Getting Drafted * With Footnotes.

We were all drafted into wars we didn’t begin*. A war, that if you’re a believer of certain religions, might very well have started with a serpent in a lush garden, either literally or metaphorically.**

We are born into a place and time we didn’t make and our life will be influenced by decisions taken by others, far away and long ago. ***

Things are certainly not what your parents would want for you. Judging by myself and what I want for my boys, that’s flat out impossible, because I want them in that garden without defect, walking with perfectly compliant animals amid the lush and perfect vegetation. (And older son would lecture those poor animals on biology. no really.)

We are all born into terrible and imperfect times, and with our own imperfections, of mind body, and yeah, spirit. At least–

Okay, so when I was twelve, I used to yell at my mom “I wish you’d never have had me.” That didn’t last because mom is more appalling than I in frankness, and she would yell back, “I didn’t want to have you and when I wanted to correct the mistake, your dad stepped in. So, go yell at him.”

It was appalling — also truthful — but it stopped me on my tracks. What it didn’t address was that my argument was stupid and flawed.

Yes, I grew up in…. difficult times. I’ll be absolutely honest, being an Odd there were no good times to live in. **** Particularly since I was born in an extremely conformist country where sticking out from the norm gets treated like the nail that sticks up and will be pounded down, but also because compounding the issue, my Odd parents didn’t think I was supposed to be taught the norms, but expected me to respect the norms which I suppose were meant to emerge spontaneously from my naturally virtuous nature as their daughter. *****

But you probably know I don’t do things by half measures, so I was born under a National Socialist (but not fascist which is a very specific thing, and certainly not Nazi) system, and then it transitioned, suddenly and to my 11 year old eyes unforeseeably to international socialist with vague shades of Mao (and the Maoists in control for six months) and violence and atrocities. *6

Which is a terrible thing to do to someone who was born fighting, and has no intention of doing as told.

Yeah, I made my peace with it, and found my own way to a place where i could be free and not live in fear of transgressing the rules I couldn’t divine. But– Now they’re trying to take that away from me, and I don’t know what to do about it. Or I do. But I can’t get anyone to listen to me.

Recently a young friend said it’s not fair to have children now. They will be unwittingly recruited into a war not of their own making, even if it’s just a culture war.*7

I wouldn’t say anything, except that I expect that there is a lot of that generation worrying along those lines, at least on the conservative side. *8

It’s really just a more sophisticated version of “you shouldn’t have had me” but because it’s “altruistic” it might convince what are at heart good kids, who have been handed a very raw deal as to the time they’re born in. *9

The thing they don’t realize is that we are all handed raw deals when we are born, and some of us manage to make good things out of them.

Look, I’m not beating up on the young ones. Heinlein himself fell for this. His reason not to try for children with his wife before Ginny *10 was that “who would bring a kid into this fucked up world?” If he had had children then, they would be now in their nineties, around my dad’s age. And yeah, if still alive and having inherited a don’t tread on me disposition from daddy, they might be very worried about the road we’re on. But they would have lived through the age of greatest American prosperity, and have had the ability to make a very good life for themselves.

It’s still just a sophisticated version of “why was I born”. It assumes you grew up in the worst of times, with the worst of possible paths ahead, both of which are demonstrably flawed if not outright crazy ideas.

Look, I said above, I was born under national socialism. I was. It’s a fact of life. I found, later, I couldn’t live under international socialism, so I suited myself.

BUT here’s the thing: my parents were born under national socialism. Their parents were born during a brief Anarchists in power interregnum (I think all of them.)

They all had good lives. Okay, the lives might have been distorted by those in power above them. There was a reason grandad worked abroad most of his life, and frankly, I don’t know how long till mom started screaming if the revolution hadn’t happened. (Probably not long. She screamed under international socialism, even though they were — trust me — more crazy and intrusive than under national socialism.)

But beyond the distortions, all of them had good lives, and had kids, and raised their kids. Now, I don’t think I could have tolerated either regime as a grown up. But I’m me, and I fit weirdly anywhere. And mind you, I’m not complaining. Well, I am complaining, because the ranks are forming NOW when I’m old and unsuited.

In point of fact, the times I grew up in were much worse than now. But we survived. And I even have some very good memories.

You can’t know. You can’t know ahead what your kids are being born into. No one can. The one things we know is that they aren’t being born into paradise. (D*mn it.)

My box of regrets is full of things like ‘if I’d kept my mouth shut and written leftist, the kids would be so much better off.” But on the other hand, I wasn’t ready to sell my soul, even for them.

The thing is, any kids you have will be born into a war. So it was since the beginning of time. But here’s the thing: they’ll have to make their own lives, live their own choices.

None of my fans will like to hear this, but your kids might very well decide to be statist drones. *11 (In which case, it will really suck to be them, but that’s on them, not you.)

All you do is give them life, give them the opportunity to choose. Ultimately, they will make their own choices, and yes, some will be things you wouldn’t make UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. This is something that’s very hard to fit in your heads, until the kids are in their twenties or so, but every parent since that garden and that serpent has had to face that.

But why give them life if it’s not going to be perfect? Or at least good?

…. Because it’s the only thing that gives life meaning, in the long run.

No, I’m not saying that childless people have no meaning in life, though I think a lot of them think they don’t.

What I’m saying is that if you care passionately about anything: life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, say, even if you’re not religious (particularly if you’re not religious, because if you’re religious you view this life as a short preamble) you must have kids to invest in the future. (Or get close to the kids of others and hope to influence them. Which is harder. And it’s about to get massively harder for the left.)

Because in the end, those kids you “draft” “unwillingly” are the only ones that can win the war of human liberty. Or life. Or the pursuit of happiness.

You’re not going to win it in the present. And if you leave the reproducing to people who want government to care for them like a mother or a father forever, then liberty is going to go down for a count (it will come back up, because genetics aren’t all) because the kids will be raised with that. Yes, some of them will defect to our side, like some of us will defect to theirs. But on the main, temperament and disposition have an influence, and they will tend to go the way of the family, in the majority.

So if you care about the future, you’ll have kids. And you’ll do your best to raise the little sh*ts so they don’t defect, and don boots, and go stomping on human faces.

Because that’s what your ancestors did. And your ancestors before them. World without end.

The alternative….

I was tallying how few people in my generation, that I KNOW have grandkids. Even those with enormous families have maybe one or two grandkids.

I can’t begin to emphasize how this is not normal. I’ve preached about population dearth, but this is population crash: assume the position and kiss your *ss goodbye.

And we don’t know what comes next. I don’t know what comes next, and neither do you.

I know a ton of you were propagandized that on the other side of this there’s rainbows butterflies, and we’re all rich. They’re idiot Marxists. Wealth isn’t something to be endlessly redistributed. It needs humans to create it.

Times of population dearth are hungry and horrible times. And that’s not what we’re looking at. It’s 10x worse than that.

Add to that all the people who are going to find that most of their age group has no kids and gives no fucks; that the majority of their age group believes neither in G-d nor man, nor anything beyond them, and it’s too late to do anything about it. *12 And a lot of them are going to flip into end-times bacchanalia and crazy.

Which will be biblical and epic. After which the Earth will go very silent, as the children (particularly adult children) who depended on others looking after them die. Those that survive such “end times” will start again, if we’re lucky not from pre-historic conditions, but that depends on how ugly things get as they come apart.

It won’t be very far up from that, though, because it can’t be. Because we’ll have enough (maybe) for small bands of people, dotting the landscape. How long can one keep tech going? When in the end times the hedonists will insist 2 + 2 = infinity and teach that to the scant children?

“But Sarah, if we bring children into the world, they’ll just have to deal with that.” Maybe. Or maybe there will be enough of them, and enough of them will be sane and functional to keep us going over the very rough spot, so that we can emerge on the other side, still civilized and functional.

“But I can’t ask that of them!” Every generation asks that of every other. Each generation has it in their hands to end civilization. Not having a generation, or having a generation that’s 1/10th of the past just guarantees that the few that exist will fight in vain against the fall. The more we have, the more likely we survive this.

No, we are not overpopulated. We never were. That’s a big government statistical lie. It’s possible for humans to be overpopulated. That usually leads to invention and expansion to other areas.

But we can get under populated. And like the cooling of the planet being a much bigger danger than the heating of the planet, under-populated can destroy humanity, or send us back to living in hunter gatherer counts for a very long time. (I believe this has happened before. Maybe many times. Hence it being built into every language that our ancestors were much, much better than us.)

No, I don’t see communism as the future, and I don’t see communism in the US. I think the current crop of arrant idiots, quite the dumbest set to ever run in possession of Marxism and red crap, will try. They will TRY. But they’ll fail. I expect chaos and almost for sure violence. (Yes, I expected the beginnings this month. I’m not sure we’re not seeing it. There have been a few events… Besides a sitting (if illegitimate) president threatening us with nukes. And since this is the second on their side to do so, you know it’s what they really believe.) I think the violence only hasn’t happened because our proportion of young people (real, not statistical) is low, and low enough they were taught a culture of safetyism. (Because they were the precious few.)
But I believe violence will come, because humans are not tame, and this bunch is cornering us.

But even if we don’t rebel communism is designed on Malthusian and other completely insane assumptions. We don’t have enough people for us to pretend it even works. And if they take out the country that feeds the world, there will be no one to subsidize the pretense. (Yes, I’m sure the idiots think China will, but I’m not at home to Communist delusion.)

So, whatever you think you’re having kids for, it’s not that.

What is it? Bobbed if I know.

My parents couldn’t have foreseen the fall of Communism. They like every conservative in their era thought communism would win in the end, and that the only virtue lay in resisting it as long as they could. Their parents might have thought the children they were having children for was endless European wars.

It turned out much better than they could have hoped. No, not perfect — duh — because it usually does.

The truly horrific things — the black plague — tend to be absolutely unforeseen. And unplanneable for. They just happen out of clear blue sky, unforeseen.

Yes, tomorrow or tomorrow or tomorrow the sun could go supernova, and what if you drafted — DRAFTED — a child to the unforeseen end of the world?

I hate to say this, because I realize it’s a retroactive rebuke at Heinlein. It is also a rebuke on the new agey pamphlet that I was handed when older son was born:

We ALL have children for uncertain times. The total idiots are those who think their kids’ lives will be lived out in candyland with sparkles.

And yes, for some it will turn out very badly. Contrary to the stupid pamphlet, you can’t CONTROL your kids forever into the future, and if you could it would be terrible.

For some it will turn out very well. Better than you could have expected. Or do you think that Leonardo DaVinci’s parents, having an illegitimate son in a dirty-poor village expected him to die in a royal palace and be admired four hundred years later?

The real question is: Would you rather not have been born? Do you know anyone who would rather not have been born, unless they’re mentally ill, or 12 years old?

We can’t even CONCEPTUALIZE not existing, because the essence of life is to live, and pass life on. It’s the most basic thing.

Do the thing, if you can. Pass it on.

The doom of civilization I foresee is probably wrong, as all foreseen dooms, but it has a better chance of happening than “We’re going to be fighting them from the Gullags FOREVER.”
There’s not that many of them. They’re not that powerful. They are a terrified minority, fighting like cornered rats.

Be not afraid. And if you can, bet in the future. Bet in the future in the only way that matters.

The future might not belong to those who show up. But if no one shows up there is no future.

Only silence and emptiness.


(** Metaphorically and by modern interpretation, it always starts with a serpent in a lush garden. See Leonard Cohen “It is in love that we are made.” — and yeah, I woke up in a weird mood, then the day got weirder, and you’re inevitably going to have to put up with it.)

