowledge from book or on the official “I love fucking science” tech toy (which is what science in that phrase really means) as opposed to the easy job of figuring it the fuck out.

  30. IIRC, the maggot theory was disproved well before the microscope. Two chunks of fresh meat, one exposed to air but sealed from flies, the other one open to flies.

    However, like a lot of things, it took quite a while for people to stop believing in spontaneous generation. Worse than science even, where at least the currently invested do eventually die off. Which is another problem with government science – it funds the universities where the bad ideas are indoctrinated into the next generation, perpetuating scams like catastrophic climate change.

    1. Apparently it’s very close. I had to go refresh my memory from Wikipedia, but the microscope was invented sometime in the early 17th century (and advanced by Galileo himself) but Leeuwenhoek didn’t discover microorganisms until 1676. The “meat in a sealed jar” experiment was carried out in 1668.

      1. Ah, the recollection is still somewhat good… Thank you.

        Of course, magnifying glasses were around long before anyone got the idea to combine lenses in a tube – refreshing my memory from the Wiki of Pedia, Roger Bacon in 1250 is credited with it.

        However, the sealed jar experimenter (Francesco Redi) apparently applied the KISS principle in 1668, rather than tediously watching a chunk of meat with his magnifying glass.

        I recall reading – and might be incorrect here – that the magnifying glass was once used in an experiment to prove the existence of phlogiston, that it obviously came from the rays of the Sun. (Huh. That theory was actually formalized in 1667. Can’t find a reference to a magnifying glass experiment, though.)

      2. I still remain firmly convinced that fruit flies spontaneously generate from cantaloupe. Because I bring one home, slice it, and fruit flies appear in the kitchen. Every. Single. Time. No fruit – no fruit flies. One cantaloupe, sliced – behold, fruit flies.

        1. Black flies in a farm kitchen. A kitchen where, tens of times a season, the entire room was detail-cleaned by a woman with a beyond obsessive need for cleanliness, who disassembled lighting fixtures among other things to wash them out with bleach or alcohol depending, with toothbrushes. And yet, flies. Every May through November. Drives one to distraction, it does.

    2. Many scientists believe in it with completely dogmatic certainty: life on earth had to have come from unliving matter, and that’s that.

    3. Also, fly eggs are big enough to easily see with the naked eye, and are commonly in clumps about half the size of a grain of wheat (or the size of a fly’s abdomen). The trick is catching the fly in the act. So I’d guess at least a few observant people had figured out the connection long before, but hadn’t written it down anywhere that survived.

  31. “Your rulers dictate that you obtain impossible results, so you fake them. This gets rolled to the next level, where now they want even crazier results, and so on up the line. Which is why the CIA who believed the reports thought communism in Russia was so d*mn successful.”

    It’s worth noting that there is a word for this. Lysenkoism, named after the Soviet Trofim Lysenko, is the deliberate distortion of scientific results in the furtherance of a religious, cultural, or political cause. I’m sure that we’re all familiar with the word. But since no one else had mentioned it, I figured I would.

  32. Semi OT. I’ll be radio quiet for a while. I’m going to visit family, and won’t have much computer access. Please remember not to reset the most-in-one coffee maker. Jeff hates having to recalibrate the thing.

  33. For the USSR I’ll point to the first chapter of Victor Suvorov’s “The Liberators” though the whole book is about the lies going up and down their system.

    As for ours… Just as an exercise I’ve been keeping a daily record of the US “Covid” deaths put out at midnite at the “Worldmeters” site since March 22nd 2020. Their numbers on the total and daily often don’t really match up and they explain it as States, like my Michigan, refiguring their numbers days after reporting them.

    However yesterday was a doozy. Total deaths for 6-5-21 went from 612,240 on 6-4 to 612,203 on 6-5 with 388 reported to have died on 6-5. Total went down by 37 as 388 more died. As the numbers decline the adjustments done by the States are shining through more and more.

    1. All government statistics do that. the basic Economic statistics are still being adjusted years later as the real data come in. it’s why they’re mostly useless for real time work. they’re not even lying, because all the initial data are estimates that get revised. reputable data sites will keep the earlier releases, so you can see what was reported and follow the revisions but that’s rare.

  34. This supports one thing I believed about the second Iraq War. Our intelligence community was reporting that Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction because there was a high-level spy close to Saddam Hussein.

    Since the scientists were reporting their “work” on WMDs to Saddam, this is what the spy heard as well and passed the information on. Since the information came from a high-level source close to Saddam, it was seen as viable and trustworthy.

    The issue is how to believe or rely on anything from a totalitarian. This also applies to the current “fact checkers” employed in the media today since they have a worldview that must be preserved and paymasters to answer to.

    1. Troops on the ground actually say there were WMDs or at least precursors. So this is semi-invalid. I mean, your point makes sense, but it was more a matter of our press refusing to report what we found because they wanted to create a narrative like, oh, China flu.

        1. Nerve agent rounds that were used to build IEDs; WMD alarms set off downwind of the dumps that EOD (eventually) blew to deny them to the insurgents; barrels and barrels of actual agent, that last denied as “not enough.”

          Yes, Saddam decided he was going to play games with his generals and keep them in the dark because he didn’t trust them – he was afraid they’d use nerve agents under their control on his personal backside – but there was a lot (a lot) of stuff that actual people who were actually there actually report that they actually found, and some even made public, but that was all suppressed by the aristo media because it didn’t fit the lie they were peddling about GWB “lying”.

          Look, these are the same people in charge of the media now – does anyone doubt after the past year that they would do such a thing?

      1. Not to mention the documented Russian escorted convoys from the storage sites to Syria.

  35. It is essential to political leaders – ours not least among them – to have the appearance of an ability to direct events. This produces much harmless persiflage and some destructive chatter (see: New Deal and America Economic Recovery.) Often the nonsense is little more than “tap-dancing” until the problem rectifies itself (pendulums swing back eventually, so long as the toddlers can be dissuaded from interfering) although frequently (cough * Gov. Cuomo) it perpetrates regrettable minor harm.

    The greater fear, of course, is the idea that nobody is in control, that events cannot be readily directed – and that attempts to direct them produce disasters.

    Living with fear is a fundamental element of courage.

    Be brave, soldier on, and put not your reliance in princes — just hope those princes haven’t excessive faith in their powers and wisdom.

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