(*** BTW, I’m not going to whack the regular who preached this at me, because regular. But there are another three comments on this that I DID NOT approve, to the point I wonder if my post yesterday got posted on one of the whacker “Christian” sites. So, for the record, “You were beautifully and fearfully made” is true. It’s also true “G-d doesn’t make junk.” (And incredibly vapid.) That doesn’t mean that humans are perfect machines, or that they have to live with everything they are born with.
I, thank heavens, I was raised in a religion that whatever its other issues understands that creation is still subjected to the effects of sin, starting with the original sin, and that G-d respects the free will of humans, even free will that distorts his plan. He obviously respects the free will of other creatures because by the time we became humans we had some very interesting ancestral systems that work at cross purposes. Take my auto immune. Your immune system is forever on patrol against different proteins. This is how most cancers we get (and we all get like 2 a day) never survive and grow. Because your immune system whacks them. HOWEVER either mine is insane (possible) or I express proteins that are different (I’m above the highest for Neanderthal genes!) So mostly it whacks me, leaving me at danger for cancer and making me scratch my arms raw. But I’m just an extreme example.
I’m not being heretical. There is still a miracle there. My older son says it’s a continuous miracle that humans continue living and don’t self-destruct any of the million of ways we can at any time. So, that is a miracle too.
I do realize people are uncomfortable with treating things that if you squint and look sideways can be considered moral failings. Which was the whole point of my post. Sometimes you have to. They are not moral failings, but have their origin in well-defined physical issues.
I have said I’m “still at large” on depression because, unless something unforeseen occurs, I DO have it under control. The worst I got was when Hypothyroidism fought on its side. I try not to have to take treatment for THAT because I want to make sure what I think with is mine.)
HOWEVER I wouldn’t be here without medical treatment. I’d have died in early childhood. And the ADD? I had a choice. It is severe enough that I could not get anything done the rest of my life, now I don’t have editors calling and demanding work (i.e. I’m not exernally regulated) or I could be productive. I choose to be productive. Some people manage ADHD fine. Because they don’t have as severe a case, or because they’re better at managing it. I can’t.
To anyone demanding one manage everything without drugs because “you’re beautifully and fearfully made”: I have a distant cousin who has warring mental illnesses the least of which is schizophrenia. When he’s well, he’s around and doesn’t take his meds. And then things go wonky. He watches himself all the time, and when he thinks he’s at risk for killing someone, he commits himself and gets the treatment. Yes, he’s beautifully and fearfully made. It’s not his fault HIS ancestors married their first cousins more than mine did, and gifted him both a brilliant mind and a severely flawed brain. And he deals with it the best he can. And in eternity his CELESTIAL body will be free of those flaws. Or would you rather he accepted G-d’s will and killed people, starting with his very beloved mother? I don’t care if your crazy interpretation of the Bible says. My branch doesn’t engage in biblio-idolatry. G-d might be a pantser and have plans to rescue everything into His plan at any minute, but he’s not a puppet master and you’re not a meat puppet. He allows free will to run in the world, and that means the free will of your ancestors affects you too. And if that’s not what you believe too bad, so sad, but you’re not going to convince me by shouting at me.)

***** And people wonder why Jean Jacques Rousseau is first on my kill list as soon as younger son builds the long-promised K’nex time machine.

*6 Though you won’t find that in any history books, not even the mass graves found decades later. Hell, I don’t know if people in Portugal know about them. I don’t know how mom found out, though I verified it sideways and weirdly.
When I was telling a friend who worked for the State Dept. under Reagan about this stuff I started with “you’re going to think I’m crazy.” And he said “Oh, heck no, honey. We knew. We just couldn’t get anyone to listen.” And it was SUCH a relief.

*7 Spoiler, I don’t think it will just be JUST a culture war. It’s been delayed due to the aging of the populations, but the blue model can’t go on. Their ultimate model, communism, has shown what it is almost half a century ago, and we’re running out of denial. And people are getting angry. It’s not a coincidence the FICUS wants to nuke us. They know. In fact, they’d never have cheated this blatantly or done the crazy things they imposed on us for a year and a half if they weren’t terrified out of their corrupt little minds.

*8 The liberal side is still trying to figure out: what kind of genitals they have; what kind of genitals they want to have; what kind of genitals they’re attracted to; how to make babies in the middle of all this mess; whether the sacrament of abortion is more important than making babies. So, we’ll leave them out of this.

*9 One of the things I like about Budhism and other religions that believe in Re-incarnation (The Mormons believe in Pre-incarnation, and I might or might not have known this at one time, but I no longer remember if they believe this particular thing) is that they believe the baby chooses the time and place to be born into *9*1 which absolves parents of that particular anxiety and responsibility.)

( *9*1 I don’t believe in that, but let’s suppose I did: did I have to choose such a strange time and such a backward place. If I believed that, I’d go around randomly whacking myself in the back of the head for being a dumb ass.)

( *10 Yes, she was a lush. But people have had children with lushes, and all of us have ancestors who are/were lushes. And yeah, he was sterile, in his fifties, when tested. MAYBE.
Because, look, they weren’t that good at determining that. We still aren’t. My best friend not someone to play around and besides her oldest is the spitting image of his dad was told her husband was basically sterile. She didn’t know it but when those results came back, she was pregnant with their first child. At any rate, due to Heinlein’s health issues, this might not have been true EARLIER.)

( *11 If only to piss you off or to be different. I mean, you guys know not all of my family is conservative. In fact none of them is for liberty, because they’re Europeans. But some of them are on the other side.)

( *12 For women there is a very specific end. Surveys suggest every woman who hits it childless wishes she’d had children. But hell, even women who had as many children as they planned, when it becomes impossible to have more, eat their own hearts out. Even those who tried to have more. Trust me on this. The saddest words in language are “it might have been.”)

294 thoughts on “Getting Drafted * With Footnotes.

  1. I “refuse” to think about “what might have been in my life” because of My Depression.

    Now, Alternate History is another matter. 😀

  2. Would I have had children in this time and place, if I could? Yes, even knowing that there’s something profoundly broken in me that would make loving them properly very hard. But things didn’t work out, and the Great Author seems to have had other plans. People had kids during the Thirty Years War, for Bog’s sake! People had kids during the end of the Ming Dynasty. People had kids during the 1300s (plague, famine, cold weather, warfare out the kazoo). So why not now? I would have, if I could have, but that’s not what the Plan seems to have been.

    1. I’m with you. Even if I found a spouse tomorrow, it’s very unlikely at this point I could bear children (though I am not opposed to adoption, but.) I wish I had had children. I always wanted to, but…

      Here’s hoping, at least, that I can be a good influence on my nieces/nephews, or get to a point where I can be a foster parent or something like.

        1. Oh, don’t I know it. Four of the seven kids (or five of the eight, if you count the Unofficially Adopted Son) in my family are adopted. Three of the four official ones are dysfunctional, and were damaged beyond repair before they got to us. One of those hopefully remains institutionalized, and thankfully is not bright enough to be, say, a really dangerous serial killer–but alas, the potential was there, and boy was it a rough few years when he was living with us. The other two basically went running back to the kind of lives they’d escaped from–abuse, etc–which is heartbreaking. The fourth is…doing okay (and is the only one my parents got as an infant) but has his own slew of issues and I think is not likely to have children of his own (crippling anxiety + getting his heart severely broken twice + already-present general misanthropy (I love my brother dearly but WOW is he a grump)).

          The unofficial one, though–well, he’s doing great. Joined the family at twenty, and has five kids, so there is that 😀

          I have mixed feelings about the whole foster/adoption thing. The hellish years of my teens/early adulthood brought on by the damaged children in our home had me swearing never to do it, ever for many years. Now…well. As you said–it’s snatching brands from the fire, it doesn’t always work…but sometimes it does. And that can be worth it.

            1. I wonder how much is their letting the have more to ruin the kid.
              Once they realized that stabbing is a legitimate reason to shoot someone they insisted that it was foster care not her family with Bryant.

            2. Oh it was pretty messed up. He went to his foster parents when he was 11.. and they were really good for him. First time he had had a family. Before that he was given away (not in foster care) to a random family in Oregon. It is a really interesting story. It took him until he was in his late 50s to get the details.

              1. My brother and I -same parents, same environment. Except I was encouraged to leave home (I owe my mom a deep debt for telling me it was time to leave) and he wasn’t.
                Now I’m in an RV with my spouse, just had a text from our boy. And my brother called last night to tell me he’s got a wheelchair to go with his oxygen and expects the food stamps to come in shortly. He’s six years younger. And the health issues are self-inflicted. It hurts.

      1. I helped three younger siblings and four of my nieces and nephews. I don’t expect or even hope for anything else at this point. But I want life to be good for my nieces and nephews.

    2. There is no life without struggle.
      And there is no struggle without life.
      This is truth.
      Fight to live, and live for the fight.
      Peace enough waits within the grave.

    3. I’ve wondered about that as well. But I married the man for me and we didn’t have children. It wasn’t that we wouldn’t have wanted a baby, it was we just didn’t have one… we didn’t go through IV or anything crazy either. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to have a child and now grandchildren.

  3. It was appalling — also truthful — but it stopped me on my tracks. What it didn’t address was that my argument was stupid and flawed.

    Which is a rather important flaw.

  4. Biden was utterly incoherent yesterday during his media appearance. It is very clear the nukes comment was part of the written script that his handlers wrote for him, and that his mental incompetence resulted in him blurting out the real “yes we would nuke Americans to keep power” intent of the comment rather than the more carefully scripted staffer intent to try to mock their opposition using nukes as an example.

    My concern is that with the amount of time that HarrisBiden are together, and the time that both are in DC due to Harris being needed to break tie votes in the Senate, that an adversary with nukes is simply going to wait for a day where both are in DC and Biden is pulled from a presser and a 2pm lid slapped on things because Biden is mentally “bye-bye” to use that opportunity to strike, knowing that no-one will be able to get off a retaliatory strike before they cripple us.

    I don’t expect the CCP to do this, because why would they, since they own this administration and Congress anyway. Russia is getting the concession they want, and I don’t think Putin is stupid enough to attack us when he can sit back and watch us try to destroy ourselves. The Jihadists on the other hand, like Iran, would not hesitate to take advantage of such a situation.

    Also, notwithstanding the above, I can see the CCP or Russia doing it if they think Biden will die and Congress will flip notwithstanding Democratic Party fraud, and their paid operatives will be limited or ousted. In that case, they would want to attack while their window of opportunity is open.

    The one thing that is guaranteed is that someone WILL take advantage of the weakness. History has proven that.

    1. I mean…thing is though…I’m not sure some idiot enemy nation nuking DC wouldn’t actually be doing us a favor….? Provided getting ‘next person in line’ (and may it be someone waaaaay down the list) isn’t too insane, that is.

        1. That got a laugh, but yes, it’s quite true. “Thank you. Now prepare to die.”

          1. I was thinking putting the above on the return nukes? When others ask: “the Thank you note is in the air” is the reply.

      1. I’d miss the Smithsonian. And I really don’t want nukes for anyone, anywhere. I just know the odds are against getting my way.
        My personal, “Oh, please, God, not here,” target is Huntsville, AL. It’s got Redstone Arsenal, headquarters for three major Army logistics commands, they have Marshall Space Flight Center, it’s a big research center, there’s a railyard….back in the day a missionary to Russia discovered one of the guys he saved was a missile programmer. The Russian went white when he learned where the missionary was from and told him they’d had three nukes planned for Huntsville. And since it’s in Alabama, you know the blue-staters would say something utterly unspeakable if anything happened to it.

        1. I’m honestly at the point of “I’m not sure even the loss of all the historical artifacts/art wouldn’t outweigh the benefit of removing the corruption”…but I *do* consider all the OTHER people who live in that area who don’t deserve any such thing…and for them, I do not wish such a thing on them.

          I dunno if any of our current enemies would be aware of Huntsville? And I say that only because of our own “elites” ::spits:: now decades-long and very loud contempt for such places as Alabama that they might think it’s no longer a place of importance.

        2. Yeah I’m ashamed to say that the Smithsonian and the National archives are more of interest to me than the humans which is wrong.

      2. A wonderful idea but I’m sure that some innocent hooker, maid, dog walker, or other servant would get caught up in it. It’s like Abraham’s bargain with God about there being an innocent man in Sodom and Gomorrah, though even Abraham would have trouble bargaining on behalf of Sodom on Potomac.

        Now, if there were only an easy way to get the hookers et. al., out without tipping off the others. Hmmm.

        1. Right? I don’t want the millions of innocents to die, so this would be why I’m not actively praying for something like that 😀

          1. At this point are there any innocents? DC is a government town. Everything is either government, services for government workers, or welfare recipients. Even the Smithsonian has been corrupted – see the Enola Gay exhibit a few years ago. The people that enable the corruption and corruptees are as guilty as anyone.
            Can anyone name one government agency in DC that should not be burned to the ground with the workers inside?

                1. ….you know, I never noticed that Himself pointed at animals as a thing to be upset about destroying, before?

                  *oddly warm fuzzy feeling, given subject matter*

            1. The people that enable the corruption and corruptees are as guilty as anyone.

              Enablers carry guilt, but of a different kind. Otherwise you have to conclude that every single person in a totalitarian society needs to be executed.

        2. Every time I read that passage, I can only imagine the exasperated look on the Lord’s face.

          Fine. Ten men. Are we done? May I go now?”

          1. Yeah, Of course the Lord knows everything I think he was basically saying to Abraham “Show me ten good men, Go on come back when you’ve got them” knowing Abraham would fail and realize how bad things were.

      3. We’d have to get completely off the succession list before we found someone who wasn’t part of the cabal. Once you get past the Speaker and President pro Tem you’re at cabinet officials appointed by – ahem – Biden.

    2. Avoid making the mistake of thinking our foreign adversaries are necessarily functional enough to act on this meaningfully.

      History proves nothing wrt specific forecasts.

      Domestic politics may act more quickly than foreign politics.

    3. China might, but Russia won’t. Russia is in a very big hole, Put in knows it, and he needs to US as, especially as a bumbling, adversary that he can play off of.

      Recall Russia has the GDP of Texas, and is playing as a Great Power. They get that by verbally butting chests with the US, because if they can do that, clearly they must be in the big leagues.

      Drop a nuke on the US, and now they need to actually fight the US and whoever else decides they want a piece of Russia. And don’t the Chinese Government wouldn’t be perfectly happy for an excuse to try and break off a piece of those Russian oil-lands, either.

      Russia has a lot to lose, and very little to gain. Putin, for all he is, he’s not a moron.

      1. Two other factors that make it very unlikely Putin would be the one to attack; the first is that he needs us as a foil to go after the Jihadist groups on his doorstep that he has to play nice to because of their proximity to Russia; the second is that he needs us to counterbalance China because otherwise he faces the very real threat of the CCP running roughshod over Russia.

        I think the only thing that would get Putin to attack us if he comes to believe that we are so beholden to the CCP that we are essentially an active part of Communist China to the point where he needs to cripple us in order to prevent the CCP from running roughshod over Russia.

        Of course, who knows who Putin’s successor will be and their attitude. Things could get very ugly if Putin dies or becomes incapacitated on no or short notice.

        The other concern with Putin is that their have been strong rumors in the last year or so that Putin has Parkinson’s Disease, which of course can cause people with it to have delusions, some of them very vivid. Having someone actively having delusions able to order a nuclear attack is as bad if not worse having someone who is senile in charge.

        1. Ok, that’s worrying. Hopefully he doesn’t lose his marbles. That would be bad.

          I suspect if he though the CCP had completely compromised the US, I expect he’d start a lot of coalition building. Again, being a big fish thing. And there are a lot of countries that fear and hate the US, and would be quite happy to vassal themselves to a solid US opposition. And the CCP has burned it’s welcome most places it has set up shop in. Russia can afford to set up shop most places, so they haven’t had a chance to burn those bridges yet.

        2. Putin has an old injury that affects his lower back/hip, is reportedly painful, and has been getting worse. One can hope that is what’s being observed, rather than Parkinson’s.

          Whatever he else might be, he’s first and foremost a patriot; he’s been a stabilizing influence, and there doesn’t seem to be anyone equally competent to come after him.

          1. I remain surprised he never declared himself Czar Vladimir and hand-picked an heir.

            1. A step too far for Russia?

              I’m reminded that the Roman Emperors Never Called Themselves “Kings”. 😈

              1. Octavian called himself “first citizen” and the emperor’s after him for the most part kept the trappings of the republic, including the senate, counsels, tribunes, etc. Pretty much like what is happening here with the republic having been skinned and worn like a coat.

                I think the issue Putin has had with naming a successor is that doing so immediately results in scheming to either eliminate that successor or to put that successor on the throne while Putin still has the job, neither of which pleases Putin.

                I fully expect that situation in Russia when Putin goes is going to be a lot like Zelazny’ Amber when Oberon “disappeared” with no clear successor, with different factions rushing to claim power and quite possibly outright civil war.

              1. Probably better for whoever if nobody remembers. But then, the thought of somone Putin thought competent enough to succeed him also being that good at doing the “faceless bureaucrat,” thing…..brr.

      2. I’m pretty sure that China’s not ready yet. China has a very sizeable amount of US debt that it uses as a way to prop up its own currency, and that poofs away if China starts a war with the US.

        And there’s also the USN carrier battle groups that would blockade China’s coast, making it impossible to get badly needed oil.

          1. Because CHINA is delusional. At least as much as the Jihadis. The more we kow tow the greater our danger. They see a chance to do away with us (in their heads) and be sole power before their internal revolt takes them down? THey’ll do it.
            We’re just round eyed barbarians, anyway.

            1. Point taken. They’re also not playing for the world, but to show their internal population that they’re the big dog in control too.

            2. I don’t think China ever saw other nations as being “real” to them anyway. Certainly not as real people.

            3. This is what I’m afraid of. Hitler , Stalin, Pol Pot, Louis XIV, Tamerlane, Caesar, Alexander, were all delusional. So was Alan Greenspan and so are the google clowns who think they’ll live forever as cyborgs. The soi disant President threatened we the people with the bomb if we object,so delusions are rather widespread I’m afraid.

              I’m very aware of this since it’s a very common blind spot in my analysis. I put too much faith in what I think their rational interests are, without realizing that they are not pursuing the same goals so their rational interests are not the same as mine. Bueno de Mesquita and Smith The Dictator’s Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics should be required reading for all of us. A dictator’s logic is not the same as a free person’s logic. Power has a logic of its own.

              Perhaps a quote from the great Thomas Sowell. “One of the common failings among honorable people is a failure to appreciate how thoroughly dishonorable some other people can be, and how dangerous it is to trust them.”

        1. If China is willing to take the gamble of war with the US, I guarantee that international currency markets are waaaaay down on their list of priorities.

          1. Just so. Still, I’m not afraid of China militarily and it’s not clear that they can take Taiwan never mind the US. What I worry about is our ugly little secret policemen in their little three letter agencies, sitting in their ugly city, in ugly buildings in their ugly Jos A Bank suits manipulating our pedophile and otherwise compromised ugly “elite.” CS Lewis talked about this in That Hideous Strength. Ugly little minds. We don’t have a Hitler problem in this country but we may have a Himmler problem or a Borman problem.

            1. Hmm. Arguably Himmler was even more evil than Hitler. Hitler was bugnuts bonkers, so far as I have ever been able to tell. Not say that he *wasn’t* evil, but he was most certainly also bananapants. People like Himmler–and Goering–now…I am danged sure that was clear-eyed, perfectly aware evil. The “we know this is evil, but don’t care, because it will grant us power” sort of evil.

              I know we have more than a few of those in our government, and they are pushing ever harder. I do take comfort in the fact that they are without charm or appeal to the sane, and those who still have even a modicum of a moral compass, but that doesn’t mean they won’t try to do as much damage as they can. I also take comfort in the fact that they aren’t particularly competent, either, and are utterly *terrified* because they KNOW they are the verge of having all their ugly sins revealed, and they know very well what the reaction will be–which is making them even more incompetent. Dangerous, yes, but…I hold on to hope. They can’t hide as well in this age of technology as they could in the 1930s.

              1. On the other hand, Himmler was the one forever banging on about Aryan mysticism and occult SS rites and so forth, and Hitler was the one who told him to stifle.

                1. Ah! That I did not know. Must have been pretty out there if HITLER was telling him to shut up about it, lol. Maybe it was Goering I was thinking of more than anything else.

                2. Then again, one of the few times I’ve had the experience of looking at someone and going “That is an evil person, they know they are evil, and they revel in it” was one of the folks who show up from time to time on Ancient Aliens*. Most of that lot are harmless kooks, but that guy…no. There was something very, very wrong about him, and I could tell he knew it, and loved it. (And if it came across on a CAMERA, I shudder to think what he’d be like in person.) Thankfully, he wasn’t on there much.

                  *No, not a fan, but my mother likes to yell at them, and I’m around her a lot, heh.

                3. Just so. Hitler was an artist and couldn’t be bothered but he knew what would go down with the public. Himmler believed in crazy stuff but he was also meticulous, organized, and very hard working. He tried to make his crazy stuff real and lots of people died. How in this is he different from Stalin, or Pol Pot?

                  Borrman and Goering were also hard working, Borman in particular but I can understand them. I ask myself from time to time, what would I have done? I can’t see myself in the SS ever, but I can’t see myself as Sophie Scholl either.

                  I have a loony lefty young cousin who was going on and on about the revolution. I pointed out to her that she thought that the revolution would be run by people like her, but, in fact, it would be run by people like me, but without scruple or compassion because the revolution would have swept away all the rules. That’s what revolutions are. It’s a failure of historiography that we don’t classify the Nazis as revolutionary. They were, but Marxism was already in control of academia and the concept got polluted like the world fascist.

                  1. I pointed out to her that she thought that the revolution would be run by people like her

                    “No, honey, you’ll be dead in a ditch with a hundred of your closest friends, shot by your own side.”

                    1. And the ones not purged right away will be constantly wondering whether they are clapping for Stalin long enough.

                    2. Dead in a ditch may be a more desirable result than some of the others, Korea’s pleasure women had it very hard, and I sense that many of the type that would take power have a tendency to some nasty kinks. That domination thing goes with the territory. we may be skating into S.M. Stirling’s Draka level of things.

                    3. Ugh. Go read ‘Choosers Of The Slain’ by John Ringo. I’m certain there really are places like Rozaje that “don’t exist” officially. And everybody that wants to knows where to find them.

                  2. It’s a failure of historiography that we don’t classify the Nazis as revolutionary.

                    Because Germany voted itself into the Third Reich, sort of. The new regime was “revolutionary” but did not come to power in a “revolution”, at least not one like the French or Russian.

                    1. Granted, but I don’t think it’s decisive. The revolution came when they put in place the enabling act and had the army swear allegiance to Hitler thus suspending the constitution. I would argue the same about the French Revolution and we should never forget that Lenin simply rode a tram to take power because Kerensky’s government — not the czar — had fallen. In all these revolutions, the government had fallen and been replaced by a constitutional,opposition that then fell to the revolutionaries. The only difference was how long the process took.

                    2. And if I recall correctly the Enabling Act came after the Reichstag fire; Democrats are trying the exact same think right now, with the same kind of goals.

                    3. January b6 was the Reichstag fire- at least many think it was. It just didn’t go as planned. The leftist agents provocateur weren’t able to get actual patriots to riot and commit acts of violence. And- they were badly outnumbered. One big problem with their plans to incite violence- their own propaganda was unusually effective on just them, convincing them the right was a bunch of violent people just waiting for the opportunity to be violent…

                    4. Heh. Because the lefty idiots are still projecting: they think that violence is a dial on the right (just like it is for the left–ie, ‘excuse to be violent’) when, as has been said elsewhere, it’s actually a switch. And not actually one that anyone sane WANTS to be switched to “on” (including those in possession of said switch).

              2. Heydrich was the truly dangerous one in his evil. Had he not been assassinated and thus been around later on during the war, I suspect things would have gone quite differently.

              3. Read Alistair Horne’s book on the Battle of France, and according to him the German General Staff were convinced they’d get their knickers thoroughly twisted if they attacked France. Hitler listened to Rommel and Guderian and insisted….and the French screwed up by the numbers.

                  1. It certainly helped.
                    Horne wrote a trilogy on Franco-Geman relations via war -Franco-Prusian, WW I an WW2. Still looking for h middle volume but the one on the Franco-Prussian War and the Commune was very enlightening.

        2. One reason China has been building all those artificial islands is to reduce the blockade threat and to increase its ability to project power in the absence of sufficient number of aircraft carrier battle groups. Of course the fact that the Democrats are intent on gutting our navy and particularly the carrier battle groups levels the field a lot, and they are rapidly expanding their navy while we are shrinking ours.

          The other factor is that while the CCP has competence issues, so do we. How many times have Navy ships hit other ships. I suspect our military, especially after the systematic purges of those who oppose leftist orthodoxy,, is far less competent than people believe it to be, and that our edge over adversaries is far smaller than most believe.

          1. Well, it is kind of hard to sink an island. 😛

            Blowing the shit out of it until it’s useless as a base, not so hard.

          2. Maybe abroad, but don’t forget we have heavily armed (and pissy, and many many competent) citizenry, which most of the rest of the world does NOT have. China might make it hard for US to invate THEM, but as has been bandied about at length on this blog, THEM invading US would not go the way they think it would… 🙂

            1. They won’t invade us with troops. They will use biological weapons and nukes. Just look at what their most recent biological weapon did to us because of all the useful idiots who shut down the country for an illness not even remotely at the level of the Spanish Flu, Smallpox, the bubonic plague, etc. Imagine what will happen when they unleash a bioweapon that is far more lethal.

              1. I’m not gonna panic over it. Communists, generally speaking, a rarely anything approaching competent. And if Wuhan was meant to be a bioweapon…they blew it. The useful idiots blew it. They’re not gonna succeed again in locking people down like that.

      3. The Russian GDP numbers are very deceptive…GDP these days is not based on output, but rather inputs, so about 30% of US GDP is government salaries, benefits, pensions and expenditures most of which, like the F-35, is worthless or even harmful…And many US prices for, say, medical care are many times the price in Russia..For example, major surgery like an appendectomy might be valued at $500 in Russia, and would be billed for $60,000 or more in the US…same output, but “GDP” is 120x larger in the US…

      4. It was only that it had nukes that made the old Soviet Union a “superpower.” Even at its height it was, as the late Jerry Pournelle put it, Bulgaria with nukes. The situation is even worse now.

        1. I cannot remember who it was that said it, but I liked the “3rd world country with rockets” analogy the best.

      5. China’s not just interested in Russia for the potential oil fields. Tsarist Russia swindled (yes, you read that correctly) the Chinese out of some northern real estate, including Vladivostok. The Russians claimed that they would help act as a peace broker on behalf of the Chinese with other European nations, in exchange for some territorial concessions. The Russians took their concessions, and then only pretended to help the Chinese (note that afaik, no one disputes this latter point; i.e. it’s probably not Chinese propaganda). And the Chinese have not forgotten. In fact, one US delegation visiting China during the Mao era got an earful because they’d stopped for a quick visit in Vladivostok immediately before traveling to China.

        The Chinese remember that they used to own it, and that it was basically stolen from them. And given half a chance, they’ll return it back to its rightful owner.

        1. That’s the premise of a Clancy novel written just after the end of the Cold War: The Bear and the Dragon.

          1. That was the one that made me realize that Clancy had jumped the shark. I read all the Jack Ryan books up to Debt of Honor, skipped Executive Orders, and then years later picked up The Bear and the Dragon kind of at random, having mostly lost interest in the techno-thriller genre somewhere around 1995, and that book just annoyed me start to finish. Pretty sure by that time Clancy had become an AuthorMonster who nobody would dare to edit.

    4. A government that is going to resort to using nuclear weapons on its own citizens is already so monstrous that it needs to be overthrown. This is not a proper method of getting the “consent of the governed”. Hopefully this is just empty rhetoric, but it’s both thoughtless and morally bankrupt, and anyone who uses it needs to be turned out of public office ASAP.

  5. The future, as the Blogfaddah Instapundit is so fond of saying, belongs to those who show up for it – specifically, our children. Who are likely, given our current situation, to be tougher than we think.

    1. That being the case…. whose children would you prefer show up and ultimately run the show? I know I’d prefer it was ours, rather than the crazed remnants of the Left and their pets.

  6. Four children. Fourteen grandchildren. The future is another country. And my wife and I are colonizing it.

    1. Well done indeed! The Universe is about love, and you have created a great deal of it…

  7. For the LDS – Pre-Mortal Existence (as spirits). Not sure whether that’s what you meant by pre-incarnation. We also believe that the current spiritual war dates all the way back to the War In Heaven, and all of us here participated in it. Everything since then is the work of a group of very sore losers.

    So far as I know, there is no LDS doctrine on whether or not kids choose when and where to be born. But The Author definitely has a hand in all things. And I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the people currently playing a role in your life were good friends before you were born.

  8. My folks are looking at three grandkids, unfortunately. On the other hand one of their contemporaries from church has more than I can count, and I think their eldest granddaughter just married a sharp guy who’s starting him plumbing apprenticeship.

    I might just gift then a paperback copy of that book set I found on how to build a machine shop from scrap and fire, and a set of Ray’s Arithmetic…

        1. It is Pride* Month. 😉

          *It’s morally retarded to take pride, or shame, in something over which you have no control.

  9. The thing they don’t realize is that we are all handed raw deals when we are born, and some of us manage to make good things out of them.

    “I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
    “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

    1. In quiet uneventful times, you are going to lead a mediocre life. That’s all there is room for. But in turbulent times, you have the scope to choose to be a hero or a villain. And that is the essence of free will. We are commanded to assist the Lord in tikkun olom, literally the “repair of the world”. So roll up your sleeves, get to work, and praise the Lord for the opportunity to work with Him, even if as a very junior partner.

    2. Thanks for posting that. It’s something I’ve been trying to keep in mind constantly through all this.

  10. Seeing a couple with young children or babies always brings a smile to my face. It’s one of the things we sorely need. The more, the better, as long as they can be provided for. My deceased wife and I only had one, well, because, several things. I wish I could have had more.

    1. I’ve been making a point of complimenting nice families… several kids, all well-behaved, deserving recognition.

    2. $SPOUSE and I got married far too late to have children–I was almost (but not quite) literally terminally shy, but managed to get out of that particular rabbit hole.

      Mom had 3 kids, and 6 grandchildren. Great-grandkids now 6, and fairly likely to stay that way.

      1. I got married late-ish (waiting for the right guy), and only had two kids. (The third would be almost 18 now, if only … (So anyone who tries to say that miscarriages, especially early ones, aren’t a big deal needs to just die themselves.)

        Sadly, due to medical issues, it looks like neither of mine is going to reproduce. I’m not sure about the one niece, since she’s got issues too.

  11. My box of regrets is full of things like ‘if I’d kept my mouth shut and written leftist, the kids would be so much better off.” But on the other hand, I wasn’t ready to sell my soul, even for them.

    Ah, but would they?

    Because what the person doing the wondering never considers is the effects on the children of watching their parent bend the knee.

      1. This. Giving in to evil is soul destroying. Children may be caught in the blast.

  12. Absolutely off topic, but why, WHYYYYYY if you make space for N mini cheese balls, do you end up with N+6, and have nut meal enough for N-10, so you have to stop everything and grind more nuts????

    1. Was it Larry Niven? Finagle’s First Law: The perversity of the universe is infinite. (I’ve likely gotten most of it wrong.)

      OTOH, the universal truism: Murphy was an optimist.

      1. ‘The perversity of the universe tends towards a maximum.’


        ‘Never throw shit at an armed man.’
        Never stand next to somebody throwing shit at an armed man.’

        If only our wussy ‘leaders’ could extend that to ‘Never throw rocks (etc.) at armed cops.’

  13. Some shotgunned thoughts:

    About *7, from my wisdom file, “The paralyzing fear of a dark future is a despicable, cowardly reason to deny the next generation their shot at making it brighter.” – Dr. Zero

    Benjamin Franklin was his father’s 15th child (his mother’s 8th). Sure would have missed him.

    My wife and I had no children. Not intentionally, fate or her health or whatever else it was didn’t allow it. My brothers did, and I can only hope the apple fell far from the tree. I try to encourage a better system of work in our culture where women are encouraged to have and raise children and then encouraged to pursue their other gifts by entering the workforce. The evil feminist delusion that a career is the only way to happiness for a woman is just one of the left’s many sins against biology.

    Extra aside, Sol will not go supernova—not big enough. (I know, literary exaggeration on your part.)

    1. Sol will not go supernova

      But it will eventually expand and consume the Earth, and take it from me, never try to explain that to a four-year-old. And it doesn’t make it any better to say it’s a billion years off and we’ll all be dead by then.

      1. It would be much simpler to adjust the Earth’s orbit than to either find another suitable planet, or colonize an unsuitable one.

        Might as well adjust the Moon’s orbit while we’re at it. By that time, months would be something like 100 days long and the Moon would be a tiny dot.

        1. It would be much simpler to adjust the Earth’s orbit than to either find another suitable planet, or colonize an unsuitable one.

          In one of Larry Niven’s stories he had a guy return from a long (really long) NAFAL trip to find the sun either approaching or at Red Giant stage with the Earth having been moved to basically a parking orbit around Jupiter. (IIRC. It’s been a long time.)

            1. Yup that’s the main story there’s a bunch of others they are NOT on the Known Space timeline. The big distinctive is the use of ramships, ships using bussard ramjets that travel at relativistic velocities (thus the time dilation issue).

              1. IIRC, The Integral Trees and sequels are in that timeline.

                I never really liked that timeline. As much as I hate to say it, I never liked Niven’s solo stuff nearly as much as his collaboration with Pournelle.

                1. Yeah that timeline is seriously a dystopia with a rather nasty world government. One story I love that is in that timeline is “Rammer”, lovely short story with a twist. Niven does seem to struggle at novel length. The novella length stuff (e.g. Protector, World of Ptavvs) is better and his shorts are lots of fun especially when he wanders into parody (the tine travelling Sven stuff). I suspect Dr. Pournelle was FAR better on plotting and then Niven would often fill in chapter length pieces in between giving us masterpieces like “Mote in Gods Eye” and romps like “Footfall”.

  14. > I believe this has happened before.

    I’m pretty sure you’ve read Barbara Tuchman’s “A Distant Mirror.” It’s marketed as a book about the Black Death, but it’s actually about “climate change”, when the climate suddenly changed from warm enough for three growing seasons per year to one, barely. The resulting starvation was a multiplier when the plague came in from the east. It was still cold enough for the Thames to freeze in Shakespeare’s time. Temperatures still haven’t quite made it back to where they were before.

    1. And temperatures are slowly falling. The growing season in North America is about 30 days shorter than it was in the 1960s. We mostly haven’t noticed because meanwhile we’ve gotten so much better at mass production. If CO2 hadn’t gone up enough to compensate, we might already be in trouble.

        1. Felix Haber came up with a process to synthesize ammonia, which provided critical feedstock for both modern explosives and modern fertilizers. Downstream production revolutionized both agriculture and military weapons. The economic and political effects of cheap ammonia changed the world. He got a Nobel Prize for his invention.

          Later, Haber came up with various chemical weapons during WWI, and Zyklon-B.

    2. The end of the western Roman empire was the same. End of a warm period, famine, disease. All the horsemen.

      1. And the period 1590-1650, with another dip in the 1700s-1850. If you were in the Levant/Mesopotamia/Southern Balkans 950-1050, it was miserable. Too cold, too dry in summer, snow that stuck around for weeks in winter, all that drove the Seljuks out of the steppe and into Mesopotamia, then Anatolia and the Levant.

      2. Indeed, cooling was probably the main factor in driving people off the steppes to invade civilized areas…

      3. Same with the Bronze Age Collapse — came on the heels of sharp cooling from a time that had been even warmer than the Roman Warm Period. (About 2C degrees warmer than today’s average.)

    3. And the British crown was trying to develop a wine industry. (And failing; an outgoing Italian ambassador told his successor to stick with British beer.)

      1. There exist grapes cold-hardy to Zone 3 (from an ancestry of domestic wine grapes and wild grapes) so it’s not like they couldn’t grow ’em. Making wine anyone cared to drink might be another matter.

        [And looks like this year I’m going to get a nice crop from my young grapevines. One is an Edelweiss; can’t bring to mind what the other is, but a red that starts with C.]

        1. catawba? That ones fairly cold hardy. They make wine from it up by Geneva NY in the Finger Lakes but it tastes funny. It works as a sparkling wine though.

          1. All wine tastes funny. 😛

            Saw a video recently with a claim that you can’t prevent grape juice from turning into wine unless the grapes are sterilized first. They are naturally coated with yeast and mold spores.

            1. Yeah, I imagine that’s so with pretty much any fruit juice — if you don’t cook it sterile, it’ll grow something, for good or ill. Of course if it goes wrong, you might get vinegar… that’ll taste even funnier. 😛

            2. Welch – yes, that Welch – made his fortune by figuring out how to pasteurize grape juice so it wouldn’t turn into sinful wine.

              1. And marketed it originally as “non-alcoholic Communion wine.”
                I do get amused/frustrated with my teetotal co-religionists. Essentially they seem to feel all Christ’s comments on wine must be symbolic because He would never do something they disapproved of.

                1. ::cackles:: I recall that shibboleth making the rounds even in the LDS ward I attended in childhood/teen years. I think it stopped being bandied about when someone (probably a snarky teen, wasn’t me) pointed out that there are at least TWO instances in the Book of Mormon where “getting the guards drunk on the wine we brought them” is a very important occurrence*. Sure, we don’t drink alcohol NOWADAYS, but given that potable water was even harder to come by in the ancient world than it was in early 19th century America, it’s perfectly reasonable that of course they had wine-with-actual-alcohol.

                  *although it also has some fairly pointedly negative things to say about being a ‘wine-bibber’ as well. So–alcohol consumption was normal, but being an alcoholic was not cool 😀

            3. Yup which is why the large group of my Baptist coreligionists insistence that Jesus of Nazareth drank grape juice is utter fricking nonsense (and I didn’t say fricking). As for zone 3 grapes, yes they exist, no you mostly don’t wine made from them 🙂 . Although they are useful as their root stock is resistant to a grape pest that nearly wiped out viniculture in the 19th century. Without those roots todays wines would not exist.

              1. He probably drank new wine like everyone else in season.
                It is licit to do Communion with new wine, which has not been treated to prevent fermentation.

                1. Indeed most of the wine drunk would have essentially be new wine. With glass being on a par with semi precious jewels and cork restricted to a limited part of the world some kind of glazed amphora is your ownly hope to age wine, and even if you figure out something to let things breathe without using sulpher or pasteurization (it wasn’t for milk initially 🙂 ) each amphora has only a 50% to 25% chance of surviving even a few months.

                  The issue is that some large portion of the Baptists are teetotalers of the WCTU strain. This is in my opinion a non scriptural requirement. But the cases where Jesus clearly consumes wine (or MAKES it in the wedding at Cannae) they assiduously avoid. This is an not a healthy action because if you’re willing to ignore one obvious piece of scripture what else that may define more critical teachings (like that drive the Nicean and other early creeds). Admittedly their path is one paved with good intentions, but we all know where that road leads.

                  If we entertain (not recently but when we did) some folks with that bent we would make sure there alternates, if there were ONLY teetotalers we would also refrain, following Pauls instructions not to unnecessarily offend or taunt other believers.

          2. Nope, it’s something common and obvious, and more of a table grape, but the tag blew away and apparently blew out of my head too. Looked through Wiki’s list and didn’t see it. I got the Edelweiss because I *think* that’s the grape growing randomly at the neighbor’s place (planted several owners ago so no one knows its history) and tho its fruit is small and seedy, it’s also super-delicious.

            We have wild grapes around here that love to kill trees (and bear no useful fruit), but are themselves just about unkillable; only way to do it is cut ’em back in the fall when they’re sucking in nutrients, then soak the stump in Roundup plus any other toxic waste you have handy. Repeatedly, cuz the first attempt probably won’t kill it.

              1. What’s purple and flies faster than Mach 1?
                A Concorde Grape
                (running to the Carp shelter)

    4. Alma Boykin just posted about a book on the regional climate shifts in Eastern Europe and the Near East titled The Collapse of the Eastern Mediterranean, Climate Change and the Decline of the East, 950 – 1072,
      Cambridge University Press, 2012.
      Available on Kindle.
      This is also the likely manner and near the time the Cahokia culture collapsed.

  15. Heinlein himself fell for this. His reason not to try for children with his wife before Ginny *10 was that “who would bring a kid into this fucked up world?”

    My understanding of the situation is that Heinlein did try for kids, rather hard. However, a nasty infection contracted while in the navy rendered him infertile. I don’t think he ever knew for sure. His instinct to fatherhood had to find other outlets.

    1. Right I believe he had Tuberculosis when in the Navy and ultimately pulled through though got invalided out. I don’t know that sterility is a side effect of TB, but extremely high temperatures caused by opportunistic infections certainly could be a source. All of this is pre penicillin.

  16. Kids aren’t a option for me (can’t afford, nobody to be the second body in the equation, and general age), or my sister (she’s a good person, but extremely self-centered, her medication choice would require her to have seizures if she wanted to have kids, and I don’t think there is a guy that would want to live with her).

    Right now, my fingers are crossed about a future that maybe I can live forever or die trying. Until then, making my way through this world, one disaster at a time.

  17. -*11 We had trouble conceiving. My wife knew she had fibroids and other issues causing irregular periods, etc. My results came back that I had a very low sperm count, but not completely sterile. We have one beautiful daughter. And had she learned to sleep sometime before turning three we might have had enough energy to try for another. Alas, we only have so many spoons to go around.

  18. The purpose of life is to grow and reproduce. Everything else is just embellishment and exaggeration. The meaning of your life is defined by the number of children you raise to reproductive adulthood; or perhaps I should say the number of grandchildren your kids bestow upon you. No children equals failure. No grandchildren also equals failure. Now in the case where you can’t or choose not to have children, that definition can be modified to how well you support the growth and reproduction of your nearest relatives children; including members of your clan, tribe, community, or nation. You may build things. You may grow things. You might just be a teller of stories that make it easier for someone else to get through the day after the kids have run them ragged. But if you’re not doing any of those things; then I’d have to say you’re a rather sad, selfish being that’s going to make the most impact on the universe by returning your body for recycling.

    Might be I’m still grumpy about being ignored by my kids on Father’s Day this year. No calls, no cards, nothing. Of course one IS a near perfect socialist drone, the other is merely center left, but it may take him another 20 years to shift to real center, much less conservative.

  19. in re., your footnote about Jean Jacques., when you build your time machine, can I come?

    I’d add Jeremy Bentham to your list. Such a load of damage in a man,

      1. I have to admit this one is Personal, as well as being (I think) a good idea. The Population Bomb was used to make a lot of my growing up absolute hell, because my parents would go on and on about how selfish they were to have children, and how we could never, ever be that selfish….

      2. When I was in HS in the 70’s and “Zero Population Growth” was a big thing and we had just had a discussion of it in one of my classes, the teacher went around and asked how many children we planned to have. I, demonstrating my contrariness, said “about six”, to the amusement of the class, “Sex maniac!”. It didn’t work out that way; I only got to two. It’s still possible to have more, I suppose, but it’s increasingly unlikely, and given my age and health, probably imprudent.

      3. And Karl Marx. Not that those ideas wouldn’t necessarily have sprung up elsewhere, alas, but it’d still be satisfying to pound the likes of Marx into soup, and drop him, oh, in the wilds of the USSR dressed as a peasant…

        1. Not necessary if you take out Jean-Jacques Rousseau. A whole raft of Bad Philosophy and Bad Politics would never have existed without him.

        2. Marx and Engels.

          They need to be reburied side by side with matching urinals on their gravestones.

    1. Surely there’s a time travelers version of I Have A Little List from The Mikado somewhere in these vast and mysterious intertubes…

  20. Look, I’m really not a nitpicker, but was/is there supposed to be a footnote for **** ?

  21. Do you think there is more pushback in Europe than here? Or do they just have a segment of people who are always protesting. I’m thinking of the recent anti-lockdown march in London.

    It also seems they have a few scientists more willing to criticize the COVID stuff, such as the Germans who did an autopsy on someone who had been vaccinated (why haven’t we done that here instead of settling for so-called safety signals in VAERS?). Or the scientists who examined the “vaccines” under to try to see what exactly is in them – what happened to people in the US who would do that?

  22. Kids? Do you know how many kids people had out on the prairie? Kids weren’t born because the loved kids. They had’em because there wasn’t much to do in South Dakota in January…

    You might want to look there to live…no fucking taxes.

  23. *10*1 – Consider that a part of his attitude at the time, living with a lush (which was the least of her failings, IMHO) was a lack of any refuge from the crazy world around him, time to look around to see what was going right – it was 24/7 crazy.

    *10*2 – I think it quite possible (from my reading of her character) that there were “beginnings.” That personality type might be fine with temporary infatuations, but a child – that would be permanent competition. Relatively easy abortion was certainly available in their circles. (In the back office, certainly, but not in the alley.)

    Note without a number – having put my own soul in hock a few times in my life, I know that I could never completely sell it. I don’t think that you could, either, Sarah. I would eventually crack and either hang myself, or seek out suicide by cop with a hefty honor guard for Hell. If you asked the boys (and they could have already told you this), they are overall better off that you didn’t! I look at the children of those who have, and while they are probably financially far more secure than yours or mine, the majority of them are complete mental and moral wrecks.

  24. Never had the chance to have children, wanted to but could not find a woman that would marry me. Now I am in my mid 60’s, not a chance in Hell. It bothers me but there is nothing I can do about it. If I outlive my Mother and I pray I do, I don’t want her to go through THAT, I doubt that there will be anyone attending my funeral. I will have to get a Lawyer to execute my will. Nobody to leave stuff to. I will figure something out.
    I am fine, just gets me down every now and then.

    1. IIRC, there’s a book out that describes how you should live and die. The very last check from your account should be to the funeral home- and it should bounce….

      Alternatively, find a family with kids you DO like, never say a thing to them, and leave their kids your estate if it’s worth leaving to someone.

      I recall a few years back a tourist in Italy stopped in a small church, and there was some sort of funerals service going on. He stayed, and signed the guest book, complete with address. A few months later he got a call from an Italian law firm. The recently deceased had specified that his estate would be evenly divided between those who showed up for his funeral as evidenced by signing the guest book. He was the only one there- and he signed it….

      All kinds of ideas…

  25. To be honest, I would love to have one or more kids. I think I have it in me to raise at least one more, especially if I could avoid…yeah.

    However, it takes two, ya know. 😉

  26. I grew up with the assumption that I would have children, but that was not to be. Spent too much time pining for a senpai who was simply Out Of My League, resulting in a late marriage. Even if I had married younger, looking at my family tree and the sort of personalities I get along with best, I’m thinking that it would’ve been less “whether” than “how severely” any kids would be on the autism spectrum. My brother works his heart out to do best by his children, but it’s heartbreaking to watch their struggles and know that even the one whose autism is mild will probably need significant support throughout her life. So maybe it was for the best in my case.

    1. I would have loved to have four children by the guy whom I fell most deeply in love with, early on. It seemed like an achievable dream – and one that I had never really thought would be mine, since I was an eccentric Odd – and really, I thought that he was one of our nascent tribe. Alas, didn’t work out, I was crushingly disappointed and couldn’t bear the thought of having another child alone. I just couldn’t – the one, whom I did cherish and adore and raised to adulthood was enough for me – I just couldn’t bear going through it all over again. I was pushed to the edge with that one. Couldn’t risk any more, and never met anyone suitable after that. Because – single parent. Yeah, there are all sorts of darling Hallmark movies about the striving single parent with the adorable kid. Real life is something else.

      1. Not gonna lie, the reality of ‘single parent’ is what makes me hesitate on becoming a foster parent without a spouse. I like the idea of being a foster mom, but…

        1. That’s where I’m at. Although, since I’m sort fostering my sister and her 3 kids….

          1. True, but your sister has you (and she is a responsible adult where her children are concerned, or so I’ve always gathered) and she does have the guy she’s dating who I presume is at least providing some kind of support, even if just emotional/moral support?

            And if I opted to, I *do* have my parents close at hand, although I will feel guilty enough about parking my dog with them on a daily basis once I get moved into my house, let alone a kid or kids that require a good deal more energy 😀 But we shall see.

            (Also, I don’t feel too guilty about the dog. My dad would steal her from me if he could, lol.)

  27. Speaking of populations that aren’t what they claim…

    Appears that the ghost cities of China are one part optimism and nine parts real estate scam:
    (This is an Epoch Times affiliated channel)

    Now, hie yourself to your favorite satellite map and take a look at Egypt, specifically Cairo, east of the city proper. Out in the desert you will see tens of thousands of newly-built or in-progress 5 story apartments (all in one of two layouts), plus several modern walking-downtowns. But when you can find a street view… they’re almost entirely vacant. No cars, few or no people. (No sign that utilities are extended to the apartments, tho the downtowns have watered plantings.) There are also several very large cement plants. I get the feeling it’s mostly a jobs program for their excess of restless young men. The inhabited part of the city (slummy areas to the west) appear fully occupied, but not crowded. The new apartments would be a nice upgrade, but hardly seem *necessary*.

    This is rather in contrast to, say, metro Mexico and Bangladesh, where every street view is populated to varying degrees with people and vehicles.

    [I was actually looking for old irrigation layouts for some idiot archeologist who is claiming that a bunch of rather cramped parallel and spiraled gouges in the desert must have been for “ritual purposes”. No, stupid, those are irrigation ditches, from back when the area was not desert and still raised crops. Remnants of such ditches are all over North Africa, and elsewhere. I can show you lots in SoCal. — Then I got distracted by Ghost Cairo and lost track of the idiot, but oh well.]

    1. Plus the construction quality in China is… awful. I can’t find it right now, but the two American guys who would tour around China on motorcycles (and have since had to flee the country) did a couple of videos about brand new projects around Shanghai that were leaking, spalling off concrete, and generally falling apart.

      1. This is entirely true and Shanghai is the best place in China, most of it is much, much worse. Most of the people talking up China have never been there and those few who have are just useful idiots. I did business in China for years and have made a fair bit of money in the Chinese markets, almost always on the short side.

        I remember the first time, around 2001, I went into Canton by train from Hong Kong and saw the iridescent streams watering the crops and the empty tower blocks that had been floored but never closed in with families living up on the 10th floor, with the sides open, cooking over open fires. the local government was touting their English speaking abilities, but I spoke to the French — first datum — manager and asked him, in French, just how good they were. not at all he said. Made our minder very nervous. What got me really worried was the stunningly attractive young woman who seemed to be very attracted to me. Now, I was still presentable back then, but this was ridiculous. At least one of my coworkers had the night of his life and a I wonder exactly what that cost him over the years.

        Ended up in and out of South China for years thereafter, I still have contacts there who tell me the truth. it’s all a fraud. Construction quality is worse than a joke and the cities are built on top of toxic waste dumps. The average middle class person owns three apartments, two of which are empty. All of this is financed by the family since men can’t marry unless they have at least one apartment because there’s a shortage of women and their families are driving a hard bargain. There’s no safe places to put ones money and everything goes into housing.

        There are honest businesses in China run by honorable people. The problem is that the state enterprises are not those businesses and they take up the bulk of the investment. It’s corrupt beyond belief. The banking system is insolvent, they still haven’t recognized their losses going back before 2008. The biggest businesses are run by the generals of the PLA and local government officials. Sigh. All it needed was a push but instead we got sleepy Joe and the camel with Chuck the c-ck and nancy palsy. What a pity.

        1. The other problems are that any successful business has to devote what are essentially sinecure positions to the family of party members. And if you do too well, and show up a competing state-owned company – as some skillful Chinese entrepreneurs have done – you’ll be jailed on trumped up charges.

          Honorable Chinese businessmen also have to deal with the fact that their suppliers might not be. The infant formula scandal in 2008 basically came about because a company that had a good idea for producing and selling infant formula wasn’t careful enough in checking the product that it was getting from its contracted suppliers.

          Oddly enough, given the prominence of the Chinese Communist Party within the country, one thing that I’ve noticed while watching TV shows from mainland China is the complete lack of *ANY* sort of party presence (aside from shows about students, who invariably mention they have a Marxist Philosophy class at least once). Watching one of the shows, one could be forgiven for thinking that you’re watching a show that was written in the US, but with more conservative social and sexual mores (and the occasional odd law, such as needing to register to buy a house). In the shows, the Party effectively doesn’t exist in even a positive fashion.

      2. Laowhy and Serpentza (too lazy to look up if I spelled ’em right). Yeah, nervous escapes for both of ’em, and one of their friends got jailed and beaten. — I’ve seen vids of brand-new or even unfinished Chinese construction that was already falling apart. So not only real estate scam, but construction scam. And consider whose steel we’ve been importing and using in major projects…

    2. Half of an apartment building in Florida fell down last night. Mayor of Surfside: “This just doesn’t happen in America.”

      My instant guess is ‘sinkhole’.

      1. It sheared away from the rest of the building at a sort of seam running between sections, so it looks more like a support fail that pulled it apart. No obvious sinkhole tho one below the surface could have pulled out supports. Supposedly there’s surveillance video of the collapse but so far I haven’t found it. Still about a hundred people not accounted for.

        The crazies are already blaming it on “seismic weapons”.

        1. Surveillance video from building next door:

          Looks like the center of the building pancaked, and then the right-hand section was unsupported and fell afterwards.

        2. Zerohedge has a loop of the video in their post on the collapse.

          There’s a fake (I’m told) tweet going around that said McAfee said his deadman switch files were in that condo.

      2. Supposedly, they (being the nebulous ‘they’ who own the building) had been warned about subsidence in the ground starting all the way back in 1990…and as recently as this year…

        If true, someone is gonna get the skin sued right off of them.

        1. Weird. Normally, a demo company has to work very carefully to get a structure to fall straight down. That looks much more like demo than accidental collapse.

          1. I think somebody would have noticed, and mentioned, a series of explosions in the middle of the night. I’m sticking with ‘sinkhole’ until somebody produces evidence of some other cause.

            Florida is lousy with sinkholes. Most of the state is low-lying karst — sediment over limestone. Water dissolves the limestone, creating voids which grow until the overlying sediment collapses. BLUP! Sinkhole.
            The avalanche has already started. It is too late for the pebbles to vote.

            1. News is noting that it was known as unstable last year, and there was reportedly a LOT of water in the basement just before things went bad.

              1. Also a lot of exterior wall cracks and constant leakage. there was actually work being done on the roof. I suspect it is a combination of factors. that include construction design, ground subsidence, water infiltration, and sea salt spray.

                Of course there are those on the left claiming that “sea level rise due to global warming” was the cause, never mind that the entire area is a barrier island/sand bar that is naturally being reabsorbed by the ocean due to natural geologic processes.

  28. They can’t make me suffer worse than the chemo (physical pain) and unemployment (broken pride) and not having any money but still having had an income too high to qualify for any type of gummint aid. And I ate dirt as a kid, so Winnie the Flu doesn’t scare me much anyway. Not lookin’ for a fight; but too crippled and fat to run away from one.

    Sure. They can kill me. According to my religion, that sends me to Paradise, where God wipes away al my tears…

    We all have a part to play. Are you training for the important battles?

  29. My baby-making time has come and gone (and too soon :)) Even if the opportunity presented itself today, my messed up prostate would not cooperate. Besides even if I did become a bio-father, the poor kind would have to live with a doddering old fool that everyone would mistake for his grandfather.

    Maybe if someone discovers boosterspice I’ll get a second chance. Otherwise I’ll just have to go into that good night with my genes forever denied to humanity.

    Damn! I need another drink…

  30. I see very few families with 3 or 4 children. Most I see either have one or two, or 5 or more. That’s not counting the Amish and Mennonites I live near. An even dozen isn’t unusual among the Amish…. Most of the ones with 5 or more at least one parent is Catholic. In our case- my wife. Oddly, though I live in the county where the LDS got started, I don’t know that many. Used to meet some at Scout camp in the summer. That’s come to an end. But I’m in the eastern part of the county, they seem to be concentrated in the western part where they got started. Don’t know what the number of children situation is among them.

    We have 5- spaced out randomly over 20 years. Up to 6 grandchildren as of right now.

    Pretty much all of us expect there’ll be a shooting was in the future. The trigger point is unpredictable. Having POTUS say we need F-15s and nukes for a revolution likely hastens the day it arrives. I only hope that when it starts- it’s over quickly. That means my side won. As I said up above- the left tends to believe it’s own propaganda- like enlisted men are automatons that will do whatever they’re ordered to. Enlisted men come from children of people like us, all of us here who comment on Sarah’s blog. They don’t come from leftists. I do know what the average enlisted man is thinking of doing if/when there’s a SHTF event. Following orders to mow down civilians isn’t one of those things. The people who would do that are in rear echelon units, not the point of the spear.

  31. I had 2 kids and they’re awesome. I occasionally think I would have liked a third but the reminder that I probably would have died doing so keeps me from thinking it too hard. Instead, I love on my friends kids and encourage my oldest to think about it. (My youngest will probably do so reflexively, if med school doesn’t break her heart). And no, I’m not a happy warrior. My son is occasionally. Neither of us would have chosen to be born into this culture war but we were born at the best possible time. May we do our ancestors proud and be a blessing on our progeny.

  32. Another one that’s given me a lot to think about, especially considering the position I’m in with regard to kids… Sad to say but I’ve always had an aversion to them personally, no thanks to my brand of introverted Odd. Their energy drains me a lot faster than adults on top of having to adjust conversation subjects and such. Plus remembering how I could get as a kid, which included the poor training I mentioned last post? All of that adds up to making the prospect of having kids of my own pretty intimidating and makes me more than a little reluctant to date single mothers – which is about all I’ve got available at my age range (late 30s) unless I want to risk someone young and immature. That said, the whole finding a mate thing doesn’t feel as hopeless as it used to since I’ve actually gotten better at taking care of myself physically at least but it’s still not looking good. As for asking the Author for help, well, that’s another can of worms for another time… Suffice to say I’m not sure that won’t end in a catastrophic backfire.

    1. I don’t *like* kids. I love mine and dote on those being raised by my friends but I don’t particularly care for them as a brand of human. The good ones, though, are the ones that will give you hope for the future of humanity. And their mom’s are generally pretty cool, too.

      1. You’re ahead of me, then. I keep my distance from my friends and family’s kids (see above about how quickly and badly they clash with my introverted brand of Odd) and haven’t met one that rose above the level of merely not being annoying yet. Not that I haven’t met a few cool moms, single or otherwise, but the stepparent lifestyle isn’t for me at all. If I’m going to blunder my way through parenthood I’d rather mess up one of my own making than crash someone else’s life and leave it a smoldering ruin. I’m only just now getting to the point where I’m making a start at functionality after my own experiences in that area and my now-former stepfather hasn’t been in my life for 18 years now.

    2. *waves familiarly*

      Your own kids are different. (I don’t much like kids as a group, either; MY kids are pretty spiffy, and many other kids are, but it’d be like liking redheads as a group.) I think it’s because you know what is acceptable for them, and what isn’t; the strain of “k, translate into other person…now translate that into kid… is this kid doing SocialThing on purpose or not?…” etc.

      I’d give you the same advice I’ve seen work for other single geeks/odds/introverts:
      Look for your best friend.

      That will also let you find the 30s ladies who have spent the last decade or two being told there’s no single women, as they bite their tongue. 😀 There’s just SOMETHING that makes some women not seem “available,” and it’s only partly the mess of dating-signaling going on. I know we have several gals who made it to their 40s and even 50s and would’ve liked to find their other half, and if I wasn’t lucky enough to have been befriended by my now-husband, I’d be one.

      1. *waves* Yes, I’m one of those gals now into her 40s. Granted, I’m well aware that a good part of it is I am a near-pathological introvert (and so give off very strong signals of “don’t need anyone” and haven’t figured out how to make the “but I’d quite like someone” signal louder, lol. I’m not sure I ever will, sigh).

        My best friend and I joke that it’s a pity one of us isn’t male. (But we aren’t, and neither of us has that kind of interest in women, lol.)

      2. *tired grin* I was informed by a dear lady at church that I’m too intimidating and that’s why no man wants to marry me. I’m too smart and can’t fake being dumb. The lady meant well, because her daughter eventually did marry and has a wonderful family, and she’s just as smart as I am. But her daughter is also a lot more socially adept than I choose to be.

        I suspect my being obviously eccentric also has something to do with it. “Is she interesting or nuts? Do I want to be the one to find out in case she’s nuts?”

      3. That’s a huge part of it for sure. I have a hard enough time dealing with other adults and kids are pretty much alien beings to me. Frequently hyperactive ones who throw me off badly, too. I’ve heard that advice too of course but it hasn’t done much good since a big part of dating conventional wisdom seems to be “don’t ruin a good friendship by adding romance.” Like this subject wasn’t hard enough to navigate. I do get the not seeming available thing, too, but as awful as I am at reading people I prefer to err on the side of caution by keeping to myself, which obviously hasn’t helped. This isn’t even getting into the fact that outside MHN/Diner/Huns all the geeky women I know are full-on Woke, or at least anti-right politically for one more problem in that are. And speaking of weird signals the rare occasion when I have caught a woman’s attention it’s usually a leftist church Karen who, to be diplomatic, isn’t much for taking care of herself physically. Granted I’ve only gotten serious about that part within the last six months myself (and haven’t done too bad a job of it) but it’s still discouraging, and a bit WTF too. What kind of signals am I giving off if I’m drawing that type when my own spiritual life is something like 10% almost functional Christian faith, 40% doubts that there’s anything out there, and 50% being convinced that if there’s a higher power in my life it’s Loki? Or Tzeentch. Or Nyarlathotep for that matter. Southern church culture is no place for an Odd, let me tell you…

        1. I’ve heard that advice too of course but it hasn’t done much good since a big part of dating conventional wisdom seems to be “don’t ruin a good friendship by adding romance.”

          Familiar with that trope, too; I honestly can’t see where it came from, other than it being very useful for dramatic situations.

          Even if your friend isn’t into you– if they’re really your friend, it may be awkward for a while but they’re your friend.

          Somebody SERIOUSLY needs to start up a decent dating site. “I am [conservative, not active politically] looking for [life mate], I am [geeky] and I [try to be polite when I’m not dancing on folks’ sore spots]” or something….

          1. It’s one of those things that always struck me as being just true enough to sound plausible but still has something…off that I can’t put my finger on about it. I’ve also frequently seen it brought up when the whole “friend zone” concept comes up and how the only reason someone could want more than friendship is sex and only sex. Like the whole scene wasn’t enough of a pain to navigate to begin with. Also, amen on that site needing to be a thing… The last one I was on was POS – er, POF a few years ago and that was as soul-crushing as you’d expect. Not thrilled about how they’re are going all-in on “I got my Winnie the Flu vaccine” badges and perks either. Somehow I think Winnie would be the least of your disease worries on some of these sites…

            1. I think I got where it gets hooks in– it plays into your fears.

              So the more you do value them, the less you’re willing to risk it. (and the conflation of “dating” and “having sex with” doesn’t help)

              1. Sounds right on all counts, and the way the culture’s gone in that area plays up a lot of fears for both men and women. It’s not a fun time to get into this mess, that’s for sure.

            1. With my skills for “finding folks’ sore spots by jumping on them”?

              On the other hand, I do seem to be catnip to the kind of killer queens who are quite sure that none of their relationship issues are their fault….

              What would probably work best is some sort of a MeWe group with some already-taken monitors to do basically an online mixer. Primary purpose: finding friends (not f-buddies, not speed date for a soul mate, but friends that might grow to more) in a reduced threat/no predator environment.

                1. I don’t think our technology has progressed to the point of uploading people yet… 😛

                  Much less removing them afterwards. “Gonna need a bigger server.”

            1. I recommend the Beautiful But Evil Space Princess matchmaking agency. Got me and the Bugbear together. Also an introverted Odd, and military person with nine years’ overseas service to boot. Makes it hard to find a partner, but our hostess made it happen.

              I’ll be 41 three months from Sunday, but the possibility of kids does still exist and we are working it. Wish us luck.

        2. “don’t ruin a good friendship by adding romance.”
          That’s crazy talk. My wife and I were good friends for years. Dating wasn’t in the cards for various reasons when we met (although since she’s a fox I took my shot.) Hadn’t seen each other for several years when she moved in with me and a married couple mutual friends I was staying with. I was renting a room from them for tjhe weekends I could get off base and out of the barracks. She was getting away from a bad engagement breakup – he hit her, and everybody including her parents wanted her to forgive him. Her response “Nobody gets a chance to hit me twice.” I offered my room, saying I would sleep on the couch when I was on liberty. That lasted about 2 weeks. 6 weeks later we were married. Of course, it’s a rebound relationship, and everybody knows those don’t last. It’s only been 49 1/2 years, so we will see.

          1. Neither you nor our hostess have to convince me that this bit of “conventional wisdom” is another thing that just isn’t and I’ve heard a lot of similar friends first stories from people in strong marriages, too. But if there weren’t enough people who fall for that line it wouldn’t be a thing unfortunately. Still, congratulations to all of you for working through it. 🙂

            1. That advice is given primarily for the people who are afraid of commitment, who are concerned about losing their friend circle if the romantic relationship doesn’t work out. Same thing with dating at work.

          2. Hubby and I were friends first too. We met not long after I started college, early fall. Didn’t start dating for 4 years, were married before end of year (barely, but counts). I was 22, he was 26. If I had taken him home when we first met, as someone I was dating, my dad would have shot him. College or not, I was still 17, only for a few weeks, but … As stated before, 43 years (including dating) and counting.

  33. My husband and I adopted 5. Two have kids, 5 grands and 2 step grands. Two more may marry but nothing 9n horizon. My brother has 1 grandson whom they are raising but none married. All adopted as well. I love having grandchildren.

  34. If God wanted me to have children I think it would have happened already. There’s still time but odds are slim I’ll ever even get married, let alone start a family. I’m a loner by nature so mostly I’m ok with this, but sometimes I get caught in the “If I were normal I could have a loving husband and family” fantasy but I remind myself that’s it’s just that-a fantasy.
    Totally off topic but scary:

    1. Scary indeed. One can only hope the next President (assuming we ever have another legit one) bulk-pardons the lot of ’em.

  35. It seems to me that it is a very good time to be having children. I recently read the fourth turning, and if the cycle described would place the children born now as Artists. The Children alive during the turning conflict, who have many opportunities after the war, and while starting out conformist to the new status quo seek and find old knowledge later in life and serve as guides and gurus for the next prophet generation.

    I wish I was working on having children. My personal mission statement since I was 18 was to be a stay at home homeschooling mom with five kids.

    I have recently been trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life if G-d never sends me a husband. The Physics degree was, in my mind, for a part time stay at home job in analysis or modeling while homeschooling the kids. I didn’t really have a passion for the modeling and analysis, just a personal ethic of excellence.

      1. 10, I really have very good longevity genes both sides. Grandma had her first kid at 39, second at 40, third at 42.

        Can probably still have one or two kids, if I had a husband to try with now. From my research and my gynecologist analysis.

      2. 10, I really have very good longevity genes both sides. Grandma had her first kid at 39, second at 40, third at 42.

        Can probably still have one or two kids, if I had a husband to try with now. From my research and my gynecologist analysis.

  36. I only have this one thing to say: Until the “family unit” returns to our culture, it’s very tough to find hope for a solid longlasting America.

  37. I have a lot of hope, the family unit in conservative enclaves is stronger than 10 years ago. From my observations in the Catholic Young Adult groups I’ve joined. So many of the younger people got married and had their first baby during the shutdown. Plus good teaching on family, and popularizing good marriage and fatherhood to men. I assume the same trends are happening in Mormon, Orthodox Jewish, and other conservative expressions of traditional religion.

    1. I was startled, though, at the last LDS general conference when they said that, for the first time in church history, there are more single members than married. I mean…my first thought was “Well, I don’t feel quite such a freak” followed closely by my second, which was “What the heck is going ON with all of us?!”

      (Followed, thirdly, by a “Hmm. Wonder if we can popularize carefully-vetted arranged marriages again…” 😀 )

        1. I think that “single” generally means never married, rather than widowed. I guess it depends on the speaker but I don’t think my 87 year old uncle would be referred to as a “single man”. I could be wrong.

          1. It does, in common use, especially when you can be close enough to know why someone is single.

            But these stats are usually gathered by looking at the listing of households– a similar thing happens with “most marriages end before 25 years” stats.

            That includes in death.

          2. In this case, he did say that included divorced, widowed and never married.

        2. It’s actually middle aged-to-younger singles they were referring to, not the older ones. (They’re included in the overall count, but they were rather specifically referring to those largely in my age group–us Odds stuck between Gen X and the “millenials” and younger)

          1. Given culture, that’s who I’d be worried about– just a slight reassurance to the “more unmarried than not” emotional impact.

            IE, it’s bad, BUT remember all the factors.

      1. I’d wonder if part of it is that even the LDS are getting tugged by the “you can’t afford to start a family until you have a solid job and career. Then get married and have 1.2 children.”

        1. Meh. It’s one factor.
          My FIL was less than pleased that I had neither an education, nor a career when I married his daughter.
          But he’s learned to live with it, as I make her happy.
          I do see an unfortunate amount of men who aren’t successful on the dating scene, (for various reasons), and are content to sit on the couch and play video games.
          Scared of commitment? Once bitten, twice shy? Just lazy? It’s hard to say.
          There was a culture, (long ago) when everyone, regardless of creed or religion, would be pressuring a man to marry as quickly as possible. I think we’re now seeing how many of them wouldn’t bother without that societal motivation.

          1. I know a number of guys who look at their state property laws, then look at the divorce statistics, hear a few horror stories, and flat out refuse to even consider marriage. It infuriates me, but I understand their thinking. “If anything goes wrong, she gets my property, my income, and my retirement, and can have me banned from anywhere she wants to go. No way!”

            1. What bugs me is the ones that use 30 year old examples, and then refuse to pay attention to any additional information– my sister got a lot of crud because “everyone knew” that if a woman didn’t get full custody and 100% child support plus half his pay check, then she was obviously an unfit mother.

              Reality, Oregon’s laws are designed so that anybody who tries to be a responsible adult– such as NOT barring your son from seeing his father, or by leaving domestic abuse via anything but a stretcher– is screwed. (Which makes some of the foster family horror stories coming out of there, where perfectly good parents are screwed over for stupid reasons, make sense….)

              1. Oh heck. Niece entered into an unofficial visitation with her ex-husband regarding her oldest child, because of his parents. His. Step-Child. Who was in his, and thus his parents influence for < 24 months, she wasn't even 3 when they divorced. All of this because of the family court in Oregon. Not so much the laws. He clearly specifically signed away his and his parents rights when he stopped the adoption process, when they separated. His lawyer recommended he not do this if he wanted any access. But that meant paying child support … But the stories coming out of Family Court scared niece. So rather than a clean cut with him and his parents, they get some visitation. They are good people. He's a little flaky, but not a danger to the child. It has worked out, so far. There will come a time where she won't want to go. Since her younger half sister won't be going, ever. Then too, now his parents have their own grandchild to spoil, his daughter with his new wife. We'll see.

                Full disclosure, his father is hubby's SIL's cousin. Not that this is necessarily a recommendation (again, not bad people, but …). But dang the world is small. It was interesting when all this was going down, because what they heard, and what we were being told didn't overlap, much.

                1. All of this because of the family court in Oregon. Not so much the laws.

                  Correct, and a very important point that I slipped over the top of.

                  1. ANY decent person will be broken by family court. Dyce is based on a woman who was the divorced mother of one of the kids’ friends.
                    Her husband ROUTINELY “forgot” to send checks. She was barely surviving. BUT he had money and big lawyers and connections.
                    Taking him back to court, meant losing the kid. And so she lumped it.

                    1. Yeah, Sis’ ex “forgot” and claimed their son every year.

                      Which SHOULD have gotten the IRS on him…

                      She even had video evidence and HIS friends went to court against him…

                      This is why the Libertarian idea of “it’s contracts” doesn’t work for me.

                      Family courts is contracts at their breaking point.

                    2. All contracts are void when one side breaks them. It’s why Jesus listed adultery as the only acceptable grounds. Of course, He also didn’t think much of child abuse, either.

                      And yes, the Constitution is a contract, and the government has been breaking it.

          2. I also strongly suspect the corruption of the family courts–who often (though not always, sometimes it does go the other direction) give undue credence to toxic women making untrue claims about the men they want to divorce have made a LOT of men very shy about the prospect. (And even if that isn’t as endemic as the internet often claims…the stories are so engrained in the consciousness out there that it makes no difference.)

            1. Unfortunately, the stories rest on a solid base of truth. Friend of mine married the wrong woman, one looking for permanent resident status. Within months she became violently abusive, while accusing him of abuse. Under such circumstances, she could get a divorce without losing resident status. Neat racket, eh?

        2. That’s part of it, no doubt. But I look around at many of my fellows and younger (I am 41) and I see a LOT of children who went through divorce, and many of those can’t bring themselves to risk it. (That’s not to say divorce is always bad–sometimes staying together ‘for the sake of the children’ is WORSE than splitting, but…add to even a fairly amicable divorce the pressures attendant with LDS marriage-and-kids culture, and you probably have a lot of folks so worried about ‘failing’ that they never risked it.) Others I know are like me, and deeply Odd and introverted, and haven’t figured out, even at this late date, how to get beyond that to find a good spouse. And there are a lot of divorcees out there (many, sadly, with some hair raising circumstances).

          Heh. Funny-in-a-not-really-funny-at-all kind of way: when I was last in Provo (around ’02-03), hasty marriages–and equally hasty divorces–were a bit endemic. Also hasty marriages/hasty annulments. There was even a certain amount of chastisement coming from the bishoprics going “Look, guys, we know sex is a wonderful thing, and yes, there is that whole “only within the bounds of marriage” rule, but…getting hitched just so’s you can have sex, and then splitting up? That’s not really within the spirit of the rules, nor is it emotionally healthy for any of you, so STOP IT.” So I’m sure there’s folks who came out of those (and I’m sure there were more than a few who had entered those marriages thinking it was going to be a real marriage, only to get a very rude shock soon thereafter. So that would have left its share of scarred survivors as well (and for all I know, it’s still going on. Probably. People do get amazingly ridiculous when the hormones are calling the shots.)

          1. People do get amazingly ridiculous when the hormones are calling the shots.

            What many of us call ‘thinking with the wrong head’. 😛

      2. I’d be willing to let my mother and my sister and maybe you, Sara, get together to pick a husband for me. My dad has zero say and anyone he nominates is automatically out of the running.

        1. My dad is trying to pick a wife for younger son. There’s some validity, because they’re basically the same persons shifted sixty some years.
          And it’s adorable….

        2. I’m with you, BlondEngineer. 😀 Alas, my dad always wants to get in on it and like yours, most of his nominees would automatically get disqualified.

          I swear, if our fathers ever actually met, they’d probably either end up cronies, or they’d hate each other…

      3. I’m not a fan of the old arranged-marriages traditions. Arranged introductions, on the other hand. can be quite beneficial.

  38. Somewhere at the start of this essay there was a ballpark, but I can’t see it amymore: To far away. Brava, Mrs. Hoyt.

    1. “Now the children try to find it, and they can’t believe their eyes

      And there used to be a ballpark right here.”

      Sorry, couldn’t help myself. It just popped into my head.

  39. “My older son says it’s a continuous miracle that humans continue living and don’t self-destruct”

    True of each living cell

    Free Will: Just Enough ^235Uv92 laying about.

    Himself didn’t give us enough smarts to crack the irreducible complexity of “whither the first ribosome (+/mRMA +tRNA+DNA+…).How was that whole system of systems even there to assemble the second?”

    That, contrary to the Hiding God frame, DOES compel my belief,,, I don’t FEEL oppressed, closer to awed.

  40. My personal faith teaches that we all have a purpose, although some days I look around and wonder if Horrible Warning really is a Vocation . . . I’m a story teller, and a hunter of history. What happened? Why? Really? How does that translate into Story? Some of my stories have footnotes, others are just fun.

  41. So if you care about the future, you’ll have kids.

    Add to that all the people who are going to find that most of their age group has no kids and gives no fucks; that the majority of their age group believes neither in G-d nor man, nor anything beyond them, and it’s too late to do anything about it.

    This is the real reason, or one of them, the leftards discourage childbearing. It is also a key reason for feminism and its horrid children: abortion as a sacrament, divorce on demand, and child support divorced from anything but a woman’s claims.

    It is hard to give a damn about the future when you don’t have children. All the regulars have heard me go on at length about it, but it is. I’d say it is doubly hard for men because much more often than women men are childless not by choice. If you can’t find a woman who wants to make babies with you then you don’t have kids.

    Under feminism this combined to give us lots of children with kids by men who won’t be there that then seek men like me to be wallets “good fathers” while saying up front “I’m done having kids.” My favorite version of that was “Oh, they got my funside, but you get my serious side.” (actual f*****g quote).

    So, yeah, I have to work at giving a damn about the future. I mean if my genes, interests, passions, and so on aren’t worth sending into the future, as determined by the sole arbitor of that, modern women, why is the by-products of them worth sending there?

    Now, the feminist unholy trio make this worse by making sure that even men judged by the modern woman worth being a father into a crap shoot where the state will happily help them reduce you to an ATM (not a wallet…you have your wallet around most of the time). At the same time, the culture will tell her life is better if she does so.

    That seeds a lot of distrust. Those distrustful men create distrustful women. Both, but especially the women, then look to the state to arbitrate things prior generates thought private. If the state had to act, it used to be both people had failed.

    So, yeah, they suckered GenX* and Millennials into no kids for the same reason they did everything else, to seed their power. Notice that while they got the Outer Party types to have 1 or 2 kids, the Inner Party types more often than not had large families.

    * GenX is not recognized by the browser dictionary as a word. GenY, is, however. It’s the GD “Seventy-something” all over again.

  42. Argh.

    WordPress Delenda Est.

    Unstruck version:

    Under feminism this combined to give us lots of children with kids by men who won’t be there that then seek men like me to be wallets “good fathers” while saying up front “I’m done having kids.” My favorite version of that was “Oh, they got my funside, but you get my serious side.” (actual f*****g quote).

    So, yeah, I have to work at giving a damn about the future. I mean if my genes, interests, passions, and so on aren’t worth sending into the future, as determined by the sole arbitor of that, modern women, why is the by-products of them worth sending there?

    Now, the feminist unholy trio make this worse by making sure that even men judged by the modern woman worth being a father into a crap shoot where the state will happily help them reduce you to an ATM (not a wallet…you have your wallet around most of the time). At the same time, the culture will tell her life is better if she does so.

    That seeds a lot of distrust. Those distrustful men create distrustful women. Both, but especially the women, then look to the state to arbitrate things prior generates thought private. If the state had to act, it used to be both people had failed.

    So, yeah, they suckered GenX and Millenials into no kids for the same reason they did everything else, to seed their power. Notice that while they got the Outer Party types to have 1 or 2 kids, the Inner Party types more often than not had large families.

  43. The purpose of men and women is to get together, have children, and raise them until they are properly prepared to repeat the cycle. That purpose is baked into our DNA, reinforced by 500 million years of natural selection.

    Two men can’t do that. Nor can two women. Even if one of them pretends to be the opposite of what they are. Not even with drugs and surgery. We are not Beta Colony.

    One man/one woman is the simplest arrangement capable of fulfilling that purpose, therefore the least difficult to form and the most stable. Adding extraneous people with all their attitudes and baggage just increases stress on the family unit, making it more likely to fail.

    A healthy society reinforces the family. A deranged one interferes with the family’s dynamics and imposes external stresses, leading to widespread breakdown of families. Followed by the inescapable breakdown of that society.

    That’s where the Leftroids are headed. It’s what they think they want. They will be unpleasantly surprised by what they get.
    When reality doesn’t conform to your theories, it’s not the universe that’s wrong.

    1. And there are two reasons there is a man in the basic group:
      1. Provide some genetic mixing so each generation isn’t just like the previous. Least important reason lots of species accomplish this without “fathers” beyond DNA donors.
      2. Because humans take do D@NM long to develop fully compared to most species, the female and young require a protected environment while the young grow. That’s why we (males) are bigger, and stronger, with testosterone developed skeletal muscles. All that growth and muscle come at a cost in resources. So there is an evolutionary basis for having a father as opposed to a sperm donor around. You can tell the guys that are good at this. Their children adore him even if they fight with him. There is often a gaggle of other children around, who can’t get this protected space at “home”. My Dad was like this. Home was SAFE. And there were always a few other children, often Odds, making use of the space. My goal has always been to emulate him. Judging by my children’s celebration of Father’s Day, and the Hppy Father’s Day cards from non-genetic children who still call me dad, I succeeded.

  44. On Children
    Kahlil Gibran – 1883-1931

    And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, Speak to us of Children.
    And he said:
    Your children are not your children.
    They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
    They come through you but not from you,
    And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

    You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
    For they have their own thoughts.
    You may house their bodies but not their souls,
    For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
    You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
    For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
    You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
    The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
    Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
    For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

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